The Emotional Intelligence of Labor’s Leaders

It is over for now but we have just been witnessing an epic battle for the leadership between Gillard and Rudd.  Given the performances under incredible stress it makes compelling viewing for those interested in the emotional makeup of these two people.

Last week I had the pleasure of hearing senior political journalist Niki Savva speak at the Sydney Institute.  In her talk she said people made three mistakes when they considered the temperament of politicians:

People underestimate the depth of the paranoia.
People underestimate the depth of the resentment towards slights received.
People underestimate the desire for revenge.

All these are characteristic of the 7MTF/Humm Politician component which all Prime Ministers need to have and I have written about previously.  Both Gillard and Rudd have the P component but I would say Gillard’s is stronger.

Rudd on the other hand has both a strong Hustler and Engineer component.  This accounts for his Machiavellian deviousness and wonderful ability to put on a completely different face when he is addressing the public.  In addition he is a terrible delegator and very much the solo operator as discussed in Annabel Crabb’s The Rise (and Fall) of the Ruddbot.

On the other hand the Normal of Rudd is very low.  He is renowned for his swearing, mad rages, lack of tolerance for the mistakes of others and inability to operate in government.  He is unable to follow process and is famous for demanding detailed reports but then never following up.  His destruction of the cabinet process was probably the main determinant of his removal and subsequent lack of support by the Labor Caucus.

On the other hand the Normal of Gillard is very high.  Her self-control over the past several weeks has been unbelievable and there is no doubt that she has a track record of getting things done.  You may not agree with what she has put through Parliament but you have to admit she has got it through.  She is terrific for staying on message.

It is said that politicians campaign in poetry but govern in prose.  Rudd is able to spin the poetry but Gillard is the one who governs prosaically.  Unfortunately looking at Sava’s three components: paranoia, resentment, and revenge the Australian political soap opera will continue as will the jokes:

Help Needed Urgently:  Ebay have just contacted me.  I put on a bid for a cowboy outfit and they told me that if I don’t cancel my bid in six minutes I am getting the Australian Labor Party.


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Chris Golis - Author


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