The top 3 worst characteristics of Australian Political Leaders…
...and what we can all learn by understanding them better.
Hey Jay here
With the recent change in political leadership in Australian politics, Leadership is a phrase that has been used in what seems almost every article I’ve read over the past week. And yet Leadership seems to me to be a misunderstood term.
Given that, I was moved to write about the culture of Australian Political Leadership, about why and how Australian political leaders polarise the Australian public.
You never know, as a leader yourself, you may well find there is much we can all learn.
(See the learning points section toward the end!)
Why are we in the worst leagues?
The answer is simple: We don’t yet know how to really care about our people.
And I would see this as a developmental issue. Not everyone is the same, nor do they develop at the same rate. There is no pre-requisite for Politicians to have developed themselves in any way at all. I mean, some people could still be a media mogul and be allowed to be PM.
In human development there is a process of continuing growth and evolution of consciousness development, with each stage transcending and including the previous stage. Each stage gets bigger, bigger, bigger, deeper, wider, higher, more inclusive. Let me explain...
In developmental psychology specifically, there exists the phenomena of ‘increasing levels of care’ and this is perfect in the context of politics.
We all start at the level of ‘ego centric care’. This is where I care for myself, and I revel in my own narcissistic powers. e.g. (IMHO) Salim Mehajer, deputy mayor of Auburn City Council.
Each of us them moves into the next level at some stage - called ‘ethnocentric care’, where care expands from just me to my family, my tribe, and possibly my nation.
This is where Tony Abbott is with his “stop the boats policy”.
It’s care about us, but not them…
The next stage, the modern stage, is called ‘world-centric care’, where care becomes about all of humanity, regardless of race, colour, sex, or creed. Malcolm Turnbull, the current Prime Minister is really operating from here.
There are stages that go beyond this, but for now let’s say Malcolm is doing OK in his development, to be our leader.
Characteristic 1. Australian Pollies are too personal and self-centred – they get in their own way.
Should a politician suspend their self-interest?
Most Australian political leaders operate from a lower level of care, i.e. are too self-oriented.
There, I said it.
From Pauline Hansen, to Jackie Lambie, to the recent rise of Salim Mehajer, deputy mayor of Auburn Council.
Mehajer, for example, (IMHO) is a self-made millionaire developer who has infiltrated a major Sydney council in the self-service of growing his development portfolio…
For local property tycoons, (as you can see from the image above), it is not a case that the cream rises to the top, but the oil rises higher, it is that the rooftops and the highrises get far more attention on the council skyline when you own them.
Characteristic 2. What about politicians being smarter than the average koala bear?
There’s no easy way to say this, so I’ll just say it...
Being smart is not a prerequisite to leading in Australian politics.
Lack IQ? Come on down!
Don’t agree? 6 words - Jackie Lambie, Pauline Hanson, Fred Nile…
Let’s take Pauline Hanson as an example. I am not saying she is thick, but definitely singularly focussed on her agenda; to keep Australia in the 1960s (white Australia policy).
What can we all learn from this as leaders?
Now, here is the thing…
Being a good leader is about your way of being, and not about what you do (or do not do). Leadership is an authentic expression of your way of being – from the inside out. Paradoxically though it isn’t about you – it’s about your followers! As you express on the outside, your vision and meaning on the inside, it awakens people to their own expression of their potential – in service of what is possible. It is my experience that people become engaged in that possibility. They become engaged, inspired, awakened to their own possibilities, in actualising yours…
You can read more on this in the following article - 15 Tips To Engaging Your Followers
We are all on a journey together, moving through developmental stages. The people who are in a role of being responsible for this country’s policy, and who have over arching duty of care for their subjects, are our leaders. The question is, have they ever been taught any of the skills we expect to see in a leader. And if not, why not?