Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Authoritarian Attitude Is Dying, And Good Riddance

"Key [New Zealand Prime Minister] would improve the odds if he were to add authority to likeability, put his stamp on the government as well as be its face. Authority would require that when he says something it is the government speaking, not John Key musing. It would require that when a minister does something, it is the action of an unmistakably John Key minister, not of someone who happens to be in the ministry."
An Investment Opportunity For Trader Key, Colin James, Dominion Post, 17 Jan 2011

This is rubbish. It is his qualities of approachability and good nature that contribute the greatest part to his likeability and his popularity (along with his clear capability). His authority is without question - he is the Prime Minister.

The idea that a position of authority must entail an authoritarian attitude is a nonsense. In the sense that he is collaborative, constructive and willing-to-talk he embodies the qualities that are vital to anyone being popular in the new politics. The old authoritarian 'strong leader' is largely dead in modern Western politics (or so most of us hope), just as it is dying in modern Western corporations (though not as quickly as many of us would wish).


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