When the results were announced for Jo Swinson there was a huge roar of approbation and thunderous applause. There was a generosity there, and enormous positive energy. Wherever the camera landed there were wide smiles and her speech was full of anticipation and ambition.
When the results were announced for Boris Johnson there was hardly a murmur. Applause yes, but muted and restrained. When the camera roamed around the room the smiles, what smiles there were, consisted of a few genuine delight at the outcome but mainly polite, the camera’s on us and we want to look good type of smile. Boris’s speech also had little of the ebullience he is renowned for: it seemed similarly muted.
Boris made a point of the acronym DUD, adding an E for energy but what energy was there in comparison with the events of the day before?
The Energy Dynamic
It led me to thinking of the nature of energy and how dependent it is upon the qualities of the leadership, the vision they portray and the motivation of the team around the leader. The Liberal Democrats have a renewed drive on a singular cause: to stop Brexit. Everyone understands and is committed to that outcome. The Conservatives in contrast have no common cause other than to defeat Jeremy Corbyn. They have not, and are not, dealing with the division in their ranks over Brexit and which threatens that aim.
The energy of values
Which leads me on to values. What are the values of each? Are they clearly defined and communicated by the leadership? Are they a set of shared values that everyone can buy into? That is essential to the smooth running and functioning of any organisation and again there was a distinct contrast in the two announcements.
Jo Swinson spoke not only to her own party about the values but also reached out to others to share them. Boris Johnson was clearly communicating only to his own party – talking about unity acknowledging the schism that permeates his ‘tribe’. Is that a value that will inspire and motivate the team he needs to build? Not only his immediate team around the Cabinet table but also the Conservative MPs in the House of Commons.
There are interesting times ahead and when you compare and contrast the two leaders we find one who takes her team with her with dynamism and another who is still fumbling to find a way to do it. Where does the energy lie now?
Laura Murphy blogs about things that interest her. They might not interest you but read them anyway. It might even change your mind.