Why political leaders should undergo the same scrutiny as senior business leaders

Why political leaders should undergo the same scrutiny as senior business leaders

It seems that not a day goes by now without another senior politician resigning, losing their job or causing controversy with their actions and comments.

The UK Government is in a state of flux as cabinet ministers fail to agree on Brexit. And with the US President Donald Trump hitting the headlines again during his recent visit to the UK, is it time we looked at how to choose our leaders differently?

Having advised companies on leadership, teamwork and choosing the right people for many years, I believe it’s time we used some well-honed business techniques in politics to help create stability and make us, the voters, feel more empowered.

We use sophisticated psychometric testing, for example, in workplace recruitment, but not in politics. But why not?

Here are some thoughts and suggestions from me:

We don’t get the chance to interview politicians and leaders or do due diligence on them – we should. If we did, it might also bring back some spark and a sense of involvement among voters.

I believe all potential leaders should be asked the same short list of questions, with their responses recorded and filmed, and sent to the mobile phones of all voters before elections.

Questions could include the likes of: what are your views on taking things forward; what are your values and what do you hold dear? Each candidate would have one minute to answer each question, so the final recording would be a digestible four minutes long.

The process would need to be impartial, transparent and monitored to avoid it being used for party political gain.

In the same way as a politician is ‘named and shamed’ for being unwilling to take part in TV debates, the voter would know if any candidate was unwilling to answer these questions.

And why would any politician want to turn down the chance of being seen on the phones of almost the entire voting population?

We should also use psychometrics, as we do at work, to see how our politicians react to various situations and, in particular, how they cope under pressure. Testing would analyse such aspects as how compliant or passive they are and how they deal with stress.

The results would be published for us all to see for full transparency and we would all know better who we are voting for.

Finally, no chief executive takes on a job without a salary that matches the demands on them. Political leaders should also be paid in line with what they do. Ideally, this would make them less likely to move on or take on other roles alongside their political career.

I believe such measures could help bring trust, stability and longevity back to politics. If politicians saw their roles as long-term it would aid planning, benefiting the economy and society.

And wouldn’t it be ideal if the UK led the way on us to show how-forward thinking we are and let others follow suit.