Tag Archives: leadership consulting

Australia’s Political Leaders, where are they?

The latest Newspoll (conducted for The Australian newspaper) clearly shows that Tony Abbott and his alternative, Bill Shorten, have both lost popularity with the Australian public. The recently released Reader’s Digest Australia annual Trusted People survey of 2014 listed door-to-door salespeople, politicians, insurance salespeople, sex workers and call centre staff as the least trusted professions in that order. At least Tony and Bill can take some comfort from the fact their unpopularity isn’t just about them, its about their profession as well.

When evaluating CEO’s and their senior management team I review ability from four perspectives, strategic, collaborative, inspirational and achievement.

When considering Tony and Bill’s strategic ability is it in the context of what is best for Australia or how they stay in/get in power? All we seem to hear from an opposition party (the current opposition and their predecessors) is negative, for example both have played the broken promises line very consistently. This constant sniping is at best tactical and is certainly not strategic. What is our big picture vision, what are we trying to be? Can either Bill or Tony answer this?

Collaborative ability is hard to assess without seeing how Tony and Bill work with others, internally and eternally to their own party’s.

Inspirational ability. A leader will not inspire you unless you trust them, why would anyone want to follow someone they don’t trust. The results of the Reader’s Digest Australia annual Trusted People survey would suggest both leaders and their colleagues are short of the mark in this aspect of leadership.

Achievement ability. This is strategy implementation. This is not about agreeing with the action, for example raising the retirement age to 70 is an action regardless if it is a good strategy or not. It would be an interesting case study to list the major actions either party has taken in the last three years. Further more it would be worthwhile noting which of these actions have impacted marginal seats.

Australia is crying out for political leaders who have a big picture view for Australia and not just their own power; leaders who work well with our neighbors while ensuring alignment with our own needs, leaders who have the strength of character to stand by their beliefs and deserve our respect if not always our agreement and leaders who strive for action that is driven by a overarching direction and not the ballot box.

Simon Tedstone

Director, Leading Change Consulting



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