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John Adair


John Adair is one of the world’s leading authorities on leadership and leadership development. In 1979 he became the world’s first Professor of Leadership Studies at the University of Surrey, and the People’s Republic of China recently awarded him the title of Honorary Professor in recognition of his 'outstanding research and contribution in the field of Leadership'.  In 2009, John was appointed Chair of Leadership Studies at the United Nations System Staff College in Turin.


John has written more than 40 books, translated into many languages. Recent titles include 'How to Grow Leaders' and 'Effective Leadership Development'.


A colourful career

John won a scholarship to Cambridge University. He served as a platoon commander in the Scots Guards in Egypt, and then became the only national serviceman to serve in the Arab Legion, where he became adjutant of a Bedouin regiment. After national service he qualified as a deckhand in Hull and worked on an arctic trawler in Icelandic waters. He then worked as a hospital orderly in operating theatres. He became senior lecturer in military history and adviser in leadership training at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst where he developed his three circles model.  He was also Associate Director of The Industrial Society.


Between 1981 and 1986 John worked with Sir John Harvey-Jones at ICI introducing a leadership development strategy that helped to change the loss-making, bureaucratic giant into the first British company to make a billion pounds profit.


John holds the higher degrees of Master of Letters from Oxford University and Doctor of Philosophy from King’s College London.


John Adair’s latest book                                     

Confucius on Leadership Order Here