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“She entered the leadership contest right at the last minute, didn’t engage in the process and over the last 18 days I’m afraid we haven’t had any leadership from her”

UKIP councillor Lisa Duffy speaking about Diane James.


“It has become clear that I do not have sufficient authority, nor the full support of all my MEP colleagues and party officers to implement changes”

Diane James, resigning after 18 days as UKIP leader.


Does leadership have to feel like this?

Between a rock and a hard place – must leadership feel like this?


Obviously neither of these quotes tell the full story but neatly raise the question – what do we mean by “having leadership from someone”?

My thoughts are this would mean different things to each of us. For me “to have leadership from someone” I would need them to:

  • Embody clarity, confidence and passion – on where we collectively wanted to go, and what it would give us
  • Act as if we were one team – some form of “us”, rather than an “us” and them”
  • Recognise their dependency on all of us to achieve their (in fact, our) goals
  • Behave as if we all mattered; so that we wanted to be part of things and give our best
  • Be adaptable to feedback and context – be this political, economic or personal – and willing to change the plan.

What would you need to feel that you were “having leadership from someone”? Do let me know….

Naturally it is impossible to say what really happened in this situation, although we can be confident that neither quote tells the full story.

It does show though, how leaders and their teams can have many different, often unspoken needs and expectations from each other.


Or can leadership feel like this – drawing others to you?


Thinking about you:

If you’re currently being offered a promotion, or wondering about whether to apply for a more senior role, might these be useful questions to consider:

  • What are the team’s expectations of you as leader? Spoken and unspoken. So they can say “We have had leadership from her (or him).”
  • How do you plan to achieve the minimum amount of buy-in necessary, to implement changes you believe necessary for success.

If you want a happier ending to your own leadership story, " target="_blank">get in touch. I’d love to work with you to write it together.

Here is what one client says:

“Gill is a very positive and supportive coach. Gill looks at the whole person, drawing out personal strengths, values and aspirations to find an authentic approach to leadership development. Gill blends candour and sensitivity, humour and challenge with a keenness to celebrate personal success, helping to pinpoint the qualities that have brought job satisfaction and achievement and build on them. I highly recommend working with Gill.”
Michael Lovibond, whilst Director of Operations / NETSCC (National Institute for Health Studies)


Gone Rural at Malandelas is a great example of leadership.


Gill How has over twenty years experience of helping senior leaders reach their potential, step into the unknown, co-create the future with their team and deliver visible results. If you would like to meet for an exploratory cup of coffee to develop your response to challenges you face, contact her here.


If you would like to take a look at all the services on offer, take a look here.


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Photo credits: Martin How, taken of Sibebe Rock, Reilley’s Rock and Malandelas, Swaziland 2016.


Gill How

Helping leaders grow, step up and deliver outstanding results

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