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Identifying leadership: Professor Martin Binks Q&A

Posted on by from Nottingham University Business School

Are you a thought leader? Emily Sexton-Brown asks professors from across the globe to pinpoint just what true leadership looks like. Professor Martin Binks, Nottingham University Business School enlightens...

What is your name and job title?

Martin Binks, professor of entrepreneurial development

Where do you work?

Nottingham University Business School 

What led you onto your career path?

Writing a book (unpublished and lost) on the limits to economic growth, which led me to undertake a PhD on the economic implications of population change.

What or who has been the biggest influence within your career to date?

Reading Joseph Schumpeter’s ‘The Theory of Economic Development’.

In your opinion, what does true leadership look like?

The provision of confident, clear direction on the basis of considered and balanced analysis in a climate of transparency, trust and humility and with accountability.

To be an innovative leader, what key skills are needed and how can leaders develop these effectively?

Highly effective interpersonal skills such as, for example, communication, negotiation, persuasion, balanced judgement alongside consistency, reliability, respect and trust. These are best developed through immersion in actual leadership decision-making, at whatever level, with frequent improvised informal light-touch reflections with those being led.

How do you anticipate leadership evolving in the coming years?

More collaborative and consensual with less emphasis upon the status of the individual in the leadership role.

In your opinion, what are the top three management books aspiring leaders should read?

I am certainly no expert on management books but I do remember finding these helpful:-

i.    ‘Executive Leadership – A practical guide to managing complexity’ by Elliott Jaques and Stephen D Clement, published by Cason Hall and Co, Publishers a useful book to ‘dip into’ in the early days and feel that it is still relevant now.

ii.    ‘Ask John’ by John Timpson, refreshingly direct and straightforward.  Published by the Daily Telegraph.

And finally, in a rather outrageous display of self-referencing, I feel compelled to include a book that my co-authors and I wrote, simply because its main purpose is to improve individual and organisational decision-making:

iii.    ‘Ingenuity’ by Paul Kirkham, Simon Mosey and Martin Binks.  Published by the Haydn Green Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Nottingham University Business School, Jubilee Campus, Wollaton Road, Nottingham NG8 1BB, UK.  Available from Blackwell’s or Amazon.


Emily  Sexton-Brown

By Emily Sexton-Brown

Emily is the commissioning editor at Changeboard

Nottingham University Business School

Nottingham University Business School

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