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Major in the uk this is above all a managerial even

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Major in the UK. This is, above all, a managerial, even technocratic, style ofleadership, its advantage being that it is fiercely practical and allows scope fortactical flexibility. Its central drawback, however, is that such leaders may beseen as opportunistic wheeler-dealers who are devoid of firm principles ordeep convictions. This was illustrated by George Bush’s damaging admissionduring the 1992 US presidential election that he did not understand what hecalled ‘the vision thing’.In the third style of leadership,transformationalleadership, the leader isnot so much a coordinator or manager as an inspirer or visionary. Not only aresuch leaders motivated by strong ideological convictions, but they also havethe personal resolution and political will to put them into practice. Instead ofseeking compromise and consensus, transformational leaders attempt tomobilize support from within govern ment, their parties and the generalpublic for the realization of their personal vision. Howard Gardner (1996)suggestedthataleaderis‘anindividualwhocreatesastory’.Theeffectiveness of such a leader hinges on the degree to which the leader inquestion ‘embodies’ the story, and the extent to which the story resonates with
the broader public.General de Gaulle, for instance, recast the nature of political leadership inFrance as much by presenting himself as a ‘father figure’ and ‘national leader’as by establishing a presidential system in the form of the Fifth Republic. Avery similar style was adopted in the UK by Margaret Thatcher, whoseavowed aim when coming into office was to run a ‘conviction government’.The continued use of terms such as ‘Gaullism’ and ‘Thatcherism’ bearswitness to the enduring impact of these leaders’ ideological visions. TonyBlair in the UK also adopted a transformational stance by recasting theLabour Party as ‘new’ Labour, in the process ensuring that his governmentpursued ‘third way’ rather than old-style socialist priorities. Not uncommonly,transformational leadership is linked to populism, reflecting the desire of suchleaders to demonstrate that they are articulating the concerns and interests of‘the people’. Although the strength of transformational leadership is that itprovides a basis for pushing through radical programmes of social, economicor political reform, it may also encourage a drift towards authoritarianism andlead to ideological rigidity. It is thus possible to see Thatcher herself as one ofthe casualties of Thatcherism, in that in 1990 she paid the price for herdomineeringleadershipstyleandherunwillingnesstochangepolicypriorities, even when these had become electorally unpopular.CONCEPTPopulismPopulism (from the Latinpopulus, meaning ‘the people’) has been used to describe bothdistinctive political movements and a particular tradition of political thought. Movements orparties described as populist have been characterized by their claim to support thecommon people in the face of ‘corrupt’ economic or political elites. As a political tradition,populism reflects the belief that the instincts and wishes of the people provide the principallegitimate guide to political action. Populist politicians therefore make a direct appeal to thepeople, and claim to give expression to their deepest hopes and fears.

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