The Exeter Leadership Partners

Leadership research and teaching is a fundamental part of the Business School. Our aim is to unlock the leadership potential of individuals and organisations. The Exeter Leadership Partners provides for the cross fertilisation of ideas, approaches and resolutions in response to fundamental leadership challenges within organisations.

The Exeter Leadership Partners (ELP) has been running successfully since 2000 and is designed to:

  • Provide an environment in which organisations from different sectors come together to explore the latest research and ideas in leadership
  • Enable conversations that cannot be held elsewhere, based on high-trust relationships
  • Develop innovative approaches to the resolution of leadership dilemmas, leveraging the highest quality research from faculty from the Exeter Centre for Leadership (ExCL) and the Business School
  • Create and nurture a unique approach to leadership development directed at individuals with critical talent on the threshold of strategic leadership.  We do this by developing the competence and confidence in individuals to move across this threshold.

How the Partnership operates

We work with the senior executives responsible for the strategic leadership development of their organisations and help with the management of the process to:

  • Expand and challenge thinking on the wider aspects of leadership
  • Achieve cross fertilisation of ideas to optimise the benefit to the Partners
  • Co-design and co-create the Partnership arrangement
  • Provide the opportunity to work with ExCL Fellows who act as ‘Critical Friends’

The Partnership includes organisations from the public, private and voluntary sectors and is designed to help them improve their organisational and individual strategic leadership capability. It covers a range of leadership activities which are developed jointly by Exeter and the Partners. 

The ELP scheme offers two options: Core Membership and Participant Membership.

1.  Core Membership

Partners benefit from a close relationship with both Exeter and other organisations who are dedicated to improving their understanding of the complexities and realities of strategic leadership. Core Membership is on a corporate basis to improve the strategic leadership capability of the organisation. When the organisation joins, it nominates one or two individuals to join the programme, who then participate in the following activities: 

  • A series of explorative ‘Chatham House’ leadership events each year with renowned national and international leaders and leadership experts held mainly at Cumberland Lodge, Windsor Great Park
  • The development of an extensive network of leaders at similar levels working in wide-ranging organisations in a trusted confidential peer environment
  • Insightful debates on contemporary and emerging leadership challenges with individuals at the leading edge of the next set of problems
  • A leadership exchange which includes structured and facilitated visits to and from other Partners
  • The latest theoretical and practical insights into leadership dilemmas
  • Engagement with one of the ExCL Leadership Fellows all of whom have extensive organisational experience and who will act as a ‘Critical Friend’
  • Facilitated workshops designed to address the Partner’s current and pressing issues with reduced fees for further consultancy assistance, when this is sought
  • Invitations to ExCL events

2. Participant Membership

ExCL is also able to provide a significant contribution to help organisations to improve their strategic leadership by assisting key delegates to grow into this level. We do this by working with our Partners to identify up to three high performance individuals who are operating at the threshold of strategic leadership, and who are ready for the next vital step in their leadership journey.

These selected individuals participate for a minimum of two years in a tailored programme which is guided by their ‘Critical Friend’ coach, drawn from the highly experienced ExCL LeadershipFellows. There are three face-to-face coaching meetings per year, supplemented by other communications, as required. They are also invited to attend the activities listed above under ‘Core Membership’ with the added benefit of being able to discuss what they have learnt with their Critical Friend. This close relationship (which is unique to the ELP) is dynamic and enables the individual to apply learning immediately, consider current challenges, and reflect on appropriate leadership styles whilst also being guided on their strategic thinking.

Current Partners

  • Fidelity Investment Management Ltd
  • Hays Recruitment
  • Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group plc
  • The Met Office
  • Royal Air Force (RAF)
  • WH Smith

Terms of engagement

We are keen to engage with organisations from a wide range of sectors and work with them to develop individual and organisational leadership capability. The nature of the Partnership is such that we are looking to establish a long-lasting relationship, which is what the current Partners value so much.

Membership will be restricted to a small number of organisations drawn from across all sectors to preserve the crucial characteristics of connection and confidentiality.


For further information please contact:

Alex Reichardt
ExCL Leadership Networks Administrator