Chapter 10The Manager as Politician

Her party's leader, facing defeat in the polls, persuaded her to take his job. She overcame her reluctance and went on to victory in national elections, becoming New Zealand's prime minister and the world's youngest female leader in 2017. She was dealt a difficult hand. In her first three years as prime minister, she faced a terrorist attack that killed 51 Muslims at worship, a volcanic eruption that killed 21, and the Covid‐19 pandemic. Along the way, she also delivered her first child, a girl, in 2018.


Jacinda Ardern handled it all with calm and confidence, setting off a phenomenon known as “Jacindamania” and prompting one journalist to ask if she was “the most effective politician in the world” (Friedman, ...

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