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To fire or not to fire: Is that the governor's mandate or not?

By Deckillah Omukoba | August 25th 2017

With over 20 governors sent home in the elections, it goes without saying that the electorate, who are the employers, have become serious on matters of audit and appraisal of this top office.

It is therefore important for the incoming governors to appreciate early in the game that things have shifted! As they are sworn into office, their defining moment is pegged on their ability and agility to shrewdly shift the gears from political narratives to leadership strategies. The playing grounds have moved from promise based to performance based. It is now time for the governors to evaluate how they will actualise their manifesto.

No governor can change a county if they are stuck with the methodology and mentality of campaigning when it is time to deliver. The team they bring on board is therefore very crucial to the realisation of this goal, bearing in mind that the agenda should not just be to manage the county but to maximise on its full potential.

There has to be a team approach to unite the various entities required to bring this dream to pass. One of the major aspects that will fuel this dream is the ability to close the gap of serious disconnect between the governor and the team that represents him or her, otherwise there will be such a stinking apathy and divide that all the staff can do is whisper about it.

If this remains the case, slowly but surely even the very best of minds who can champion the vision of the manifesto will begin to move on to other places where they believe the leader deserves the investment of their time, experience and effort.

There is therefore such a great demand placed on the governors, but their response has to exceed the demand placed on them. The big question especially for the newcomers has been whether or not they will fire staff from the previous regime.

The issue is really not firing staff, it is the reason behind it. We must acknowledge that the governors have an agenda for the entire county and that agenda is to be accomplished through those who surround them. It is therefore important for them to inspire people from both sides of the political divide to come on board and rally around a mission and not just a man.

This can be achieved when the governors start on a good footing and not be perceived as being adversarial or just outrightly having a red eye agenda of revenging and ostracising those who did not support them. It is time to unite, rebrand and restore. As a leader, it is prudent to give people a chance especially where their only wrong was that they were from a different regime or did not support your political agenda.

But at the same time it is important to appreciate that the governors are now the leaders of a government that must succeed under their wisdom and direction, therefore the model of operation must change. Even though it is good for the governor to extend an olive branch and give people a chance to continue working, the people who are retained likewise must respond to the retention and appreciate it with a sincere effort to remain relevant and on the cutting-edge.

Just like any CEO who is worth their salt, the governor has to refuse to allow emotions to get in the way of his or her judgment. He or she cannot just blindly inherit systems and struggles that do not reflect his or her vision and the things he or she is passionate about.

If a previous system has been known to have a group of people who are slack, corrupt and incompetent there has to be a change that addresses this poor performance. If a governor insists on maintaining this group for the sake of peace and popularity then ultimately his or her vision for county prosperity and even re-election will be sabotaged.

The highest goal of the governor must remain maximising on the potential of the county and not just managing or maintaining its status quo. This cannot be achieved if his or her staff is fixated on what was, as this jeopardises the potential of what can be.

On this ground, the onus is on the governor to let go of people who do not have a sincere appreciation for where he or she wants to steer the county.

Ms Omukoba is a Political Analyst [email protected]

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