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The most effective form of Leadership Development?

Blog Post Emergence

Here’s a quick run-down on Emergent Learning:

  • A Challenge or Opportunity emerges in the work itself
  • Learning from that work is shared…
  • … to be Tested and further Refined by others in the organisation…
  • … which leads to more individuals approaching work challenges as potential learning experiences, which leads to more sharing, more refining… And so on.

Emergent Learning is the most natural way that we learn as humans… Which means it’s mindboggling that modern Leadership Development has not caught onto that framework yet.

How Emergent Leadership Development Changes Everything… »

What can health and military leaders learn from each other?

“I’ve led and commanded men and women on military operations around the world and never seen problems as challenging or leadership situations as complex as those faced in the NHS on a daily basis.”

Stephen Hart, in charge of leadership development for Health Education England, has operated at senior level in both the military and the health service.

Learn and Lead


I asked him about his experiences in each organisation and what shared learning there might be.

Read the Full Article »

Why is this Canadian healthcare vision statement wrong?

Healthcare Leadership

 So many vision statements do this… and it sabotages the thinking of all involved, right from the start.

This is just one example of how leadership and quality improvement in healthcare and other systems needs to keep up with advances in the psychology of work…

… and not get stuck in old ‘vision’ thinking that is no longer fit for purpose. 

The Vision Statement that is rather detached from reality is… »

Patient Leadership: an ‘Aha!’ moment for me…

 Patient-Led Care

A new article by Phil Dourado on patient-led care, a well-discussed but rarely practised tenet of Healthcare Leadership.

What should patient-led care look like in real, practical terms?

“He feels that he leads the shaping of his own life, rather than having his life led by the illness, mediated by the consultant.”

Click Here for 3 Examples of Patient Leadership »

Phil’s Picks for May – 9 Components of Social Leadership

Leaders who embody these traits are often the most widely-respected amongst their peers.

Our ‘Hubs’ are designed to magnify the quality of social leadership in an organisation; we build the platform with the leaders, lick here fourate lessons from their shared wisdom, and establish a community for fast and flexible problem-solving.

Over the past 8 years, we’ve seen multiple examples of stand-out social leaders sharing their techniques through our communities and having them become essential tools for others in the organisation.

Infographic Preview

Click Here for the 9 Components of Social Leadership »

Phil’s Picks for April: The Hospital CEO who went Undercover as a Porter

In her book How to Have a Good Day, psychologist Caroline Webb draws on behavioural science to improve our understanding of why we behave the way we do at work.

How to Have a Good Day (Book)

It helps redefine the very tired ‘personal productivity’ canon of business and self-help books, whose main insights after decades and hundreds of books seem to be:

1) Make lists (Dave Allen) and

2) Focus on only a few things and ignore everyone and everything that tries to push you off track (great for collaborative working, dontcha think?)

What Caroline Webb does is recognise that the people we work with are, guess what, people.

Click Here for the Story of the Hospital CEO »

Phil’s Picks for March – Morrisons Marketing Director recommends my book

Mike MorrisonsHoban, Morrison’s Marketing Director, has just recommended my Seven Secrets of Inspired Leaders book, along with The First 90 Days.

Mike says there are too many books out there and that these are the two books marketers should be reading.

Seven Secrets Book

Though it’s 12 years old now, the story behind the book defined the ‘share great and emerging practice’ principle
that underlies our online communities.

Click Here for the Full Post »

How to build an online Leadership Community of Practice

In these short videos, leadership development expert Phil Dourado explains how to build a leadership community of practice.

How the Leadership Hub's current corporate platform works

Click Here for the Full Post »

Phil’s Picks for February: Drive for Diversity, and ‘Dyad’ Leadership

We recently featured a guest post on the Leadership Hub from a leader we have admired for quite a while.

Dame Stephanie Shirley came to us offering an article for the site and introducing herself, but our team already knew of her since my colleague Zara had pointed us at her TED Talk. We really admire her drive for furthering diversity.

Dame Stephanie Shirley

AND, an interesting approach gaining attention in healthcare: ‘dyad’ leadership

…brought to our attention by this article in Cardiovascular Business.

What is ‘Dyad’ Leadership?

Dyad Leadership

Click Here for the Full Post »

A new model for leadership development in large organizations

Head of Global Leadership Development for Specsavers Jennifer Alexander and her team are six months into an experiment that could be a game-changer: a global, online community of practice for her company’s leaders and partners. She explains in an interview with Phil Dourado

Specsavers logo

In this connected world, much of our thinking happens collaboratively and ‘out loud’: it becomes formed during conversations, in real time.

Yet when we get to work, we revert to what we feel are more formal, and therefore acceptable, ways of communicating and working together. For the most part, that means we revert to email.

Our Leadership Hub is partly about bringing connected behaviour into the workplace, and helping evolve work from the assumption that this kind of social connection is informal and therefore somehow invalid or the equivalent of unstructured play.

Click Here to Read More »

Social Learning (Leadership Development)

Phil’s Picks for January: Growth Mindset resolves a leadership paradox

I have been a bit worried, I have to admit.

I mean, 10 years after setting up the world’s first online global community of practice for leaders, and eight years of running one inside a FTSE 100 company, winning awards and all that good stuff, a big bit of me was thinking … If this is indeed the future of leadership development, why are we the only ones doing it?

And now we’re not. Phew… (Read More)


Click Here for the Full Post »

Phil’s Picks for December: New articles for HR Director, and an impressive leader…

1) Online leadership communities: where are we at?

I’m writing a series of three articles for HR Director on the state of play in using in-house online leadership communities to develop leaders in a ‘community of practice’, as an alternative to, or to supplement, existing leadership development.

The articles are based on eight years of running such a community of practice for one of the largest companies in the world.HR Director Logo

Article One: Open Source Leadership – The Future of Leadership Development?

Article Two: The Problem – And Possible Solution – With Leadership Development

Emily Chang

2) A leader who really impresses me

One of the joys of running an in-house leadership community is you get to spot wonderful leaders who may not be known as such to the outside world… Let me introduce you to one.

Click Here for the Full Post »

Phil’s Picks for November: The Greatest Leadership Speech of All Time?

The level of speechmaking and public pronouncements in the US election by one of the candidates in particular has been breath-takingly unpresidential.

Which reminds me of this wonderful, moving speech by a nearly-President who was lost to us too early.

Now, THIS is what being Presidential and Statesmanlike (or Stateswomanlike) is really about:

Robert Kennedy

Click Here for the Full Post »

Phil’s Picks for October: Defensive Behavior / Behaviour

“Leaders should want to be wrong.”

I love that, from this TED Talk by one of the new breed of up and coming young workplace psychologists who are making us all rethink how leadership actually works.

Preview for TED Clip

Click Here for the Full Post »

Phil’s Picks for September: The God Complex

We’ve been experimenting with podcasts in the online leadership development community we run for a FTSE 100 company, but most of them are too long and rambling.

The great short podcast segment I’d recommend is economist Tim Harford’s ten minute segment on…

Complex systems thrive on trial and error

It’s perfect for the community we facilitate, as Harford leads in with describing The God Complex: the inability of leaders to admit mistakes or say ‘I could have done that better’.

Until leaders can openly do that, the people they work with won’t either.

Click Here for the Full Post >>

Is this the most pointless label in the world?

The Most Pointless Label in the World?

This label is on the ’emergency contacts’ page of my new passport.

Actually, it’s very clever.

It’s ‘nudge theory’ in action. Read the Blog to find out why.

Click Here for the Full Post >>

Phil’s Picks for August: Nathan Lozeron on Deep WorkDeep Work, Cal Newport

I continue to be impressed by Nathan Lozeron’s animated book summaries. And the one-page pdfs he creates to go along with them.

Unlike the big, corporate, paid-for book summary services, which appear to be written by robots, Nathan’s strength is in engaging with the ideas and highlighting the most powerful stuff AS HE SEES IT – using his judgement.

Click Here for the Full Post >>

Phil’s Pick for July: Break Out of the Metaphors

‘Phil’s Picks’ steer you to the best leadership learning on the web.

Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter

A couple of leaders I work with and respect (thank you Lincoln Barrett and Joerg Boeckler) sing the praises of this book.'Multipliers' Book Cover

I had a quick look at an interview with the author, Liz Wiseman, that John Mattone’s team did. And bought the book, based on Wiseman’s explanation of how leaders are either ‘multipliers’ or ‘diminishers’ in their impact on others.

No surprise there, but there’s real learning in how she explains that we can go around thinking we are multipliers when we are actually unintentional diminishers.

Click Here to read how Captain Picard got it wrong, and advice from Queen Elizabeth II »

Phil’s Pick for June: Well done, Nathan!

‘Phil’s Picks’ steer you to the best leadership learning on the web.

So, my pick of leadership learning resources on the net for June 2016 is…

The brilliant Nathan Lozeron.

Nathan Lozeron

Nathan describes himself as

“Student. Teacher. Engineer. Project manager. Aspiring entrepreneur.”

He’s also taken the rather tired discipline of personal, team and organization productivity and injected dynamic learning into it with his smart use of animated book summaries.

Click Here for the full post

Read More

Click here to read the full post »

Phil’s Pick for May:  Help! No more longwinded infographics please

‘Phil’s Picks’ steer you to the best leadership learning on the web.

When infographics started to emerge, as short, sometimes instant-hit (as in the impact seared into you in milliseconds) picture-led information/learning/insights like this, I loved them:

Boss Leader Infographic

In fact the above is my fave infographic on leadership so far.

But, as with all new media, the form got confused with the content and I’m now besieged with a series of “infographics your website users will find essential” from the new breed of online marketers or ‘native advertisers’ with titles like

27 ways to engage the workforce

15 Things leaders get wrong

The Top 50 things leaders do

And they go on and on and on and on. You have to scroll endlessly to read. You know the kind of thing.

BUT THERE IS HOPE. I do love the emergence of…

Click here to read the full post »

Phil’s Pick for April: on listening leaders

‘Phil’s Picks’ steer you to the best leadership learning on the web.


This month I was struck by the continuing urgent need for leaders to stop talking and learn to listen:

The secret to exceptional leadership

On an unlikely source, the Pub Landlord Advisor (!)  website, I stumbled across a nicely written article that’s like a basic primer on leadership. This jumped out at me from it:

What makes a leader exceptional

Over fifteen years, leadership consultant Lee Ellis quizzed hundreds of leaders and managers. He asked them to identity the one key attribute of their greatest leader that made them exceptional.

Guess what the most popular answer was?

Click here to read the full post »

Phil’s Pick for March: Rob Roe’s FAQs for Organisations

‘Phil’s Picks’ steer you to the best leadership learning on the web.

Rob Roe was a leading contributor to the Leadership Hub’s Community of Practice – our original community when the Hub started back in 2008.Maze

Rob was a real thought leader in that community when it was vibrant, and I’m delighted to see he’s taken that further still with his new online “FAQs for Organizations”. 

Rob is a deep thinker and recently sent me his blueprint of where organizations and leadership go wrong and how to fix it and I found it compelling. Rob’s thinking emerges out of Systems Thinking and I feel that’s the only way for leadership to go if we are to move our lumbering slow organizations into a new agile world.

Or they’ll disappear, like that community temporarily did (it’ll be back! Working on it).

Click here for the full post and an extract from Rob.

‘Expert Interview’ with me, who doesn’t believe in experts

John Mattone Expert InterviewAlthough I always say I refuse to believe in the notion of expertise, particularly that I have any, I just did an interview over on John Mattone’s site as part of their ‘Expert Interviews‘ series.

As I’m supposed to be an expert in leadership development, the interview is about what I think is wrong with leadership development today and what large organizations should be doing instead.

Click here to read my radical rant on John’s site.John Mattone Expert Interview

Click here to read this post on my Leadership Blog…

The Leadership Hub will be at Learning Technologies 2016

We will be attending Europe’s biggest showcase on technologies that support learning at work (from 3rd-4th of February) to display our proven online leadership development community for large organisations.

I will be giving a Learning and Development seminar based on eight years in one of the world’s largest companies, bringing together 1,500 globally dispersed leaders to learn and share their best leadership practises.

Leadership Hub T-Shirts

New look Leadership Hub

June 2015

We’ve revamped the Leadership Hub open learning platform to be less about conversations and community posts and instead to focus on a series of ‘bitesize’ learning modules. All free.

The Leadership Hub was the world’s first global online leadership community of practice when we created it in 2007.

Things have to evolve, so we’re trialling these new learning ‘bites’ as they fit in with the overall proposition in The 60 Second Leader – that people don’t have time for long drawn out training any more, and need regular, short, sharp blasts of learning in few minute ‘chunks’.

Leadership Hub's New Look

Yep, it’s the attention-based learning model that leadership neuroscientists Geoffrey Schwarz & David Rock wrote about as being more appropriate for time-poor busy people now.

Here’s my blog post on it, and here’s the new Hub.

March 2015

Leadership Essentials“But, am I useful?” I ask myself sometimes…

So, the UN uses a book of mine to teach leadership (see below news from 2014). And I just noticed this book Leadership Essentials for Emergency Medical Services, cites a previous book of mine and draws on it for a chapter on Ethics and Leadership. So, now when I think “What’s the point of writing books: are they of any use to anybody?” I can see two valuable organizations that found them useful. Good. I don’t feel futile, then 🙂

February 2015

Now, if only these were book sales 🙂 

Gosh. Views for the Little Book of Leadership and the Second Little Book of Leadership on Slideshare just passed 1.5 million.

October 2014cover2

I know you shouldn’t Google yourself, ever. But, I just learnt from doing so that I’m number two on the UN’s recommended reading list for its in-house leadership development.

The 60 Second Leader book, that is. And when I say “Number 2”, I just mean it appears second on their list.

Still, nice to know the UN thinks the book is important for developing the leadership competencies of its employees. I mean, they’re peacekeepers, diplomats and the like. Serious stuff.

On this page, the UN tells its staff that the 60 Second Leader “offers a high impact, time-saving guide to the essentials of leadership.

Well, that gives me a warm, useful, smug feeling.

 January 2014 News

The Second Little Book of Leadership was among the top 1% of most viewed on SlideShare in 2013! Click here for the full report »

Second Little Book of Leadership - Slideshare Top 1%

December 2012 News

…has just been published on Slideshare.  It’s a free eBook from me to you. The First Little Book is eighth, I think, among Slideshare’s ‘most downloaded of all time’ slideshares. It was third for quite a while. Anyway, thought it was time for a second one. So here it is. Hope it’s useful:

November 2012 News

Well, I wish I did look like this.

…or even feel as full of energy as this! My colleague spotted it this morning and it made us all laugh.








I assume it’s the cover of the Italian version of The 60 Second Leader. My limited Italian (i.,e. guesswork) thinks the title translates to “Leader In A Hurry: 30 lessons of 60 seconds each in how to become a great manager”.)

Phil Dourado (Jumps tall buildings with a single bound…I wish).


May 2012 News

You moved me up three places in the ‘global guru’ rankings. Thanks. 

Ooh, thanks for the vote, if you voted. So, last year, I came 17th in this poll of ‘World’s Top 30 Leadership Gurus’. This year I’ve moved up three places to 14th.

Of the 30 in the list, there are 17 I would genuinely tip my hat to. The other 13 I’m not so sure. And I’d include myself in that other 13;  my own ‘Global Top 30’ would be different and wouldn’t have me in it. But, there you go. Polls are strange.

I did ask the organisers why I was in their list in the first place and they said “The originality of your leadership development work” which I think refers to using an online leadership development community to get people to learn from each other about how to lead.

We’ve won awards for running a global community like that for 1,500 leaders at IHG, the hotels company, over the past four years, and that has got a lot of attention, so I’m assuming that’s the ‘innovative’ work that led to being in this list.


May 2011 News

Leaders Lounge wins another award


Renee Stevens, VP, Global Talent Development, and her team from IHG in the US are pictured picking up an American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) crystal plaque

Renee Stevens, VP, Global Talent Development, and her team from IHG in the US are pictured picking up an American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) crystal plaque annual Learning in Practice Award for the IHG Leaders Lounge. The Leaders Lounge is IHG’s online community of leadership practice. It accelerates the global hotel company’s leadership development by sharing learning fast across the globe. The Leaders Lounge was developed, built and is run by Phil Dourado Business Communications Ltd. For a Research Paper explaining how this kind of leadership community works, including the Attention-Based Learning Model on which it is based, click here.

March 2011 NewsLeadershipGuru

Phil voted 17th Top Leadership Guru in The World

Seriously. Whenever we in the office ask him anything he says “I don’t know. What do you think?” He also runs two global leadership communities where, whenever they ask his advice, he says “I don’t know. Let’s ask the rest of the community, shall we?” But, apparently that doesn’t stop him being voted into the www.leadershipgurus.net World’s Top 30 Leadership Gurus for 2011 list, coming in at Number 17. Here’s his badge to prove it

February 2011 News

Leaders Lounge wins another award

The IHG Leaders Lounge – an online global leadership community, built and run for InterContinental Hotels Group by Phil Dourado Business Communications Ltd – has won a 2010 Best Practice Award from Training Magazine. The Award will be made at the 2011 Training Conference and Expo in San Diego, in February.

October 2010 News

PersonPersonnel Today 2010 Awards

The IHG Leaders Lounge – the online leadership community built and run for the world’s largest hotels group by Phil Dourado Business Communications Ltd. – has been announced as a finalist in the Personnel Today 2010 Award for Excellence in HR Through Technology or Social Media. The award results are announced November 30th

August 2010 News

Our family book on Learning to Live with Huntington’s Disease just got a rave review from Dr Vivienne Raper, science editor of BioNews. Here are a couple of quotes

“Huntington’s is a horrible disease, but the family are so upbeat they’re bound to inspire others. The book is littered with humour in adversity. “

“So who would I recommend this book to? Well, it boasts recommendations to patients, relatives and healthcare professionals. Appealing to such a wide audience seems like a tall order but, after reading it, the book succeeds.”

Here’s a link to the review. Only takes a minute to read

Here’s the book’s website

June 2010 News

Feedback on Phil’s latest speaking session at the IHG Asia Australasia 2010 Leaders Meeting, Singapore, June 2010:

“I wanted to thank you for joining our first AA Leaders’ Meeting and agreeing to be our guest speaker. I’ve heard some fantastic feedback on your lunch session. Part of the Growing to Great key message was about growth and development, and your session on Learning Agility will play a big part in helping our leaders going forward.” – Jan Smits, MD, Asia Australasia, IHG.

“You are fast moving from ‘The Coach’ to ‘The Legend’ if the chat around the business was anything to go by. I’ve just now managed to go through your deck and I must say it’s great – no wonder you were getting such good press.” – IHG senior manager

May 2010 – IHG Leaders Lounge wins third award


May 2010 – IHG Leaders Lounge wins third award

Last week, the IHG Leaders Lounge – built and run for the world’s largest hotel company by Phil Dourado Business Communications Ltd – won its third award. At the American Society for Training & Development’s Workplace Learning & Performance award ceremony, held in Chicago on Monday evening, IHG received a citation for excellence in practice for The Leaders Lounge. The pic is of IHG folk receiving the award, including Randy Lummus in the middle and Cheryl Ross to his right. We get two plaques, one for IHG and the one on the right, held by Renee Stevens, IHG’s VP, Global Talent Development, is for our office wall here at PDBC Ltd. Last year the Leaders Lounge helped IHG win a BEST award from the ASTD. The Leaders Lounge also recently won the UK’s Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD) annual award for Excellence Through Technology (see below).

CIPD/People Management Excellence Through Technology Award 2009


Pictured are InterContinental Hotels Group

The award was for the IHG Leaders Lounge, an online leadership development community built and run for the world’s largest hotel group by Phil Dourado Business Communications Ltd. IHG also won in 2009 an American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) BEST Award, ranking them as one of the best companies in the world at people development. The IHG Leaders Lounge formed 50% of the submission that won this award, the other half being Holiday Inn Stay Real training.

FREE BOOK The Little Book of Leadership

The Little Book of Leadership is now available as a free Powerpoint download. Click the image to download it from Slideshare and, if you like it, pass it on as a gift to anyone else you think may like it, too.

The Leadership Hub for Corporates

The Leadership Hub, the world’s first collaborative leadership development platform, is now available as a closed, in-house corporate leadership development platform.

The in-house version of The Leadership Hub is designed in particular for large organizations that have a globally dispersed leadership group whom the organization wants to bring together virtually to build a leadership culture.

The Leadership Hub for Corporates lets you disseminate best practice leadership from ‘hotspots’ of good practice out to the rest of the leadership community.

The Leadership Hub

The Leadership Hub, the world’s first online collaborative leadership development community, is now live. Think MySpace or Facebook for Leaders and you’re in the right kind of territory – a leadership collaboration and development site that uses social networking principles and tools. To join The Leadership Hub click here. The Hub is a Community of Practice, where leaders share their best practice, experiences and insights and learn from each other, so you need to be willing to contribute.

If you have read The 60 Second Leader book, this is the online leadership community mentioned in that book that you are now eligible to join.

As far as we know, it’s the first online community for leadership that is based on Web 2.0 tools (with members writing their own leadership diaries, blogs, messaging each other, emailing within the platform, uploading your own video clips, documents and other useful tools to share with the rest of the community) so that leadership experts and practitioners from all over the world can collaborate with each other.

I’ve written a paper on Open Source Leadership which explains how this kind of collaborative leadership development works and how an in-house version can be built for large organizations who want one sitting on their intranet to grow and develop their leadership community. You can download it from the link at the top of this page.

60 Second Leader to be translated into Italian, Polish, Chinese, Turkish and Vietnamese

The 60 Second Leader, which was published in the spring in the UK and in the summer in the US, has just been licensed for translation into Turkish. Last month it was licensed for translation into Italian, the month before into Chinese and Polish, and back in May the publisher approved a request to translate the book into Vietnamese.

There are some free extracts from the book for you on the link at the top of the page, drawn from a three-page article on the book that is in the current issue of The Marketer, the UK Chartered Institute of Marketing’s (CIM) journal.

The book is a distillation of what great leaders do, broken down into 60 second reads, for busy leaders, would-be leaders and should-be leaders who don’t have time to read books.

The book is available on Amazon and in all good book stores.

Sample extracts from The 60 Second Leader

Richard Branson has endorsed our family book

Our family book on learning to live with Huntington’s Disease, with Sandy as lead author, has been published by Jessica Kingsley Publishing and is now available on Amazon.co.uk in the UK or Amazon.com in the US. It can also be ordered online from the publisher’s website www.jkp.com

We asked Richard Branson, because of his interest in stem cell research, to take a look at the manuscript for the book. He did so and then kindly gave it the following endorsement:

“This is a moving true story of how people can find the inner strength to rise above it when their world is turned upside down.”
– Sir Richard Branson.

We feel this book is of use to anyone who has had to adapt to and absorb a life-change that people outside see as impossible to cope with – showing that you can learn to not just cope with but rise above an ongoing ‘catastrophe’ like a terminal hereditary illness (or alcoholism or anorexia or other ongoing family traumas – we think our experience is applicable to families in other situations, too).

More on the book here.