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The University of Southampton
Southampton Business School

Leadership in the spotlight at a lively Southampton Business School debate

Published: 31 March 2017
ELP leadership debate

Senior executives from more than 30 of the South’s major companies gathered at the Bournemouth headquarters of JP Morgan to discuss what makes an effective leader in the 21st century at Southampton Business School’s fourth Annual Leadership Debate.

Appropriately, the theme was ‘leading in times of uncertainty and ambiguity’ as the event took place the day after a policeman was killed by an attacker at the Houses of Parliament. One of the first people to go to PC Keith Palmer’s aid was Bournemouth MP Tobias Ellwood who took part in the Leadership Debate. He was welcomed by Paul Bennett, Director of Executive Education, Southampton Business School:

“Tobias has proven what an exemplary leader he really is, swift to act in a crisis, then representing Parliament and the nation in the best possible way by not letting this horrific attack get in the way of his commitments. His tenacity and fortitude is an example to be applauded.”

The lively debate, hosted by the Business School’s Executive Learning Partnership, was chaired by General Sir Richard Barrons. The other panellists were Professor Martin Broad (Head of Southampton Business School), Debi Garrod (organisational psychologist), James Bland (Co-Head of Learning, J.P. Morgan) and Sylvana Caloni (SC Executive Coaching).

“Leaders must be able to cope with strategic shock,” commented General Barron. “They need to demonstrate mental and physical resilience and ability to win the trust of their followers. To succeed, you must listen to people at different levels, make sure your decisions are acted upon, delegate effectively and show moral courage.”

Subjects discussed on the night included ethical behaviour in the financial services industry, the importance of company culture, how to engage young people in the business world and the increasing role of social media in replacing traditional news outlets.

“The Leadership Debate not only provided new insights around the many enduring and emergent challenges we now all face but also, through the actions of the panel and participants, provided an exemplary example of leadership in action,” says Paul Bennett.

To find out more about becoming a Partner within the Executive Learning Partnership or details of the new, Open Executive Development Programmes contact Paul Bennett at

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