24th November 2006
Most of the time in corporate affairs what matters is not what you do but the way that you do it. While what you do could be easily copied, the way that you do it is much more difficult to copy.
Getting everybody pulling in the same direction, imbued with the enthusiasm of a mission worth toiling for, demands inspirational leadership which cannot be copied. When all resources of the organisation are brought working smoothly together, re-enforcing each other, and covering each other’s weaknesses, leakages do not happen.
If they do they are harmless and best ignored as normal human weaknesses. Because leakages, if they happen under inspirational leadership, would concern what we do, which through transparency is generally already in public domain and hardly worth leaking out. The more important how-we-do-it is simply not capable of being leaked out. It is intrinsically copyrighted and protected from piracy.
So the very existence of leakages is proof that not all is well within Labour and that the leader has not succeeded in injecting everyone with the enthusiasm of the supposedly coming victory as he had done in the period 1992 to 1996. There were no leakages then. There was hard work, dedication, and enthusiasm focused on the ultimate objective. It seems different now. Labour’s energy is now dispersed in internal factions who seem more concerned in protecting their turf rather than in getting the PN off their pedestal.
So the first obvious conclusion Labour ought to reach is that the leakages are proof that the leader is failing in performing up to scratch. This is hardly surprising given the way that the leader achieved his re-election following the 2003 electoral defeat. At the time I was a delegate of the general conference tasked with electing the leader from among three candidates, the incumbent and two challengers.
In being forced to vote to choose a leader for the next five years before conducting a deep and objective analysis of the causes of the 2003 failure was putting the cart before the horse and giving an unfair advantage to the incumbent. I did not accept it, tried to use internal persuasion to avoid it, and finally after exhausting all internal avenues and got nowhere I wrote officially about it and was warned that my absolute truth was harming the party. I quit as I can only work in organisations where things are done right down the middle.
Wherever I lead in business the boardroom is generally an open door and I insist that the more people know what we are deciding and why, the more likely it is that we find cooperation rather than obstacles in the execution of such decisions on which ultimate success depends.
On the crucial things I could not afford leakages, and these are generally tactical, not strategic. I just keep them to myself and try even not to look at the mirror lest it also suffers from the human weakness of enjoying breaking the news as a show of more importance and superior knowledge.
So there is no doubt in my mind that the indirect cause of Labour’s leakages is its lack of inspirational leadership. As to who is the immediate source of the leakages, for as long as the information was known to two persons, you can never be sure about it.
What is strange however in this whole affair is that the leakages are weakening the position of both deputy leaders. Charles Mangion is in the eye of the storm, accused of taking business friends in an official delegation to
Why Alfred Sant is making very little effort to do the work of a true leader amuses me. A true leader would take full responsibility for the
But even more meaningful is his public outbursts on having cornered the “snake” within Labour who was supposedly making these leakages directly to the PN headquarters and pointing to a key assistant to the other deputy leader, Michael Falzon. Unless the objective is weakening Falzon’s public image a true leader would first admit to himself that he is failing in inspiring all and sundry with his mission, and then treat such matters with internal persuasion and if necessary internal discipline. Public outbursts harm the organisation and throw us back to the times of Robespierre in the French revolution.
Unless of course Sant means to stay as Opposition Leader even in his pension age and leakages serve a purpose in providing an excuse for lack of electoral success when it really matters.