Dusting Off Thunderbolts: a quest for the heart of leadership

Dusting Off Thunderbolts: a quest for the heart of leadership

By Sir John Jones

Published 30 Jun 2023

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Dusting Off Thunderbolts is not just another book about how to be a good leader. Having worked in 50 countries on a quest to find what he calls the heart of leadership, Sir John Jones shares wisdom gleaned from diverse cultures and continents. You will hear from giants of sport, literature, art, film and music, and be guided by poets, philosophers, war heroes and Nobel prize-winners.

Sir John will introduce you to external forces that spark the inner spirit of leadership. The ancients called such forces "muses" and, like old friends, they have sustained Sir John through more than 40 years of leadership. Muses favour those courageous enough to work tirelessly at their craft and travel each day the tough road of hard practice, dedication and quiet heroism. Sadly, some leaders deny their existence, believing that they themselves are the sole source of their success. For these leaders, the gods will dust off their thunderbolts.

Teeming with practical ideas, stories and suggestions, Dusting Off Thunderbolts will make you laugh, make you cry, make you think and help you grow. It is an affirmation of those who lead with deep humanity. It is a clarion call to those who see themselves as a constant work in progress. It champions those who take risks but give themselves permission to fail. It is a companion for those who have the courage to stand at the front while embracing their own vulnerability. It is a celebration of the leadership spirit within all of us. For all our failings, flaws and fears, neither the gods nor their muses can do their work without us.
A sought-after speaker on the global stage, Sir John Jones has worked with a wide range of clients, from educators to industrialists, sports coaches to entrepreneurs, bankers to builders, and health professionals to politicians. He believes passionately that everyone is a teacher and a learner, a leader and a follower, and that it is not just those who can manage, administer and organise who prevail, but those who do so with vision, imagination and humanity.

While headteacher of three secondary schools over a period of 17 years, Sir John was asked to join the government's Policy Action Team for Neighbourhood Renewal at the Social Exclusion Unit. He was a member of the Headteachers' National Focus Group on Truancy and Exclusion, the Excellence in Cities project at the Department for Education, and the National Remodelling Team. He worked for the Leadership Development Unit at the National College for School Leadership and was a non-executive director at Aintree Hospitals Trust.

A research fellow at Lancaster University, Sir John worked part-time at the Centre for Educational Leadership at Manchester University, where he presented on a range of programmes, as well as designing and delivering a master's course at Liverpool University focused on the leadership of change. He was awarded an honorary PhD by Bournemouth University in recognition of his work in education.

Sir John has written two books: the best-selling The Magic-Weaving Business and Truancy and Exclusion: a teacher's guide. He co-authored Winning the H Factor: the secrets of happy schools. He is a season ticket holder for his beloved Everton Football Club, where he chairs the trust board of the club's charity, Everton in the Community, and is chair of governors at the Everton Free School and Football College. Sir John is vice-chair of governors at Bolton St Catherine's Academy, a patron of Vantage Academy Trust, a patron of Values-Based Education and chancellor of Sefton Children's University.

His motto is simple: aim high, work hard, be kind, no excuses.
  • Author Sir John Jones
  • ISBN 9781398387508
  • No. of Pages 184
  • Format Paperback
  • Publication Date 30 Jun 2023