Prime Minister Rajoy on Spanish banks bailout; ransom or loan?
communication, strategy & leadership architects Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy: a ransom or a loan? Source: www.lamoncloa.gob.es #newCommunication #newLeadership #newPolitics 1 www.ingenia-‐pro.com @ingenia_pro
communication, strategy & leadership architects 5 impressions about Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy after the announcement of the "soft" bank "ransom" Starting point: Economy & Competitiveness’ Secretary, Luis de Guindos, reached an agreement with the Eurogroup members on a selective "ransom" of 100,000 € millions -‐ for the Spanish risked banks. After denying any official Spanish request, a casual Eurogroup members meeting last Saturday and outside news reporting the deal, the secretary announced the agreement. After denying, active and passively, that the Spanish government would not request any European financial help, an informal Eurogroup call and the information coming from abroad, on Saturday afternoon the agreement was announced. De Guindos Secretary, appeared to read the statement of the agreement and answer questions from reporters. With a somewhat arrogant attitude, the first question -‐come from the CNN international correspondent-‐ was ignored as it was in English, "only Spanish Journalists" was Secretarys. There was exceeded trance to stand up and answer questions uncomfortable with an attitude, at times, arrogant. Was the main goal to build trust, right? And where was the Prime Minister? Didnt he have anything to say? Pressure on Mr. Rajoys silence was such an intense and special dominated the news cycle later. On Sunday the Prime Minister spoke from Moncloas Palace. 1. Staging Very carefully conducted and vey solemn. For the first time in Mr. Rajoys La Moncloa we saw the import of a style, that President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, also Prime Ministers Blair and Cameron, masters ceremonies: opened the doors leading to a corridor ahead and the smiling leader walking forward to the lectern and flags set to frame the picture. The sense of motion was visually interrupted when one of Mr. Rajoys aide walked backwards and have a word. The perception that President Rajoy walked too decided, thrusting his arms has made when he came to the podium, had to slow down over kind of sharp and the sense is broken when the Prime Minister stands and looks down to the papers. Mr. Rajoy is still not used to this scenery, although it is ideal for important announcements and appearances. 2. The appereance #newCommunication #newLeadership #newPolitics 2 www.ingenia-‐pro.com @ingenia_pro
communication, strategy & leadership architects The first few minutes of each hearing are set the tone, the pace and the attitude. The Prime Minister started in a confidence and trusted zone where he feels security: returning to explain the context and what people know and the usual clichés of the presidents speech. HIs approach seemed at first to hesitate and avoiding jumping right into the issue that had led him to appear. It took a while to dive him into the subject. The permanent gestures, the anarchic and unrhythmical hands, now ranging and nodding with one hand, then the other, and with a continued fast and not reassuring looking to the auditorium to return to the papers indicate discomfort and weakness of a leader who seeks protection and embraces the preset script. 3. Messaging We were surprised with the attitude and arguments of his speech: -‐ When apparent contradictions between public statements and the result of public policy are consistent, allegations of turning black is white are increasingly apparent, Prime Minister Rajoy used the #karlroverian strategy to build legitimacy and strength of argument precisely from where the attacks are coming. In this case of inconsistency and unreliability. The theme of the speech was "as I said in when I sworn Office", "as I warned five months ago". He was looking for the "visionary consistent" & "statesmanship" frame. "I already said", "I have credibility". This position has been limping while attempting to reinforce the idea under the usual common rhetoric grounds like "we live a very difficult time", "we know what to do" and "we are going the right direction". He adopted a defensive attitude trying to avoid the debate between bailout vs. loan "I will discuss on naming". Gay marriage is precisely in the Constitutional Court by the word marriage, right? Yes, naming is an important issue on discussions. So he appealed to "what happened yesterday" a neutral position when you want to avoid the bad connotations debate on the floor. He announced an "historic day for Europe, the Euro and Spain", like a new D Day. He got stuck with the so Spanish attitude of putting the "feet on the table": "Im the one who pressed -‐I havent been pressed" and "I managed the situation". That led to undermined the credibility and trust. The script needed more humility and gratitude. Forgetting that you are receiving help because by yourself you are not able to succeed and showing off some arrogance is a bizarre signal. 4. Its not only the attitude At the their turn reporters asked the prime minister why continued public statements by leading members of government, Mr. Rajoy himself, the Deputy Prime Minister, including the Economy #newCommunication #newLeadership #newPolitics 3 www.ingenia-‐pro.com @ingenia_pro
communication, strategy & leadership architects Secretary, denied Spain state wont seek and ask for European help to save the banks, and then they have been denied by the facts and reality. Mr. Rajoy didnt hesitated a moment even blinked when saying that "things are done like that". I wouldnt found a better definition of #OldPolitics. "Because, thats the way it! Because I said so!" A great declaration of ideas, indeed. Certain Politics, #OldPolitics, still believes today that it comes down to a game of spies, governed by codes of conduct of excessively testosterone: arrogance, opacity and lack of transparency, doors and windows closed, foul playing ... This values represent a missile in the handcrafting leadership needed today: a technocratic conception of Public Service that keeps growing the political distance from the Public. Today we move towards a scenario where those Sacred Institutional structures in the past are more horizontal and open to participation and decision cross. Although in Mr. Rajoy most inner intimacy, this reasoning argument and response are unworthy and medieval. 5. Dont let the anecdote to outshine your message The presidents trip -‐for a few hours-‐ to Poland to support the Spanish Football National Team was about to eclipse his statement. Mr. Rajoy suggested that it was a reward for having managed the difficult situation. It was perceived the sense that he was more comfortable talking about sports than a confronting an essential issue of the Spanish financial situation. Again whats important is the attitude behind facts. A more prudent and humble attitude would have been to stay in Madrid, working in La Moncloa to continue monitoring the situation and preparing newt week schedule and send Secretary Wert to the match. On Saturday we had a prime minister who fails to appear at an important time to explain a decision with significant consequences. On Sunday his appearance was announced to avoid the unsustainable stress. Only 25 minutes to give evidence of whats happening, rushing to catch a plane to attend a football game that leaves us images like this: #newCommunication #newLeadership #newPolitics 4 www.ingenia-‐pro.com @ingenia_pro
communication, strategy & leadership architects Distortion generated by images showing passionate Prime Minister that prefers sports to govern, make decisions and explaining them to the Public. We unknew the bold passion of Mr. Rajoy. Its a good sign. Although we should require him to be equally passionate when exercising their functions: negotiate with European leaders and facing citizens. Conclusion This is how we build trust and credibility? The adopted decisions are the best ones on the table? The attitude and tone behind every gesture is suitable and the right one? Despite the partisan and ideological trenches and bunkers inside Spain, the information from the outside contribute to fall myths, also mental and ideological obstacles. The Spanish government is denying reality in evidence confirmed by external information: the image of triumphalism is not the best sign of a well-‐done job, although when you ask for help. Fewer feet on the table, more humility and more work are needed. @aleixcuberes is partner & consultant at @ingenia_pro. #newCommunication #newLeadership #newPolitics 5 www.ingenia-‐pro.com @ingenia_pro