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Special Feature

Vision and Strategies Fail?

Given the amount of precious time, energy, efforts or resources utilized to conceptualize what is perceived as fantastic vision and strategies, would the term fiasco possibly be the end result? Unquestionably, the answers will be in the affirmative and at the same time sounds ironical.

Assuming that the focus of the caption is on the government, many people in Liberia will want to catalogue lack of will power, commitment or political commitmentamong the reasons for the fiasco or failure as usual.
Arguably, this reason that is too broad or general is ironical on grounds that the conceptualization of the vision and strategies is a clear manifestation of the political commitment or will power. Some may also argue that either the conceptualization of the vision did not take cognizance of the contextual or real issues or the strategies did not align with the vision. Again, this assumption is debatable on grounds that the conceptualization of vision presupposes the alignment of relevant strategies as the road map for achievement.

For those of you in leadership that is heavily concerned with translating vision into positive actions, it is crucial to impress upon your mind or refresh your mind about the concept of leadership coined by J.P.kotter. “Leadership is the development of vision and strategies’ the alignment of relevant people behind these strategies and the empowerment of people to make the vision happen, despite obstacles”
Meticulously, there are two explicit reasons contained in J.P. Kotter concept of leadership that explain why vision and strategies fail.

1. The alignment of relevant people behind these strategies. 2. The empowerment of people to make the vision happen, despite obstacles. Even though the two reasons are arguably interdependent. However, the second reason seems not to be a major failure. This is because; it is possible for empowerment in terms of requisite resources and authority yet failure emerge as the end result. Therefore, it is important that we focus our attention on the first reason considered as the crux of this article.

What was the thinking of J.P. Kotter when he eloquently mentioned “The alignment of relevant people behind these strategies” that has implications for both success and failure? As a possible conjecture, one may conceptualize relevant people to be the competent and qualified as it relates to credential. Of course, such conjecture is sensible but has a short coming as evidenced by the many failures of people thought to be relevant behind strategies. 

While it is true that competence and qualification are relevant for driving strategies so as to actualize vision, it is safe to advance the argument that the alignment of relevant people behind strategies transcends competence and qualification or credentials. 

In the opinion of the author, people with successful track record as it relates to translating vision into possible actions are the ones that should be aligned behind strategies. Granted there is no perfection in humanity. However, there are people with successful track record that fits into the concept of J.P. Kotter leadership. Let’s look at few.

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Hon. Mary Tanyonoh Broh. Even though opinions are quite divided about her leadership style or method of getting things done, however, she is on record for translating vision into positive actions in leadership. The current beautification of the Monrovia City Hall is a clear evidence of her as the relevant person behind the strategies forMonrovia turning into a city comparable with others in West Africa. Added to this include her achievements as director of the passport division at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, deputy managing director for administration at the National Port Authority and presently the transformation of the General Service Agency. Despite her controversial leadership style, who can refute her track records when it come success? 

Another person in which opinions are also quite divided about is Hon. Augustine Ngafuan whose leadership track record worth equated to J.P. Kotter concept. Let’s look at some while in leadership positions in government. As part of the strategies to fight and curb corruption as Budget Director of Liberia, he was instrumental in lifting the veil of secrecy around the Budget by making it a truly public document and brought much-needed transparency and predictability in the issuance of allotments. 

As Minister of Finance, he solved the age-old fraud prone and inconveniencing practice of issuing salary checks to government employees and officials by introducing a direct deposit system whereby employees and officials of the Liberian government are now paid through direct credits to individual bank accounts at commercial banks. 

At the ministry of Foreign Affairs, Liberia’s bilateral relations have improved significantly with several friendly nations opening embassies in Monrovia with resident accredited ambassadors as evidenced by Great Britain, Sweden, Brazil, the State of Qatar, etc.

Using Hon. Mary Tanyonoh Broh and Augustine Ngafuan as example does not necessarily mean that they are the best. There are others with similar track records that should be aligned behind strategies. 

In summation, one of the ultimate responsibilities of a leader is to develop vision and strategies that should be aligned with the aspiration of the people. Having all of the resources is crucial for empowerment. However, it will do the society no good if those appointed behind the strategies are not the relevant people as put forth in the article.

By Ambrues M. Nebo

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