The Etiquette of Leadership

The Art and Science of Leading Well
Authors: Ben Baldwin and Ian Sampson

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The Etiquette of Leadership

Leadership is an industry. More management books are written on leadership than any other topic. Every day hundreds of articles appear in newspapers, blogs and discussion groups about aspects of leadership. Much of the writing talks about leadership, much like a commentator describes a new car, a wedding or an artistic performance. But writing about these things isn’t the same as experiencing the actual thrill of a new car, the romance of a wedding or the movement of the soul that occurs during a performance.

The Etiquette of Leadership is a body of practical knowledge that can show you the way of leadership. It’s not a collection of theories. It’s not a new theory. It seeks to draw on time-honoured understandings that have developed over hundreds of years, in every facet of life where leadership is exercised effectively.

This book has been written with two outcomes in mind: to help you be a truly effective leader and to help you be at ease with your own uniqueness as a leader. We start from the premise that you already have thoughts, ideas, theories and practical experience, at least to some degree, about leadership. Whether you’re a new leader or a veteran, the book is designed to be a hands-on guide that you can use every day to build your leadership capability and effectiveness.

There are some insights you’ll use immediately; others you’ll want to reflect on. Work out your own Etiquette of Leadership. Use this material to help you to develop your own approach – your own protocol which works for you. The test is whether it works for you and those you seek to lead. The result is that if they follow you, you will create what you strive to create.

There’s both an art and a science to the Etiquette of Leadership. They unite as we practice the Etiquette of Leadership through the exercise of our imagination and its progressive contribution in guiding and influencing creative outcomes. In this sense, being able to exercise the Etiquette of Leadership is a privilege; we are enriched, enlivened and developed every time we practice it.

The Etiquette of Leadership comes to you from The Leadership Foundation, which helps developing and accomplished leaders to discover and build their unique leadership identity. The Leadership Foundation runs public and in-house programs based on exploration through conversations and personal reflection. The Foundation also hosts a series of lunches in Brisbane, Australia, where new and experienced leaders build connections, gain mentoring and explore important leadership issues that build confidence and mastery.


Ian Sampson has been a leader all his life, observing effective and ineffective leaders in action. He has worked in professional and executive roles at BHP, CSR, Lonmin, Thiess and other iconic Australian organisations as well as consulting and advising in many other organisations in different sectors. As Chairman of The Leadership Foundation, Ian has worked closely with the CEO, Ben Baldwin, to build a distilled series of insights that provide a fundamentally different approach to understanding and practising effective leadership. He has also written and published other leadership texts and a novel. Ian is married with five adult children and lives in Brisbane.

Ben Baldwin has been both a good and bad leader at one point or another. He started his career as a molecular biologist and has had the opportunity to work in medical research, biotechnology and agricultural research. Ben now operates as an executive consultant drawing on his experience of running his own businesses, a landscaping company and The Leadership Foundation, and having held executive roles and board directorships for government, multi-national and not-for-profit organisations. Ben is married with two young children and lives in Brisbane.