Should he stay or should he go?

Flipping heck. What a mental time for politics. As Smarta writes this blog, the Tories have 132 councillors as a result of the local elections, Lib Dems have 52, and Labour has... 20.

Chuck in the Purnell resignation letter to the melting pot, the Brown-crushing story that led all the nationals this morning and very openly called on the PM to resign, and, all in all, it’s almost certainly the worst and most difficult day of Gordon Brown’s career.

So what do you do, when it’s all falling apart, spectacularly, publicly, unstoppably, uncontrollably? Should Brown stay or should he go?

That, at least in part, will very much depend on whether he wants to save personal face or party face. By all means, with this much public and internal pressure on him to step down, it would seem like the obvious thing to do if he truly had the Labour Party’s interests at heart. 

But it’s not quite that straightforward. Brown no doubt feels that as all around him abandon his beloved party, he at least needs to hold on in there and see it through this mess. But where does that feeling end and his personal pride - and wanting to retain his grip on the position he’s waited so long for and worked so hard for – begin? It’s a distinction that is probably as confused and intangible in his own mind as in the public’s eyes.

What would you do, as a business owner, if you were in the same position? If there was so much internal conflict, so much public scorn, so much failure, that to relinquish control of the beast you sweated and swore to build could prolong its life and improve its health more than if you stayed?

What matters more – your relationship to the business or the business itself? Could you step back and let someone else take the reigns, if you knew they would do a better job of it? Did you start a business to create an incredible business, or to satisfy yourself? Because, in instances like these, those do become two different aims.

Do you care more about your own pride, or about the career welfare of your employees? Would you still believe that, having led up till then, you would still, probably, do a better job than anyone else could? Or would you stay to show loyalty where others’ was clearly defaulting?

What would you do?

Tough questions, aren’t they? And maybe ones that, as leaders of enterprises, are worth considering before sticking yet more knives into a man who’s clearly dealing with more complex decisions than many of us will ever have to at the helm.


(Image: Bixentro)

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