For me, the quality of statesmanship inversely correlates with the number of times you blame the enemy, or others, of those in office before.
The quality of statesmanship in UK politics (this is where I live for 30 years) is very low. Why? Because political leaders here cannot simply articulate a sentence in public without referring to the previous government or previous administration as the cause of all evils. And that is so pervasive, sad, and frustrating because it does include things that they themselves, the current incumbents, approved when they were in the opposition before.
So, the current ones (whoever they may be) have inherited from the previous ones (whoever they may be) a terrible economy, terrible health, terrible social problems, terrible house crisis, and, if you give them a couple of extra minutes of air time, terrible weather and losing the World Cup of Something. It’s not serious, but, apparently, this is the political game.
Maybe it is. Sad, that will be.
Maybe we have just got used to it. But in organizational terms, good statesmanship means moving forward as a leader, being a builder, acknowledging the previous inherited problems (once, please) and then, go, go, go. It is dangerous to blame history. History always haunts us and catches up in some sort of collective responsibility that we may have conveniently ignored.
The Good Statesman refers to the opposition inheritance when needed, not as a routine to justify the hard work, or to beg for sympathy, or to devolve all responsibly to others. The Good Leader, organizations and business, does the same.
Bad Statesman and Bad Leaders master the Fundamental Attribution Error: if I succeed, it’s my merit; if I fail, is the circumstances; if they succeed, they are lucky: if they fail, it is their incompetence.
As old as fundamental Psychology. Practiced everyday in Politics. Reinforced by all of us listening and not calling out the mediocrity of the thinking.
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