We can take so much from the life of Apple co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs. Ever since his rise to prominence for leading the team that brought us the breakthrough in home computing in 1984, the Macintosh computer, Mr Jobs demonstrated that he had the vision and ambition to enrich our lives using the power of digital technologies.

His career achievements serve as no better reminder of the immense power of visionary leadership. While no amount of succession planning is ever going to make it easy for an organisation to follow a unique leader like Steve Jobs, the culture he fostered will no doubt live on within Apple Inc’s management team. The company’s new generation of leaders must now aim to follow in his footsteps to maintain the company’s position as one of the world’s biggest brands.

The importance of leadership also hit the headlines with the Eurozone crisis. The Greeks and Italians have taken action to replace their elected political leaders with individuals who they deem more capable of navigating their economies through the choppy waters. For any organisation, large or small, how its leaders lead is something that has a major bearing on success. Reflecting on the leadership styles in your organisation is vital, especially in this challenging economic climate, but so too is looking ahead to identify and encourage those who have the mindset, skills and capabilities to become tomorrow’s leaders.

Supplementing the wide range of excellent theoretical and practical learning programmes, we can learn so much from those who lead well – and in sharing this best practice with everyone. That’s why York St John Business School has teamed up with The Leaders Club to create an exclusive forum which brings together great minds from businesses and public sector organisations to share best practice, develop approaches and act as a think-tank.

Our first event in January will feature a debate on ethics in business hosted by Richard Smelt, ex HR Director of Northern Rock and Carphone Warehouse. Through regular events, The Leaders Club will help organisations develop and nurture those leaders who have the untapped potential to make a real difference – something from which the whole regional economy will benefit.

• More information on the business training programmes provided by York St John Business School is available by phoning 01904 876915 or email business.school@yorksj.ac.uk

Jackie Mathers is Dean of the Business School