If ever leadership was important, it’s right now…
We need leadership at every level. In this week’s notes we are considering leadership around the world both local and international. I continue to be fascinated by Trump’s behaviour. This week he has been about as dreadful as he gets. There have been many personal responses to his actions but one quote I read is fantastic and ends with:
This is not partisan. It is simply about recognizing the moral vacuum that is now pretending to lead.”
Read the complete quote below, it actually says it all.
However, let us not be distracted by Trump. We all have to focus on what happens post Covid 19. The roles which Mayors can play is covered in an article. We expect this sort of leadership at local government, by both elected reps, and by officials employed, to undertake what needs to be done in our society. We must expect all levels of Government to be as open as is possible. We saw terrific examples of open leadership during the lockdown. Long may that continue. Normally politicians are as good as their networks, which, when they are in office, are often self-interested individuals dressed up as friends. It’s time to change this.
With our world in disarray, now is the time for distributed and engaged leadership. Systems and processes where widespread engagement on issues by elected bodies must be seen as normal. Not just relying on a three-yearly vote. We require constant engagement by the community. Issues must be driven by the community because they trust the elected reps.
Christchurch City Council has an annual Citizens Survey. This year the results are the worst they have been since the process started. The Council, at elected and official level need to carefully analyse these results and move onto a path which addresses the Citizens of this City’s concerns. Slogans won’t do it. Deep investment is needed to bring the residents of this city, battered by a series of disasters, on side and filled with hope.
This week we are continuing with our “where now” series. In the weekend on a blog the CEO of Christchurch Airport, Malcolm Johns, asked a question of how we create the conditions where “Christchurch’s old heart [can] beat inside its new skin”. This week we have a panel leading a conversation addressing issues raised by those who participate in this network of people committed to making this a better city.
What is the new skin? Is it the environment? Is it the economy? Is it how we get around the City? Is it how we relate better to each other? Is it the lot? What is it? How can we create this new skin? What does it look like?
Now is the time for creative ideas. Now is the time for us to be brave. In the speech a link to which is under the article on Prime Minister Gough Whitlam, Noel Pearson, an aborigine leader in Australia referred to those whose “priority was to retain power rather than reform”. This is a splendid summary of many politicians. They serve themselves rather than serving others selflessly. To retain power because it makes them important.
Now is the time for genuine reformers. We need to promote people who lead just like Gough Whitlam. People who challenge the status quo. People who ask “why”.
Noel Pearson also, in the same speech (I really recommend you sit back and watch it; I haven’t ever watched without crying), referred to the Whitlam Government being a “textbook case of reform trumping management”. If ever we needed commitment to reform over the sort of managerial society we have had in this city since the earthquakes.
It’s time for a change, Christchurch. Who’s up for it?