Punctuality speaks volumes, while lateness sends message of disregard

Cabinet Secretaries, Principal Secretaries, Heads of Parastatals and agencies during the signing of performance contracts at State House, Nairobi. [PCS]

In the realm of leadership, punctuality speaks volumes, while lateness sends silent messages of disregard. The value we place on a moment and a person becomes evident when we either show up early or make others wait. This simple act of timekeeping can determine the course of relationships, be it romantic or professional.

Relatedly, respect for responsibility will often be observed in the patterns of time invested around the task. Taking time to understand a duty is a sign of regard for the task. Showing up early on a call of duty spells eagerness and zeal to represent the role. Looking the part by a well-groomed appearance makes one a good ambassador of their responsibility.

There is a direct correlation between productivity and role knowledge.  Role knowledge in turn is directly related to time investment. Responsibility tags character. When President William Ruto chastised the Executive for lateness and casual role knowledge, he was affirming that punctuality is to honour as lateness is to neglect. Knowledge is to confidence as cluelessness is to doubt.

 That said, being late for a meeting stirs thoughts of being late in promise-keeping! Some questioning members of the executive may come to the defence of their colleagues by silently, in office corners, picking up a thing or two that their boss should correct as well.

A corner “backlash” conversation would have undertones such as “Why be early for State House gatherings while being late in delivering to citizens? On a scale what’s worse, being late for a meeting or being late in keeping a promise?”

 Here we look at several things that need keeping!

Keep the promise: Why would someone make a promise knowing sure well it is not deliverable? Or why would someone make a promise, knowing they will change the goalposts as soon as the promise-making served its role in attaining the intended ambition? If a groom makes vows to the bride knowing sure well that what they need is their gold, such a person is not only a liar but an agent of darkness. Promise-making is tied to trust, truth, and faithfulness.

It raises hope and sets expectations of improved experiences. Promises are buyable, especially by people in dire need. In manipulative promise-making, the promise dealer puts ambition before truth by masquerading as a man of the people. Promise dealers wear white to accomplish black. Promise peddlers raise hopes as currency for their selfish goals.

A noble leader does not dupe the people because to them truth is not a commodity to trade with but a virtue to live by. For a noble leader, a promise is made to be strived towards and kept and people are not pawns pushed to deliver selfish gain. Manipulative promise-making reveals the lowly view the promise dealer has of his audience. The promise peddler stands on the premise that people are to be fooled and lied to.

After raising the hopes of Kenyans that life will be better, the narrative of the ruling administration is now changing to a language of sacrifice. This was not the promise. What else will we hear? Will we hear in the near future the leadership lamenting how they tried their best but did not succeed? That they should be given just one more chance to run their experiment? Citizens do not like a government that lies to them. Hear ye o government!  Keep the promises or break the habit of making them.

Keep the peace: It is common knowledge that Kenya has a very low boiling point. Its peace is brittle. To consistently chest thump and threaten to deal harshly with critiques is to threaten the brittle peace. Kenya’s leaders need less militant expression and in its place learn to become authorities in reconciliatory expression. Keeping the peace means mastering the language of mediation.

President William Ruto signs performance contracts at State House, Nairobi. [PCS]

The successful Kenyan leader must be good at peace-preserving expression. A politician who is careless with the brittle peace is not worthy of the position. Therefore, it is critical that the executive shuns the language of exclusion and masters the language of inclusion, even when they have to be firm. Kenya does not do well with factional language and a relapse into chaos is always next door. We must keep Kenya clean and free of intoxication. We should be famous worldwide for innovative peace-making factories. Blessed are the peacemakers!

Keep quiet!: Over speak. Foul speak. Power speak. These are common shades of speech content produced by our political leaders. The tongue is a flame that can set the whole body on fire. Lately, Kenya’s international relations have been rattled by words spoken by leaders in government. The more words, the greater the likelihood of drifting into unnecessary content.

The greater the rush to speak, the greater the risk of saying things that are unverified and controversial. Speech is best when thought through. Lengthy wandering rhetoric does not add to political clout just as being a person of few words does not take away political worth. Good use of podium moments is blessing the people and not abusing opponents.

The old speech rule – breathing deeply in and out before speaking - would help politicians get some life-inspiring spirit into their talk.

Keep count.  There is a wonder whether the government is keeping count of the tax punches it is raining on its citizens. Citizens do not understand complex economic equations. The point of the deductions is still unknown by many. All they know is that they are earning less – they have fewer shillings to count as their own. To them, the government is insensitive and soulless. The issue is less about taxing and more about the timing.

This is a season where many people are facing economic lowliness and are praying for miracles such as those that produced water in the wilderness. In a country where corruption is a way of life led and fanned by people in high places, it is difficult to convince Kenyans that the money from the increased taxes is safe.

With corruption gurus strategically poised at different corners, Kenyans anticipate countless scandals. As we give Caesar what he demands, Caesar should prove Kenyans wrong by tending towards a zero scandal count.   

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