Leadership when the going gets tough

I have been blogging over the past few years about the lack of leadership being shown by our political , so-called, ‘leaders’ and that the true measure of leadership is how it deals with difficulties and how best to overcome adversity.

This is demonstrated, for example, in Shackleton’s heroic leadership in bringing his men back safely in dreadful conditions, after failing to reach the South Pole. Dunkirk and its aftermath showed what Churchill was made of.

Apart from urging others to do better, the political leaders of all the major countries at the moment are doing little in the way of giving us inspiring leadership – see John Adair’s “Inspiring Leadership” published by Thorogood for more examples.

In the current ‘The Reith Lectures’ series (listen to it this week) from Radio 4, the eminent historian Niall Ferguson talks about this and says quite simply that the best way out of the mess we are all in is for “a heroic effort of leadership” to persuade young and old to vote for more responsible fiscal policy, basically by giving the truth about now bad things are, show what current policy will lead to and demonstrate how change can prevent further disasters.

Companies and countries need to know how things stand and they need leaders to stand up and confront the problems head-on and not bicker about whose fault it is and how someone else needs to change first.

Published on Jun 19, 2012 by Neil Thomas