Helen Green

Firing up Leadership

One of the key leadership traits may be the ability to engage hearts and minds but sometimes all of the preparation and plotting goes awry and the expected outcome turns out to be something very different than that envisaged.

Look at the gunpowder plot for example. That it failed is indisputable. But even centuries after the event the true reason for the plot and who the leader really was remains shrouded in controversy.

We all know the name of Guy Fawkes, the unlucky explosives expert who was caught red-handed in The Houses of Parliament but most of us would be hard pushed to name many of his co-conspirators. And with the ‘experts’ remaining divided on the leader behind the attempted revolution, we may never find out the real reason for the plot.

Of course, in the great sweep of things names should not be important. When business leaders set out to create transformative experiences, the true measure of success or failure is the way in which those actions bring lasting change. And when leadership aims to empower, to encourage the heart or to enable others to act then it is the results that matter. The shadowy leader behind the gunpowder plot succeed as far as inspiring his fellow conspirators to take his vision and to try and translate it into action. What his true aims were and where his planning fell down is something we may never know.