Following the events of Friday’s inauguration and a new leader of the free world coming into power in the Oval Office, we naturally reflect on the issue of leadership. President Trump has divided opinion as well as media attention, but I wish him every success, particularly as every one of us on the planet is affected by the decisions that he and his team will make over at least the next four years.
Of course, the issue of leadership is of particular importance for me, within my role at the IoD. I am fortunate to know and meet many leaders of businesses and organisations across Wales who are making a difference day in, day out, both in terms of the sustainability and growth of their own businesses as well as contributing to the wider Wales economy.
At the start of this year, we have seen positive developments in an initiative that is crucial to the economy of Wales. I am of course referring to the Tidal Lagoon and I was particularly pleased that it recently received such a favourable outcome from the Hendry Review. I now urge a level of leadership from the UK government to take these findings and make this game changing opportunity a reality as soon as possible.
I am also encouraged that the Cardiff City Deal is getting to a stage where the leaders of the ten Local Authorities are taking this opportunity forward. In a recent joint statement with colleagues from the CBI, Federation of Small Businesses and Chamber of Commerce, we as the IoD stated that the City Deal, with its objectives to create 25,000 jobs, upskill the region’s workforce, increase physical and digital connectivity and lever an additional £4bn in private investment over its 20-year programme, is an initiative which we fully support.
Indeed, much has been promised in the formation of the City Deal and it is the reasonable expectation of business that this will be delivered. We therefore hope that all ten local authorities within the Cardiff Capital Region will give their commitment to their involvement in the City Deal in the votes taking place at each council in the coming weeks.
As I have said, leadership is crucial to us at the IoD and we will once again be honouring some great leaders at our annual IoD Director of the Year Awards, which launch this week and take place in May.
And as we move towards the Six Nations Championship, we wish Wales’ new team captain Alun Wyn Jones every success as he takes on his new responsibilities. He follows Sam Warburton, who has conducted his duties as captain over the last six years in an exemplary manner. He has been a brilliant ambassador for both Welsh and international rugby and has made an amazing contribution in so many facets of Welsh sporting life, as well as the wider fabric of life in Wales. I think that Sam typifies all that is good about leadership and many can learn a lot from him about doing the right thing as well as saying the right thing and, of course, being a role model who takes time to help and support a host of charities, both within and outside the sporting arena. He has been a true leader in my view and has demonstrated a wide range of admirable qualities.
He is an excellent leader, a good man and a great captain.