Why is Leadership more important than platforms?

For almost 15 years, I always tried to ignore politics. My mom and dad would always push¬†me to register at the local commission of elections office, but every time I see the pile of people trying to get their names registered, I always step back and go home because I hate¬†falling in line for a long period of time. I grew up hating TV Patrol, GMA News, CNN, and all the news segments of ABS-CBN and GMA until recently, I was able to buy my own TV from my salary and I started to become conscious about the national issues (politics, crime, economy, business, etc.) that our country is facing. Luckily, our local baranggay had a special registration and my mom said there were no lines yet since it’s still lunch break. I was very excited to get my bio-metrics captured, and I am now officially a registered voter, after almost 15 years of attempting to register and exercise my right to vote.

The May 2016 election is going to be a significant part of my life since I will be joining one of the most sought after elections in Philippine history. Because I want to make this election a little bit special, I have spent so much time researching about the candidates and joining a lot of forums and town-hall forums examining their profiles, capabilities, platforms, and attitude. Recently, I watched the second round of the debate for the aspiring candidates for the highest position in the government office of the Philippines. Because I am currently in a leadership position at work, much of what they say and what they do on that podium is relatively applicable even for small organizations in the corporate world. So here are my takeaways:

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1. Leadership is not just a role, it’s also an authority – Many of us usually define a leader as someone who manages the entire flow of day to day operations. While it’s true that we make sure that things work smoothly, it’s very important that we anticipate moments that require us to exercise our authority. An example would be Mayor Duterte’s question to Sen. Grace Poe about her action plan if somebody wakes her up in the middle of the night and tell her that some portion of our armed forces of the Philippines were paralyzed by the ongoing issues in the Spratly’s island. Exercising authority in the midst of crisis is also true in our workplace. When we experience a bump and halts the smooth flow of operations, we have to put our arm and implement immediate solutions that will prevent clogging.

2. Leadership comes from the heart, Platforms come from the mind – Over the past few years, we’ve heard so many promises from aspiring candidates every election period. Some would even say they will change the world to the extent of impossibilities. While it’s true that ideas are great, it’s also important that we consider how ideas will be executed. As a leader, we have to play fair and be open to the ideas of others (even if they are your worst enemies). Ideas from different people will not compromise your image as a leader. It is a starting point of your execution. What sustains execution is leadership and leadership is not a skill that can be acquired through studying. Leadership is an intangible asset that comes from the heart.

Many of our aspiring leaders today will present various platforms and plans for their people. They will give you a bird’s eye view of what will happen when they sit down to the position, or they can give you even the smallest details of their plans. Promises are not bad – in fact they give an impression to people because they see what’s ahead of them. The most critical part is when nothing sustains their execution. Similarly, planning things in the corporate world is also a good idea – you give your employees a glimpse of your goals and strategies. But, to reach goals and execute a process, it takes an intangible asset to sustain it – it’s called “LEADERSHIP”.

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