Business Sphere

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6 Characteristics From 6 Great Leaders

A guest post by Lois Yasay

What do successful leaders have that the rest of us don’t?

Is it their general attitude when faced with adversity? Is it their ability to take risks? Or is it their utmost sense of purpose?

Here are 6 characteristics of great leaders coming from 6 of the Philippines’ emerging thought leaders and innovators:

Great leaders have vision. When Mark Ruiz looked at the sari-sari store, he saw a lot more than just the traditional mom and pop. He saw the potential of these micro-businesses to realize new revenue streams and evolve into a community of stores that serve as hubs for goods and services.

Today, Mark is the co-founder of Hapinoy, a micro financing program that reinvents and ensures the success of the humble sari-sari store.

Great leaders have courage. Fe Perez Agudo faced giants when she accepted her role as President & CEO of Hyundai Asia Resources, Inc.

When the opportunity came in 2001 to start up the official distributorship of Hyundai Motor Co. in the Philippines, she did not hesitate. Even though her main task was to overcome the common perception of Hyundai as a cheap, poor-quality, unreliable brand from Korea with low resale value.

Fe was out to prove that a Korean brand can enter and eventually steal market share from the Japanese motoring giants. She also bravely took on the challenge of competing as a woman winning in a male-dominated industry.

Great leaders have imagination. The year was 2001 and there were many Filipinos who still did not have internet access although most of them had mobile phones. Internet penetration was a measly 1%.

It took Dennis Mendiola, a Filipino with great imagination, to find convergence between the cellphone and internet. Dennis, along with other imaginative Filipinos, founded Chikka. Chikka enabled Filipinos to become part of an instant messaging community even without internet access.

Great leaders have significance. Noel Lorenzana is the CEO of Nutri-Asia Philippines, manufacturer of leading brands such as UFC and DatuPuti. He sees his brand as more than just a business. He believes that it is also important for business leaders to find meaning or cause in what they do. This is what he says:

“Apart from getting a chance to be part of the team that shapes the future of a true Filipino company, it is gratifying to know that what we make plays a significant role in the lives of people: whether it is building family ties, creating new friendships, bridging broken relationships, remembering home, or simply rewarding oneself after a hard and honest day’s work.”

Great leaders have compassion. While in Zamboanga City, Jay Jaboneta heard about a nearby village where young children had to swim 2 kilometers and walk another 5 kilometers to get to school.

During his flight home, Jay thought about how he could help. “I had so much admiration for these children,” he says. “I felt they deserved to be rewarded and helped for all their efforts.” Jay posted a story about the children’s plight on his Facebook page.

The response was overwhelming and he was able to start the Yellowboat Project and Philippine Funds for Little Kids to help kids of Zamboanga and Masbate to go to school and help their nearby communities. Jay is the embodiment of a leader that has heart.

Great leaders have influence. You don’t get to 34,232 followers on Facebook and counting without influence.  Francis Kong is the president of Success Option Publishing Company, director of Inspire Leadership Consultancy and a columnist, bestselling author, as well as an international speaker, trainer and consultant.

But Francis is much much more than all those words put together. Through his years of experience in business and speaking, he has touched many people’s lives and he constantly builds value in others. He is an influential leader because he is more focused on enriching others than enriching himself.

These are the 6 characteristics that set these 6 emerging leaders and innovators apart. On December 7, 2011, Inspire Leadership Consultancy will bring together this powerhouse group for the Voices of Leadership Event.

Listen to them and be inspired by their stories of triumph against adversity and their determination to make a difference in the lives of the Filipino people. To know more about this event, click here.

About the writer. Lois Yasay is a trainer by profession and a traveler by passion. She is slowly realizing her dream of making a living by doing what she loves. She blogs at and is currently working as a Project Manager for Inspire Leadership Consultancy.

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  1. This is a good article. It’s inspiring to read the traits of 6 business leaders in the Philippines. I am an owner of fastfood restaurant, boutique, and car rental services in Davao City and I’m trying to look at my schedule. If my schedule permits, I might attend the leadership event comes December 7 and listen to the 6 speakers.

    Thanks for posting.

  2. Kathleen, thank you for your nice comments and for dropping by.

  3. Why do you call the 6 people mentioned in the article great leaders? Anyway, the article is good reading. I agree that the stories of the 6 people mentioned are inspiring and their experiences offer good insights

  4. @Roland, the word “great” leaders is subjective and subject to different criteria of what a great leader should be. I believe, thought, that these 6 persons are great in their chosen fields, and we can profit from their experiences, or as you also said, their experiences offer good insights.

    I thank you for your intelligent comment and for dropping by.

  5. Thanks for the wonderful share, Atty.

    I may not possess all of these traits to become a great leader but I do believe that each of us is always a work in progress. We learn from our experiences and as we climb up the ladder of success, we slowly gain all these traits to our advantage.

    These people imbibes inspiration, Atty. I hope to become like them one day. Keeping my fingers crossed 😉

  6. Thank you, Lainy, for sharing your wonderful insights. I am certain you will be like them sooner – and more.

  7. A very nice read. I hope there will be more people with characteristics like them especially in the government and who would use whatever skill they have to better the Philippines.

  8. Hi Eli, Leadership is about having confidence: To consciously choose to change, you need to believe that things can get better. Work on building your confidence.
    Its nice to visit your blog.


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