Hon. Dr. Hubert A. Minnis’ Presentation at
Global Leadership Summit
November 12th 2013 Freeport, Grand Bahama
There are several types of leaders, both past and present. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, Albert Einstein, Steve Jobs, and John F. Kennedy, all leaders of a particular set; they were all visionary leaders possessing similar characteristics that set them apart from the fray.
A visionary leader is open to new ideas and constantly seeks new information – for a visionary realizes that he must be flexible and surround himself with like-minded individuals.
A visionary leader possesses the ability to predict the future and the executive power to fulfill the vision with actions – creating or crafting the future.
A visionary leader has to have strong conviction and character – he must take risks to achieve the greater goal and have the distinct ability to endure challenges and obstacles.
Dr. Munroe, Organizers of this Global Leadership Summit, distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, good morning. I would like to thank you for your kind invitation to bring brief remarks to this International gathering.
I wish to extend to the visiting delegates from around the world, and to my fellow Bahamian delegates from New Providence and the Family of Islands, a heartfelt welcome to the beautiful shores of our second city of Freeport, Grand Bahama Island.… this is indeed an impressive audience, and I am very pleased that each of us felt the need at this particular time, to be here today to dialogue, interact and exchange ideas on Leadership and Character.
Today our challenges as a nation may be different than they were forty years ago and the tactics we employ to meet those challenges will require innovation and modern technology, but our very survival as a nation will require that we harness and utilize the best and brightest minds on this journey of nation building.
Ever mindful of our rich legacy as a people, I say to you gathered here today-Let the word go forth from this time and place, to everyone that wishes our nation well, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Bahamian, shaped by a desire to play a greater role in the social and economic development of our nation, confronted by new and difficult challenges, unwilling to surrender to apathy and complacency and resolute in the knowledge that there is still much land to be possessed and much more work to do in the building of this nation – A Nation that We All Love.
Those of us who truly Love this country and by extension the larger world community, must be prepared to pay any price, bear any burden, and meet any hardship to build the kind of nation and planet, of which our forbears, present and future generations of Bahamians can justifiable be proud. I would like to briefly share with you my vision of The New Bahamas for the Next Generation.
As I look to the future of our nation, I am committed to creating an environment which affords all of our citizens, ownership and opportunity in every facet of our society. NOW is the time for more of us to OWN this Bahamian economy. Strengthening the economic vision must be priority one. The systems which govern our everyday lives must be strategically revamped, Banking, Investment, Education, Health and others are screaming out for meaningful change.
Entrepreneurship must be open, accessible and available to all Bahamian citizens.
Bahamian businesses presently face far too many obstacles and red tape when trying to start or expand any commercial venture. Small and medium sized businesses in particular, must have easier access to capital to grow, resulting in greater employment of our citizens by Bahamian owned companies, committed to the building of the economy of this country.
Established Bahamian companies must also be encouraged and incentivized by government to foster greater employee productivity, loyalty and industrial harmony, through offering employees greater participation in their companies, via limited stock purchases, so that they will receive a direct benefit as the growth and profitability increase.
However creating opportunities is not enough, we as citizens must fully embrace the concept of achieving and succeeding in our country based on what a person earns and works for.
We have not held those in governance to a high standard of leadership that demands the same. These outdated ways of thinking limit our country and cause us to dwell in a non-progressive state, which no longer serves us in the New Bahamas.
I’m sincere in my commitment to change this paralysis in The New Bahamas.
Tiresome modes of thinking must be rendered obsolete. Bahamian youth have consistently demonstrated that they are no longer content with the status quo which further amplifies the gap of potential versus reality; the status quo which seeks to benefit those with familial and political connections first; the modus operandi that seems to agree that merit has little place in the rewards system.
The new Bahamas requires leadership willing to step up to the challenges with effective policies bolstered by decisive action. Today’s Bahamian youth will not tolerate discrimination and victimization. The Bahamas MUST become a MERITOCRACY where your skill, talents, ability and drive put you in the driver’s seat.
General Douglas MacArthur, the famous American military leader said this about leadership – a true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others. He does not set out to be a leader, but becomes one by the equality of his actions and the integrity of his intent.
Bahamian youth are an essential element in moving away from the practices of old. It is my fervent desire to empower the youth to be a key part of bringing about the changes necessary to realize this vision of this new meritocracy called “NEW GENERATION BAHAMAS”.
I believe in open, honest government, where we hold our leaders accountable. I believe in putting the national interests over the special interests. I believe in putting principle above politics. The bottom line: I believe we can do better. I believe we must do better.
The New Bahamas is a place where government must be transparent, acting in the best interest of ALL citizens. In the New Bahamas, there is no room for secret, clandestine governance! Any stable democracy must be mature enough to give its citizens access to information.
I am committed to fixing, once and for all, the glaring biases which exist in our Nation. More than half of our great country’s population is female. The time has long passed for larger numbers of Bahamian women to ascend to a rightful place in this country. It’s unfortunate that after over half a century of achieving voting rights, the female demographic that has given so much to The Bahamas, in many ways, still does not enjoy the full benefits of citizenship and basic human rights. This is patently wrong and must be corrected!
Long before assuming a leadership in public life, I was taught love, respect and honour for women. These are characteristics that are deeply entrenched in who I am as a Man, a Son, a Husband, a Father, a Physician and Healer.
I am committed to building a Bahamas where boys and girls, men and women can “March On”, hand in hand, on equal footing, building the Equal Opportunity Bahamas.
I ask your help as fellow citizens, residents and visitors to this very special place we call The Bahamas in realizing this vision of a new nation forged through hard work, fair and equitable treatment for all who inhabit and visit her shores.
I close as I opened with a quote, this one from William “Billy” Lowe, a successful Bahamian businessman, “ A nation that honors and puts God first will be honored and put first.”
Thank you and have a productive and successful conference.