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This article draws on some of the initial findings of a qualitative research project that seeks to describe and interpret the leadership perspectives, significant events, successes, challenges and relationships that impact the leadership practices of five internationally renowned leaders in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). The methodology used in this study is narrative inquiry (Connelly and Clandinin, 1990). Using a convenience sample the study seeks to explore leadership perspectives and identity formation at the level of lived experiences situated in a complex, globalized TESOL context with rapidly changing characteristics. The specific findings include the leadership perspectives and practices of five TESOL leaders; the influences that have shaped their leadership development and how they became leaders in the profession. Data were drawn from electronic interviews and were analysed using an inductive process of identifying similarities and differences across the participants’ stories. Drawing on writing techniques of fiction used in narrative inquiry (Richardson, 1990; 1999), the findings are presented as a fictitious panel discussion and are interpreted in a concluding reflection.

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