11 lessons on leadership, success and failure

Written by Dr Bruce Lloyd FCMI Tuesday 18 June 2024
In the spirit of passing on knowledge, Dr Bruce Lloyd FCMI shares leadership insights from his life and career
An image of a man flying out of a book

Throughout our lives, we accumulate valuable knowledge and experiences. In my case, I spent a somewhat erratic career in finance and industry, ending in the academic world, where I was concerned with strategy and ‘future studies’. Now, I am moving into that nebulous area called ‘retirement'! 

In this article, I share 11 learnings that have helped shape my views on leadership, success and the future. My hope is to encourage discussion that will inspire more effective action.

1. The importance of core values

Effective leadership is rooted in a foundation of strong values. It is about wielding power responsibly and prioritising the greater good over personal gain. Many of society’s challenges stem from the misuse of power, as is evident in corruption, racism and other forms of discrimination.

Watch: Values based leadership and motivation 

2. Finding purpose and avoiding the traps of success

Confucius said: “Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.” 

However, discussions about the future of work rarely delve into the true meaning of “work” and “retirement”. It's crucial to define success beyond just financial gain and societal expectations. The book The Social Limits to Growth by Fred Hirsch (1977) offers valuable insights on this topic.

3. Change v progress: The role of learning

Change itself is neutral. It is the direction of change, guided by values, that determines progress. Learning plays a critical role in navigating change effectively. The more change that is taking place, the more critical effective learning becomes. 

When we feel in control of change, or trust those driving it, the more readily we accept it. However, trust is often eroded in a world obsessed with competition and power. Finding a balance between competition and cooperation, focus and flexibility, is key to achieving positive outcomes.



4. Wisdom: the key to effective decision-making

While data, information and knowledge are essential building blocks, wisdom goes beyond that. It is about reliable and actionable insights that stand the test of time, incorporate values and encourage positive relationships with ourselves, others and the world around us.

Want to discover seven more of Bruce’s insights into leadership?


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