Effective leadership is first and foremost efficient servanthood. This is neither simply poetic verbiage nor merely a nice sound byte. It is living reality in these times when glorious royalty is already archaic and grandiose dictatorship is rightfully considered passé. The more altruistic a leader becomes, the better this make his or her subordinates dutiful and constituents compliant. The truth is that just as honor really comes from those honoring someone, so too does trust actually originates from those relating with the person thus trusted. That is why just as honor is merited by the honoree, trust is earned by the trustee—from those who know and thus look up to them.
And this brings to fore the social cost of a distrusted—discredited, dishonored, disrespected—leadership. The truth is that the higher the public office is held by a distrusted leader, the greater, the more extensive and destructive is the social cost. And the more distrusted a national leader is, the greater is its social cost to the nation, to the people. When a country is looked upon as the "Most Corrupt" in a continent and when its national leader is rated as the "Most Corrupt" the nation ever had, the devastating and pervasive composite social cost of such a double jeopardy is catastrophic. As the locals jeer and jest about their own national leader, the foreigners are not only alienated from the country but also either pity or look down on its people.
More than just merely condemning the political opposition and media, clearly oppressing the non-subservient business and industry, placating the poor and hungry populace by rice and grocery grants, the ruling much distrusted national leadership better come to grip with the great damage it is costing the country and the immense havoc it is causing the people. The periodic surveys locally done by reputable entities say one and the same pitiful result, viz., there is less and less trust for and approval of the ruling national leader. Recent periodic judgments pronounced by foreign based transparency and accountability groups say exactly the same thing in the reserve, viz., there are more and more graft and corrupt practices in the country under the watch of the same insistent national leadership.
That it why: The queen-pin of government say one thing, people either hears the opposite or expects the reverse to happen. The proudly envisioned "super regions" have in fact become inferior places. The celebration for a powerful peso has turned into lamentation as it buys less and less commodities. The Philippines has already been glowingly predicted as a fast emerging first world country—besieged in the meantime by the living and demeaning question: Where is the rice?
But there is a silver lining in all these dark national horizon and foreboding Philippine scenery. While the present administration is lost, not all certainly is lost. While the present government is hopeless, definitely not all is hopeless. The country has one distinct positive potential and formidable reserve. THIS: THE MILLION AND ONE FILIPINOS WHO ARE STILL PRINCIPLED, WHO WILL BE GREAT NATIONAL AND LOCAL LEADERS, WHO ARE WAITING TO BE HARNESSED AS HONORABLE AND TRUSTED PUBLIC SERVANTS.
26 May 2008