Letter of the Day | Leadership slackness in State and Church
THE EDITOR, Sir:
The recent reports of elected parliamentarians who regularly miss meetings, at times without offering an apology, gall me.
In my experience as a pastor, and talking informally with other pastors, this slackness is rampant also in church leadership circles. Add to that the frequent late-coming and you wonder.
I tell the people I serve in the Sligoville circuit of Baptist churches that I am not just fussy about punctuality, I am miserable about it! I do not, and will not, encourage the foolishness called 'Jamaica time' or 'country time'! We have watches and clocks to guide us regarding standard time.
Why do people who are elected to serve fail to show up at meetings on time and regularly and register neither remorse nor repentance about their behaviour? I tell you one main reason: because we tacitly support their slackness by allowing them to continue in office rather than prompt their resignation or fire them.
Continually cutting slack to these persons is not really caring for them or showing love and mercy to them. It is an indictable dereliction of duty not to encourage responsibility and accountability in leadership via sanctions when necessary.
I am no psychologist, but in my book, habitual late-coming and habitual absenteeism are character flaws that portray gross disrespect for the people who elected us and disregard for the jobs we are elected to perform.
GIVE UP THE STATUS
If after being elected you discover that the circumstances of your life block you from doing what you ought as a leader, submit your resignation. If you cannot provide the service that you are expected to, give up the status.
"A leader is a person who influences people to accomplish a purpose," according to Walk Thru the Bible Ministries, USA. This barebones definition can be tweaked for political, as well as church, leaders, and the three dimensions of leadership (person, people and purpose) need to reflect growth over time. This developmental path will be stunted if leaders are not lovingly guided (goaded even) towards what they ought to cultivate and display in all three dimensions.
As a leader, you are of no functional use where you are not punctual and present as regularly as you ought, so change in the interest of the group who elected you or fear the worst!