Leaders are born not made. But leadership qualities can definitely be strengthened through proper grooming. Good leadership is an absolute necessity if any nation is to progress. Leadership at all levels matter, especially among the young if they are to contribute to nation building. Leadership is linked to ability to take the initiative and the capacity to do things on one’s own motivation. It’s also about team work as good leaders are good team members as well. The Sultanate’s government has launched many programmes to ensure youth participation in nation building. Every nation needs the creative spark and spirit of innovation that the youth can provide to achieve progress. Therefore, it is no wonder that the government has launched the national leadership programme in order to create a highly efficient crop of middle management. The leadership training programme has been conceived by the Institute of Capacity Development on behalf of the Diwan of Royal Court. For a young nation like the Sultanate that enjoys a remarkable demographic premium in terms of high percentage of youth – more than 30 per cent of the nation’s population – building the capacity of the youth to contribute to nation building is critical to achieving excellence in all fields. Fostering leadership qualities of the youth is a significant element of the vision of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said. Young Omanis can apply online to join the leadership programme up to May 27. HE Dr Ali Qassim Al Lawati, Adviser for Studies and Research to the Diwan of Royal Court, elucidates the purpose of the exercise when he says: “This programme is an initiative of the public-private partnership taskforce, Sharaka, which is part of the efforts to build a community of leaders in both the private and public sectors.”
Though the programme will initially target the executive leadership like directors general, assistant directors general, advisers and experts, there is scope to extend it to cover more levels of government. This is because improved leadership qualities enhance efficiencies at all levels of government functioning and help in achieving excellence. It is appreciable that the government has laid down a stringent selection process for the candidates. ICD Acting Director General Dr Khamis Bin Said Al Tobi pointed out, “Applicants will be selected taking into account their overall professional experience, range of responsibility and leadership capabilities.” The ICD decision to induct international human resource expertise in selecting the candidates points to the seriousness with which the government is approaching the programme and its ability to bring about a qualitative change in governance. ICD’s strategic partnership with the Said Business School of Oxford University will ensure a high level of excellence of the programme. The proposal to impart leadership training to all departments and agencies will ensure that the overall quality of governance improves across the board. Such all-round excellence is what matters for a nation and not pockets of efficiency that result in lop-sided development. Similar programmes targeting different levels of governance will have a magnifying effect on governmental efficiency. The involvement of international experts in these training programmes will ensure that international best practices are introduced at all level of governance.