The One Flaw in Theresa May’s Leadership approach to Brexit

Darren Matthews
5 min readMar 22, 2019

When stubbornness turns into tunnel vision…

Photo by KS KYUNG on Unsplash

Since Theresa May became Prime Minister in 2016, we have been exposed to her relentless determination to deliver Brexit. She has made the case for Brexit based on the result of the referendum regardless of how divided all who stand in front of her are.

Her determination to deliver has created an unswerving approach in the tactics she has used. Even when it nearly cost her the majority she had in parliament. Theresa May’s decision to call a general election weakened her position considerably, creating a hung parliament.

The negotiating position of the UK had been defined by Theresa May drawing a clear definition of the type of Brexit she wanted. Her red line of leaving the custom’s union created challenges far outside of trading agreements. It is this position that gives cause to the dreaded backstop.

Since the withdrawal agreement was publicised on the 14th November 2018 that determination has been tested intensely. But Theresa May has stood firm. Resolute in her focus to deliver the deal.

Her stubbornness, without a doubt, her greatest strength. It sounds admirable, doesn't it?

A leader with an absolute focus on achieving one goal, to deliver Brexit. That focus, that determination. A stubbornness that when seen in other leaders is defined as an essential leadership skill.

When does a strength become a flaw?

This is a point I have considered a lot over the last few months. Especially when it comes to the leadership capabilities of our Prime Minister, Theresa May.

It concerns me because I can see how divided we are as a nation, how divided our MP’s are as well.

Don’t get me wrong. One of the benefits of living in a democracy is that we can disagree. The system of democracy enables us to find a common or popular viewpoint and support that view as a collective.

The role of a leader within that democracy is to take those viewpoints and make them happen. Theresa May has done this.




Darren Matthews

I’m utterly curious about decision-making | Sharing lessons learned from the thousands of decisions I’ve studied and made | Founder