Being Successful, Staying Ethical: the Art of Being a Good Boss

Sophie Churchill

Course description:

This course provides an energetic, contemporary and reflective treatment of business leadership, helping participants to anticipate and understand the distinctive nature of being a leader. It provides discussion on the relationship between being successful and behaving in a fair, humane and empathetic manner. The course will also cover how to preserve personal growth, outside interests and personal well-being whilst holding senior responsibilities.

Course objectives:

To familiarise participants with the distinctive experience and requirements of being a leader

To provide structured reflection on how to be a consistent and trusted leader

To provide opportunities to become familiar with the real life challenges of the leader

To give participants the tools to look after themselves when they are in leadership roles

Confidence in going for leadership roles


Course aimed at:

Leadership in one form or another, in whatever sector or industry, is likely to come the way of participants on the PKP programme. It is never to early to inhabit the world and preoccupations of leaders and this course is for anyone wanting to look at current thinking and practice in management and leadership and how that relates to our responsibility for our own development, career and behaviour.

Pre-requisite knowledge required: No specific knowledge is required, beyond self-knowledge that this might be important territory for you, now or in the future.

Transferable knowledge and skills:

How to lead, in whatever context

Achieving business objectives whilst retaining the trust of others, and integrity yourself

Familiarity with most of the difficult tasks of the leader and how to approach them

How to look after yourself whilst exercising leadership

Teaching methodology:

Teaching is by means of lectures, interactive talks and tutorial classes (seminars) for the period of the course. The lectures and interactive talks aim to present and animate the material, while the seminars aim to use the ideas presented, to work through different leadership scenarios. Readings, websites and other materials to be discussed in the seminars will be found in the course reader distributed at the first lecture.

Participants need to come prepared to bring their own experiences of leadership, (theirs and others’) into the course and to reflect on them with other students.


Final written assignment (2,500 – 3,000 words): 50%

Final exam: 50%

Student contact time:

Lectures: 12 x 75 minutes (total 15 hours)

Seminars: 8 x 75 minutes (total 10 hours)

Reading list:


The Art of the Chief Executive, Sophie Churchill.

The biography of one leader you admire, taking notes as you go on the qualities they display, the key choices they make and how they handle people.


The Economist obituaries for June 2017

Other contemporary material will be required or recommended during the course.