The work we did differed from most management research in that we lived alongside leaders and their organisations for periods of 12 to 24 months. We were with them in the moment, as their stories unfolded. The view of leading that we had was very different from that reported when you ask people after the event what they did. We all have a tendency to tidy up our memories of past events and feelings, to rationalise them. When you are there, as it happens, you see what is really involved in leading and following.
Our research took four years and was in three phases:
- The first phase involved over 40 interviews with company chairmen, chief executives, human resources directors and senior head-hunters across Europe. The purpose was ...