The press is certainly making the most of Gordon Brown's gaff. Newspapers and radio articles are constantly discussing how Gordon Brown referred to a voter as a 'bigot' and how the following radio interview led to the Prime Minister having to give a very public, private apology.
Does this matter?
Most of the public feedback suggests that people acknowledge that this kind of comment happens, but regardless, it was wrong of Gordon Brown to say this. The Prime Minister has now apologised of course, but is this the end of the matter and what have we learnt from this episode? (Image courtesy of Wikipedia)
To be an effective leader, you really need to believe in what you stand for but you also need to behave in a consistent way that lives those values: say what you mean and mean what you say. Inconsistencies in an individual's actions, from the message and the image they portray, are very damaging and once people identify you may not be completely consistent, they then question what else is 'just for show'.
Consistency and leadership in difficult times
In hard times, people need leaders they can believe in. You need to know you can trust the person at the top. They need to have more than just a plan. They need to be consistent in everything they do and say!
We can all learn from Gordon
For everyone managing or leading others, this represents an important lesson to learn. Make sure that you have the right people in the right place. Ensure they believe in what they are doing and when things go wrong, act quickly, make amends and then move on.