The President, said historian Paul Johnson, is a lonely person in times of crisis. The weight of leadership at times cannot be shared or passed off on anyone else.
Colin Powell said command is lonely. According to Powell, at the end of the day after a leader has listened, collaborated, delegated and empowered, it is time for him or her, and nobody else, to make the decisive and critical decisions.
The decisions may reflect input from many people but it is the leader who is accountable and responsible . And whatever the consequences of those decisions may be, the leader must own it.
In addressing tough and hard questions and choices, leaders must ask hard questions of themselves: Can I bear the final responsibility? Can I take the heat, when it comes?
Can I look the long and lonely moment of self doubt, second guessing and anxiety in the eye - that dark moment of isolation. For man, the glamour is in the trappings of leadership, not the heavyweight of responsibility, accountability and expectations. It is about being comfortable with having the buck stop on your desk.
Attending to the little things is about knowing the difference between micro managing and detail management. Discipline in details is discipline in strategy. Details clarify direction. Sound strategy requires sound execution.
In the quest to change things for the better, the tyranny of tradition, consistency and the status quo can be a significant obstacle. Recently the TTOC had a perfect opportunity to reinforce its good governance message.
Actions of a few individuals made sport look bad in the eyes of the country and comprised the sporting aspirations of promising athletes. It is essential sport leaders think carefully about how their actions and decisions impact athletes, sport and the country.
The youth and young people of the twin Island Republic must be able to trust their leaders. They will neither listen to nor follow leaders who don’t have their best interest as their priority. In the midst of the recent turmoil someone sent me their favourite quote from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr:
“Courage is an inner resolution to go forward despite obstacles. Cowardice is submissive surrender to circumstances. Courage breeds creativity; Cowardice represses fear and is mastered by it. Cowardice asks the question, is it safe? Expediency ask the question, is it politic? Vanity asks the question, is it popular? But, conscience ask the question, is it right? And there comes a time when we must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but one must take it because it is right.” —Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
• Brian Lewis is president of the T&T Olympic Committee (TTOC). The views expressed are not necessarily those of the Olympic Committee. Support #10 Golds24 Athlete Welfare and Preparation Fund make your donations to any branch of Scotiabank account 171188.