Leaders often show their promise early

2005

If you want to spot tomorrow’s captains of industry you could do worse than heading down to your local school, a survey has suggested.

Many if Britain’s business leaders showed their leadership qualities while still at school, the study by consultancy DDI has argued.

Nine out of 10 of chief executives and board-level directors of the country’s top firms had held at least two roles such as head boy or girl, prefect or sports captain.

Most of the 105 business leaders questioned said they had shown early ambitions to take charge.

Nearly two thirds said they had always wanted to lead, and almost 60 per cent said they had been ambitious from an early age.

Some 70 per cent had been prefects, half were captains of school sport teams and 30 per cent were head or deputy head boy or girl.

A similar number had led youth groups such as scouts and guides.

Just 10 per cent had said they were surprised at how quickly they had risen to the top of their profession.