Five lessons from Liz
Just a handful of things the former British PM got wrong about leadership.
18 January 2023
Try as one might, it’s rather hard to write a column about leadership this month without considering the exceptional lack of it currently on display by national heads of government. There are so many lessons in how not to do it, both close to home and far away, so which do you choose? As the deadline for copy approached, however, a winner stood out. Mere minutes before hitting the button to send this feature to Brainstorm’s editor, Liz Truss resigned as Prime Minister of Great Britain, setting the record for the shortest serving holder of that office with just 44 days on the job.
To recap, Truss was appointed PM after the departure of Boris Johnson, who was repeatedly caught lying to Parliament and the public, broke t he law and finally became just too much of an embarrassment for his party. Truss’ fellow members of Parliament didn’t want her to get the job ‒ they voted in favour of rival candidate, former chancellor Rishi Sunak. Grassroots members of the party, however, preferred her, apparently because Sunak was ‘too slick’. Her upbeat message of tax-cutting, growth-creating, innovation-driving, cake-having- and-eating cheeriness also went down better than Sunak’s more pragmatic warnings of belt-tightening to come.
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