Vol. 1, No. 3 * November 4, 2008By JCI Mem. ANGELO DANIEL R. PARCON
I can never be a politician.
There I said it and I meant it. Although I come from two political institutions from both sides of my families, the Rosales Clan in Butuan from my mother’s side and the Parcon Clan in Pototan, Iloilo from my father’s side, I don’t think I have the nerve nor the gall that it takes to be a politician.
A lot asked me for the reasons why I ran for NVP for Central Visayas in JCI Philippines this year. For a simple question, I gave a simple answer.
I have been involved with the JCI movement since I was an Architecture student in college. It has molded me and formed me into who I am and what I am capable of doing over the years. In fact, I don’t think I would have had the guts nor the determination to run and win as a Councilor for the University of San Carlos Supreme Student Council had it not been for my experience with the Junior Jaycees. For two consecutive terms. I believed in my heart that the learnings, the experiences and the camaraderie that I gained within the movement has played an important and integral part in my formation. And it is for that why I decided to seek the office. To give back something to which I believe I owe a lot to.
When I was President in 2007, I was able to steer a chapter with very limited resources, both financially and in manpower, to becoming the top chapter in the Visayas. That experience gave me the opportunity to give something back to JCI. If we were able to do it within our chapter, we believed that we could also do it for the region. To give back glory to JCI. No more, no less.
As I mentioned in my previous column, leadership is innate and is already within our own individual systems. It just needs the proper nurturing and the proper situations to bring out the leaders in us. JCI prides itself as one of the unique organizations that brings out the best in us. So many have balked at the idea of doing so-called measly and small stuff when it comes to doing JCI projects. But unbeknown to them, these are the building blocks and the initial steps that they have and must take in order to be better. Better Leaders, Better Entrepreneurs, Better Persons.
Our chapter, JCI Cebu-Mactan Channel always encourages our new aspiring members to take pride in doing what they have been assigned to in their initial designations in projects that we undertake. Be it something as small as booking the venue, contacting the resource speaker or even as simple as preparing the attendance sheets. Doing these makes us attentive to the small details. Small as they may be, these small details are interconnected to become something big.
One missed small detail can in fact bring chaos to the conduct of a project. We try to teach our members that they are all part of one big network of people working together for a common cause. We make it a point that there should be no room for primadonnas. You joined the organization to become better leaders and entrepreneurs. Earn it.
NO NEED FOR BRAVADO
Call me naïve but I never try to put any color nor political ambitions in most of the things that I do. I try engage myself passionately in the ideas that I am involved with because I believe in the principles that these ideas promote. Call it a crime but I am quite proud of my being idealistic to a certain degree. And perhaps that is the reason why I can never be a politician. Politics has a way of weaning you away from your ideals and your principles and sometimes it takes so much effort to prove naysayers wrong about one’s real ambitions.
It was during our Strategic Planning Session that I realized that I never knew how to market myself properly and that was one of my Waterloos during the elections. I depended solely on Emi and Cerwin to do the PR thing for me. What was important for me was to bring across the message that I was doing it for the organization and not for my chapter, not for the people in my chapter and not even for myself.
Although Emi is a politician herself, I know and believe her motives for the such. Besides, she also has me to keep her in check. Hehehe. My cousin in Butuan has been pestering me for so long to transfer back to Butuan to seek for public office and I just shake it off with a laugh. The politics in Butuan is too complicated for my taste, in fact, most of the political protagonists there are all related one way or another by blood. Put me somewhere where I can thrive and initiate positive change without the complications nor the ass-kissing that politics require.
Some have told me that in order for me to reach the proper tiers where I can really initiate positive change, I have to do some ass-kissing myself, to play politics and to be who I am not. Even within JCI. However, I always try to tell them, if we are to initiate positive change, it has to start from us; not us shifting to that kind of tactics in order to get what we want. The ends do not justify the means. I may be a lost cause to a certain point, but at least when I sleep, I know within my heart that I was able to uphold my principles and my ideals. I know that I have been able to uphold the learnings which my mentors have worked so hard to ingrain in me.
THE ENDS DO NOT JUSTIFY THE MEANS
According to Wikipedia: Politics is the process by which groups of people make decisions. It is actually THE democratic process. It is actually a process which people discuss and make a consensus on which is the best course of action to take. Unfortunately, probably due to self-preservation or self-interests, by ‘playing politics’, the idea may have been taken out of context from what it should be.
You see people making under the table deals just to get what they want, people lying in the faces of the ones that they’re supposed to serve, so-called leaders waving their wands at the expense of those who gave them their mandate just to serve their own personal ambitions, so-called elected officials treating their constituents like servants when in fact it should be the other way around, people whose concept of leadership is to flaunt their influence over others just for the fun of it. Blech. Keep me out of that, please.
Upholding my principles in this age of ‘playing politics’ may be something far-fetched or very difficult to do; similar to the vision of Mr. Giessenbier of World Peace, but in a way, just like most ideas, we have to start somewhere, else we would get nowhere.
Disclaimer: I do not claim to have found the formula for GENUINE and EFFECTIVE LEADERSHIP nor do I claim to be a genuine and effective leader though I sincerely seek to be one.This column is my quest towards being a genuine and effective leader and my insights from my JCI experiences that would hopefully lead me there.Let me hear your thoughts too by leaving a comment here.