New Book by Ian Muir: The Tone From the Top: How Behaviour Trumps Strategy

By Rusen Kumar

NEW DELHI: Ian Muir,  a London based senior business adviser, has authored a book on How Behaviour Trumps Strategy, titled, The Tone From the Top, which helps readers understand how boards provide ethical leadership; how boards monitor the tone they are setting; and how non-executive directors can check that their company has a good ethical compass.

Many companies have been criticised for weak business behavior specially ethics, including in some cases breaking the law. Globally, numerous scandals have rocked industries as diverse as banking, insurance, oil, supermarkets, consumer goods, pharmaceuticals and the media. But ethical lapses are not confined to business; few sectors of society can claim the moral high ground. This year, like every other year, new scandals and ethical breaches have hit the news.

This book will convince readers that leaders’ behaviour and the signals they send are more important than strategy. In an increasingly transparent world, employee engagement is founded on trust – of their boss, their department, of their whole enterprise. Ian sets the scene via ‘something’s not right’ then provides first hand evidence from interviews with the chairmen of a quarter of a trillion pounds of market capitalisation (FTSE200 companies). In offering a model for a much more systematic approach, Ian shows that behaviour and signalling have a much greater influence on business performance and ethics than simply communicating a strategy.

This book is about leadership, ethical leadership. It is also about how ethical behaviour can enable and sustain organisations. It started life as a research project undertaken by my consulting business, Keeldeep Associates Limited. The research was sponsored by Ashridge Business School. It was driven by a succession of news stories regarding corporate failings and inappropriate conduct by executives. At the time, it seemed that hardly a week went by without another corporate scandal.

The book is very much relevant for CEOs. This publication may be very useful for Indian readers.

About the Author:

Ian Muir is a senior business adviser. He works with leadership teams and individuals to improve organisational performance. He has worked across five continents having been an executive committee member of a FTSE150 multinational, a director of an international telecommunications company and a trustee director of a £2.2bn pension fund. He is a graduate of Bath University, a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and an alumnus of INSEAD. He is also a member of the European Mentoring and Coaching Council and a published author on resilience. After more than 30 years in corporate life, he now has a portfolio career with three strands: Non-executive director, independent consulting and working with business schools.

Imprint: Gower

Illustrations: Includes 9 b&w illustrations

Published: June 2015

Format: 234 x 156 mm

Extent: 154 pages

Binding: Hardback

Other editions: ebook PDF, ebook ePUB

ISBN: 978-1-4724-5417-1

Regular price: £45.00

(Rusen Kumar is the Editor at He can be reached at



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