Have Politicians Lost the Art of Leadership? Interview with Iain Colville

Have Politicians Lost the Art of Leadership? Interview with Iain Colville

There are many qualities people look for in a good leader.

Whether it is heading up a business or running a country, people expect honesty and integrity in someone who can inspire others and make decisions.

They must have commitment and compassion, be a good communicator, delegate and be accountable for their actions.

Above all, to maintain the trust of those they are leading, they must admit when they are wrong and try to restore faith in what they are doing.

Leadership Role Models

People such as Bill Gates and Steve Jobs are held up as role models for good leadership after building successful global business empires.

Whatever happens in the future, their names are synonymous with the success of Microsoft and Apple, respectively, for revolutionising the hi-tech world.

Politicians and Leadership

A good leader can inspire someone to carry out a difficult or unpleasant task with pleasure, taking it in their stride. On the other hand, a poor leader can make even the most enjoyable assignment seem like a chore.

Being a successful leader in the political arena is less straightforward, however, because there is always someone in opposition.

Litigation expert, Iain Colville, Partner at law firm, Wright Hassall, believes that dispute resolution is one of the keys to good leadership.

“Former American presidents Abraham Lincoln, Franklin D Roosevelt and George Washington are seen as great leaders of their time,” explains Iain.

“The fact that they had to make unpopular decisions, but are remembered positively, is testament to their leadership.”

Keep the Faith

“Sir Winston Churchill led the country through some of its darkest times. But he was voted out of office in favour of Clement Attlee’s Labour party in 1945, before returning to power in 1951.”

“Both men are widely regarded as amongst the country’s greatest leaders, as is Margaret Thatcher, although all had their detractors and oversaw hugely unpopular policies.”

“History will perhaps not look back favourably on the leaderships of Theresa May and Boris Johnson, both of whom were chosen by their party to oversee the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union”

Iain Colville, Wright Hassall

“Trust is a key trait for business leaders, and crucial for them and their companies. However, for politicians, there is an over-riding perception that they cannot be trusted.”

Is mistrust fatal to the career of any politician relying on voters to have faith in them and their policies?

“The best leaders set out their agenda at the start and are seen to be working to achieve those goals, reassuring both supporters and doubters along the way that they are on course to succeed.”

“Even the best leaders cannot please everyone all of the time”

Iain Colville, Wright Hassall

“It is easy to support someone when things are going well,” Iain concludes. “But it is how they deal with difficult situations, while focusing on the end result, that the legacy of their leadership is truly judged.”

HR Aspects Magazine thanks Iain Colville for his contribution.

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Mike Crutchley is a journalist and newspaper editor with more than 20 years in the industry with local, regional and national media. He now runs the PR firm Mike Crutchley Media.