Let's raise the bar through leadership

SHARE   |   Thursday, 26 April 2018   |   By Batlang Comma Serema

Recently Vision 2036 Task Team required Batswana to answer the following questions; (a) What kind of Botswana do we want to build by the year 2036? (b) What kind of person would a Motswana like to be in 2036? (c) In order to achieve these dreams and aspirations, what should be done, and by who? We expect answers to these questions to be executed soon through implementation of Vision 2036.


The implementation of the Vision 2036 coincides with the new President HE Mr Masisi. The Vision states “It is our aspiration, as a people, that our Botswana will be a high-income country, and its people prosperous, living in the full enjoyment of their potential. These are very ambitious aspirations, but they are achievable because we all committed ourselves, and said that we will do all we can to achieve them. It seems to me that the craving of the nation to move from high-income level needs new leadership personas. While I have no doubt that President Masisi will offer that leadership I wish to point out that productivity and implementations will need a new type of leadership from each and every leader in our country. We need fewer man-hours to do jobs with fewer inventories, to provide products and services of the highest quality because high income country means world class, first class. Organizations in Botswana and Batswana in particular should consistently raise the bar for services, product development, and process excellence and well developed human capital. This should result in amazing success story that Botswana has always been known for. The way in which we can improve leadership in Botswana is to concentrate on strategy, productivity and implementation. This is because for most of the time our policies and strategies are fine what is perhaps the issue is lack of implementation of these good policies. In doing so we must redefine leadership in this country.


Our President has recently been global creating or rekindling, reinvigorating networks regionally and internationally. This gesture will work if we also realign and globalize our thinking, our leadership.  Botswana needs to base its leadership on a long term thinking (philosophy). This should be done at the expense of short term financial goals. While this may have to be subjected to national debate it seems to me that our philosophy can be derived from our national principles namely; Democracy, Development, Self-Reliance, Unity and Botho. We can then base our success on these principles and focus on long term rather than short term results. The belief should be that if we pursue, democracy, development, self-reliance, unity and Botho this will lead to innovation, economic growth and overall economic well-being for Batswana. This will give us a greater sense of duty and vision for the country and can distinguish right from wrong regarding that mission and vision. Then we can know what to teach and mentor the young ones since we will have a consistent message. We can then understand that the purpose of growth in our country is not for us as leaders to gain but to reinvest for future generations so that we can continue to help society, to help community that we have been fortunate enough to grow in. This philosophy will then inform our next step which is how we do things or what in business are called internal processes. With a well-articulated philosophy we can then standardize tasks for continuous improvement, helped by using only reliable thoroughly tested technology.  The right processes will produce the right results, whether we discuss education, health, water, electricity etc. We can stop and solve problems immediately when we detect them. Not to go on and on with something that is clearly bad, wrong and causing harm. I find it good to stop and solve a problem once and for all. This way we think and through thinking, citizens grow and become better people. But to continue with wrong processes that yield bad results is defeatist and wasteful. We should develop a culture of stopping to solve problems, to get quality right. Eseng gota siama.


These bring us to the most important leadership issue which is very imperative to productivity and implementation – people. With a philosophy, good processes it then becomes easy to develop people, because now we know we can develop leaders who live the philosophy based on our national principles and leading agreed processes. We can then respect, develop and challenge them to lead the right philosophy, the right processes and develop the human capital. By developing our people we are adding value to our country. We grow people who understand the work, live the philosophy and teach those who come after them. Our human capital becomes our strength and we can even export it. We can then place the highest value on team work, listen to our people as a team and incorporate their ideas. Lastly this new leadership strategy can then continuously solve socio-economic, political and technological problems in our country armed with a philosophy, processes and well trained people. As a society we must agree that our job whether you at land boards, hospitals, schools, etc is to solve problems, by understanding the situation and making good judgments, considering all options and implement rapidly and become a learning country through relentless pursuit of excellence. This we do by going to see and understand the situations that we deal with.

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