Sunday, 21 October 2018

Bossy or Collaborative? The One Where The Apprentice Can't Decide What Makes a Good Leader

Hi Everyone

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This week, The Apprentice marched into its 3rd week, and provided a complete contrast to last week's shenanigans.  Both weeks, leaders were criticised for their style - but if they are opposites, and both to be criticised, then what is acceptable?

Leadership is a vast topic, and style is both learned and down to the individual.  It's also about the team - some teams need more direction than others, whilst a mature team would hate to be micro-managed.  This also ties in with Tuckman's model of the journey a team takes through Forming - Storming - Norming and Performing.

Khadija Kalifa, The Apprentice (BBC, EH)

Last week, the girls were led by Khadija Kalifa, a no-nonsense bossypants who bulldozed everyone in her path.  Her style of leadership was dictatorship as she told her team what they would be doing (all her ideas, of course) and limited contribution, because who could no better than her, right?
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Not surprisingly, the team hated her style and found it easy to criticise her.  They were frustrated, marginalised and far from harmonious.  It was a recipe for disaster, but because the boys were worse, the girls won, and Khadija's style was given less examination than a defeat would have caused.   

Personally, I found her style abhorrent.  You can't talk to people like dog shit, and you can't exclude them from the very purpose of the team.  There was no inclusivity, and leadership was clearly all about ego.

Tom Bunday, The Apprentice (BBC, EH)

This week, Tom Bunday was ALLLL about inclusivity.  He consulted the team, asked for their thoughts, facilitated organised debate and allowed everyone to contribute.  For me, it was good leadership - he created a harmonious dynamic we rarely see on The Apprentice.

Karen Brady hated it, accusing him of sitting back, stepping back, leading by putting things to a vote, but for me this misses the point completely.   A good leader SHOULD invite contribution, even when they absolutely know what they want.  Leadership is not about directing, it's about ENGAGING, and that's what Tom's style did.

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I once worked at a food company.  I led the sales team, but the bulk of the business was a factory, and as such, a factory culture was everywhere.  At one point (as so often happens), my team needed answers from the head honchos, so I arranged a meeting where they could ask all their questions and understand where the business was headed.

This meeting was for my team.  The agenda was theirs, not mine, so I allowed them to run the meeting.  They brought the questions, so it didn't feel fair for me to ask them on their behalf.  So I facilitated - I chaired the meeting and ask them to air their concerns.

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The verdict? That I wasn't a leader.  I had let my team take over.  I had abdicated and let my team "run wild" - honestly, they said that. I was being judged by people who were not leaders - managers, yes; leaders, nooooo - people who didn't understand that it was important for employees to have this opportunity to resolve issues.

Le sigh.  I think the lesson is, when your style is quite "hard", quite no nonsense, quite directing, it's very hard to understand how a low key, collaborative, almost self-effacing style can ever be successful.  Now those drivers might still understand the need to engage people, but usually, it's lip service.  They already know what they want, they just offer the illusion of debate.  A true leader, one who is completely for the people, is genuinely consultative, and egoless enough for that to be the best solution.

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So which leader are you?   Most of us are somewhere on the spectrum between Khalidja and Tom, and that's fine.  You can be one or the other as long as you appreciate the benefits of both.  Remember, leadership really isn't about you.  It's only ever about your people.

Sunday, 7 October 2018

A Week of Anxiety

Hi Everyone

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I mentioned in yesterday's post that it had been a bit of a mare of a week, and to be honest, that's an understatement. I've had anxiety, migraines and sheer terror.   But I'm still standing.

Staying standing is quite the achievement.   Anxiety is paralysing, and scares the crap out of you.  All you want to do is hide under the duvet, or stop the world so that you can jump off.  Cruel fact - the only way to escape anxiety is to plough through it and confront the very thing that terrifies you.   As Winston Churchill said, when you're going through hell, keep going.

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I find with my anxiety that the worst moments are before I keep going.   It's when I'm paralysed, incapable of action, mind spiralling on all the hideous possibilities that might await me.   Usually, once I've taken the first step, I'm "fine".   Not ok, but it feels like control starts to trickle back.

I liken this moment to the scene at the end of Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade where he has to cross that massive chasm to get to the Holy Grail.  There is no bridge, no walkway, no obvious way to "keep going", so he has to take a leap of faith.  And the moment he lifts his foot in the air and plants it down, a path appears.

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Anxiety has so much in common with this. We stand on the edge of that chasm, paralysed, no way of getting across, terrified to get across, scared of staying put, getting more and more frantic.   We then do something that Matt Haig calls "catastrophising", where we imagine the worst possible outcome to our situation, or rather, the only possible outcome IS the worst possible outcome.

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My terror this week came from knowing my tenancy is up for renewal, and it will only be renewed if I pass the next house inspection.  I had suggested a date for this in a couple of weeks time, to give me chance to get everything ship-shape (one of the realities of living with mental health issues is that it's hard to summon the energy for washing up and scrubbing floors; plus, Crumpets are not naturally tidy creatures).   That night, I panicked.  It's one of the worst terrors I've ever had.   It went something like this ....

what if they don't agree to my date

oh god, what if they say they're coming this weekend

well that doesn't give me enough time

the house will never be tidy enough

I won't pass the inspection

they won't renew the tenancy

they'll kick me out.  

I can't just move somewhere else because I don't have the spare cash to fund a deposit and the referencing fees

and fuck me, I certainly don't have the energy to pack everything up

oh my god I'm going to be homeless

Beth will have to go and live with her father

I'll end up sleeping in my car

I might as well die

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See, from simple situation to suicide in a single bound.  And that's what it's like inside The Bell Jar. However, this week, there WAS a difference, and I credit Matt Haig (again) with this.   In his amazing book, Notes on a Nervous Planet, he talks about how we consume ourselves with worrying about a million different possibilities, when actually only one thing is true and real - the here and now.

So, too scattered to eat or think or do anything, I went to bed early with my trusty Radio 5 Live (if I listen to other voices, I can't hear my own.)    I snuggled down to sleep (even though it was only 8pm, mentally I was exhausted).   I felt my mind lean towards the terror, addicted.   I reminded myself there was nothing I could do, and worrying would not help.   I focussed very much on my breathing, and after about 20 minutes of repeating this, I managed to fall asleep.

It's taken me 30 years to learn this.

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Anxiety feeds off us.  It feed off our powerlessness, making us more powerless as a result.  The only way to defeat it is to starve it.  Now, not for a minute am I pretending that's an easy thing to do, but you have to learn to indulge it a little, so that you can then triumph over it.  It's a little like the dieter who can stick to the diet if they have one small square of chocolate a day.   In the past, I've been made redundant (wow, you can imagine the catastrophising THAT produced), and in both cases, I allowed myself 1 day to wallow.  To succumb to the tears, the anger, the fear, the need to hide under the duvet.   I made a deal.   I would do this for one day, and then I would get up and solve the problem.

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It worked for me, I can't say if it will work for you, but the hardest thing (and it's also the only thing) is to try and find a way to exercise power over a controlling beast, even though you're at your weakest.  Knowing your enemy, naming your enemy, is step 1.

Step 2 and beyond, that's what some of us spend a lifetime learning.

Sending you love and a massive hug if you've had a bad week too.

Saturday, 6 October 2018

BBC The Apprentice - Series 14 - Is This What Young Women Think You Have To Do To Succeed?

Well hello-ha ...

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I hope you are all well and having a lovely weekend.  I've had a bit of a mare of a week (more of that in a separate post), so I haven't done much this week, although I did make time to catch up with the new series of The Apprentice.

I've watched The Apprentice for a long time now, and here we are, in series 14.  14 !!!  For the first time ever, I wasn't excited for the launch of this series, and I wasn't even sure I was going to watch. However, the daughter loves it, so watch it we did.

I lost a lot of interest last year with The Ultimate Cop Out, when Lawd Sugah wasn't able to decide between the 2 shit finalists.... so he chose both ... but I think what annoys me the most is how over the last 5 years, the girls have just been HORRENDOUS, shrill, bitchy banshees who Karen usually has to give behaviour yellow cards to.

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This first episode was no different.  The girls were awful.   Aggressive, loud, snarky - they even pushed each other under the bus.  They have pouffy hair, over-inflated lips, identical dresses and somehow manage to run around in heels, all whilst muttering they would all do a better job than so-and-so.

I don't understand what's happened to the women on The Apprentice over the years.  Originally, both the men and the women were shit in the opening episode, but over the years, the men have become more reliable, mainly because they'd rather get on with the task than jockey for the right camera angle.

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Worst is that opening intro where they all give some cheesy quote to camera.  Once this used to funny, but now it's just a joke. I don't know what these people are thinking.   They're certainly not thinking about what image they want to convey.  They seem to think it's only about arrogance and generating money, when running a successful business is about SO much more.

A few of them talk about changing the world - but more for personal glory than altruism. None of them talk about helping people, developing people, improving the world, providing great customer service.   Now don't get me wrong, of course you enter business to make money, but you don't have to be a twat at the same time.  In fact, the only way you will succeed is if you are NOT a twat - you have to be able to take people with you, and none of The Apprentice candidates seem to grasp that.

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The best people who have been on the show over the years - and I even include Katie Hopkins in this - have been able to engage people and unite them in a common goal.  The only thing this week's women were united in was not wanting to be team leader (and even that back-fired).

It used to be that the gobby one would turn out to be a rough diamond, and would polish up quite good over the series.  Now they just reveal new depths of shallowness, and hopefully that they're less cringey than other people. 

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So what were this week's Leadership Lessons?

1.  COMMUNICATION - it's all about communication.   Communication is not about TALKING, it's about ensuring the message is understood.  Usually on The Apprentice, communication involves talking over each other - hence this week's scenario where both sub teams bought the same item.

2.  PLANNING - to be fair, the girl's team leader wanted to do more planning, but the team just wanted to crack on.  YOU CAN'T JUST DIVE IN.  If you do, you might find there's no water in the pool and crack your head open.  If you plan, you don't have to flap around like a headless chicken in killer heels ... with big lips.

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3.  TIME-KEEPING.   You've got to stick to schedule.   No one mapped out their day.  Half the girls didn't get to the airport on time.  No one knew Malta had a daily siesta .....  seriously.

4.  CONTRIBUTE.  Week after week, Lawd Sugah will say "you disappeared .. where were you in this task?"    When you're in a team, you have to contribute.  If you're out of your depth, you have to remember what you ARE good at, and do that.  Even if it's just fucking TIMEKEEPING.

5.  ACCEPT CONTRIBUTION.    I am the team leader, I have made up my mind, I am not going to listen to anyone else because if I agree your idea is better than mine (and it is), I'll look shit.  What utter BOLLOCKS. Good leaders know when to draw back and let others shine.   Ok, on The Apprentice you're not going to let others shine, but at least allowing others to contribute will engage them and get them working WITH you rather than against you.

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I used to love The Apprentice.  It used to be fascinating, watching leaders and teams forming and storming and occasionally performing.   It used to have some serious-minded business people involved who, whilst far from perfect, learnt from the journey.  Now, it's like the contestants are picked up outside a nightclub, and worse, it doesn't make for better TV.  

But I've started the ride, so I'll continue, hoping as always that interview week makes it allllllll worthwhile.  

[And why has Karen been so ridiculously airbrushed in these promo pics?   C'mon guys, this is supposed to be a SERIOUS show, not entertainment.]

Sunday, 30 September 2018

My World This Week - Randomness 1 and My TV Top 5s

Hello again

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So I thought it might be fun, from time to time, to give you a glimpse into my world.  It's a life where randomness prevails, where I laugh a lot, and to be honest, where people laugh at me.  But I'm fine with that.  I believe mockery is a sign of great love lol, so here we go.

In the Twittersphere, this week I discovered @MarianKeyes.  She's a famous Irish author and her tweets are hiLARious.  She writes them with an Irish lilt and they just bubble and burst with life.  I smile, everytime she's in my feed.

At work, one of the things I've been doing is sifting CVs for a recruitment drive.  I am never less than staggered by the CVs we receive, and this week's highlight was the young lady who proudly proclaimed on her CV "I don't read or write well but I don't let that stop me". Well honey, bravo, I am actually quite proud of you for ploughing on and not letting it hold you back, but unfortunately applying for a role where reading and writing are required is not optimal.   Biggest smile though?  The person who described themselves as a "bubble person".  I'm pretty sure they meant bubbly, but I much prefer the image of a totally spherical person bouncing down the corridors, being careful not to pop.

I think you know my obsession with chinese food.  There's pretty much nothing I won't do for noodles and starters, and this week I managed to go to my favourite chinese restaurant after bullying a friend.  Yes.  We had agree to go to an Indian, and I was actually quite excited about this, but then someone mentioned the C-word and I was a goner.  Sorry, not sorry.

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Bluebelle has driven me a little bonkers this week.  With the weather getting colder she'd more up for cuddles, and is perfecting that cat requirement of walking EXACTLY where you are about to walk and thus tripping you up.  On Monday she dropped a turd that could quite literally have gassed a nation.  Meaty is an understatement. And today she is running round like a thing possessed thinking there is roast chicken in the house.  No fluffy, I put a chicken STOCK CUBE in my noodles. FFS.

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The lowlight of my week was Beth's theatre trip to somewhere to see something.  I totally get why theatre trips are part of an education, but I resent it when they interfere with my sleep.  So her school planned a trip where they would get back at MIDNIGHT.   MIDNIGHT !!!!!! That means I would have to go to bed, wake up, collect the daughter and then go back to bed. MIDNIGHT !!!!   Why couldn't they go to a fucking matinee?

So there I am, pre-midnight, in the car park, in pj's (obviously).  Gradually, more parents arrive, and then there is the distinctive sound of a collective of teenage girls.  Car doors slam, the car park empties, and I am the only parent left there.

Hhhhmmmm.   Dressed in PJs, I can't quite go and check where the bus parked.  So I ring the daughter.  No answer. Text her.  Messenger her.  Snapchat her.  No answer. Ring her another 12 times.  NO ANSWER.  The evolving part of my brain tries to tell me "maybe there were 2 coaches" but my anger and my anxiety rises.  

Then a couple more cars arrive in the car park, like late night deja vu.  Hhhmm, maybe there IS another bus.   20minutes later, more cars, raised teenage voices, and finally my daughter bounces into the car.  "Sorry, I fell asleep" ..........

Snapchat is my new favourite thing, purely for the map feature.  It's great for an anxious parent, not so great when the child doesn't answer gggrrrr.  It's crazy how powerless we feel when, despite all these communication methods, there is no answer.  In social-media-space no one can hear you scream if no one's listening.

TV is awesome at the moment.   Autumn is always the season where the Big Guns come out - here are the Top 5 shows I am watching at the moment (that are going out weekly) - 

911 - fabulous, dynamic, high energy about the emergency services in LA.   Great cast, wit and Ryan Murphy

For The People - from Shondaland but not BY Shonda, I love this lawyerfest, especially the spikey Kate Littlejohn.

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A Discovery of Witches - I feel like I've waited my whole life for this - a grown up show about witches, vampires and magic AND it's got Matthew Goode in it !!

Bodyguard - the show everyone was talking about!   I do think the hype made it under-deliver slightly, but this had great tension, great plotting and the masterful Jed Mercurio.

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Dr Pimple Popper - oh god I love this show and this woman.  I love pus exploding out of people's bodies (I'm less keen on the lumps of fat she removes).  I think it's because it's an allegory for depression, and I imagine all the poison and toxicity is being squeezed out, leaving me pure again.  Ha ha.

And then here are the Top 5 other stuff I've watched and loved in September - 

The Sinner - Netflix - a fabulous thriller, a WHYdunnit rather than a whodunnit.  Beautifully unravelled over 8 episodes.

Ozark.  I LOVE Ozark. It seems to get no publicity but it's fabulous.  Great acting, the great Jason Bateman and Laura Linney, and a fabulous standoff between a Mexican drug cartel and Missouri rednecks

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Killing Eve.   Me and Beth LOVE Sandra Oh.   Her time as Cristina Yang on Grey's Anatomy is one of the highlights of our televisual life, and we WISH we were her.  Killing Eve was just fucking awesome, and not just because of Sandra.  Jodie Comer was amazing as the assassin with a million accents, and Phoebe Waller-Bridge's script added sarcasm and spike to an already crazy plot.  Pure joy.

Safe.  Harlan Coben has long been one of my favourite authors and the TV world has suddenly realised what a master of deception he is.  This is just supreme in every way.  A show so good, it made me wish for my memory to be wiped of all knowledge of it, just so that I could have the pleasure of watching it again.  Great acting, and the best British accent by an American EVERRRRR.

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Sharp Objects.  Oh wow.  Sharp Objects.  I feel this deserves a holy silence.  Again, another fabulous book BRILLIANTLY adapted, and Amy Adams (playing against type) is just amazing.   The ending of the book took my breath away, and I LOVED seeing the shock on the daughter's face when that moment arrived.  You will not find anything better on TV at the moment.

Right, I'm off to paint my nails something dark and dramatic.  Have a great week and see you soon!

Hello Autumn, Goodbye Mental Health

Well hello!

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This week, we crept into autumn.  For most of my life, it's been my favourite season - the tumble of leaves, the kaleidoscope of colours, the blessed relief of cooler temperatures and (yes, I was that child), the excitement of going back to school.

Autumn always felt like the season that matched my soul.  In many ways it was like the rebirth of my year (echoes of back to school, I think) and I used to adore the slow, thrilling slide towards Christmas and all things darker (including the season of the witch).

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Nearly 20 years ago that all changed when my mother died, and now, Autumn is just a long, drawn out, painful echo of everything I lost when she died, and it puts me in a 4 month funk that is really hard to break.  It leaves me weak, and depression gleefully sneaks into my cracks.

So why specifically does Autumn break me?  Well, for a start the Autumn Equinox is on September 23rd, my mother's birthday.  It's like the very shift of the season rings a death bell and peels the scab off my loss.  It's September 23rd, welcome to absence.

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Then the nights begin to darken, the days get shorter,and the mornings arrive in a shroud of gloom.   Some days, it's very hard to get out of bed and greet the dark, especially when you know that for 3 solid months, it's just going to get darker every day.  And suddenly, just like that, my mood syncs with the season, and each day gets darker, duller, drearier.

I used to laugh at people who claimed they had SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), but do you know what?  These days, I love spring.  I crave the crawl towards April and the moment the days get brighter and lighter - and I mean lighter in both senses of the word.  It's as if the greater stamina of the sun lifts my soul.

So on we trawl through autumn, days getting darker, and markers of death at every turn - grandparents no longer here, relationships that ripped me to pieces, last memories of my mother.  It all accumulates.  Every day on dark roads filled with wankers and potholes, I feel I dodge my death as I travel back and forth to work.  Me and the A1 and darkness, it's a combination which scares the crap out of me.

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And then it's December 3rd, the anniversary of the day my mother died, and when my life changed forever.  I didn't just lose a parent.  I lost a best friend, a soulmate, a sounding board - my sanity.   As the years have passed, this day passes more easily, but occasionally there will be a little pyschic hiccup to remind me of the pain.

What keeps me going at this point is that we're only 3 weeks from the Winter Solstice, the official shortest, darkest day.  Once we hit here, I know it gets better.  Everything will begin to lift and lighten ...  as long as I get through Christmas.

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Christmas used to bring me so much pleasure.  Decorating the tree, picking exciting presents, drinking snowballs, driving people mad with my impatience.   All that changes when you get divorced and you no longer get to have the child every Christmas.  Even though you didn't choose to separate, you get to pay the price, and who wants to sit alone in a house where Christmas mocks you?

So I no longer do Christmas.   Of course I buy gifts for the daughter, but I don't do the hoopla.  It's pretty much like any other week in our house.  I can't even be arsed with Christmas music anymore - they represent a happiness that is no longer mine, and frankly, they just piss me off.

So on Christmas Day, we eat what we want.  One year we had sausage and mash, another year, curry (I'm not a fan of roasts).   We treat ourselves, but non-traditionally, and as for Beth, well she gets the whole hoopla at the other house, so she's fine.  And once Christmas is gone, (and the icy death trap roads are clear) things get easier.  I know I'm past the worst, and soon Spring will be here.

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So how am I today?  Well, scattered.  Scattered is my first stage symptom, where it's a battle to keep my mind on track, fearless, and WHOLE.  It's when it gets hard to focus, do stuff and COMMIT to living (and I don't mean that not committing to living means wanting to die; no,it means wanting to do nothing).

But today I am a little brighter than yesterday (hence why there was no blog post yesterday), and with each year that passes I understand more how to keep myself on an even keel.   Anxiety however, doesn't like to be left out, so currently my stomach is in knots waiting to get my car through it's MOT and the house through its inspection, and the extension of my tenancy.

But Matt Haig has helped.   I've mentioned his book, Notes on a Nervous Planet, so often, but it's almost a form of medicine.   My car gets MOT'd on Wednesday.  Sat here on Sunday, there is NOTHING I can do to affect that outcome.   I need to enjoy the moment until the moment changes, and not worry about it 1 second before.   Of course that is sooooooooo much easier said than done, but at least I recognise it now, and I can try and keep the panic in the box.

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Now for those of you who actually see me on a daily basis, you probably won't notice any change in me.  One of the things about depression - we are MASTERS at having a game face.  We're actors.   We know how to cover the cracks externally whilst we're weeping and bleeding on the inside.

So, autumn.  Bit shit.  Christmas, can't be arsed.   But soon, soon it will be Spring.  And the darkest hour is ALWAYS before dawn.

Sunday, 23 September 2018

Leadership In Action or Leadership Inaction - What All Leaders Can Learn From Brexit

Hi Everyone

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In my day job, I'm a Learning and Development Manager. As part of this, I get to do Leadership training, and leadership is a subject that I LOVE and could discuss probably for 22 hours straight without drawing breath.  It's a subject I'm passionate about, and I love learning about it (it's one of the main reasons I'm such a fan of 5 Live Sport).

Leadership is so many things.  At its best, it should be effortless. At its worst, it makes people feel like fleas trapped in a jam jar.   As the Brexit mess unfolds around us, week by week, day by day, it gives us many many lessons on what leadership is, and what it isn't.

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VISION.   This is where leadership starts.  If you don't know where to point the bus, you're fucked.  How do you know which direction to drive in?  How will people know whether to hop on board?   How will you know when you get there?

This is the main leadership problem Brexit gives us.  NO ONE - literally no one - knows what Brexit means.   No one can define what it looks like, where it is, how we get there or whether it's worth getting there, and this is why everything is such a mess.  For 2 years we've discussed Brexit with no idea of what it means.  No one is passionately championing it and campaigning for it, and telling us how awesome it's going to be.  BECAUSE NO ONE KNOWS. 

Equally, no one is challenging the Government with a better solution.  It's oh so easy to be a critic, but no one is saying "this would work better". Why?   Because no one has a clue.

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PEOPLE POWER.   The best leaders are consultative.  Rather than dictating, they invite the views of their teams, and involve them in change.  A little bit like we did with the Brexit referendum.  Little bit.   Most leaders worth their salt know which is their preferred solution, and although they're happy to have the debate and inspire ideas, they know where they're trying to get to (vision, see above).

We gave the British people a referendum with precious little facts, absolutely no vision, no definition of what Brexit would mean to each and every one of us (or that there could be 2 types of Brexit for fuck's sake), and a smug assumption people would vote to remain.  When Britain voted to Leave, the Government didn't have a clue what to do.

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Because they hadn't PREPARED (Leadership point number 3).   You've got to know your stuff, your stats, your people, your PLAN.   It's the old chestnut - fail to prepare, prepare to fail.  We didn't prepare for Brexit because no one thought it would happen.   We failed to prepare and ... oh wow, guess what, we're failing.  (Although why this should surprise us in a country that year after year fails to prepare for snow is anyone's guess).

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THE LEADER.    When the going gets tough, keep going, said Winston Churchill.  To be fair, Theresa May DOES keep going, but whether through choice or because she's been replaced by a robot is unclear.  Leaders need to have vision, charisma, influencing skills and be straight talking.   None of these are really in Theresa's kit bag.   To be fair, she went for the bold (and I believe right) move when she called a general election to strengthen her position.   Ironically, because of a lack of general leadership skills, she failed.   And here we are.

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TEAMWORK makes the dream work.   Teams should be hard-working, focussed on a common goal and committed to helping each other get there, come what may.  Does that sound like our Government?   No.   They are self-centred individuals with only 1 agenda - themselves.

This gives us 2 problems.   To elevate themselves, they criticise their leader (a Teamwork 101 no-no).   But, they refuse to present a better solution (because they don't have one).  They are critical, but not constructive.   These are the worst type of arseholes to work with.  The toxic people who poison everything and contribute nothing.  The people who turn up, but don't really show up.   None of these people has anything visionary to say and even if they did, they probably lack the balls to do it - their preferred strategy is to wait around for May to fall on her sword and then swoop in with a magnificent thrust of "I told you so".

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So we have no leadership, no vision, no plan, no team. Worse, we are following through on a decision made by the uneducated masses - and I don't mean that the British people are thick, just that no-one gave us the right information to vote on.   No one had hard facts that showed whether Brexit was a great or disastrous idea for our country because our politicians were too smug and confident to think anything would really happen.  If that doesn't spell recipe for disaster, then I don't know what does.

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So what do we do?  Well in business you wouldn't keep pursuing blindly something that made no sense and that you didn't even want.  We should have done our analysis - IS Brexit good for the country? - and THEN asked the people for their opinion.   With categorical proof that it was the RIGHT THING TO DO, pretty much any leader could have got it over the line.

I am agog that we have wasted 2 years to get nowhere.  If it were my business, I would pull the plug and sack the Project Manager.   I might retain an open mind as to whether it was still a good idea - but I would need convincing, via facts and figures.   

Sometimes, politicians are so consumed with themselves that they forget why they are there in the first place - FOR US.   They HAVE to do what is right for us.   If they are not convinced it is the right thing, they need to stand up and shout and stop the madness, not just flounce off in a sulk.   We demand integrity from our politicians, and more than anything, Brexit has revealed how painfully lacking they are.

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If you want to know how to set a goal, and lead a team and a project to get there, don't look at Brexit.   Look at what Sir Alex did at Manchester United, look at Apple, or UK Cycling.   Or, look at our Government and LEARN from what's going wrong and make damn sure it doesn't happen in YOUR business.  

Musicians and writers will always tell you that the best songs, the best poems, the best ideas, they write themselves.  They're effortless.   It FLOWS.   It's fun!!   Nothing THIS painful is ever good.   And if we ignore the pain now, and plough on, that doesn't make us strong and heroic, it makes us closed-minded and committed to stupidity.

Brexit - you've been illuminating, but I hope one day you're just an "almost happened" footnote, rather than a reality.

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