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I am a different man this time around - Holness

Published:Friday | February 19, 2016 | 2:00 AMGary Spaulding
“I think I have developed the emotional side of leadership,” Andrew Holness said in an interview with The Gleaner at his West Kings House Road office on Wednesday.

Andrew Holness has declared that he is a different person than he was in 2011.

"I think I am a better leader, generally, because I am still at a stage where I am not set in my ways," said the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) leader.

"I can still learn, and the people of Jamaica can still have an impact on me," he added. "When you talk, I listen because I am at that stage when I can change."

The man who was dramatically swept into the high office of prime minister at the tender age of 39 in September 2011 said that every year is a learning experience for him.

"I can do much more than [I could] then, with information and experience," he told The Gleaner.

Holness also promised that because of his growth in leadership, Jamaicans would benefit from a period when the country would evolve rapidly if the party he leads formed the next government.

The country will benefit, "not just in the physical infrastructure and the economy, but as a society, and we really need that", he stressed. "Not just a stable time, but a time of growth, expectation, and optimism."

Holness said that this is particularly relevant for Jamaica's youth.

His tenure as prime minister was shortlived as the JLP was defeated by the Portia Simpson Miller-led People's National Party.

For Holness, he has now come of age and is mellowing with each passing day.

"I have learnt more about leadership," he asserted.

He said that he was always regarded as being "very corporate", but the time in leadership has changed that.

"I think I have developed the emotional side of leadership," he said. "I have had to do my own introspection because people don't always do things because it is right or rational. People do things because they feel good about doing it."

According to Holness, he has been spending a lot of time making people feel good about doing what is good.

"So the emotional side of leadership is what I have really learnt and discovered, and it is far more powerful than being technically correct," he said.

gary.spaulding@gleanerjm.com