I took the late flight from Davao to Manila and to my surprise; the good mayor of Davao “Mayor Duterte” was on the same flight.
I am sure all of us have heard so many stories about the mayor; how he instilled discipline and order like no firecracker policy on the new year’s eve. No smoking policy on public places is also one of the no-no in Davao. Recently his good office set a speed limit within the city to prevent accidents. Surprisingly, the Davaoeños followed the mayor. (Even typhoons follow the speed limit when it reaches Davao.)
Mayor Duterte is also very well-known for curbing criminality, to the point that he disguises himself as a taxi driver to help in solving petty crimes of holdup of taxi drivers. He is tough in implementing the rules of the land, that is the reason criminals are afraid to enter the city of Davao.
When the good mayor saw an elderly woman carrying her luggage, he immediately offered help. Despite of his machismo and tough dirty harry image, I saw the other side of Mayor Duterte, and this was when he helped an elderly woman bring down her heavy luggage from the plane going down the stairs. He was so insistent to offer help and the elderly woman did not know what to do, but because of his persistence, the woman can’t do anything but to oblige him.
For me, a simple act of manhood by helping an elderly woman speaks so much of his character. Mayor Duterte is not only a folkore, but he is true and a real person. He definitely walks his talk. This makes me respect him more as a person and a public official of Davao City.
There was no camera, press people for a photo opportunity to place him in the headline news. It was simply a pure act of kindness and being a gentleman.
I have been in Davao almost 20 times this year. I have been asking around; how is the performance of their good mayor? Never have I heard anything bad, nothing but all good praises from a taxi driver to the most affluent people in Davao.
Based on my personal observation, these are the following leadership principles that I learned that made Mayor Duterte an effective leader.
LEADERSHIP PRINCIPLE 1. WALK THE TALK
It is not what you say but what you do.
People believe in him because they know that the mayor practice what he is preaching.
LEADERSHIP PRINCIPLE 2. MAKE THINGS HAPPEN
I got an opportunity to speak to him personally and he said that there are many laws in our land, but the issue is, do people obey the law? The reason why some do not obey because they know it is not implemented. Unlike in the city of Davao, they strictly apply the law, that is the reason why people follow.
LEADERSHIP PRINCIPLE 3. WITH AUTHORITY COMES RESPONSIBILITY
Mayor Duterte feels responsible to give the people a place where there will be peace, order, security, and business. So that everyone can work, be productive, and have an opportunity to build their dreams.
Isn’t that what LEADERSHIP is all about? It must be for the benefit of the majority, not for the benefit and enrichment of the minority.
I believe if our entire public officials will just walk their talk and do things not for any political gains or agenda, then, we will have a lot of better public servant who will serve the interest of the people rather than theirs.
I pray that there will be more public officials who have power and position, will not only serve to enrich themselves, but to make other people’s lives better.
THINK. REFLECT. APPLY.
What do you think are the leadership lessons that you have learned?
What do you think our local officials need to learn about leadership?