Lighting Struck Twice

Published: Sep 15 , 2015
Author: Keith Stacey

Lightning has struck twice, another Prime Minister has been overthrown after less than two years in office. How can all that power of the highest office in the land disappear so quickly? 

In analysing the defeat of Tony Abbott a good place to start of the trust equation developed by David Maister the equation is:

TRUST= (C + R + L)/PSI 

C=Competence, R=Reliability, L=Like and PSI=Perceived Self Interest

The problem that all politicians have is that PSI is always high. In Abbott’s case he has always had a low ‘like factor’. R has been trashed by broken promises and C is under great scrutiny particular after some “captain’s calls” and the failure to pass large sections of the budget.

History is often kinder to fallen politicians than their colleagues and opponents. However many commentators believe that Tony Abbott, never managed to make the transition from opposition to government. His reliance on repeated simplistic statements did not allow him to build a bridge to the wider community.

As Mario Cuomo, a famous American politician expressed, “You campaign in poetry, you govern in prose.” In negotiating terms, Abbott was far from persuasive in building a case for reform or listening to the mood and concerns of the wider community. If his predecessor is to do a better job, communication will be of do-or-die importance.

What are you thoughts on the events of the last day? What else can we learn as negotiators?


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About the author:

Keith Stacey
Keith is a Principal Consultant with Scotwork and has over 30 years experience as a business consultant, educator and trainer. He is a regular consultant to senior executives in professional practice and his principal interests in management are strategic planning, project management, client-relationship management and conflict resolution.

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You Often Have More Power Than You Think

As a negotiation specialist, I’m often asked what the best course of action is when the other party has all of the power. Maybe you are dealing with an incumbent or selling to a duopoly… so it may even feel like it is true that they have ‘all of the power’. While we could talk about what you do when it is true, my experience is that people typically have a lot more power than they might realise.

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