John Lowry: successful leadership provides a clear vision


John Lowry, Project Director at Eirgrid*, shares his advice on what it takes to be a successful leader, and provides his view on climate change as an industry challenge, ESG, the effect of the pandemic and the Artificial Intelligence (AI) evolution.

This interview was originally published in The Global Power & Energy Elites 2022.


Apart from having a great love of music, I believe we can learn a huge amount about leadership from successful musicians and the musical process. My favourite book is Bruce Springsteen’s autobiography ‘Born to Run’. It’s an inspiring story about overcoming adversity and an unwavering passion for one’s craft. I love how it is written. It is brutally honest, from the heart, and – like his music – the words are lyrical throughout.

My favourite podcast has to be from the Harvard Business School Review (HBR), Lessons in Innovation from Bowie, Beyoncé, and More. The podcast is focused on what we can learn about innovation from successful creative artists. It’s about the collaborative process of experimentation, of unlocking the potential of one another, coming to the table or studio without preconceptions. It’s about openness to new ideas, trusting one another. It describes the importance of listening and observes that the best artists are also great listeners, which is a really important leadership quality.

Through my work, I’ve developed a keen interest in innovation and the innovative process. Successful organisations are those that can evolve, adapt and implement solutions and change. Organisations that embrace new ideas, and create the space and environment to collaborate and experiment without fear will ultimately succeed.

Whether you’re a TSO trying to grapple with renewable integration and the net-zero challenge or a high-tech corporation developing smartphones, innovation is the critical enabler to reach the desired ambition.


A successful leader can inspire others to perform by providing a clear vision while giving them the confidence to deliver. Someone who reminded me of this recently is Catriona Matthews, the winning Lady Captain of the European Solheim Cup golf team who beat the US in 2021. Against all odds, she inspired her team to win for only the second time on US soil. After the triumph, I listened to the team’s interview where they all echoed the same thing – she gave them the confidence to believe in themselves to go out there and perform.

Read John Lowry’s full interview here

Access the full digital publication here

Request a copy of the print publication here

About John Lowry

He has played a pivotal role in leading the grid connection of over 1GW of assets as well as helping establish the system services market, a vital flexibility market in Ireland. John is bringing his experience to a European level through leadership of EU-SysFlex, a European-funded Horizon 2020 project, and is helping drive innovation at EirGrid.

*Editor’s note: Since publication, John Lowry had left EirGrid and works as an Ireland Offshore Development Engineering Manager for RWE.