An ILA Leadership Perspectives Webinar

Lessons from a Lifetime in Leadership – A Conversation With John Adair

Presenter: John Adair

Date: 13 June 2019

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Among the first to demonstrate that leadership can be developed, in 1979 John Adair became the first appointed professor in Leadership Studies — and he remains active in the field today. Adair exemplifies the courageous leadership practitioner/scholar operating around the world as a pathfinder in leadership to business, public sector, and non-profit organizations. His publications and programs deliver practical leadership development solutions for groups and individual leaders at all levels and in various contexts and cultures.

His breadth of leadership thinking and depth of scholarship encompass a range of topics including: How to Grow Leaders; Strategic Leadership; The Leadership of Jesus; The Leadership of Muhammad;and Confucius on Leadership. [ ]

How to Lead Others is a guide to universal and practical knowledge for those about to take their first steps on the leadership path.

“…I see you as my partner in writing this book. It is up to you to write its conclusion in your own life and work as a good leader and a leader for good…” pg.3

Lessons in Leadership is written for the more experienced leader and especially for all those who aspire to become excellent teachers of leadership.

“To make progress as a leader you need both knowledge of principles – the timeless yet ever timely truths about leadership – and plenty of experience… It is when the sparks jump between principles and practice, theory and experience, that learning takes place.” pg.164

Organized as a conversation rather than a lecture, John will outline his perspectives on the world’s body of knowledge about leadership and leadership development. He will share his extensive learning and insights encapsulated in key lessons as contained in his most recent books. A third of the webinar will be reserved for Q&A so registrants are encouraged to come with questions.

Learn More About This Topic

Visit Amazon or your favorite bookstore to buy the book on which this webinar is based.

Speaker Information

John Adair is one of the world’s leading authorities on leadership and leadership development. He is a teacher of leadership and an author of 50 books, which have been translated into 18 languages. 

Since 2006, he has been Honorary Professor of Leadership at the China Executive Leadership Academy in Shanghai. In 2009, he was appointed Chair of Leadership Studies at the United Nations Staff College in Turin. In 2011 he received the ILA Lifetime Achievement Award.

John has had a colorful early career. He served as a platoon commander in the Scots Guards in Egypt, and then became the only national serviceman to serve in the Arab Legion, where he became adjutant of a Bedouin regiment. After national service he qualified as a deckhand in Hull and worked on an arctic trawler in Iceland waters. He then worked as a hospital orderly in the operating theatre of a hospital and then moved to academia, becoming a senior lecturer in military history, adviser in leadership training at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, and Associate Director of The Industrial Society.

This foundation has made Adair extremely adept at crossing the boundaries between scholarship and practice. While his books are written for leaders, as opposed to leadership scholars, they are based on careful analysis. His contribution to the field of leadership studies is immeasurable, extending far beyond his writing. In addition to holding the U.K.’s first Chair of Leadership Studies from 1979 at the University of Surrey, more than a million people around the world have taken leadership development courses based on his concept of Action-Centered Leadership, which he developed in the 1960s and 70s while lecturing at Sandhurst. Adair is also credited with having helped change the perception that leadership and management are one and the same. He was also among the first to demonstrate that leadership can be developed; it is not exclusively the domain of inborn traits.

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