Dis­eases of lead­er­ship

Sun Star Bacolod - - Opinion -


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*

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