54% Brits say Jacinda Ardern most successful pandemic leader

May 6, 2021

Business training course provider The Hub Events surveyed 1000 British workers* asking them which world leaders they believed had been the most successful during the current crisis.

New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern came 1st with 54% of the votes, with our own PM receiving just 16%.

Most Successful World Leaders During the Covid-10 Pandemic 

RankWorld LeaderScore
1Jacinda Ardern54%
2Angela Merkel23%
3Boris Johnson16%
4Justin Trudeau12%
5Scott Morrison8%

The survey also asked which traits UK workers most admire in their managers and work leaders:

RankBest Leadership TraitsScore
2Good communication38%
4Decision making skills29%
5A positive attitude25%

As well as which traits are seen as the worst in managers and leaders:

RankWorst Leadership TraitsScore
2Bad communication35%
4Bad listening skills32%
5Discriminatory behaviour31%

Also, when asked have you ever left a job due to bad leadership/management, almost half (45%) said yes.

*1000 British workers surveyed primarily in finance, marketing, digital and management roles

Christine Macdonald, Director of The Hub Events, said:

“Good leadership is the key to success for business and countries alike, an a weak leader can be the downfall of an otherwise strong team.

“It’s interesting to see what traits people truly consider to be important, as management can sometimes be misdirected in their focus.

“We are committed to building up those in management and HR positions in order to create an environment where businesses can constantly learn, grow and improve.”

Christine also offered management tips inspired by Jacinda Ardern’s leadership style to help business leaders: 

Keeping calm under pressure

“The New Zealand Prime Minister has demonstrated her ability to stay cool numerous times throughout the coronavirus pandemic, but it was her response to a 5.8 magnitude earthquake that really set the tone for her approach to a crisis. During a live television broadcast, the parliamentary building she was located in was hit with a mammoth natural disaster.

“Though she would not have been admonished for a frantic response, her calm and collected reaction was an incredible reassurance to the panic-stricken public as she coolly stated, “we’re just having a bit of an earthquake here… we’re fine.” Her ability to immediately gather her thoughts and address a crisis can be a learning lesson for all of us.

“To offer reassurance, assess the current situation, and keep a level head throughout all of the challenges she faces are the key takeaways from her incredible response.”

Act decisively & do not downplay situations 

“Jacinda’s immediate decisiveness was displayed through her choice to act early when the coronavirus’ global spread reached her shores. She did not mince her words – she was concise on the government’s stance on lockdown measures and ensured the message was appropriately conveyed to all New Zealand citizens.”

“Her decisiveness had a huge impact on how the country handled the crisis and the measures she implemented have continued to guide a panicked nation calmly through the stormy pandemic waters.”

“Not once did she attempt to downplay the severity of the crisis. Instead, she offered facts, educated herself on the data and made tough choices that would ultimately allow New Zealand to handle the pandemic astutely and save many, many lives. Almost a third (29%) of our survey responses indicated that decision-making is a top leadership quality, and Jacinda’s decisive actions have embodied this altruistic trait.”

Emotional intelligence

“It can be easy for leaders and managers to come across as aloof or disconnected during emotionally wrought situations. A successful leader, however, understands the importance of emotional intelligence in navigating high tensions and coming out the other side. During the pandemic, Prime Minister Ardern showed her human side and fostered the public’s trust by acknowledging the emotional aspect brought on by the crisis.”

“She even went so far as to reassure children that the Easter Bunny was classified as a key worker and would be able to do their Easter rounds as always. While this may seem like a small gesture, the fact that she incorporated such an emotional response into her address showed her humanity and her relatability. She took the time to consider the effect that the global crisis was having on families and children as well as the economy, all while holding office and guiding New Zealand through the beginning stages of what has come to be the biggest health crisis our generation has seen.

“This reiterates the need for leaders to have a true grasp of the effect’s small aspects of their team’s lives can have, and how to handle them effectively.”

Lead from the front

“Setting an example through actions is one of the cornerstones of great leadership. Jacinda made a point of adhering to the guidelines she set out throughout the unfolding of the pandemic. This demonstrates on both a conscious and subconscious level that the guidelines were manageable, and that no one person was exempt from rules.

“She took a decisive stance to demote her Health Minister, Dr David Clark, after he flouted the rules her government had laid out. This public action reinforced her authority and has potentially been a cause for the public support of her decisions around the health of the nation.”

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