Arrogant and pretentious. For whatever reason, those words are often used by stake holders to describe how they feel about the people to whom they once trusted with their hopes and expectations. Are we reaping what we have sown Leaders come from the bowels of our society and communities, and reflect common or collective values and ideals.
Hard to swallow? Not true? Are we saying that the perception of leaders and their poor governance practices is an aberration? All of us seem happy and comfortable to move through life as actors or actresses in a grand plan or charade. The main aim is to not offend. We thrive on running with the crowd.
But here’s the problem with running with the crowd. Even if you are honest, you are branded dishonest, because a dishonest and corrupt person can only see through his or her own lenses. If you are corrupt of heart and mind, then everyone else will be corrupt.
If you are power hungry in mind and heart, then everyone else will be the same. Have we lost the ability to be independent in thought, to be able to step away, reflect and consider and to be brave enough to say where we are now? How do we pull back from the precipice or have we fallen over?
Is it as simple as saying enough is enough? We can’t continue this way? How possible is it to get a critical mass of people to put aside ego and self-interest and work for the common good? The good news is being drowned out by the negative news.
Everybody sitting in their corner is not a recipe for success. We need common thought to fight the common enemy but what are we fighting against? If the goal is to transform the T&T sport sector, to make it dynamic, vibrant, sustainable, transparent, honest, fair, well administered and governed efficient and effective, then our actions and words should make that very clear.
Within local sport we can’t be at each other’s throat. It makes no sense. In difficult times, amidst the constant bacchanal and contention — which seem to hold us in their grip — how can we fulfill our responsibility individually and collectively?
It is a rare privilege to be entrusted with leadership. It is therefore sad when we allow cynicism to dominate the mood of those who expected much better.
As unpalatable as it is, given human frailties, leaders can succumb to the worship of power and or money. When they do, the end result is that they are usually abandoned to their foolish ways. Their lives then become full with every kind of wickedness, greed, hate, quarrelling, deception and malicious behaviour. They become proud and boastful and refuse to understand, break their promises, are heartless and have no mercy. Worse, yet they encourage others to do the same, too.
And as a result trust is broken and in most cases irretrievably destroyed. The operating environment then becomes toxic and unedifying. In recent weeks I have been asked many times over. “What do we do when leaders stumble and fall?”
Arriving at an answer demands soul searching as it is easy to judge and point fingers but who amongst us is blameless. Vision cannot be delegated. What do we do to foster the leadership we desire? Is it that we are leader dependent and put charisma ahead of vision and as a consequence tend to be motivated by loyalty rather than a shared vision?
Brian Lewis is the Honorary Secretary General of the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee. Http// http://www.ttoc.org/. The views expressed are not necessarily those of the TTOC.