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Failures Make Good Leaders – Says Cranfield Professor


Leaders must be allowed to make mistakes and learn from them, Sunningdale Institute Fellow Professor Keith Grint has said in a new interview.

Prof Gint said that good leadership is not about the individual leader but about how we constitute leadership culture, and added that “unless we give people opportunities to fail they are never going to lead effectively”.

Discussing his ideas on ‘The Social Construction of Leadership’, Prof Grint, of Cranfield School of Management and the Defence Academy, said: “Leadership is about the wisdom you get from experience, and experience is about learning to cope with failure.”

He advocated a leadership approach that engages people at all organisational levels as problem-solvers, and stressed the value of affirmative approaches to improvement – building on what works, rather than locating and removing that which has failed.

Professor Keith Grint's full interview is available at the National School of Government website -


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