04th Jul 2013

Mark Carney starts the "toughest job"

On Monday, one of the most eagerly anticipated leadership changes in the UK took place when Canadian, Mark Carney, started his new job running England’s central bank. As governor of the Bank of England Carney is taking on “one of the toughest central banking jobs in the world.” The former Bank of Canada governor and ex-Goldman Sachs banker is the first foreigner to ever hold the position. Though Carney initially turned down the role, the chancellor George Osborne reportedly convinced Carney with the offer of a heartier pay packet -  and now the hopes of a nation are on him.

Carney said last month “My tenure at the Bank will oversee a significant transition”. And we got a taste of the changes to come then when he made former Santander executive Charlotte Hogg the bank’s first chief operating officer. She and Carney both started their new jobs at Bank of England this week.

The 319-year-old institution needs a shake-up and hopes are high that Carney – a Harvard and Oxford graduate – can guide the UK’s faltering economy back onto its feet. Under Carney’s leadership Canada came through the financial and economic crisis relatively unscathed. However it is wise to remember that the Canadian economy was in a far better state when he took over than the UK’s economy is at present. While signs of recovery of the economy are evident, recent figures revealed that the UK has a long way to go before returning to its pre-crisis conditions – so Carney is taking on the role at a crucial time for the British economy.

Economists don’t expect Carney to make major moves this month, but bold moves are expected in the future. If the recovery of the economy is to be consolidated, Carney must be aggressive in his actions.

What will he need to succeed?

Carney’s leadership effectiveness will be put to the test in the coming months, and he will need vision, courage and acceptance carryout his aims.

A great leader needs to have a clear vision for the future. A great leader needs courage to carry out this vision. And a great leader needs to be accepting of any mistakes that he may make along the way, and be able to learn from these mistakes and move on. These are some of the foundations of successful leadership. The job Carney is taking on is monumental, and all eyes will be on him in the coming months.

Hilda Goold

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