I was in the Royal Navy for 16 years, reaching a reasonably senior position among the ranks. During my service I picked up the most important rule of leadership: respect must be earned, it is not something that you take from those who work for you, it is given. I used to pride myself with the fact that I never had to tell anyone to do anything, I would ask, and it got done. It was respect. I treated those who worked for me with respect and in return they gave me respect and loyalty back. I did have to hand out the occasional bollocking, but it was done in a quiet office, in a measured and reasoned manner. In the modern workplace shouting at someone when things go wrong just shows a lack of leadership and poor communication skills.
I've been out of the RN seven years now and even in that short time I have seen the drive for respect at work improve. I'm lucky to work for a large company with a great training system and determination to get the best out of its workforce. Every single person in my company must attend a "Dignity at work" course. The title of the course is self explanatory and its main theme is to treat others as you would hope to be treated by them. I work in a power plant and things can get pretty tense when machinery fails, but I could never imagine my line manager ever running into the control room, shouting and bawling. You do not get the best out of a workforce by intimidating it. And this is why Gordon Brown has struggled so much during his leadership of the country. The man has poor leadership skills.
Brown's attitude is not one of a strong and passionate leader - it is the attitude of a man who is unable to deal with the pressure of office - a man with a blatant disregard for the dignity of those working for him. He is unfit to be Prime Minister and the sooner he goes, the better.
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