Monday 27 March 2017

Thank God our leader is not the one in charge

Despite his 'my way or the highway' mantra, Cowen has abdicated his leadership, writes Brendan O'Connor

Things may seem bad, but at least we have leadership. When Brian Cowen bounds on to our screens regularly, looking fit, happy and on top of the job, it lifts everyone's spirits. He communicates with us effectively about everything that is going on, in an open, clear and confident manner. He seems like a man with a vision, which is what every leader should have. And he seems to have a plan as to how to achieve that vision. He seems engaged with and energised by the challenge.

He also inspires confidence in us, his people. We trust him. We trust that we are in good hands when we see him in action. He has what every great leader needs: the ability to make people want to follow him.

Cowen also takes great leadership positions on things. Like any great leader, he does not worry overly about popularity or about keeping everyone happy. Like any great leader, he has good instincts and principles and a clear view on what the right thing to do is, and so he is willing to take positions that are sometimes unpopular. Cowen does this because he believes in those positions, he is confident of those positions.

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