Before The Weekend #11 — Political Leadership — 25 June 2021

Political leaders have the obligation to serve Humankind, society, and the world, and not themselves or their own interests, their own dogmas, their own party. This is the focus of this week’s Before The Weekend.

I’ve changed the format a little, based on the positive feedback I received on the last episode, Before The Weekend #10. If you like this new format, let me know.


Reinventing Politics

What do you expect from your political leaders?
How do you look at political leadership?
What would you like political leaders to do differently?

Politics influence every aspect of our life and it seems to me that a lot of things are going in the wrong direction: the French massive disinterest in going to vote, Hungary playing hardball with its archaic anti-LGBTI law, Brazil continuing to destroy thousands of acres of precious Amazonian forest, China muzzling independent entrepreneurs, Iran electing an ultra-conservative leader yet again.

What do the shortsightedness and self-interest in politics say about the political system itself? And how did the political ‘job’, which should be an art, get disconnected from society and humankind?

Why is it that, if we look at the political arena of statesmen, the majority has been alpha males? Where have the women been? They are half of the population. Who says men are better political leaders? Actually, I believe quite the contrary: female political leaders show more empathy, understanding and have more a holistic approach. Compare that to the male politicians that have the tendency to go into shortsightedness, ego and conflict.

In business, we’re seeing a significant, clear shift from a focus on creating shareholder value to stakeholder value. There’s more focus on longtermism, serving humanity, conscious capitalism, etc.

If this influential money class can transform, would the political class be able to transform too? Can political leaders that have only been thinking of their reelection and party interest, shift to a new mindset? What is it that would prevent them from doing so? Are there systemic issues blocking this?

Political leaders are disconnected from themselves and are being put under pressure from political parties.

When I speak with political leaders, many suffer from having to fit in a political party with often narrowly defined marching orders and dogmas. They fear that if they speak up, they’ll be thrown out of the party. So is it even possible to change a political party from the inside? Or will it have to come from the outside? I think it will have to be a combination of both, as it was in the business world.

This means that the leaders will need the courage, authenticity and integrity to stand up for what they believe. They’ll have to be connected with themselves and feel confident enough to deviate from party lines.

Maybe we need political movements instead of political parties? 

Another question is how long one should be involved in politics? More and more, I think no one should be a politician for life. They should have some different experiences before they take up any political mandate and move out of politics again, after being in it for some time.

It seems impossible to change the systems if people are in it for life, or even worse, get their children and grand-children involved as well. A political career should be temporary and nourished by experiences in other fields. 

And finally, the electoral system has to be transformed as well. We need to be able to evaluate leadership on the basis of its positive impact on our society. So how could we score their performance? What could be an appropriate system to judge them on their long-term impact?


Before you head on into your weekend, some final questions to think about:

Which political leader has been inspirational for you?
What would you do differently to serve Humankind if you were a politician?
Do you still believe in the current political system we know? What should we change?
What could be a turning point to transform politics into something that better serves society?

Let them pop up during the weekend and let them feed your reflections. If you’d like to, don’t hesitate to share your answers with me. I’d love to talk with you.