Sat | Jan 20, 2018

Holness demonstrating capable leadership

Published:Thursday | November 10, 2016 | 12:00 AM


Leadership quality is critical to the development of a country. I was reminded of this with the recent news that Jamaica has achieved 2.3 per cent GDP growth in the third quarter of this calendar year. While it is early days, the accelerated growth is welcome and follows, I think, from the prime minister's approach to running the country.

Andrew Holness has to date demonstrated competence in leadership. He is articulate, non-confrontational, pragmatic and highly aware - characteristics critical to running Jamaica's affairs in modern times. These qualities matter in many ways.

A prime minister is required to negotiate on behalf of a nation and to lead the development of policies and programmes that impact all its citizens. The holder of the office therefore has to be able to comprehend a wide range of issues and be able to represent the country's best interests whether locally or abroad.

So far, Holness' leadership fits what is required, as he calmly without histrionics, goes about his duties. Whether that involves ironing out a stable IMF agreement; meeting with foreign leaders; encouraging and getting feedback from high school top performers in maths; walking communities and hearing the concerns of citizens; uniting the business community around increasing growth and investment; and most critically, communicating effectively and consistently with the Jamaican people.

If this approach is maintained, we can reasonably, as citizens, be able to work together with our government to achieve our goals and reduce the levels of poverty in Jamaica. In a word, we can feel confident again. Confident that we have a leader that understands the world in which we live and what are the pressing issues of the day from our perspective. Out of that awareness, a conscious leader can bring the necessary energy to bear incisively, rather than having to defer decisions to others.

While a leader is not required to be an expert or specialist in everything, a conscious and capable leader can take advice and process information by weighing options and taking informed advice before making a decision. It is because of these factors why they say it is 'lonely at the top', but while it may be lonely, our leaders should not be disconnected. It is more comforting to me, as a citizen, that we now have a leader that is in control.

Marcus Brown

St Catherine