Drayton’s leadership

Dear Editor,

Monday 21 May was a good day for reading Stabroek News. First of all there was the inspiring brief by Alissa Trotz on Harold Drayton’s life, which must make Queen’s College contemporaries like myself (a junior) feel proudly nostalgic of those generation’s experiences, which were so much embedded in the morality of one’s conviction. There was a sort of spirituality about politics, however varied and unorthodox it would appear to commentators and judges.

One almost wishes for a revival of those times of explicitly articulated conviction.

In contrast to the latter virtue was David Hinds’ commentary which attempted to search for light in the tunnel through which governance has passed over the last three years.

The article speaks to the lack of vision; and it was because the Barbadian author George Lamming was mentioned by Alissa Trotz in relation to Harold Drayton, that I recall Lamming’s words as far back as in 1972, when speaking of the Caricom Heads of Government, he had this to say: “There are men and women in the Caribbean who are so blinded by their own brilliance (read vision) that they do not see the darkness through which they lead others.”

However tumultuous might have been Drayton’s politically pioneering times, it was energised by consultation, argumentation, even agreement to disagree; albeit in different fora of engagement oral, written and physical!

On the other, hand Hinds’ evaluation of today’s scenario does not reflect that sense of urgent engagement (perhaps also confrontation), even though he observes that ground towards achievement has been lost.

For he perceives a vacuum in the leadership and a certain lack of cohesion.

It so happens that I have been re-reading a Handbook titled ‘Managers Who Lead’ which actually opened with the following quote: 

“The new leadership will not be provided by a ‘take charge’ elite (read cabinet), but will emerge from the capacity that lies within each and every person. It will be a leadership that does not presume to have all the answers, but one that seeks to empower others.”

Yours faithfully,

E.B. John

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