Does the Jeremy Corbyn effect reflect any of the leadership woes from which industry continues to suffer? With a month or so to go before Labour Party members elect their new leader, the media – across all political persuasions – seems very energised in theses summer months by their reports of Jeremy Corbyn’s leading position to win this vote.  The odds at the bookies continue to fall in his favour.images

As the Financial Times put it recently, Britain is in the grip of “Corbomania” and nobody knows where it will lead.

But what we have learned, thus far, is that in addition to Party members (some at least), Jeremy Corbyn’s narrative has garnered genuine support from people much younger than him (millennials if you will) as well as many others moved to take an active, perhaps new, interest is his politics.

In accounting for this unexpected appeal, many commentators are highlighting Corbyn’s approach as ‘authentic’, which can be defined as, ‘of undisputed origin and not a copy; genuine.’  In the same FT piece above, Boris Johnson was quoted as saying, “Jeremy Corbyn looks passionate and principled. That has lessons for everyone in politics.” For the electorate then, rather a dispiriting assessment from Johnson of the general status quo.

Are there lessons here for industry too?  Earlier this year Deloitte published their report, Global Human Capital Trends 2015.  ‘For the third year in a row,’ they stated, ‘leadership soared to become one of the most pressing talent challenges faced by global organizations.’

Seemingly, highly effective leaders that develop themselves, help shape the culture, foster employee engagement and thus business performance, in common with authentic, passionate and principled politicians occupy respectively small minorities.

Are there behaviours we should all wish to experience or witness, whether from those that supervise us at work or political candidates that appeal for our support?  Well, perhaps along these lines:

  • Communicate a distinctive vision (not a mission statement) as something we can reach for.
  • Be fair, truthful and open – use transparency to inspire.
  • Set a clear path to success for all.
  • Create a culture that values real people relationships.
  • Model these behaviours continually – reflect the values on the wall.

In short, something transformative needs to happen in both camps.

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