View from the community: Exceptional times need exceptional leaders

PUBLISHED: 08:30 01 November 2020

Kevin Jenkins asks what makes an exceptional leader.

Kevin Jenkins asks what makes an exceptional leader.

Kevin Jenkins

As the government continues to stagger through one crisis before U-turning into another, towards a winter of uncertainty, the absence of leadership at the very top is just as staggering and certainly more frightening.

Exceptional times need exceptional leadership.

Throughout history exceptional leaders have grown and emerged through the exceptional situations they face and deal with.

For a leader to become an exceptional one, they need in my view –

• To be driven by doing what is right to solve the problem – disregarding as necessary their own ideology and ego.

• To have the humility to recognise that they need the active support and involvement of everyone who can contribute, working with them, regardless of whether their ideology is different.

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• To have the personal strength, to make the right decisions needed, no matter who it may upset and how unpopular it may make them.

• To have an unmoveable goal that each short term decision moves another step towards achieving, recognising that they are running a marathon and not disjointed sprints.

• To have the personal integrity to be honest and tell it as it is without raising expectations and hiding behind ill thought out promises that won’t be achieved.

• To recognise that you have to earn exceptional leadership status – it’s not given or passed on.

The current refusal to feed disadvantaged children during this week’s half term break is just another symptom (this week’s one!) of an ill thought out strategy of short termism, which is inexcusable and once again hitting those most in need.

The very top needs to look at the exceptional dedicated work, co-operation and most importantly the leadership, that numerous individuals and organisations at neighbourhood, borough and regional levels are displaying daily, working towards a common goal and making a difference for the communities they serve, and replicate it now.

I fear that unless there is change soon, it will be a winter like no other.

Stay safe.

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