By the time you read this, the News of the World will be no more.

Just like The Grocer, which has a few years on the NOTW, it has been satisfying its market with breaking news for more than a century and a half. Unlike this publication, however, it has been brought down by questionable ethics and practices.

The food market played its role in the collapse Sainsbury’s and The Co-op being among big advertisers who pulled advertising following alleged phone hacking. Observers expect a more cynical ploy owner Rupert Murdoch had already begun merging the NOTW with The Sun and many see it re-emerging as The Sun on Sunday.

Beneath the drama, a question of leadership is raised. What is leadership in today’s world? Some would argue Murdoch has shown great leadership taking decisive action swiftly. Others will say Rebekah Brooks has shown none, protecting herself rather than falling on her sword.

Those climbing the corporate ladder constantly seek to understand great leadership. A report for the CBI last year found 48% of companies believed improving leadership skills was essential for success. However, while 70% of the 291 European HR departments questioned by the Corporate Leadership Council last year had increased investment in leadership development, research by the Kenexa Institute reveals that the UK’s Leadership Effectiveness Index Score embarrassingly stands at 47% well below the global average of 55%.

Too often leaders are technicians, focused only on the skills they are told to have such as leading change and delivering value today rather than feeling confident in bringing tomorrow’s thinking into today and aligning people to where that value will be. Asda CEO Andy Clarke defines the former as task and metric-focused leadership. He is replacing it with a framework inspirational to employees and customers, which has been mapped out against a five-year corporate plan.

Former Tesco CEO Lord MacLaurin told a recent conference that leaders listen to customers. One could argue that Murdoch has done that, lancing the boil as soon as customers spoke. But MacLaurin also said leaders talk perhaps something Brooks should take note of.

Perhaps the last word should go to Jeremy Darroch, CEO of Murdoch-targeted BSkyB. He said leadership was about innovation, change and renewal. “It’s a mindset and a willingness to embrace risk. In a way, everyone is a leader, because anyone can say to their boss: ‘this is not good enough, we need to do better’.”

If the corporate culture had been one in which people did think they could say this, News International may not be in the mire in which it finds itself today.

Siân Harrington is editor of Human Resources magazine