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Dear PM how's your leadership?


It would seem Prime Minister that you are having a hard time of it. There is no doubt that the environment within which you operate is harsh and unforgiving, and you will feel the need to be tough, uncompromising, and tenacious. Unfortunately, the tree that does not learn to bend will eventually break. I have some thoughts and questions to share that might help your leadership flexibility:


Leadership is not all about you. People are prepared to accept hard choices if they feel that their best interests are at the centre of your decision-making. It's difficult for others to feel that is the case when they, or their representatives do not believe that they have not been consulted or heard. You have used the words Team Australia many times. Real team leadership requires that team members have the opportunity to weigh in first. Otherwise, how else can they buy in?


Your intentions arrive in the room before you do. When you have spent years manifesting hostility towards others, taking a staunch “we will oppose everything” approach and stating that your Number 1 objective is win elections rather than to serve the people of Australia, a certain intentionality is created and perceived by others. You have unintentionally created the hostile and cynical reality within which you now seek to exercise influence and leadership.


Effective leadership involves love too. In the western world we equate leadership mainly with strength, mastery, and power. However, to make progress on difficult issues we must connect with others and build trust through warmth, respect, and involvement. It also requires vulnerability and openness. I wonder what beliefs you carry about being a man, being a leader, and being open and vulnerable?


The good news Prime Minister is that sometimes we need to experience real disequilibrium and disorientation before we make beneficial adaptations with our mindsets and behaviours. It would seem that the opportunity now presents. What will you do?