Regardless of whether you are a Hone Harawira supporter or not, the current situation raises some key leadership questions. When you are in a leadership position, where do you draw the line? Do you speak “your truth” because you see that as being absolutely critical – the voice of your supporters who put you in the position of power and trust in the first place or do you keep quiet because there is a bigger issue at play such as being loyal and in integrity with your own party?
In a political situation such as this, does speaking up mean you are representing your people well or is that at the expense of destroying the bigger unity of many more people? The person on the edge – are they speaking out and being the conscience of the party or is there a lot more at stake? For example, in this instance, can a lot more be achieved with “legitimate” power of being an insider and with one’s team, people and colleagues as part of the Maori Party?
Or does it boil down to leadership style? Has Hone tripped up each time, every time because of his extroverted outspokenness and his “in the face” style? Could he achieve the outcomes he desires or certainly get closer to them if he was able to do this in a way that built bridges and still stood for the more challenging stance that he typically takes?
Or is it about personalities? Is there a difference a between leader who has mana, is visionary and inclusive versus someone perceived more as a “rebel rouser” or “maverick”? Can mavericks be leaders? History has certainly shown that maverick leaders can be very effective in bringing about needed change in both business and society.
What is clear is that any leader has a minefield to navigate. Knowing ourselves, understanding ourselves and others at a deeper level and knowing how best to communicate at a deep level of heart and wairua along with the more serious issues at hand is a delicate art and commitment in itself.
The values and ethic-based stance is often less about right and wrong – more about right and right. It requires us all to be so much bigger than any culture, context and current games we may have gotten caught up in. This is easier said than done but then great leadership also calls for passion, humility, grace, hope and aroha and long may that continue.
Jasbindar Singh is a Leadership Coach – www.sqleadership.com
(Picture sourced from Bing images).