Here are 10 attributes I’ll be looking for in our political leaders in the run up to the Federal election.

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We are off and running in yet another Federal election. Currently the various press, radio, and television, are filled with the expected hubris and rhetoric from leaders and parties of all political persuasions.

In Australia we operate under a version to the Westminster system where voters are electing a political party and it is the elected party members who have the role of electing the leaders. However, our politics is becoming increasingly presidential in nature where voter intentions are heavily influenced by the party leaders and their key deputies.

In a discussion last week on this very subject I was asked about the leadership qualities of each and what I would look for if I was to evaluate the leaders’ performance during the election. That got me thinking about the leadership traits I would consider key if I was designing a scorecard to evaluate their leadership performance over the next eight weeks of the campaign.

This is a bigger challenge than one might think as there are literally tens of thousands of pages written on leadership attributes that leaders of any persuasion need to exhibit.

Here are the 10 attributes I have distilled that make up my scorecard, in no particular order:

  • Demonstrate, through a well thought out clearly communicated vision, a strong desire to change the status quo to remedy the identified problems and advance Australia.
  • Communicate this vision in a simple and inspiring way so that people are motivated to endorse their actions.
  • Demonstrate empathy for the needs of all people, not just certain groups, and show a real appreciation for people and their needs.
  • Role model behaviour that instils confidence and respect for them as leaders and their platform.
  • Be willing to run certain personal risks, as and when required.
  • Be realistic and provide an honest evaluation of the deficiencies and problem areas in a given situation.
  • Appreciate the longer term implications of the strategies for change and growth they are promoting.
  • Show respect for their opponents.
  • Real accountability for the policy and promises they make.
  • Consistency and humility under pressure.

The list above is by no means definitive, so if attributes that you consider are important are missing by all means share what you believe needs to be added.

I have allocated 100 points to each leader for the duration of the campaign, at the end of each week points will only be deducted if any of the above is not observed. It will be interesting to see where the respective leaders land on July 2.


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