Oct 27, 2020 Letters
Congratulations on your victory at the recent polls. You have a unique opportunity to heal our beloved country, to bring an end to divisiveness and distrust. To do this, you have to possess the political will and determination, and the courage to stand up to naysayers and extremist views. It is imperative that you surround yourself with and rely mostly on people who are considered moderates, and be cautious of hardliners who see things only as black or white. You are young and very intelligent. You can be the game changer in our country’s checkered history. Rely on honesty first rather than on blind loyalty. There will be many opportunists who will tell you what they think you want to hear; they will try to boost your ego to gain your approval…beware! Do not make the same mistakes as some of your predecessors. Be objective and be resilient. Deal firmly and resolutely with corruption regardless of political affiliation or allegiance.
To err is human…we all make mistakes and at times exercise poor judgment. As former housing minister, you know this to be true. Usually, first timers are given a chance to redeem themselves. Our doom will be not to learn from previous transgressions. A very important lesson to take from someone who founded the PPP and who was respected worldwide – CBJ –is humility. Be modest and humble in your dealings with others, especially those who may not be on the same page as you. Do not forget your roots and those who put their trust in you…the foot soldiers. Do not ignore those who may not have supported you…remember they also had their reasons. It is your duty to convince them otherwise by your actions, now that the silly season of rhetoric and words is over.
Our country needs visionary leadership for long-term development and not just five-year planning of how to stay in power for a longer period. You have the acumen to do so. But you need all stakeholders on board. If there is broad and genuine involvement in the development of a long-term plan, implementation will be much easier and will go beyond electoral cycles. You have to find win-win solutions and avoid as much as possible win-lose ones. And remember…perception is a powerful instrument that makes and breaks governments. You must be true and must be seen to be true to the cause of the Guyanese people, all Guyanese people, to fairness and justice. Do not make enemies unnecessarily because of the innate need to “be in charge, be in control”. Learn to listen more than anything else. Listen with your ears, eyes and past experience.
Your government must have synergy; it must be a coherent whole. All pieces must fit together like a jigsaw puzzle. Competition for resources among institutions and persons will bring chaos and anarchy. Every action has a reaction, which is why every step taken must be carefully considered, of course, without sacrificing expediency and efficiency. Avoid at all cost impulsive decision-making and actions that led to unfortunate consequences in the past. Balanced development, both sectoral and spatial, that will bring maximum benefits to maximum number of people must take precedence. So also, is the need for healing and moral upliftment of our nation in this trying time of a pandemic and economic recession. If you have not yet done so, you are probably in the process of selecting key personnel to form your new government. Competence must take precedence in this process. Do not be afraid to venture outside the box. You need people who are technically equipped and who have the skills to do the job. Loyalty alone will bring you more challenges than you anticipate.
Anyone who aspires to be a great leader, especially a politician, should not aggravate and isolate the media of mass communication. Be tolerant, be truthful, be humble, be reachable. Avoid being condescending and arrogant. These are not assets of a great leader. Be nurturing and show that you genuinely care. In time, you will earn the respect and support that you need to lead our country and our people to greater heights. I wish you well young man.
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