Follow this blog and enter your email

Saturday, 3 December 2016

Speech about Sir Nagora Bogan (3 December 2016)

Distinghuished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

I feel honoured that in such a distinguished company I am allowed to say a few things about Sir Nagora Bogan. He asked me because of the many CEOs he worked with, I am the most recent one.

Sir Nagora with the Vice Chancellor of Akita University in Japan
In the past, I have had the pleasure of working with many different bosses, almost as many females as males, who were highly successful and accomplished, driven and passionate. There were a few rotten ones, but the good ones were very good. For many years, for example, I reported to a distinguished Latin American agricultural economist, who ran a successful consulting business in three different countries. I had the pleasure of working with an Indian economist at the World Bank. I had excellent professors from the United States, United Kingdom, Costa Rica, Netherlands, Belgium giving me guidance and direction.

Sir Nagora, however, tops them all.


Let me say first of all that this is not a political speech, and this is not a political rally. I am merely here to give testimony to what Sir Nagora said and did, what this meant for my wife and me. Without his leadership very little would have been accomplished at UNITECH. Hopefully, you will understand better how his brand of leadership transformed UNITECH, and has the potential to transform the country.

Before I do so, however, I would like to share what latest psychological research says about successful people (Carol Dweck, Stanford University). Research shows that successful people have a "growth mindset". This means that instead of seeing their mistakes as insurmountable personal flaws and weaknesses, they focus on self-improvement and overcoming challenges. This requires a mixture of both humility and self-confidence. A habit of constant learning and reading must be based on strong humility, self-esteem and confidence. Other researchers have shown the presence of social skills at a young age, and the habit of setting oneself clear objectives as important determinants of success.

Sir Nagora possesses these characteristics in abundance, and his life clearly show this. Where to begin?

In Papua New Guinea, he stood at the beginning of improvements in tax collection, the transformation of the superannuation funds into engines of development, but also at legislation which made large mining project possible and good relations with the United States of America.

At UNITECH, Sir Nagora stands at the beginning of numerous concrete and successful projects. At the start, success could not be taken for granted. UNITECH has suffered a cut of more than 10% each year in its operational budget since 2012. In addition, the new Higher Education Act 2014 practically abolished institutional autonomy and academic freedom of the public universities. In fact, the only consequential amendments to our University Acts dictated by the HE Act are related to the appointment of the Chancellor, Pro-Chancellor and Vice Chancellor. With UPNG our Council has stood firm in its resistance to these unnecessary and destructive measures, and rather are including the modifications suggested by the Independent Review of the University System, the External Audit, and for UNITECH the Sevua report. It is interesting to note that none of these policies and assessments even mention the issues of appointments of Chancellor, Pro-Chancellor and Vice-Chancellor.

In 2012, his first action as Chancellor was to approve the re-scoping of PIP funds and invest them in staff houses rather than dormitories. This was a gutsy and strategic decision, which allowed us over the last 4 years to dramatically improve the academic quality of the departments by hiring at least two new fully qualified lecturers for each department. With Hon. Kua and some others working behind the scenes, he was also the main architect behind solving the governance crisis which has kept UNITECH in its grip since 2007, and for arranging my return from exile.

Other PIP projects he endorsed were the fencing project of our large campus. He went so far as to suggest a modification which was to fence of the students' dorms so as to prevent burglaries. This modification today has finally been completed, and our students now feel much safer as a result.

Another series of measures he strongly supported regarded more transparent governance and finances. With Pro Chancellor he strongly supported the hiring of a new bursar, and the hiring of a financial consultant in the mean time. He kept us on track with our financial audits.

He allowed us to hire a qualified urban planner with experiences in campus development. This has led to the Master Plan which envisages the creation of a University township on our campus, including the uni-mall.

Most importantly, he has worked with me but also with my deputies and challenged us to make our strategy simpler and more focused. This now has led to a strategy structure which will guide our actions in the coming 15-20 years.

He is not a conventional leader in everything he does and says. Apart from general virtues such as honesty and transparency, hard work, he has a number of very specific ones which show us what kind of man he really is:
  • Humbly he always asks himself the ultimate empowering questions: What could I have done better? What can I do better now? 
  • He laughs loudly and eagerly, and sometimes he cries with compassion. 
  • He reads everything and prepares well for every meeting.
  • He can be forceful and decisive, but will not force people, rather seek understanding and consensus. 
He likes to say that everything rises or falls with leadership. The ultimate leader for him is also the most paradoxical one: Jesus Christ. The paradoxes leadership that most apply to him are, objective and detached but passionate, a progressive traditionalist, focused but open to out of the box ideas, energetic and calm, patient in haste, a wise risk taker, but always, always focused on final and positive outcomes.

Now how is it to be led by Sir Nagora? Is it easy to work with him? I can say it is wonderful to work with him and you always learn something and leave in good spirits. It is very easy to work with him and get results. Look at me. I come from a totally different place and have a totally different background, but we were able to forge a strong working relationship based on shared values and understanding. There has been a good chemistry which does not mean that once in a while Sir Nagora did not have to correct me. When he did he did so gently and allowed me to save face.

Now some people criticize Sir Nagora (and myself as well) for the approach based on dialogue and respect that we took during the students' crisis, eschewing attempts to forcefully supress their boycott of classes. Sir Nagora loves the law, and by law the SRC had the right to organize a boycott. When it came, however to demanding the students take responsibility for their mistakes, he hesitated not a minute and allowed Council to suspend the SRC. Now we can reform the SRC constitution and improve the election process of SRC executives, and make sure that boycotts are a measure of last resort and not a first step whenever there is something or somebody the students don't like.

Those who criticize the UNITECH approach do not understand the paradoxes of leadership and the importance of meaningful interaction with stakeholders, humility and a growth mindset, and clarity of principle-based vision. It is because of this kind of leadership that we were able to save this academic year for our students. Staff and students now can go hope peacefully to enjoy a Christmas holidays with an easy heart and mind. For 2017 we have programmed two normal 15 weeks semesters, which are a condition for our international accreditation.

At UNITECH we will all miss you, but your legacy will remain. You have taught and mentored our leadership team, and the tone of respect you have set in Council will not change. The decision you have taken lately to run for elections for Lae Open, is all about empowering oneself and taking responsibility.

You taught me that those of us who have had so many blessings and privileges, sometimes can not continue shy away from public office, with the purpose of bringing their experience and skills to solve problems at at a higher level.

My wife Paulina and I wish you the best of luck with all your endeavours. It as been a great honour and enormous pleasure for me to work with you, and to continue our friendship.


10 comments:

  1. Most appropriately articulated. Good legacy should continue to draw strength through positive feedback mechanism. Dilip Pal

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. Looking forward to working with you in Council, under the new Acting Chancellor Jean Kekedo

      Delete
    2. Thank you. Looking forward to working with you in Council, under the new Acting Chancellor Jean Kekedo

      Delete
    3. My name is Emily Thomas and I am from Convention Center Drive, Miami Beach, FL . A couple of weeks ago My friend visited me and along our discussion she told me about EDWARD JONES FINANCE, that they can help me out of my financial situation, I never believed cause I have spend so much money on different loan lenders who did nothing other than running away with my money. I have been in a financial mess for the pass 7 months now, She advised I give it a try so I mailed him and explain all about my financial situation to him, he therefore took me through the loan process and gave me a loan of $390,000.00 at a very low interest rate of 2% and today I am a proud business owner and can now take good care of my kids, If you must contact any firm to get any amount of loan you need with a low interest rate of 2% and better repayment schedule, please contact EDWARD JONES FINANCE email:- {Jonesloanfinance@yahoo.com} OR Text +1(307) 241-3712

      Delete
  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Well engineered piece, from a result proven CEO yourself.May God continue to inspire you for more positive results in unitech.merry Christmas and God bless as always.

    ReplyDelete
  4. ...a fitting tribute to a giant, in every sense of the word...success seems to follow this great man around, i am not willing to bet against his move to enter representative duties for his people of Lahi..

    ReplyDelete
  5. EDWARD JONES FINANCE IS THE BEST PLACE TO GET A LOAN {Jonesloanfinance@yahoo.com} OR Text +1(307) 241-3712,
    God bless you sir, I will not stop telling the world about your kindness in my life, I am a single mum with kids to look after. My name is Emily Thomas and I am from Convention Center Drive, Miami Beach, FL . A couple of weeks ago My friend visited me and along our discussion she told me about EDWARD JONES FINANCE, that they can help me out of my financial situation, I never believed cause I have spend so much money on different loan lenders who did nothing other than running away with my money. I have been in a financial mess for the pass 7 months now, She advised I give it a try so I mailed him and explain all about my financial situation to him, he therefore took me through the loan process and gave me a loan of $390,000.00 at a very low interest rate of 2% and today I am a proud business owner and can now take good care of my kids, If you must contact any firm to get any amount of loan you need with a low interest rate of 2% and better repayment schedule, please contact EDWARD JONES FINANCE email:- {Jonesloanfinance@yahoo.com} OR Text +1(307) 241-3712

    ReplyDelete
  6. TRUSTED LENDER (LEXIELOANCOMPANY@YAHOO.COM)
    My name is Michael Lee a citizen of Illinois, USA. i have been scammed by 7 different Internet international lender, they all promise to give me a loan after making me pay several fees which yield nothing and amounted to no positive result. i lost my hard earn money and it was a total of 23930USD. One day as i was browsing through the internet with tears on my eye i came across a testimony of man who was also scammed and eventually got linked to a legit loan company called MARTINEZ LEXIE LOAN COMPANY where he finally got his loan, so i decided to contact the same loan company and then told them my story on how i have been scammed by 7 different lenders who did nothing but to course me more pain. I explain to the company by mail and all they told me was to cry no more because i will get my loan in their company and also i have made the right choice of contacting them. I filled the loan application form and proceeded with all that was requested of me and to my greatest surprise my loan was granted to me without further delay and here i am today happy because Martinez Lexie Loan Company HAS GIVEN ME A REASON TO LIVE, so i made a vow to my self that i will keep testifying on the internet on how i got my loan. You are to contact this GODSENT LENDER via Email: Lexieloancompany@yahoo.com OR Text +18168926958

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thank you Sir Nagora Bogan for taking Unitech forward. Hope God's Blessing be with you.

    ReplyDelete