Julia Middleton

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Julia Middleton (born 1958, London) is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Common Purpose UK, an international charity that runs leadership development programmes in 18 countries across the world.[1] The charity's aims are to "give people the skills, connections and inspiration they need to become better leaders both at work and in society."

She is a campaigner for the progression of diverse leaders in civil society.[2]


Middleton was educated at a French lycee before gaining an Economics degree at the London School of Economics.[3]


In 1980 Julia Middleton began her career at the Industrial Society where she created Head Start, a programme providing high school dropouts with training and advice from prospective employers.[4]

In the autumn of 1988, Middleton formed Common Purpose UK.[5]

Common Purpose UK runs a range of leadership development courses that offer participants the inspiration, knowledge and connections to help them become more active and engaged in society.[6]

Its courses run in 11 countries worldwide and aim at improving the way organisations work by increasing the number of informed individuals who are actively involved in shaping the future of the area in which they work.[6][7]

Since 1989, more than 25,000 leaders have completed one or more Common Purpose UK courses.[2]

Non-executive Roles[edit]

Alongside her role as CEO of Common Purpose, Middleton occupies a number of non-executive roles, including Deputy Chair of the Media Standards Trust Board, a registered charity that runs Journalisted, a free online journalist portfolio designed to improve public accountability in journalism.[8]

She is also member of the Board of Trustees for Alfanar, a venture philanthropy fund set up by Tarek Ben Halim to assist organizations in the Arab region.[9]

She helped in the founding of DEMOS, an independent think tank, and Impetus Trust, developing venture philanthropy in the UK.[2]


In 1982 Middleton authored a book called Quality Circles published by the Industrial Society in London.[10]

She also wrote the foreword to the book How to be an even better chair: Sensible Advice from the Public & Charity Sectors written by Sophie Petit-Zeman.[11]

In February 2007, Middleton’s book Beyond Authority: Leadership in a Changing World was published by Palgrave Macmillan and she recorded a meet the author video.[12]

In 2010, it was translated into Hungarian and published by HVG Konyvek.[13]

Public speaking[edit]

In June 2008, Middleton spoke at the Impact International Conference on ‘Leadership for Sustainable Enterprise’.[14]

She spoke at a Faith Regen Foundation conference about Women’s Role in peaceful coexistence on 17 June 2008.[15]

On 22 September 2008, Middleton was invited to speak on a panel about company values at the AW Page Society annual conference in Cape Cod.[16]

In the media[edit]

On 5 June 1997 she appeared on BBC Question Time hosted by David Dimbleby.[17]

In March 2008, Middleton was interviewed by Die Zeit German news about Common Purpose UK and leadership in Germany.[18]

Julia Middleton is often called upon to contribute to or comment on leadership news in publications. These include:

  • Moving outside your comfort zone, The Guardian, 30 March 2007[19]
  • Leading leaders to tomorrow's world is a job for learning and development professionals, Personnel Today, 22 January 2008[20]
  • The wealth of experience, The Guardian, 16 April 2008[21]
  • Unlock leadership potential: how to, Personnel Today, 10 June 2008[22]

In January 2010, Middleton and Common Purpose UK were featured in a Daily Telegraph Business Club video that explored how the organisation has expanded internationally without becoming fragmented or diluted.[6]

In March 2010, she interviewed 12 leaders, including Dame Suzi Leather, about the lessons learned about leadership in 2009.[23]

The resulting video featured in both ThirdSector and The Guardian.[24][25]


  1. ^ "Bursaries to help bosses". This is Derbyshire. 2008-11-25. Retrieved 8 December 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c http://www.peoplealchemy.co.uk/authors/Julia%20Middleton.html
  3. ^ "London School of Economics and Political Science - Home". LSE. Retrieved 8 December 2011. 
  4. ^ http://www.contextmag.com/setFrameRedirect.asp?src=/archives/200004/BookReview1.asp
  5. ^ [1][dead link]
  6. ^ a b c Business Club (21 January 2010). "Video: Common Purpose - Business Club Video". The Telegraph. Retrieved 8 December 2011. 
  7. ^ "In salute to leaders". The Economic Times. 7 May 2008. Retrieved December 8, 2011. 
  8. ^ [2][dead link]
  9. ^ [3][dead link]
  10. ^ Morland, Julia (1982). "Quality Circles". Open Library. Retrieved 8 December 2011. 
  11. ^ [4][dead link]
  12. ^ "A video of Julia Middleton talking about Beyond Authority". Palgrave.com. Retrieved 8 December 2011. 
  13. ^ http://www.hvgkonyvek.hu/index.php/Gazdasag-es-menedzsment/Hataskoron-tul/book_flypage.tpl.html
  14. ^ [5][dead link]
  15. ^ [6][dead link]
  16. ^ [7][dead link]
  17. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1124290/fullcredits#cast
  18. ^ Pinzler, Petra (28 March 2008). "Soziale Verantwortung: "Mehr als Geld und Jobs"". Zeit Online. Retrieved 8 December 2011. 
  19. ^ Wren, Andrea (29 March 2007). "Move outside your comfort zone". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 December 2011. 
  20. ^ Middleton, Julia (22 January 2008). "Leading leaders to tomorrow's world is a job for learning and development professionals". Personnel Today. Retrieved 8 December 2011. 
  21. ^ Middleton, Julia (15 April 2008). "The wealth of experience". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 December 2011. 
  22. ^ Craig, Tara (10 June 2008). "Unlock leadership potential: how to". Personnel Today. Retrieved 8 December 2011. 
  23. ^ CommonPurposeIntl (2009-03-26). "Kanaal van CommonPurposeIntl". YouTube. Retrieved 8 December 2011. 
  24. ^ Plummer, John (9 March 2010). "Media attacks tested me, says Dame Suzi Leather". Third Sector. Retrieved 8 December 2011. 
  25. ^ "Good leadership in challenging times: what's the secret?". Guardian Public Leaders Network. 9 March 2010. Retrieved 8 December 2011. 

External links[edit]