"Building knowledge, skills and confidence to deal with the challenges of leadership as it is and as it could be."

Vision and values

The Centre for Leadership Studies’ (CLS) mission is: ‘building knowledge, skills and confidence to deal with the challenges of leadership as it is and as it could be’.

We are a broad and inclusive community, comprising leadership scholars, developers, students and practitioners, collectively engaged in critical, reflective and experimental enquiry into the nature and purpose of leadership and leadership education in contemporary society.

We seek to do work that has an impact on real people and issues, whilst avoiding the temptation to offer simplistic solutions. Our aim is to equip practising managers, policy makers and students with the ability to make informed choices about the most effective and ethical ways of addressing the opportunities and challenges they face.

At CLS we value:

  • Critical enquiry: Our research asks questions that challenge accepted ways of thinking; established patterns of behaviour, power and influence; and assumptions about what is good and valued. In doing so we seek to demystify leadership in order to reveal effective ways of mobilising, empowering and supporting individuals, organisations and communities.
  • A plurality of perspectives:  We are interested in leadership in all its forms, across multiple contexts and seek to engage in debate and collaborative enquiry wherever possible.
  • Learning that builds on experience and is reflective and analytical: Our educational programmes are based on a ‘reflexive’ approach that combines critical thinking, reflection and experience. Our research explores the moral and philosophical underpinnings of leadership theory and practice and the implications for leaders, leading and the led.

At CLS we aim to:

  • Facilitate the development of practical wisdom: We seek to remain at the forefront of leadership scholarship, to publish our findings widely and to bring them directly into our teaching. In collaboration with students, partners and others we endeavour to put this knowledge to work in productive and innovative ways.
  • Make a difference in the world: We aim to do work that ‘matters’ and that will have a beneficial and enduring influence on both the practice and theory of leadership. We seek to be engaged in work with a clear impact on policy, ideas and actions and to concentrate our efforts where these are most likely to contribute to more humane, meaningful and sustainable ways of life.

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