Balderdash ! Its not politics

Getting elected to government and getting legislation passed is dependent on who has the best social media message. At least that is what I read in a reputable newspaper yesterday. An august institution provided another view, that it’s a lack of understanding of the disempowered and yet another source said it’s fear mongering that gets a position accepted.

Are any of these right?

It is tempting to look to the obvious such as the scenarios above to explain why many governments are failing to gain a majority, or put through vital legislation.

It is incomprehensible that:

  • good people would put tens of children, mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters to death every year just because they are going about their own business. Yet that is what America is doing when Mr Obama’s gun legislation is not passed.
  • people would vote to reduce their standard of living, yet that is what has happened with Brexit.
  • a country such as Australia succeeds in spite of its government, not aided by same.

This is what is happening.  Why?

The political environment puts on show what is happening elsewhere in the population. Politics has gotten lazy. Business has gotten lazy. The populace has gotten lazy.

Okay, before you close this post down dear reader, please hear me out for a moment. I don’t know much about politics, or psychology, but I do know about leadership in business.

Good leadership plods along under the radar, creating a firm agile enough to swing through issues without fanfare, steadily moving ever forward come hell or high water. It produces a business without major crisis or windfall. Good leadership is boring, at least it looks such from the outside. Al Dunlap understood this. Chainsaw Al would come into a business, cut it to smithereens, get the share price up and then run before the impact was known. He courted the media, who lapped it up. He was fast and suited people’s passion for the quick win. He dealt with the symptom and left the sickened firm for someone else to fix (does this remind you of a politician or two?).

Why in Australia has Liberal Coalition Party got factions and in the Labor Party the Unions hold such sway? Why did the leaders of both sides to the Brexit question refuse to take the UK forward? Why is there a possibility that Mr Trump may become President of USA? Because the parties got lazy in the good years and failed to do the thing most important to their survival and the survival of their countries: Choose party members who are statesmen and women and who are passionate about building a country that will create value for future generations.

In Australia our country grew in the years when party members were chosen carefully; when party leadership was prepared to be boring; when they asked themselves the question: Will this legislation create the future we envision and give our children the future they deserve? And if it was, the legislation was supported regardless of whether the leaders were in power or not. That’s not happening now.

The party leader is a custodian of the future. Not only does he or she control the health of the party now and into the future, but also the future of their country.  Likewise your leadership will make or break your firm.

A good leader achieves results because:

  1. They remove clutter by having a vision of the firm as they want it to be – a vision that is so important to them that they will aspire to it in every pore of their body, and which they will inculcate into every activity performed by everyone associated with the firm.
  2. They will not be swayed by popular opinion, neither will they be fixed to a position when realities change.
  3. They will be like the Olympic athlete; they know that to win, to achieve their vision requires the right team around them, not just their unremitting effort.
  4. They will employ the statesmen and women prepared to do everything they can to make a difference to future generations of employees in your firm.
  5. They will not be busy, nor will their people, instead all have time to think.
  6. They will wait and instruct others to wait, until the right person is found: A person who lives the values of the firm and is hungry to make a difference.
  7. They welcome “hard” because they know others want “easy” and easy fails.

You know it’s hard waiting. It’s much easier to appoint the wrong person and then blame them for not fitting in. Its hard being boring, the accolades don’t role in. It’s hard being a statesman and doing what is right.

So no, the reason the world is seeing bad governance is not because of social media ‘sound bites’, populace thought, or campaign content. Its because the ground work of employing the right candidates, who are impassioned by producing something that will give results long after they are gone, is too hard.

In politics it’s much easier to deal with the symptom than the cause.

And in business its the same.

My challenge for today: Look inside your firm and ask yourself who are the statesmen and women? You may be surprised at the result.

Let me know how you go.


Jennifer is a strategy implementation coach who helps leaders turn their strategies into results.

 She assists executives and business owners to achieve goals such as improvements in profit, productivity, leadership skills, business value. Her services are Business and Executive Coaching, Group Facilitation, Strategic Planning, and advising on Board Governance.

 To find out how she can help you, call +61 439 520 182 or email.