In Gordon’s own words:
“You can read all the different reports but the central issue is: do we have the self-belief and confidence in ourselves as a country to solve the problems that every other country faces? We are focused and I believe Britain should have confidence in itself.” (30th Jan 09)
Britain does have confidence in itself but what about confidence in those it elected to represent it on the world stage? There are always a few bad apples and those who will exploit a system. But a strong leader or a clear leader will deal with these individuals promptly – unlike Gordon who dithered, YouTube’d and all but ‘twittered’ on what he thought should be done.
Some leaders are great when things are good and growing, others are great when faced with a turnaround or crisis – yet the two situations call for different leadership formulas. And there’s one thing they both have in common – a vision, a clear compelling vision that you either buy in to or walk out on. Right now we’re looking for a leader who can turn around the fiasco inside Parliament and the global economic downturn. Someone who has the capacity to re-build the loss in trust that the British public now have with the system.
Gordon might be a great manager – but I don’t think his leadership was developed enough when he came to power to cope with what’s going on. I have to say I admire his tenacity and determination. He had his eye on the PM prize and never let it out of his sight. Here’s the thing about personal ambitions: they’re personal and it takes a person of immense character to get there and realise they’re not the best leader for this particular game in session.
Is he now likely to give it up? Well in a way maybe he’ll be hung for a sheep as a lamb. Whether he leaves now, in three months time or a year’s time, will he be remembered anymore fondly? His leadership may or may not be that much stronger or more developed. He’ll have certainly learned a bit more about himself, but as a nation will we too learn more about ourselves?
To quote Gordon again, “The British spirit is to see a problem, identify it, and get on with solving it.”.
He’s certainly uttered some wise words, but it’s his wise actions we’re missing. It’s in that gap between OK Leadership and Great Leadership that we as a nation get to emerge stronger. We could blame the leader, we could blame the leadership and then again we could just get on with it. ‘It’ being our own lives, our own businesses, our own communities. You don’t have to have leader, or number 1, in your title to be a great leader.