PAPUA New Guinea will not change and prosper if better leadership is not forthcoming, Governor-General Sir Paulias Matane said yesterday.
Sir Paulias said this while opening the 2009 PNG Human Resources Institute annual conference in Port Moresby.
“Ineffective leadership at the political, business, professional, church and community levels has crippled Papua New Guinea for many years,” he said.
Sir Paulias told professionals and guests from both PNG and abroad that the country had suffered from corruption and crime.
He said he believed the real problem was that all good citizens and good leaders were not doing enough good.
“We, the good people surely outnumber the bad, thus we should allow good to prevail, yet we have allowed a few, criminals, corrupt officials and unworthy political and business leaders to run our country down.
“Many leaders do not help others to be productive and energetic and instead, they create anger, fear, resentment, frustration and flight,” Sir Paulias said.
The outspoken vice-regal, whose terms expires next year, said many organisations in PNG, through the individuals that head them, too often promote weak and incompetent people into positions of power and control, resulting in poor leadership begetting more poor leadership.
Sir Paulias was concerned that too often, short-term issues displaced long-term future consideration and too often, focus on other non-core issues superseded the relationship with employees and customers.
“This lack of leadership is exacting a dreadful toll on the PNG workforce,” he said.
Making particular reference to the public service in the country, he said too many employees who work, did so merely to make a living and not to make a meaningful contribution to their organisations.
“They are merely spending time on the job to make enough money to do what they want to do off the job,” Sir Paulias said.
He said, often, leaders did not have a vision that manifests a clear set of beliefs for leading their organisations into the future.
“In PNG, as you all are aware, many leaders are often physically out of shape and emotionally blocked.
“In the worst, they are spiritually starved and live terribly imbalanced lives and are chained to their titles,” Sir Paulias said.
He emphasised that good leadership starts from the inside of an individual leader, which is then demonstrated outwardly.
He said good leadership begins with God and leaders should consider themselves as appointed by God.