The vote is in: We need a different approach to leadership

20160517_173250I woke to the text message from my partner saying that Britain had voted to leave the EU.

Whilst I shouldn’t have been surprised, I was.

My mind had believed so strongly that we would stay. My world surrounded more by those under the age of 35, than those over, Scotland (where I live) and by entrepreneurs with global businesses, was filled with people who on the whole talked about the benefits of the EU and staying in. I guess I am also Australian, on a Greek passport and viewed the whole debate from a different view point.

Yet I was surprised.

I was also saddened; it took some of the sparkle out of me that the sun shining usually puts in. The sun was shining this morning.

Now before you worry that I am about to start on a rant on how could we (yes I do consider myself to be a part of the UK) be so stupid, it is not where I am going to go at all. After a morning to reading Facebook posts, news articles and looking at headlines on newspaper stands around London, I have decided that I would really like to reflect on what is missing.

I want to look at what is potentially missing from politics. It seems to me at the moment that we are missing balance at the higher levels in not only British Politics but around the world. In the years since I grew up with Margaret Thatcher becoming a role model, because she was the only strong female role model in politics, at the time that was public, I still see little of this.

Again I am saddened.

Here in the UK we are faced with a sea of sameness. Take away hair styles and beer glasses and we still have a room full of private school boys with ideas that seem to be conservative and from the hymn book of ‘I know best how to do things, just sit back and let me sort it for you’. You can almost see them patting the population on the head like that are an ignorant little child who doesn’t know what they want.

Now that makes me angry. The population on any country is neither stupid, nor ignorant. So many of the politicians, key decision making roles seems to think this though.

We are faced with those who seems to care, do it differently, or see a different approach, being taken down either figuratively, in the case of Jeremy Corbyn, or actually in the case of Jo Cox. I admire both of them for different reasons and strangely in both cases it has nothing to do with their political stance. One of the things I do love about Scotland is that it political landscape is made so different by the fact that it has so many female leaders – it is the males in leadership positions up here that are a little out of place!

We need a different approach. This can be said for so many other countries around the world as well.

It makes me sad that we spend our days bombarded by negativity.

I personally would like to wake up and start celebrating what we have to offer.

See a nation that can lead by example and start collaborating with its people to help grow and take it forward.

I would love to wake up in a world where it there is no longer a need to point out that a woman has a leadership role.

We need more of them not only in our government, but at higher levels. The UK has had only one female Prime Minister and she is still taken down, even in death for the things ‘she’ did to the country. Yet male Prime Ministers for hundreds of years have been doing, and still continue to do, just that. We don’t suddenly label the entire male population as not being good leaders, or being too masculine, or too feminine, or too ‘something’ in the way theMargaret and Joy do things.

We need more women in key roles in politics. We need it to be more collaborative. We need our politicians to really care about the people not just their careers.

It would be wonderful, if moving forward from all this we could take the legacy of Jo Cox, who’s apparent desire and reasons for being an MP was to represent all the people in her constituency regardless of race, sex, religion or education, and apply that the UK. This would be a good start.

Whilst the majority of people have spoken in one way we need to take a step back and actually listen to what has been said on both sides. Remember it was a simple majority. That is whilst just over half the population said they want to leave, nearly half said they wanted to stay.

This is not as clear cut as it seems.

We need to look at the why on both sides. I believe if we do this, we will find that we are a lot closer together in our needs, desires and wants, as a population, than we think.

As a population we want security – in our health services, in our education, in our economy, and from terrorism – regardless of where it is coming from, internally or externally. We want our politicians to hear us.

The young people of the UK have spoken clearly as well, this is the future.  They have said they want an inclusive nation, that is involved in the world and an integral part of it.  We need to hear this and not ignore it.

Those that are looking at what we will be doing going forward need to take this into account.

As a nation, and particularly as politicians, we need to start looking at the bigger picture, hearing the voices and looking at a collaborative and responsive way forward.

I am sad mostly because I fear that after this we are not going to change, that we are not going to look forward, that we are not going to look for peaceful ways to hear the voices of both sides of the debate.

I am sad because I fear that this will once again become another platform for a ‘boy’ from an expensive school, who has always had his way supported financially, to climb his power ladder, to play his game of competitive leadership and forget that his actual role is to represent the people and be there for them.

Leadership should be collaborative, in that a leader makes the sage and hard decisions, but they listen and work for the people they represent. This is regardless of whether it is in business, the community or politics. We look for our leaders to make the hard decisions but we also look for them to listen to us and look out for us.

I am sad because right now in all this, I see a young population who feel let down, a nation that is not being listened to and politicians who are once again getting set to play with their egos.

Let us move forward.  Look at the bigger picture and find the positive and peaceful way forward here.

signiture for blog


(I sign off with the usual greeting as I am still hoping for the BEST)

About The Author

Maggie Georgopoulos

Author | Speaker | Consultant Maggie works with women who are looking to reach their full leadership potential through her Up the Ladder in a Skirt Program.