Ten or more Olympic gold medals by the year 2024. Establishing T&T as a sport tourism haven. How do we achieve those two objectives for T&T sport? Ask. How to get what you want: Ask. It doesn’t mean whine or beg or complain or plead or grovel. It doesn’t mean expecting a handout or a free lunch or charity. It doesn’t mean avoiding responsibility or doing the hard work.

Don’t just ask and expect someone to give you something. It’s about creating value—value isn’t always tangible. But tangible or intangible it’s about creating value. If you aren’t convinced about what you are asking for, how can anyone else be? Ask with absolute conviction. Be able to show that you are sure of what you want, you are sure you will succeed.

And you are sure you will create value. You have to keep asking. Keep trying and keep changing. What would happen if we ask effectively? We will achieve our objectives. Sport in T&T, no matter all the perceived negativity, continues to deliver at various levels. In the Caribbean, T&T has claimed titles in various sports.

While the argument is that all the success is happening in spite of rather than because of the sport system, those who know the truth will argue that to state that it’s happening in spite of, is a lazy over simplification. The questions continue to come fast and furious. How can we move local sport to the higher level? What specifically do we mean when we say we want to take sport to the higher level?

Is it more gold medals? Is it growth in participation? Is it an increase in the number of women and girls participating in sport? What do we mean? To arrive at answers what we need to do is ask. It may seem obvious but it’s not. Most of the conversations taking place are driven by assumptions.  There is a lot of talking at sport taking place and not much listening.

As simple as it may seem we need more asking to take place. One of the dangers we all face is that we become so engrossed in what’s happening that we run the risk of missing subtle changes that are occurring daily. Effective leaders make it a habit to look at their businesses or organisations with a clean sheet of paper-seeking advice and other perspectives from people who are less emotionally invested in their business or organisation.

Pressure is part of leadership. Change creates urgent situations and problems. Most things seem to happen at an inopportune time. We all make mistakes. Leaders are watched closely. Every move. Every word. Every action by a leader is under the microscope. When the pressure is on, the microscope is intensified.

People learn more about their leaders when the pressure is on. When the pressure is on, the question is do you stand up for what you believe? Pressure reveals the true mettle of a leader. Asking questions and seeking answers will provide leaders with the opportunity to anticipate the issues and problems.

No matter what the objective may be—increasing revenue, athlete and coach development, fundraising, problem solving, planning. Whatever it is, asking questions is a fool proof strategy. Sport organisations need its leaders to ask questions and to be unafraid of the answers no matter how unflattering those answers may be.

Transformation is the objective. We must all work and collaborate to drive the transformation of local sport. Transformation and innovation.