Now I’m going to make myself unpopular. Everybody’s talking about Theresa May and insulting her for being the worst prime minister England has ever seen. In my opinion, she did the right thing and put herself forward as a pawn sacrifice.
Soon she will leave the field publicly denounced as a loser. No one has yet seen her playing a brilliant game in which England will win and May will lose. That was her intention and a high-risk tactic. Of course, that’s only possible if you take your ego a little less seriously than your national interests, because others will win the laurels. She is my heroine because she has worked systemically on a large scale, has made a huge paradoxical intervention with all of England.
Paradoxical intervention is usually understood as methods that seem to contradict the goals, but are actually designed to achieve them.
Theresa May has so vehemently and convincingly defended the will of the people against her own convictions that opposition had to arise. Had to. That was her plan and it will work. So are the laws of polarity. Too complicated? Welcome to the new world of modern leadership. But it’s very simple, pressure creates counterpressure. An example suitable for everyday use: Do you want your child to eat salad? Tell him that he doesn’t like it anyway (that’s authentic, because that’s what you’re assuming), take the salad plate away from the child and eat the salad yourself in front of his eyes. Under thunderous protest, your child will demand his part of the salad plate. I tried it several times, it works. Contradiction is a good fuel, not only for children. We are all still too much trimmed to rationality and make wrong basic assumptions and make clumsy moves. If we were to work more with the system of irrationality, we would achieve better results. Theresa May shows us the way (I hope).
Column by Esther-Mirjam de Boer, published in the Handelszeitung of 11 April 2019.