Awakened leadership needed says economist
The major crises afflicting many countries can be traced directly to a chronic lack of “awakened leadership”, according to a former Bahamian government minister.
“From armed conflicts in Darfur in Africa to the enduring poverty in Port-au-Prince in the Caribbean, more effective leadership is the single most important ingredient for progress and relief,” asserted Zhivargo Laing, an economist and former minister of state for finance.
“In the best of times sound leadership is important; in the worst of times it is simply critical,” asserted Laing, the director of Laing Consulting and Research Group.
He added: “Leaders across the globe, most especially in the realms of politics and business, must awaken to the importance of their role in addressing the pressing issues of our time.
“Awakened leadership,” he elaborated, “means an end to ego-driven decision making. It requires putting aside thoughts dedicated to self-serving ambitions divorced from the real needs of community.”
Poor leadership is costly for people and for countries, he added. “Some African, Latin American, Caribbean and European states, endowed with enormous natural and human resources, could be far better off and even global players, if their leadership was kinder to their responsibilities.”
Lamenting the fact that many leaders are not fully equipped for the awesome task confronting them, the former cabinet minister said “experience in leading a nation is rare for the first-time president or prime minister.
“Sound leaders were those who lead by faith, focus, awareness, intelligence, and honesty. Sound leaders are also conscious leaders,” he said.
“Conscious leaders acknowledge their limitations and augment them through learning, training, consultation and cooperation with others. They are meditative, reflective and deliberative.”
An important element of conscious leadership, Laing observed, was managing succession. “Conscious leaders know that one of their essential duties is to develop the next generation of leaders.”