Yesterday Chris Hipkins was named Prime Minister of New Zealand after Jacinda Ardern had announced her resignation on Tuesday last week.

Jacinda Ardern, pictured with partner Clarke Gayford and baby Neve, appeared to nurse her infant after a government press conference. (Photo: Derek Henderson/Jacinda Ardern via AP)
Jacinda Ardern, pictured with partner Clarke Gayford and baby Neve, appeared to nurse her infant after a government press conference. (Photo: Derek Henderson/Jacinda Ardern via AP)

I was ready for an experiment and asked ChatGPT

“Write a blogpost about the leadership qualities of Jacinda Ardern“

and here is what I got: 

Jacinda Ardern is widely recognized for her strong and effective leadership style. Some of her notable leadership qualities include:

  1. Empathy: Ardern is known for her ability to connect with people on a personal level. She has a natural ability to understand and relate to the concerns and struggles of those around her. This has helped her to build trust and support among the public.
  2. Decisiveness: Ardern is not afraid to make difficult decisions when necessary. She is able to weigh the pros and cons of different options and make a decision quickly and confidently.
  3. Visionary: Ardern has a clear vision for the future of New Zealand and has been able to inspire and mobilize people to work towards that vision. She has set ambitious goals for her country, such as becoming carbon neutral by 2050.
  4. Strong communicator: Ardern is an excellent communicator and is able to clearly convey her message to the public. She is able to explain complex issues in a way that is easy to understand.
  5. Emphasize on Inclusion: She has also emphasized on Inclusion and has taken many steps towards creating a more inclusive society, such as by increasing funding for mental health services, reducing child poverty, and promoting gender equality.

Overall, Jacinda Ardern is a leader who is widely respected and admired for her ability to connect with people, make difficult decisions, and lead with a clear vision. She has shown strong leadership during difficult times such as the COVID-19 pandemic, and has set a high standard for leadership in the 21st century.

Not bad for starters I thought. ChatGPT created a pretty good summary of Jacinda Ardern’s leadership style. Also, I was wondering how deeply AI will penetrate journalism which is more and more driven by the demand to deliver news fast rather than focusing an adding a lot of value. In this process we can see that pretty much all the news about a particular subject looks the same, independent of where it appears. Copying is already widespread, so why not use a little help from AI? After all, the “crowd” expects news to come for free, so give them what they paid for. I think that there is a human aspect that AI will have a tough time to embrace and after all human beings are driven by emotions, not facts. 

Back to Jacinda. She was the world’s youngest head of government when she was elected prime minister in 2017 at the age of 37 and only the second one to give birth while in office (after Benazir Bhutto, former prime minister of Pakistan). She made headlines in 2018 by becoming the first world leader to bring her baby to a United Nations General Assembly meeting. Many people have described her as a breath of fresh air and an antidote to the unpleasant, divisive politics that we are seeing in major parts of the world. It looked like a “Zeitenwende” or a turning point in politics with the next generation of politicians taking charge and offering an alternative to elderly white men pulling the strings in the backrooms. She let people take part in her private life through social media which made her approachable but also exposed her to the inevitable hate speech. She might have underestimated the impact. Is true inclusivity realistically achievable at the end of the day?

Politicians like Donald Trump and Boris Johnson have made division the core of their campaigns by creating a world of “alternative facts” added with a high degree of narcissism and arrogance. Jacinda is none of that, yet she was exhausted over time and confessed that she “no longer had enough in the tank”. 

Has the experiment failed? I don’t think so! In Germany in particular we have been used to leaders like Helmut Kohl and Angela Merkel being in the office for decades and over time gradually losing the power and willingness to drive change. In the end the only question was how to gracefully get rid of them. The majority of members of the German parliament are lawyers and public officials. This mix is not at all representative of the population. It is partially a result of people looking for a safety net when going into politics. Therefore, it seems perfectly OK to not look at dynasties of politicians but rather movements with a clear vision and mission where leaders take their turns carrying the load. The appointment of Carmel Sepuloni, the daughter of an immigrant from Polynesia and a mother with European roots as deputy prime minister indicates that Chris Hipkins might continue on the path of inclusion.

It will be exciting to watch what Jacinda’s next steps will be after taking a break and enjoying family life and what happens to her legacy. It will be equally exciting to see how ChatGPT’s capabilities continue to evolve, but feelings??