Dec 03, 2021 Letters
Kiaeteur News – Real leaders are not born, the ability to help others and triumph over adversity in not written into their genetic code. They are forged in crisis and the manner in which they handle a crisis will inspire people during difficult times (‘Real Leaders are forged in a crisis’ by Nancy Koehn). A leader cannot solve crises by merely talking about it and keep on harping about the problems as if they will go away and keep on blaming others for his own ineptitude.
A leader must lead from the front and show empathy towards his team by displaying strong emotional intelligence not by berating them, embarrassing them, ridiculing them and forcing them to quit. It is common knowledge that GuySuCo’s survival is precariously hung but its very survival depends primarily on good, competent leadership and this is not about the ability to do financial projections and analysis. This is about the ability to run a diverse and complicated industry which has been bombarded by a plethora of problems. There are field and factory problems. There are labour problems and human resources issues. There are marketing problems. And most definitely these problems have been compounded by the CEO’s poor leadership. GuySuCo does not need a mortician.
What experience does the current CEO have about sugar, aside from using it in his tea? He was an Accountant at the Flour Mill and he held some jobs overseas in the financial sector. Has he ever managed an industry of this nature and magnitude? The answer is definitely negative. But his management style in the current moment of crisis is to continue to weed out those whose views are contrary to his and install his cronies who are pliable and malleable. With his lack of experience in the sugar industry he should have been listening attentively to those who have that knowledge instead of ‘bulldozing’ his way. He has been getting rid of professionals with great alacrity. Only yesterday, a senior personnel in Finance resigned, and just weeks before two professionals in the Procurement department were forced to resign. These followed a long line of sugar professionals who have resigned because they find working under the current CEO untenable and frustrating. All these experienced and hardworking people did was to point out to the CEO his errors and poorly thought out decisions. From all indications more resignations will follow shortly.
How has the CEO acted in the face of this crisis which he himself has made worse? He is currently on a one week leave preparing for his 50th birthday bash. There is an impending flood situation, there is productivity problems with the TC/TS at an all record high, the annual sugar production is set for a record all-time low, there is a wage increase unrest brewing yet the CEO is using GuySuCo’s resources to spruce up his residential building and environs for the past week to celebrate his natal day with pomp and grandeur. Is it good leadership for the No. 1 man to be celebrating while the sugar industry is drowning? I do hope the media is invited to witness this gala event which may be attended by a huge posse of dignitaries.
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