“Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead and Christ will shine on you.” – Ephesians 5:14
Wherever we are in life, each of us can set the strategic vision for the rest of our life which could include communication with God, maturity in relationships (family, colleagues and friends), our physical and emotional fitness, success in business, secure employment until retirement, financial well-being and intellectual enhancement.
We can influence what the future will be by having a tactical focus in the form of a Mission which addresses the images on our radar of immediate interest with specific spotlight on what we would like to offer of service to others. The Mission is then like a beacon which guides us through the next phase of life in a systematic and evolutionary way.
The next step is to execute by setting realistic, measurable and time-specific objectives. To achieve these objectives we have to engage strategies, develop plans and carry out actions. In parallel, we must monitor our performance to see if our objectives have been met within the time frame set; if not, we have to take corrective action to get back on target.
Communication with God is accomplished through prayer (you speaking to God) and meditation (God speaking to you) with a promise that if we who are sleeping will wake up and rise from the dead, Christ will shine on us. Maturity in relationships requires an aptitude for forgiveness, sensitivity, dignity, kindness and selflessness to others, irrespective of their attitude to you. Our physical and emotional fitness is maintained by good nutrition, exercise, peace of mind and touch – it is all within our own control. Success in business is facilitated by the Shepherding process which stimulates mindset change and the management of business systems – there is no room for business as usual.
Secure employment until retirement requires ambition, self confidence, discipline and focus – do not be unnecessarily distracted by greener pastures, it might not necessarily be the best thing for you. Financial well-being must be accompanied by an appreciation of revenue making opportunities, high productivity, cost reduction and waste minimization – the world is your oyster.
Lastly, intellectual enhancement requires a full understanding of the discovery spectrum; Data – Information – Knowledge – Understanding – Insight – Wisdom … one learns from the cradle to the grave.
The above philosophy must be practised by the individual, business, the civil service, the politicians and the country as a whole, for the Caribbean region to prosper. However, the region is floundering in terms of the overall well-being of the populace which manifests itself in economic decline, constitutional crisis, crime, domestic violence, gang warfare, drugs, corruption, dishonesty and shameless behaviour.
It is reasonable to assume therefore that there are weaknesses in the system which need to be repaired. Of course, there are attempts at positive countervailing behaviour but as the saying goes “it only takes one bad apple to spoil a barrel”.
As parents, teachers or employers, each one of us has to take stock as individuals and aim to raise our game of positive behaviour thus influencing those within our care.
In business, there is a growing recognition that entrepreneurship is a viable alternative to paid employment. Indeed, creativity and innovation are emerging at a rapid rate, and there is no shortage of potential viable business ideas in the Caribbean with many prospects to export to the global market. However, the public and private sectors are not stepping up to the plate, in an efficient and effective way, to identify the needs of the emerging entrepreneurial sector and create an appropriate enabling environment including the timely access to appropriate funding.
The civil service on the whole does not seem to understand its role as the permanent professional branches of a nation’s administration. The civil service’s job includes facilitating the private sector which has the responsibility to “Do Business” for the country. The civil service needs to support the private sector so that it can grow as fast as possible and as a result grow the economy. The economy can only grow one successful business at a time. When the country wins, we all win!
There is one comment which I received from last week’s column which sums it all up. “I am happy that a politician has recognized the need for planning for the future and hope that he or she will encourage his(/her) colleagues to change their mind set”.
The only other observation that I would like to make about politicians here is that they seem to see “politics” as a way of earning money rather than as a way of helping the country to grow the economy.
One way to overcome this predicament of party political power which I do not think is doing small countries of the Caribbean any good, is to stop the tug-of-war that takes place between the members on either sides of the political divide. Would it not be more sensible to change the constitution and use the slender political resources to move the country forward?
In the early 1990s in Barbados, a tripartite Social Partnership (government, trade unions and the private sector) was formally established to deal with the consequences of the economic crisis and to implement the Structural Adjustment Programme with the IMF without need for currency devaluation. Why has this not functioned well at the country level?
Let each and every one of us wake up and let the spirit in us enlighten our consciousness and direct us unto the highest good.
(Dr. Basil Springer GCM is Change-Engine Consultant, Caribbean Business Enterprise Trust Inc. – CBET. His columns may be found at www.cbetmodel.org and www.nothingbeatsbusiness.com.)