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Posts from the ‘Leadership consultancy’ Category

The “top 20” challenges of modern business leadership – did we miss any?

During an excellent coaching workshop with the Academy of Executive Coaching this week some YSC colleagues and I had an interesting discussion on the challenges that the leaders we coach have to deal with. Our brainstorm came up with the following “Top 20”. Did we miss any? Can you think of any others? Do you have any thoughts about any of these? If so tweet me @derekdraper.

(In no particular order)

Public Scrutiny

Digital and social






Increased Competition


Contracting out Culture

Environmental Issues

Ethical Leadership


Increased Disruption

Psychological Contract/Expectations

How to Shape the Organisation (After Flattening)


Informal Leadership

Environmental concerns



Space – How Leaders Grow

I am very excited to be devoting some serious time over the next few months to working on my latest book “Space – How Leaders Grow“.

It is inspired by my work at global leadership consultants  YSC. The book makes three key arguments. First, in order to achieve our best we need to create space in order to think, relate and act on a deeper and more profound level. Second, that the modern world indiscriminately fills our life. For the first time in 1000 generations our task isn’t to fill space but to push back and create it. Third, if we want to perform optimally, and reach our full potential, we need to, as an a priori task, create space, before we do anything else. In other words, before people can excel and develop as leaders they need to create space. The book then goes on to explain how you can do this, drawing on real life examples inspired by my work with executives at some of the world’s biggest companies.

Twitter banner

As well as examining what I mean by “space” the book addresses how, on a very practical level, people can create the space they need in order to:

  • Think
  • Feel
  • Relate
  • Do
  • Be

Core model

Even more fundamentally it outlines the foundations that underpin work on each and any of the above areas:

  • Setting your personal strategy
  • Adopting the Space Mindset
  • Becoming as efficient as possible

The focus of the book is on the corporate leaders who I assess, coach and help develop every day in my work. But it’s insights apply more widely: to leaders in the third sector, more junior managers, entrepreneurs, and, ultimately, anyone trying to get something done in collaboration with others.

It contains 5 “coaching stories” including those of “Tom, the manager made of glass”, “Siobhan, whose heart belonged to a combine harvester” and “Jonathan, the executive who never asked about the dogs”. There are dozens more vignettes inspired from actual but anonymised/adapted coaching sessions, and I also include the key diagrammatic models that I regularly use in conversation with business leaders that offer simple practical help to anyone looking to create more space for themselves, their ideas and their work.

Update November 2015

I presented the core ideas the book explores at the 2015 Association of Business Psychology UK Conference in Reading. You can watch a 20 minute video of that presentation here.

ABP Presentation Image

The book will be published in 2016. If you have any thoughts about this topic, please tweet me @derekdraper.

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