Council spot-on about leadership renewal

Council spot-on about leadership renewal

Published on Mar 31, 2012

I SUPPORT the Singapore Sports Council’s move to encourage succession planning in organisations (‘Outgoing shooting chief takes aim at Sports Council’; Sunday).

Some office bearers spend far too much time cementing their positions over a lengthy period, and for a variety of reasons.

They refuse to accept new ways of achieving goals, and spend inordinate amounts of energy shooting down good people who would otherwise be seen as ‘new blood’.

I find it ironic that some who have spoken up against the council’s rules are business people who do not seem to appreciate the value of succession planning. What’s more, the new rules do not forbid volunteers from continuing to serve in other ways on the committee, or elsewhere in the sport.

An example of good practice can be seen in the Asia Professional Speakers Singapore, an association I am active in.

Each president serves one term, and takes under his wing a vice-president who is shown the ropes and who builds his own network of people to carry on the work of the organisation the following year.

The underlying assumption is that all serving are successful people who have no time to play politics at the expense of the welfare of the members.

The vice-president still has to run for election at the end of the year, but few stand against him as he would have amassed significant goodwill and expertise. The outgoing president then serves on the exco as the immediate past president, with a much lesser role, together with some of the present exco members.

This develops a leadership culture acceptable to all, retains the expertise of some veterans, but allows the new leadership to press on with major tasks.

We still experience a ‘battle for ideas’ at times, but this is far removed from some of the despotic control some officers in Singapore associations have exercised.

If current incumbents cannot find suitable candidates, it speaks volumes about where their energy has been going instead.

If some think they are indispensable, they are probably legends in their own minds. The sooner this hubris ends, the better for sporting Singapore.

David Lim

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