As someone who has studied and continues to study leaders and leadership, an election can be a great time to see what the leaders will do. I quite often use the leadership lessons from andelection when a am speaking, coaching, or teaching on leadership. But when it comes to the 2016 Manitoba election, I have been disappointed. But that does not mean that there is nothing to learn here. We can learn just as much from bad leadership as we can from good leadership. Why?
Leader Number One: Greg Selinger
Greg has really shown no leadership skills at all over the last several years. There is no doubt that he has experience as a leader. He has been the Premier of Manitoba for the last five and a half years. However, his lack of leadership is distressing. He lied. A leader cannot expect to continue to lead if he does not have the trust of his followers. He made a huge mistake when he raised the PST and refused to admit that it was a mistake. Real leaders make mistakes but they are quick to admit when they are wrong. Selinger has not done this. He did make an “election” apology a little while ago but by then it was too late.
A real leader would have said long ago, “Hey, I made a mistake. We are going to have to raise the PST in order to pay for things here in Manitoba. Therefore, we will be holding a referendum to see what the people of Manitoba think of this. It is especially important since I said that it was ridiculous to think that we would raise the PST.”
Leadership Lesson No. 1: Be honest and when you make a mistake, admit it and move forward with the permission of the people.
Leader Number Two: Rana Bokhari
Rana has a long way to go to prove any leadership skills and her own handling of the botched nominations shenanigans has not shown any leadership. The Liberals do not even have a full slate in this election. She allows her party to jump from issue to issue without any real thought to a unified plan. The worst of this was a campaign promise that the Liberals would fix a glitch in the booking of provincial campsites. I guess it was in the news and so they thought they would jump on it and make some hay. This was a computer glitch that affected a few people and she thinks that it is important to the province of Manitoba. I will be surprised to see her win her own seat and if she doesn’t, I will be really surprised to see her stay the leader of the party. There are a number of current candidates who have far more leadership skills.
It is too bad because I had some high hopes for her. And she had time to learn to be a leader but did not take advantage of it. Leadership is absolutely a learnable skill. Leadership is predictable. It operates by laws. Learn the laws and you learn to lead. But if you ignore the laws then you’re always going to struggle with leadership.
Leadership Lesson No. 2: Learn to be a leader before you become a leader. Then when the time comes, you will be ready.
Leader Number Three: Brian Pallister
Brian has been the leader of opposition for the last four years and spent time as Minister of Government services, and held leadership positions both in opposition and in government at the federal level. So he does have leadership experience. The number one thing that I see Pallister has done to prove his leadership is to present a full plan for the future of Manitoba. He has done other things that show he understands leadership but the plan for the future is the one I see as a proof of leadership skills because
“A leader is one who sees more than others see, who sees farther than others see, and who sees before others do.” – Leroy Eims”
It is not possible to lead if you don’t have a vision and Brian Pallister is the only one of the three party leaders who has a vision and a plan to accomplish it.
Leadership Lesson No. 3: Have a plan and cast a vision.
What other leadership lessons have you learned from this election?
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