My first Commanding Officer in Malaysia was Brian Poananga. He was a charismatic leader, personality plus. His Battalion 2ic was Lindsay (Lin) Smith. He was the opposite of Po ... loyal, quiet, unassuming, extremely hard working, a very safe pair of hands. Much of Po's success can be laid at Lin Smith's door. Lin preferred to work in the shadows ... ended up as Deputy Chief of Army and later as Director of the SIS. Good as he undoubtedly was, he remained a 'grey' man.
Post WW2 and there have been three standout periods of relatively stable government; the Holyoake years, the Clark years and the Key years. Each of those administrations had one thing in common .... an extremely capable Deputy Prime Minister (Marshal, Cullen & English) who were the driving force in the engine room of their respective parties. Each of them can best be described a a technocrat rather than a leader. Each of them were undoubtedly a safe pair of hands.
I want more than a safe pair of hands as my Prime Minister. I want a Prime Minister backed by a safe pair of hands. A personality that leads from the front; a person not afraid to make the hard calls; someone who has been there and done that; someone who has achieved through shear intellect and hard work; someone who knows business; someone who has seen life from the other side of the tracks; some who has learned from her mistakes.