Diseases of leadership
HILE I was browsing Facebook early morning of Saturday, July 27, 2019 an article shared by Dr. Evelyn R. Fetalvero caught my attention. The article about the “15 Diseases of Leadership” according to Pope Francis is written by Gary Hamel, a visiting professor at London Business School and published by Harvard Business Review in their website https://hbr.org/.
The writer mentioned that Pope Francis has made no secret of his intention to radically reform the administrative structures of the Catholic Church, which he regards as insular, imperious, and bureaucratic. He understands that in a hyperkinetic world, inward-looking and self-obsessed leaders are a liability.
Last year’s Pope’s message to his colleagues was blunt and said that they are susceptible to an array of debilitating maladies, including arrogance, intolerance, myopia, and pettiness. He added that when those diseases go untreated, the organization itself is enfeebled. He concluded that to have a healthy church, we need healthy leaders.
Hamel in his article said that the Catholic Church is a bureaucracy: a hierarchy populated by good-hearted, but lessthan-perfect souls. In that sense, it’s not much different than our organization. That’s why the Pope’s counsel is relevant to leaders everywhere.
Hamel summarized the message of Pope Francis into 15 Leadership Diseases, as follows:
1. The disease of thinking we are immortal, immune, or downright indispensable, [and therefore] neglecting the need for regular check-ups. A leadership team which is not selfcritical, which does not keep up with things, which does not seek to be more fit, is a sick body.
2. Another disease is excessive busyness. It is found in those who immerse themselves in work and inevitably neglect to “rest a while.” Neglecting needed rest leads to stress and agitation.
3. Then there is the disease of mental and [emotional] “petrification.” It is found in leaders who have a heart of stone, the “stiff-necked;” in those who in the course of time lose their interior serenity, alertness and daring, and hide under a pile of papers, turning into paper pushers and not men and women of compassion.
4. The disease of excessive planning and of functionalism. When a leader plans everything down to the last detail and believes that with perfect planning things will fall into place, he or she becomes an accountant or an office manager.
5. The disease of poor coordination. Once leaders lose a sense of community among themselves, the body loses its harmonious functioning and its equilibrium; it then becomes an orchestra that produces noise: its members do not work together and lose the spirit of camaraderie and teamwork.
6. There is also a sort of “leadership Alzheimer’s disease.” It consists in losing the memory of those who nurtured, mentored and supported us in our own journeys.
7. The disease of rivalry and vainglory. When appearances, our perks, and our titles become the primary object in life, we forget our fundamental duty as leaders—to “do nothing from selfishness or conceit but in humility count others better than ourselves.”
8. The disease of existential schizophrenia. This is the disease of those who live a double life, the fruit of that hypocrisy typical of the mediocre and of a progressive emotional emptiness which no [accomplishment or] title can fill.
9. The disease of gossiping, grumbling, and back-biting. This is a grave illness which begins simply, perhaps even in small talk, and takes over a person, making him become a “sower of weeds” and in many cases, a cold-blooded killer of the good name of colleagues.
10. The disease of idolizing superiors. This is the disease of those who court their superiors in the hope of gaining their favor.
11. The disease of indifference to others. This is where each leader thinks only of himself or herself, and loses the sincerity and warmth of [genuine] human relationships.
12. The disease of a downcast face. You see this disease in those glum and dour persons who think that to be serious you have to put on a face of melancholy and severity, and treat others—especially those we consider our inferiors—with rigor, brusqueness and arrogance.
13. The disease of hoarding. This occurs when a leader tries to fill an existential void in his or her heart by accumulating material goods, not out of need but only in order to feel secure.
14. The disease of closed circles, where belonging to a clique becomes more powerful than our shared identity. This disease too always begins with good intentions, but with the passing of time it enslaves its members and becomes a cancer which threatens the harmony of the organization and causes immense evil, especially to those we treat as outsiders.
15. Lastly, the disease of extravagance and self-exhibition. This happens when a leader turns his or her service into power, and uses that power for material gain, or to acquire even greater power.
This corner hopes that if you already identify the disease/s hounding you to perform better, try to change paradigm to maximize your potentials for the benefit of those you are serving.* T
HE issue of having a Un-backed human rights group investigate the country’s human rights situation only became a focal point when President
Duterte started his relentless war on drugs upon his assumption into office in 2016.
It even became a magnet for foreign investigative scope when it was notoriously described as bloody, when the count of dead bodies was adding up and incidental killings rising, too, characterized as collateral damage.
Three years into his presidency and Duterte is just as determined and fierce in waging war against what appears to be a never ending flow of drugs into the country that, instead of being reported to the authorities, are being peddled with impunity destroying the social fabric that binds us together and compromising the future of young Filipinos.
Thus, I understand every time Duterte expresses his outrage against the proliferation and use of drugs because we are seeing today that many parents are working abroad to be able to earn sufficient amount of money to provide comfortable living for their families, but also leaving behind vulnerable children that may very well fall prey to drug vultures abounding in the whole country today.
This is what some sanctimonious human rights group, the latest of which is the UN Human Rights Council, does not understand. President Duterte is taking to heart his moral obligation as leader of the country to protect the lives of innocent Filipinos and if it takes for his administration’s police force to kill the menace and evil of society, then so be it. I think he knows what he is doing.
I am not expressing my opposition to foreign human rights group or Western countries advocating for the respect of human rights if they can just be objective in their approach. By being objective it shall be without discrimination, especially knowing that human rights are rights inherent to all human beings, regardless of race, sex, nationality, ethnicity, language, religion, or any other status.
But why are foreign human rights group so obsessed at probing into the Philippines’ human rights situation and so indifferent to the massive and systematic human rights violations taking place at the US southern border with Mexico, where the US Border Patrol is holding many children, including some who are much too young to take care of themselves, in jail-like border facilities for weeks at a time without contact with family members, or regular access to showers, clean clothes, toothbrushes, or proper beds? Many are dying, too, so do these not brazenly violate federal and international laws?
As a third world country, thank goodness that ours is still “a government of laws, not of men” that even Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin has implied that our justice system is “robust” and insists that other countries should not interfere in the internal affairs of the Philippines. Following the rule of law, we are simply eliminating an evil that tends to destroy the future of our country and its youth, as oppose to preachy human rights advocates who violate their very own visions of a world where every person lives with dignity, freedom, justice, equality and peace*