Crossover Leadership: From Private to Public

Amid discussions on potential aspirants for national positions come 2022, we are probably aware that the same names and surnames from the same political families have come out as the frontrunners. In the country's pursuit to recover post-pandemic, it is essential that we look beyond the current pool or bench of choices we have amongst the tried-and-tested personalities who have thrown their hat formally and informally in next year's polls. The next administration needs to be economically and socially innovative to fast track the country's moral, social, and economic recovery and rehabilitation.

The private sector is a segment in our society where we can find and source leaders with the necessary competence, skills-set, discipline, credibility, and moral compass to lead our country. 

I have spent the last couple of years working in the private sector which places a heavy premium on ethical practices, professionalism, and quality of work. I have experienced these values and principles put into motion under the guidance and stewardship of stellar leaders. I consider myself blessed to have been under the tutelage of individuals who possess compelling qualifications based on their cumulative years of experience, and continuous education and training. Company-wide systems on performance management and appraisal are established to ensure fairness in the assessment and evaluation of employee performance. While many consider competitive pay as the main attraction to private sector work, the opportunities for personal and professional growth are also drivers for many to seriously consider careers in the private sector. Leadership is essential in ensuring the successful implementation of these company-wide systems and in creating the attraction for skilled and able workers to join the private sector. If private sector leaders can weave magic within their respective institutions, it is also within the realm of possibility that they can do these in the public sector.

How can we then lure top private sector leaders to risk the convenience and comfort in their current environment for a crack at a national post?

There is always the attraction and opportunity at the same to professionalize government, particularly the bureaucracy. A professional and working government works to the benefit of the private sector, particularly in speeding up government processes such as securing government licenses, easing up restrictions to do business, and possibly improving and simplifying tax filing procedures. 

Private sector leaders are also enthused with the prospect of a new challenge; hence the opportunity to reform government may entice them to run public office.

There are not many reasons for private sector leaders to crossover to public service. The act can be considered a supreme sacrifice especially with the pay and stress that goes with serving the government.

For a country in desperate need of competent leadership, the private sector can be relied upon as a source of the next generation of government leaders.

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About the Author
Mr. Aaron Benedict De Leon is currently a Business Development Practitioner in a private consulting firm. He has more than six years of professional experience in leading and managing political and non-government organizations, specializing in organizational management, policy development and program management. He has had stints with notable political/socio-civic organizations, serving in various capacities as: Secretary-General of the Centrist Democratic Party of the Philippines (CDP) [2013-2015], Founding Chairperson of the Centrist Democratic Youth Association of the Philippines (CDYAP) [2012-2014], Philippine Representative to the International Young Democrat Union (IYDU) [2011-2012], Chairperson of the Christian Democratic Youth [2011-2012], Secretary-General of YOUTH Philippines [2010-2011], and Spokesperson/Communications Director of the GT2010 Gilbert Teodoro Presidential Campaign [2009-2010].
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