On Leadership

On Leadership

Lessons for the 21st Century


Brought to you by Penguin.

Today, more than ever before, the quality of a country’s governance and leadership determines whether it will succeed or fail.

The world over, there are nations with roughly the same populations, the same resources, the same potential; yet some will flourish while others flounder. Why? Quite simply, some have leaders who understand the principles of good government, and some don’t.

Tony Blair learnt the precepts of governing the hard way: by leading a country for over ten years. In that time he came to understand that there were certain key characteristics of successful government that he wished he had known when he started. Since then, he has seen how, though circumstances and contexts differ enormously, the challenges of governing are basically the same in any nation, whatever its stage of development. Not just that: there are also decades of political experience on which modern leaders can draw. Unfortunately, while practical guides to other professions abound, governing is treated as a dimension of politics, not as an art and science in its own right, and practical, non-partisan advice is consequently hard to find.

Now Tony Blair has written the manual on political leadership that he would have wanted back in 1997, sharing the insights he has gained from his personal experience and from observing other world leaders at first hand, both while he was in office and since, through his Institute’s work with political leaders and governments globally.

Written in short, pithy chapters, packed with examples drawn from all forms of political systems from around the world, the book answers the key questions: How should a leader organise the centre of government and his or her own office? How should he or she prioritise and develop the right plan and hire the right personnel, cope with unforeseen events and crises, and balance short-term wins with long-term structural change? What’s the best way to deal with an obstructive or inert bureaucracy, to attract investment, to reform healthcare or education, and to ensure security for the citizen? And how should governments harness the massive opportunities of the 21st- century technological revolution?

©2024 Tony Blair (P)2024 Penguin Audio

About the author

Tony Blair

Tony Blair was prime minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland between 1997 and 2007. The only Labour leader in the party’s 100-year history to win three consecutive elections, he led a government whose achievements ranged from wholesale domestic reform, to a major programme of overseas aid and development, to the securing of the historic Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland. After leaving office he founded the not-for-profit Tony Blair Institute (TBI) in the conviction that a country’s success and ability to enact transformational change is dependent on the effectiveness of its leadership and governance. Under his direction the Institute works with political leaders around the world, advising on strategy, policy and delivery – and on the use of technology to drive all three.
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