How to be a Good and Civil Servant
The people have reasserted their presence. They have declared, “We, the People are the Boss!” The people now want to see the actualization of a market-driven and a customers satisfaction-supreme management philosophy. Those seeking public office would do well to understand these new expectations.
People care more about substantial improvement of their well being, scorn at hollow rhetoric and spectacular promises that will never be fulfilled. Government must be reinvented; a new relationship paradigm between the governed and governor must emerge.
Wanted: S E R V A N T
A government that places the nation’s interest above all, it focuses on providing services to enable and empower the people to strive towards their well being. Like the captain of a ship or a conductor of a concert; the government is entrusted with the stewardship of the national interest and guides resources towards its achievement.
Yes, entrepreneurialship has been and will be very much a part of politics and government. Candidates with captivating ideas, that fire up people’s imagination. He or she must be able to articulate a compelling vision and rally many talented people behind an enduring enterprise. People are willing to give money and time to the leader who could take them to the promise land, not politicians who drug them with Estacy. Politics is no different from true entrepreneurship in other human endeavors.
When politics is driven by ideology; be it race, beliefs or nationalism, society is sure to take steps backward. In some cases, such madness can consume an entire civilization. Our society would be greatly blessed if more leaders with cool heads and sharp vision come forward; to help everyone sort through clouds of negativity to find the sun.
Sometimes, the Boss may not know what is best for them. Such as when euphoria carried everyone towards the brink – like a bubble economy. People need to be brought back to earth, ideally land softly. Truth must be told with courage. And when all efforts failed, prepare to cope with the fall out when a crash-landing is unavoidable. Hence, the people don’t need Yes-men and women. Visionary leaders are courageous; they don’t yield to orthodoxy and is prepared to be tough in order to do the right thing. You recognize a politician when the opposite is done.
What else can be more reassuring and inspire greater confidence if leaders place their jobs or careers on the line, even their lives at stake. People expect Generals go to the battlefront, leaders take responsibility for their decisions and actions. Some Asian countries even talk about legal action against elected officials who did not perform!
Government hierarchy and political bureaucracy are the root causes of many tragedies, especially in national emergencies and crisis situations. Victims of the Turkey and Kobe earthquakes all agreed that “the earthquake did not kill, the inertia of the bureaucracy is the cause of untold human tragedies.” Homeground, ask the Nipah Victims. Enlightened leaders work hard to downsize government, to make them more responsive to the people’s needs. Good public servants remember their raison d’être by heart –their job is to serve the people — and there must be a culture and organization to deliver it.
How familiar we hear the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing. Blames are often hauled at each other as the cause of their own inefficiency or mistake. We have sat through lobby sessions listening to different ministers recounting how inefficient their counterparts are, and how these other people have contributed to their own inefficiencies. All of them forgot; the people take them as a team, and cares only whether the job gets done. People expect the government to work together as a team. PERIOD. Spare your boss of your woes; if you can’t get your colleagues to shape up, ship them out or ship yourself out.
Now, let’s take a look at the other side of midnight….
Thanks, but no thanks!
“It is me and me alone”, so much so everyone else in the system worship and elevate the leader to God-like status. Heroes are nice to have but can do without, if only in appearance. We are better off with some ordinary regular persons who have the tenacity to faithfully execute the job entrusted to them.
Public Enemy No 1; worse than a nuke attack. When negative emotions wrap society; calamity is sure to befall. The damage would be total if politicians use emotion as a tool. Emotion has been used as the shortest and easiest way to power for too long. Politicians must develop new tools.
These are the types of candidate first to be rejected. People, who live in the past and short sighted for the future, can only hold society down. We need forward looking visionary leaders who realistically anchored themselves on the virtues of their traditions.
Mirror, mirror on the wall, which is the greatest of them all? What kind of greatness do society seek? The greatness in our leaders, or the greatness of us all as a society? The answer: Everyone willing and able to toil must have an opportunity for a great life. Developing countries will do well to focus on basic infrastructure – physical and human – that can contribute to the development of value creation. Monumental activities should focus on those that motivate people to develop solid skills, hard work ethics and a good moral code that inspire people to care more about the well being of the larger whole.
“No bread, ask them to eat cakes!” Politicians obsolete themselves by losing touch and alienating themselves from the ground. Conference halls, dining tables, first class cabins and five star hotels is NOT reality; they do not reflect the true state of the nation. Politicians elevated themselves to the apex of power, and forgot to come down, have just taken the first steps towards their own end.
Swim with the sharks, go with the wind, survival rule No 1 for politicians. History abounds with such examples. They shut themselves to the pertinent voices, and choose only the sound bites that please them. Leaders should do just the opposite.
Talk, Talk, Talk and more Talk
Where’s the prompt action solving ordinary folk’s problems? Debate, rhetoric, spectacular events, theatre – politics is show business. For those with such orientation and talent, in case you don’t know, Hollywood pays better.
Now let’s put on our sharp lenses, go seek out the candidates that have more of the positive and less of the negative servant attributes above. Enjoy the hunt.
► People Are The Boss: Declaration on the People’s Awareness
► How to be an Effective Boss
► How to Be a Good and Civil Servant
► The People’s Voice and The People’s Declaration