IMO members are divided over electing a charismatic secretary-general or a more collegiate type ideas around leadership tend to fall into two distinct camps.
In one corner, the strong leader faction will look for qualities such as charisma, vision and decisiveness.
The other camp, however, sees leadership as a collegiate affair. Not for them the visionary ready to stamp his or her personality on an organisation. They will choose instead someone who listens to all sides in order to arrive, hopefully, at consensus.
The style of leadership most associated with the International Maritime Organization ? which will release the results of its election for a new secretary-general tomorrow ? has generally been the latter; a steady helmsman, capable of forging agreement out of disparate, and sometimes opposing, interests.
However, a Lloyd"s List poll shows there is an appetite for the former style of leadership at the IMO. Asked whether they would prefer a safe pair of hands or a more flamboyant leader of the Richard Branson mould as the new IMO secretary-general, 61%, opted for strong personality and 39% voted for a less controversial figurehead.
It could be that the range of issues facing the industry is so immense ? from piracy to making shipping a greener mode of transport ? that the industry feels it needs someone capable of offering protection as well as the ability to get things moving.
Whoever wins, be it a charismatic or a committee personality, one thing is certain. Never before has shipping faced such a challenging future.
Source: Sule Dolek - Turkish Maritime