The first 100 days of Bernard Grech: constantly in communication

Part Eleven

The leader should have started communicating officially with his supporters from his first day in office. Communication is considered the cornerstone of change and demands a constant wave from the very first moment the post was accepted. The first question that a leader should ask on taking office is ‘Why am I here?’ He should have a ready reply which he or she should have defined before he put forth his or her name to the race.

Although Dr Bernard Grech, until now, has not proven to have the gift of the gap, nonetheless he should have appeared more often in front of the cameras or on radio and be more convincing when he did. He needs to accept hard questons. The only time that he took on the challenge to be asked hard questions, and I am here referring to the interview with Glen Falzon, it turned out to be a political fiasco. 

Instead of showing command and able to take on the challenge, offered by hard talk journalism, he ended up attacking the journalist for doing his work! Regrettably, at the most delicate moment, the first few days of his coronation, Grech had an air of aloofness about him which signalled lack of preparation. Provided that there was a coherent plan and a clear vision, there should have been no conflict to motivate the troops. Grech should have used communication as a means of merging efforts, explaining strategy and reassuring the people and, without downplaying the difficulties, give meaning to his actions.

Next, a leader must communicate face to face and on his own. He should not need chaperons. A leader needs to focus on individuals’ issues. He should transmit energy through the use of a common language thus creating a charismatic aura which is the life and soul of any politician. When communicating, every detail is important, like justifying the changes and explaining the reasons for such changes. These are to be explained by the leader and not by a subordinate. A leader needs to know how to present a firm and clear agenda: most important, he needs to know how to stick to it.

In other words, no leader can delegate to others any communication regarding changes that he or she wishes to make to the structure of the Party. It is disastrous in politics when changes are communicated by others within the party. They will have no effect. This is a point that falls entirely within the leader’s remit. But has this happened? What happened in these first hundred days prove my point. The truth is that Dr Grech appeared to be passing the buck with the result that, when he was challenged, as in the issue of the reshuffle, he had to withdraw most of the changes. Then we ended up being told that there were no frictions and this is how the leader wanted to make it his shadow cabinet from the onset of his discussions with his MPs.

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