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About the book...


Over the last forty years, during which time I have worked for a small charity, for a giant corporation, and for the last twenty years or so running my own business, I have had the opportunity to study first hand, many leaders and experience many leadership styles.


I've worked for and with, leaders who have inspired me, some who are mediocre, some who have driven me to despair and one or two who have frankly terrified me! From these countless experiences I have learned that although leaders come in all shapes and sizes and lead in many different styles, there are certain consistent traits which I've observed in the most effective of leaders.


Meet Mary, a fictional character that I've developed in order to share and demonstrate these traits.


'Marys' exist at all levels in organisations - this is not just about those in the most senior roles. 'Marys' also exist in the world outside work, in families, within communities. What unites the 'Marys' I meet, is they are authentic, they gain the right and ability to lead, not from the position they hold but because of who they are.


In ‘Lead Like Mary’, first published in 2014, I explore this authenticity and the ten traits Mary strives every day to demonstrate - those which make Mary an effective leader. I explore some of the principles that lie behind each trait, providing signposts to further reading from a variety of sources. I also try to give you the opportunity for self reflection.


As I work with a new generation of leaders emerging everywhere, in all kinds of organisations, large and small, across all sectors, I increasingly come across leaders who strive to lead like Mary. They are part of a more principled, more authentic, less self-serving leadership evolution.


Buy my book - explore with me traits such as being values-led and courageous, trusting and trustworthy, and being relentless.


I do hope you will join me on an amazing leadership journey





Stephanie Hilborne OBE

Chief Executive,

The Wildlife Trusts


"All the wisdom but none of the cheesiness normally associated with this topic.

Barry shares his comprehensive understanding of the key traits of great leaders with refreshing honesty and in an engaging personal way. This is a book about a complex topic which is accessible, to the point and easy to read. It feels like Barry is talking to you, not writing, and certainly not lecturing.

This book is an easy read, but the implications for all of us are far from easy. This is not about him it is about us/you. If you have never read a book about the key components of leadership before, start here. It is relevant to all of us. Whether you are just setting out on your career or have already progressed a long way into it I’d recommend reading this and using it to examine yourself honestly. It takes courage to do this and to address what you see, but this is one of Barry’s key points, without courage none of us will change ourselves or the world for the better.

This concise but comprehensive short book captures the essence of other great thinkers and points us in their direction should we want to read more. But if we all followed the mantras in this book there is little doubt we would be far far more effective as individuals, as organisations and as a society. Barry brings his own wisdom and makes theory real.

All too often genuine wise words on leadership are undermined by the messenger’s style. But in this book Barry uses straight forward language with no jargon and in his English way based on real experience he talks about the key components of true leadership"

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Andrew Higginson


Morrisons Plc


"I have known Barry for over 40 years. We started our leadership journeys together as elected student officers. I still refer back to a number of the lessons I learned back then as a well-meaning, but callow youth. Mainly lessons learned from the things I did wrong! All these years later, after an executive career that included 15 years on the Board of Tesco plc and now as Chairman of Morrisons plc, I agree with Barry when he says we still have so much to learn about effective leadership.

I enjoyed Barry's book. It is full of wisdom, but is approachable and easy to grasp. To do anything well requires thought, application and experience. Leadership is no different. Businesses require leaders throughout the organisation, and as Barry brings out, we have all worked with, and for plenty of people who lead badly! Lead Like Mary should make a useful contribution to trying to correct that all-too-common problem"

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"A truly inspiring read. Leaders at every level can learn a great deal from Mary"


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Barry is an evangelist of truly great leadership, his coaching and leadership material have not only helped transform my working career, but also what I have learnt continues to inspire me to strive to be a better leader than I was yesterday. HA

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In the modern manufacturing environment there is a continuous improvement mantra associated with procedures and processes. Sadly, the continuous improvement of leaders is not so well embraced. In ‘Lead Like Mary’ Barry has shared the observations and tools that he utilised to help guide me during my journey to becoming a better leader.


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Lead like Mary is the most accessible and thought provoking book about Leadership I have read. It demonstrates that leadership is not the responsibility of an elite few in the board room, rather a set of skills and an approach that can be demonstrated at every level of an organisation. Looking forward to Barry Dores next book 'Building a community'.


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