With a General Election comes the obligatory focus on what styles of leadership the parties are adopting and how good are they at capturing the public’s imagination. This election was no different. However, each of the party leaders was caught out by the public’s despondency and their dismay at the rudderless vision for the future as identified by the so-called leaders of this sceptered isle. The biggest difficulty with political figureheads across the globe is their inherent perception that they are right. This is fuelled by a need to be seen as the right choice by the media. So, they create an aura of baffling deliberateness where speeches say nothing and policies are empty, but boy does it sound good until you deconstruct it. Theresa May’s poor call and cult of one delivery during the whole tawdry affair shows just how wrong politicians can get it (again). Although Jeremy Corbyn insists that he saw it coming, he was just as surprised as many in Westminster at how well he did.
The time has really come for a bit of collaborative leadership, the sharing of the values of the country and working together in partnership. This is not about one-upmanship, not about who can spin the best soundbites and definitely not about who is the best leader because they are all as bad as each other and we would find it hard to choose between all of them in appointing a real leader. This is about taking a step back, assessing the country’s position, reflecting on past failures and working together in unison to create the best outcomes for the voters, the tax payers and the people of this country, after all it is them that foot the bill for such debacles including this costly election.
Collaborative leadership has shown to be a very powerful tool in countries like Denmark. Not only is Denmark the happiest country in Europe it also has some of the highest taxes. You would not think that happiness and high taxes went together but they do. So, what are they doing right that we can’t? It’s easy really, they are working together for the common good. They understand that this is about human factors and not the infrastructure of the party. Occasionally a leader emerges that captures the imagination of the country and then they are duly elected for a term, but sticking to the framework created by the coalition of thought which pervades the very fabric of their society. This is because they understand the disruptive issues caused by silo working across parties and within them.
We are frightened to engage in this type of politics because we are too self-interested. I listened to many debates over the election period and they all seemed to focus on one thing, what do I want? Not what is best for all of us but what will put me in a better position to lead or a better personal position than anyone else. We need to put aside our differences and really think hard about the future. We must use collaboration as an organisational change strategy using the best from all parties to create the new organisation. This country stands upon a precipice not just in Europe but internally and as a world power. By applying the precepts of collaborative leadership, we could again forge a way ahead which would ensure and secure our country for the future. However, without a vision which touches both the organisation and the people we will never realise the end point of being successful and resilient in the new world order. This is about future proofing and with foundations built on sand and soundbites we have none. The structure must be built on trust.
Mind Over Matter (MOM) is a provider of dynamic high performance programmes, creative courses, cutting edge consultancy and tailored research.
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