Rein has decided to sell
the Australian arm of Ingeus
– the business she has built
up from herself
and a part time assistant to a multi-million dollar company employing over 1400
people over the past twenty years
I hesitate to mention that Rein is married to Australian opposition leader Kevin
Rudd because if you google "Therese Rein Ingeus", you will scroll
a long way before finding a link that does not mention this fact. This despite
the observation that Rein is a successful business person in her own right.
It’s hard to find details about Rein on the internet because there is so much
comment on her latest decision and the
events leading up to it.
My angle in this story is the clash of purposes rather than the conflict of
interests. Before making her decision, Rein passionately spoke of how her work
was much more than a business but was her life
support. She passionately believes in what she does – helping disadvantaged
people find work – and no-one seems to suggest that she doesn’t do it well.
But what happens when two people are tied together and their purposes clash?
I am often asked this question in terms of leadership teams. What happens when
the members of the team have different purposes (this is often expressed as
This is a difficult question. I don’t have an easy answer because there is
no easy answer. However, somewhere, I believe the answer lies in the higher
purpose that ties the people together. In the case of Rudd and Rein, him becoming
Prime Minister does not directly affect her business. But her remaining in
her (at least Australian) business does affect Rudd’s ability to do his job
if he becomes PM. What is the higher purpose? Only the people involved can
answer that. In politics, it is often the politician who wins out and the politician
is usually a man. I wonder how it would have been if it was a woman running
for PM and her husband was running a successful business?
Regardless, it is the difficult task of those involved to find their higher
purpose. In many cases, this leads to each individual finding their deeper