by Alagi Yorro Jallow
Election victory is not a test of exemplary leadership, it is simply a process of democracy. Effective governance and transformational leadership are about positive influences. Any leader who deliberately makes your life miserable is not a true leader – at best, he is your dictator. Good governance and exemplary leadership is premised on vision, mission, passion, resilience, empathy and compassion. These elements are the basis for program conceptualization, alignment and implementation.
A progressive agenda is a well-thought out and encapsulated in processes that provide national integrity in line with existing framework, as described by Professor Anthony and Professor Robert Rothberg.
Having seen what democracy is all about including the principle of liberty, one would be tempted to once more ask – what good governance and exemplary leadership is all about?
In answering this question, it is necessary to note that governance and leadership in its generic sense means different things to different people especially when you morphed from dictatorship to democracy.
However, in real life and practice, good governance implies a high level of organizational effectiveness in relation to policy-formulation and the policies pursued, especially in the conduct of economic policy; and its contribution to growth, stability and overall well-being of the citizens. Good governance also implies accountability, transparency, participation, openness and the rule of law – a pre-requisite for political legitimacy.
Good governance as we must all know is not a systemic issue. It lies at the heart of behavior of the leadership and the public office holders, their behavior and attitudes to power, their empathy and concern for the poor.
The implication of this is that only the best people should hold public office. They should be the most righteous and wisest persons of character and distinction, of honor and integrity; they should be dependable and example setters. Exemplary Leadership principles and methods requires change or transformational management process. Leadership requires integration of best practices and effectively applied for the common good.
Transformational Leadership is principles-based in which ‘Team’ is critical factor – a great marriage between the Transformational Leader and the Led based on reciprocal bonding. There is a shared vision inspired by a collective bargaining for the public good, where experiential wisdom is pooled, and lessons learned are funneled for continual improvement. Naturally, the success of the Transformational Leader is based on alignment and synergy in work process implemented by subordinates across all tiers of governance. These are the kind of people we need in power more especially in New Gambia.
A nation where all it presently prides is nothing, but core traits of bad governance amplified. A nation where the government in power makes arbitrary policies, unaccountable bureaucracies, unenforced or unjust legal systems, abuse of executive power, a civil society unengaged in public life and widespread corruption. Yet some people will come to the open and shower praises on the same government. This is shameful. And bad governance epitomizes a system of governance that has done perfectly well to constantly showcase its ineptitude and lack of vision.
It is a known fact that in New Gambia people are yet to really feel the impact of substantive democracy and good governance. The living conditions of the people is at its lowest, hopes have been shattered due to low salaries and low standard of living, unemployment, lack of infrastructures, unmotivated youths, increase in the poverty level, hunger and starvation.
Conclusively, it is conceivable that supporting the Barrow administration is not just an inevitable option but also a civic duty to make The Gambia a beacon of hope. The Gambian people need the change process to begin with the political leadership. What the Gambia needs are Leaders and followers who are humble enough to accept deficiencies and accept appropriate assistance and guidance. Gambians need listening leaders. The Gambian people need collaborative political leaders who would not compromise the interest of The Gambian people.