Do we finally have Authentic Leadership in NZ Politics?

Today should be the first day in power of the newly elected NZ government. Except we don’t know who it is yet! I am going to stay away from any political debate and ask this question.

Who is the best political leader for NZ?

Or the real question is, who has the best leadership style for NZ? By taking out the word political, I am simply going to comment on the personal leadership style of our two Prime Minister candidates, Bill English and Jacinda Arden,

Forgetting any political persuasions, I have found Jacinda Arden’s communication and personal leadership style refreshing. The reason is she seems authentic and of higher integrity than Bill English. The trend in business is towards more Authentic Leadership to better connect with your followers to inspire greater engagement and team success. This is nothing new, for example, Bill George’s book titled Authentic Leadership was written in 2003. Yet until Jacinda, I have not seen this open more authentic leadership style in NZ politics. To me, she seems the more trustworthy of the two.

“Authenticity has become the gold standard for leadership.” — Harvard Business Review, January 2015

Authentic leadership is defined in a Psychology Today article as having 4 elements:

  • Know Thyself
  • Be Genuine
  • Be Fair-Minded
  • Do the Right Thing

As I stated, Authentic Leadership is certainly not something I associate with NZ politicians. More common is the old style of leadership, or at its extreme is Donald Trump, who seems to have invented the term alternative facts. He seems like a bully, pushing people around with little regard for anybody other than himself. At its worst, we could call this the direct dictator leadership style.

I would welcome any comments. Do you agree or disagree with my view? It is an interesting debate so would love to get other peoples view on this topic.

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