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Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, Senator Dwight Nelson, has emphasised that there is a need for more transformational leadership within the public sector.
The Minister also noted that the leaders should be strategic thinkers and strong decision makers.
Senator Nelson was speaking on March 17, at the opening of a two-day conference, aimed at sensitising managers to new and enlightened approaches to leadership, at the Hilton Kingston Hotel. The Conference is being hosted by the Management Institute for National Development (MIND).

Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, Senator Dwight Nelson (left), is greeted by the Chief Executive Officer, Management Institute for National Development (MIND), Ruby Brown, at MIND’s Leadership Conference, being held at the Hilton Hotel from Wednesday March 18 to Thursday, March 19. It is being held under the theme: ‘Leadership Development: A Vehicle for Public Sector Modernisation’.

“In the private sector we have what we call risk management; we have leadership that is prepared to take risk and we do not have that in the public sector. We play it by the rules, whether those rules are productive or not,” the Minister said.
He argued that the country needs leadership in the public sector that is flexible, that can deal with any development, any unseen or unforeseen development in an effective way.

Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, Senator Dwight Nelson (right), in discussion with Director, Business Development and Communication, Management Institute for National Development (MIND), Glynis Salmon, at MIND’s Leadership Conference, being held at the Hilton Hotel from March 18 to March 19. It is being held under the theme: ‘Leadership Development: A Vehicle for Public Sector Modernisation’.

“We need leadership that will ensure the achievement of results, ensure that tasks are completed to the required standard, within the specified deadlines, budgets, targets and other constraints,” he added.
Senator Nelson further noted that the public sector needs leaders who can communicate with influence and authority. “The public sector does not need the kind of ‘fenke fenke’ communication approaches that I know exist in some places. We need leadership with the ability to build an organisation, where truth and transparency prevail,” the Minister said.
The Minister also urged leaders to be compassionate and unselfish and to look about the well-being and welfare of their staff. “We need leadership to encourage, motivate, monitor, inform, develop and support staff. We want leaders in the public sector who lead from the front, who lead by example. We do not need leaders in the public sector who use the big stick mentality and we don’t need bosses in the public sector,” Senator Nelson said.
Meanwhile, Chief Executive Officer of MIND, Ruby Brown, argued that an efficient and effective public sector should put the interest of the citizens first. “Certainly it requires leadership, quality leadership, and of course, quality leadership cannot come across by chance, it has to be developed,” Mrs. Brown said.
“Hence, the reason for this conference, as we are putting the emphasis on leadership development and it is not just leadership development that is being treated like a project. Leadership development is a continuous process for any effective leader,” she pointed out.
The conference, which is being held under the theme: ‘Leadership Development Conference 2009’, also seeks to provide an excellent and strategic opportunity for leaders in the national and regional public sector, select private sector partners, the academic community and international organisations to interface with each other and engage in the exchange of ideas and connections with far reaching and valuable outcomes.
Some of the topics being discussed over the two days include: ‘Staying on Track: What all leaders need to know’; ‘Talent Management: Helping leaders take effective action’; ‘Fit to lead: how health and fitness support the leadership process’; and ‘Do the right thing: Rules for leading ethically’.

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