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Recovering backpacker, Cornwallite at heart, political enthusiast, catalyst, writer, husband, father, community volunteer, unabashedly proud Canadian. Every hyperlink connects to something related directly or thematically to that which is highlighted.

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Kathleen Wynne: Leadership is Resilience

Campaigns are races - they have ends in sight.  Competitive campaigners are often as much committed to tripping up their foes as they are about being faster themselves.  After all, what matters when the race is over except victory?

Politics, however much it gets treated as such, is not a race.  Unless a leader has some avoidable losses under their belt (like, say, Tim Hudak), not forming government doesn't eliminate you from the playing field.

That means the people you're running against now will be the same ones you need to work with later.

When you get your back up, when you cast the Other as evil, or stupid, or in any shape and form as impossible to reason and work with, you're not putting them in a corner - you're putting yourself in a corner.

As a couple prominent political operatives have discovered of late.

It's awfully hard to lead when you're being left behind.  Leadership isn't about leaving behind, or moving on without - it's about moving forward together.

That has always been Wynne's objective.

I first met Kathleen Wynne prior to the 2003 election - I've had the pleasure of bumping in to her a number of times since then, and have always found her the same authentic, committed, results-focused person she was when she started at Queen's Park.  That's a rare thing.

The reason why Wynne has avoided becoming cynical, mean-spirited or intransigent isn't because she's "weak" - quite the opposite.  Kathleen Wynne is resilient.  She knows she's resilient.

Whereas her opponents will dehumanize her to justify harsh treatment in their attempt to win - essentially, poisoning themselves and hoping she'll keel over first - she tends to focus on achievement. That means collaboration, shared solutions and facilitation.  How might we achieve systematic best outcomes with an eye towards sustainability?

It's common sense, really - it's that which adapts that survives.

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