About James

I've been an unconventional leader since I was a teenager. First with the scout movement, then the Territorial Army. After university I joined the UK civil service on a graduate management development programme. My career is now in its third decade and I've worked in Finance, HR, policy, strategy, IT, change, operations management and internal consultancy. Over the years I've mentored, coached and developed dozens of senior managers and hundreds of people.

My Expectations of Leaders

view from the window at Civil Service Live 2016

Last week I ran an induction/introduction session for my new senior leadership team where I set out my expectations from them as leaders. I made some notes on the train up to the meeting, partly as a rehearsal and partly Continue reading My Expectations of Leaders

[How-to] Action Learning Set – practical guidance

This post is the start of a How-to guide on running an Action Learning Set based on my own experiences of being both a participant and a facilitator. What is an Action Learning Set? An Action Learning Set is a group of Continue reading [How-to] Action Learning Set – practical guidance

Negotiation 101 – Understanding Brexit Negotiations

Negotiation 101 isn’t a direct comment on the Brexit negotiations, but I’ve written it this week as a bit of background for all those commenting on the Brexit negotiations that don’t seem to have any clue whatsoever about how one Continue reading Negotiation 101 – Understanding Brexit Negotiations

Inquiry as a Tool for Leaders

Inquiry should form the basis for leadership decision-making and action, because without productive inquiry you cannot be certain what needs to be done.  Here’s a bit I wrote for an assignment while studying Leadership, Influencing and Change with the Open University. Continue reading Inquiry as a Tool for Leaders

Sal Khan: Let’s Teach for Mastery [TED Talk]

I watched this TED Talk on teaching for mastery and thought it was interesting. I think it’s an excellent way to approach learning, especially as an adult in the workplace. In practice it means structuring learning so that we only move Continue reading Sal Khan: Let’s Teach for Mastery [TED Talk]