Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Saturday Column

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Saturday Column

Article excerpt

Byline: By Andrew Dixon The Journal

Who are the leaders of the North-East? In a recent Journal article, Mike Parker seemed to suggest there was a lack of public awareness of our leaders in local government and One NorthEast, but perhaps it's wrong to assume that leaders need to have a high profile and be known by the public.

Some of the best leaders are individuals who make things happen quietly and away from the glare of press publicity.

There have been national and international reports about the North-East which criticise a perceived leadership gap at regional level, but this is partly down to the fact that we don't have many regional institutions.

Looking at this more positively, we can all name people in our street, workplace, schools or other public bodies who have made a difference because of their leadership. We see leaders everyday in playgroups, charities, amateur sports, local village committees and in various clubs and societies.

The pool of North-East leadership is huge, if we broaden the definitions beyond having an official title or badge.

Leadership can involve taking risks, but the most successful leaders are those who inspire other people to move things forward. We have some exceptionally strong leaders in local government.

Some are high profile, like John Shipley in Newcastle or Ray Mallon in Middlesbrough, while others don't even carry the title 'leader' yet make an impact, perhaps as a specialist officer or ward councillor.

We have many strong leaders in business and industry, people like Paul Walker at Sage UK and Sir Ian Wrigglesworth at UK Land Estates, Matt Ridley and Adam Applegarth at Northern Rock who have yet again announced increased profits and donations to the Northern Rock Foundation. We also have strong leaders in education and in our universities.

I have worked largely in the cultural sector and have seen many great leaders grown from within the region. …

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