I have been consciously avoiding writing about MP’s expenses – enough is being said in the press. Suffice to say that this must have been going on for some time and the change in economic climate has no doubt provoked our questioning, and fuelled our outrage. Very simply, rules should be clear and where money is concerned, super duper crystal clear. Oh, and expense claims should be independently checked before being approved. Enough said.
What I find fascinating about all of this is the damage to the leadership brands concerned. Perception is reality, or I should say, perception is a form of reality as can be demonstrably false. However, little comfort once the damage is done. MP’s in general have been discredited in the eyes the public, and too, in the eyes of the world. How to recover?
Jacqui Smith has been on the back foot for some time – the first woman home secretary, she made a number of controversial decisions early on. And she has only been around for just shy of two years. With her judgement in question right from the start, it was never going to be an easy ride. We often talk of the first 100 days in a role and how vital they are to establishing our credibility. And there can be no more visible 100 days than those lived out by politicians.
With so much at stake I am always floored by the seeming lack of awareness that some people in the public eye display. And I should say too, encouraged when they get it right. Surely, if you choose to live your life in the glare of the media, investing in understanding and managing how you are perceived should be a priority? After talent itself, isn’t this the basis of your appeal, and resulting success – or lack of it?
And back to the lonely little question earlier. How to recover?