The cover of this month’s Metro Society magazine goes down in history as one of the most noteworthy casting coups ever: ABS-CBN’s big three, Chairman Gabby Lopez, former president and now Chief Content Officer Charo Santos-Concio, and current president Carlo Katigbak come together “to commemorate the retirement of the company’s guiding light, Santos-Concio, and the succession of a new, dynamic, and equally passionate leader."
But what we’re lovin’ most are the lessons these three remarkable leaders impart in the accompanying cover feature. Read on for six practical tips from these head honchos on how to be the best leader you can be:
1. Recognize the good your employees and subordinates do for the company. When CSC took over the ABS-CBN presidency in 2008, the company was just emerging from trying times (an unprecedented ratings drop in 2004, a financial crisis that forced them to go through a painful downsizing in 2005, and the horrors of the ULTRA stampede in 2006), and the strong atmosphere of teamwork, listening, and people empowerment that she fostered really made a big difference. “We needed a culture that is cooperative, that’s caring, that’s not dog eat dog,” explains Lopez. “She allowed people to feel that their boss is gonna recognize what they’ve done for the good of the company as opposed to just looking at the bottom line alone. Charo was able to pull that off. That is what allowed us to move forward.”
2. It’s not always about the feathers in your cap, but also about your ability to rise from your mistakes. “He made many mistakes through the years,” Lopez says of Katigbak. “We were both learning as we went. Many things that we did didn’t work. That’s the nature of the business that we’re in. But it’s only by the process of trying that you’re gonna figure these things out. What was important for me to see was his ability to rise up from those mistakes."
3. Focus on the work, not the trappings and the perks. Like Santos-Concio, it took convincing to get Katigbak to take on the presidency—he doesn’t care about the title, the attention, and the trappings that go with it. Lopez notes, “I think this business already requires so much limelight. We don’t need a leader who wants that, too. He’s clearly not the individual who cares about the corner office. The challenge of the business is lure enough for him.”
4. Instead of being comfortable up there in your boss’ nook, get in the thick of the action. “It’s one thing to get a report on how things are going, it’s another thing to actually experience it. I think generally the closer you are to reality, the more grounded you are and, hopefully, the better your decisions become. Obviously, the new position will not allow me to do that on a day-to-day basis, but every opportunity that I can do it, I will take as a gift,” says Katigbak.
5. Lead from the heart. “I told Carlo, you have to observe the body language of people,” Santos-Concio shares. “Try to read their minds so that you will have genuine participation at meetings.” “When you see that somebody is being tentative, it could mean that there is something he wants to say but is holding back from saying it, call out that person. He may have the gem of information we need at that very moment.”
6. Always be grateful and make the most out of every moment. Shares Santos-Concio, “I’ve been taught by many good people in my life—like Lino Brocka, Mike de Leon—the only way I can pay them back is to teach and help others... In life, everything is temporary. One should never be carried away. The moment that you are there, the moment that you are given, will pass. Life will go on. Life will go on for the world. For the universe. For ABS-CBN. And you can only hope that you are able to leave some positive influence in the people you meet in your journey. You hope, only hope. You don’t even presume. You only hope that you have really made a difference.”
ALSO READ: In Focus: Ebe Dancel on Rekindling Passion When You've Quit Too Many Times
Check out the full story in Metro Society’s February 2016 issue, now out in major bookstores. Original text by An Mercado-Alcantara, photographs by Doc Marlon Pecjo, styled by Rex Atienza, makeup for Charo Santos-Concio by RB Chanco and hair by Angel Jamilaril, grooming for Gabby Lopez and Carlo Katigbak both by Patrick Alcober for Shu Uemura and hair by George Aliben for Kiehl’s Stylist Series. Metro Society is available in bookstores and on newsstands for P250. Download the Metro Society Magazine app for access to all digital editions on your tablet or smartphone, available in Zinio. Like Metro on Facebook (www.facebook.com/MetroSocietyMagazine) and follow us on Twitter and Instagram (@MetroSocietyPH)