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A career ad man, Kevin Allen was notable for leading the pitch on the famous Mastercard ‘Priceless’ campaign. His account skills have been applied as Director of Global Accounts and Chief Growth Officer for some of the world’s biggest ad agencies. He now looks at how companies can grow, where the opportunities lie, and how great leadership inspires the greatest asset - the workforce.

John was the first Brit to play at the top level of US basketball, once declining a $17m transfer fee. He’s now a respected cognitive psychologist and founder of a major community sport initiative in Manchester. John brings his research and competitive experience to bear on the management challenges: how do you improve resilience, reduce stress and turn managers into coaches? And how do you distinguish between effective and ineffective motivational tactics?

Rasmus describes himself as a ‘high performance anthropologist.’ For his book The Gold Mine Effect, he explored Brazil’s ability to mass produce football superstars, and why so many champion runners hail from one Ethiopian village. The Co-Director of Football at Brentford FC has also written Hunger In Paradise, a look at how to sustain success, ward off complacency and develop new ideas before they become necessary. In speeches he looks at how to grow talent and create your own disruption.

Javier is an eminent cognitive psychologist, and an authority in leadership development. He challenges the conventions of talent management, arguing it’s not about hiring the right types or imposing change. Instead the focus must be on creating the culture to drive change. He also shows that the most successful leaders align their beliefs, promises and actions. We become so intent on short-term results that we start to forget there is purpose as well as profit.

It all started with one ice-cream van for the hard-hitting dragon from Glasgow and he’s been whipping companies into shape ever since. Now Duncan owns hotels, health clubs and bars. He motivates budding entrepreneurs with his rags to riches story.

Ian Blair introduced structural reforms in the Met’s 53,000-strong workforce, and led the police service in the wake of the London bombings. He considers a range of threats (from Internet crime to foreign and home-grown terrorism, corruption and drug abuse), and examines the corresponding risk registers. On a different note Ian also analyses crisis management, from 7/7 to Deepwater Horizon, and the challenge of dealing with ‘difficult’ people.

As Home Secretary David was in charge of security, immigration and policing. He is now Chairman of a multi-Academy Trust and an advisor to easyJet. As well as sharing insights on cyber-crime and crisis management, David considers how leaders can best engage with the public and counter the widespread sense of grievance. He argues for business to take a lead: “You are a part of our communities, not just employers of people with certain skills.” After dinner he takes a lighter look at a life in politics - both highs and lows – from The Queen offering to cut up his meal, to Sarkozy claiming to have intercepted his emails.

Karren ran the business side of Birmingham City FC through promotion, relegation – and brain surgery. Karren’s mantra for leaders growing any enterprise can be summed up in 5 tips: work hard (be persistent); use every opportunity to network (spread your message); move on (failure is history); don’t get side-tracked, and do your sums.

Alastair ran Labour’s communications for ten years, in and out of government. He now advises on both political and organisational strategy. He’s written a slew of books including Winners, drawing inspiration from high achievers in sport, business and politics. In presentations Alastair explains what to do when you come under pressure: “Challenge your basic assumptions, put yourselves in your opponent’s shoes, devise a tight plan from the centre... and then pursue it with aggression.”

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