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The Times publishes article about School for CEOs

10 October 2013

Ian King, Business Editor of The Times, has today written in his high-profile column about the first research report released by the School for CEOs, where aspiring and current CEOs learn from experienced business leaders. 

The article highlights the research finding that the aspect of the job requiring most preparation is ‘The City’, followed by communication with external stakeholders.  He also mentions the sense of loneliness at the top, which comes through on reading the report.  The article is in the printed newspaper and on the web at

A helpful prop for the boss
By Ian King

David Sole knows all about strong leadership. Scotland’s greatest rugby captain won a place in folklore when, in March 1990, he walked his team slowly on to the Murrayfield turf ahead of a grand slam decider against England. The unflappable approach set the tone for the match. Scotland won.

So it is no surprise that, these days, Mr Sole runs an executive education business, School for CEOs, that helps aspirant chief executives to prepare for the job. Yesterday he and his business partner Patrick Macdonald, the former John Menzies chief executive, published their first research report, Stepping up to CEO, to which the likes of Justin King, Martin Gilbert, Adam Crozier, David Nish and Sir Brian Souter all contributed.

The findings are startling: the aspect of the job seen as needing most preparation is not strategy, execution or even internal communication, but dealing with the City. Communication with other external stakeholders, such as regulators or select committees, was next. The report also gives a sense of the sheer loneliness of being a chief executive. Cynics will sneer, but, at times, it truly is tough at the top.


For more information and to apply for one of the School’s programmes, go to  And you can follow us on Twitter at @SchoolforCEOs.


Notes for editors: The School for CEOs is a new concept in senior executive education. It was founded in 2011 by: Patrick Macdonald, Chairman of Reconomy, CEO of Dalestone Energy and former Chief Executive of John Menzies plc; and David Sole, business coach and former international rugby captain. The next programme will take place in London on 5/6 March 2014.  The 2-day residential programme will be taught by practitioners: current and former business leaders. It aims to provide senior businessmen and women with the tools they need to become and remain successful CEOs.

For more information and to apply, call 0131 225 5886 or go to

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