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We have recently been through an election in Australia only to achieve the result of a hung parliament. It was an interesting time indeed. We were 'leaderless' for weeks and have now just been told our leader will in fact be Julia Gillard. A minority leader. Was it so bad being leaderless for the time that we were? That is another discussion point indeed.

The fact is that the people who voted were 50/50 in their decision as to who they would like to lead our country. That to me is a big problem. How did this happen? Well the fact that the discussion during the election was very focused on the fact that one candidate, Tony Abbott,  wears speedos and the other, Julia Gillard, has large ear lobes is a good indication on how strong their messages were. Ridiculous I know!

I don't believe either candidate presented a strong enough leadership brand to inspire a country of people to follow them. They did not communicate a crystal clear leadership proposition communicating with conviction what they stood for and what they didn't. They played it safe and were, for want of a better analogy, 'vanilla'.

So what's the problem with that? The problem is, when you are in a leadership position, people need to know why they should follow you. What is the compelling reason they should be on your team.  Why should your 'tribe' or your 'people' follow your message? Why should they support you towards a common goal? How do you inspire them? What do you stand for and what can you teach your tribe?

All of these things are critical factors to leadership. Playing it safe as a leader is cowardly to me. You should have stayed a follower if you do not have the courage and conviction to stand by your message. I look for strong leaders who can be a role model to me.  People are looking for leaders in this new economy, and simply leading through title is not going to do it.  If Mr Abbott or Julia Gillard had of communicated a clear, defining message, my guess is the result would have been very different.

What is it that you stand for?


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