26 episodes

How do leaders learn to lead? In this podcast, journalist James Ashton brings together people from the top of very different organisations in the worlds of business, charity, the arts and beyond to discuss their take on leading vital causes, famous brand names and multi-million-pound enterprises. His two guests swap stories of success and failure, the skills they have picked up, the challenges they face every day and the advice they offer to others.

Leading with James Ashton James Ashton

    • Business
    • 4.2, 13 Ratings

How do leaders learn to lead? In this podcast, journalist James Ashton brings together people from the top of very different organisations in the worlds of business, charity, the arts and beyond to discuss their take on leading vital causes, famous brand names and multi-million-pound enterprises. His two guests swap stories of success and failure, the skills they have picked up, the challenges they face every day and the advice they offer to others.

    S3 Episode 6 - Canal & River Trust

    S3 Episode 6 - Canal & River Trust

    In another lockdown episode, Richard Parry joins James Ashton to discuss safeguarding staff and visitors, developing new income streams and swapping commercial for charitable leadership at the helm of one of the UK’s largest not-for-profit organisations.

    Richard Parry is chief executive of the Canal & River Trust, the charity that looks after 2,000 miles of waterways across England and Wales.

    He became leader in 2013, a year after the organisation was created to replace the state-run British Waterways. Today the trust welcomes 4m regular visitors and 35,000 licensed boats to its estate, which is maintained by 1700 staff and 3000 volunteers.

    Previously, Parry spent 19 years working at London Underground - where he was acting managing director for a year - followed by a brief spell at the transport company FirstGroup.


    Find out more @leadingpod or www.leadingpod.com

    • 47 min
    S3 Episode 5 - London Metal Exchange

    S3 Episode 5 - London Metal Exchange

    In another lockdown episode, Matthew Chamberlain joins James Ashton to discuss trading through the crisis, swapping an investment banking career to become CEO and respecting tradition at his 143-year old organisation.

    Matthew Chamberlain is chief executive of the London Metal Exchange, a City institution since 1877 that last year traded $13.5 trillion of metals including aluminium, copper and zinc.

    After financial roles at Citibank, Perella Weinberg and UBS, Chamberlain joined the LME in 2012 as head of strategy and implementation following its acquisition by Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing – a deal he advised on. He took the top job in 2017 at the age of 34.

    In normal times the LME operates the Ring, the last open outcry trading floor in Europe, which sets prices for metals supply contracts all over the world.


    Find out more @leadingpod or www.leadingpod.com

    • 44 min
    S3 Episode 4 - St John Ambulance

    S3 Episode 4 - St John Ambulance

    In another lockdown episode, Martin Houghton-Brown joins James Ashton to discuss battling Covid-19, dealing with the latest financial pressures, reorganising for the future and finding time and space to switch off.

    Martin Houghton-Brown is the chief executive of St John Ambulance, the medical charity that has been saving lives since 1877 and gives vital support to the NHS.

    In 2018 it gave first aid training to 382,000 people in schools and workplaces and treated 104,000 people taken ill at 22,000 events across the UK.

    Houghton-Brown previously led Depaul UK, a charity that helps the homeless and disadvantaged, and before that Missing People. He was also deputy director at the Children's Society.


    Find out more @leadingpod or www.leadingpod.com

    • 45 min
    S3 Episode 3 - Bupa

    S3 Episode 3 - Bupa

    In this special lockdown episode, Evelyn Bourke joins James Ashton to discuss leading through crisis, working closely with the NHS, the future of healthcare and early career failure.

    Evelyn Bourke is the chief executive of Bupa, the private healthcare insurer and provider with 33m customers and clinics, dental centres, hospitals and care homes in major markets such as the UK, Australia and Spain.

    Founded in 1947, the private company does not have shareholders and reinvests profits in the business which employs 83,000 people.

    Bourke joined the group as finance director in 2012 and took over the top job in 2016. An actuary by training, she has held leadership or finance roles at several financial services groups including Friends Provident, Standard Life, Chase de Vere and Bank of Ireland.


    Find out more @leadingpod or www.leadingpod.com

    • 44 min
    S3 Episode 2 - PwC and Great Ormond Street Hospital

    S3 Episode 2 - PwC and Great Ormond Street Hospital

    Kevin Ellis and Matthew Shaw join James Ashton to discuss trust in business, audit quality, shattering hierarchy and lifelong learning. This episode was recorded before the coronavirus lockdown.

    Kevin Ellis is UK chairman and senior partner of PwC, the largest of the professional services firms which advises on tax, company audit, restructuring, technology and deals. PwC employs 22,000 people. Last year revenues rose to £4.2bn.

    Ellis joined the firm in 1984, specialising in insolvency work. He was elected leader in 2016 and has just been re-elected, taking his tenure through to 2024. Key challenges include diversifying the workforce and tackling government and regulatory concerns over audit quality.

    Matthew Shaw is chief executive of Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH), the famous London institution that has been dedicated to children’s healthcare since its creation in 1852. Last year its 5000 staff plus 1000 volunteers cared for 260,000 patients across 50 areas of specialist care.

    Shaw took up the role in late 2018. Joining GOSH as medical director, the consultant spinal surgeon was formerly medical director at Bupa Health Services and deputy chief executive and transformation director of the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital.


    Find out more @leadingpod or www.leadingpod.com

    • 46 min
    S3 Episode 1 - Macmillan Cancer Support and Rhodes Trust

    S3 Episode 1 - Macmillan Cancer Support and Rhodes Trust

    Lynda Thomas and Elizabeth Kiss join James Ashton to discuss supporting the NHS, funding future leaders, career pivots and imposter syndrome. This episode was recorded before the coronavirus lockdown.

    Lynda Thomas is the chief executive of Macmillan Cancer Support, one of the most trusted charities in the UK. Macmillan is famous for its 6000 nurses who care for thousands of people coping with cancer. It also campaigns for better NHS cancer provision. In 2018 the charity raised £231m and supported 1.9m people.

    Thomas joined Macmillan as joint head of media in 2001, becoming director of external affairs, director of fundraising and finally chief executive in 2015. She began her career in consumer PR but after starting a family changed direction and volunteered with NCH Action for Children.

    Elizabeth Kiss is chief executive of the Rhodes Trust, the organisation which runs one of the best-known scholarship programmes in the world. Set up 1903 through the will of businessman Cecil Rhodes, every year it enables 100 outstanding international students to study second or post graduate degrees at Oxford University. Well-known Rhodes Scholars include former US president Bill Clinton and Malcolm Turnbull, the ex-Australian prime minister.

    Kiss, who joined the Trust in 2018, aims to expand and internationalise the scheme, which costs £16m a year to operate. The philosopher was previously president of the liberal arts-led Agnes Scott College in Atlanta, Georgia for 12 years, and a Rhodes Scholar in 1983.


    Find out more @leadingpod or www.leadingpod.com

    • 49 min

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5
13 Ratings

13 Ratings

Darrellcreasey ,

Mr 5 Star Ellis

What an amazing and insightful interview with Kevin Ellis from PWC...the way he speaks about the importance of being proud of the Company you work for and having a love for the job makes so much sense.
I shall be making sure my teenage Son listens to this. Finding what you love to do is the Holy Grail of Happiness and Success....luckily for Kevin he found it early in his working life.

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