What can we learn from Trump et al?

Johnson & Trump Courtesy: The National

Johnson & Trump
Courtesy: The National

With all the high profile campaigning in the US and the UK of late, there’s an awful lot of leadership on display. What’s really noticeable is the risks some will take with their credibility (I’m thinking Trump, Johnson and Livingston to name but three), and how on the whole they survive. For some, their outlandish statements and claims seem to add to their following, even though they are subsequently proved wrong or to have been in bad taste.

Thankfully, such spectacles of rhetoric and dogma are not the only way to garner followers and exert influence. True, many organisation and business leaders similarly seem to survive in spite of incidents of misconduct or poor judgement (e.g. Rebecca Brooks, Bob Diamond and Tony Hayward). However, like the political arena, there are other successful performers that take a lower profile approach.

This much merely serves to remind us that there is a multitude of ways to provide leadership.

What the higher profile candidates can illustrate, however, is a reminder of a quality that all those in leadership positions need in some degree: resilience. Once we have assumed or accepted responsibility for something that affects other people, so long as we care about those other people, we should try not to let them down by allowing ourselves to be ‘knocked off course’.

So the important leadership question is:

What do you do to ensure you have sufficient personal resilience to keep you functioning?

As noted in a previous blog, there are many, many suggestions for building resilience (e.g. disassociating decisions from self-worth, ensuring you can see the bigger picture, and so on), and not all will suit everyone. This is a topic, therefore, for personal exploration, but current events remind us that it is a topic that should be explored for sure.




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