P.M. encourages Govt. C.E.Os

Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Dr. Sa'ilele Malielegaoi, has challenged the men and women who have been appointed to lead seven different Government bodies to step out of their comfort zone.

"My advice to you all is: it is only after you have stepped outside your comfort zone that you begin to change, grow, and transform," Tuilaepa said. "In the discharging of your duties and responsibilities, you will be looked upon for direction and for decisions, and to set good examples for your staff. You will remain a public figure and under the constant scrutiny of the public."  

The Prime Minister offered guidance during the swearing in ceremony for seven CEOs held at the Government's Prayer House at Palisi on Friday. 

The CEOs are: 

  1. Afamasaga Faauiga Mulitalo - Ministry of Women and Community Development (MWCD) 
  2. Galumalemana Taatialeoitiiti Agnes Tutuvanu – Schwalger -  Land Transport Authority (LTA)
  3. Fualau Talatalaga Mata’u Matafeo - Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT)
  4. Leasiosiofaasisina Oscar Malielegaoi - Ministry of Finance (MOF)
  5. Magele Hoe Viali - Ministry of Works, Transport and Infrastructure (MWTI) 
  6. Tevaga Viane Tagiilima - Unit Trust of Samoa (UTOS) 
  7. Silimana’i Ueta Banse Jr Solomona - Samoa Airports Authority (SAA).

In congratulating the new CEOs, Tuilaepa reminded them they have been called to serve God, their country and people. 

He told them to carry out their duties with humility and commitment. 

"The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others as reaffirmed by your declaration to dutifully serve. 

"We are all public servants. Our role is to serve the public without fear and partiality. Hence, discard the fears in your mind and be led by the dreams in your heart. Let go of worrying about what you cannot control, shift your energy to what you can create. Above all, do not fear change when it becomes necessary to do so." 

The Prime Minister pointed out that following a number of crises in the past, the Government has not shied away from introducing reforms to strengthen public sectors functions and performance. 

“Such reforms led to term contracts for heads of government ministries on a three year term basis, separation of regulatory from service delivery functions, establishment of State Own Enterprises and the introduction of a credible tendering process for all government projects to name a few,” he recalled. 

“To date, government continues to push for reforms in all sectors of our economy to ensure that the skills and knowledge base are fit for purpose and good governance principles are followed and that the use of scarce resources are maximized.”

He then challenged the CEOs to step out of their comfort zone.

"While the appeal of the new role may dissipate with time, pause to stop and appreciate who you are and what you have achieved – and perhaps learned through a few mistakes, stumbles and losses – you, actually, can enhance everything about you. That’s how you gain experience which is learning from your mistakes. Self-acknowledgment and appreciation are what give you the insights and awareness to move forward towards higher goals and accomplishments."

The Prime Minister urged the new head of offices to be visionary and not become complacent making reference to incidents involving CEOs in the past. 

“Self acknowledgement and appreciation are what gives you the insight and awareness to move forward to higher goals and accomplishments,” he said.  

“Incidents in the past involving C.E.Os reaffirms the fact that the moment a C.E.O. becomes complacent and indifferent in the performance of their duties that may well spell the beginning of their downfall.”

In referring to the scriptures when Saul the first King of Israel was in command and was powerful and fearless. 

He said when Saul’s ignored God’s commandment and his wise counsel he was tricked of the honour of a great leader. 

Tuilaepa told the CEOs to be bold in their decision making and always follow-up on work. 

“Cabinet cannot afford to delay decisions at the expense of the country waiting due to your failure to provide necessary advice when so required,” he said. 

“Delegate and share your workload with your management and staff but always follow-up. 

“Delegation is a beautiful and great management tool to improve your organistions efficiency and avoid procrastination. It is also a great process to raise capacity and on the job training of your assistance. 

“But if you do not proactively follow-up none of your instructions will be executed and a great delegation of duties virtues will be rendered absolutely useless.”

Tuilaepa also asked of that they be good listeners as it will assist them in good and informed decision making. 

He said such role requires one who is visionary and innovative is to think strategically of what is best for Samoa. 

The Prime Minister also spoke about his office being the last resort of people who are given opportunity to speak with CEO or Minister that is directly responsible. 

“Always be forward looking in your thinking as I reiterated time and time again,” he said. 

“My office is always packed with people coming from all over the country to see me everyday. 

They even come to my home before and after hours. 

“Many of their requests fall directly under the responsibilities of the relevant ministers and CEOs. I’m often told that my office is the means of last resort and you are all extremely busy doing nice and useful things and you have no time to see our people. 

“We are accountable to our people so I would ask you that you also practice an open door practice.”

Tuilaepa told the government officials they will “thoroughly enjoy listening to people and their concerns.  

“Who will not enjoy talking to God every hour of the day through the people that you allow to come to your office with their problems,” he said.  

“That is what our reverends and priests and pastors tell us, that the holy temple of God is in you, it is your body. 

“When you are hard pressed from all directions and when trials and tribulations unfold before you along the way allow space for meditation and the power of prayer even for a few seconds. 

“The Lord is always there before you, judging you every second of the day and sure that you maintain good wealth and welfare.”

Lastly, for those who are often sick, Tuilaepa said “if you fall sick through overwork then it proves my point that you are really stupid and you should have never accepted the appointment”. 

He wished the new CEOs all the best in their calling and journey. 

“May the abundant of God’s grace favour in blessings be upon you always and may you never have a private phone and that you answer your telephone extra quickly.”

Rev. Elder Utufua Naseri conducted the prayer for the ceremony.    

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