Leaders in the headlines


LWD has cited hundreds of leaders, for their good or bad actions.  Here are eight from recent headlines which you may have missed.


Lynn Parker


Founder of Funny Women. An energetic supporter of women’s rights in comedy. She got the idea of her now flourishing business after asking why there are so few top women in comedy clubs, and getting the answer “women aren’t funny”.


John W Thompson

Chairman of Microsoft. Recognized as an IT icon with track record of success. Rose effortlessly through the ranks of IBM, converted Symantec into a multi-billion operation.  His idea of retiring from Symantec was to take over as Chairman at Microsoft where he has been described as a black face in a sea of white ones. Might his modest profile be something to do with the colour of his skin?







Garry Kasparov

Former world chess champion turned politician in exile. His books on chess are among the deepest ever written. His writings on leadership show he draws on his experiences of Russian politics with considerable understanding of Western business theory and practice.

Images show he has a passing resemblance to another sporting great, Pete Sampras. (Wish I’d noticed that when writing Tennis Matters.)

A restless soul, Kasparov has been in battles against authority and perceived injustice for much of his life.

Unsurprisingly he has spoken out strongly against Donald Trump, describing him as similar to Vladimir Putin in scary ways

 Garry Linacre


A surprising choice? The footballer and BBC pundit found himself in the headlines as a human rights leader recently  for remarks about the lack of humanity in the treatment of young people in the closure of Calais’ infamous ‘jungle’.

Has since been reviled by The Sun and government ministers,  and supported by Opposition labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn.


Andrzej Wajda (1926-2016)


Andrzej Wajda who died recently [October 9th] is regarded as Poland’s greatest film-maker. His bleak films escaped harsh punishment and censorship from the soviet regime which had butchered his father in a purge of army officers in 1940.

His films appeared to be warnings about the grim ends of those who opposed the regime. Film-goers correctly recognized them as cries of radical protest. One of his symbols was the burning away of democracy in a glass of spirits. He was to remain in his native Poland


Elon Musk


Can’t think how I haven’t posted before about the extraordinary exploits of this entrepreneur, financier and visionary billionaire. Tesla has added to his interest in electric cars. Solar city sells vast numbers of solar panels. Space X is Star Trek meets  NASA.

One of Space X rockets  exploded spectacularly in September.  Stock markets remain divided whether a similar fate awaits Musk enterprises.


Cyrus Mistry


Cyrus Mistry was the first chairman outside the Tata dynasty to lead the mighty Indian conglomerate. His brief time of four years ended surprising  brutally in October for a corporation known for its socially visionary and ethical policies.

Re-enter previous chairman Ratan Tata, identified by Mr Mistry as among the reasons for corporate decline in recent years, including less than ethical practices.Tara’s economic struggles with its global steel businesses have become a political football in the UK.


Khawaja Masood Akhtar


K M Akhtar and his factory in some ways captures the success of the dynamic city of Sialkot in northern Pakistan.

The city has grown through developing high added-value niche products incorporating new technology as required. Mr Aktar’s business makes top of the range sporting products, closely guarded secrets pre-launch, for companies such as Adidas. They were one of the two manufacturers of the footballs used in the World Cup in 2014. Its success overcomes considerable infra-structural problems.




As ever, The Economist [October 2016 editions] helped me find some of these leaders which were new to me, as well as a few reminders of others I had omitted to post about.

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