Dennis Joseph

Take a look at how a simple proposed resignation of one president and subsequent procedure to appoint a new president has become a big issue.  See how a simple act of registering a name as a nominee to contest general elections is still an issue in court three years after the matter took place.

To date we still wonder whether the PM is the PM ‘but we doh know.” Notice how a simple matter of consultation becomes extended confrontation and almost every top government appointment is rife with controversy. All involved   know what’s right and wrong but partisanship and its sister called arrogance accompanied by loose power   is too intoxicating to compromise. This constant controversy leads many to now question the effectiveness and integrity of our national leadership.

For several years, the concern whether leaders are born or made is an issue of great debate. Among other definitions, a leader is defined as a person who influences a group of people towards the achievement of a goal. Leaders are also thought to be people who listen and learn from others, energise, act for the benefit of everyone, develop themselves and others, empower others and most importantly to recognize achievement of all and not just the dubious mediocre efforts of the boom- flies who call them lord.

It is said that visionary leadership is transformative. It involves greatness, penetrating the ordinary, and reaching through to bring out the best of what the leader and the followers have to offer.  Leaders with vision have total involvement, a willingness to put everything on the line, a true sense of mission and purpose.   Our PM has the charisma and great presence but does he have a strong vision for our future?  The Bible says, ‘Where there is no vision the people perish.’ (Proverbs 29:18)
Some church leaders have taken this to mean that without the word of God the nation is lost but I think it is also something else.  I believe it is more like this quote from Peter Drucker the late management consultant and writer of many motivational books, “The best way to predict the future is to create it.”

Of course a leader with a vision but without the ability to convey this vision to his followers is similar to a plane without a pilot; the vision of Skerrit for Dominica is yet to be conveyed to us.  Handouts are not a vision, but just vote chasing and a desire to be the “papa noel” for all the little ones. When he claims that his cabinet ministers may not be working at full steam and implies frustration with those who eat the honey of the Labour Party his leadership comes into question.  Where is the visionary purpose that motivates them to action?

The game playing days are over and it is time to take stock.  That is why the next Independence Day address should not just be about chest beating and sloganeering, but about the way forward.  From 2007 we have had the colourful slogans such as, ‘Building our country, celebrating heritage; Celebrating the journey together; Celebrating progress and development;’ it seems we are constantly celebrating something; just progress without motion.

We need leadership that motions us into the world of new ideas.  It is about how we as a people will   be producers building runways and piloting our own planes. So far we are just pawns in the bigger political chessboard of China and Venezuela.

It is not going to be easy in this hostile global economic environment and that is why we need steady leadership to meet the obstacles ahead.   All hands must be called on deck, the silly tribalism that is being promoted by those who live in fear that their dream of fame and big salaries could suddenly end without Skerrit does not help anyone not even themselves.  No one must be made to feel that because of contrary opinions and not being boom-flies they do not have a right to live and prosper.  Even more crucial is their right to contribute and be recognised as contributors.

Those who claim to represent the PM’s interest and who constantly are on the attack with wave after wave of vitriol demonising other people who have different ideas are just muddling up things creating unnecessary mountains against unified development.  It is time to relax and allow the PM to show that he can do more than lead his party to elections with tons of money  or reduce our development to just a prance around the world begging for money and show how he can lead the nation after elections.

Those who aimlessly or just for the heck of it launch waves of   accusations of misconduct against the administration without credible proof are doing just the same damage. The true test of leadership is results.  If we are satisfied with our lives today, our standard of living, our freedoms, our future development and that we are better off than before he started his watch then by all means Skerrit has proved his leadership skills and it must be Skerrit to continue.

However if we are not satisfied, then who?