So let’s look at this through a leadership lens. I led a leadership discussion this week around the 21 laws and of course, Brexit came up so I thought that it may add value to share a couple of the topics with you.
The law of BUY-IN – ‘People buy into the leader and THEN the vision.’
John Maxwell says that ‘the leaders who make the greatest impact are often those who lead well in the midst of uncertainty’ and there is certainly plenty of that going around. David Cameron has resigned and looking at the situation in the Labour Party, there is clearly a lack of ‘buy-in’ for Jeremy Corbyn from his parliamentary MPs who have just had a vote of ‘no confidence’ . It is not that they disagree with his vision or policies; everyone agrees he is a man of good character but they have decided he has no credibility as a leader. Vision is not enough.
Corbyn has huge grass roots support in the party who are demonstrating in the street to keep him so what will happen? For me, a leader needs to unite people and after a campaign which pitted neighbour against neighbour there needs to be someone with the ability to pull people back together in the UK. Without the buy in from those in his own party, who make things happen in Westminster, it is difficult to see how he can remain.
Have you seen evidence of buy-in or lack of it in your company? Or maybe you remember being a new leader, saying all the right things but wondering why people were not convinced? Remember how annoying it is to have someone else say the very same thing and be listened to? How are you building your relationships and credibility?
The law of the PICTURE - ‘People do what people see’
Were you told as a child to ‘do as I say, not as I do?’ This is because the power of the visual – what you do – is so much more than what you say. The majority of change programmes fail because leaders think it is enough to say the right things but carry on behaving the way they always have. Why should anyone else in the company change if the leader does not?
So what role models do we have in the UK at the moment? Who has set a good example of self-leadership, authenticity and having the nation’s interests at heart? All of the nation that is…?
One question in our meeting was, how do we explain that the younger voters in the UK didn’t always follow their parents’ vote? Who are their role models? We concluded that maybe younger people are more inclined to use social media and have wider access to role models, for example, the many ‘celebrities’ who were pledging their support to one side or the other influenced them.
Whatever it was, the UK is certainly in need of a new picture to follow.