Fri | Jul 31, 2015

Poor leadership puts Jamaica on path to self-destruction

Published:Wednesday | August 4, 2010

Craig Francis, Contributor

THE PREDICAMENTS in which we constantly find ourselves - the slippery slope of crime and violence, our levels of poverty, the poor state of our economy (which is showing signs of improvement), the decadence, the indiscipline and corruption - are all rooted in our dearth of good leadership. Poor leadership in every facet of our society is what is causing many of the societal ills we now face. The lack of good leaders is not only from the political arena, but from the civic and business arenas as well as in the churches.

If a leader lacks vision and a clear direction he/she can lead noone adequately and will set up whomever he/she leads for disaster, destruction, mediocrity and arrested development. I had the experience of being in an organisation for many years without growing or blossoming because my leader lacked vision, direction and the ability to motivate. One can only go as far as your leader will take you. If your leader is limited in his thinking and in his ability to motivate, then you cannot have any substantive growth personally, in the organisation, or country.

Important

I then went to another organisation where I had a dynamic leader who had vision, drive and a keen ability to motivate. I then watched myself blossom and grow in a way that I never thought possible. Though anecdotal, this shows how important leadership is.

There are two main things that leaders must have to be effective - moral fortitude and integrity.

Persons who put themselves forward as leaders must have a moral compass and resolve. Without this they lack direction and sometimes end up doing morally reprehensible things or demonstrating unethical behaviour.

The absence of this compass is seen in our society today. It is why the entire country was recently held to ransom for one man, that is the reason why one politician said "run wid it" without consequences.

It is why we see many managers being hauled before the courts for embezzlement, why the Jamaica Public Service have found large organisations involved in the stealing of electricity and also why ministers of religion have been getting into trouble with the law and with their congregations.

Until our leaders in all spheres of society return to good morals and values we will continue to descend at every level in society. Crime and violence won't stop as a result of policing efforts alone, but with good leadership - firstly, in the home, followed by the schools and the church, as well as in every facet of a person's life.

The other major thing that leaders must possess is integrity. Integrity is really being an integrated person, that is, what you say is what you do and what you show is who you really are. Persons of integrity must have a centre or core of values that they live by and that governs their actions. Many of our leaders today lack this, and what they say is not what they do (but what you want to hear), and who they are in the public eyes are not really who they really are. The lack of core values needed for integrity will cause our leaders to do unscrupulous, wicked, unethical or even illegal things to forge ahead, to gain an advantage or for expedience!

To rescue our country from self-destruction expedited by our leaders, we must demand leaders with high moral standards and integrity. Our leaders must possess these qualities or somehow acquire them if they are to lead us out of this mess in which we have found ourselves.

Until our leaders in all spheres of society return to good morals and values, we will continue to descend at every level in society.