Categorized | Features, General

De Ole Dawg – Part 17: 2017: The truth in leadership challenge

How important is truth in national leadership? (Do lies work in the end?)

BRADES, Montserrat, June 27, 2017 – Last time, we highlighted that leadership is the art of taking initiatives that influence and motivate people through one’s example, thus helping them to accomplish a mission or fulfill a vision.” So, let’s look at this week’s key question(s) by thinking about what happens if our example is based on seeing correctly or being blinded by lies. Where, the all-time greatest of all servant leaders, Jesus of Nazareth, boiled it all down to one short little parable:

Luke 6:39 . . . “Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit? 40 A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher.”  [ESV]

In one shot, we have our main answer: leaders lead and leaders teach by the example they set, so those who follow them will become just like them, even to the point of following them in a march of folly that goes right over a cliff’s edge.

That’s because the truth accurately maps reality, but what is false, error or deceit will not match reality. So if we believe lies and make them our yardstick for judging what is sound or good, the real truth and the real good cannot pass the test of the crooked yardstick. If what we imagine is the light of truth and wisdom or brilliance is actually the darkness of error and lies we will systematically misjudge our situation and go right over the cliff’s edge.

So, we come right back to needing plumb-line tests that we can trust to check whether our walls and foundations are true and plumb.

This is also why several of the most important leaders in our community are our teachers, our historians, our pastors or priests and our journalists.  For, each of these professions has a solemn duty to inform and teach us aright.  And if they fail, they are equipping us with crooked yardsticks that will so warp us that when the real truth or right counsel come to us, we may well dismiss it as absurd nonsense.

To our ruin.

(And yes, it is a sad thing that in the early days of the volcano crisis, our people were too often poorly informed and were given inadequate relief and support. Twenty years on, we should all agree that there is no way that people should have been forced to live under awful shelter conditions for two years, and that far too many people did not truly understand the hazards and risks we faced.  We must never again have to admit after a fatal disaster that official warnings were inadequate, not plain-spoken enough,  that “something was always lacking.”  Nor should people have to ever ask again whether the real policy of our officials was “don’t tell them everything.” [“It could have been avoided,” TMR, June 23, 2017, p. 5 – a reprint from 1997.] )

When it comes to politicians, too often the truth has been disregarded. No, it is not acceptable to slander people on the political platform or on a radio show or in parliament. No, it is not acceptable to misrepresent sobering economic realities regarding our credible options for the future. No, no politician can be a messiah able to deliver us from all our woes and troubles, leading us to a magical utopia. No, it is not acceptable to claim “rights,” where one has not first shown that one is in the right on the matter.  No, the world does not owe us a living. And no, we are not going to solve our major economic challenges overnight.

No, tourism is not a cure-all, nor is it a dead end; it is a major potential growth driver but we will have to manage it very carefully to reap benefits, and we must use it to help seed other areas for growth. No, renewable energy, too, is not a cure all but it is – again – a significant sector that we will have to manage very carefully if we are to reap its benefits. No, information and communication technologies are – yet again – not a cure all, but these technologies are going to shape the future so decisively that we must become highly knowledgeable and capable in this area or we will not even be able to repair our cars. No, science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine etc are by no means the easiest things to study; but if we do not build our capabilities in these fields, again, we are locking ourselves out of the future. No, if we do not seriously address education and training (as well as linked health and welfare), we will be perpetually handicapped by needless capacity gaps and we will lose many otherwise open opportunities. Brain power is our most valuable single renewable resource, but it has to be developed through education, training and experience.

 Montserrat, we are at a moment of truth. We must face the truth together if we are to build a viable, sound future. The future cannot be built on falsehood or trickery.

Leave a Reply

TMR print pages

Newsletter

Archives

https://indd.adobe.com/embed/2b4deb22-cf03-4509-9bbd-938c7e8ecc7d

A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

How important is truth in national leadership? (Do lies work in the end?)

BRADES, Montserrat, June 27, 2017 – Last time, we highlighted that leadership is the art of taking initiatives that influence and motivate people through one’s example, thus helping them to accomplish a mission or fulfill a vision.” So, let’s look at this week’s key question(s) by thinking about what happens if our example is based on seeing correctly or being blinded by lies. Where, the all-time greatest of all servant leaders, Jesus of Nazareth, boiled it all down to one short little parable:

Luke 6:39 . . . “Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit? 40 A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher.”  [ESV]

Insert Ads Here

In one shot, we have our main answer: leaders lead and leaders teach by the example they set, so those who follow them will become just like them, even to the point of following them in a march of folly that goes right over a cliff’s edge.

That’s because the truth accurately maps reality, but what is false, error or deceit will not match reality. So if we believe lies and make them our yardstick for judging what is sound or good, the real truth and the real good cannot pass the test of the crooked yardstick. If what we imagine is the light of truth and wisdom or brilliance is actually the darkness of error and lies we will systematically misjudge our situation and go right over the cliff’s edge.

So, we come right back to needing plumb-line tests that we can trust to check whether our walls and foundations are true and plumb.

This is also why several of the most important leaders in our community are our teachers, our historians, our pastors or priests and our journalists.  For, each of these professions has a solemn duty to inform and teach us aright.  And if they fail, they are equipping us with crooked yardsticks that will so warp us that when the real truth or right counsel come to us, we may well dismiss it as absurd nonsense.

To our ruin.

(And yes, it is a sad thing that in the early days of the volcano crisis, our people were too often poorly informed and were given inadequate relief and support. Twenty years on, we should all agree that there is no way that people should have been forced to live under awful shelter conditions for two years, and that far too many people did not truly understand the hazards and risks we faced.  We must never again have to admit after a fatal disaster that official warnings were inadequate, not plain-spoken enough,  that “something was always lacking.”  Nor should people have to ever ask again whether the real policy of our officials was “don’t tell them everything.” [“It could have been avoided,” TMR, June 23, 2017, p. 5 – a reprint from 1997.] )

When it comes to politicians, too often the truth has been disregarded. No, it is not acceptable to slander people on the political platform or on a radio show or in parliament. No, it is not acceptable to misrepresent sobering economic realities regarding our credible options for the future. No, no politician can be a messiah able to deliver us from all our woes and troubles, leading us to a magical utopia. No, it is not acceptable to claim “rights,” where one has not first shown that one is in the right on the matter.  No, the world does not owe us a living. And no, we are not going to solve our major economic challenges overnight.

No, tourism is not a cure-all, nor is it a dead end; it is a major potential growth driver but we will have to manage it very carefully to reap benefits, and we must use it to help seed other areas for growth. No, renewable energy, too, is not a cure all but it is – again – a significant sector that we will have to manage very carefully if we are to reap its benefits. No, information and communication technologies are – yet again – not a cure all, but these technologies are going to shape the future so decisively that we must become highly knowledgeable and capable in this area or we will not even be able to repair our cars. No, science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine etc are by no means the easiest things to study; but if we do not build our capabilities in these fields, again, we are locking ourselves out of the future. No, if we do not seriously address education and training (as well as linked health and welfare), we will be perpetually handicapped by needless capacity gaps and we will lose many otherwise open opportunities. Brain power is our most valuable single renewable resource, but it has to be developed through education, training and experience.

 Montserrat, we are at a moment of truth. We must face the truth together if we are to build a viable, sound future. The future cannot be built on falsehood or trickery.