Hol­ness demon­strat­ing ca­pa­ble lead­er­ship

Jamaica Gleaner - - OPINION & COMMENTARY -

THE EDI­TOR, Sir: 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, non­con­fronta­tional, 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

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