What is leadership? A leader must have a vision, with an understanding of how to achieve it. They must understand their team, and focus, mobilise and motivate them.
A good leader will engage with appropriate experts and harness their expertise to achieve project aims while keeping team members involved.
What are the attributes of good leaders? They must have a grasp of relevant facts supported by a willingness to take advice and modify their own performance. They must understand their team members and facilitate their work.
Their communication skills must include willingness to listen and empathise with others. They must make decisions and communicate them to team members inclusively. They must face difficulties honestly and openly.
Editorial: Leaders put on notice by fire crisis
Gladys Berejiklian and Daniel Andrews have shown excellent leadership in the existing crisis. Anthony Albanese has also presented well, offering support and constructive suggestions.
Our Prime Minister, unfortunately, has consistently refused to meet emergency experts, seems unable to grasp the extent of the national emergency and has failed to show good leadership.
He has delayed showing awareness of the seriousness of the situation, reacted with piecemeal actions, failed to communicate with emergency managers and showed a patronising attitude to fire fighters and community members suffering grief and loss. He cannot bring himself to contemplate the causes of the present catastrophe.
I think of Jacinda Ardern's response to recent crises in New Zealand and wish for an Australian leader with similar integrity, compassion and effective leadership.