Leadership Lessons From Jamaica's Prime Minister
Orette Bruce Golding has served as Prime Minister of Jamaica since 2007. He is the leader of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) and was the founder of the National Democratic Movement (NDM), and is the country's eighth Prime Minister since it declared independence. He s the current MP of West Kingston and he hosts a monthly talk show called "Jamaica House Live."
Question: What qualities make a great leader?
Bruce Golding: I think the most important quality that makes a great leader is his or her willingness to stand up for something if you feel it is right, even when everybody is maybe saying that it is wrong. The other important thing about leadership: you can listen to what people are saying, you can weight very carefully the criticisms that are made of you, and decide that what you are going to do is to jump out in front and say what the people are saying louder than anybody else. And that is maybe one type of leadership.
My own view is that, that is simply following from in front. I believe leaders must be prepared to look at their people and say, "Now look, you put me here to lead, this is the direction in which I think we ought to go and this is the direction in which I proceed to take you." At that point, people have to determine whether or not they are prepared to subscribe to that or they are prepared to follow that leadership or whether they are prepared to seek a new leader who may do what they want, even if what they want is not necessarily what ought to be done.
You find yourself in a position where you come out of a democratic process, but sometimes you have to say, “No, this is the leadership that I offer.” There is another dimension of that. We are accustomed in many countries in the Caribbean... we are accustomed to messianic leaders, persons who are larger than life and persons who cause people to feel that: "Put all your troubles in my hands and I will take care of them."
I’ve never sought to offer that type of leadership. I’ve said to the people of Jamaica" "We have a journey we have to make, it’s a tough journey. It’s a long journey, and it’s a journey in which some of us perhaps will not make it. But if you are prepared to walk that journey, if you are prepared to bear that heat and to face all the challenges and the sacrifices that have to be made, I am prepared to go in front of you to lead the way." What I can’t do is to take you all on my back one-by-one to the other side of the shore then. That kind of leadership doesn’t exist in humanity. That kind of leadership only exists in the Almighty.
Question: What has been the most difficult part of the job?
Bruce Golding: The most difficult part of the job is the same two people who elected you with a great deal of expectation; who elected you on the basis that what existed before was not good enough and therefore who expected that you would deliver quickly. To explain to those people that, "Look, not only is it a hard road that we are going to have to hoe, but developments that we have not foreseen have made it even more difficult to deliver within the sort of timeframe that you would want." And therefore, you ask for patience, you ask for understand, you ask people to recognize that it’s not going to happen overnight.
I mean, we had to introduce taxes, new taxes on the Jamaican people in the middle of the worst global recession that the world has seen in more than 70 years—at a time when other countries were reducing taxes as a means of easing the pressure of that recession. That’s not something that’s easy for people to understand. And to communicate that; to communicate the necessity for that has been the greatest challenge that I’ve had to face.
Question: Which leaders have influenced you in the way you lead?
Bruce Golding: I have sort of drawn on the leadership style of several people. I mean several great leaders that I have watched, some of them quite historic. Winston Churchill is one who I have studied at great length. I’ve been impressed with the dexterity of people like Bill Clinton, his ability to sort of move through the political forces that exist. I’ve been very inspired by the promise that Barack Obama brought to America and indeed to the world. I listened with great intent to his statement at the United Nations a few days ago and I was tremendously impressed—not only with his understanding of these issues and his understanding of the role that the United States has to play, but his unwillingness to either up the tempo and create further international tension while at the same time being very strong and very firm in terms of what America wanted to see and do on the international scene.
So there is no one leader that has sort of patterned... None of us is perfect. I’ve tried to observe and inculcate elements of leadership from many of them.
Recorded on September 25, 2010
Interviewed by David Hirschman
"Leaders must be prepared to look at their people and say, 'No look, you put me here to lead, this is the direction in which I think we ought to go and this is the direction in which I proceed to take you.'"
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What is human dignity? Here's a primer, told through 200 years of great essays, lectures, and novels.
- Human dignity means that each of our lives have an unimpeachable value simply because we are human, and therefore we are deserving of a baseline level of respect.
- That baseline requires more than the absence of violence, discrimination, and authoritarianism. It means giving individuals the freedom to pursue their own happiness and purpose.
- We look at incredible writings from the last 200 years that illustrate the push for human dignity in regards to slavery, equality, communism, free speech and education.
The inherent worth of all human beings<p>Human dignity is the inherent worth of each individual human being. Recognizing human dignity means respecting human beings' special value—value that sets us apart from other animals; value that is intrinsic and cannot be lost.</p> <p>Liberalism—the broad political philosophy that organizes society around liberty, justice, and equality—is rooted in the idea of human dignity. Liberalism assumes each of our lives, plans, and preferences have some unimpeachable value, not because of any objective evaluation or contribution to a greater good, but simply because they belong to a human being. We are human, and therefore deserving of a baseline level of respect. </p> <p>Because so many of us take human dignity for granted—just a fact of our humanness—it's usually only when someone's dignity is ignored or violated that we feel compelled to talk about it. </p> <p>But human dignity means more than the absence of violence, discrimination, and authoritarianism. It means giving individuals the freedom to pursue their own happiness and purpose—a freedom that can be hampered by restrictive social institutions or the tyranny of the majority. The liberal ideal of the good society is not just peaceful but also pluralistic: It is a society in which we respect others' right to think and live differently than we do.</p>
From the 19th century to today<p>With <a href="https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?year_start=1800&year_end=2019&content=human+dignity&corpus=26&smoothing=3&direct_url=t1%3B%2Chuman%20dignity%3B%2Cc0" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Google Books Ngram Viewer</a>, we can chart mentions of human dignity from 1800-2019.</p><img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDg0ODU0My9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1MTUwMzE4MX0.bu0D_0uQuyNLyJjfRESNhu7twkJ5nxu8pQtfa1w3hZs/img.png?width=980" id="7ef38" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="9974c7bef3812fcb36858f325889e3c6" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
American novelist, writer, playwright, poet, essayist and civil rights activist James Baldwin at his home in Saint-Paul-de-Vence, southern France, on November 6, 1979.
Credit: Ralph Gatti/AFP via Getty Images
The future of dignity<p>Around the world, people are still working toward the full and equal recognition of human dignity. Every year, new speeches and writings help us understand what dignity is—not only what it looks like when dignity is violated but also what it looks like when dignity is honored. In his posthumous essay, Congressman Lewis wrote, "When historians pick up their pens to write the story of the 21st century, let them say that it was your generation who laid down the heavy burdens of hate at last and that peace finally triumphed over violence, aggression and war."</p> <p>The more we talk about human dignity, the better we understand it. And the sooner we can make progress toward a shared vision of peace, freedom, and mutual respect for all. </p>
Researchers dramatically improve the accuracy of a number that connects fundamental forces.
- A team of physicists carried out experiments to determine the precise value of the fine-structure constant.
- This pure number describes the strength of the electromagnetic forces between elementary particles.
- The scientists improved the accuracy of this measurement by 2.5 times.
The process for measuring the fine-structure constant involved a beam of light from a laser that caused an atom to recoil. The red and blue colors indicate the light wave's peaks and troughs, respectively.
Scientists at Washington University are patenting a new electrolyzer designed for frigid Martian water.
- Mars explorers will need more oxygen and hydrogen than they can carry to the Red Planet.
- Martian water may be able to provide these elements, but it is extremely salty water.
- The new method can pull oxygen and hydrogen for breathing and fuel from Martian brine.
The WashU electrolyzer<iframe src='https://mars.nasa.gov/layout/embed/model/?s=6' width='800' height='450' scrolling='no' frameborder='0' allowfullscreen></iframe><p>The WashU electrolyzer—it has no snappy acronym yet—will not be the first device capable of extracting oxygen from Martian water. That honor goes to the Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment, or <a href="https://mars.nasa.gov/mars2020/spacecraft/instruments/moxie/" target="_blank">MOXIE</a>, which is en route to Mars onboard NASA's <a href="https://mars.nasa.gov/mars2020/" target="_blank">Perseverance</a> rover. The rover was launched on July 30, 2020. It will arrive on February 18, 2021, and will perform high-temperature <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electrolysis_of_water" target="_blank">electrolysis</a> to extract pure oxygen, but no hydrogen.</p><p>In addition to being able to capture hydrogen, the WashU system can even do a better job with oxygen than MOXIE can, extracting 25 times as much from the same amount of water.</p><p>The new system has no problem with Mars' magnesium perchlorate-laced water. On the contrary, the researchers say it ultimately makes their system work better since such high concentrations of salt keep water from freezing on such a cold a planet by lowering the liquid's freezing temperature to -60 °C. He adds it may "also improve the performance of the electrolyzer system by lowering the electrical resistance."</p><p>Cold itself is no issue for the WashU system. It's been tested in a sub-zero (-33 ⁰F, or -36 ⁰C) environment that simulates Mars'.</p><p>"Our novel brine electrolyzer incorporates a lead <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0926337318311299" target="_blank">ruthenate pyrochlore</a> <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anode" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">anode</a> developed by our team in conjunction with a platinum on carbon <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cathode" target="_blank">cathode</a>," explains Ramani. He adds, "These carefully designed components coupled with the optimal use of traditional electrochemical engineering principles has yielded this high performance."</p>
Back home<p>"This technology is equally useful on Earth where it opens up the oceans as a viable oxygen and fuel source," Ramani notes. His colleagues forsee potential applications such as producing oxygen in deep-sea habitats with ample water available, such as underwater research facilities and submarines.</p><p>The study's joint first author Pralay Gayen says that "having demonstrated these electrolyzers under demanding Martian conditions, we intend to also deploy them under much milder conditions on Earth to utilize brackish or salt water feeds to produce hydrogen and oxygen, for example, through seawater electrolysis."</p>
Scientists find that bursts of gamma rays may exceed the speed of light and cause time-reversibility.
- Astrophysicists propose that gamma-ray bursts may exceed the speed of light.
- The superluminal jets may also be responsible for time-reversibility.
- The finding doesn't go against Einstein's theory because this effect happens in the jet medium not a vacuum.
Jet bursting out of a blazar. Black-hole-powered galaxies called blazars are the most common sources detected by NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope.
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Pfizer's vaccine needs to be kept at -100°F until it's administered. Can caregivers deliver?
- Fair distribution of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines is especially challenging because they need to be stored at extremely cold temperatures.
- Back in 2018, the WHO reported that over half of all vaccines are wasted worldwide due to lack of cold storage, and they were only talking about vaccines that need to be chilled or kept at standard freezer temperatures.
- Real-time logistics data, location tracking, and information about movements are crucial to track shipment progress, product temperature and other conditions.