"I lead my party; you follow yours," Tony Blair once cruelly told his predecessor. But did he lead it well? Despite reconciling the Labour Party with big business, he didn't take on board some key principles of corporate management; according to Stefan Stern, writing in the FT, managers should beware of Blair's seven serious errors of leadership.
Failure to manage expectations and follow through
Blair has been addicted to grandiose claims that have in turn created unrealisable goals. He has preferred headline-grabbing initiatives to the hard slog of policymaking. As Dominic Lawson puts it in The Independent, NHS employees have probably "lost count of the number of radical reforms demanded of them over the past nine years".
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Neglecting to adapt to changed circumstances
New Labour gained power on the back of a slick marketing and communications campaign. But once in government, the party continued with this strategy; Blair "never learnt the art of leading a collegiate administration", says Stern.
Adopting the heroic CEO' leadership model
Having signed up to the idea that chief executives achieve glory on their own, Blair has been "unhealthily self-centred", says Stern.
An authoritarian style
Adopting the leadership style of Margaret Thatcher simply crimped his ministers' creativity and initiative.
Blair and his core team hived themselves off from the rest of the party and developed a bunker mentality, dismissing calls to change his style of government. The result? He has been forced to announce his departure.
Addiction to arbitrary targets
The government's crude use of targets and performance measures has had unintended consequences. Labour's "massive meddling" has damaged morale and hampered day-to-day management of the public sector, says The Economist.
Inadequate succession planning
Successful leaders leave talented successors behind, says Stern. But beyond Gordon Brown, no significant leadership talent has emerged over the past few years.
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