On Thursday 17th October I attended and event by the Institute of Directors (IoD), held at the Renaissance hotel in Manchester. There was a great line up of speakers, each with an inspirational story to share. Towards the end of the conference there was a discussion about ‘Influencing beyond your authority – driving regional change’. But in essence the panel were discussing what great Leadership looks like. The panel consisted of Mike Blackburn OBE, Dr Robina Shah MBE and Marie Mohan from Common Purpose UK. Some key takeaways were about ‘Value based leadership- leading with integrity. The importance of associating with people who do not agree with you. When you leave and move forward, what footprint to you leave behind? My personal belief is that if you are a good leader people want to follow you, because ultimately if you can’t win people over demonstrate empathy and engage others, it would be impossible to be a good leader.

Having worked as a consultant, trainer coach, facilitator and speaker for the past 21 years, I have worked with many leaders from a variety of industries around the world. Many of these leaders have demonstrated superb leadership qualities. As someone who works with their organisation and has contact with their staff, I am in a position to observe them as leaders at close quarters. They have a lot of wisdom to share, and the highs and lows of running a successful business.

In order to showcase these excellent leaders, I decided to start the OSR Lessons in leadership series of interviews. I have selected leaders who I feel are interesting and inspirational and will be asking them some key questions about how they began and how they achieved success, but also how they overcame challenges along the way. Our first interviewee for Lessons in Leadership is Sam Ashton Commercial Director at Packaging Automation an award-winning manufacturing organisation. The interviews will be uploaded onto my website: olive@olivestrachan.com

So, if you would like to hear some current topical thinking about what good leadership looks like, have a look at my interview with Sam, I would love to hear your feedback.