Leaders should adopt US stance on risk-taking at work in the UK

UK
leaders should embrace an American approach to leadership and take more risks,
according to Derek Hatton, the left-wing militant turned business guru.

He
said one of the few things that he liked about the US was that the country
encouraged its leaders not to fear failure.

Speaking
on leadership at a conference by Actmad, the development network for leaders
and managers, he said this contrasted with the British view that failure is a
disgrace.

“In
US business, if you fail, the next day you have another go,” he said. “This is
the opposite of the Victorian attitude in the UK.

“Sometimes
you will get a smack on the nose, but that’s part and parcel of learning,”
Hatton added. “You have to go through it to come out at the other end.”

Despite
Hatton’s notoriety as a hard-liner on the Liverpool council after his election
in 1979, he said that politics soon become irrelevant when there is a job to be
done.

He
said a good leader would surround himself with able people who could willingly
share their information and learn from each other.

Hatton
also said there was no bible about how to treat staff, and each had to be
treated on an individual basis.

“It’s
like a game of football,” he said. “You have to pass to the feet of some
people, in front of others to run on to, or you have to cripple them in the
tackle because they’re so lightning fast.”

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