Imagine if we ran our businesses the same way our political parties are run?

The result would certainly keep recruiters busy!

Regardless of what your politics may be, one cannot deny that there is a very obvious, serious (and at times hilarious) branding problem with both major parties in Australian politics.    Policies aside, the leadership battles of the past Labor government and the current Liberal government have left the population of Australia dizzy with contradictory rhetoric, constants backflips, and oratory nonsense.   When the leadership teams of a business cannot form a united front and communicate honestly and clearly with their people, the result is a disengaged workforce. In the same way, when political parties cannot do the same, the result is a disconnected and confused population. Here are three lessons that we can learn from current politics and apply them to our businesses and careers:

  1. Recruit the right person for the right job:  The ‘right’ person has credibility, knowledge, experience and passion, thus giving them authenticity.  A poor example of finding the right person for the job is when Tony Abbott made himself Minister for Women, given the controversy surrounding the misogynistic-sounding gaffs he’s made in the past. The ministerial position was probably intended to demonstrate his support for women; however it created backlash from large sections of our community, with many people commenting that it had the impression of Owner rather than Advocate. Imagine if he had entrusted the role to someone who had in-depth, personal experience of the issues faced by women?  Perhaps someone like… a woman?  

  2. Don’t let actions contradict words: Imagine Qantas telling their staff that safety is their first priority and then cutting their maintenance and safety teams in half.  This would be a huge contradiction and would cause their staff to lose faith, respect and loyalty in the company.  In the political sphere however, the inconsistency of words and actions is so commonplace that we now have an agreed word for it – the back-flip.

  3. Have a Meaningful Vision:  From a recruitment perspective, job seekers tell us that they want to follow a leader with a clear vision, values and an achievable action plan.  Currently, both our major parties have a vision that seems to be about what they are not, rather than what they are, and what they don’t stand for, rather than what they do.  If you struggle to communicate your personal or business vision, perhaps it requires a re-think…

We have some great leaders in enterprise right now, who understand authenticity, consistency of brand and the communication of a strong vision.  These leaders stir up passion in their employees. I think our political parties could learn a few lessons from our business leaders and entrepreneurs.  What do you think?