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Opinions of Saturday, 30 April 2016

Columnist: Adu-Gyamfi. Kwaku

Let's ask the candidates: 'Who Is Going To Be On Your Team?'

From Voice Of Reason:

How much do you know about the President’s cabinet? What about his non-cabinet members? You should find out who they’re and what they stand for because they get the president’s ear.

The main job of every great CEO is to pick good people and set the right priorities. Because if the people are bad and the priorities are screwed up nothing else works.
If a CEO’s inner circle and team come from common ideology and personal loyalty there is a problem. If the CEO of a corporation chose his department heads based on the system of paybacks we often see is what has been going on in Ghana for decades. If as a CEO all what you’re getting from your team is one point of view—usually your point of view—you have to worry. There should be a devil’s advocate in your team, who keeps you on your toes 24/7.

The point is when the future of our nation is at stake, it’s not the time for paybacks. After all, we won’t hand over the controls of our airplane to the guy works on your cars. When the nation is crying we don’t need ass-kissers. Talent counts, so are people with visions who can act on them.

Every CEO’s success or failure is based on his team. So if he wants to succeed, he has got to have group of people that knows what they’re doing. People who work together with one purpose will win. But he has to start with the raw material—the talent. That brings me to our government—present, future and the past.

Do you think we Ghanaians have the right to know before we cast our vote for President who is going to be on our team? We put all our focus on the top guy, but governing the nation isn’t just a one-man’s show.

I’d like you to think about this as we enter the presidential campaign season for 2016.I don’t care about your party affiliation, doesn’t it strike you as a little bit strange that we don’t demand that a Presidential candidate introduce his /her team before we vote? Sure we know the vice-presidential pick, but that’s all about politics.

When we look up the soccer teams in our newspapers we always check out the players in the lineup. That pretty much gives us an idea if a particular team has a strong team or weak team especially their defenses. Wouldn’t it be great if we could do that for government? Presidential candidates could present their lineups for key posts, and we would be able to evaluate which team had the strongest team. We could use a similar process for picking our Parliamentarians. When the election time comes, we could look at our MPs and say,” well this guy has been playing average for the last three years; let’s see if we can find a better player”.

Hey, how many of you can name just five members of the current cabinet without cheating and looking it up? This is supposed to be our national talent pool, which are making decisions every day that affect our lives and our children’s lives and we don’t even know who they are. That is sad, isn’t it?

What about the non-cabinet members who have great influence? Shouldn’t we know those names too? Every President has a ‘shadow cabinet’. So let’s look beyond the titles and look at who the candidates’ friends are. Why should it be a secret to us to know before we vote about the people who are going to get the President’s attention and ear for four years or more?

Here is something else I’d like to see in our next campaign; after we ask the candidates, “Who’s going to be on your team?”Let’s ask the candidates to name their three priorities. One, two, three. No waffling. “Oh, and can we get it in writing, please?”

Once we have the candidates’ priorities, then we have to ask “what are the three actions you’re going to take to address each of your priorities?” Let’s get those in writing, too. Trust me these will change the political equation very fast and we will see those who are up to the task, ASAP!.
Once we in campaign season I’d like to put the following issues on our ballot as election referendum:
1. All MPs and Ministers would be required to spend two days in a month to live among the socio-economically deprived families to learn how to cope with life and live within their means.

2. There should be a term limit for our Mps. I prefer two -terms as limit. That is 8years for each MP.

3. To help limit the work load for our law makers there should be a limit of the Bills that need to be passed every year. I’m thinking of six Bills in a year. I think six Bills a year are enough to allow the electorates to keep track of what the government is doing to address their needs. It will also give the MPs time to visit their constituencies and read good books to get ideas.

4. All Parliamentarians will be part-timers. And they will convene at the House two weeks for every other month. That means they will spend two weeks in Accra every other month to attend to their duties and return to run their own businesses in a real world; to make a living in an old-fashioned way—they should earn it.

5. Every foreign vehicle from our neighboring countries must purchase temporary liability auto insurance coverage in Ghana for the period they intend to spend in Ghana. That will safeguard our citizens and economy, in case of something happens while they’re in Ghana. And the revenue from this source would be used to maintain our accident –prone and pot-holes ridden roads.
Look this isn’t a panacea .It’s only complicated because the candidates want to make it complicated. We have to push for simplicity. After all the job of a leader is to accomplish goals that advance the common good.

And when we elect the candidate whose priorities we agree with, we have to make sure those priorities actually get addressed because this is serious business, those who are not ready shouldn’t take up the space.

The former legendary American auto executive, Lee Iacocca once said, “Anyone can take up space. Here’s the test of a leader: When he leaves office, we should be better off than when he started” It’s that simple! Is anybody home? What do you think?

Until next time, be blessed, educated and informed.

Kwaku Adu-Gyamfi (Voice of Reason)
*The author is a social commentator.
Email:asuomgag@hotmail.com