James Scouller is an executive coach and partner of The Scouller Partnership, a UK-based executive coaching practice. Most of his work is with leaders. The Three Levels of Leadership is his first book.
Before becoming a professional coach, he spent nearly 30 years in industry, mostly in manufacturing. For over a decade of that, he was chief executive of three international companies, so he understands first-hand the pressures leaders face.
Accredited by the Association for Coaching, he holds two postgraduate coaching qualifications. He also trained for four years in applied psychology at the Institute of Psychosynthesis in London.
James, why did you write The Three Levels of Leadership?
“The simple answer is because no one else had. I wouldn’t have bothered if other leadership books had already covered this ground. But they hadn’t.
You see, Jim Collins, the author of Good to Great, pointed out that we can identify Level 5 Leadership as one of the seven keys to organisational greatness, but we can’t explain the inner psychological development of a level 5 leader. And that means we don’t know the answer to the question, how do we guide someone to reach level 5 leadership? The more I thought about leadership as I worked with coaching clients, the more I saw other big unanswered questions. Questions like:
As I worked with clients, I realised that answers to these questions would help them enormously. But not just my clients – they’d help every leader. But of course I couldn’t coach every leader personally so that’s when the idea of a book began to form. And this led me to realise it was time to offer not only a new leadership model, but also a new model of the psyche.”
Was the style of the book important to you?
“Yes. Three Levels had to be clear and compact. In essence, I set out to write the book I wish I’d read when I first became a CEO. A book that cuts through the fog of the many leadership theories and brings fresh thinking to leadership... and does so in simple, clear language, with no padding. I was frustrated by reading books 300 pages long with only enough content to justify 30 pages. So I promised myself there’d be no padding in this book – that it would be no longer than it needed to be.”
Why do you do what you do for a living?
"First, because I know from personal experience that it's not easy being a leader as there's nothing like a leadership role for exposing your greatest fears about yourself.
Second, because leadership matters; it's the key to an organisation's (and indeed the world's) progress. So we need good leaders.
Third, because no one starts in a leadership role as the finished article. So everyone can grow as a leader, to the benefit of those they serve.
Fourth, because being the best leader you can be involves more than just knowhow and behavioural skill. It also demands "presence" – that "something" which inspires people, makes them trust you and want you as their leader. Great coaching helps leaders master their minds, allowing them not only to grow their skill and behavioural flexibility, but also to develop their leadership presence."
Where are you based?
“Well, I live in Bedfordshire, about 40 miles north of London, but I have clients in different regions of the UK and in other European countries. I’ve also worked with clients based in the USA."
What do you do in your spare time?
"I've practised Aikido for over 30 years, becoming a third dan black belt in 1998. These days, I don't get to the dojo as much as I used to, but I still try to practise Aikido once a week. I love the flow and sheer fun of Aikido - even when there are two people trying to attack you!"
If you want to contact James Scouller about anything to do with The Three Levels of Leadership, click this Contact link (or click the Contact link at the bottom right of this page) and write a message, your name and email address.
James Scouller’s executive coaching practice, The Scouller Partnership, offers coaching for leaders. If you want to know more about The Scouller Partnership or talk to James Scouller about coaching, you can click this link: www.thescoullerpartnership.co.uk, which will show you his email address and phone number.
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If you'd like to know the latest news about The Three Levels of Leadership, click this News link. Alternatively, click the News link you will find it at the bottom right of this page, in the grey zone below the red line, alongside Contact, Press and Links.
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