Jeremy Corbyn is not the most photogenic leader you can imagine, and yet he’s doing rather well. Why?
For the past 20 years the received wisdom in politics, here in Britain at least, has been that if you want to get elected then you have to reflect what the public want: if what you believe is out of line with public opinion, change what you believe.
This approach has given us politicians (and political parties) that all look somewhat similar. In the current race for the Labour leadership three of the four candidates fit this bill: they are bland clones of one another.
But a fourth candidate, Jeremy Corbyn, is getting rather more attention.
Corbyn isn’t young or photogenic. He’s a left-winger in a party that used to be left-wing and then moved to the right, so he’s an uncomfortable reminder of what the party has already decided to reject. And yet he’s getting most of the coverage, especially on social media. There’s even a twitter account dedicated to telling jokes at his expense.
Pandering to public opinion is all very well, but it has given us three main parties who all look the same and sound the same and have roughly the same policies.
Corbyn is different. He believes in something. Whether I agree with him or not, I know exactly who he is and what direction he would take the country in, no matter what situations might arise.
The other candidates will blow with the wind. Or rather, they will go with how they see the wind blowing. The only thing I can be sure of about what they would do in any given situation is that they would try to get themselves re-elected. They will do what is best for them, but what effect that might have on me or on the country I have no idea.
Will Corbyn’s approach work? Will he get elected, either as Labour leader or Prime Minister?
I don’t know, and I doubt Jeremy Corbyn really cares. For him, and for The Churning, that is the wrong question to be asking.
Corbyn knows who he is and what he stands for. He knows his purpose and his values and he will carry on working to achieve those whether the majority of voters agree with him or not.
By standing for what he believes in he has already got his agenda talked about in a way that none of the others has achieved. Win or lose, he has already changed the rules of the game.
From the point of view of inner leadership, Jeremy Corbyn has already won.
Chapter 5 of The Churning‘s inner leadership provides tools to help you uncover your own purpose and values.
Chapters 3, 4, and 6 enable you to create an inspiring vision of a tangible step forward towards that purpose, starting from wherever you are now.
Chapter 7 shows you how to prepare for the implementation that will come in outer leadership.