Gordon Brown is clearly so unhappy. I can’t wait for the General Election to put him – and the UK – out of our communal misery.

I appreciate that Andrew Rawnsley has a book to sell, I accept that he may have lied egregiously in his previous book covering the Bernie Ecclestone furore (among other stuff), but, as us old wives like to say, there’s no smoke without fire.

Even if Rawnsley has exaggerated or bent the facts, few members of the British public must doubt that there’s some truth behind his depiction of Brown as an insecure bully.

Command and control

IBM’s Luis Suarez recently wrote about how old command and control methods should be consigned to the dustbin once and for all. I commented that while, intellectually, people might accept that carrot and stick techniques are outdated, it’s easy for them to fall into old familiar patterns of operating ‘on the ground’.

Especially when they’re supremely stressed – as Gordon Brown must be. For Brown, the old familiar pattern seems to be (allegedly) ‘power and cower’.

In my comment on Luis’ blog, I mentioned Chris Argyris’ observation of ‘espoused theory’ vs ‘theory in practice’: Argyris noted that it was common for managers to pay lip service to one idea while clearly ignoring it in practice.

Not healthy

Brown denies all claims of bullying: he talks about being passionate, sensitive and sometimes over-emotional. I’ve no doubt he believes that. But the reality of the situation seems to be that some of his staff in Downing Street feel oppressed, humiliated and victimised. And that’s not healthy for any of us.

As Daniel Goleman pointed out in his brilliant book, Emotional Intelligence, one of the first laws of good leadership is to ‘know thyself’. I fear that Gordon Brown really needs to get his own psychological house in order.

It pains me to say it, but the best way for Brown to address his problems is to step out of the spotlight for a while.

The top four barriers to collaborative behaviour in organisations

Photo: Hammersmith & Fulham Council