Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Why David Cameron is not Colin Montgomerie

Europe's magnificent success in yesterday's finale to the Ryder Cup has led many newspapers today to look in detail at the role Colin Montgomerie, the european team captain, played in the victory. 

'Monty' has always been seen as a difficult man; often ill at ease with himself and his position as one of Europe's finest golfers. In the run up to the Ryder Cup weekend, reports told of how Monty had applied a meticulous approach to preparations bordering on obsession. In short he micro-managed to the finest detail putting himself on the line if the European team had failed. This in turn built a team of immense strength who were playing as much for Monty, and all he had invested in the team, as for themselves.

David Cameron's leadership in many ways is the direct opposite of Montgomerie's. While both have a fantastic eye for detail, the Prime Minister's belief in localism has allowed him to give Whitehall departments a level of autonomy not seen for many years. One SpAd remarked last night that they have one boss (their secretary of state) and Downing Street are happy to keep it that way.

There is little doubt that David Cameron, at this moment in time, is the most secure Conservative leader since perhaps Thatcher post Falklands. To achieve this, like Monty, he has set out the path to victory. Also, like Monty, tactically mistakes are made. Strategically however, the Conservative team strides on: like a golfer taking the acclaim of fans lining the 18th fairway. 

Winston Churchill remarked that difficulties mastered are opportunities won. How you motivate and lead your team to achieve this might be similar to Monty or Cameron but it is the mastering of what difficulties lie in front of you that is the ultimate test of leadership.

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