“When Saul was king over us, you (David) were the one who led Israel out and brought them in; and the Lord said to you – You shall shepherd My people Israel, and be ruler over Israel” – 2 Samuel 5:2
The book “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership” by John Maxwell has become a leadership classic and may be found on the bookshelves of many a leader. It creates a great foundation from which to build your leadership knowledge and begin your personal leadership journey.
Maxwell’s first Law of Leadership is the Law of the Lid which states that “Leadership ability determines a person’s level of effectiveness”. Leadership ability is always the lid on personal and organisational effectiveness. Whatever you want to accomplish is restricted by your leadership ability.
The late Prime Minister of Barbados, the Hon. David Thompson, even after the burial of his mortal remains last Wednesday, has continued to receive outpourings of appreciation not only from Barbados, not only from the Caribbean Community where he was responsible for leading the course for Caribbean Unity, but also from beyond the shores of the Caribbean.
Our David, at one time or another during his relatively short life, had many “lids” on his life, but they did not stop him …his family…political leadership…youthfulness… inexperience. Ultimately, our David became a great leader, not because he lacked limitations in life but because he “Lifted the Lid”.
He may indeed be seen as the one who was chosen to lead the Caribbean forward in a partnership with the global community. He is no longer with us physically but he has left marks on us all, indeed a telling legacy. There is leadership of political parties (DLP – BLP – PEP); there is leadership of civil society; there is leadership of trade unions and staff associations; there is leadership of the private sector. Each of us in a leadership position has the responsibility to uphold his legacy, in whatever way we may interpret the legacy, we must continue to “Lift the Lid”.
Socio-economic well being of the populace is only sustainable if there is a sound platform of economic growth; the private sector, supported by other members of a social partnership, is the engine of economic growth; economic growth can only take place one successful enterprise after another; behind every successful enterprise is an entrepreneur; we must therefore aggressively promote the concept of entrepreneurship. The Barbados Entrepreneurship Foundation is designed to uphold the Entrepreneurship legacy of the late Prime Minister.
Unfortunately, there is no magic wand that we can wave to transform an economy, in recession or otherwise, but what we can do, especially in small economies, is to wriggle our way in the markets of the economic giants in search of niche markets which are compatible with out potential to supply. However, we must Start Small, Do it Right; Make it Happen; and Then Expand. We must be diligent, yet patient!
There are many conferences, workshops, seminars which are mounted monthly but which are one-off events or at best part of an annual series which are interesting in their own right, absorb lots of time and money; but, do they systematically and measurably contribute to economic growth?
The Barbados National Entrepreneurship Summit concept, on the other hand, differentiates itself from other meetings, particularly because of its design. We have invited a specifically selected set of international speakers to establish the global state of the art position of each support entrepreneurship pillar (Government Policy, Access to Finance, Business Facilitation, Training and Mentoring). Local speakers will give an account of the national state of affairs and this will define a set of gaps.
The participants at the conference will share their ideas which will be hung on a specially designed framework; otherwise, we shall end up with a nebulous set of unstructured pearls of wisdom. These ideas will be molded into strategies which can be used by a BEF implementation entity to gradually close those gaps and foster growth. This process will be monitored to ensure that we remain in concert with the objectives that have been set.
The lead objective of the first Summit (16/17 November 2010 at the Barbados Hilton) must be to establish strategies for the development of successful and sustainable business enterprises in the first year of operation which will be nurtured and reported on at Summit 2011.
These annual objectives, for Barbados initially and hopefully others ultimately, will be set from one Summit to the next with an execution roadmap and adequate resource mobilisation to achieve stated objectives year after year. The strategic view is that there will be significant cumulative growth in the economies of Barbados and beyond by the 11th Summit in 2020.
It has become apparent that the economy of the future is going to consist of the expansion of the current economy (tourism, agriculture, financial services, in particular); and the development of a new economy which will be driven by a start-up entrepreneurial thrust (e.g. ICT, renewable energy, health & wellness, consulting, film, music, fashion, art and food).
In the spirit of the comments made by our Governor General, His Excellency Sir Clifford Husbands, after the swearing of the new Cabinet, occasioned by the appointment of the new Prime Minister, Hon. Freundel Stuart, we are all counselled to go forth and “Gird your Loins”; “Lift the Lid”.