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Before I start this blog, I must clarify a few things. This is a discourse on management and leadership, and I have no intention to converse politics here. Also, for further clarity, I must assert that I don’t like Stephen Harper’s politics or policies, my worldview is diametrically opposing to his views of the world and I will never vote for him or his party.
On the other hand, I believe that a treatise can be written on his leadership style and the management philosophy that he follows. Stephen Harper actually stands out as a leader, he had already made a distinction and had firmly established himself as a successful leader.
His style is distinct for the reason that it is deeply entrenched in his beliefs, value system and certain principles that are dear to his heart. He manages with a set of objectives and he is always determined to achieve the goals that are based on an ideological ground, conservatism.
Does his style make him a principled and ethical leader? That is debatable, and probably not true. He will probably do anything and everything to achieve his goals. We have already seen that some of his past decisions and past actions were not within the ethical or moral boundaries or at least some of his actions are definitely at the edge of integrity. So, Mr. Harper may follow certain principles, but his morality and ethics are questionable. Having said that, we must also recognize the fact that he is probably the most successful leader in recent Canadian history.
Stephen Harper’s leadership style is extremely directive, very few analyst will argue on that point. He is a secretive person and also he has such a reticent political personality that his name may well become a part of urban dictionary as an antonym for candidness. He is as restrained as a stemmed flower and we have seen that he hates to take no for an answer.
Regardless of his directive style and taciturn personality, he draws both respect and awe from his followers. The reason for that I think, are twofold. His immediate circle probably considers him as a strategic leader (which is probably true) and his track record tells all his followers that he will bring success for them again.
A leader’s greatness is not only measured by his or her success. The final determination of a great leader is the impact he or she makes during the tenure of the leadership. I believe Stephen Harper’s Legacy will not be evaluated very kindly by the posterity. He will ultimately be held responsible for dragging Canada backwards by adopting wrong and reckless environmental policies and hindering the desired economic growth as a result of his staunch support for the oil sand lobbyists. Finally his desperate efforts to take compassion, tolerance and equality out of the political dictionary of Canada will be viewed as one of the leading negatives of “Harper Era”.