Business Lessons from NZ’s 2020 Election

They are calling it a bloodbath – a tide of Labour red across the country.  National is licking its wounds and doing some serious thinking about what went so wrong, and why.

One political comment was “that’s what happens to a party without purpose”.


No matter what your personal politics, there are lessons can we learn from the election as business owners…

  • Voters (aka clients and staff) like and trust Jacinda’s leadership – she is consistent, likeable, demonstrates emotional intelligence, is respectful, and speaks from the heart
  • Voters are wary/weary of negativity, hollow promises, put downs, threats and bribes
  • The pandemic has changed everything – we want fresh ideas and innovation, which is probably why the Greens and Act scored so well in this election
  • “Safe” seats (or clients / markets / products) may not be so safe after all – under invest at your peril
  • Don’t fight in front of the kids – unified leadership / management is always important
  • Know when to move on (not mentioning any names here Winston!)
  • Respect and nurture youthful energy – find and recruit some Chloe Swarbricks to your team
  • Succession planning is necessary – National’s loss of experienced MPs creates opportunities for growth, regeneration, and change (and increased diversity if they’re smart)
  • The Labour party caucus embraces youth, gender equality, and inclusiveness
  • A good leader makes leading look effortless and natural (even although its actually hard work).

Labour won the election as a result of strong, values based leadership.  Businesses should adopt a similar approach.

Ideally some of the innovative policies put forward by minor parties will be embraced by Labour.  Forgoing ego (aka “I didn’t think of that”) allows business leaders to cherry pick and execute the best ideas based on merit, no matter the source.

And avoid rubbish ones, such as wealth taxes!

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