A Simple Lesson From My Father

I’m the eldest of 3 boys, and all of us now with families and kids. Still to this day, when we are with our father walking beside him, he would sometimes still hold our hands.

This thought brings me way back to 2005 in Paris. I was fortunate enough to get him there with my mom and brother. I remember strolling by Champ-Elysees when suddenly he brought our attention to a grand hotel with an open window. He described that scene as very fortunate people enjoying breakfast in one of the finest in the world. I sensed the grandeur of Paris, the moment, the smiles, and the happy people.

He paused, gave us time to internalize the scene, and then proceeded to say, “there are those people in our small hometown in the Philippines, having simple breakfast with their coffee, but just as happy.”

It’s a lesson. It is not about where you are; it’s the moment and who you are with that matters.

Simple Lesson on Servant Leadership

My 10-year-old son came to my home office. He saw two books about leadership on my desk and immediately shared a blunt observation that stunned me. He said, “You are reading leadership books and yet you are not a good leader.”

Surprised by what he said, I began to probe what he meant to say. My son, who is a prolific coder at his age, amused me with his explanation. He said, “Dad, if you are a good leader, as CIO you should be coding with your team, you are more of a boss, because you just tell them what to do.” I got a good reminder on servant leadership!

That’s right, since I don’t get to code anymore, I am merely overhead unless I bring out the best in my team and develop leadership qualities in them. Leaders must find ways to have meaningful engagements with their team. I believe that leaders that engage their people get to know what they think. They have a finger on the pulse of the organization and can lead effectively.