Jacinda Ardern: A story of Leadership & Success

Licas Ventures
3 min readNov 13, 2020

This month at Licas Ventures we have been focusing on what it takes to become an exceptional leader. The covid-19 outbreak has demanded us all to become more conscientious. However, during these challenging times we have also been in a position to behold the strengths and weaknesses of those in power and how they have harnessed interpersonal skills to navigate through the constantly evolving uncertainties of the pandemic.

One who has taken a considerably stellar approach to the handling of the crisis is Jacinda Ardern. Ardern is considered New Zealand’s most popular leader in over 100 years. Last month we witnessed her win a historic election as she led her party to victory by earning the highest percentage of votes in over 5 decades. Supposing these statistics were not impressive enough, the 39-year-old is currently the youngest living head of government in the world.

The pandemic has certainly proven to be a test of political leadership. New Zealand’s PM proved her agility by responding quickly to news of the outbreak and initiating lockdown early on. Her adaptable instincts allowed her to act with urgency, taking the appropriate measures to keep her country safe. Having clearly managed the expectations of the virus’ impact meant that a mutual sense of trust was created between the leader and her people. As well as televised briefings, Ardern would regularly host Facebook live streams (both formal and informal) to provide an unfiltered and direct form of communication with the public. Harvard Business Review recognised, “How a message is delivered matters. Ardern’s communication was clear, honest, and compassionate: It acknowledged the daily sacrifices to come and inspired people to forge ahead in bearing them together.” The combination of her nutritive and transparent delivery has enabled her to form a solid sense of trust with her community.

t is important to consider that remarkable leadership cannot only be formed through the words in which one chooses to speak, but also proven through chosen actions. We have unfortunately witnessed the pandemic cause a surge in unemployment — as rates have skyrocketed globally. Recognizing her fortunate position, Arden took it upon herself to welcome a pay cut of 20%, as a sign of solidarity with those affected by job loss. Arden has expressed that “The world doesn’t need a whole lot of massively thick skinned politicians; they do need people who care” and her actions do indeed confirm an impression of unity and oneness with the New Zealand public.

Ardern’s philosophy is that “Political leaders can be both empathetic and strong”, and it truly appears that it is her empathy which emphasises her strength. She demonstrates the importance of open and authentic communication.

Yet equally the significance of an alignment between one’s message and behaviour. It is the composition of these attributes which has fundamentally led to her notability and may we allow Jacinda Arden to inspire us all to consider a more compassionate approach to leadership.

That’s it for this article about Leadership. Stay updated about new articles by following our LinkedIn page, Twitter page, and, of course, our medium page.

Thanks again for reading this article from the Licas Ventures Team and a special thanks to Louisa Gabetto-Morrison



Licas Ventures

Licas Ventures is a leading venture capital firm that invests in people and their companies from the earliest days through all phases of private company growth.