Why businesses should invest in their leaders

Richard Gerver is our launch guest on Inspired Business. He is an expert in the art of leadership. We talk about his personal journey and what makes a good leader. Listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts or Podbean.

Richard Gerver recording the Inspired Business podcast

Leadership is about empowerment. Leadership is about identifying the talents and abilities in others, inspiring them, giving them a sense of purpose and then letting them off the leash and letting them run with stuff.

Richard Gerver
Leadership expert on our Inspired Business podcast

Inspired Business on YouTube

Our Inspired Business podcast on YouTube with closed captions.

University of Derby Inspired Business podcast with Richard Gerver

View Inspired Business with Richard Gerver video transcript

Video embed-https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HHlklpIHcYI

Who is Richard Gerver?

Richard Gerver has been described as one of the most inspirational leaders of his generation. He is an award-winning speaker, bestselling author and world-renowned thinker. He is also chair of our Alumni and Membership Advisory Board.

Richard began his career in education, most notably as headmaster of the failing Grange Primary School in Long Eaton, Derbyshire. In just two years, he famously transformed the school into one of the most acclaimed learning environments in the world. He was celebrated by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) and the UK Government for its incredible turnaround.

He has since transitioned to the global stage where he uses his trademark humour and natural style to deliver passionate, provocative and authentic speeches. He draws upon the first-hand experiences and unique insights garnered from frontline education to explore the links between great leadership, human potential, change and innovation. His ability to connect experiences across many seemingly different environments helps people to expand their thinking and perception of potential. It is this authenticity and uniqueness which has helped Richard win him global acclaim and invitations to speak on the most recognised stages, including TED, the RSA and BBC radio.

The three core principles underpinning Richard's philosophy are communication, empowerment and impact. He argues that great leadership is first and foremost about serving the needs of the people who work for you. His mantra is: systems and structures change nothing, people do.

Richard Gerver talking to an audience

Having successfully transitioned from teacher to thought leader, Richard has had the opportunity to regularly advise governments and major corporations globally, including Google, Visa, Microsoft, Morgan Stanley, Deloitte, Harrods, Puig and Telefonica. His unique experience and insight into realising human potential also see him working in elite sport, with Olympic and Paralympic coaches, EPL Soccer coaches, England Golf and professional cricket teams. He has also worked with the British music industry to help develop a capacity for forward, proactive and sustainable change.

Richard is also a bestselling author. His first book, Creating Tomorrow’s Schools Today (now in its second edition), has become a seminal text around the world for those engaged in the transformation of education. His other books are explorations of human potential, leadership and success. In Change and Simple Thinking, Richard explores the world beyond school, through the eyes of an educator. Both have received critical and public success, achieving global bestseller status.

All Richard's books have been translated into a multitude of languages, including Spanish, Chinese and Korean. Richard's latest book, Education: A Manifesto for Change, explores how our school system can be made fit for purpose in our turbulent 21st-century world. Most importantly, Richard is always humbled to be able to share his lifelong commitment to living, learning and laughing.


Our podcast interviews were recorded before the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in the UK. Following the outbreak, we asked our interviewees how the situation had affected them and their business. This is what Richard told us:

"As a professional speaker, my business is, like many other businesses right now, in suspended animation. My income has dried up and, as a micro limited company, support is difficult to come by but ... I can only focus on the stuff I can control and it is important to me to provide support as and how I can. So I am using social media and video to stay in touch and share thinking.

"I am also focusing on staying productive so that I minimise the feeling of helplessness that can creep in at a time like this. I guess that my key strategy is to build my offer and my brand so that, when the world reopens, I’m ready. I am also using the time to support my wife and daughter who both work in schools; so I am perfecting my cleaning and cooking skills!"

Leadership Q&A

As the podcast was recorded before the coronavirus lockdown, our Inspired Business hosts, Toby Bradford and Angela Tooley, held a live webinar with Richard on 21 May 2020 to discuss how the situation has affected the way we work and the way we lead.

Leadership Q&A with Richard Gerver

View Leadership Q&A with Richard Gerver video transcript

Video embed-https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BgXPjE8BDGM

a leadership training session

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