Simon P Walker

Simon Walker _ University of Bristol - Academia.ed

My recent papers

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Discovering how steering cognition contributes to human society


Simon Walker's best known writings have been in the field of leadership.


His central notion is summarised in the idea of being 'undefended' as a leader.


This idea can be defined most simply as 'being free enough as a leader to be fully available for the situation in hand, without being compromised by fears, doubts and the need for self preservation.'


Undefended leadership has been most fully articulated in a trilogy of books entitled The Undefended Leader.


Volume One, Leading Out of Who You Are (Piquant 2007) addresses the formation of the character and ego of the leader. It examines the influences of our early years on our internal sense of self and, from experience of interviewing and profiling several hundred leaders draws conclusions about the legacy these years may leave on a leader's influence.


Volume Two, Leading with Nothing to Lose (Piquant 2007) addresses the use of power in leadership. Articulating a robust and coherent model of eight different kinds or strategies of power, the book illustrates how eight significant world leaders have deployed those strategies of power in their leadership. The book relates to Volume One by claiming that the ability to deploy all eight of the strategies is dependent upon the character of the leader to be truly free and undefended.


Volume Three, Leading with Everything to Give (Piquant, 2009) turns the model of power outwards to analyse society through the same lens. Observing the last fifty years in Western capitalism, the book offers commentary on some of the major social changes- the emergence of a celebrity culture, the domination of capital, the aspirational generation, the swelling underclass, the growing migrant population, the erosion of shared social values and the breakdown of social capital. The book explains how these apparently separate phenomena are in fact linked together in one singular social re-organisation.



Simon's writing on leadership has readership and influence across the UK, as well as having been published in Arabic, in Africa and India. It is read widely by leaders from all sectors- corporate, not for profit, educational, church and political.  Simon speaks internationally and writes regularly on the subject.