On leadership: Slowly but surely

364 days is not enough to clean up multiple decades of unjust, mess and uncontrollable corruption. Even the elected tricycle drivers association president cannot just lower the price of “prangkisa” or cannot just ask about the route to take because of the process and the culture which everyone is used to but as what they said, nobody can please everyone and for all the effort there’s always critics.

The question is about visibility of the leader of the state. Which unlike his predecessors are more for a show but what are the consequences? Billions of dollars are in debt, poverty felt and economic progress declined.

For May 2010 election, the people show support by electing the one that didn’t asked for it from the start. Maybe the hope and change that everyone was looking for lies in the son of a hero. As the son of the former President of the Philippines, wealthy bachelor and a famous family clan under his belt maybe just some of the reasons why he didn’t strive before to become the most influential leader in the country.

From www.mb.net , He said his determination to rid the bureaucracy of corruption is paying off — business confidence is back and the economy is stronger.

Some of his accomplishements that maybe the majority of the population are not aware of or doesn’t care at all are as follows:

1. The issuance of Executive Order #7 ordering the suspension of all privileges of officials of 122 government-owned and -controlled corporations and government financial institutions that resulted in savings of P2.5 million.

2. The Philippines’ winning the case on the Ninoy Aquino International Airport 3 also saved the government P43.4 billion.

3. The President’s order to stop negotiated contracts with the Department of Public Works and Highways and the re-bidding of urgently-needed projects also saved the government P934.1 million.

4. He said his order to defer the purchase of a helicopter for the Department of Defense due to allegations that it favors one company allowed the government to set aside P3.6 billion.

5. The President said he has ordered a thorough study on the P18.5 billion Laguna de Bay project to avoid waste of money.

6. The Chief Executive noted that weather forecasting has improved from the every-six-hour update to an hourly, more focused weather update when he ordered the change in the stewardship of the country’s weather bureau and saved the government billions of pesos.

According to Barbara White, How often do you hear the comment, “He or she is a born leader?” There are certain characteristics found in some people that seem to naturally put them in a position where they’re looked up to as a leader.

In Philippines with more or less than 95 million in population, the majority of the masses are not watching news on television, can’t afford to buy newspapers and don’t have any access to internet. Filipinos wants to feel the change by means of measurements in which they usually used in their everyday life or activities such as:

1. Lower price of basic commodities such as food or oil
2. Decrease in crime rate
3. Accessibility to free medical needs
4. Infrastructure projects
5. Peso exchange rate
6. Housing programs
7. Work availability to everyone

These activities and basic needs are common needs not only in the Philippines but in any other countries. As the developing country, Kofi Annan, former Secretary General of the United Nations, defined a developed country as follows. “A developed country is one that allows all its citizens to enjoy a free and healthy life in a safe environment.”

Good health and safe environment are both a necessity in the Philippines. To enjoy life, the citizens must have good and established work to sustain the basic needs such as food, clothing, home, medicine and good education. As the developing country and with billions of dollars in debt to other countries, the President of this nation will have a hard time to turnaround the existing situation unless everyone from the Baranggay level will cooperate.

According to Barbara White, “Whether in fact a person is born a leader or develops skills and abilities to become a leader is open for debate. There are some clear characteristics that are found in good leaders.” These qualities can be developed or may be naturally part of their personality and here are her study with regards to a qualities of a good leader.

Seven Personal Qualities Found In A Good Leader:

1. A good leader has an exemplary character. It is of utmost importance that a leader is trustworthy to lead others. A leader needs to be trusted and be known to live their life with honestly and integrity. A good leader “walks the talk” and in doing so earns the right to have responsibility for others. True authority is born from respect for the good character and trustworthiness of the person who leads.

2. A good leader is enthusiastic about their work or cause and also about their role as leader. People will respond more openly to a person of passion and dedication. Leaders need to be able to be a source of inspiration, and be a motivator towards the required action or cause. Although the responsibilities and roles of a leader may be different, the leader needs to be seen to be part of the team working towards the goal. This kind of leader will not be afraid to roll up their sleeves and get dirty.

3. A good leader is confident. In order to lead and set direction a leader needs to appear confident as a person and in the leadership role. Such a person inspires confidence in others and draws out the trust and best efforts of the team to complete the task well. A leader who conveys confidence towards the proposed objective inspires the best effort from team members.

4. A leader also needs to function in an orderly and purposeful manner in situations of uncertainty. People look to the leader during times of uncertainty and unfamiliarity and find reassurance and security when the leader portrays confidence and a positive demeanor.

5. Good leaders are tolerant of ambiguity and remain calm, composed and steadfast to the main purpose. Storms, emotions, and crises come and go and a good leader takes these as part of the journey and keeps a cool head.

6. A good leader as well as keeping the main goal in focus is able to think analytically. Not only does a good leader view a situation as a whole, but is able to break it down into sub parts for closer inspection. Not only is the goal in view but a good leader can break it down into manageable steps and make progress towards it.

7. A good leader is committed to excellence. Second best does not lead to success. The good leader not only maintains high standards, but also is proactive in raising the bar in order to achieve excellence in all areas.

Sometimes the issue is not only about leadership but integrity and honesty. Greed is one reason why a good leader became a dictator at the end. As a private citizen, observant and aware of what’s happening, it is better to be slow, not visible on television or press conferences as long as the executive leader is doing his job, quietly.