Business stalwart tells voters: Choose the crook, not the mook

Ronald Harford -
Ronald Harford -

WITH elections a little more than a year away, people are already contemplating the choices that they have to make for whom they will elect to lead the nation for the next five years.

Author and business leader Ronald Harford shared advice on voting while speaking to business stakeholders at the Distinguished Leadership and Innovation Conference (DLIC) 2024, saying when having to choose between two options that one may not necessarily like, it is best to choose the lesser of two evils.

“Sometimes you come upon a conundrum, a real difficult problem, that you don’t know how to sort out, and you have to make a choice – it so often happens today, particularly in the political arena, you have to make a choice, but you are not happy with one and you are not happy with the other,” Harford said.

“When you are placed in such a position, that you have to make a decision between a mook and a crook, this is a very difficult one, but I will share the perverse wisdom that I read in a local newspaper – should this occasion arise, always vote for the crook – because a crook may not always be a crook, but you can’t say that for the mook.”

Harford did not specify which party or political entity was which.

He said business leaders are people with true grit; people who are not afraid of making errors. He said business leaders are people who take action and contribute to change. If one does not take action, Harford said, he cannot call himself a business leader.

“Business leaders must be a person in the arena – one whose face is marred by dust, sweat and blood,” he said. “One who strives again and again, error after error, for a worthy cause, with devotion and enthusiasm.

“Remember, you are executives. Executive means 'to execute.' Execute means 'to do, expedite.' If you are not doing these things, you are not an executive, you are just a clerk.

"Doing something, making change, is what makes you an executive.”

He also said leaders need to train their people to be leaders as well, as innovation and ideas would be necessary for businesses to navigate uncertain times.

“Train your people to be citizens or owners and not spectators. It is essential that you change the conversation. You have to lead through a fast-paced world of uncertainty. You will never have all your ducks in a row. Therefore you should plan to have back doors. Remember, things are going to go wrong eventually, and it shouldn’t surprise you.”

Harford also spoke on succession planning, saying that it is key to leading a sustainable business. He said some large companies are failing to ensure their prosperity by not having proper sucession planning.

“When I see the future unfold for many large companies in TT, I am horrified at the absence of succession planning. In the end what matters is what you leave behind and it is important that you leave a strong, sustainable institution for the future.”


"Business stalwart tells voters: Choose the crook, not the mook"

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