Vincy Workplace
October 25, 2013

Independence of the mind: six ways to encourage progressive thinkers and doers

Happy Independence, St Vincent and the Grenadines!

In 1979, I remember Mrs Tucker, Headteacher at the time of the Clare Valley Government School, trying to explain to six-12-year-olds what independence really means. In simple terms, she said, we were cutting the strings from Great Britain so we can be on our own. In a child’s mind, it made perfect sense. {{more}}  

We’ve come a long way since 1979 and we applaud the progress thus far. At the same time, we look forward to the years ahead, as we continue to grow and evolve as a young nation. Since my passion and expertise lies with the personal and professional development of people, I believe the speed of SVG’s progress over the next 50-plus years will be dependent on our ability to grow a nation of independent thinkers and doers. 

1.  Encourage our young people to explore technology beyond Facebook and Twitter. The jobs that will be in demand in five to 10 years have not even been defined yet. Twenty years ago we had no clue what a web content manager does. Give our young people the freedom to explore.

2.  Enough of the volatile political divisions; a country divided will never stand. In the end we are still one SVG, so let’s find civil ways to disagree peacefully and vote for whomever we please in private.

3.  While sports and the arts are very important to a young person’s development, we also need to emphasize the importance of a STEM-based curriculum: Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. It’s the direction the globe is heading in.

4.  SVG has lots of smart people right on the island. Let’s strike a balance where we can mesh the expertise of Vincentians at home with those abroad. Together we can go further much faster. Find ways to incorporate the expertise of Vincentians living abroad. We may have left SVG but SVG is still in our blood. Too many people feel threatened by that expertise and, at the same time, too many Vincentians in SVG automatically assume that because someone lives abroad they must know more.  

5.  Let’s invest in the emotional wellbeing of our citizens. While formal education is critical to success, too many people derail their educational accomplishments because their emotional development is lacking. Your ability to build and sustain relationships without compromising your morals and values are essential to overall success.

6.  Allow a person to try and fail without holding it over their head for the rest of their life. People who are successful were given the space to try and fail many times over, but we only focus on what works and call them exceptional. In small communities like SVG, we remember the failings of people for the rest of their lives and we sometimes never give them a chance to grow and try again. We forever define them by their failures, make fun of them, and stifle their progress. Time to move on.

This weekend, as you enjoy the festivities of Independence, think about how you, too, can be an independent thinker and doer.

Karen Hinds is “The Workplace Success Expert.” For a FREE SPECIAL REPORT on Avoiding Career Killers in the Workplace, send an email to
Visit online at