After the election in the weekend, today is the dawn of the new NZ government, except we don’t know who it is! This post is inspired by a number of comments on LinkedIn yesterday. I am going to stay away from any political debate and ask this question.

Who is the best leader for NZ?

Or the real question is, who has the best leadership style for NZ? By taking out the word political, I am simply going to comment on the personal leadership style of Bill English and Jacinda Arden,  one of which will be confirmed as our Prime Minister.

Forgetting any political persuasions, I have found Jacinda Arden’s communication and personal leadership style refreshing. The reason is she seems authentic and of higher integrity than Bill English. The trend towards Authentic leadership being more successful is not new. Bill George’s book, Authentic Leadership wrote about this in 2003. Yet until Jacinda, I have not seen this in a NZ political leader. To me, she seems the more trustworthy of the two.

“Authenticity has become the gold standard for leadership.” — Harvard Business Review, January 2015

Authentic leadership is defined in this Psychology Today article as having 4 elements:

  • Know Thyself
  • Be Genuine
  • Be Fair-Minded
  • Delementsght Thing

Authentic Leadership is certainly not something I associate with NZ politicians.  More common is the old style of leadership, or at its extreme is Donald Trump who seems to have invented the term alternative facts. He seems like a bully, pushing people around with little regard for anybody other than himself. At its worst, we could call this the direct dictator leadership style.

I would welcome any comments. Do you agree or disagree with my view? It is an interesting debate so would love to get other peoples view on this topic.