Right now I am reading Tony Blair’s autobiography, A Journey – My Political Life.
Besides providing helpful insight into a modern Progressive’s mindset (e.g. he says that he and Bill Clinton think a lot alike regarding progressivism) this book is packed with leadership insights. Whether or not you agree with Tony Blair’s decision his leadership instincts are worth studying.
One topic he discusses much and frequently with helpful insight is the matter of change.
After discussing many of the domestic changes he initiated he steps back to reflect on the “progress of reform”:
The change is proposed; it is denounced as a disaster; it proceeds with vast chipping away and opposition; it is unpopular; it comes about; within a short space of time, it is as if it had always been so.
[…] if you think a change is right, go with it. The opposition is inevitable but rarely is it unbeatable. There will be many silent supporters among the vocal detractors. And leadership is all about decisions that change. If you can’t handle that, don’t become a leader.
And the lesson goes wider: it is about rising above the fray, learning how to speak above the din and clatter, and about always, always, keeping focused on the big picture. Rereading the daily news about the changes I am struck by how fevered each story was at the time, and how forgotten each story is today. […] all that matters now is that a necessary reform was made; and having been made, it is the structure upon which future reforms will be built.”
Are you leading change? Don’t lose heart!
This is a bonus:
In the book he tells the story of how John Prescott, the Labour Deputy Prime Minister, punched a protester after the “man with the million dollar mullet” threw an egg at him. After I read this story I checked it out on YouTube and now share it with you for your viewing pleasure…