In our experience, the critical functions of leadership coalesce around three main areas:

1. Creating the future: this is about where you are going as an organisation. It’s easily recognised and covers areas such as strategy, business development, renewal and succession.

2. Nurturing Identity: this is about who you are, your lived purpose and values. A simple way to think of it is ‘the way things work around here’ – your culture, your belief systems, how people behave, policies, standards, brand projection and so forth.

3. Managing the present: this is about what you do. The allocation and management of resources, optimising performance and delivering results… although we recognise it is something easier said than done.

The framework provides a systems-based approach to leadership. If we think of the leadership system like a stool with three legs: if one leg is missing or weakened, the stool becomes unstable or falls over. The stability of the stool depends on all three legs being present and equally strong — a whole system approach.

Leading the Whole System is about achieving the right balance for optimum results — and while internal focus is important, leaders must also be cognisant of the external environment.

Functions of Leadership               The Leader’s Shadow                Working group vs team

Read our viewpoint:

(buy Reflections & Challenges as Kindle edition on Amazon or get in touch with to get a hard copy)


Building an agile and resilient business

Your role as a leader within an employee owned business

Leading a growing business

Case studies:

The sum of our relationships achieves long-term success

Creating success in emerging markets

A helping hand for local enterprises


For further information please contact Mat Shepherd: