Aguilar: Leadership is a calling

Against the Current

MY TWO sisters were recently promoted to executive posts in their respective fields. One was made chief, the other was given a special executive function.

Since I have more experience in management, they would always consult me on how to go about certain situations that come their way. I would also end up coaching them about creating systems, formulating policies, and crafting strategic management roadmap.

The thing is, their prior exposure to pressures at work was not that extensive. They are unseasoned so to say and so they easily get overly affected by petty things; typical in a learning curve. And while it is easy to show them the steps, no one can really teach them how to handle the heat that comes with their new functions. Well, even a seasoned senior executive such as I am not spared of internal politics and surely had my shares of folding too. It simply comes with the territory.

Anyway yesterday, they both wanted to step down from their new assignments and asked me to help them draft their resignation letters when they even barely started. So the coach in me asked them to hold their horses.

No, not just yet. There is a big difference between retiring after making your mark and simply quitting because you don't want to handle the pressure. The former is a graceful and meaningful exit, while the latter is just a cowardly escape.

You see, in this life, we will all eventually be asked to take a step forward and take the lead. Be it in our careers, in our community, or in our families. We will all have our time to play the lead role. And when that time comes, we can either allow the pressures to eat us up and get the better of us or we can rise above the occasion and respond to the call of leading a flock in a better direction.

Leadership posts are more than just ego boosts. Leadership is a calling. It is a vocation. Because this world and all its affairs need leaders that can make things better.

So instead of folding, we better toughen up. Not for ourselves, but for the cause.

And when we have done our part and we have done well, then that is when we can pass the bucket to the next one in line and make a graceful exit.


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