What really draws people to leaders, people who want to help them achieve their vision?
Journalists labeling New Zealand’s PM Ardern’s dramatic rise as mania implies thoughtless following. This is not so. Don’t be misled by click bait labels.
So what has Jacindamania got to do with leading? Very little. How do we account for Ardern attracting significant numbers of voters as she accepted the role of leader with one of New Zealand’s political parties and is now Prime Minister?
Describing Ms Ardern’s rapid rise as ‘mania’ fail to see easily observable qualities such as her:
- Nine years as a professional politician
- Vision for a better NZ
- Humanity, optimism and personable fallibility
- Ability to collaborate
- Ability to tell it like it is and not gloss over the real difficulties of inclusion
Leaders with these qualities attract people. Time will tell if Ardern’s current leadership qualities persist under pressure, failures and the inevitable harsh criticisms that will come her way.
Successful leaders hold onto their vision and work through roadblocks. They create environments where people want to make contributions. They are ruthless in their focus and choose people they trust to be close to them. They act decisively what that trust is eroded.
Leaders help others make their contributions. They invest time in listening. Their actions show they care both for the ‘company’ and for individuals. People are drawn to these leaders and want to be influenced by them.
Several factors are influential in drawing people to leaders, differentiating them from celebrities who attract adoration or fame.
- Have expertise and experience in their professional identity
- Share a uniting vision
- Talk to people not about them
- Welcome people getting ‘closer’
- Are inclusive
- Hold people to account if they divert from the vision/values
- Acknowledge contributions
- Report milestones and results
- Create possibilities for a better future
Leaders with these qualities attracts others. In any realm, including politics, having the top job doesn’t make you a leader. How people experience being with you, matters. Seeing results matters. Working through roadblocks towards a vision matters. Including others wisely matters. Do those around you know what your vision is? How well does your vision align with theirs? Who are the groups you now need to include in your vision? What will you do to expand those involved in your vision?
Also read Leaders and Politicians – 4 pivot points by Diana Jones published on Linkedin October 2017