Leadership Guru Paul Bridle

Paul Bridle with Student DirectorsOn Wednesday 19th March, International Leadership and Management expert Paul Bridle visited QACI to talk with business students about leadership. The following is written by Amelia Walters and Bonnie Kirkpatrick, two of the directors who toured Mr Bridle through the campus before he took to the stage in Theatre for a special Lunchtime Lecture.


Mr Paul Bridle’s Speech on Leadership and how we can apply this to our experiences at QACI:

After being informed that I would be touring Paul Bridle along with the other Student Directors, naturally I “googled” his name. The wealth of information was almost overwhelming, particularly when reading through the testimonies to his work. Many of these were written by high-ranking businessmen and women or world renowned CEO’s. To say that I was slightly intimidated when meeting the man himself would be an understatement, however Mr Bridle made us all feel at ease. He was genuinely interested in the unique culture we have at QACI and we were more than happy to show him everything that makes up our environment. After finishing his tour, Mr Bridle took the time to speak to the students, to pass on his wisdom. Reflecting on what he said two things stand out clearly in my mind, the notions “it is not a leader’s job to motivate people”, and “everyone can be a leader”.

I discussed the idea of motivating others with fellow students and QACI leaders. A leader can inspire people, but they cannot motivate others. It is the responsibility of the individual to find what motivates them and work towards it. You can only motivate yourself. To maintain an inspirational environment that we look forward to coming to each and every day,  we are all responsible for making the choice every morning before walking through QACI’s doors to be motivated, to set goals, to be energised. It is important to remember that whilst we can inspire people, we can also de-motivate them. If we all commit to being motivated QACI and its students will only continue to move from strength to strength.

The second idea that we are all capable of being leaders, is just as important. Leaders are not only the people who are confident to stand up in front of large crowds and speek. Anyone can be a leader, anyone can inspire, challenge and guide those around them. Everyone can be a leader because we all have different skills, talents and areas of expertise.

Mr Bridle reflected on what inspired him throughout his life;  ‘If’ a philosophical poem about life by Rudyard Kipling and a quote about happiness.

‘Happiness isn’t what you get from life, its what you bring to it.‘

This quote is simple, yet so true. It’s your responsibility to determine your own happiness and reality. No one else but you. You are the creator of your own life. So find your inner motivation, be inspired by the people and environment around you and make happiness a priority and your reality.

Finally if we are to take anything from Mr Bridle’s speech, can I ask that we reflect on the whole poem he concluded his presentation on:

If you can keep your head when all about you

Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,

But make allowance for their doubting too:

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,

Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,

Or being hated don’t give way to hating,

And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;


If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;

If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim,

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster

And treat those two impostors just the same:.

If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken

Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,

Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,

And stoop and build’em up with worn-out tools;


If you can make one heap of all your winnings

And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,

And lose, and start again at your beginnings,

And never breathe a word about your loss:

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew

To serve your turn long after they are gone,

And so hold on when there is nothing in you

Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”


If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,

Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,

If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,

If all men count with you, but none too much:

If you can fill the unforgiving minute

With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,

Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,

And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

Here is 13 minutes of Q&A time with Paul Bridle and QACI Students: 

One week later, our Student Directors had some wonderful follow up reflections and encouragement for QACI Students at Assembly. Here’s what they had to say: