Back of the net – a conversation with Chris Lewis about leadership in the 21st Century

The Leadership LabIs there a crisis of leadership in the 21st Century? And if so, what can we do about it? I had the opportunity to address the issues in conversation with Chris Lewis, the co-author along with Dr Pippa Malmgren of the Business Book of the Year The Leadership Lab, diverting briefly to talk about the golden age of football and its lessons for the modern day leader and how the challenges of leadership are not just evident in organisation, but society as a whole.

One of the most interesting parts of the conversation for me was the way Chris describes the broader social, cultural and economic contexts of leadership challenges, many of which are played out at a local level in our relationships with work and our colleagues and executives, but which have far wider implications when payed out nationally and globally. In particular, Chris argues that we need to look at better measures and models of success if we are to improve our lives and improve the economy, the environment and society.

He suggests that we still haven’t – and maybe cannot – deal with the pace of change in the modern world, perhaps especially in the technological environment. He considers the growing problems of disconnection in a theoretically better connected world, how we need to make sure people aren’t left behind and replace the traditional, paternalistic forms of work with something more contemporary and meaningful.

Before he ends with a challenging paradox about how we distinguish between things that are above board and things that are right, we divert briefly into some reminiscences about the golden age of football which Chris skillfully weaves into his narrative about modern leadership.

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