Writing Your Leadership Script

By Dr Charles Margerison


All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.” William Shakespeare.

Shakespeare was a script writer who gave us many wise words about life. But who is writing the script of your life? Who is writing the script for your organization?

I have researched the lives of over 500 amazing people and studied the scripts that they have written. Some of them were great musicians. Their scripts come in the form of musical symbols and notes. The work of outstanding mathematicians comes in the form of formulae. Architects developed scripts via designs and calculations. So did the great engineers like Stephenson and Brunel. Numerical scripts are developed in accountancy and finance to guide our decisions on investments and business operations.

Today’s Script Writing

More and more, we find that scripts are being written via software and a computerized language to create applications that provide amazing operations via mobile phones and other devices.

But, writing in the language that Shakespeare used is still a major form for scripts to guide our thoughts and action at work. Increasingly, the scripts are written by lawyers to put ideas into a protected form in case disputes develop. In short, the scriptwriters are important and the ability to develop one or more of the script writing languages is vital for success.

Therefore, as I have noted in studying the lives of Edison, Curie, Mozart, Nightingale, Einstein, Brunel, and many others, they all succeeded because they developed their ability to script a plan and communicate it clearly to others.

The development of students in schools and universities should therefore concentrate more on scriptwriting. This can be done by giving students practice in developing project proposals. By writing down a plan, the student gains confidence in creating and presenting their script.

The same is true for leaders in organizations. The construction of the script is the first step towards leadership. The development of that script with team members into a plan of action where people know who will do what and when, and how, is the key to implementing the script.

Margerison Communication & Problem Solving Model (CPS)

Script writing is a skill that can be learned. One way to start is to use the Margerison Communication and Problem Solving Model as shown below. This will be available along with our powerful amazing career development stories Here.

Enquiry skills focus on the ability to establish important questions and to find relevant information.

Diagnostic skills refer to the ability to interpret information to identify causes and consequences.

Summarizing skills are very important in meetings to ensure people have a sound understanding of the issues.

Proposing skill help move discussions forward in order to test options and work toward solutions.

Coordinating skills are vital to ensure action is taken and followed through to gain effective solutions.

All scripts have a start, middle and end. Usually, the start is the problem or challenge. Defining the problem clearly is the first step and the skill of Enquiry will help that.

Diagnosing the problem is the second step in order to gain clarity on causes of issues. These steps can then lead to a Proposal script, which needs to be tested and assessed. After that has been done, a script for implementation can be developed. In addition, there needs to be a Summary script, so everyone knows what is being done and why.

Script writing as Shakespeare has shown us, is an art. It can be learned through practice. That needs to be built on a focused approach to problem solving.

Leadership above all is a function of judgement on how to respond to problems and challenges. Developing the script is a start point and many people can contribute to the research and development. Beyond that it needs vision and clear communication. The art of the scriptwriter at many levels, is a key to the education of students and the performance of managers.


Each person needs to be the scriptwriter of their own life. Those who have identified an important purpose, such as the exemplars mentioned above, developed their beliefs into action. Helping people find a purpose is important. By studying the lives of amazing people, one can see the life scripts that they developed, and thereby assess areas of interest. This is an integral part of self-development science, based on action learning from experience.