2013 in review for Leaders We Deserve

December 31, 2013

The WordPress.com stats folk prepared a 2013 annual report for Leaders we deserve

Here’s an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 94,000 times in 2013. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 4 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Innovations for 2014

There was no formal planning meeting from the offices of leaders We Deserve and there are no plans to relocate from the kennel-sized premises. However, subscribers in 2014 may expect to find more posts linking news stories to the textbook Dilemmas of Leadership. In preparation, a new edition of the textbook will include more readings from leaders we deserve blogposts.

There will also be more contributions in LWD from the University of Urmston. Your editor awaits an invitation from our contacts there to provide a leadership lecture sometime in 2014.

To our subscribers

To our subscribers, who came from 193 different countries, warm greetings and best wishes. May 2014 be memorable to you for all the best sorts of reasons. A special thanks for contributors of posts and of messages suggesting new ideas.

Merry Christmas to Bots everywhere

December 25, 2013

BotWhy not Merry Christmas for Bots? Plenty of people give their pets Christmas presents and wish them Merry Christmas

Bots are not lovable. This time of year they compete from out attention with images of puppies, children, glamour dads and mums and assorted cuddly toys.

Just for Once

So just for once, I want to raise a toast to the Bots that are changing our lives. 24/7 they are there for us, scanning words and images, channelling them to a myriad of other botpals. It’s through such efforts that the WWW has grown into the greatest species of the age, truly a digitatus magnificus

What is a Bot?

According to one informed [human] source:

A bot (short for “robot”) is a program that operates as an agent for a user or another program or simulates a human activity. On the Internet, the most ubiquitous bots are the programs, also called spiders or crawlers, that access Web sites and gather their content for search engine indexes.

Then there are the chatterbots, specializing in providing weather and location information, and sports scores.


eBay is losing its battle to prevent bots being used to search its site for bargains.

Botfair comes to Betfair

In the UK, Betfair have taken the more tolerant route enabling them to manage bot interactions just like those with mere human site visitors.

Malicious purposes

OK, so some bots do naughty things. Such as denial-of-service attacks, click fraud, spambotting, phishing, and grabbing the best good seats for concerts. Wherever in fact the Smithsonian and Darwinian powers of free enterprise and competition thrive. Even as I write I learn of the fate of the inventor of The Butterfly Bot, and the problems of 250,000 computer users due to cryptolocker bot blackmail.

But I still find it in my heart to extend my best wishes to those bots as well. They know not what they are forced to do. Maybe they will find redemption through their patron Saint Jobs, of the Latterday Church of Bots.


So there we have it. “To every hard working slavebot out there, a happy and botfulfilled Christmas“.

Sex, lies and a very British scapegoat: TV review

December 23, 2013

Fifty years ago, and the British establishment is rocked by a sleazy political story …

An ITV Documentary [22nd December, 2013] presented the so-called Profumo affair of the 1960s with interviews with remaining personalities. Its thrust was that the society osteopath Stephen Ward had been scapegoated by more significant establishment figures, on largely false immorality charges.

Wards’s suicide as his court case was reaching an end served as a convenient but temporary pause before the story built up to its place as a footnote to contemporary British history.

Fifty years on

Fifty years on, and the two young women at the heart of the case remain culturally potent. Christine Keeler lives in drab obscurity in sheltered accommodation in South London. A remarkably vibrant Mandy Rice-Davies is very much alive and in the public eye, and her recollections dominated the programme. As had her court appearance half a century ago, part a Pygmalion figure, part Becky Sharpe. Her cheerful absence of remorse or guilt was one of the few upbeat aspects of the bizarre tale neatly captured in the title Sex, lies and a very British scapegoat.

Andrew Lloyd Webber

It was fitting that its anchorman was none other than Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber. His musical about Stephen Ward is running to less than rave reviews in the West End at present. His marginal involvement with some of the main players at the time has turned the affair into a serious cause for him. He has raised the matter of Ward’s innocence in The House of Lords.

A bit of a turkey

The musical seems likely to be deemed a bit of a turkey. The ITV programme may have been an attempt to rescue it. In any event it offered an interesting revisiting of the sex and security scandal of the 1960s.

Cardiff City Football club and the dilemmas of leadership

December 21, 2013

Vincent TanAn earlier post outlined the story of Cardiff City Football Club and the dilemmas facing its new owners. Leaders We Deserve updates regularly as the manager is invited to resign or be dismissed.

LWD will keep a watching brief on the developing story since the original post

A summary of the interim happenings can be found in The Telegraph article which catalogues a series of battles between the Malaysian owners and their executives. CEO Vincent Tan has become a central figure in a battle to oust the much-respected manager Malky Mackay

December 20th 2013

News media in the UK all tell the story of a public announcement by billionaire owner Vincent Tan that Mackay must ‘resign or be sacked’. Tan is flying to England [Liverpool for the match, not Wales] to complete the arrangement one way or another.

December 21st 2013

Last gasp attempts to re-negotiate attempted. Tan to meet his chairman, Mehmet Dalman, who was expected to defend Mackay. Candidate for the next manager requires assurances about the contract and some level of control over playing matters which Mackay failed to achieve

Aung San Suu Kyi Signals Threat to Boycott Myanmar Election

December 20, 2013

Freedom News reported the story

Aung San Suu Kyi Signals Threat to Boycott Myanmar Election.

The extended struggles of the Myanmar regime continue. The announcement places as the key point for negotiation the right for Suu Kyi to stand for President.

The similarities with the ‘long road to freedom’ in South Africa have been noticed.

Christmas Leadership Quiz [2013]

December 18, 2013

Christmas QuizYou are invited to take a light-hearted quiz to be tried over the festive season. The time limit is 5 minutes for its 10 multiple choice questions

It is based on information found in the textbook Dilemmas of Leadership, but a mix of knowledge and some intuition should be enough for you to score better than a random decision-making programme.

Question 1 Mentoring:

[ ] Mentoring began with Mentor, a figure in Greek mythology
[ ]Mentoring is term based on the Latin for achieving an environment conducive to learning
[ ]Mentoring is term based on the Latin for achieving development of the mind

Click here to try quiz

BBC SPOTY: Pretentious, sentimental, compulsive viewing

December 16, 2013

The BBC is extremely proud of its Sports Personality of the Year programme [SPOTY]. It combines much that is admirable and more than a little that is embarrassing and self indulgent

You know when a program has achieved cult status when the BBC gives it a cozy acronym or an abbreviated pet name. ‘Strictly’ [Come Dancing] and MOTD [Match of the day] are examples. SPOTY is another.

SPOTY bigged up

Each autumn, SPOTY is tirelessly and shamelessly bigged up by the BBC for several months. It has grown lengthier and more pretentious, decade by decade, for sixty years. It is tempting to have a rant about wasted money of license payers who are also hard working tax payers.By way of contrast MOTD at least remains cozy and relatively low budget and rather unchanged despite the intrusion of new technology, and countless replays of controversial refereeing decisions.

No vote fixing this year

So, SPOTY for 2013 came and went [December 15th, 2013]. One theme this year was avoiding any scandal of vote fixing. The concern was palpable and great effort went into the changes. This partly because of the rise of the mighty on-line betting industry, partly because the BBC is nearly paranoid about SOTY [scandal of the year]. Evidence abounded of potential SOTY bloopers. For example, the extra care to acknowledge disabled sporting figures, since the time they forgot to make suitable arrangements for athletes in wheelchairs, a few years ago.

Don’t forget the gals

Two women were added to the ten finalists after a twitch in the direction of a SOTY story earlier in the year. In a nice touch, John Inverdale, an appropriately cozy and lovey commentator, was banished from the show after inappropriate remarks he made last July about Wimbledon ladies winner Marion Bartoli. And all was made fine by having Marion announce one of the prizes, and having Marina Navratilova hand over the big one to Andy Murray, who, you may remember, won the gentleman’s singles at that same tennis tournament.

And the winner is …Andy Murray

The bookies had made Andy Murray overwhelming favourite. This could have also been the stuff of SOTY because Andy wasn’t present. In the build up to the SPOTY, there was some quite anxious discussion about whether Andy should be banned from receiving any award, because he had chosen to remain in Miami training and recovering from surgery.


Which brings me to PAOTY, the newly installed patronizing award of the year. The winning award was to a nice couple of ‘unsung heroes’ from Wilmslow, who had done much needed work to promote basketball in that neck of the woods. The interview seemed to have had the virtue of being completely unprompted and unrehearsed. A true contender for PAOTY.

Why didn’t I switch off?

OK. So the programme was pretentious, sentimental, and bling-heavy. Why didn’t I switch off? Why was the trusty remote not put to use? I don’t think it was only because of the promise of material for LWD. Truth is, SPOTY, despite all its other features, makes compelling watching. Like a cozy horror movie.