Senior business figures report a ‘crisis of leadership’ amid unprecedented change

Some of our panellists networking, post-discussion

Company owners are suffering from a “real existential leadership crisis” – that’s according to one of the best-known names in East Midlands business.

David Williams, the chairman of law firm Geldards was speaking at a recent round table event, sponsored by Curium Solutions, on leading teams through change.

Williams said: “We’re getting no leadership from the Government in London and this is making leading a company incredibly difficult. How are you supposed to tell your staff everything is going to be okay if you don’t really believe it yourself? It’s one of the hardest times to lead an organisation, in my experience.”

Williams added: “We can all do internal leadership piece, the real problem is how do you lead in the outside vacuum. My real one hope from the upcoming Mayoral elections is that we get some East Midlands leadership.”

Adam Farrow, director and co-founder of Curium added: “This all comes back to the accidental leader. We’re expecting these people to inspire others, but they’re having to deal with change at such a tremendous pace. They’re thinking: ‘Well, no-one told me how to do that’. There is a real underdeveloped awareness out there around leadership.”

Kate Tinsley, the CEO of MKM Building Supplies, said: “Leaders nowadays have to be a chameleon but stay authentic. It’s really tiring.”

Andy Dawson, director and co-founder of Curium, said: “We also don’t really know what leaders will need in the future. The sheer pace of change is unprecedented and so employee engagement is essential.”

Our panel gathered at the offices at the East Midlands Chamber of Commerce in Nottingham.

The full discussion will be on our website next week.