There have been many books on leadership, but here at last is one that actually draws on the wisdom of those in the know. Acting on his belief that you get the most done in the first twenty minutes of a meeting, Allan Leighton invited Britain's top businessmen and women to spend just twenty minutes talking about their views on leadership. And he has talked to an astonishing range of them - the established giants such as Philip Green and Rupert Murdoch; the new generation of leaders, such as Andy Hornby at HBOS and Justin King at Sainsbury; and entrepreneurial figures who include James Dyson and Gulam Noon at Noon Foods. He has gone further too - interviewing the nation's top financial journalists, whose views can help make a company soar or sink; the money men, whose support is critical for investment and acquisition; the politicians, who help create the climate in which businesses can thrive or falter. The result is a fascinating, 360 degree view of what it takes to be a business leader in today's cut-throat global economy - thought-provoking, often surprising, always insightful.
Allan Leighton made his name at supermarket group ASDA, transforming it from a o500 million company to one sold to US giant Wal-Mart for o6.2 billion in 1999. In 2002 he was personally appointed by the Prime Minister to turn around the loss-making Royal Mail, and he has achieved that task in only four years, bringing about a revival in the Royal Mail's fortunes that few experts felt to be possible. He has sat on the board of many leading companies, including lastminute.com and BSkyB, and is widely regarded as one of the UK's top business leaders. He lives in West Yorkshire.