How do we encourage operational discipline within the national sport organisations and other sport stakeholders given that sport in Trinidad and Tobago is and will remain volunteer based and amateur?
It's one thing to say you want to do something; it's another thing to get it done. The fact of the matter is setting goals and having plans are just one aspect. After the goal setting and planning phase, you have to put structure in place to make it happen. That means having the resources, organisation, and processes you need to execute your strategy.
What are we doing to encourage operational discipline? The question is asked against the background that being a volunteer or an amateur is not an excuse for shoddy or inept work.
How do we put the right team in place, one with the skills, knowledge, and capabilities to accomplish the goals or objectives that are set?
Have we critically analysed our strengths and weaknesses? What are our blind spots? There are a number of things be they attitudes, mind-sets, habits, and norms that inform how we think and behave. Some of these are part of our culture but if we are to be honest, they may not necessarily be in our best interest. How do we attract the very best people and expect greatness from them?
How we develop and retain people is fundamental to sustainable success in sport. When you get your team right, you're going to get results.
What's working? What's not? Is our approach the right one?
Are we building a firm platform?
There is no room for complacency.
If we want to create a culture of sustainable success we first have to appreciate that a great culture doesn't just happen. It must be built deliberately and it's the job of every single person within T&T sport to create a culture that says excellence.
What do we really stand for?
When people in T&T look at their sport leaders what do they see? Do our actions match our stated intentions?
Things change. Priorities change. The economy changes. The business and social climate changes. It's important to let an organisation's culture change too so that it doesn't start to feel static and irrelevant to people.
It's not easy but when something is not right we have to grapple and come to terms with it. There are changes taking place and to remain relevant national sport organisations must embrace the changes and be proactive and integrative in their thinking.
It will take a collective approach even though some of us would wish that things remain the way they were when our society was simple in the way it was structured.
The hard harsh reality is that we must adapt the timeless values and principles of sport and Olympism and make it relevant to modern society if sport is to have a bright future.
It's not a question of selling out or adopting an approach that suggests that the end justifies the means or by all or any means necessary.
It's about getting the right people in the right place working as a team.
It's not only about winning medals but about helping people live better.
Sports people have the energy, ideas, creativity and above all the dreams. What we offer to T&T is an experience to be lived. We want to inspire people to improve their lifestyle and to strive for excellence in all areas of their lives. But for some reason the message is getting lost or not getting through to people.
It isn't enough to throw up our hands in frustration and say that's the way it is. There are no easy answers but we must certainly have the will and determination to keep searching.
I wish to extend sincere condolences to the family, friends and associates of Bertrand Doyle for his unwavering service, dedication and commitment to national life in the spheres of insurance, religion, education and sport. He made a positive difference and contributed to the development of T&T. RIP Mr Doyle.
Brian Lewis is the President of the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC). The views expressed are not necessarily those of the TTOC. To contact the TTOC: e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Phone 625-1285 or twitter @olympictt