Drawing upon the preceding articles in this issue, we propose a multiple discourses approach to the study of contemporary leadership and place-shaping literatures with the intention of encouraging researchers, policy-makers and practitioners to engage more self-consciously with the discursive frames within which they work. We argue that this is no mere intellectual exercise, but is crucial for garnering and combining the fruits of work in the (hitherto) parallel fields of leadership and place-making, where theorising has been fragmented and underemphasised, respectively. The approach seeks to reveal the different ways that 'place' is constructed, surfacing the tacit assumptions and aspects of leadership of place invoked. In the second section, we identify schools of leadership theory that directly speak to the notion of place, and use these discursive assumptions to re-interrogate the case studies featured in the previous articles. Third, armed with this discursive framework and illuminated by episodes from these contemporary stories of leading in a variety of places, we offer some research pointers to take this immature and exciting field forward.