Leadership is an essential feature of all government and governance. It is necessary to have a strong leader if the government aims to succeed; it gives security and confidence to citizens, which leads to prosperity.
The dictionary defines a leader as “the person who leads or commands a group, organization, or country”. His or her role is to identify the desired objectives to accomplish and create a well-structured agenda that will allow their achievement. Strong motivation is key to ensure the nation, is working collaboratively towards the achievement of those.
Nowadays, public leaders need to respond to traditional governance issues; corruption, unemployment, taxes… nevertheless, they also have to be prepared to tackle “global village” issues, those like conflict, economic decisions… Effective political leaders need to understand that the power is no longer unidirectional, it is shared by different stakeholders; citizens, enterprises, international organizations, NGOs, trade unions, lobbies and parties of the opposition. Is the actual prime minister of Spain a leader? Is Mariano Rajoy doing what he promised in his electoral campaign?
Honesty… what does it mean?: The actual government does not understand the importance of being honest to its citizens. Honesty develops credibility and trust, which are fundamental in a crisis context. If the government wants to establish good relations with the different stakeholders, they have to speak clearly and truthfully with each other. It is also primordial that the state acknowledges the opinions held by the different agents in this country. For instance, the government does not listen to the opposition, lacking to understand that democracy is based on the dialogue between different parties to reach consensus.
Moreover, the government is untruthful. M.Rajoy declared in his electoral campaign a series of objectives (decrease taxation, rise pensions, Spain’s unification, change in justice…) but he is doing just the opposite.
He is focusing on solving the economic problems by adopting an opposite strategy to that one proposed. Furthermore, he is not taking into account other State issues.
Mr Mariano Rajoy should realize that Spaniards voted him because they wanted a change, but he is not being a good leader or taking “true actions”.
Hiding from citizens is not the solution, Mr Mariano: Knowing how to communicate is a requirement for leaders. In this digital world it is impossible to hide information from people and is better to say the truth at the appropriate time, rather than letting someone else spread the news changing the actual issue.
However, the Spanish government is not following this approach, preferring not to communicate and hiding the truth.
This is clearly illustrated in the issue of Catalonia. The international media started to believe that Catalonia should be independent, as the leaders of CIU party, especially Andreu Mas-Colell, travelled worldwide giving interviews to convince other nations that Catalonia needs independence from the rest of Spain.
On the contrary, the Spanish government believes that it should not give explanation on this topic. This lack of commutation is weakening the credibility of Spain in the international opinion. Therefore, it is crucial that politicians adapt their communication strategies to the new media, since by not doing so they are losing power and credibility.
A leader, an example of a good citizen?: We conceive a leader as a virtuous person who fights for human dignity, a person of principles to whom society trusts. Politicians have an enormous responsibility and they should act having in mind society’s wellbeing.
However, Spanish politicians from the PP party in Spain are politicians because they are interested in earning money, not in helping the society. Corruption is the best word to describe current governance; “El Caso Barcenas” outlines this thesis.
Furthermore, as explained before, the strategy adopted by the party was to remind silence, and when the news exploited the public opinion turned against the government. It would have been much more sensible to be transparent and truthful, admitting mistakes, just like the current party of the opposition has done in the past.
Enthusiasm is key:A leader needs to be charismatic and able to have a personal approach with people, as Mr Obama. Leaders need to believe that there it is possible to build a better nation.
During the cold war, Kennedy knew how to make the people fight for their nation, to achieve the liberty. In his speech “we choose to go to the moon, not because it is easy but because it is hard”, he inspired all America, creating a patriotic feeling within all communities in America.
The Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy should transmit hope to the population, building up patriotism. However, he is achieving to create a broken nation.
Overall, politicians should never lie. They know how to apologize and they recognize their own mistakes, which increases society’s trust for them. Honesty, compassion and integrity are some of the necessary values in political leadership. Moreover, good communication is key to unify citizens and the government. Our Prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, needs to urgently change his approach towards citizens. He must understand that everything is not economics, that society is also concerned about other social problems, and their welfare is more important that anything else. Society has the feeling that the actual government is letting them down. Since we are in a democracy, the government should listen to the party of the opposition, he should listen to the entire nation. If they do not change it may be to late, society may have lost their welfare… It may be that we need a new leader, a change in government.
(Role of the opposition)