Cyprus Mail
Legal View

Revisiting the meaning of leadership

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Dr Louisa Borg Haviaras

The state budget for 2021 was not approved a few days ago as the Cypriot government failed to secure opposition lawmakers’ approval in parliament.

The main reason was the fallout over the country’s passport-for-investment scheme programme which was nevertheless ended on 1st last November.

Opposition lawmakers and leaders of the respective parties demanded that the state auditor office investigate the cases in which Cyprus citizenship was granted under the programme the so called golden passports. This programme however did not start with this government. Its story is old.

At the same time the country’s attorney general has already appointed a committee to examine the programme and carry out an investigation. Consequently, the crucial issue of passing of the state budget through parliament has nothing to do with such the issue of the gold passports or any other irrelevant issues. The parliament met to vote in favour or against the state budget. Most importantly now the country faces the grim prospect of not being able to make most payments including contributions to the national health system.

As we all understand this is a very bad timing when there is increased demand due to the pandemic and the country’s debt obligations. If the budget will not have been adopted by the commencement of the financial year the House of Parliament may by resolution authorize the meeting of any expenditure required by the continuance of public services. The effect of this resolution does not exceed one month that is January.

The question that arises from the above and all that have been going on in the political scene of the county is whether our leaders from any post they serve whether the government or opposition realize the meaning of leadership. According to Schein the three core components that determine an organization’s culture is external adaptation, internal integration and leadership.

By extending this proposition we apply it to the State since it functions like an organization and to any group that has characteristics of an organization. The first feature, external adaptation, is the organisation’s ability to solve and adapt to external challenges.

The second feature, internal integration, is explained as the ability of the organization to solve problems arising within its groups or members in order to implement the strategy of adaptation in the external environment. The third feature is the organization’s leadership which should be decisive, consistent and effective guiding the organization to overcome its external adaptation and internal integration problems develop and change organisational culture, when necessary.

All organisations are greatly influenced and affected by their leader’s behaviour, willingness to adapt to a changing environmental context, successfully drawing on the intellectual capital of all integrated stakeholders involved for new learning. However, our ‘leaders’ from any post they serve as mentioned above face difficulties and challenges in bringing about the evolution and strengthening of their organizational culture: mission and strategy, goals, means, measurement and finally correction.

Instead, we become witnesses of an endless political debate and rhetoric and inability to work together for the common good. They must realize that leaders are not autonomous rational actors. Being able to provide a unifying vision, enabling the solution of problems of survival growth internal integration and external adaptation to any challenges arising away from personal interests is where leadership is most decisive and effective. Leaders should provide guidance to members about how to operate internally and externally overseeing that the organization works effectively in its environment and that the internal system is stable.


  • Dr Louisa Borg Haviaras is PhD Oxford Brookes University





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