Whichever way one looks at it, Paul Henry’s recent comments asking the Prime Minister whether the next Governor-General is going to “look and sound like a New Zealander” are insulting and racist. It falls way below the mark in his role as a TVNZ breakfast host.
The basic requirement of any job including those in leadership is that we deliver what is expected of that role and take full responsibility for our actions. When managers, leaders and politicians fail to do this, their leadership including the organization’s culture and ethos are – quite rightly – questioned.
Prejudice and stereotypes invariably blind us. Never mind Sir Anand’s background, calibre and merit in having been an almost perfect fit for the job. He is “culturally different” or more to the point “not white.” So everything else becomes irrelevant. This is a not a recipe for building and leading a team, organization or country. (more…)