Some years ago, having interviewed more than 20 captains of industry for Channel 4, I was invited to write a book on what made my subjects leaders. The august group included the late Lord Weinstock, who gave his first and last long interview. (His then corporate affairs director, Sarah Morrison, confided over dinner just a few months ago that he had to be dragged kicking and screaming to the studio!)
Was there something I had discovered that was quintessential? Well, apart from some amusing quotes from the likes of Allen (now Lord) Sheppard, who described his management style as 'a light grip on the throat', a moment's analysis proved I couldn't fathom it. It would take a better man than me. Years later that man proves to be Chris Roebuck.
Roebuck is well qualified for the task. Initially an army officer, he now has guru status in the HR world, regularly popping up in TV business slots to opine on matters corporate. He also has a visiting professorship at Cass Business School, and he tackles his subject with appropriate rigour.