Cabinet has failed
Today is a sad day for me. Actually, I have been having many emotional days, weeks and months. No, it isn’t due to any family issues; actually, my relationship with my wife is growing beautifully and my girls are doing well. It isn’t even due to the fact that I am still unemployed – something I hope will change very soon.
It pains me to see that my country seems to be on a path to nowhere. It is similar to a plane without a pilot, a ship without a captain, an orchestra without a director, a team without a skipper or a business without a CEO.
My country is lacking great leadership at the highest level and since this is the standard that has been set, it has trickled down throughout the organisational structures of this nation. We have a surplus of managers and supervisors, which is supported through an educational system that heavily promotes managerial training, certificates and degrees. Where we are lacking is in the area of leadership.
The Democratic Labour Party, from whose members the Cabinet of Barbados is made up, has a deficit in leadership potential and it starts at the top with the Prime Minister. The core of leadership is being able to influence and motivate people and this is where our Cabinet has failed and is failing.
There are significant differences between management and leadership and one of those differences is time. Managers focus on “today” and the day-to-day operations within the organisation, while leaders mainly focus on “tomorrow” and reveal to followers the possibilities of the future. They basically get them to support the big picture.
As a child I spent many hours with my cousins and siblings fixing puzzles. Each of us had different parts of the puzzle and through collective effort with a similar focus, we worked on putting the pieces together. I am sure you would agree that the puzzle is easier, less frustrating and more rewarding to complete when you have the big picture on the box in front of you. Basically, you have something to follow; an example.
Here lie the Government’s main problems. They are asking me to support them in completing the puzzle but they aren’t showing me the big picture; neither are they leading by example. As a result, I struggle to follow their plans and strategies because they have failed to inspire, influence or motivate me.
Leadership is a unique and privileged relationship between leaders and followers and one of its goals is to lead by example through offering behaviour and actions that are worthy of being followed. Once again, the Prime Minister and some of his ministers have failed in this area. Let me share one example, with others to follow next week.
People within the civil service, and specifically the National Housing Corporation, are losing their jobs and the Prime Minister and the Minister of Housing, who are responsible for those departments, are taking a hands-off approach. To make matters worse, they don’t even know how many of their “followers” are losing jobs, which gives an impression of a lack of interest and care.
The Government is speaking about the need for reform in the civil service. Well, I want to introduce and be an activist for an urgent reform in the selection of politicians and potential members of Parliament.
On Monday, May 6, 2013, in an article carried by the Nation, it was reported that Sir Richard “Johnny” Cheltenham thought “political parties are no longer attracting the brightest and the best”.
I believe we need to stop recruiting individuals to win a constituency seat and start recruiting people who potentially can lead the country.
For the past six years, I have been searching for a master’s degree in organisational leadership. I have finally found one and will do all in my power to pursue it so I would be better able to serve my country and the world in the future as a leader.
Corey Worrell is a former Commonwealth Youth Ambassador. Email [email protected]