How to build or loose the trust of the people
Written by Ibrahim Mead
I compiled this note in response to the cynicism and the doubts and fears surrounded the recent London conference for Somalia, as well as the trust deficit prevailing in the country in general, objectively positively, however.
Some hailed as success realized by the government in Somalia’s conference in London. Others questioned the fundamental nature of the whole conference.
Others casted doubt what was in it for Somaliland, other than the usual call, like; “you two Somalis talk and come up with some thing!?” “Same old, same old!” they argued!
But the two Somalis are unequal and the entities telling Somaliland to talk to Somalia knows this fact! One(Somalia) is recognized as representing the other! It has an international recognition even when they don’t govern one city of their own Somalia! The other (Somaliland) is not recognized as an independent state even when they effectively govern the whole country of Somaliland! One (Somalia) did all the wrong things yet recognized! The other (Somaliland) did all the right things and not yet recognized! That is how it was for the last twenty years plus!
On their side the government of Somaliland sees the matter differently. The government claims that there was a lot gained for Somaliland’s cause and case in the London conference i.e.
a) The president spoke in the conference before the international community and delivered a speech about Somaliland’s case there.
b) In the communiqué it was written that “the two Somalis must talk and reach some agreement of some sort then the international community will respect that what ever it is!”
1- Doubters argue that “let the two Somalis talk” is what has been said through out the 20 years Somaliland and Somalia were separated. “What is new there!?” they wondered!?
2- Skeptics still persist that the president may deliver a speech but may did that in a different avenue not before the international delegations there! “We were there” they disputed!
This is unfortunately a people and a government not trusting each other! This all comes down to trust deficiency!
It is necessarily essential that the government of Somaliland and her people must trust each other. The government must show the people the “Gooder” and the people must respect their government and cooperate with it in return. That is a reciprocal move.
This effort needs men, mind and maturity. Maturity is the scarcest commodity in the government of Mr. Siilanyo these days! That is the prevailing believes in the country!
1- There must be a policy in motion in all our institutions. That is not the case now! Politically immature official argued traditional elders who were in one corner of the country complaining by a long distance telephone conversations while imprisoned traditional and community elders from the other end of the country! Some one ought to be called accountable for these uncalled for and unprofessional moves! He ought to be changed for the sake of Somaliland, her credibility and unity.
2-Crazy and lonely brief case wondering with out compass and worse yet, covers up his ill fated activities and failures with lies, ought to be changed.
There must be sole searching, and reflection to what went wrong and why.
The country is divided now! It must be united. With out a united Somaliland our hopes and aspirations would not bear fruit! With out unity we will perish! God forbid.
There are two groups of people. One group is “what can my country do for me” people. The other group is “what can I do for my country” people. The later are the ones who answered the call of conscience when no one dared to go near by that call! They have psychological and emotional bond with the Mother. The later is what the country needs in this historical juncture but the former are the ones in the front seat of the car driving the vehicle in the wrong lane! That ought to be changed for the sake of the nation as well as for the sake the legacy of the president. .
I am and ‘some’ others are of those who answered the call of conscience when that call was to exist or to perish, when that call was toxic to answer. I am one of many who want the government of Somaliland to succeed so that Somaliland succeeds. Therefore there must not be any distance between the people and their government.
On the government side: defiance, denial and demagoguery are not the answer, ignorance and arrogance are not the answer either. They are recipe for failure. They are counter productive. Indeed destructive. Unity and understanding of each other is the right call“Guus” is warranted here.
How to build or loose the trust of the people
In Somaliland there is a deficiency of trust between the people and their leaders!
Many institutions lost the trust of the people! The parliament being first and others follow! The government is not safe from this deficiency either. Probably she is the core of this predicament!
Most of the people agree that trust is perhaps the most important element of a harmonious and efficient work environment. Institutions that have trust of its people are usually successful; those which lost trust with their people are not successful. Somaliland’s house of representative and the house of Guurti for example lost trust of the people of Somaliland. They simply don’t know their duties! Other institutions which may or may not know their duties are either not honest or just lost the trust of the people!
So, honest people often ask, "how can we build trust in our people, and how can we avoid losing their trust?" I believe that, it all starts at the very top; since trustfulness - and trustworthiness - can exist only if top leaders set the example, and then build that example into every level of government
“Those who faithfully observe their trusts and their covenants and who strictly guard their payers: - these will be the heirs” the righteous will inherit heaven” (Al muminoon ch.18-v, 7&8)
Trust may be expressed or implied. Express trusts are those where property is entrusts or duties are assigned by some one to some other one whom he trusts to carry out on his behalf.
Implied trusts arise out of power or position or opportunity.
Covenants create obligations.
To sum up all, express and implied trusts and covenants taken together cover the whole field of obligation owed for the people and the country of Somaliland.
Ways for leaders to build trust
A Establish and maintain integrity. First and foremost be not a perverse or hypocrite! One must be a person of God and trustworthy before we start any thing!
It is the foundation of trust in any organization. Trustworthiness and integrity must begin at the top and then move down. This begins with “thou shall not betray” This means, among other things, keeping promises and always telling the truth, no matter how difficult it might be. If its leaders have integrity, an institution or organization can be believed. Show the “the Gooder” where seeing it is due, then the people will believe you
B You must have vision and values. Communicate that vision and those values. Communication is essential, since it provides the channel for information and truth. By communicating the government’s vision, government defines where it's going. By communicating its values, the means for getting there are established.
Mendacity must not be used in hiding failure. Not in any case here however.
D Focus on shared rather than personal goals: When people feel everyone is pulling together to accomplish a common shared vision, rather than a series of personal agendas, trust results. This is the essence of earning the trust of the people. Tell the truth even when it is not popular!
E Do what's right, regardless of personal risk. That is the essence of leadership.
We all know intuitively what's "right" in nearly every situation. Following this instinctive sense, and ignoring any personal consequences will nearly always create respect from the people. From this, respect will come and trust of the people will follow
The ways to lose trust from the people
1- Act and speak inconsistently. Nothing confuses people faster than inconsistency. People will start suspecting you. And if confusion due to contradiction is the only constant venue, trust is sure to fall victim. Act- first- then- think later is deadly and that is what some aids of the government do!
2- Seek personal rather than shared gain. One, who is out only for him or her self interest, quickly loses the respect and trust of others. Some of the aids are just that!
3- Withhold information. When the communication channels shut down - both top-down and bottom-up - rumors start and misinformation is believed to be real. Then comes, denials, and lies. True information is often too late, or is never offered, or never there! Then trust falls apart.
4- Lie or tell half-truths. Dishonesty is a quick way to break a bond of trust. People may accept it once, even twice, but as the old saying goes, "twice burned.”
5- Close-mindedness. An unwillingness to consider other ideas and points of view, and/or to create an atmosphere of, "it's going to be my way or the highway" will certainly cut-off communication and eventually shatter trust. (Ref: Dave Bowman-five ways to build or los trust) that kind of mindset and attitude ought to be changed for the good of the Mother. For the good of the legacy of the president
When we look at successful leaders, governments and institutions, we find that they fostered these principles ofcreating trust and dispel distrust. And it is this that spurs success and greatness for themselves as leaders, as well as their governments, and their people. It is therefore a win, win, win, situation for them in this end. Travelling on the opposite side is fail, fail, fail proposition. It is there to choose the good from the bad, and to choose the right from the wrong. However the end belongs to the righteous, so peace and prayers