This whole affair on Brexit has given the lime-light to many so called leaders, who perhaps would not have had that opportunity should the British public have voted to remain.
Looking into characteristics of inspirational and successful leaders, I have not found one that refers to attention seeking, taking the credit for the results, putting him or herself first before the goals of the country, business, department or team, or anything that might suggest that effective leaders need attention from their followers, and or the limelight? On the contrary, I was under the impression that the opposite is true, a good dose of humility.
How, therefore do you interpret the behaviour of Boris Johnson in this whole affair? Does he have what it takes to be the future leader of the United Kingdom? Irrelevant of what you might think about the current leader, she has taken the bull by the horns and despite pressures from the EU negotiators, her own cabinet and the opposition cabinet, she still gets up in the morning, puts on her best face and sticks with the agenda of navigating the mine field to achieve “the will of the majority of the British people” without seeking reward or recognition from any of these parties.
On the other hand Boris Johnson has been hell-bent on changing direction at the crucial point on several occasions. Initially in the run up to the vote in June 2016 as a non Brexit supporter, to changing practically at the eleventh hour to a pro Brexit supporter and being very vocal about it to create maximum attention possible.
His latest episode of going against the plan and essentially the Prime Minister and his own party, like a naughty school boy, again at the eleventh hour, through a public platform, can only be interpreted as a leader who does not understand the term “humility”. Perhaps he should be put in the corner where he will initially, certainly get the limelight? What about the leadership characteristics of Mr Johnson?
Courage considered an essential characteristic. One could say he has courage to challenge the whole cabinet and voice his opinion. Whether his opinion was fully understood is questionable. That brings us to the second characteristic.
Clear Communicator – If you are unable to hear your followers and to communicate clearly your vision, direction and goals, together with opinion, ideas and thoughts, then perhaps you cannot be called a leader, effective or otherwise!
Charisma – this really depends on your view of charisma. The Living Oxford Dictionary definition of “Compelling attractiveness or charm that can inspire devotion in others,” we might question whether Mr Johnson firstly has charm and secondly inspires devotion in others? Infact, on a recent Jeremy Vine show, one of the listeners described Mr Johnson as a “Buffoon!” No comment?
Determination and Commitment – The only area where Mr Johnson shows determination and commitment is to his own agenda. What kind of leader, puts his own agenda before that of his followers? On writing this question, the likes of President Putin and Robert Mugabe spring to mind. The good thing is he doesn’t appear to have the autocratic communication skills to follow in their foot steps.
Decisiveness – As a member of the Conservative party and cabinet, surely discussions outside of the public realm, and decisions made as a result of it should remain in that room, and the decision made supported by all team members thus demonstrating unity for your followers? Airing your own opinion and demonstrating “sour grapes” when your solution is not adopted is in my book not a leadership characteristic.
I leave you to make your own mind up about the suitability of Boris Johnson to lead anybody anywhere?