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Views & Reviews Personal View

We need leaders, not leadership fads

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 27 April 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d2552
  1. Michael Jenkins, GP, Riverbank Medical Centre, Weston Super Mare
  1. mrjmjenkins{at}

According to my Belbin team role inventory, an assessment used to gain insight into an individual’s behaviour in teams, I am a mixture of a “company worker” and a “resource investigator.” So, I’m an affable fellow who doesn’t rock the boat, and although I come up with some nice ideas, I never actually get anything done (unlike my “completer finisher” wife). At least I presume that these roles are correct: I must confess that I filled in the four page questionnaire in about two minutes before our meeting on management skills. And I was not the only one.

Team roles, team building, personality types, and the like have been a cottage industry in the hugely expanding world of management advice during the recent boom years. Both private and public sectors have embraced the opportunity to be involved in such away days. The desired outcomes, including increased productivity, efficiency, and governance, have probably been achieved to varying degrees, and I fear that several organisations have found themselves a year on from their development …

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