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Home > News > July 2004 > 06-Jul-2004

A moral dilemma at the Leadership Trust conference

The 7th Annual Leadership Trust Conference gathered recently, in Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire. The conference theme this year was “The Moral Dilemmas of Leadership”, and was chaired by BBC correspondent Nicholas Witchell, who talked in his opening address about the BBC’s own recent well-publicised moral dilemma.

The keynote speaker was Dr Robert Cooper who had flown in especially from the States. Through a wide ranging, engaging, often humorous and sometimes emotional presentation Robert carried his audience with him.

His theme was why some people are able to lead in a changing world and others can’t. He stressed that the moral dilemmas of leadership are choices we all make from moment to moment and predicted that five of the top 25 world brands would not exist in ten years time because of internal management problems. He argued that most people chase goals that have been set by society rather than those dear to themselves. The moral dilemma, he said, is what we choose to do with the power and energy inside ourselves – many of us don’t even see what’s possible.

Case studies were presented by Richard Ellis, responsible for the delivery and
implementation of CSR strategy for Boots Plc; Nicky Amos, formally head of corporate responsibility at The Body Shop and Karen Thomson, CEO of AOL-UK.

Terry Waite’s after-dinner speech focused on his decision to return to Beirut in 1987 in order to attempt to secure the release of hostages. This was, he said, one of the biggest moral dilemmas of his life. By taking an “inner journey” and getting to know himself better, Terry said that he became more “centred” and able to cope with his terrible circumstances.

Nicky Amos

Margaret Thomas, Director of Innovation and Development at The Leadership Trust commented on the event, "Tthe feedback from our delegates has been exceptional. This year's conference was inspirational and has energised and motivated all who attended.”

The next annual conference will be in September 2005.

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