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Being the change you want to see: developing the leadership culture at Ernst & Young

Peter Hawkins (Based at Bath Consultancy Group, Bath, UK)
Andrew Wright (Based at Ernst & Young, London, UK)

Strategic HR Review

ISSN: 1475-4398

Article publication date: 19 June 2009




The article's aim is to describe a leadership development program that is being conducted internationally with over 500 partners in Ernst & Young. Globally Ernst & Young has 135,000 people in 140 countries with worldwide revenues of US$24.5 billion. In EMEIA it has over 60,000 people in 87 countries and a turnover of $11.4 billion.


This article looks at specific issues relating to the Ernst & Young partner development program, including the need for leadership development at partner level, the leadership challenge of the program and the success of the initiative.


Leadership resides in the relationships leaders create, not within the leaders themselves. Many leadership development programs in large organizations fail to deliver the hoped‐for value as they focus on developing leadership skills within individual leaders.


Market leadership depends on how an organization engages with its clients. How employees engage clients is affected by how they are engaged by their management and leadership. Moving towards market leadership, therefore, requires a change to internal culture, which requires a transformation of the leadership culture and the relationships being formed.



Hawkins, P. and Wright, A. (2009), "Being the change you want to see: developing the leadership culture at Ernst & Young", Strategic HR Review, Vol. 8 No. 4, pp. 17-23.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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