Part of a podcast series

The Wheeler Centre

View all episodes in this series

Christine Nixon on the Nature of Leadership

Listen to Christine Nixon on the Nature of Leadership

Lunchbox/Soapbox returns for its third season in 2011 with former Victorian Police Commissioner Christine Nixon reflecting on the nature of leadership.

Nixon compares what she argues are old and new models of leadership. She stresses that qualities such as independence, lateral thinking and openness to the needs of others are key to leadership in a progressive society, whilst noting the reluctance of some to depart from the comfort and security of militaristic, top-down command.

Looking at various phases of a person’s progression toward leadership, Nixon explains social processes that motivate and move individuals to begin acting as leaders. She proposes that Prime Minister Julia Gillard is exemplary of a new style of leader being judged on an outdated model.

Dismissing the media’s undermining “voice of ridicule”, she argues that Gillard is dealing with “an incredibly complex system where she is in a minority government, having to make sure that a whole range of other people are a part of it”. This ridicule, she says, is borne from fear. Rather than being weak for capitulating to the ideas of others, though, Nixon praises leaders like Gillard and Obama for their strengths in consensus governance.

The Wheeler Centre

Subscribe to the Wheeler Centre's podcast to hear full recordings of our talks – featuring the best in books, writing and ideas.