Teach, Lead Inspire: Developing the Next Generation of Caribbean Leaders

Updated: Jun 1, 2019

I find myself in conversations related to public and private sector leadership with increasing regularity. Sometimes there is a glimmer of hope but more often than not, there isn’t.

Recently, I had the privilege to participate in the 2015 session of the Caribbean Canadian Emerging Leaders Dialogue (CCELD). CCELD is part of ELD Canada Inc., a not for profit, global leadership development organization led by President, HRH The Princess Royal, Princess Anne. The Dialogue brings delegates from the Caribbean and Canada together for a two-week long study tour across several provinces and countries. 

The conference was a thought provoking exercise in critical thinking, collation and collaboration. Each of the five study tour groups listened to about 30 presentations from private, public and civic sector leaders across Canada and the Caribbean -  from Jet Aviation and Nova Scotia Business Inc. in Halifax and the Governor General of Canada in Ottawa to The Massy Group in Trinidad and the Department of Tourism in Tobago. Each presentation was a rich case study on leadership in the face of internal and external challenges. Some organizations successfully overcame them, others were still a work in progress.

What resonated the most with me was the value of innovative and collaborative leadership. In order for the Caribbean to reach its potential, it is imperative that the next generation of leaders understand our potential collective power. The Caribbean should be seen as a powerhouse of human capital, a cohesive voting block and an economic block with leverage.

Leaders of the New School 

In this age of transparency and connectivity, the strong leaders will better understand the quickly changing complexities of operating in a global market, regardless of the sector in which they operate. They will know the importance of holistically integrating technology to share information and create superb employee and consumer experiences, practicing ethical behaviour, and nurturing a diverse workplace.

Dovetailed with innovation and collaboration is giving those who you lead the space and confidence to develop and therefore, to fail. An environment in which this is not recognized is a recipe for failure without the learning and decreased aversion to risk.

Conferences like CCELD are invaluable, not only because they build networks, but also because they encourage important conversations. The ripple effect is knowledge that diffuses throughout companies and community organizations to professional colleagues and other links that can lead to new relationships.

To my fellow emerging leaders, wherever you are in the world, we must consider the development of our respective countries starting with our own impact, however small it may be. The brigadier general of the Trinidadian army left my study group with a few words of wisdom. While teaching is part of leadership, leaders should also inspire those around them, essentially paving the way for new leadership and building the foundation for a better future.  I’m taking those words with me on my journey. What will you be taking on yours? 

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I'm a strategic marketing communication consultant who works with premium brands to tell compelling brand stories, guide perception, drive engagement and build loyalty to win hearts and wallets. Find out more about me at, follow me on Twitter @royanndean and Linkedin.

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