Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Leadership: into the tunnel

This evening my mind is turning to the Comprehensive Spending Review.

Tomorrow, the Government will announce just where budgets will be cut and by how much. Frustratingly, the announcements probably won't include much detail as that will emerge over the coming months. But the broad sweep of which Departmental budgets have come off better or worse will be known. I wonder how the people affected by these budget reductions will react - be they front line staff, managers at all levels and, of course, the people & organisations who are current beneficiaries. This will be a bleak day for many as the rhetoric, leaks, promises (broken or otherwise) and hints of the past six months will be turned into reality.

And then I wonder how our public service leaders - beginning with the Prime Minister but ending with every single front line supervisor - will now lead as we enter this dark tunnel? 
  • Will this courageous leadership akin to the Charge or the Light Brigade or the D-Day landings?
  • Will this be steadfast leadership like Churchill's or King Canute's?
  • Will this be the visionary leadership that Nelson Mandela or Ghengis Khan had?
When David Cameron announced the outcomes of the Bloody Sunday Report, he was widely acclaimed as having struck just the right tone.

Tomorrow will also be such an opportunity for him and the rest of the Government to evidence the kind of leadership that will be necessary to implement the budget reductions in ways that do no more harm (to people and the economy) than is absolutely necessary. 

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