Saturday, 9 March 2013

The Legacy of Australian Political Leadership

Julia Gillard was Minister for Education in Australia from 3rd December 2007 to 28th June 2010. The highlight of her Ministry was the creation and the overseeing of the "Building the Education Revolution" (BER). This was a $16.2 Billion Program.The program attracted much criticism for alleged misappropriation of public funds and for not delivering value-for-money outcomes. Many instances of inflated quotes or new buildings that were not particularly useful to schools were reported. The Leader of the Opposition called for a judicial inquiry into this Program and the failed Home Insulation Program-they were described as "failed programs" and a "waste of public money". Ultimately it was proven that BER projects in NSW, QLD and VIC overpaid for buildings by more than 25% on average compared to Catholic schools and more than 55% compared to Independent schools. The wastage on this program was estimated at around $1.5Billion.

Although Gillard denied her leadership aspirations it was not long after this that she sought to depose Kevin Rudd. This began the background to the legacy of a new wave of political leadership. What followed has been a series of lies, deception, conflict and corruption. It began with the Rudd lie, the carbon tax, the economic surplus promise and the allegations surrounding her years as a labor lawyer.

Whilst Kevin Rudd lacked leadership and effectiveness skills Julia Gillard has taken poor leadership too even lower depths.

Her legacy tells us that it is appropriate and acceptable to lie and deceive and to use every opportunity to discredit others around you. It is generally accepted that she has been the most disliked and untrusted Prime Minister in the history of Australia.

Integrity is one of the hallmarks of good leadership. Integrity and honesty is the basis upon which to build trust and confidence. The example given to the youth and people of this Country portrays only deception, lies, corruption and dishonesty and this is all packaged up as being "acceptable".
What has been demonstrated over recent years has been the lack of any Noble Leadership qualities from either Kevin Rudd or Julia Gillard. It is obvious in the way that they present there is a lack of sincerity and authenticity which are key elements in the ability to positively influence those around them. Kevin Rudd had the worst staff turnover probably in the history of politics and Julia Gillard has achieved the worst ratings of any Prime Minister in the history of Australia. These outcomes clearly indicate the lack of sincerity, authenticity and any ability to positively inspire those around them. The legacy of such people is detrimental to the moral and spiritual health of Australia.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

The Mind of Noble Leadership-Expectations and Outcomes

The Book about Noble Leadership

Several years ago I decided to write a book about the concept and philosophy of Noble Leadership. Writing a book is similar to many of the activities that we begin in life and tragically like most of them they can remain unfinished.
I persisted with the book and it is true to say that I had many friends and colleagues who were applying some degree of pressure on me to write and then finish this book. After 2 years I had it almost finished. It was a large book and one very much aligned with the full Noble Leader Program. It had taken a long time and I did not feel truly connected with it. It was complex and analytical and I was doing it with other objectives. One such objective was for my Doctorate in Philosophy.
Some good friends in Malaysia started to read my draft and their immediate feedback was most critical and I guess they were disappointed both in the book and maybe also in me. In short they did not like the way the book had been written and presented.
I went away disillusioned. After a few days I recovered enough to see that what they were offering was in fact very constructive. One of the key elements of the Noble Leader philosophy is "simplicity" and in this book I had failed miserably. It was anything but simple.
I sat down and wrote the book again but this time in the most simplistic way that I could imagine. The book was finished in less than 3 weeks. I showed this book then to some other friends in Melbourne who were amazed at it. They were amazed at it's size. They said -"this is okay but where is the rest of it?" They were expecting much more.
So this situation leads me now to the subject. Everything in life is shaped by expectations. In this instance we had my expectations of myself, the perceived Malaysian expectation of the book and myself, the Australian expectation of the book and myself. There were so many expectations and along the way I was attempting to meet many expectations, least of all my own. Added to this of course were the expectations of a distraught publisher.
We live in a World of expectations. We create them and we are affected by our perceived expectations of others. This is a complex environment for us to operate within. Expectations and outcomes and the fact that all too often they do not match.
The same can be applied within the Workplace. Everyone has expectations and most are unfulfilled. We have to learn to manage our own expectations and our reactions to the expectations of others. We need to be realistic and to learn to overcome self doubt and our desire to meet the expectations of others. Our expectations about others is only our self perception and in many cases we can be so wrong.
There are a number of ways in which we can assess this situation. One such way is to strive to ensure that our expectations of others will be no greater than the expectations that we have of ourselves. What does this tell us about our own expectations regarding ourselves? We need to ensure that we have realistic and achievable self expectations. If we do not have this then we will be very unfulfilled. We will be struggling to live a life with disappointment because we could not meet our own expectations.
Expect nothing from others that you would not expect from yourself.