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Contact Jonathan at The Human Energy Organisation via the usual  ‘jonathan ampersand humanenergy.org.uk’

Jonathan Gifford, Speaker on Leadership

Jonathan recently contributed to Dr Mark Powell’s long-running and ground breaking arts-based leadership development sessions at Oxford University’s Saïd Business School as part of BG Group’s project leadership programme. An account of the programme’s overall aims and outcomes was published in the Journal Of Organizational Aesthetics.

Jonathan’s sessions were based in part around the fundamental principle of his book, History Lessons, which identifies eight core functions of leadership, but demonstrates that even great leaders are unlikely to be strong in every area of leadership. Successful leaders come in all shapes and sizes, and may have significant weaknesses; their success comes from their outstanding strengths in certain areas: ‘Boldness of Vision’, for example, or the ability to ‘Change the Mood’.

Jonathan explores the fundamental difference between management and leadership, and the fact that leadership is inevitably involved with human and emotional issues.

All of Jonathan’s presentations are underpinned by detailed accounts of the actions and thoughts of successful leaders past and present.

Jonathan Gifford profile

Jonathan worked for many years leading advertising sales teams for national newspapers including The Guardian, The Sunday Express and The Mail on Sunday. He joined BBC Magazines in 1992 where he was the launch publisher of the award-winning BBC History Magazine.

Jonathan is the author of several books on leadership that form part of the Marshall Cavendish ‘Great Ideas’ series: 100 Great Business Leaders, 100 Great Leadership Ideas and 100 More Great Leadership Ideas and also of Blindsided: how business and society are shaped by our irrational and unpredictable behaviour. He has recently published two books with co-author Mark Powell – My Steam Engine Is Broken: Taking the organisation from the industrial era to the age of ideas, and Perform To Win: Unlocking the secrets of the arts for personal and business success.

Jonathan is a partner, with Mark Powell, at The Human Energy Organisation, a consultancy that works with organizations to identify and address the organisational behaviours that may be having a negative impact on employee engagement.


“Jonathan is one of the best conference speakers I have worked with: amusing, engaging and genuinely inspirational.” Mary Langan, Owner, Nua Training


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