Laurie Taylor column

April 2, 2004

" The Leadership Foundation for Higher Education is to run a series of masterclasses for university leaders " - The Times Higher , March 26.

Good morning and welcome. Let me say straightaway that it's really great to see how many top vice-chancellors have turned out for this masterclass on leadership. My task is to introduce today's first speaker.

Chris Suavley has conducted masterclasses on leadership with a distinguished group of corporate clients, including Old Mrs Riley's Yorkshire Puddings, Meesta Pizza and Rectusol antiseptic cream. Chris has also appeared in several large pictures in Management Today and wears dark suits with very bright ties. His hair is well brushed, and he has a large watch that functions several hundred feet under water. Apart from leadership, his interests include emotional intelligence, systems re-engineering, emotional re-engineering and systems intelligence. He strides around a lot while he is talking and uses PowerPoint on every possible occasion.

Please give a big Leadership Foundation for Higher Education welcome to Chris Suavley!

Good morning everyone. Hey, let's get started with a few questions. What makes a great leader? What do great leaders have in common? What unites Winston Churchill, Mahatma Gandhi and Ars ne Wenger?

Let's look at those questions on the screen. There they are.

Question one: What makes a great leader? Question two: What do great leaders have in common? Question three: What unites Winston Churchill, Mahatma Gandhi and Ars ne Wenger? All good questions. All vital questions. Questions to ask yourself. But don't wait until tomorrow. Ask them today.

Always remember leaders are made, not born, although some seem to be born.

Always remember leaders are people who take risks, although, of course, leaders who take silly risks end up not being leaders. And always ask yourself if you have it in you to be a leader, although, of course, if you need to ask yourself you may, almost by definition, not be a leader. How did Bill Gates get to where he is today? That's another question.

Thanks for your attention. You've been a great audience. Give yourself a big hand.

Exeunt omnes to the tune Search for the Hero inside Yourself.

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