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Episode 1

Episode 1 of 2

30 minutes
First broadcast:
Tuesday 04 January 2011

Carolyn Quinn looks under the bonnet of leadership in this two-part series, from business to politics and sport.

What traits do you need to become a great leader? Is leadership 'in the blood' or can you train people to develop the right skills?

Ming Campbell and Michael Howard reflect on their time as political leaders. Both suffered perception problems during their time at the top, from jibes about their age and looks. Developing a thick skin, they say, is the key.

Dragon's Den investor Deborah Meaden describes herself as a 'born entrepreneur'. What does she think makes a good leader?

Plato began the study of leadership in 350 BC. Since then, academics have tried to distil the ingredients for the perfect leader, but still fail to agree. Some psychologists think that it boils down to having right personality traits, others that timing is essential.

Comedian Mark Steel studied great historical leaders for his series of lectures for TV and radio and found that many rose to the top by being at the right place at the right time. They were also far from perfect, and their personal lives were disastrous.

Today the leadership industry - from self-help books to management courses - is a multimillion pound industry promising to turn underperforming managers into great bosses. Carolyn visits the London Management Centre to see if they can make her into a great leader.

Producer: Michelle Martin

Featuring: Sir Menzies Campbell, Lord Howard of Lympne, Deborah Meaden, Mark Steel, Deborah Mattinson, Prof Alex Haslam (University of Exeter), Prof Adrian Furnham (University College London), Binna Kandola (Pearn Kandola).


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