Leadership confusions

June 2, 2023

Note sent to CNN Newsdesk following an item about the battle to avoid the US dept default.

Stephen Collinson, Caitlin Hi and Shelby Rose provide excellent insights into effective political processes. as President Biden and Speaker McCathy avoided what was becoming a crisis which would have plunged the greatest economy in the world into fiscal melt-down.
Experienced commentators have noted the regular periodic outburst of what looks like brinksmanship as the power battle between Democrats and Republicans breaks out.
The issue is of course the lack of cohesion inside the parties, with leaders having to play out the fiction of unity (Incidentally there are parallels with the political battles taking place in the United Kingdom’s Westminster Houses of Parliament).
Your article shrewdly avoids common misconceptions about ‘strong leadership’ and would support the alternative view expressed in my textbook Dilemmas of Leadership.
In particular, you note

‘The United States isn’t going to send the global economy into a tailspin — probably. And in part, that’s because Kevin McCarthy turns out to be a far better politician than many expected…
McCarthy was able to wring sufficient concessions from Biden to persuade most Republicans that he emerged the winner in a negotiation that was really about who holds most of the power in Washington, DC. And he was able to neutralize remaining opposition from hardline GOP lawmakers by attracting scores of Democratic House votes for the bill.

‘For Biden, the deal represented a strategic defeat, since he’d vowed never to negotiate with Republicans over raising the debt ceiling. He also agreed to tighter requirements for the poor to access certain government benefits, which could hurt some of the most vulnerable Americans.

‘But it also seems like a victory. The president avoided an unprecedented US debt default that could have threatened the economic security of millions of Americans and had worldwide reverberations.

So Biden probably deserves credit for giving the McCarthy enough room to claim a win — the key to any political pact with an adversary’

Your analysis implies that widely-held views of ‘strong’ leadership deserve challenging. Picture the posturing from Trump in such encounters.

Thanks for the provision of an alternative perspective.

Tudor Rickards
Emeritus Professor, Creativity and Change Management,
University of Manchester


Martin Amis ‘The Mick Jagger of Literature’. An Obituary.

May 28, 2023

The writer Martin Amis, (1949-2023), died this week after a life in the literary spotlight.
His appointment as a professor at Manchester University, in the late 2000s resulted in a storm in a literary tea-cup. The academic spat was stirred up with some help from the Guardian. However, in that paper’s obituary this week, it is glossed over, within a brief comment about ‘his stints as a creative writing professor at Manchester University’.

My recollection of the time is of the arrival of a celebrity within the circle of brilliant new writers intent on rescuing English literature from its necrotic state. Already installed with a stellar reputation as a literary critic and culture theorist was Professor Terry Eagleton.
They could have been ideal protagonists in a campus novel by Amis, or by his equally famous father Sir Kingsley Amis whose early success was through one such novel Lucky Jim.
Eagleton was a leading Marxist scholar from nearly Salford educated in a catholic college then Cambridge.
Their very different world views erupted in a battle of high intensity waged in the literary pages.
The dispute seems to been triggered by a much quoted interview by Amis at the time of the two towers terrorist attack in NY in which he said

“There’s a definite urge – don’t you have it? – to say, The Muslim community will have to suffer until it gets its house in order.’ What sort of suffering? Not letting them travel. Deportation – further down the road. Curtailing of freedoms. Strip-searching people who look like they’re from the Middle East or from Pakistan.”

Regardless of ironic intent, the quote prompted the start of the feud between the two which seems to have eventually subsided to a weary truce. Amis relocated in Brooklyn, NY. Eagleton moved the shorter distance up the M6 to the University of Lancaster.

Later, I learned about Martin’s interests in chess and tennis. Boris Johnson referred to his passion for tennis in his obituary tribute this week. I have chess GM and author Jonathan Levitt to thank for drawing attention to Amis’s interest in chess. Here he is, capturing competitive chess with typical elegance.

The days of slobs and inverts, of fag ash and crumbs-in-the-beard, are all behind us. Modern chess has become professionalised, technicised – and glamorised. With its ranks of VDUs, its laptops, its display screens and mimic boards, the press room has submitted to the TV burnish: the burnish of the modern. All is finger-tip and button-punch. The GMs are practically in lab coats. Information flashes and whirrs like the figures on the computer data-base. ‘We’re out of the book’ shouts one analyst to another, around move 12, when one player unveils (as chess machismo dictates) his latest ‘novelty’.

Amis maintains that plot is overrated in novels, except for detective thrillers. In his work, he confirms this preference for plotless brilliance.
I tended to steer away from his novels, after a foray into his early hit, Money.

His contribution to modern literature has been a significant one. My evaluation of it is about as worthless as a non chess-player passing judgement on a grandmaster’s games, or of a football fan storming at a referee’s decision.

What I can do, is reflect in on his work as a process of creativity in action.
The signals are there, both in his writing, and his own reflections in interviews and essays.

He has the obsessiveness which if controlled can produce high-quality creativity. His battle against cliche reveals his declared search beyond the ordinary until he captures each thought to his satisfaction.
At another level, he pushes against literary conventions such as plot which I mentioned earlier.
In his later work he plays around with the authorial voice. These are lofty regions needing competent guides. From my limited experience of the foothills of literature, Amis was an elegant stylist, devoting his undoubted talents on the various targets of his anger.

Footnote for students of English literature. Amis, wrote an essay on cliche as an assault on the English Language to be eliminated wherever possible. His advice is easier to agree with than follow. He would have found plenty of examples to rage against in efforts such as this one. I leave the remaining ones as a warning to all.

Twitter wit and Wisdom May 2023

May 14, 2023

By popular request, I have collected my favourite tweets from the first two weeks on 2023. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

I have a confession. I didn’t pledge allegiance during the #coronation . But then I click the “I’ve have read all the terms and conditions” box on websites even when I haven’t so it wouldn’t mean much from me.
When he [King Charles] entered the Abbey the atmosphere lifted, there were smiles all around. That was noted by people all over the country and he responded warmly to the welcome.
We received intelligence that indicated people were planning to use rape alarms to disrupt the Coronation procession – with concern from the military that this would scare their horses and cause significant risk to the safety of the public and their riders.

The US has experienced more mass shootings than days so far in 2023, with thousands dead as a result.
Democrat run cities are the cause.
nothing gonna change till they change ‘the right to bear arms’ to ‘the right to arm bears’
The reaction to the shooting in Texas yesterday told me what I already knew. Elected republicans and their voters will never move on guns. Nothing will happen, unless Dems end the filibuster when they have control and act. And the 2nd Amendment will always limit any real action.

Yorkshireman takes his cat to the vet. Vet asks him, “is it a tom?” Yorkshireman says “no, in’t basket”

Fun Fact:
Mark Twain died in 1910.
Shania Twain was born in 1965.
Never the Twains shall meet.

In 1959, a coffee maker was an optional extra in VW cars.
The Hertella Auto Kaffeemachine was the first & only known dashboard-mounted coffee maker. Manufactured in 1959 specifically for the Beetle, it came with porcelain cups, which could stick to the machine magnetically.

The unicorns are strong with this one. Brexit stopped Ukraine invasion from succeeding, Jacob Rees-Mogg says
Let’s admit it. It’s thanks to Brexit that Moses was able to receive the Ten Commandments and was able to read them.

Creativity and Lateral Thinking: A Personal Perspective

May 10, 2023

Tudor Rickards

In the memorial event in his honour at the Edward de Bono Institute of the University of Malta, in May 2023, I offer a personal perspective, reflecting on his life and his contributions to creativity

Edward de Bono, is perhaps the most influential communicator on the nature of creative thinking in recent times. His fame came early through his book Lateral Thinking, first published in 1970. It was to accompany him through his long and distinguished life, perhaps eventually defining him through its impact around the world.

It was some years later before I met Edward for the first time. In 1970, I had begun to develop interest in his ideas while working as a scientist inside a research laboratory in what was known as the New Products and Development Group.

A few years later I joined another R&D group at Manchester Business School to take forward understanding about ways of stimulating creativity. I took with my copy of Lateral Thinking. By then, Edward deBono was becoming a celebrity in the field, with a unique style of communicating his ideas seated at an overhead projection system scribbling out his diagrams on a never-ending transparent plastic scroll.

His language and imagery captured his audiences. Too often, our thinking processes resemble someone digging a hole more and more deeply, vertical thinking whereas what was needed was finding a different place to dig a hole. I’ll return to this later.

In the preface to Lateral Thinking he states that in schools
‘Creativity is usually treated as something desirable which is to be brought about by vague exhortation…this book is about lateral thinking which is the process of using information to bring about creativity’.
He continues, ‘Lateral thinking is closely related to insight, creativity and humour. All four processes have the same basis. But whereas insight, creativity and humour can only be prayed for, lateral thinking is a more deliberate process’.

So there we have it. He was setting out a programme for the deliberate process to support or even replace the capricious process leading to creative ideas.

Arthur Koestler

De Bono always presented his thoughts with stunning clarity and impact. Perhaps closest in core concept for me was the work of Arthur Koestler, himself a celebrity intellectual. In his classic book The Act of Creation, published a few years earlier, in 1964, Koestler brought us the concept of creativity as ‘the bisociation two mental frames resulting in an aha or eureka moment’.
Koestler could write with clarity and insight, but made no effort to reach out beyond an elite audience. His very impressive book gained admiration at the time, but in time became a valuable footnote to creativity theory.

Thinking Fast and Slow

A more recent example of a book dealing with theorising creativity rather than its deliberate stimulation is Thinking Fast and Slow, by Daniel Kahneman. Kahneman. Like Koestler, provides a book in the academic tradition, with extensive reference and notes. But in its five hundred pages only a brief section of less than ten pages deals directly with Creativity.
I am not downplaying the work through which won the Nobel Prize for his Prospect theory developed jointly with Amos Tversky and which integrates cognitive psychology with Economics.

DeBono could have justified his own deep understanding of cognitive processing through his medical training in a more formal way. Instead he provided the basic thinking tools for the layperson to reach new insights. Ways of digging not deeper but in the right place.

Not a ‘bisociation of matrices’ in sight. Concealed in the Kahneman & Tversky work however was a theory confirming that human decision making was not exclusively rational.

Everyday Creativity

This is a conclusion implicit in much of deBono’s writings. The one approach won a Nobel prize. The other continues to influence a far wider audience, with its practical suggestions for what I like to refer as ‘Everyday Creativity’ a term popularised by the American Ruth Richards, in her book of that name.

Ode to Ding. A Coronation Special

May 3, 2023

The Coronation of Charles the third in London this week has made news around the world. But I want to share news of another Coronation which deserves more publicity. I’m referring to the coronation of Ding Lauren, who was crowned as World Chess Champion.

Ding, although a youthful prodigy, in his native China, never shot to stardom, but progressed sedately to become a strong grandmaster at relatively mature age. His talents were cloaked in an engagingly modest style, not always present of the pantheon of world champions before him.

His opportunity to become world champion came about when Magnus Carlsen, the former champion decided not to defend his title against the World no 2, the Russian Ian Nepomniatchtchi. In what follows I will describe him by the widely used abbreviation of his name Nepo.
As a result of Carlsen’s withdrawal, there was a candidate slot to be filled, which was duly won by Ding, who had reached the rank of third highest player in the world, at the age of 40.
The rearranged match took place between Nepo and Ding during the last weeks of April as the best of 14 games. If there was no winner a form of quick chess was to be played. Tennis and football players will see the similarities between tie break sets, and extra time and penalties.

And that was indeed needed. The players evenly matched, with Nepo mostly having the upper hand, but Ding clinging on tenaciously with brilliant defence in tough positions.
The shootout continued. In another of my favourite metaphors, Ding was still playing Houdini chess.
In the fourth shootout, it looked as if another Houdini effort was needed. With only a minute left on his clock, Ding make a risky break for freedom. Nepo, now was rattled, missed a clear win, and all his efforts perished in seconds.

A new world champion had emerged, who wept for joy at the awards ceremony. He had become the first Chinese player to hold that precise title. But mention should be made of Ju Wenjun, the first ever Chinese world champion when she took the title of Woman’s champion in 2020.

I felt the event worthy of a poetic tribute. The Poet Laureate had dutifully composed one for Prince Charles, so I took it upon myself to come up with a few verses for Ding.

As inspiration, I borrowed the spirit of a well-known piece from The Mikado. I accepted the pleadings of a few trusted advisors, who unanimously urged me not to attempt to sing my composition.

Ode to Ding

Our voices are raised to acclaim the new King
“Sing Liren, Ding Liren, Ding Liren”
No praise is too high for our newly crowned King
“Sing Liren, Ding Liren, Ding Liren”

Magnus the Champion had ceded his Crown
“Sing Liren, Ding Liren, Ding Liren”
The pressure competing was wearing him down
“Sing Liren, Ding Liren, Ding Liren”

Astana in Kazakhstan staged the event
“Sing Liren, Ding Liren, Ding Liren”
A new King would triumph, however it went
“Sing Liren, Ding Liren, Ding Liren”

The battles were fierce, the differences small
“Sing Liren, Ding Liren, Ding Liren”
And nobody really missed Magnus at all.
“Sing Liren, Ding Liren, Ding Liren”

Newsletter 24-30 April 2023

April 30, 2023

Podcasts of the week

A surprise phone call from a proud mum. (Unedited clip, but the most downloaded TudoRama podcast this week)


Hollywood comes to Wrexham. A Celtic Blockbuster


News Headlines

Monday 24 April
Armed forces evacuate U.K. embassy staff from Sudan. Brith ex pats advised to ‘shelter in place’ and register on the Foreign Office website.
The Coronation has renewed debate on the continued viability of the Monarchy.
Strictly Come Dancing judge Len Goodman dies. The soon-to-be Queen Camilla makes public her regret.

Tuesday 25 April
Morning headlines call for more rapid response for the rescue of British citizens in Sudan.
Headlines shared with news of the death of Len Goodman.
In America the departure of top Shock Jock Tucker Carlson from Fox News sends Fox shares tumbling to add to last week’s financial losses of $800 million to Dominion Voting Machine Systems over its false claims of election rigging.

Wednesday 26 April
Evacuation of British citizens from Sudan begins.
The Govt legislation on immigration passes the House of Commons. Even if in place, it requires special consideration by the Home Secretary before being able to deal with young refugees from most of the world, including Sudan

Thursday 26 April
Coronation stories are increasingly appearing in the press and their electronic offspring. Leader in waiting of the N Ireland, Sinn Féin’s vice-president, Michelle O’Neill, is to attend the coronation of King Charles, marking another step away from the party’s strict Irish republican heritage.
Prince Harry’s legal dispute with press continues with unwelcome accusations of the now King Charles as having paid the press substantial amounts of hush money over stories involving Harry’s mum Princess Diana, who was Charles’s wife.

Friday 28 April
The uneasy ceasefire in Sudan is extended. The rescue of British Passport holders continues. Sudanese passport holders including doctors working in the NHS are as yet not able to return to the country.
The report by Adam Heppingstall has reached the PM. In hours, Richard Sharp resigns as chairman of the BBC.

Saturday 29 April
Strikes start and end in dizzying succession among nurses, transport workers, ambulance drivers, teachers … (might have missed some).
The Express focuses on the big stories. Baby tries to snatch Kate’s handbag. Lineker continues his dangerous attack on our British values.

Sunday 30 April
Rescue flights from Sudan to England ends as new ceasefire breaks down.
Nurses strike action begins. Govt utters dire warnings but negotiations remain on hold.
A man who ran the London Marathon with a fridge on his back has the feat accepted by the Guinness Book of Records.
People watching the Coronation will be invited to join a “chorus of millions” to swear allegiance to the King and his heirs.

Headline of the week


TudoRama teaser

Pizza meals hit the headlines a few years ago with a story involving a member of the Royal Family.
Why was a pizza in the news again this week?

Twitter Wit and Wisdom

Opposition demands Dominic Raab un-resigns so that Rishi Sunak can sack him

Here were the final moments of @TuckerCarlson Tonight – #Tucker’s final guest was the pizza deliveryman who tripped up a suspected car thief. The driver – Tyler Morrell – brought a bunch of pizzas, so the two sat and ate them while mocking the thief.

The BBC chairman should not be selected by the government of the day. Not now, not ever.

Many might feel relieved at the prospect of a prime minister who writes the sort of book that offers “detailed analysis of the Human Rights Act 1998”. But these books are not what you would call rollicking.

Woodpeckers have very cool tongues.

Answer to Tudorama teaser

As explained on Twitter, the story was the removal of top commentator Tucker Carlson of Fox News:
Here were the final moments of TuckerCarlson Tonight show. – His final guest was the pizza deliveryman who tripped up a suspected car thief. The driver – Tyler Morrell – brought a bunch of pizzas, so the two sat and ate them while mocking the thief, Carlson unaware he would not be returning to the show.
(Bonus point if you remembered the pizza parlour alibi offered by Prince Andrew in his BBC interview. TR)


‘Horrid Henry’ by Francesca Simon
Sells itself to demanding young readers 8+. Now out in multi-story formats

Shadow Play by Joseph O’Conner

Excellent and beautifully written. It tells the story of Bram Stoker when he worked at the Garrett Theatre for Henry Irving. Ellen Terry is another character with passing appearances of Yeats and Wilde.

Blind Spot, by Paula Hawkins
Follow-up by best-selling author of The Girl on the Train
Recommended by the @readingagency

TudoRama update April 17-23 2023

April 23, 2023

Podcast of the week

An interview with Dr Murray Clark, author and authority on trust-based leadership. We discuss his work in the context of the resignation of Dominic Raab.


Blogpost of the week

News Headlines

Monday 17 April
Fighting in Sudan intensifies around the Capital Khartoum and the country’s international airport. The conflict is between rival groupings within the military which seized power in 2021.
‘Protestors killed my horse’, owner of Hill Sixteen says after the fatality during the Grand National. Echoes of the Junior Doctors’ protest action?
More national news. Govt announces plans for a Teaching Maths initiative. ‘The single thing we have nearest to a silver bullet’. Will a Maths Czar be far behind?

Tuesday 18 April
Germany is not immune from a wave of strikes. A so-called mega-strike of over 150,000 transit workers was called yesterday, seeking pay rises matching the 10% inflation rise.
A no-show for the launch of Elon Musk’s mega-spaceship from Texas.
Treasurer of Scottish National Party arrested on suspicion of funding irregularities.

Wednesday 19 April
Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News agrees an out of court settlement of $800 million with Dominion Voting Machine Systems over its false claims of election rigging. Will belief in Trump’s ‘big steal’ weaken among his core supporters?
A Russian judge has rejected an appeal by the Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich against the decision to hold him in detention before his trial.
National news. Inflation stubbornly refuses to drop below 10%. ‘Food for thought’ says BBC’s chatmaster Nicky Campbell.

Thursday 20 April
Another of the Kennedy clan launches a presidential campaign for the Democratic nomination. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. a California-based environmental lawyer offers a popularist alternative to Biden, including opposition to the COVID vaccine.
Multiple deaths in a Yemen school after a stampede of schoolchildren at charity distribution event.
National news. The Prime Minister receives the Tolley report on alleged bullying by his deputy PM Dominic Raab.

Friday 21 April
One story dominates the national news. In a day of fast-changing events, Dominic Raab resigns while the PM considers his reaction to the report. Raab’s resignation is backed-up an article he writes for the telegraph. He states that the report is flawed but he reluctantly resigns out of a sense of duty. He believes a dangerous precedent has been made by ‘setting the bar too low’. He claims a anti-Govt activists are hindering the Govt’s attempts to implement policy.

Saturday 22 April
Press interest in the resignation of Dominic Raab continues. The Prime Minister’s silence continues.
Death announced of Australian comedian Barry Humphries, age 89, creator of the memorable Dame Edna Everage.

TudoRama teaser

Which is Australia’s biggest city by population?

Twitter Wit and Wisdom

Shhh, he said,
don’t let anyone know,
but the damage in me
means I’m not afraid
of anything else.
You can throw anything at me
rocks, acid, rage,
drive over me if you like,
it just won’t matter
because it won’t matter as much
as the damage.
The damage looks after me.

Whale Shark has learned how to steal food from fishing nets.
That’s a funny way of saying they learned how to survive after getting their food stolen.

The jailbird Michael “Longhead” Cohen is a cereal liar … [correctly reported. Perhaps DT meant serial killer. TR]

Famous dentist honoured with plaque

You always own the option of having no opinion. There is never any need to get worked up or to trouble your soul about things you can’t control. These things are not asking to be judged by you. Leave them alone.
Marcus Aurelius
Nice one. Can you thank your friend Mr Aurelius for his wise words?

Answer to Tudorama teaser

Melbourne, (after recent boundary changes).The latest government figures, from June 2021, put Melbourne’s population at 4,875,400, 18,700 more than Sydney’s.


The Ten Percent Thief, by Lavanya Lakshminarayan. A sci-fi look at a future world of enclosed cities, selected as a book of the month by the Guardian Weekly.

Romantic Comedy, by Curtis Sirrenfeld
Enjoyable and humorous tale of a scriptwriter whose fantasy seems to be coming true when a pop idol arrives as a guest on her show.

Burial Rites, by Hannah Kent
Icelandic crime novel. Highly recommended. Just arrived and meeting my expectations.

‘Horrid Henry’ by Francesca Simon
Sells itself to demanding young readers 8+. Now out in multi-story formats

National Alert
On Sunday 23 April there will be a test of an emergency alert service across the United Kingdom at 3.00pm on mobile phones.
Don’t panic but stay alert. Instruction to turn it off available.

Dilemmas of Leadership. What Rishi Sunak must learn from Elon Musk in dealing with the Dominic Raab resignation.

April 21, 2023

Rishi Sunak faces a serious leadership problem dealing with the report of the bullying accusations made about his deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab. This leaves the Prime Minister facing the classic leadership dilemma of facing two unpalatable options of sacking Raab or supporting him. He will find a valuable lesson to the response by Elon Musk to his space flight yesterday which ended in a spectacular explosion, yet was claimed as a triumph by Musk and his team at Mission Control.

The dilemma

Sacking him results in a reshuffle and questions about his previous leadership decisions. Leaving him in place will also bring criticisms of ignoring the claims of the civil servants, and still having to deal with them. As a tweet put it

The Tories are drowning in their own sleaze and corruption. If Sunak sacks Raab it’ll be the end of Sunak. If Sunak doesn’t sack Raab he won’t survive the public outcry and it’ll be the end of Sunak. Classic example of being caught between a rock and a hard place. Tories in free fall

The process for dealing with the complaints is itself being described as a hasty muddle because of a delay in appointing an ethics advisor. The previous senior civil servant resigned for actions of the previous PM but one, Boris Johnson, who had become embroiled in Partygate and more specifically dealing with a rather similar loyalty versus misbehaviour problem.
Absence of an ethics advisor, Sunak opted for a report that offered no conclusions, leaving him with the growing political crisis. As the day went on, accusations grew by the opposition that the PM was dithering. The day ended with the story building up momentum.

21 April: Friday morning

Overnight the story shared the headlines with the spectacular end to the launch of Elon Musk’s rocket. The papers present a disaster, with vivid fiery images . ‘Elon Musk: we have a problem’ one said. Except, that sounded like Musk’s words. They weren’t. He asserted the opposite.
The simple ‘blunder by Elon’ picture presented is contradicted by the jubilation of the scientists at Mission Control, not only at launch, but throughout the brief flight including the awesome explosion.

The informed evidence is that the trial was precisely that. A test to destruction, a mighty costly but necessary experiment. Musk reportedly went out of his way to congratulate his team for their efforts. A near-flawless image management.
There was one typically idiosyncratic remark which also made it into the headlines. A member of his team announced that ‘Starship experienced a rapid unscheduled disassembly before stage separation.

10 am

Dominic Raab resigns. His states that the report is flawed but he reluctantly resigns out of a sense of duty. He believes a dangerous precedent has been made by ‘setting the bar too low’.
Sunak avoids the either/or decision. But the political price now includes the implied criticisms of his leadership in Raab’s resignation letter.


The nation waits for the PM to speak. Presumably he is having to revise his statement in light of the poison-pen letter from his onetime friend and loyal supporter he has just received.
Interviewer outside Parliament with someone to her side holding up a placard saying Repent, Believe Jesus died for you.

Dominic Raab continues his last-round gallant attack with an opinion piece in the Telegraph which either defies Einstein’s theory of relativity, or was written earlier. It expands on his resignation.
This precedent sets the playbook for a small number of officials to target ministers, who negotiate robustly on behalf of the country, pursue bold reforms and persevere in holding civil servants to account. If that is now the threshold for bullying in government, it is the people of this country who will pay the price.

Rishi stays silent

But the news is building up. The forty-page report has been made public. Rishi stays silent. But finds time to write an empathic letter of comfort to Dominic Raab accepting his resignation, and hoping for his continued support from the back benches.

The information arriving is reaching overload levels. Will the Prime Minister deal with a rapid unscheduled disassembly of his cabinet? Will he be able to claim it success for his pledge to bring back integrity and stability to his Premiership?

We will simply have to wait and see.

To be continued

Newsletter 10-17 April 2023

April 18, 2023

Newsletter 10-17 April

Free e-print
My article, Creativities: the what, how, who, where and why of the creative process, has now been published in Action Learning: Research and Practice, Volume 20 Issue 1. I get 50 free online copies ‘to share with my networks’. As a valued subscriber to Leaders we deserve, please order one via tandfonline.com.


Podcast of the week

‘I did it my way’. I analyse the BBC interview with Elon Musk. The podcast is the most downloaded this year.

News Headlines

Monday 11 April
Jon Rahm wins the US golf Open. Several commentators unable to resist comment that it was the birthday of fellow Spaniard, the much-loved Sevvy Ballesteros, ‘looking down with pleasure on Rahm’.
25th Anniversary of the signing of the Good Friday agreement. An illegal parade in Londonderry with minor demonstrations with petrol bombs, but without casualties.
Another disgruntled worker of a bank in Louisville, Kentucky adds to the toll of gun killings in America.

Tuesday 12 April
Junior Doctors’ strike begins.
Biden arrives Northern Ireland to mark the Good Friday agreement anniversary. Unfortunately, the planned visit the Parliament was quietly dropped, due to its continued self-suspension for over a year,

Wednesday 13 April
Elon Musk gives an unexpected and frank interview to James Clayton of the BBC, his local reporter. A business case study on leadership, including the takeover of Twitter. Biden’s brief public appearance at a new University campus is greeted with approval for his pledge to continue support for the peace process in its new shape of the Windsor agreement. Finds time for even briefer meetings with Rishi Sunak as well as with local leaders, before heading for the Republic.
Coincidentally, cross border collaboration has been shown in the announcement today of a joint Ireland/U.K. bid for the European Nations Football Championships in 2028.

Thursday 14 April
Hardly noted in the British press, Biden’s visit takes less than a day in Northern Ireland including a few minutes with Rishi Sunak, and then three days in the Republic.
Far more headlines today about the wife of a minor royal not attending her father in law’s promotion do.

Friday 15 April
Junior Doctors four day strike ends with no sign of a resolution. Nurses in England are voting on the offer of 5% made to them.
In America, a junior intelligence agent has been arrested for the leak of 50-100 Pentagon military top-secret documents,

Saturday 15 April
Nurses vote to reject the 5% offer and announce their next industrial action for early May.
The American intelligence offer Jack Teixeira turns out to be a right-wing fantasist using top- secret information to influence his social network group. He faces a near lifetime imprisonment sentence.
Grand National disrupted by animal rights protesters. 118 arrested.

Sunday 16 April

A power struggle in Sudan leaves over fifty civilians killed.
None of the protestors at against animal cruelty at the Grand National was injured. The third horse of the meeting died.
Building of ‘Smart’ Motorways to be discontinued in England after concerns over their safety.

Headline of the week
Nominated by @Paddy Briggs from the Telegraph
British parrot missing for four years returns only speaking Spanish. No news about progress in relearning English.

TudoRama teaser
I learned this week the correct way to address someone coming from Michigan, USA.
Any guesses?

Twitter Wit and Wisdom

That awkward moment when a Brexit loon tried to set fire to an EU flag but it wouldn’t burn because it meets EU regulations on flammable materials.

‘When a clown moves into a palace he doesn’t become a king, but the palace becomes a circus.’ Turkish proverb.

It blows my mind that so many Americans can believe in God while simultaneously watching children being massacred 🤯. Why the need for guns if God is looking out for you?

Kate Middleton breaks royal protocol with bold Easter manicure
Newsflash: adult woman gets her nails done.

If I’m reading their lips correctly…
My neighbours are arguing about some creepy lady who lives next door

A man is ordering at a restaurant, “Do you think you could bring me what that gentleman over there is having?”
The waiter looks at him sternly, “No sir, I’m very sure he intends to eat it himself.”

Answer to Tudorama teaser
According to the State Governor in his Easter message, the answer is a Michigander.

Unscripted, by James Stewart and Rachel Abrams
Biography of a business tyrant which who could serve as script for a popular TV series.
[‘Riveting because its cast is so awful’, The Economist]

A Flaw in the Design, by Nathan Oates
Family drama after the all-too-common plot device of an automobile crash.
A psychological thriller by debut American author.
[‘Great characterisation ….’ The Guardian]

Bear and Bird. The Picnic and Other Stories, by Jarvis
For 5+ readers

Tuesday with Morrie
An inspiring and moving classic.
[Recommended by Sarah and Lindsay]

Twitter Wit and Wisdom under the new ownership of Elon Musk

April 16, 2023

Twitter has seen substantial changes under the new ownership of Elon Musk. But some tweeters have retained their sense of humour, and often offered flashes of wisdom. Here are twelve selected from the early weeks of April.

Thanks to

@deelomas (2 nominations)

Phone rings:
Hello, my name is John from solar panel solutions, I understand you are the homeowner?
No, I’ve just broken in to the house.
I beg your pardon?
I’m a burglar.
Oh, well, I won’t keep you, thanks for your time.


My young co workers asked me to show them some photos of me in high school. I said I’d go home and dig some out. They said, “Can’t you just look on your phone?”
And I laughed and laughed and laughed and then I cried…

Is Easter better than Christmas? Posed by #JeremyVine. Presumably this question is aimed at a slightly backward amoeba.

I think I’m an armchair Republican. But this buildup to the Coronation Show is tilting me out of my armchair.

Is today a bank holiday?
It’s a public holiday here in Germany today, one of the so called silent ones (stiller Feiertag). Everything’s closed, there’s no sports, dances, noise allowed, and the year’s early local spring fairs are closed. In tune with this, it is dark, cloudy & rainy. I’m staying in bed.

That awkward moment when a Brexit loon tried to set fire to an EU flag but it wouldn’t burn because it meets EU regulations on flammable materials.

‘When a clown moves into a palace he doesn’t become a king, but the palace becomes a circus.’ Turkish proverb.

It blows my mind that so many Americans can believe in God while simultaneously watching children being massacred 🤯. Why the need for guns if God is looking out for you?

Kate Middleton breaks royal protocol with bold Easter manicure
Newsflash: adult woman gets her nails done.

If I’m reading their lips correctly…
My neighbours are arguing about some creepy lady who lives next door

A man is ordering at a restaurant, “Do you think you could bring me what that gentleman over there is having?”
The waiter looks at him sternly, “No sir, I’m very sure he intends to eat it himself.”