What can today’s leaders learn from the 2015 election?
Has David Cameron got what it takes to lead Britain out of austerity?
No leader is exempt from the pressure of surviving and thriving in a constantly changing environment, but none more so than re-elected Prime Minister, David Cameron. He’s proven himself popular with the public, but does he have the qualities essential to lead Britain to success? And how did his counterparts fail to win the majority?
Let’s take a look at five key leadership dimensions:
- Learning – providing agility to tackle unforeseen challenges.
Ed Miliband failed to learn from past elections, denying that Labour had overspent, even though the public knew this to be untrue. Labour once again refused to work with other parties, despite knowing that they would not get a working majority.
- Intellect – coping with complexity and unpredictability.
Whilst Nicola Sturgeon managed to win Scotland by a land-slide, she failed to recognise that her unrelenting comments about being determined to keep the Tories out of government may have undermined Labour’s position in England, with wavering English voters not wanting their future decided in Scotland.
- Values – acting in an authentic and consistent way, inspiring trust.
We’ve seen the rise of the SNP due to a loss of trust in labour and similarly, Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrats losing votes by not sticking to their principles and core values.
- Emotions – managing emotions effectively, building positive relationships.
Nigel Farage failed to recognise that whilst his outspoken views on Europe and Immigration resonated well with many voters, his style of delivery was often confrontational, to the point that he alienated some of the electorate and distracted them from his key message.
- Drive – taking an action-oriented approach, showing passion and determination.
David Cameron demonstrated his passion in the days running up to the election, which clearly galvanised many of the undecided voters, something his main rival, Ed Miliband failed to achieve.
Cameron will need to bring these five dimensions to the fore if he’s to succeed as a leader and retain the nation’s faith in him. Today we have seen the resignation of three key party leaders, with more senior shadow cabinet ministers likely to follow in the coming days. Leadership will undoubtedly play a huge role in shaping the political future of the UK so the parties in question need to get it right!
Leaders within organisations can also take heed from this advice by developing their Learning, Intellect, Values, Emotions and Drive (LIVED®) to gain trust and commitment from their teams. a&dc CEO, Nigel Povah, discusses the importance of assessing and developing LIVED® leaders in his interview with The Telegraph below: