Show cover of Leading Conversations - The Rise Above Podcast

Leading Conversations - The Rise Above Podcast

Leading Conversations tells the truth about what it really takes to be a leader. Sean Moore, founder of leadership consultancy Rise Above, is in conversation with famous and not-so-famous leaders about their experience of leading in all walks of life. The aim is to give lasting wisdom and useful lessons, not fleeting topicality. So, whether you are a long-established leader, someone who has just got the top job, a manager facing your first leadership challenge, or someone who is just interested in leadership, this is the podcast for you.


Episode 10 - How was Churchill shaped by other leaders? (with David Reynolds, Emeritus Professor of International History at University of Cambridge)
Most of us think of Churchill as the uniquely-gifted warrior-leader who led the nation to victory in the Second World War. He is the role-model for courageous leadership, pugnacious negotiation and brilliant communication. He is the archetypal big picture strategist. Winston Churchill was all these things, and more. However, in his new book Mirrors of Greatness historian David Reynolds, our leading expert on the two world wars and the Cold War, seeks to paint a more personal, nuanced portrait of Churchill in relation to other leaders by showing how he mirrored them, and they him. Explaining how Churchill was shaped, David discusses the key roles played by wartime allies Stalin and Roosevelt, political rivals Chamberlain and Attlee, enemies Hitler, Mussolini and Gandhi, and his influential leader-wife Clementine. Leadership-lessons from a great leader in his context.
50:51 24/10/2023
Episode 9 - How to lead when you answer to experts (with Dr. Steve Graham, CEO Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow)
In the UK, Ireland and parts of the Commonwealth, a Medical Royal College is a professional body responsible for setting standards in a particular medical speciality. Twenty-four Royal Colleges and Faculties shape our healthcare by setting standards for the way doctors are trained and monitored.  One of the Medical Royal Colleges is the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow. Today, the College enables 15,000 doctors in 97 countries to develop the skills, knowledge and leadership to improve patient care. The CEO is Dr. Steve Graham (whose doctorate is in chemistry, not medicine.) Steve draws on 25 years of working at board level in the private and public sectors to explain how to lead effectively when as CEO you answer to a board of medical experts. The priorities, Steve argues, are: to think of yourself as the head of the civil service working with the prime minister; being completely clear about who is accountable for what; and communication, communication, communication.
31:26 18/07/2023
Episode 8 - Leading with big ideas, or How to make the traffic part for you (with John Wroe, CEO Street Child United)
John Wroe is the founder and CEO of Street Child United, the global charity that uses the power of sport and the arts to challenge the negative perceptions and treatment of millions of street children everywhere. John was working in South Africa in 2008 and had the idea which changed his life and, more importantly, the lives of homeless children living on the streets around the world. Just two years later the first Street Child World Cup was staged alongside the FIFA World Cup – and the rest is history. With irrepressible enthusiasm, passion for big ideas, the knack of engaging everyone from governments to sports stars, and huge sense of fun, John leaps over obstacles with glee. The traffic just keeps on parting for him.
30:17 27/06/2023
Episode 7 - To lead in local government you have to dance on ice (with Stella Manzie)
Dame Stella Manzie has been a leader in local government for over thirty years. When she was appointed borough director for Redditch Borough Council aged just 31 she was the youngest council chief executive in the country. Over the following decades she ran five other authorities including Coventry City Council, where she worked with elected councillors and colleagues to transform it from being one of the worst-performing local authorities to one of the best. Today Stella is chair of University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust.  Stella unravels the complexities of being a CEO in local government and explains why the nuanced leadership quality of political astuteness is needed to enable the leader to ‘dance on ice’ with key organisational partners. More controversially, she argues that the current conversation about organisational leadership over-celebrates vision and innovation and under-values what she calls the ‘scaffolding’ of an organisation: consistent management and under-pinning systems. The balance, Stella says, often needs redressing. 
38:06 26/04/2023
Episode 6 - Leadership & storytelling (with Jeffrey Archer)
Jeffrey Archer is one of the world’s bestselling authors. To date he has published 48 books, in 47 languages, in 114 countries, with international sales passing 275 million. He the only writer to have topped the best-seller lists in three different categories: for novels, for short stories and for non-fiction. Much of his work, like his own life, is about people facing down adversity and turning it into success. In this podcast Jeffrey reflects on entrepreneurship and writing and describes his business-like approach to staying at the top. If you want to know more about the relationship between storytelling and leadership, listen to this great storyteller.
31:28 11/04/2023
Episode 5 - To be a good leader you must take the lead on sustainability (with Dame Polly Courtice)
Polly Courtice was Founder Director of the University of the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, which she led for thirty-two years. Today she is a member of the Supervisory Board of Mercedes Benz, a senior independent director of Anglia Water, a Board Member of the British Standards Institute, and sustainability advisor to Terra Firma Capital. To date Polly has received four lifetime achievement awards. In 2016 she was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire.  Polly’s passion for living and working sustainably was inspired by growing up in South Africa and nurtured by working closely with the University of Cambridge and (the then) Prince Charles over three decades to persuade business leaders of, initially, the importance of sustainability, then, later, to enable them to make sustainability the heart of their vision and long-term strategic planning. Her message and illustrations are urgent and hopeful – as long as we rise up against complacency.
35:01 28/03/2023
Episode 4 - How to train leaders on and off the battlefield (with Ian Milton, Managing Director - Coaching Centred Leadership
Ian Milton spent 25 years as a soldier in the British Army. He joined as a private soldier, became an officer and served in Bosnia, Afghanistan and Iraq. He trained soldiers to lead in our Special Forces and was responsible for thousands being ready for battle. When he retired from the army he founded Coaching Centred Leadership, which trains people from all kinds of organisations. Ian explores the power of the Sandhurst credo Serve to Lead and why leading in battle has so much to teach leaders in everyday life. Ian explains why the purpose of leadership training is to take the spark of potential that people have and how to coach it into being capable of purposeful leadership. 
42:43 14/03/2023
Episode 3 - Leadership lessons from a life in diplomacy (with Simon McDonald, former Head of the Diplomatic Service)
Simon McDonald was Permanent Secretary at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Head of the Diplomatic Service, which he retired from in 2020 after 40 years’ service. Simon has worked closely with six foreign secretaries and five prime ministers. His first book Leadership: Lessons from a Life in Diplomacy is not just about learning, but setting and maintaining standards of leadership in public life, which is the subject of this podcast. It was his passion for integrity and decency that led Simon in July 2022 to accuse the government of lying – which he knew it had. Boris Johnson resigned two days later. Simon says, ‘I’d had enough. I just wanted to tell the truth.’
32:23 28/02/2023
Episode 2 - Why making the transition from manager to leader is so damn hard (with Christian Scott, Strategy Director of Granite 5)
Christian Scott is Strategy and User Experience Director at digital marketing agency Granite 5. He has recently been promoted to running the business, working alongside the Managing Director. He is making what is widely recognised as one of the most difficult career changes – the transition from managing part of a business, to leading all of it. Christian is compelling on the problematic difference between expertly doing tasks himself within a single function and delegating those tasks to others as he takes on more general responsibility.
27:33 28/02/2023
Episode 1 - How I have changed as a leader over time (with Richard Lambert, CEO of The National Hair and Beauty Federation))
Richard Lambert has spent the last twenty years as a Chief Executive of trade associations. Thinking about how he has evolved over his career, and how he has adapted in the light of experience and seeing how others lead, Richard explores how his style of leadership has changed, and why. He is thoughtful and open about what he learned from the good and bad examples of other leaders, and about his own mistakes and successes, as he learned to lead, and continues to learn, on the job.
32:47 28/02/2023