Minister of Social Services and Urban Development, the Hon. Frankie A. Campbell, told staff attending a 1-day Staff Development Symposium that they are all important components of the Ministry’s team. “The one thing I want you to keep foremost in your mind is that whatever role you play on this team, from top to bottom, that role is important to the success of this team. And the success of this team is important to the people who rely on us. And I have news for you, the entire Bahamas is relying on us – from the Womb to the Tomb – and that is an awesome responsibility.” Held at the All Saints Anglican Church Activities Centre, Friday, February 28, in Joan’s Heights under the theme: “Check Yourself, Looking at the Man/Woman in the Mirror” the symposium was attended by staff across the Ministry, its four Departments (including the Department of Social Services, the Department of Gender and Family Affairs, the Department of Rehabilitative Services and Urban Renewal) and its many Divisions and Units.
Staff members were also brought in from several of the Family Islands – including Abaco and Grand Bahama. Segments of the symposium were also broadcasted live over ZNS1540 so that additional staff in the Family Islands could benefit from some of the presentations. Minister Campbell told employees that the symposium was designed to provide a reprieve – even if for just one-half day – from the many pressures associated with the job. “There is suffering among us, within us and around us. We cannot ignore that. We cannot be oblivious to that because we say a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. It may sound like a cliché but that is the absolute truth. A team is only as good as its weakest member and we are a team,” Minister Campbell said. “We need moments like this to strengthen each other; to undergird each other. That is how teams operate. No team member ought to be left behind,” Minister Campbell added. The Senior Directorate at the Ministry used the day as a means to further promote teamwork. Members of the Senior Directorate were introduced NBA-style to the delight of team members.
Minister Campbell urged employees to not let the symbolism associated with the introductions go unnoticed.“The truth of the matter is, no matter what sport you prefer to follow or play, once it is a team sport, the group that sits on the bench still gets a ring, or gets to hold the trophy once the championship has been won. And so the group that is on the bench has an obligation, has a vested interest, to cheer for the team on the floor, or the starters, because they know that if those members do well, they too will earn a ring, that they get to hold the trophy as well, and the opposite is true. It doesn’t matter how good the starters or the stars are, if the rest of the team fails to perform at optimum levels, the stars or the king does not get to hold the trophy and so that is the comparison I want to make.” Minister Campbell said the theme for the Symposium was an “appropriate one.”
“Proverbs 16:2 says: ‘All the ways of a man is good in his sight.’ And so everybody always thinks that what he/she is doing is right. And because everyone always think what they are doing is the correct thing to do, it is always so easy to think that what the other person is doing is not necessarily right. But today, we are going to check ourselves, not in terms of our individuality; we are going to check ourselves in terms of where we fit in on this team. We are going to check ourselves in terms of what is our role on this team.
We are going to check ourselves and ask how successful is this team without us, without our participation, without our contribution. We are going to check ourselves and ask ourselves how important is it that this team is seen as a winning team and if we are to see this team as a winning team, then how important is it for us to play our role. “I heard Shaquille O’Neal make a joke the other day about when he told Kobe that there is no ‘I’ in team and Kobe responded that: ‘There is an M and E though.’ I never thought about it in that way and yes there is an M and E in team, but if you want to focus on the me, let it be that you are asking yourself: ‘What is it that is required of me on this team. What is my responsibility on this team? This is what it is all about.” The Social Services Minister asked the employees to “take this following piece of advice under consideration.”
“Since we know what is required of us by those who come to us. Since we know and accept the burden that has been entrusted upon us because of what The Bahamas expects from us, we then need to examine ourselves. This is where the Check Yourself comes in; this is where the taking a look at the man/woman in the mirror comes in. Check yourself, am I ready to do this; Check yourself, am I equipped to do this; Check yourself, am I willing to do this; am I going to ease some burdens and pains when I do this; am I going to send people away more frustrated than when they came; am I going to stop some people from believing in God when they leave this place, or am I going to cause there to be a great singing of the heavenly choir because the person leaving my desk is going to say Praise the Lord, thank you Jesus Social Services? “To the winning, greatest team there is within in the Public Service, I ask you to let us take these few hours that we have together let us talk with and not at each other, let us commune together as we help each other to check yourself.”