By Zechariah Manyok Biar
March 28, 2010 (SSNA) — The pessimists who expect the worse in every situation can even think that they could be killed by a roasted chicken, but the optimists see things twenty miles away from their destinations. Even though many people around the world seem to believe that South Sudan is still too young to join the world of the twenty-first century, the leaders in South Sudan appear to prove those people wrong.
It is now less than three months since the government of South Sudan (GoSS) purchased its first official plane. Nobody would have thought that any ministry had enough money to purchase a plane, but the Minister of Internal Affairs in the GoSS has shown South Sudanese that what matters in the achievement of unthinkable is not money, it is a good plan. Good plans are what make some people richer than others.
Leaders of South Sudan are now thinking big. President Kiir was quoted by media as saying, “The plane you see flying over us today belongs to the administration of South Sudan and in March we shall buy new SPLA planes, which are part of the transformation of the army.” President Kiir went on to say, “Those planes will be used by the SPLA. When we talk about modernisation of the SPLA it involves purchasing of equipment and facilities that ease the work of our soldiers. We must secure ourselves then embark on development.”
The plane is a nineteen-seater plane and it is a civilian plane. But it is named as Tiger after one of the first battalions of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army that was under the command of the then Commander Salva Kiir at the beginning of the liberation war in Sudan in the 1980s. Even though the GoSS had its official military tanks, no pessimist envisioned GoSS as having its first official plane at this stage. But it has happened.
It is easy to say that a person who misses Kindergarten can never succeed in school, but those of us who started school at the age of fourteen and still competed in the university classes with those who started school at the age of three can prove the Kindergarten theory wrong. Some people may also convince us scientifically that anything that has two legs cannot lean very much on one side while running and not fall. But the Olympic athletes prove such a theory wrong.
Thinking big in any situation is the key to success in leadership. Leaders who think that they can do what other people cannot do are the ones that we need in South Sudan at this age of speed.
President Kiir and his Vice President Riek Machar are doing a good job in identifying ministers and assigning them to what they can do well. The reshuffles that were done over the last four years of GoSS’s existence have achieved their intended objectives.
Some leaders may sometimes be ineffective in positions where they feel not gifted, but they can do great things when they are assigned to positions where their passions lie. Some ministers in the GoSS seem to perform well anywhere they are assigned, but others do better in some ministries than they do in others. President Kiir and his Vice President have kept some ministers in the same ministries over the last four years, because those ministers are doing what they are supposed to do in those ministries. I think that was a smart decision.
President Kiir also often assigned his Vice President to things that he is good at, and we have seen the results in the negotiations that took place between the North and the South under Dr. Riek Machar over the last four years. That is how effective leaders work.
Successful leadership lies in knowing who should do what in an administration. It is smart for any leader to know the success stories of many people in the country so that he or she can call on them when the situation that needs their expertise arises. That is part of thinking big in leadership.
I am silent about registering my support for any candidate now, but I will always never hesitate to identify a success story in our government. These success stories, I believe, are the ones that will help our country join the twenty-first century global world of today. I have written more than one success story about Minister Gier Chuang because I cannot ignore his success stories. He deserves these articles.
Those who think that there is no enough money in their ministries to do great things should ask Minister Gier how good plan can find money even where money is not expected. It would be a wise idea for any president who will be elected in April this year to pay attention to success stories before assigning ministers to new positions. Talents of leaders should also be considered if we are to progress very fast in South Sudan.
Zechariah Manyok Biar is a graduate student at Abilene Christian University, Texas, USA. He just graduated with a Master of Arts in Christian Ministry and he is still pursuing a Master of Science in Social Work, specializing in Administration and Planning. He can be contacted at [email protected]