Who are our leaders?

If good leadership is about listening, patience, clear planning and decision making and ultimately growing future leaders, then who springs to mind in our current environment? If poor leadership is about secrecy, a pretence of protecting those we are leading, invisible plans and unknown decisions then again we would ask who or what springs to mind?

After returning from a week overseas and deciding to take the bus from the airport to home I was struck by a subtle contrast in Christchurch and left wondering about our leadership. As I watched the people get on and off the bus – a ninety minute trip – I couldn’t help thinking about the two mums entertaining their babies glad to get out of the house, the half a dozen dads going home in their flouros and hard hats and the one guy carefully holding a treat, obviously very happy to take home a cake for his wife’s birthday. Did they ‘see’ the big billboards saying ‘vote for me’ plastered all around the town? And what a contrast between these real community moments on the bus and the well manicured people and posters advertising for votes. I know advertising is what it is and there are public expectations about how people should look but do the heads on those billboards hold the leadership skills that we truly need?

Are they the ones who honestly take the time to listen to us, reflect on what we have said , respond and then make it happen? Are those smiling faces the leaders who will make plan with us, explain when the plans go wrong, apologize, make a better plan with us and move on? Will they make transparent decisions based on the plans we made? Finally will they make the people of greater Christchurch feel good and even more proud of OUR ‘broken town’?

Will they recognize the true value of WE?

WE hope so.