Steve Flinders – Who would make the better boss?
Text & Photo: Steve Flinders
How would you like Jeremy Corbyn or Boris Johnson as head of your organisation? As the Brexit saga morphed into an election campaign, I started to wonder how the leading candidates for the top job, CEO of UK Ltd., might fare if they had to interview for the position rather than go to the polls. Of course, politics and business require different skills, but there are leadership qualities that we look for in both politicians and business people.
Here’s my only slightly tongue-in-cheek scorecard for each of our shortlist of two.
1. Work experience. Corbyn has been a town councillor. Johnson has been a journalist, did a clever PR job as Mayor of London and was, for two years, a gaffe-prone foreign secretary. Both now preside over parties riven by internecine conflict. These CVs raise doubts as to the ability of either to run a whelk stall competently.
2. Management plans. Both have ambitious spending programmes. Neither has provided convincing details at the time of writing as to how they will be financed.
3. Communication. Corbyn has been dull and uninspiring and has failed to gain a competitive advantage in his current position. Johnson can fashion a witty phrase but puts his foot in his mouth with alarming regularity. Good for the image of the firm?
4. Values. Corbyn can give the impression of still living in the 1970s. Johnson, once a cosmopolitan liberal, is currently a right-wing populist. One never changes, the other changes to advance his career.
5. Character. See above. Corbyn has difficulties adapting to a changing world. Johnson’s lying, attention seeking and disregard for rules are all symptoms of a narcissistic personality, usually an indicator of a toxic management style.
6. Vision. Both have a vision that appeals to a minority and alienates the rest. Strong leaders mobilise the whole workforce, not just part of it.
So, neither candidate does very well by my count. Perhaps we should re-advertise the vacancy.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Scan Magazine Ltd.
Steve Flinders is a freelance trainer, writer and coach, based in Malta, who helps people develop their communication and leadership skills for working internationally: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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