How to Lead

Total pages
July 2022

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How to Lead


With a relentless focus on the practical skills of leadership, and straightforward advice and guidance delivered with refreshing honesty and humour, How to Lead will help you quickly understand and master all the core skills you’ll need to succeed.

Table of Contents

Part 1 Idea: set your direction

1. Take control

2. Why your idea matters

3. Crafting your idea: creating the future perfect

4. Ideas when you are leading from the middle

5. Communicating your future perfect idea

6. Build your idea into a plan

7. Sell your idea

8. Dealing with strategy

9. Strategy and the art of unfair competition

10. How to evaluate your idea

Part 2 People: make your network work

11. Find your role

12. Attract the right team

13. Motivate your team: theory

14. Motivate your team: practice

15. Motivation and moments of truth

16. Delegate well

17. Coach your team for performance

18. Manage performance

19. Dealing with difficult people

20. Difficult conversations

21. Firing people

Part 3 Action: make it happen

22. Managing change

23. Managing projects

24. Handling conflicts

25. Handling crises

26. Negotiate your budget and targets

27. Control your costs

28. Making decisions in uncertainty

29. Build your machine: the rhythms and routines of success

Part 4 Skills of success: the tradecraft of leaders

30. Use time well

31. Present to persuade

32. Making meetings work

33. Write effectively

34. Read for insight

35. Work the numbers

Part 5 Skills of success: the 21st century leader

36. Leading professionals

37. Manage your boss

38. Build influence across your organization

39. Influencing decisions

40. Listen to influence

41. Leading in a global world

42. Careering versus careers

43. Craft your personal success formula

44. Stepping up, not back: moments of truth

45. Act the part

46. Be the part

Back Cover

Anyone can learn to be a great leader. And everyone can learn to lead better. This book will show you how.

Its clear focus on practical, straightforward advice and guidance, delivered with refreshing honesty and humour, and with a relentless focus on the practical skills of leadership, will make sure you quickly understand and master all the core skills you’ll need to succeed.

Based on original research into some of the world’s best organisations across the public, private and voluntary sectors, How to Lead cuts right through all the myths and mysteries to get straight to the heart of what you need to do and how you need to do it in order to succeed.


Jo Owen has worked with over 100 of the best, and a couple of the worst, organisations on our planet. He is a founder of eight NGOs which have a collective turnover of £100 million annually. He led businesses in Japan, North America and Europe; he created a business bank; he was a partner at Accenture and is one of the founders of Teach First which is now the largest graduate recruiter in the UK.