After guesting in Make a Difference, a radio program on leadership, about a week ago, I found myself thinking about Filipino leadership.
If you look at the past articles here at the Transformational Leadership Blog, we mainly covered and presented leadership concepts from the West, particularly from American authors!
Now that I moved my blog to a .PH domain, the question of Filipino Leadership concepts and principles creeps on me; especially now that I am preparing more articles!
I have no doubt that we have Filipino leaders. From the Philippine Revolution, Andres Bonifacio and Jose Rizal figure prominently. Political figures like Manuel Quezon, Sergio Osmena and Corazon Aquino left their marks in history. In the social sector, Tony Meloto and Efren Penaflorida (they’re both very alive, by the way!) showed us that making a difference in our society is everybody’s job!
Most of them, though, did not spouse any particular leadership style. Or at least, it’s not as we were accustomed to. Business and economic life dominates public information and discourse in the United States. So it’s the business that rise to fame and prominence.
Besides, Americans can access millions of books on leadership and biography of leaders. In the Philippines, I can count in my fingers the books on Filipino leadership that I’m aware of.
Why we lack Filipino Leadership Concepts
What accounts for this glaring lack of mainstream Filipno leadership concepts in the 21st century?
We’re not a reading public.
It’s not very profitable to produce books on leadership. Apart from MBA students and a few enthusiasts like me, not a lot of Filipinos will buy books written about leaders and leadership. But then, again, we see all sorts of Leadership books become bestsellers at the National Bookstore. Probably, the content of the materials, themselves, might not be appealing to people.
Few authors publish books on Filipino leadership. Only a handful of authors published books on leadership concepts for Filipinos by Filipinos. So, we’re left wondering how to apply Western-principles, with their own set of cultural assumptions, into our own settings.
As a people, we may have become disappointed with our leaders.
It’s easy to overhear your friends or neighbor criticizing the government and the leaders that run the country. They would sigh and feel resigned that this is the society we have! We probably became cynical because of the rampant corruption and lack of integrity in the government.
We don’t understand our culture.
After 300 years of Spanish colonial rule, 50 years of American occupation, we hardly understand our culture apart from cultural baggages imposed on our collective consciousness. With multinational companies and globalization raging in our country, we’re caught up in a global identity that could undermine our own culture.
First, we need to filter the leadership concepts and principles we encounter. Let’s first take a look at our own needs, situations and culture before we “forklift” leadership concepts that are loaded with their own cultural assumptions. Secondly, let us go back to our culture and look at leadership principles already at work. We may not know yet how to call these principles or concepts, but I’m sure that we see it, we’ll recognize it.
What do you think?
Are you aware of Filipino Leadership concepts, principles and practices? If not, share your thoughts on why we don’t have a lot of these?
Books on Filipino Leadership
If you’re interested in learning more about Filipino Leadership, here’s a list of books and authors you might want to read.
In Search of Filipino Leadership by Anselmo Lupdag
Published by New Day Publishers
Leadership and pagkakaisa towards an understanding of the Tao’s concept of development by Teresita B. Obusan.
Published by Manlalathala
Baranganic leadership : the secret of Filipino leadership / by Mina M. Ramirez and Serafin D. Talisayon.
Published by Manlalathala
Leadership processes in two successful Filipino NGOs / by Adela C. Beringuela.
Filipino religious psychology : ulat ng Unang Kumperensyang Rehiyonal sa Sikolohiyang Pilipino, 13-15 Enero, 1977, Divine Word University, Tacloban City / edited by Leonardo N. Mercado.
Puso ng apoy, ang lider = Heart of fire, the leader : leadership self-discovery primer for young readers / Philip D. Tangco.
Chinese big business in the Philippines : political leadership and change / Theresa Chong Carino.
Defining Filipino Leadership by Ma. Assunta C. Cuyegkeng & Antonette Palma-Angeles
Ateneo de Manila University Press
Except the last one, these books are available at the Main Library of the University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City.