Political Leadership – This Is The Problem

Political Leadership – It’s really not that hard.

In Australia we have disengaged with our political leaders. We have voted out first term governments at a State level and it is not looking good for the current Federal Government. Our political leadership is at scary lows, and it is hurting our country.

Worldwide Leadership Problems

This disengaging is a worldwide phenomena – we are seeing small and micro parties pop-up and take a percentage of the vote. In Australia it is Palmer United Party, in the USA it is the Tea Party and in the United Kingdom it is the UKIP. At a Federal level, it is happening to the Coalition NOT because of the policies but because of the way the leadership team is acting. Get the full details in the video below.

If you need your leaders to be stronger and more influential, reach out and let’s have a conversation about what is possible.



Transcript of Political Leadership Video

G’day! Darren Fleming.

Want to have a chat today about why we in Australia, we’ve been disengaging with our political leaders and political leadership at such a rate that we’re turfing out first-term governments, and I want to show you how what’s going on applies to your business, and how you can generate sales and be more effective in the marketplace. Stick around.

Recently, across Australia, we’ve seen a number of first-term governments turfed out on their ears. Now, Prime Minister Tony Abbott only narrowly survived a spill motion where 39 of his backers voted in favour of an empty chair to run the party as opposed to him. Why is that? What’s going on? What’s wrong with Australian political leaders and political leadership?

Well, the problems that we’re seeing are not party-specific – so this is not apolitical. This is what we’re seeing across all parties. And when you look at what’s going on, you can see how it applies to your business. And I’ll take you through the steps at the end.

The main problem that we’re seeing at the federal level is Tony Abbott is a fighter. Much has been made of when he was at university he would fight, he was a boxer. And he has taken that into his political leadership career. When he was the opposition leader, he was a great attack dog to Kevin Rudd, then Julia Gillard, and Rudd again. When he survived his leadership spill, this is the very first question that he was asked by Leigh Sales on The 7.30 Report and his answer. Take a look.

Tony Abbott: I am a fighter, I know how to beat Labor party leaders, I beat Kevin Rudd, I beat Julia Gillard, I can beat Bill Shorten as well. What  I am not good at is fighting the Liberal Party.

To Tony Abbott, political leadership is not about bringing people together, overcoming differences. To him, leadership is about “Who am I better than? Who can I pound into the dirt? Who can I be better than? Who can I show I am stronger?” When we have a political leader who is more obsessed with beating and winning than bringing people together, we start to disconnect. We stop listening to what it is they have to say, and even if it is good, because we’ve disconnected with them, we won’t listen to what it is they’ve got to say. That is a big part of the reason why they are unable to get many of their budget issues, budget proposals through the Senate.
The second thing that they’ve been doing is breaking Rule #101 of sales. When you’re taught to sell, the first rule you’re taught is never bag the opposition. Yet, that’s all that the current government does. Just have a look at this:

Tony Abbott:  We at least accept that there is a serious fiscal challenge, that a bit of inter-generational theft has been going on that the former government started, and we are determined to fix. The Labor Party is in denial about all these things.

Or like this:

Tony Abbott:  Really and truly, what does that say about the state of Victoria, that they are contemplating paying 1.2 billion dollars not to build a road?

Thank you for the question, Laura, because it’s a classic example of what goes wrong when in a fit of absent-mindedness people elect Labor governments.

Once again, this is not about whether it’s true or not. This is about the basic rule of selling – do not bag your opposition. Throughout the campaign for the 2013 election, we heard Labor’s debt and deficit. During the first 18 months of government, it was all about Labor’s debt and deficit. Whether or not that’s true is not the point of the argument. What is happening – as the leader, he is standing up and pounding the opposition. When you’re trying to sell your message, you simply don’t do that.

The third thing that’s going on is very subtle, and most people know what’s going on but can’t articulate it. And this comes down to the meta-language, the meta-communication that’s going on. Scott Morrison was the Immigration Minister for the first 18 months, and here’s an interview with him where he was asked a question by a reporter; he did something, and then gave the answer.

The question; answer. It’s the something in the middle – the meta-communication, the meta-language – that shows what is going on with the level of fighting between the government and the electorate. Here it is.

Reporter:  Minister, can you now go into again, that as long as detainees don’t engage in aggressive conduct, and just follow the rules, essentially, that you can guarantee their safety? If they stay inside the detention centre…

Scott Morrison:  I’ll repeat what I said. When people… I’ll repeat exactly what I said because I meant exactly what I said when I said this the other day. I can guarantee their safety when they remain in the centre and act cooperatively with those who are trying to provide them with support and accommodation.

Scott Morrison was asked a question; he then answered it to the way that he wanted. He could have given that same answer in a different way, without reading that document. But what happened – he wanted to control the way the information was put forward. And you can see a bit of a wry smile on his face creeping through. It’s about the control. It’s not about bringing people together. It’s about dividing and saying, “We’re better. This is the way it’s going to be.”

Why is this important? Well, it’s important because the way you do anything is the way you do everything. And if you have this constant attitude of fighting, of “we’re better,” of “let’s beat, let’s do it our way,” you get people on your team who say things like this:

Joe Hockey:  And change to the fuel excise does exactly that. The poorest people either don’t have cars or actually don’t drive very far in many cases…

Or like this:

Interviewer:  That will be… is that what we’re talking about here?

George Brandis:  Um, Um, Um Um, Um ,Um er, er, er, er, What you’re viewing on the internet is not what we’re interested in, and that’s not what we’re about—

Interviewer:  And you’d be able to see whether I’ve been to the …

Now, how does this relate to your business? Well, if you’ve got staff who, potentially, in an office, don’t get on, or there’s simmering tensions, or are unable to articulate a message in any area, that’s what’s going to be the underlying pattern out when they’re talking to customers, when they’re leading their team, when you’re not present.

The way you do anything is the way you do everything. This is what the iLead program is about.

So I’d like you to do three things from here. The first of all is click the Like, Share, Tweet button, so it goes to LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, all those places. The second is, below, comment on what it is that you’ve seen – our political leaders, our leaders in society, and how you either are connecting to them or disconnecting. And then the third thing is if this sounds like some issues you’ve got in your team or you want your team to be more productive, shoot me a quick email, and we’ll start a conversation on how we can get your team being more productive, more engaging, and able to sell more, achieve more, and be better placed in the market.

I’ll speak to you soon. Cheers!




Posted in Language of Leadership, Politics and speaking, psychology of influence, psychology of leadership, public speaking courses

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