The continuous immersion of the youth in social media is what makes them the most politically progressive and involved generation. Through their social media accounts they can freely express their opinions on issues without a threat of censorship from the government. This involvement is what makes them gain the power as change-makers in the society.
Leadership is a very broad word. You will find a lot of definitions from the dictionary. People who are experienced in public service might give us a layman’s term of leadership from their experience. I believe that passionate youth leaders in the Philippines are already saturated with facts and definitions of the word. What they need is a concrete manifestation of how effective leadership is done.
As a young leader, this is my personal take on how we can significantly change our Philippines.
- Be with the right people.
Being with the people you are comfortable with helps in making your team productive. If we want to change something in the society, we should have an army behind us which is composed of the people who share the same drive and passion. No one gets “there” alone. As young leaders, we should connect ourselves with the people who have the same vision of contributing to nation-building. We should find ourselves in the right place with the right people.
What I learned is that in order for us to maintain the best people in the group, there should be a balance of work and fun. I remember one employee told me on the summit “We work hard and we play hard.” As leaders, we should provide a leeway for our constituents or members to enjoy life. They should not always be feeling pressured in the workplace. As leaders, we should create a family environment and make them feel that they are valued. We should make them feel that they are less living in a business environment.
2. Foster a good reputation.
Reputation is what every Filipino young leader should positively possess. As Don Jon Ramon Aboitiz tours us in their ancestral home, there is one anecdote from him that really struck me. And I quote, “For us (the Aboitizes), reputation is more important than money.”
Knowing that they are one of the business magnates in the country, it made me feel that it’s ironic for him to say that. But as the summit went on, I realized that what he said was right. As young leaders, we should start practicing Palabra De Honor, for it is the best way for us to earn trust and credibility. No matter what happen, we should stick with the promises that we address to our people. We should actuate our promises so as not to give them false hope and disappointment.
After gaining inspiration from globally respected leaders, we should have an avenue to transform that inspiration to vision, and eventually, to action. As young leaders, our leadership should transpire outputs in our organizations and community. The easiest way to significantly help our country is to volunteer on community activities. Through volunteering, we get to interact with other people in the community and we slowly understand their condition. Through that, we learn their needs that the government sometimes fail to deliver. As young leaders, we should take the initiative to address their needs in the best possible way we can. Donating relief goods to the victims during calamities already means a lot. How much more if we are going to personally reach them out in their places? We should have a clear advocacy and unite together to actuate it. As young leaders, we don’t really need to be in a big and popular organization for us to be able to start our own initiative.
How Bianca Gonzalez started her life as a youth advocate was very simple. She is a graduate of Mass Communication and is fond of updating her blog. Her blog is where she writes her opinions on issues back then. Until she entered show business and her blog posts become viral. Her written works moved the social consciousness of the youth and they started to follow and support her on her advocacy.
4. Exhibit humility.
Humility is what makes me fascinated with every people I get to know. If we want to improve as leaders, we should humble ourselves that we don’t know anything in this world.
As young leaders, I know that we are achievers in our own little way, but those achievements should not make us complacent. We should be humble enough to accept that we still have to strive more. Through humility, leaders can create enduring relationships with its people. They create loyalty that glues them to be a stronger team.
I was really fascinated with the humility and generosity of the Aboitizes. It made me realize that no matter how successful you are in the world of business, you should know how to be human and not isolate yourself from ordinary people. With the small chitchats I had with the Aboitiz executives (Don Jon Ramon Aboitiz, Mr. William Paradies and Ms. Ana Aboitiz-Delgado) they made me realize that as a leader it is essential that you know how to interact well and most importantly you should have an empathetic heart that can feel for your people. It does not matter if you carry a prominent name in the industry, what is important is that your people can reach you whenever they need you. You should know how to consult your people and listen to them. As young leaders, keeping a low profile as leaders is a value that we should emulate.
5. Enrich other people’s lives.
This I think should be the core of every initiative that youth leaders will do. After every project that we do in school or in the community, our success should be measured on how we positively affected the lives of the people there. I am still firm with how I admire the Corporate and Social Responsibility of the Aboitiz Group. For them, true CSR should be incorporated in the business model and should not only be done solely as part of the company’s PR. I remember when I asked Mr. Sonny Carpio during the forum, I asked him how can there be a sustainable CSR. He answered, “CSR should be done with a passionate heart.” In Aboitiz, they believe that their company should grow with the community. For them, money can’t buy true happiness, it is only through giving back (CSR) that one can truly feel contentment in life.
The summit inspired me to continue my passion towards significantly changing our Philippines. Having met wonderful people in the persona of my fellow delegates and the Aboitizes relived my hope that as a youth, I am not alone in fighting the battle towards a more progressive and transparent Philippines.
Significantly Changing our Philippines is an obligation that we should do. As young leaders, let us remove the idea of recognition and negative intention, let us do things because we are passionate about it. Let us serve our country wholeheartedly.
My sincerest gratitude to my AFLBS 8 family for imparting to me the values of Integrity, Teamwork, Responsibility, Innovation and Passion for Better Ways, thank you also for the warm hospitality and kindness of the organizing committee of AFLBS for attending to our needs as delegates. Surely, the AFLBS summit is something I will never forget. See you on Aboitiz’ CSR events! 🙂