We have a pretty flexible culture around here at Inspire – we work remotely, from home, in the local café….wherever works best. Testing that to the limits of technology and time zone, I’ve just returned from a week or so working out of my parents place in the UK. It’s a fantastic arrangement – a chance to reconnect, but also to spread the Inspire Group message in a new city.
But it was also a fascinating time to take in the tone of country, as almost 65 million people chewed over the issues (or what they thought were the issues) and prepared to make their decision in the most important vote of their lifetime: should the UK stay in the European Union, or go it alone?
Of course, what happened next is well known – and will be debated, explored and analysed for years to come.
But without getting into all the details here, this was and is a HUGE issue back in the UK: and a highly emotive one too – and certainly one that was front of mind for everyone I met in those days leading up to decision point. It was an ugly and divisive campaign – and not without tragedy too; but also without clear advice and leadership over what option would serve the country, and its future generations, best.
Interestingly, both campaigns had a very different tone. The Remain Leaders chose to very clearly Direct voters as to why the UK had to stay; yet the Leave camp chose Inspiring messages that they hoped would galvanise enthusiasm and good feeling around what they termed a ‘UK Independence Day’. And as we now see, that was all they had – that message certainly wasn’t supported with any clear plan around what next.
In times of uncertainty and confusion, we look to leaders to step up and remember, that for all that has been written about leadership, they actually just need to do two things: direct and inspire. Without these two elements in harmony, their impact as a leader always suffers.
At Inspire Group, we see this through our work in developing current and future leaders, but we may all just have seen this on a much larger scale.
Director of Leadership