By Luis Manuel Aguana
Many times we have asked ourselves why in other moments of our history, for much less than what we are going through now, the changes that have been necessary to twist the course of events have effectively materialized. Not in vain has the situation worsened to levels never imagined by Venezuelans for this last day of the year of the Lord 2018.
But in reality it is a composition of factors, which is presented as an evil equation that makes the result even worse. All the strategies to stop the course of the destroyers of our way of life have not been effective, and apart from the fact that the regime has as a corrupt and/or stop what we do to solve the problem, much of what we have done bears the seal of a withered leadership whose leadership will hardly take this ship to a good port.
A bad driver can crash even the best car. A lousy captain sinks the best equipped boat with the most experienced crew. This leads us to analyze that one of the reasons why we still haven’t got out of Maduro’s castro-chavista-madurista-communist quagmire and his gang of delinquents resides in the quality and effectiveness of the political performance of those who are at the forefront of the opposition struggle.
However some will say that we do not have another and that with those oxen we have to plough. If we pay attention to that perspective, we will have to wait for the natural and generational relief that only nature gives to get rid of this nightmare. It is valid for those who want to wait but not for this writer.
Since those of us who have no intention of expecting boys to grow up to solve what our generation messed up, I would at least like to walk around with some alternatives that allow us to at least make way with what we already have.
First of all our next generation is migrating massively. There are fewer and fewer young people left to face this tough struggle for change, but I am comforted by the fact that those who remain have multiplied in interest and democratic passion. Something must have remained in us that we were able to pass on that heritage despite the fact that the parties dedicated themselves to co-opting the youth leaders coming from the university fights, many of them being perverts in the practices that characterized the old leaders as the real causes of the tragedy that gave rise to Hugo Chávez as a political phenomenon.
I am not particularly reluctant to hand over the baton to a new generation of politicians, many of them with no more work experience than they have had in the same parties that recruited them. I am concerned that many of these young politicians have had no real work experience, without a boss to whom they have reported and from whom they have learned before engaging in political struggle. They entered the National Assembly, Mayoralties and other positions of responsibility suddenly from the street university struggles without having gone through the forging that only gives the touch of professional formation after the university.
I understand that for them things have presented themselves in this way, but I believe that many of the mistakes that have been made in the conduct of the opposition strategy have had their origin in precisely that inexperience of life of many of them, added to the twisted way of doing politics of the older ones. The cocktail resulting from this has been an erratic conduction at the service of the worst interests of the Nation and artfully exploited by a regime of delinquents.
In view of the fact that 2019 will be strongly marked by the decisions that these young people in relevant positions in the opposition leadership of the country, and that our future will depend on many of the decisions that these young people take – something that does not cease to worry me for the reasons mentioned above – I would like to land a little more the dimensions of credibility to which I referred in my note last Christmas. (see Christmas 2018, a matter of credibility, in https://ticsddhh.blogspot.com/p/blog-page_58.html) and who knows if they’ll be of any help.
Indeed, I had mentioned in that last note that the European Consortium for Political Research-ECPR, on a working paper entitled “Credibility as a source of political capital: Exploring political leaders’ performance from a credibility perspective”, outlined the three dimensions of political leadership credibility: competence, trustworthiness and solidarity.
I will not repeat the meaning of these concepts that are already referenced and sufficiently explained in that note, but I will complement them with some practical advice, which although they are not precisely oriented to the political sphere like the previous ones, they come out of the executive experience to build the credibility of leadership, whether they want it or not, they equally apply to the work that will correspond to these young people next year if they want to have successful results for Venezuelans.
In a paper published in Forbes in March, 2018, Victor Lipman collaborator of this prestigious magazine (5 Time-Tested Ways To Build Leadership Credibility, https://www.forbes.com/sites/victorlipman/2018/03/24/5-time-tested-ways-to-build-leadership-credibility/#3ac678a73fa8) summed up with some success and simplicity five fundamental aspects that in the experience of those of us who have worked for many years in our respective fields of expertise, we can attest that they generate credibility for a driver of wills, and that I believe they can be applied to what these young people will have to do in the political field. I will go in the same order as Lipman:
Deliver results. None of these boys will earn a credible position in public opinion if they do not produce results. Results can be measured. Henry Ramos Allup DID NOT PRESENT RESULTS IN 2016 after promising a solution in six months. You can’t make the same mistake.
Transparency. Lipman summarizes it clearly: Want credibility? You’ve got to be straight with people…” And the people are all Venezuelans. DON’T LIE, tell the truth in any circumstance…
Don’t duck tough decisions. It’s easy to say, but doing it is another story. The whole of 2019 will be extremely difficult but the worst thing that can be done is to avoid and not face difficult decisions, regardless of whether it costs the post or freedom…
Show consistency in your behavior. Do it your way but always consistently. Inconsistency is disturbing and people always respond to the leadership that does what it has to do: “In an uncertain world, people understandably like things they can depend on. If they can count on you, it means people believe what you say and you’re credible. Simple as that”.
Lead by example. It’s a basic concept, even of family education, but it’s fundamental. People won’t believe in anyone who doesn’t give the example. People do not follow anyone about whom they do not feel the ability and courage to do the same.
Venezuela will be from tomorrow January 1st in the eyes of the whole planet. The leadership that has to lead the opposition or resistance struggle -if any- will have the highest responsibility to be effective. Years of failure can no longer be tolerated. Perhaps the next 100 years of life for Venezuelans will depend on the outcome of 2019. The commitment is that size. May God enlighten us…
To all the followers and friends of TICs & Derechos Humanos, my gratitude for accompanying these notes throughout 2018, wishing you the best for 2019, hoping that this will be truly the year of Freedom… Happy 2019!
Caracas, December 31, 2018