Leadership is one of the hottest topics around. There’s a new article, podcast, opinion piece or blog about leadership published every few minutes. Pretty much anyone can call themselves a leadership coach – and lots of people from all walks of life claim that title. But many of them advocate unscrutinised and untested beliefs. Often, their opinions lack any form of scientific underpinning.

On the other hand, our Leadership Podcast takes a scientific approach to debunking popular but unfounded leadership theories. Every month our academics explore the research that uncovers the truth about leadership, what it is, and how to develop it.

Episode 1: Too much authenticity?

In the first episode of the Leadership Podcast we talk to Dr. Hannes Leroy about the virtues and dangers of authentic leadership. We explore whether the advice to "just be yourself" is any good, and discuss bridging the gap between feeling authentic, and being perceived as authentic by others.

Episode 2: Empowering Leadership: when does it work and when does it not?

Achieving empowering leadership has often been described as the Holy Grail of increasing employee motivation and performance. However, managers regularly confuse empowering leadership with laissez-faire leadership. While the former can result in positive outcomes for employees and the organisation by supporting people in developing their skills, the latter can lead to frustration and disillusionment. In this episode Prof. Steffen Giessner explains the fine line between empowering and laissez-faire leadership; more often than not, leadership relies on employees’ perception.

Episode 3: The Diversity Myth

In the past few years, diversity has been hailed as one of the keys to high-performing teams, and many companies have introduced diversity officers and policies. However, the promise of diversity often remains unfulfilled. Research has shown that diverse teams usually do not perform better than homogeneous teams. In fact, in a third of cases their performance is worse – and in another third there is no difference. In this episode Dr Meir Shemla explains how to achieve the potential of diverse teams without falling into the trap of simplistic diversity policies.

Leadership podcasts in the 'Let's talk change' series:

Loneliness in leadership

Why do leaders sometimes feel lonely? Hodar Lam shares his research findings about the stigma around loneliness, if it manifests differently in small and large organisations and levels of management, and why it doesn’t receive the attention it deserves. He offers advice for leaders as well as for early-career researchers.