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Enthusiasm: its importance as a leadership characteristic

Let’s face it, it’s felt like a possibility for some time (not just the past two months): Boris Johnson as leader of the Conservative Party, and even Prime Minister!

What interests me, is we’ve all felt this despite him getting stuck on the zip linerugby tackling a child and making gaffes left, right and centre.

We’re also told (by the media) that he’s sexist, racist and several other “ists” – you’d think in 2019, this would be game-ending.

So, how has he risen to power? Why is it that no one's that surprised?

The one positive characteristic that anyone with a platform seems willing to ascribe to Boris is enthusiasm! Is enthusiasm that powerful a characteristic in a leader, that it overrides other aspects of a person’s character? Is that why it’s seemed inevitable that Boris would one day land the top job?!

Maybe, just maybe, enthusiasm is that powerful a characteristic! You see enthusiasm (certainly in the short term) is infectious! A person who genuinely believes that something can be achieved will drag other people along with them. Tasks that are approached without enthusiasm are more likely to fail.

Certainly, people are likely to work much harder when they’re led by someone who leads them enthusiastically and with purpose. Enthusiasm and an outgoing personality will take you a long way. A combination is a genuine form of charisma that makes people likeable. In general, you are far more likely to forgive the ‘errors’ of likeable people.

From a logical/non-political POV, this is the only way I can rationalise the recent position, and make sense of the inevitability, and (dare I say it), destiny, that seemed attached to the whole situation.

Will Boris’s enthusiasm carry him through, and if it does, what will that show us about the importance of enthusiasm in leadership roles?

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