Education Minister Doctor Gale Rigobert, asserting that youth leadership is critical to national governance, has told a group of young people here that advocacy does not have to mean a quarrel.
Rigobert made the comments in an address recently, prior to the election of a new executive of the Saint Lucia National Students’ Council, while reflecting on the lessons she learned as a student.
“Advancing your agenda does not have to be equivalent with trampling over everybody else,” she explained.
“Having a noble cause does not mean that you have to disrespect, denounce or not accord other people’s agendas the requisite respect or acknowledgement,” Rigobert stated.
She asserted that being a leader often means allowing those who are talented to attend to the task of the moment.
“Being the leader does not mean that you are always the one who is up front. In fact there are perspectives about leadership that have been posited that suggest that great leaders lead from behind,” the minister told her audience.
“That says something. It usually means that there is shared knowledge; equally shared ambition and a collective understanding of the mission at hand; and so anyone within that group can play the shepherd role because each person is equally committed to the task,” Rigobert declared.
She recalled that she was once a very active young person working through various agencies available to her to advance the cause of young people.
“That is why I always get very excited when I see young people assuming the responsible position of understanding that ‘I need to be in this for it to work for me’,” the Minister stated.