This question was answered by Andy Buck, a former geography teacher turned headteacher turned leadership expert who has written multiple leadership books and now works with senior headteachers across the UK to improve schools and the school system.
Jamie Lawrence, Editor, HRZone: How do you get young people fired up about wanting to lead when leadership is in somewhat of a crisis?
Andy Buck, former headteacher and leadership trainer: Whilst I recognise what you’re saying with regard some leaders who are vilified, a lot aren’t vilified too, and I saw a survey recently that was looking at which leaders in society are respected, and headteachers and school leaders are pretty high up there.
Multinational leadership I guess comes in for a lot of stick, especially around salaries.
With regard getting young people - in fact anyone - excited about leadership, I think Steve Radcliffe in his book Leadership Plain and Simple has got a lovely way of dealing with this.
He says everyone is a leader in an organisation because everyone is dependent on others to do their job, so you have to influence others.
He says great leaders aren’t people who are tied together by some psychometric disposition but they’re ‘up to something’ - something they’re passionate about, something they care about and something they're actually doing something about. It resonates with Simon Sinek’s Start with Why ideas.
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It seems to be that helping people understand what they’re doing and why they’re doing it and generally helping them ‘get up to something’ is a good way to inspire people to become leaders.
About Jamie Lawrence
Jamie Lawrence is editor of global online HR publication and community HRZone.com. He is committed to driving forward the HR agenda and making sure that HR directors have the knowledge and insight necessary to make HR felt across the whole organisation. He regularly speaks to audiences of 250+ and has interviewed key HR industry names, including Daniel H. Pink. He has worked previously as a small business journalist and a copywriter and has published non-fiction that reached #2 on the NYT Children's Bestseller List. In his spare time Jamie likes writing fiction, films, fitness and eating out.