Clore Leadership Programme
Clore Leadership Programme

Eve Poole on the craft of leadership

Eve Poole is an Associate with Ashridge Business School, and has been working with the Clore Leadership Programme since its inception.

Eve Poole
Eve Poole

I've been teaching leadership for 10 years now, ever since it became trendy, in fact. I've come to the conclusion that most leadership development is too cerebral.

Of course if we have perfect thoughts, the right actions might follow, but my experience of working with thousands of leaders from across the sectors and across the world is that the work of a leader is not this clean or easy. Neither is it the sort of thing you 'become' as the result of the right course or the right promotion.

So instead I now talk about Leadersmithing. Like all craftsmen, leaders have to prove themselves through apprentice pieces, then they spend most of their career as journeymen, daily improving their skill as they travel towards mastery. I've also done quite a lot of research into how leaders learn their craft, and they do it the hard way, through critical incidents that test their skill.

The good news is that you can stack the deck in your favour, developmentally, by programming into your leadership journey the opportunity to learn many of these critical incidents on your terms, rather than waiting for bitter experience to teach them to you.

Thinking of the leaders you aspire to be like, what critical incidents do you think have shaped their leadership? How many of these have you already managed to practise? Could you programme any more into your life?


You can read Eve's blog at: and follow her on twitter:


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