“Leadership does not mean domination. The world is always well supplied with people who wish to rule and dominate others.

The true leader is a different sort; he seeks effective activity which has a truly beneficient purpose. He inspires others to follow in his wake, and holding aloft the torch of wisdom, leads the way for society to realize its genuinely great aspirations.”

Emperor Haile Selassie

Some of the greatest lessons in true leadership come from the people we meet on an everyday basis. What they have taught myself and others about leadership can probably be summed up in a few paragraphs.

One of the first hallmarks of leadership is to have understanding of and empathy for those needing guidance. Shouting military type orders or issuing dictatorial directions does not endear anyone to want to follow you.

Simply put, sit down and listen to the concerns of others, seek their advice on how a specific task could/should be accomplished. Collaboration and group buy in goes a long way towards building a team that works as one.

Another vital tenant of leadership is the ability to be pragmatic in goals set and the ability to actually deliver on those goals. It is better to under promise and over deliver vs. coming short of your stated goals. Leaders know what their teams are capable of producing and they know what they would be stretched to produce.

Pushing your team to unreasonable levels results in burnout and lack of productivity. In the long run it creates animosities that should not be there.

Putting initiatives in place give your team something to work towards in both short and long term periods. A leader recognizes persons in their teams who have not just the potential to move forward but the drive to move forward.

Create paths for them to exercise that drive and help move the organization forward with new ideas. Allow them space for growing from their mistakes. Impart in them your experience and knowledge. In doing so you are grooming the next generation of leadership.

Any organisation worth its salt must have a succession plan in place.

Bermuda is at a crossroads.

We have to move forward together and we have to put Bermudians first. The key to moving these words from mere political slogans into long term national philosophies is to actually make this part of our daily individual and national mantras.

The days of persons accepting lip-service are fading and rightfully so. Bermudians need, want and deserve more than sound bites. We have national challenges that can only be addressed with pragmatic plans and focused action.

This cannot be achieved by the election or re-election of any given party. This can only happen with community wide participation of diverse individuals and entities.

Today I call upon my generational peers to recognize that our country is in need of leadership in many forms. No longer can we shirk our duties and expect our parent’s generation to shoulder the burdens.  May it be school bodies, business circles, community organization, workmen clubs and yes even the noble profession of politics.

Indeed, this is our time to not just step to the wicket but most importantly this is our time to stick to the wicket. That is what true leaders do.

Love you all.

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