Recent Thoughts

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

A true leader does not give up on his flock

I read from somewhere that there are six types of leaders: 1) Political - kings, governments, etc; 2) Military - generals, heroes, etc; 3) Social - leaders of reform, activists, etc; 4) Cultural - artists, musicians, philosophers, etc; 5) Economic - leaders of industry, CEOs, etc; and 6) Religious - high priests, popes, etc.

"Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things."
~Peter F. Drucker

If you ask me, there only two: one who leads to be recognized and one who leads to serve. Unfortunately for us Filipinos, we have more leaders of the former kind than the latter.

Take for example, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. While watching the evening news yesterday, I had one realization: that in effect, GMA is worse than Erap. Why so for me? Allow me to code switch for more impact, hehe: Si Erap, ninanakawan ang mga Pilipino. Si GMA, ninakawan na ang mga Pilipino, nang-gagago pa.

I could argue though that Erap made a fool out of the masses by still pretending all this time that he is innocent. So yes, nang-gagago din siya. But the thing is, Erap's clout is only applicable to the uneducated masses and a few rich people who are just as gago as him. But GMA, oh, don't get me started on her, haha! She had the gall to pretend to be something else other than what she really is: a cheater, corrupt and a disgrace to all Filipino leaders. Her (office's) press releases, official statements or explanations on all controversies / issues hounding her administration makes me sick! Does she really think she could fool people - as in even the educated middle class (and upper one at that)? It's one thing to cheat in the elections. It's another bribe people with millions. But to execute and pardon a convicted corrupt leader just to stay in power? Gard, she needs psychological help.

Back in my high school, we were taught to be servant leaders. Well, at least our teachers and superiors tried to. When you're in senior year, you are supposed to be in-charge of the student affairs of the school, right? I mean, as a senior, you are the logical choice to be the officers of student groups or clubs, team captains of sports teams, the lead editors of your school paper, etc. But in my senior year, I kinda laid low. While the rest of my classmates who were also running for honors like me ran for multiple leadership positions in multiple clubs and student groups, I only chose to run in one club and I even lost -- just because my friends in that club were having lunch during the election, hehe! Why didn't I join the bandwagon of running for leadership positions just to up my extra-curricular activity grade and up my chances to be the Valedictorian? Dahil ayokong makipag-sabayan sa mga pumapapel, wala namang binatbat.

I hated the way my classmates would run for officership just for the sake of having a 'position'. Imagine someone who can't even get his subject-verb agreement right in his sentences, and yet he won as the president of the English Club. Imagine someone who smokes (outside school grounds, at least) and yet he's an officer of the Junior Drugwatch club, which by the way, promotes abstinence from drugs and smoking. And the list of ironies goes on and on.

In college, thank God, it was a different ballgame. This time, extra-curricular activities had no bearing on my grade. (Not that I paid particular attention to my grade, hehe!). In fact, my extra-curricular responsibilities took its toll on my acads. But when I honed my leadership skills in college, I knew I wanted to be the leader for the right reason -- I wanted to serve.

And I simply knew I was the best. Haha! Joke! Noble na sana eh no, naging conceited pa?! Haha!

While the UP culture helps shape its students to the right kind of leaders that our nations will need someday, may nakakalusot pa rin. We (UP students) all know that not all Student Council candidates aim to serve the student body. We all know that some students only join organizations and eventually lead in those organizations just for curriculum vitae purposes. In fact, my own organization is not exempt from these kind of leaders who are only driven by their desire to be famous or recognized instead of being driven by genuine concern and passion to serve, to make things better. Pero ganun talaga, may mga ganoong tao talaga.

So what do we do? Well, we are in a democratic country, so to a certain extent, we can do something about it.

As I type this post, my right index finger is stained violet because I voted in the Barangay Elections yesterday. I was reluctant to 'waste' my time on vote for people I don't even know, but I voted anyway. For the Barangay Captain, I voted my brother-in-law's candidate. I trust Kuya Dennis' judgment for Kuya Dennis himself is some sort of leader in our community here so he knows better. As for the Kagawads, well, my strategy was to vote for all the women candidates. I am not really super passionate about women's rights but I figured, we should have more women leaders. Ayoko naman na puro mga lolo ang mga iboboto ko para sa Kagawad, diba? I know that I didn't take the elections as seriously as I should, but believe me, when it comes to Presidential Elections, I do make it a point to have an educated choice, especially in the elections last May 2007.

Let me end my thoughts on leadership by encouraging you to register and vote during our elections. We have a huge voting population and it is not as wise as it should be just because educated and young people like us feel it's too much hassle to visit our local Comelec offices and get ourselves registered. Kaya nananalo ang mga gago eh, kasi walang bumoboto sa mga matitino. If you are of age and you're not yet registered, please make sure to register yourself in time for the 2010 Presidential Elections (sa 2009 pa yun, pero wala lang, para aware kayo, hehe). Let us make sure that leaders like GMA will not be elected anymore.

I'm back! Well, at least I hope to be. The truth is, I didn't want to have a serious topic for my sort-of-comeback post. But I just really wanted to share these thoughts of mine. Mayroon kasi akong kilala na mag-reresign soon eh, baka sakaling ma-enlighten siya, hehe! Sana si GMA yun, kasama ng lahat ng tuta niya at ni Erap. So while a true leader does not give up on his flock, kung hindi ka naman talaga leader in the truest sense of the word, edi huwag ka na lang mag-lider-lideran, diba?

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