• It has become something of a taboo in our society to say you don’t want to be a leader — especially if you are one. Richard Hytner, a former CEO at the global advertising giant Saatchi & Saatchi, experienced it firsthand and is trying to break that stigma.

    - Lillian Cunningham, Editor, On Leadership, The Washington Post
  • Hytner notes that talent development, for example, is crucial to companies now, so the lack of a great track record for hiring, inspiring, and keeping star employees sometimes trips up aspiring CEOs.

    - Anne Fisher, Fortune Magazine
  • He argues convincingly that a great team of a chief executive and a number two is a more successful proposition than a solitary leader. Mr Hytner describes the various types of consiglieri – lodestones, educators, anchors and deliverers, according to his segmentation.

    - Luke Johnson, Financial Times
  • Richard Hytner, deputy chairman of London-based advertising giant Saatchi & Saatchi, thinks corporate understudies are too often overlooked. He’s set out to burnish the reputation of the second-in-command…

    - Adam Auriemma, the Wall Street Journal
  • It’s a trove of advice about how to be a great deputy and principal adviser, a calling that has brought out the best in people as varied and admirable as Warren Buffett’s Charlie Munger, Anna Wintour’s Grace Coddington, Abraham Lincoln’s William Seward, and Henry VIII’s Thomas Cromwell.

    - Frederick E. Allen, Forbes

Media Articles

In the Corridors of Power, Shadow Figures Are Stealing the Spotlight

Cool-Headed Confidants and Cunning Consiglieri Reflect the Best, and Worst, in our Leaders Seconds rarely come first. If media coverage is a reliable indicator of public interest, however, seconds in command are currently top of the show, not the postscript but the story itself. Those who advise, assist, check, and even, on occasion, usurp their […]

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Review – Real-world Consiglieri

Tony Nicholls reviews Consiglieri. Review found at: http://tonynicholls.net/2017/02/12/real-world-consiglieri/    I was recently gifted a book titled Consiglieri: Leading from the shadows¹. It was a present from my Mother-In-Law who was told about the book by her friend, who is herself the Mother-In-Law of the author, Richard Hytner. By this circuitous, in-law-laden route I am pleased to […]

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12 tips to make 2017 your best year yet

Check out tips for how to win in 2017, my own and those of my esteemed faculty colleagues from London Business School, Europe’s No. 1 business school. Read the full article on london.edu

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We need to talk about why coming second doesn’t mean being second best

By Sathnam Sanghera. The Times, Friday, December 16 2016. “I was struck, on the way back from the US this week, by a piece in The Wall Street Journal bearing the headline: “Vodafone Is Satisfied Staying in Second Place.” It reported how Vittorio Colao, chief executive of the world’s second-biggest mobile carrier by subscribers, aims […]

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5 tips to find your personal purpose

“Invest some time in figuring out your real story and you’ll be happier, less stressed and in the right job. What’s your story? Your real story, I mean. Not some carefully curated version of yourself designed to impress friends on Facebook or to look more employable on LinkedIn, useful shortcuts though these social media provide […]

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Liberating creativity: why your business has to find a way

“Being creative isn’t an abstract concept or a pursuit for an exclusive minority. It’s simply a way to think through problems and do things differently – and everyone must take ownership, says LBS’s Richard Hytner. Most people rely on proven theories and models to make sense of the world and to help them predict outcomes. […]

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Novo Nordisk US Diabetes Educator Programme

400 Educators from Novo Nordisk’s award-winning Diabetes Educator Programme came together for two days in Hollywood, Miami. After the programme’s architect and leader, Vice President Patricia Bradley, opened the conference, Richard gave the keynote speech on how to instigate and facilitate more courageous conversations. The Educators – former dieticians, clinicians and nurses – give vital […]

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Foundation for Leadership in Sport

Richard ran a day’s workshop in Lord’s Cricket Ground’s Writing Room with participants from the Foundation for Leadership in Sport. In attendance were elite players and coaches from the worlds of rugby, cricket and football leaders from business and the military, and leading university academics. Richard’s Living with your Leader workout, based on research from […]

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LBS Alumni Reunion

London Business School was brimming with alumni celebrating their class reunions, some from programmes as far back as 1971, others from a mere five years ago who should still be on top of their Five Forces framework. In LT1, Richard encountered leaders evenly split between those of an alpha orientation, intoxicated by the adrenalin of […]

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The Sport Performance Summit

Richard had the chance to address some of the most influential practitioners in sport, over 500 experts coaching and supporting elite athletes and teams across 25 different sports and over 30 countries. In the light of the FIFA scandal, Richard took the opportunity to quote one journalist’s acerbic observation that calling Sepp Blatter’s cronies ‘trusted […]

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High Performance Conference, Scotland

On the Road to Rio, Sport Scotland, the national agency for Sport, gathered stakeholders in Scottish Sports’ success in Dunblane to focus on driving high performance. The New Horizons event was attended by national coaches, performance directors of governing bodies of each of the major sports, including cycling, rugby, tennis, judo, snowboarding, bowls, hockey, netball, […]

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Premier League Youth Coaches

Richard was invited by the UK Premier League to run a workshop for participants in its Elite Coach Apprenticeship Scheme. In addition to Premier League staff, there were Year 1, Master Coaches and Year 2 coaches from 15 Premier League clubs including eventual 2016 title winners, Leicester City, Manchester United and Chelsea. After a Warm […]

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HR in the Boardroom

Richard ran a session with an exclusive group of leading HR professionals convened by HR Magazine. His ideas focused on how to elevate HR in the Boardroom, to ensure that HRDs performed more effectively as beta baboons in support of their CEOs – the alpha baboons. Richard suggested that the Human Resources Director’s role had […]

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Interview with Sir Alex Ferguson

The world’s most decorated football manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, divulges the secrets of his winning ways to Richard Hytner, Adjunct Professor of Marketing at London Business School. In the interview, and accompanying article published in the London Business School Review, Sir Alex gives us his view on sacrifice, control, the importance and qualities he looked […]

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Amazon

See Flyer for amazon talk. Richard addressed over 100 Amazonians live in London and streamed live to many more in Seattle. Richard focused on the personal qualities needed to be effective in working relationships with colleagues, irrespective of their role or rank in the organisation’s hierarchy. Courage tops the list when it comes to playing […]

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Dreamers, Doers, and Disruptors

“Under the right leadership, business can be an engine for responsible growth, a force for economic, environmental, and social good and a nurturer of cultures in which people can realize their own dreams,” says Richard Hytner, Worldwide Deputy Chairman of Saatchi & Saatchi and author of Consiglieri: Leading from the Shadows in the pages of […]

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In Praise of Cs

“After years of being a CEO, I was given the chance to learn that being a second-in-command could be joyous, influential, and a better way to work my own leadership muscles,” says Richard Hytner, Worldwide Deputy Chairman of Saatchi & Saatchi and author of Consiglieri: Leading from the Shadows, in an interview with Ranjan Mukerjee […]

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Contemplating Coaching and Contentment

One of Meyler Campbell’s self-described “less diligent students” had the opportunity to address the graduating class on September 25, when Richard Hytner, Worldwide Deputy Chairman of Saatchi & Saatchi and author of Consiglieri: Leading from the Shadows, spoke to newly minted alumni of the esteemed coaching programme. “My own experience as a Meyler Campbell coachee […]

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Getting Labour to Work

As UK politicians and the public acclimate to Jeremy Corbyn’s stunning Labour Party Leadership win, Richard Hytner offers some counsel to the new team and Conservatives alike. In a Huffington Post UK politics page column titled “The Moment Corbyn Buried New Labour, Cameron’s Advisors Blew It,” Hytner, Worldwide Deputy Chairman of Saatchi & Saatchi and […]

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Principles and Persuasion

What does the unexpected landslide Labour Leadership election of Jeremy Corbyn have to teach us about our political process and what we look for from those who lead? In a Forbes “Leadership” blog titled “Conviction Is King: Will the Winner Take It All?,” Richard Hytner, Worldwide Deputy Chairman of Saatchi & Saatchi and author of […]

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Smart Talk from the Shop Floor

“It’s a fair description,” said Richard Hytner, Worldwide Deputy Chairman of Saatchi & Saatchi and author of Consiglieri: Leading from the Shadows, when asked to consider the “somewhat sinister overtones” of the word he uses to denote the second-in-command role. On a recent UK podcast of Shop Floor: The World of Work and the Workplace, […]

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While the Boss is Away

Is standing in while the boss is on holiday a career boon or a poison chalice? This is the question Financial Times writer Emma Jacobs considers in a July 16, 2015, story that ponders the positives and pitfalls that can occur when number twos are required to temporarily step up. “If you are happy to […]

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Google

Richard Hytner talked to staff at Google in London on the importance for leaders of casting a brilliant team of leaders to support them. One of the qualities they need most is that of the Fixer, typically though not always, a COO who uses many ways to make things happen. Richard cited Google’s own Sundar […]

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Sharp Number Twos

On a recent edition of the BBC World Service radio program “Business Matters,” Worldwide Deputy Chairman of Saatchi & Saatchi Richard Hytner made a compelling case for the primary importance of second-in-commands and how sidekicks can manage and influence upwards. “Great leaders have to give themselves room to think through the key complex issues, give […]

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When Being Second is First Choice

In the pages of Fast Company, Worldwide Deputy Chairman of Saatchi & Saatchi Richard Hytner posits why being at the top doesn’t necessarily mean being the one in charge. In a provocative article titled “Why Second In Command Can Have More Influence Than The CEO,” the author of Consiglieri: Leading from the Shadows and Adjunct […]

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Hytner to Headline Harvard and Georgetown D.C. Events

Richard Hytner, Worldwide Deputy Chairman of Saatchi and Adjunct Professor of Marketing at the London Business School will be discussing his book, Consiglieri: Leading From the Shadows at two upcoming events in Washington, D.C. The first will be held at the Harvard Club of Washington (Hogan Lovells, 555 13th Street, N.W.) on Tuesday, April 28th […]

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Rules of Attraction: the Mysteries of Magnetism

Richard Hytner recently joined a panel of scientific experts and host Quentin Cooper on “The Forum,” the BBC’s global exchange of ideas, to discuss magnetism and why people are irresistibly drawn to this universal force. The Worldwide Deputy Chairman of Saatchi & Saatchi, Adjunct Professor of Marketing at the London Business School, and author of […]

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Asserting Presence through Absence

When can an incumbent win a debate by choosing to sit it out? In a Forbes “Leadership” blog titled “Cameron’s Absence From UK Election Debate Could Prove A Clever Calculation,” Richard Hytner details three lessons for leaders from the recent live television Challengers’ Debate on the BBC. “Leaders do not always have to be in […]

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Double-Down or Draw-Down on Dynasty?

Is it better for a leader to eschew or embrace one’s predecessor? When does it make sense to bring a former leader back in from the cold? Last week, UK Labour leader Ed Miliband took a calculated risk, inviting three-term Prime Minister Tony Blair to take the podium on his behalf to dispense some sagely […]

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Political Debaters: Watch the Throne

Is it better to be the champion or the challenger, the leader or the upstart, the person in power or with one’s eyes on the throne? In a Forbes “Leadership” blog titled “Election Warning: Incumbents Have the Tougher Job,” Richard Hytner reflects on lessons from the UK’s recent election debate. Watching all of Britain’s seven […]

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Considering Candid Cameron

Sincerity or spin? Straight talk or obfuscation? Honest self-awareness or Machiavellian scheming? Responding to the media firestorm that erupted over British Prime Minister David Cameron’s response during a BBC interview that he would not seek a third term if the Conservative Party remained in power after the election, Richard Hytner in a thoughtful piece in […]

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A Consiglieri Weighs in on Cameron Decision – SKY NEWS

Richard Hytner suggested that it was a shrewd move for UK Prime Minister David Cameron to make public his decision not to run for a third term. Asked about the British leader’s bold announcement, the author of Consiglieri: Leading from the Shadows and Adjunct Professor of Marketing at the London Business School told SKY NEWS: […]

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How to lead during growth – Barclay’s Connector for Business

In the latest post from Barclay’s Connector for businesses, small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) can look to Consiglieri: Leading from the Shadows for self-identifying models to loosen the reins, emphasize leadership strengths, and divide and conquer. Coupled with a 12-question self-test to help improve leadership tactics, much like the Consiglieri Profiler, the SME community can learn […]

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Richard Hytner – Google Campus London

On December 17th, Richard Hytner addressed the Google London Campus where one hundred entrepreneurs attended to to hear him speak about the A and C debate as it pertains to their unique endeavors. The discussion inspired the question: What is the diffusion between A’s and C’s in growing corporate environments as start-ups metamorphose from keeping […]

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Review – IEDP

IEDP – (Profile Books, 2014) This fast-paced read delivers engaging, often humorous entertainment through a veil of thick vernacular. The subject is more original than that of most leadership books, and so is the tone of voice. Richard Hytner explains that leaders and their second-in-command deputies must connect with each other for the good of their […]

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What is leadership? – Business News Daily

Nicole Fallon sifts through a number of sources to describe the rules, definitions, and implications surrounding the word “leader”. She references Richard Hytner’s book Consigilieri: Leading from the Shadows —  Leaders can’t stand alone. “The out-and-out leader in today’s volatile and uncertain business environment had better not distance him or herself from the heat of the action. […]

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Dell UK – Leadership Roundtable

On Wednesday, December 10th, Richard  Hytner spoke to Dell UK’s leadership team, at the invitation of Tim Griffin, Vice President and GM. Dell’s diverse line-up of leaders are used to flexing both A and C leadership muscles, given all are accountable for either significant functions, business lines or channels to market, as well as advisers […]

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Consiglieri Shortlisted on Best Books of 2014 – The Guardian

The Observer via The Guardian – The UK release of Consiglieri: Leading from the Shadows was selected as a best book of 2014. Some may question the  objectivity of the selection by Nicholas Hytner, Director of London’s National Theatre. The author refuses to countenance that brotherly love played any part in the pick. Consiglieri featured in a gripping list that […]

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Event – Lawyers’ Business Development Club

On Thursday, March 19th of 2015, join the Lawyers’ Business Development Club in London where Richard Hytner, Deputy Chairman of Saatchi & Saatchi, and author of Consiglieri: Leading from the Shadows, will be the guest speaker. Richard’s talk will center around lessons from his career as a #1 and #2 — how to find happiness in both, and […]

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Re-Cap: Master’s Lecture at Wellington College

Wednesday, November 26th – Richard Hytner addressed a crowd of over 80 pupils and parents at the Wellington College Master’s Lecture. Sparking a debate between self-identified number 1’s and 2’s (or A’s and C’s, as delineated in his book Consiglieri: Leading from the Shadows), Richard explored questions raised by the audience, including: How much does it matter how […]

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Review – Academies Week Magazine

Academies Week Magazine reviews Richard Hytner’s UK Release of Consiglieri: Leading from the Shadows. Malcolm Laverty combs through the many anecdotes by Hytner–uncovering the humor, the practicality and the exploration of self discovery throughout. He especially notes,”Hytner challenges the lack of recognition given to deputies and affirms those who resist temptation to become No. 1. I […]

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Richard Hytner – Time to Cut Our Leaders Some Slack – Huffington Post

Ignore the cynical business bashing by politicians playing to a gallery that is not listening. Smart voters know that entrepreneurship and innovation fuel greater national and personal prosperity. As do most business leaders who believe that Britain has been great for business, despite five decades of boom and bust. Earlier this week, to celebrate their […]

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Re-Cap – Leadership: The Power Behind the Throne – The Commonwealth Club

The Commonwealth Club, San Francisco – Richard Hytner, Adjunct Professor of Marketing at the London Business School, and author of Consiglieri: Leading from the Shadows, addressed an audience of current, past, and aspiring leaders. A lively debate exposed the trials and rewards of leadership – and deconstructed today’s falsehoods of hierarchy, the value of alternative styles, and […]

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Event – how to: Come Second – How to Academy

On Tuesday, November 5th, Richard Hytner, Deputy Chairman of Saatchi & Saatchi, spoke before an audience of leaders from an array of business backgrounds. He was introduced by How To’s founder, the magnanimous John Gordon, who also created Intelligence Squared. Mr. Gordon runs Contagious Magazine today. Richard’s discussion spanned history, literature, and current events — citing […]

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CBS This Morning – Why second in charge may actually be on top

Richard Hytner, author of Consiglieri: Leading from the Shadows, joins the hosts of CBS This Morning Saturday in New York to highlight themes from his book and discuss the anchors’ own results from the Consiglieri Profiler. Introduced by a clip from the Godfather, Richard talks about the importance of the adviser-role in leadership and how affecting the […]

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NPR via WaMu: Leading From Behind: The Importance Of Being Number Two

Richard Hytner joins Kojo Nnamdi, the renowned Washington radio host, for an hour to discuss Consiglieri: Leading from the Shadows. Richard talks about the origin story for the book, the onus on leaders today, and takes questions from Washington, D.C. metropolitan area listeners. During the breaks, the Kojo Nnamdi producers encouraged audience members to think of their […]

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The Bloomberg Advantage: Richard Hytner

Richard joins hosts Kathleen Hays and Vonnie Quinn in a roundtable discussion about his book Consiglieri: Leading from the Shadows and the practical implications for Yahoo! chief executive Marissa Mayer and her changing of the guard among her second-in-commands. The pair also asked Richard about millennials, career fulfillment, and the ultimate search for true joy […]

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The next 50 years – London Business School

What if second became the new first in leadership? Interviews for Consiglieri: Leading from the Shadows with more than 100 leaders from business, sports, the arts and politics have shed new light on society’s unhealthy obsession with the limelight, one that devalues the crucial role of the counsellors, coaches and deputies behind some of the […]

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[UK] Liberal Leadership Hits New Low in Loyalty – Richard Hytner

Two weeks ago, when Mark Reckless announced his decision to follow in the footsteps of former colleague Nicholas Carswell and sign up to Farage’s Ukip, the talk of the Tories in Birmingham was of treachery. Carswell, it now transpires, four weeks prior to his defection, had approved of a letter sent to a local newspaper […]

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Event – The Edge: Lessons from sport for leaders

At the Edge 2014, Richard Hytner, author of Consgilieri: Leading from the Shadows, joined Western Australian iconic coach Ric Charlesworth and award-winning Times journalist and former ten times GB table tennis champion Matthew Syed to discuss lessons for leadership from the world of sport. Drawing on insights gleaned from golf, cycling, football, and tennis, Richard delivered […]

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The UK is OK thanks to GB – Richard Hytner

‘No’ to independence from the UK meant ‘yes’ to dependence on GB. At the eleventh hour, Gordon Brown the former Prime Minister trumped Scotland’s First Minister with authenticity, humility and outstanding oratory. The Scottish Referendum has salutary lessons for leadership. Gordon Brown’s convincing contribution to the ‘No’ campaign offers at least one: we should pause […]

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Who’s the boss – NZ Listener

Being No 2 has traditionally been thought of as … second best. From the valiant but dim Deputy Dawg and “spare” heirs such as Prince Harry to even the superficially illustrious position of Vice President of the United States – think Dan Quayle – second-in-lines are apt not to be taken entirely seriously. It’s the […]

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How to be the kind of leader people want to follow – The Pitch

Angela Munroe from Microsoft Devices discusses effective leadership with Richard Hytner, Deputy Chairman of Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide. Munroe focuses on leaders in small businesses and asks Hytner what it takes to be a good leader, what that means in a wider context, and what are the leadership styles that become game changers for those […]

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Out of the shadows – the London Business School

Richard Hytner answers Stuart Crainer’s questions on leadership, mentorship, and the loneliness at the top. Hytner divulges his goals and mission for writing Consiglieri: Leading from the Shadows – to fundamentally move the needle for career fulfillment in a world where the ultimate goal has been to only be the out and out leader. Read the full […]

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Review – Entrepreneur Middle East

Amal Chaaban reviews Consiglieri: Leading from the Shadows by Richard Hytner, through the lens of his own experience both at the top, and as second-in-command. Chaaban recounts the types and styles of each brand of consigliere and provides color around the gravity that each supporting leader has to the leader in the limelight. Read the full review […]

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Second Place Could Be Best Choice – Richard Hytner

MEED Executive Guide – I have often wondered why management books and organisations focus solely on the firsts; why the role of the deputy, the adviser, the counsellor, the assistant, the ‘anybody-but-the-number one’ is not seen as worthwhile for an aspiring or talented leader. I have wondered why those who fulfil these roles get such […]

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Podcast: Richard Hytner on leadership – the Washington Post

Lillian Cunningham, Editor of On Leadership for the Washington Post, interviews Richard Hytner in a third segment – discussing Richard’s story and decision to become a second-in-command, rather than the out and out leader. Also check out the video and Q&A as part of this series. Listen to the full podcast on washingtonpost.com

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Leaders and the role of the second-in-command – Gianluca Comin

(Translated from Italian) The old fashioned kind of spin doctors were advisors: those of the Prince, in the past, and today, those that sit alongside managing directors and political leaders. Their role has not changed very much over time. They were, and still are, powerful in the shadows. They are daily decision makers, they are […]

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3 Things… To Make You Rethink Being No 1 – Bookomi

Richard Hytner, author of Consiglieri: Leading from The Shadows, gives three identifiers to know if you’re better suited as a consigliere — or counsellor — rather than the leader in the limelight. Discover the three things on bookomi.com

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Recap – Richard Hytner Addresses London Business School on India

On Sunday the 7th, Richard Hytner spoke to alumni of the London Business School on the consiglieri of India, the world’s largest democracy – and the changing power dynamics, post-election. The group exchanged ideas regarding the roles of both PM Narendra Modi and his most senior counselor, Amit Shah. By highlighting these two emerging figures […]

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Event – November 13th – Leadership: The Power Behind the Throne

The key to success lies in getting to the top, right? Wrong! It’s time to celebrate the second-in-command. These are the V.P’s, COOs, First Lieutenants and First Violins whose influence can determine the fate of countries and companies: Merlin to King Arthur, Al Gore to Bill Clinton, Rasputin to the Russian royal family. Learn how […]

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Has Uber Cool Become Uber Cunning? – Forbes

One asset that will no longer be riding up and down in the elevator of car app company Lyft next week will be its Chief Operating Officer. One can safely conclude that Travis VanderZanden’s departure was acrimonious, because it was accompanied by one of those euphemisms for total breakdown in managerial relations: ‘’We’ve talked about […]

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Why I didn’t want to be CEO anymore – The Washington Post

In a follow-up to the video interview for On Leadership with Lillian Cunningham, an Editor for the Washington Post goes deeper into the motivations, challenges, and self-discoveries Richard Hytner has achieved throughout his career as the Chief Executive and ultimately the leader behind the leader. Read the full Q&A on washingtonpost.com

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Consiglieri makes WOB UK’s “3 to read for the summer”

Rowena Ironside, Chair of Women on Boards organisation, lists Richard Hytner’s book Consiglieri: Leading from The Shadows in the “3 to read” summer list for women executives. Rowena has been the Chair of WOB UK from its start over two years ago–an enterprise is dedicated to building the pool of female role models, increasing the transparency […]

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Is Boris Too Big for the Team? – Richard Hytner

London’s Lord Mayor has come clean and announced his intention to stand as a Member of Parliament. Commentators have jumped on Boris Johnson’s announcement as evidence that he covets the Prime Minister’s crown, hardly a startling revelation. Cameron knows that Johnson would like his job one day which makes him far less dangerous to the […]

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Richard Hytner on Wanting Not to Be a CEO – The Washington Post

Richard Hytner speaks with Lillian Cunningham, Editor of On Leadership, about the joys of stepping aside to pursue new and different types of leadership opportunities–beyond being the out-and-out leader. Hytner explains that there is a stigma and a barrier to finding your leadership style and passion, and that making that step (breaking that barrier) can lead […]

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The Media Is No Place to Define Your Relationship

By posting photographs of his inner circle of advisors and coaches on Facebook, Andy Murray was tempted last week to use the media to define some important relationships. Murray’s appointment of Amelie Mauresmo, at least on a temporary basis, to replace his former coach Ivan Lendl allegedly caused trouble in the tennis champ’s camp. Assistant […]

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Event – The School of Life – Leading from The Shadows

Join Richard Hytner in this Sunday Sermon celebrating the second-in-commands, the ‘consiglieri’: Merlin to King Arthur, Al Gore to Bill Clinton, Rasputin to the Russian Royal Family. These are the deputies, Vice-Presidents, Personal Assistants, Chief Operating Officers, Chief Financial Officers, Department Heads, First Lieutenants and First Violins whose influence determines the fate of countries, companies […]

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Review: Hong Kong Economic Times

From the HKET – Is being CEO equivalent to success? In fact, being the supporting assistant of the executive can also be a unique form of success, such as King Arthur’s wizard, Merlin; Al Gore, who participated in politics during Bill Clinton’s era; and Rasputin, who controlled the Russian royal family. A leader has to […]

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Event – Behind every great man … there’s another – West End Lane Books

Richard Hytner joined other charismatic number 1’s and 2’s for an evening in a prominent bookshop – sharing stories and anecdotes about business, politics, and what it means to lead from beyond the limelight. With other entrepreneurs, business owners, and writers from Prospect Magazine, Richard curated discussions on HR management and finding your place in […]

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Richard Hytner: HRDs are the consiglieri of the C-suite – HR Magazine

Even as culture climbs higher up the boardroom agenda, it seems the currency of those best able to shape it continues to be debased. HR directors are often dismissed as daydreamers devoid of commercial clout, disconnected from the reality of the business, best parked on the side-lines of the C-suite. But it is not because […]

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Be the power behind the throne – Sunday Times

Tim Griffin, CEO of Dell UK, discusses his management strategy in having an “heir” and a “spare” and how integral number 2’s are to the overall operation – a tactic identified in Richard Hytner’s book: Consiglieri: Leading from the Shadows. Hytner discusses the advantages and rewards for consiglieri, or counselors, at the top level and how leadership […]

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The subtle advantages of being No. 2 – Fortune

Anne Fisher, of Dear Annie, answers a question about the value of second-in-commands from a concerned bystander. In her response, she enlists Richard Hytner, Deputy Chairman of Saatchi & Saatchi, and his views mentioned in the new book entitled Consiglieri: Leading from the Shadows. Hytner notes, “The problem is that being No. 2 looks like failure […]

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Wolf Hall and how to be a fixer fit for a king – Financial Times

On the Financial Times’s Management channel, Luke Johnson explores an recently acclaimed series performed in London. While providing key insights into the performances, based on the Hilary Mantel novels, Johnson ties a thread through Cromwell, Henry the VIII, and Richard Hytner’s recent publication, Consiglieri: Leading from The Shadows. What’s more, Johnson describes the types of […]

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In Praise of Second Bananas – The Wall Street Journal

The Journal’s Adam Auriemma interviews Richard Hytner on the endangerment, the advantags, and the ascension of the role of the number two. Hytner mentions, “The key myth I want to blow apart is the idea that the No. 2 is lacking in accountability or hunger or ambition. The great consiglieri are able to somehow attract […]

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Era of Long Job is Gone: Hytner – BloombergTV The Pulse

Richard Hytner joins Eze Vidra, Head of Google for Entrepreneurs Europe, highlighting the new behavior and model for millenials — their motivations and needs, and how those needs differ from previous generations. The myth is that this generation is selfish and entitled, but Hytner notes that this is a signal for managers to uncover the hidden […]

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Richard Hytner on How To Be a Better “Consigliere” – Accidental Creative

Accidental Creative’s Todd Henry interviews Richard Hytner on the other, unsung leaders–the glue–that hold an organization together. Richard discusses the capabilities, and tactics by which these counselors can be most effective in the face of less credit, but great responsibility. Hytner says, “…what distinguishes the C’s [Consiglieri] are the kind of skills that mean you […]

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Behind Every Great Leader Is Another Great Leader – BloombergTV

Richard Hytner joins Bloomberg TV’s “In The Loop” with Betty Liu about the leaders behind the leaders and what truly makes chief executives successful. Drawing from his own experience, Hytner describes the conscious decision to step aside, a decision that is seen by many as a step-down or a demotion, and how conversations about leadership need […]

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The Leadership Joy of Being a Great No. 2 – Forbes

Fred Allen, Leadership Editor for Forbes, interviews Richard Hytner in a detailed Q&A session on his new book Consiglieri: Leading from The Shadows. Allen delves into the impetus, actions, and reactions that defined today’s leadership challenges for Richard and how his own story has shaped a new view surrounding the types of leadership roles across business, […]

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Hytner’s ‘Consiglieri’ sheds light on leaders in the shadows – The Hill

At the seat of leadership, and in the town of C’s, Richard Hytner hosted the launch of his book Consigliere: Leading from The Shadows in a panel discussion with Bob Cusack, Managing Editor of The Hill, along with Tom McMahon, New Partners–former Executive Director of the DCCC; and Warren Tryon, Roberts, Raheb and Gradler LLC–former Deputy Staff Director […]

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Irish Times: “Life in the lens not worth the flash of the bulbs”

Book review by Frank Dillon. In the highly competitive corporate world, the notion of wanting to be second, rather than first, appears counterintuitive. This book celebrates the joy of being the number two, written from the perspective of a second-in-command – in this case, the deputy chairman of advertising firm Saatchi & Saatchi.

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Taking a Bullet for Your Boss – Huffington Post

BY RICHARD HYTNER. Ask a special advisor what makes their job special, and they will point to proximity to power, influence, perhaps the chance to shape important policy, certainly the chance to serve an inspirational boss. Walking the plank is probably not the role’s most appealing feature, though every special advisor, chief of staff, and deputy should expect that possibility. In damage limitation exercises, seconds usually walk first.

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Consiglieri “a valuable and entertaining read for entrepreneurs” – Forbes

Browse through the business biography section of your favourite bookstore and on the face of it you’ll find plenty to choose from. There will be hagiographies of CEOs, breathless profiles of disruptive entrepreneurs and perhaps also the memoirs of patrician chairmen who have been around the block and back again. But what you probably won’t find are any titles devoted to the multitude of deputy CEOs, vice presidents, heads of departments, senior accounts and non-executive directors who also play a vital role in building successful companies.

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The Essence of Consiglieri

Richard Hytner introduces the ideas behind his book Consiglieri: Leading from the Shadows, and shows the relationship dynamics between the A and C type leaders.

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When will women achieve gender equality in leadership at work?

According to a new study, women only hold 17% of executive positions in the US and 11% in Europe. The Guardian’s D.C. McCullough investigates the challenges, the impact, and the future of gender inequality in business. Featuring commentary by Richard Hytner, author of Consiglieri: Leading from The Shadows, the article notes that the problem could stem from perceptions of leadership […]

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Business jargon: Squaring the circle

BBC’s Howard Mustoe dives into the sometimes explicative, sometimes tawdry,  lexicon of business. But is the verbiage meant to fill in gaps that need bridging, or do they simply provide obfuscation for the listeners? Richard Hytner, Associate Professor at the London Business School weighs in on the debate with contemporaries like Professor David Larcker of the Stanford Business School […]

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Let’s Hear It For Number Twos – The Deputies, The COOs, The Advisers

‘First the worst, second the best, third the one with the hairy chest.’ That rule of the playground didn’t make the rounds at my primary school. I only found out that being first might be worst, or at least second best, when I went back to school, aged 43. At London Business School, I found that life without the CEO’s armband felt like liberation.

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“Intelligent, entertaining and useful” – The Times reviews Consiglieri

For some people the deputy’s job is better than the boss’s. Hytner is one of them: he swapped the job of head of Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide in Europe, Middle East and Africa for deputy chairman, and reckons that both he and his company benefited. His book is written to help people decide if they are like him; and, if they are, to give them advice on how to be a good deputy.

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BBC Free Thinking: Second in Command

BBC Free Thinking – Interview starts at 16:02. Looking at stress in business and the nature of leadership: Richard Hytner, Deputy Chairman of Saatchi & Saatchi, joins Arianna Huffington and Kerrie Fleming in discussing modalities of management against today’s market demands and how these challenges are even more opaque for #2’s, who often show the symptoms of work-stress without proper acknowledgment.

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The Independent: “Being number one is so overrated”

The late Maya Angelou had it right when she said, “a leader sees greatness in others: He or she cannot be much of a leader if all she sees is herself”. In over 30 years in corporate, not-for-profit and academic environments, I have observed many women living up to Angelou’s definition of a leader. So it remains mystifying that the door to the boardroom still looks uninvitingly closed to women, that the FTSE 100 has only four women in the CEO hot seat and that the playing field for women who love to lead from the front remains dispiritingly unequal.

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The Guardian: Consiglieri: Leading from the Shadows – Book of The Week

In this review, John Gray explores the power behind the throne through different leadership archetypes described in Richard Hytner’s Consiglieri: Leading from The Shadows. Gray analyzes, section by section, the historical and contemporary leadership examples cited by Hytner, as they are found across geographies and industries.  What makes an A leader? What makes a C leader? The Guardian reviewer cites the bulk of the book’s taxonomical study of leadership breeds – who they were throughout history and where we can find them today.

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Consiglieri U.S. Launch in D.C.

The Hill, Washington DC’s leading Capitol Hill publication, will host the US launch of Consiglieri: Leading From the Shadows on June 12 with cocktails, conversation and a book signing.

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GQ Magazine: Following in the footsteps of Tom Hagen

Charlie Burton covers the top four lessons of Richard Hytner’s book Consiglieri. From the upcoming release, these maxims highlight Hytner’s insights into different leadership roles, dynamics, and spheres of influence. By quashing common leadership myths and allaying over-accepted fears, Burton gives the reigns of control back to the readers by identifying what type of leaders they are and how they can become even more successful.

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Financial Times: Time for a consigliere, not a vain alpha CEO

Self-castration was such a popular path to a high-flying advisory career in China’s imperial court that the Ming dynasty ended up having to employ lots of eunuchs it could not afford. Plenty of deputies, sidekicks, fixers and henchpeople have had to endure accusations that they do not have the balls for the top job. But Richard Hytner, whose book Consiglieri contains this striking historical aside, wants to rehabilitate the influencers in the back rooms and corridors of power.

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BBC Radio 4: The Myth of the Strong Leader?

Tom Sutcliffe of BBC Radio 4 asks whether it’s better to lead from the front, or advise from the side-line. Richard Hytner on panel with academic Archie Brown, Tony Blair’s former chief of staff Jonathan Powell and Heather Rabbatts explains why he celebrates the latter: those who wield influence and authority away from the limelight.

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Forbes & LBS Business Strategy Review: Manchester United – To Say ‘They Chose The Wrong Guy’ Is Plain Lazy

In this article Richard Hytner in Forbes suggests the excuse of “they chose the wrong guy” in David Moyes is a lazy response to a deeper problem at Manchester United. Hytner analyses how David Moyes’ failure to retain collective leadership in key staff at the Football Club meant no support and no circle of consglieri to provide insight into dealing with the club.

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U.S. Press Release

For Immediate Release

Leadership from the Shadows explored in ‘Consiglieri’

New Book from Saatchi & Saatchi Deputy Chairman


NEW YORK, MAY 2014 – The leaders behind the leaders are the focus of Richard Hytner’s new book, ‘Consiglieri: Leading from the Shadows’, which launches in the U.S. on June 12th.

Throughout history, leaders who make the final decision are both lauded and despised. From the weight of mortal choices to the responsibility of their constituencies, the executives who are out in front receive the fame, the infamy, and the glory that those behind them do not.

Hytner’s book ‘Consiglieri: Leading from the Shadows’ anecdotally explores the role of the leaders behind the final decision-makers, the frequently misrepresented role of the deputy, chief-of-staff, and counselor.

Offering a mirror for contemporary ‘No. 2’s’ and a theoretical map for future consiglieri, the book traverses an array of powerful advisers from the White House to the Vatican. The book includes interviews with contemporary leaders from international business, sports and entertainment, as well as citing provocative research from psychology and academia.

The parade of characters in ‘Consiglieri’ range from the virtuous advisers – Lincoln’s Secretary of State William Seward and F.D.R.’s confidant Harry Hopkins – to fictional Machiavelli’s – Frank Underwood in ‘House of Cards’, Darth Vader and Scar from ‘Lion King’.

“When we consider the men and women who are second-in-command, throughout history, in literature and in today’s organizations, the myth prevails that they are ‘less-than’,” says Hytner. “These different kinds of leaders rarely get the accolades they deserve because of the stigma that comes with the back seat. In fact they have a very particular set of skills that often make a defining contribution to the leadership endeavor.

‘Consiglieri: Leading from the Shadows’ is the story of these unsung personalities who lead beyond the limelight, says Hytner. “They are the advisors, assistants and aides-de-camp trusted with all of the complex strategies, delicate operations and subtle maneuvers behind the curtain.”

The book has great relevance not just the deputies but to the leaders they serve, who need to know what makes their consiglieri operate, how to get the most out of them, and how to ensure they stay true to their authentic ambitions, says Hytner

‘Consiglieri: Leading from the Shadows’ (Profile Books) will be available for purchase in the U.S. beginning May 27th on Amazon.com. The book will be launched in Washington D.C. on June 12th.

About Richard Hytner Richard Hytner joined creative powerhouse Saatchi & Saatchi in 2003 as its CEO for Europe, Middle East and Africa. Today, as Deputy Chairman, he works with leaders and their teams from many of the world’s blue-chip companies. Richard is a law graduate from the University of Cambridge, and is Adjunct Associate Professor of Marketing at London Business School.

Press Contacts at SweeneyVesty www.sweeneyvesty.com

Washington, D.C.
Mark Day, (703) 489-1607

New York
Jon Bier, (646) 541-5256

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