Notwithstanding the seriousness of the Brexit situation, the Labour Party process of leadership selection and any plots, plans and rumours, the current leadership impasse in the Labour Party is instructive.

Our Primary Colours leadership module is based on having a balance of strategic, operational and interpersonal capabilities. One of the important features affecting a leader’s strategic and interpersonal success is the ability to create alignment amongst your stakeholders. Some of your stakeholders may be less committed to you or your strategy but your work is to engage them by listening to them, persuading them and in turn adapting and compromising so that together you can work towards achieving your goal. Focusing on one group of stakeholders to the detriment of another risks not only creating misalignment, but disenfranchising and alienating the other groups. You are not therefore leading but simply advancing the interests of your favoured or preferred group.

In our work we also highlight to leaders how their very strengths, those characteristics which have made them successful, if overplayed, can be what derails them. Again without knowing Jeremy Corbyn other than through the eyes of the media, his independent stance, his focus and his determination to adhere to his principles are admirable and arguably these very features got him elected in the first place. However, as reported he now appears to be stubborn, inflexible, obstinate and wilfully ignoring significant groups of his stakeholders. Whether his stance is a matter of principle underpinned by his personality I don’t know, but together his behaviours seem likely to derail not only him, but his party – his larger group of stakeholders.

by Dr. Megan Joffe