Leadership isn’t combative certainty.

Leadership demands sound conclusions, confidence and a definite purpose. But not certainty.

Modern politics seems to have coalesced around combative certainty, even (perhaps especially) when the problem in question is very complicated. Yes, Brexit is on my mind, but that’s not the only example.

On ultra-marathons and weekend jollies in the hills, I’ve found myself lost with friends a good few times. How best to get back on track offers a lesson for those who leap for charismatic assurance. It’s no use going quickly in the wrong direction, unwilling to test assumptions and closed to new input – as the land unfolds, early decisions may be re-visited; without rancour if the reasoning process was clear to the group.

I’m not suggesting one can always gain agreement in difficult circumstances; disagreement is often a healthy sign of independent thinking. We’d merely be wiser to demand evidenced thinking than reward ideological grand-standing.

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