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Captain out, all out!

Captain out, all out!

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EDITOR: This is the rule that we sometimes adopted when we played ‘Wind ball’ Cricket, but it seems to find its way in many operations of our larger society. The effect is that nothing can be done unless the leader is present or personally dictates what should obtain. Standard Operating Procedures seem to have been thrown out the window in favour of learned helplessness. Micromanagement is the watchword of political appointees, they get nothing done while awaiting instructions to do tasks that they should be capable of according to their job titles.

Sole Traders seem to dominate some aspects of our society even though cooperation is more beneficial.

In politics E.T. Joshua led the Peoples Political Party in and out of Government. With his exit in his old age after his contribution was concluded, his party ceased to exist. R.M. Cato led the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Labour Party in and out of Government. When Cato left in his old age after he had made his contribution, that signaled the demise of his party. When J. F. Mitchell in his old age, after he had made his contribution, left active politics at the turn of the century, he was able to see his party transition to new and capable leadership. His New Democratic Party has since grown in popularity and is expected to win the next General Elections due this year.

It is apparent that R. Gonsalves has made his contribution to the country after almost 20 years as leader. However, in his old age, despite waning popularity, apparent issues of health and fitness consequent upon the ageing process, his party seems unable to transition to new leadership. Consequently, it is left to be seen whether his party will survive as he takes his exit.

Some doctors too operate as sole traders, offering their services only when they are available. Some boats operate only when the captain is available.

Some schools too, seem to operate on the sole traders’ principle. They organize for only one teacher to teach a subject. When that teacher leaves, he takes with him all the knowledge and experience of teaching that subject. As a result, the school has to start over completely with a new teacher and some have even dropped the particular subject.

Cooperative Learning, with its small group design, and the emphasis of everyone mastering the knowledge should be the preferred classroom instruction model.

We see the demise of Farms and Businesses when the Sole Trader owner exits. Our country needs to move away from the Sole Trader style of leadership to prevent burnout, to one that values competing ideas, utilizes the various talents of our people and that can multiply intellectual capital. The advice of Jethro to our new leader going forward is recorded in Exodus 18:1-27, “appoint some competent leaders who respect God and are trustworthy and honest.”

Anthony Stewart, PhD

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