A True Leader
|Posted by Manila Mail under Making a Difference|
By Hermie Climaco
Considering our cultural and social upbringing we can hardly see top-level officials doing tasks that according to our standards only those in the lower rank are expected to do.
But two weeks ago I?ve observed something that changed my perception on this.
Seeing the embassy grounds well-covered with snow-sleets one Friday morning after a snowfall, Philippine Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM), Carlos Sorreta, along with admin assistant Carlos Regalario, stepped out of the embassy building and cleared the driveway from snow. Sorreta was later joined by police affairs assistant SPO4 Fabio Crisostomo and consular assistant Rodolfo Gaspar, who were stunned by the DCMs action.
Some said the DCM shouldnt be seen doing that since there are embassy staff who can do the task.
This leads me to ask the question, what is a leader?
One definition said that a leader is one who guides or is in command or one in a position of influence or importance. Another definition said that a leader is someone who people choose to follow.
My own definition for a leader is based from my exposure with Couples For Christ (CFC) who goes by the word servant leadership with Jesus Christ as model. For us, believers, Jesus is king and God. But Jesus didnt act like king and God when he lived on earth two thousand years ago.
When then Vice-President Gloria Arroyo took over as president of the Philippines, she initiated a moral-recovery program in Malacanang and assigned the Couples For Christ to implement it. This leads to the conduct of CFC Christian life program (CLP) at the Office of the President of the Philippines. But right after the first day of the CLP, the participants questioned the soundness of the CFC system of having a judge from the Supreme Court prepare the juice, a lawyer mopping up the floor, and an office director serving food.
Obviously, seeing high-ranking officials doing tasks that we think only servants do is very alien to us.
Im just glad Ive become a member of CFC and got exposed to Jesus way of leadership and service.
I grew up in a family who is accustomed to having three or more house maids and house-boys at home. I had two and sometimes three house helps myself when I had my own family. This is true for most of our fellowmen back home. What has this cultural lifestyle given us? Status-symbol consciousness.
If we focus our sight on Jesus and look at how as a leader he conducted himself in serving people, perhaps we would be conducting ourselves in a different way, too. Of course, no ordinary human being can fully emulate Jesus? leadership capabilities and style. But we can always go out of our own little, limited way in serving those above or below us, whetherat home, in our workplace, or wherever we are, in the best way we can.
Its amusing to know that there is a Deputy Chief of Mission like Carlos Sorreta who is not so self-conscious of his status as DCM as to go out of his way and remove the slidy snow in the embassy driveway.
But DCM Sorreta is much more than that. Aside from being a credible deputy chief of mission he is also a person who thinks about the welfare of his staff. He is one person whom you can bring your concerns to. And, most of all, he is one person who listens to the sentiments and concerns of his people.
That is what a true leader is.