Michael Joseph one of YCLA contenders

Editors note: The Young Caymanian Leadership Awards will be held 17 February. The Caymanian Compass will feature each of the five nominees throughout this week.

What was your initial reaction to the news of becoming one of the five finalists for the 2007 Young Caymanian Leadership Awards?

At first my reaction was disbelief, and when convinced otherwise, I was instantly humbled, a little bewildered but definitely thrilled.

Who has inspired you most in your life and how did they do that?

I am inspired on a daily basis by those that I have the pleasure to work with, but my close-knit family has been the most inspirational of all. I have been blessed with a special family; a father’s calm soul, humour and unwavering support; a mother’s sweet nature, kindness and efficiency; a brother’s intelligence, wisdom and vision; his wife’s stamina and guidance and my niece’s innocence; my sister’s smile, energy and joie de vivre; and my beautiful girlfriend’s gentle heart, love, support and deep rooted friendship. They have each, in their own right, influenced and inspired me and together they have helped build my foundation.

However, if I were to choose one source of inspiration it would be that of my father. Despite the genuine hardships that he was forced to face in the first 20 years of his life he has still managed to create a happy and healthy family, a successful and reputable business and a world of friends. His humour, charm, family devotion, honour and respect are only some of his many admirable attributes.

Define Leadership.

Leadership is the ability to cope with any situation, no matter how tough, informal, happy, sad or uncomfortable, and then to do so with poise, patience and respect for others.

You must lead by example, be fearless and confident, motivational and energetic, be impartial and fair, admit your errors, listen and learn. We can better ourselves by opening our minds and learning from each other as a team.

What does it mean to you to become a finalist for the 2007 YCLA?

Asides from the clear honour of being nominated in the first instance, to be a finalist of such a prestigious and well respected award has already given me a sense of accomplishment.

I am proud to be chosen as one of the five finalists.

There are so many talented and motivated young Caymanians who form the future of our country and I have been presented with an opportunity to perhaps further influence them in a positive way.

I want to encourage them to have civic duty, share environmental concerns and awareness and to get involved in the community overall. No matter how large or small, we must all lend a hand where possible to help create and maintain a bright future for Cayman in all respects.