As we go into a New Year, there’s often a sense that hopes and expectations are being raised and that misery and inevitable disappointment are surely just around the corner. Fear is often the flip side of hope and increasing one side can have the unintended consequence of increasing the other. The bigger the prize, the bigger the risk, and therefore the increased likelihood of failure, humiliation and public disgrace. In these uncertain times even the relatively small prize of continued employment is fraught with risk and it can be difficult to prise dynamic and innovative performance from staff who want nothing more than a quiet, steady life. People need reassurance, they need clear direction and they need motivating. In short, they, and we, need leadership.