When Leaders get the Axe

For whatever reason, Leaders get replaced. Mergers. Take-over. Conflict. Abuse of power. Resignation. Retirement. Name it, there’s a whole lot of reasons – whether business or politics.

Yet in all these coming and going, have you ever thought of what happens to them after the smoke is cleared? Well, not exactly like the on-going haze in Singapore – as soon it would totally end.

Then again, life goes on.


Just, just recently Australia made another switch in its leadership – it’s now back to Kevin Rudd from Julia Gillard. Some Australians say Gillard had been a bad prime minister, others say they’re now going to be the world’s laughing stock, still others it’s karma for back-stabbing, and for many – who cares?

But interestingly, for Kevin Rudd, Gillard has been a great leader showing intelligence, strength and poise. Could it just be politics? No, I’m not siding with either party – I’m for real and sustainable progress.

The point is – if Gillard was a great leader as Rudd had said – why replace her? Why not just support her?

On the other hand, her greatness is seen in her decision to retire – though it won’t be bad to be her country’s senior adviser. In other countries, ousted leaders just can’t have enough; though they have already reached the top and supposedly “served” the people – they still try to get into the mix through other lower positions, even tagging along their family to the fray, hence a political dynasty. These kinds of politicians are obviously just after power which their constituents are better off without.

Service is not simply about “being seated first”, it’s about listening to the voice of the “unruffled” and understanding what the served truly needs. Leaders who just hides behind the “mantra of service” without any clear, feasible and progressive program is no leader, but sadly, a “blood sucker”.

For Julia Gillard who did what she could as Australia’s first female prime minister – remember, one of the most important things a good Leader could do, even on the way out, is to sincerely unite and prepare her people towards a greater nation.

When the door is shown, it only means you should recalibrate, in other cases – reinvent.

What’s your take?