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Managing Yourself

How Business Principles Can Be Applied in Government

If we look at government the same way we look at business, and our politicians as managers, then that would make us citizens its shareholders. Sadly, we Filipinos would have to give our country failing, or at best, uneven marks. Despite its mandate to help citizens enjoy better quality of life, the government seems to be perpetuating a broken system that still sees millions stuck in poverty with thousands more preferring to leave the country.

Do leaders have to choose? Words vs. action

“If a man carrying half a bucket of water passes you by, you can hear all kinds of water sputtering. If, however, he carries a full bucket of water, it will be much quieter.” When it is only half full, the bucket is lighter and is likely to shake back and forth, whereas a full bucket will be steady because it becomes heavier.

Are you a value-creating leader?

While the ideation and synthesis phases often require decision-making and discussion, during prototyping a more fluid and organic interaction came into play. The team members were still making decisions, but they did so by visualizing and, quite literally, building on each other’s ideas. To some extent, I would argue that Eastern cultures were more comfortable with this way of working than Western cultures, which tend to be more comfortable in discussing and debating a focus point or idea.

Why Leadership Isn’t About ‘Always Taking Charge’

Leadership is one of those shiny concepts that seems to be so out of reach for the regular Joe. The leaders are the big shots, the bosses, who call the shots and tell everyone else what to do. Many people imagine the leader to be the most active, the most vocal, the most dominant person in the group. But in reality, one key leadership quality is actually the capacity to listen.

Negotiation: Key to win-win situations

It’s all about finding ways to make a “bigger pie” for everybody to enjoy. Negotiation is key and it involves “active listening.” Interestingly, a huge part of negotiation is listening on a deeper and more intuitive level to what motivates people and groups. While concrete factors like profit or ROI are easily quantifiable, many negotiations hinge on understanding psychological needs like individuals’ need for independence, personal agency, or recognition.