Allan Leighton is Chairman of Royal Mail Group, Bhs Ltd and Race for Opportunity. He was credited with resuscitating Asda, a Â£500K business, which was subsequently sold to Wal-Mart ten years later in 1999 for Â£6.7bn. He has been described by the Guardian as "the best connected man in the business world."
On Leadership: Practical Wisdom from the People Who Know
On Leadership offers a fascinating and unique insight into what it takes to be a successful business leader today. Author Allan Leighton goes far beyond the remit of his humble title and gives the reader an action-packed trove of anecdotes from the veritable A-list of big hitters he has interviewed for the book. Based on his belief that you get the most done in the first 20 minutes of a meeting, Leighton has kept all interviews within this time frame and manages to create a fast-paced, broadly competent compendium of new, established and entrepreneurial business leaders' thoughts.
Leighton has secured insights from the likes of Philip Green and Justin King of Sainsbury in addition to top financial journalists and even politicians. The diversity of this pursuit gives this book gravitas and commitment most writers can only dream of. Leighton's own perspective is also refreshing, as he commands a focus on the simple and practical domains of industry. As he notes, "business is very simple, why go around complicating it?"
Leighton uses successes and failures from his own and his interviewees' extensive experience to elucidate a large amount of compelling subject material. Each chapter contains a sweetshop full of interviews, sound bites and memorable stories. These are woven together to illustrate, in true Leighton 'maverick with a conscience' style, the most important issues in business. The valuable and practical insights on what it takes to be a great business leader cover the following subjects:
- How to be entrepreneurial
- The brand
- Day-to-day fire fighting
- The relationship of leaders with the media and politicians
Leighton’s true skill here is involving the reader from the outset. His warm and relaxed style is both inviting and addictive. This is not a self-help style guide or planner for the day to day, but a hard-hitting tour of the hot topics facing today’s best business minds The frank discussions give a view from the top of the business ladder from someone who made it up every rung, learning many lessons on the way up.
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