ON LEADERSHIP

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NO one with a well sense of self-preservation would choose to become a leader, unless a leader cares beyond self, or the primary intent is a self-centred one with self-aggrandizement being the prime motivator, and there is no greater example of this than our own national leaders.

The President of the country, as well as each minister of Government and Heads of Departments all have their delineated mandates peculiar to a particular sphere of responsibility within the national construct; albeit sometimes these responsibilities overlap and blend into each other.

Every one of these heads of entities has support staff holding varying portfolios, and it behooves every member of that support system to perform their duties with optimum effort and efficiency, because if one cog in the operational wheel leading to the delivery of service to the nation proves dysfunctional, then the entire system becomes skewed and either diminishes and eradicates altogether the product – the product in this case being an item of service to the people, and it is service to the people that is the business of Governments.

In every business the position and responsibilities of the Chief Executive Officer are well defined, and everyone knows that success or failure of the business entity lies on his shoulders. In other words, the buck stops at him, so if any cog in his support system fails then he has no recourse but to change it – fire the offender and hire a competent replacement.

The Chief Executive of Guyana does not have that luxury, and the governmental structure is overburdened with dysfunctional cogs, many of them planted by those who do not wish this administration well, so our President is aware that he has to adjust to the flaws within the wheel of governance with which he is constrained to work.

A charge was laid on him by Dr. and Mrs. Jagan, two people whom he revered and honoured, both for their leadership and their humanistic qualities, and, by and large, he has prevailed over all the existential dynamics within this nation and the wider world to honour the trust they have reposed in him, and the commitment he made to Mrs. Jagan and the nation during his inauguration at State House.

No human being is without flaw, and President Bharrat Jagdeo has made his mistakes, as has other leaders within the equation; but, by and large, his leadership has been exemplary, so much so that he is currently starring on the world stage and has put Guyana on the map as a pathbreaker on initatives that have implications for the welfare of nations within the global construct.  Two of these are the Jagdeo Initiative on Agriculture and Guyana’s Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS), among innumerable others.

However, every initiative that this Administration drives has been subjected to negative responses from the political opposition, as well as some members of the media, which can frustrate efforts and demotivate the leader. The debilitating effects that these unwarranted and sustained attacks could have on one’s morale also take toll on one’s physical health.

Genuine commitment to the national development paradigm should be honoured and supported instead of being subjected to such a plethora of negativity.  That is, if we are truly committed to the ideal of nation-building.

And those who revile heads of the nation and national institutions should sit back and re-think their positions.  What would they, what could they do differently, or better, in similar situations and circumstances?

This question would stymie those who continually find fault with every initiative undertaken by the Government, as in the Skeldon Sugar Estate, the Enmore packaging plant, the OLPF, the LCDS, the Amaila Falls hydro project, as well as the plethora of other developmental initiatives – the Grow More campaign, for instance, without taking into consideration that every project entered into by this government is an innovation, because there is no precedent in development prior to 1992 – not on a national scale.

It is as if the malcontents of the nation would prefer to see the nation go into decline if the current administration is driving the successes, never mind the fact that everyone benefits from the outcomes of these initiatives when they eventually prove successful.  But by that time the opposition forces would have already done their mischief.

Our motto says: One People, One Nation, with One Destiny.

One people – so the race of our leader should not matter.

One nation – it is only with a unity of purpose can we prevail over adversities to become a prosperous nation.

One Destiny – is ours, regardless of whom is President, or leader of the nation.  If we support our leaders, whomever they are, and strive together in unity, then all of us stand to reap the rewards – collectively, because our destiny is irrevocably interlinked, and our national glories and successes are things that we will all share in – as a Guyanese people.  This was the message inherent in the President’s 45th Independence message – that the country should not stand divided on issues of national interest, because all are involved; or all will be consumed.

So until General Elections, when we can vote for the change we want, let us support our leaders of the day.   Everyone in our nation will win that way.

Any other course leads to diminishing our potential, and the defeat of our country.