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Unlikely Leaders: Track 1

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What do you imagine when you think of a leader? Is the customary vision of the powerful politician or business leader still entirely relevant today? In these recent times of massive political and economic upheaval, it appears that society’s faith in its traditional leaders is at its lowest ebb: for many they're no longer a source of support or trust, and as a result people have started looking elsewhere. In this series of short films, Open University experts nominate their own ‘Unlikely Leader,’ from Russell Brand to Olympic boxer Nicola Adams, challenging our assumptions about the meaning of Leadership and encouraging us to think differently about just what makes a ‘great leader’. As conventional leaders continue to let us down, the ‘Unlikely Leaders’ might just be our salvation.

By: The OpenLearn team (The Open University,)

  • Duration 1 hour
  • Updated Friday 29th November 2013
  • Posted under Money & Business
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Track 1: Russell Brand

Senior Lecturer in Health and Wellbeing Sara Mackian nominates comedian Russell Brand as her 'Unlikely Leader'.

© The Open University

Tracks in this podcast:

Track   Title Description
1 Russell Brand    Senior Lecturer in Health and Wellbeing Sara Mackian nominates comedian Russell Brand as her 'Unlikely Leader'. Play now Russell Brand
2 Maryam Bibi    Senior Lecturer in Enterprise Development Richard Blundel nominates the co-founder of the Kwendo Kor charity, Maryam Bibi as his 'Unlikely Leader'. Khwendo Kor (‘Sister’s Home’) is a non-profit, non-partisan organization, which has worked since 1993 for the development of women, children, and strong families in the remote areas of the Khyber Pakhtoon Khwa (KPK) and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) of North West Pakistan Kor ( The UK Friends of Khwendo Kor Kor ( was established in 2002 to help Khwendo Kor's fundraising efforts. Its aim is to raise sufficient money to give Khwendo Kor long-term funding and sustainability Play now Maryam Bibi
3 Sir Simon Rattle    Music Researcher Nicholas Logie nominates conductor Sir Simon Rattle as his 'Unlikely Leader.' Play now Sir Simon Rattle
4 Richard Feynman    Senior Lecturer, Dept of Physical Sciences Liz Parvin nominates physicist Richard Feynman as her 'Unlikely Leader'. Play now Richard Feynman
5 Nicola Adams    Senior Lecturer in Sport and Fitness Ben Oakley nominates Olympic Boxing Champion Nicola Adams as his 'Unlikely Leader.' Play now Nicola Adams
6 Unlikely Leaders Discussion    In this discussion, to accompany the Unlikely Leaders series, three OU academics discuss a modern approach to leadership and join the broadcaster Liz Barclay to debate the merits of their own nominations. Play now Unlikely Leaders Discussion




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