Successful leadership requires taking on the daunting task of simultaneously embodying two distinct and opposing groups of traits.
To win over public affection and attention, leaders must exude a warm and relatable presence with wisdom, kindness, and empathy. On the other hand, effective leadership also requires earning respect and admiration through the demonstration of colder traits such as competence, logic, rationality, determination, intellect, and fortitude.
TL;DR Here is a snapshot of 2018 and all the times — big and small — that Justin Trudeau embarrassed himself and the rest of Canada.
Any person in a leadership position constantly walks this fine line, but at one point, you have to make a call. Because the truth is, effective leaders have to compromise some "likability" in order to be taken more seriously.
Justin Trudeau seems to be constantly oscillating between the two. Never sure if he wants to be taken seriously, or wants to be a relatable and likable. For example, wearing obviously inappropriate childish socks to national forums, or donning goofy costumes during serious public appearances, and making over-the-top apologies that can sometimes seem like political stunts.
Like the classic "nice guy" that's dying for your approval, Justin Trudeau will transform at the drop of a hat into what he thinks you love. As a result, and even though he tries so hard to be authentic, it often comes across as being totally fake and disingenious, and, ultimately, embarassing to Canadians.
1. During the "trade war" Trudeau was crushed under Trump's pressure tactics and intense negotiation
There's no way around it, Canada effectively lost the "trade war" which went down around mid-2018. In Trudeau's defence, Trump used insane pressure tactics such as imposing crippling tariffs on Canadians goods such as steel. However, Canadians were shocked and let down by Trudeau who wasn't able to stand strong against such pressure tactics. It escalated to the point where Trump called Canada "a threat to national security." This marked a significant and unprecedented shift in the dynamics between the U.S. and Canada.
2. Trudeau goes to India and embarrasses himself in front of the entire world
Trudeau recently admitted in an interview with CTV, that his early 2018 trip to India was his biggest regret of 2018. Trudeau was criticized heavily for this trip because of its substantial cost and very little return. He was also mocked for his poor taste, excessive costume-wearing, and awkward attempt at Bollywood dancing. Overall, this trip was a total disaster and not only embarrassed himself to the world, but Canada as well.
3. Trudeau's choice of cheerful accessories has made him an easy target for mockery
While some might choose to view Trudeau's sock choice as a colourful display of his easy-going and relatable personality, others see it as totally unprofessional. Sartorially speaking, wearing patterned socks like a classic argyl or striped sock is not a total faux-pas when it comes to proper menswear. However, the PM seems to totally miss the mark by intentionally selecting bold childish patterns at totally inappropriate times. Like the yellow ducky socks he wore at the 2018 World Economic Forum.
4. Trudeau admitted to smoking weed
In the early days of legalization, Trudeau made an appearance on a popular Canadian talk show where he reluctantly admitted to weed smoking in his past. Trudeau explained on the show that he won't be taking part in smoking ever again. Why? Well, he says he doesn't plan on it in the future because it's never really been something he's actually interested in.
5. Trudeau was accused of past inappropriate behaviour with a female reporter
In the context of 2018's "#MeToo" movement, powerful males are finally being scrutinized for past abuses. It wasn't long before someone accused even our ducky-sock wearing PM of some inappropriate behaviour. Around June 2018, allegations towards Trudeau were made claiming he groped a female reporter 18 years ago, before his political career ever started. Trudeau once promised that if he were ever accused of sexual misconduct, he would resign.
6. Trudeau makes an over-the-top apology to Indigenous community
Although on the surface this appears to be a step in the right direction, many people reacted strongly to Trudeau's post by showing a great deal of distrust and skepticism regarding his true motivations behind this apology. This isn't the first time Trudeau made an over-the-top public apology with cameras present to capture the moment.
7. Trudeau made a serious annoucement via a very unserious medium
Hey @Trevornoah - thanks for everything you’re doing to celebrate Nelson Mandela’s legacy at the @GlblCtzn festival. Sorry I can’t be with you - but how about Canada pledges $50M to @EduCannotWait to support education for women & girls around the world? Work for you? Let’s do it.— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) December 2, 2018
Trudeau recently took to Twitter to commit fifty million dollars to an education initiative supported by comedian Trevor Noah. The laid-back language, the @mention to a celebrity, it all seemed so casual, rather than a substantial commitment. As a result, Trudeau was heavily criticised for using Twitter as a medium to pledge such a large sum of money, and for such an important cause. Some called the Tweet a potentially unethical attempt to "impress a celebrity."