Wednesday, June 14, 2006

The Pearl Principle: The Prescriptive Approach For National Progress: Generative Leadership

(Last of three parts of a series of articles written for the Business Section of the Philippine Daily Inquirer by Professor Nelia Cruz-Sarcol, Founder and CEO of the Centre for International Education.)

Part 3:

Last August 2004, my friends and I were talking about grim news in the broadsheets, radio and television. We felt that there had been too many talks and debates of “why” these awful things continue to happen to our country and the “who” are causing or have caused these events to happen.

Many of us keep looking back and digging dirt while creating other mounds as we dig. These mounds will eventually have to be cleared and dug again. The endless transferring of dirt from left to right, front and back, continue to go on……. We are digging here and there, maybe to bury ourselves in???

“Does anybody have a solution?”

One of my friends, who had seen efforts from the farthest left to farthest right, had been battle-scared, so to speak, in quest of an answer. According to him, everyone has advice to give but not many are acting on their proposed solutions-too difficult they say. I guess maybe they-themselves are “problems”

My small group comprise of “Don Quixotes”. However, we do not wish to fight windmills. We are dreamers, yes ---not of a new Philippines but of the TRUE Philippines--- which has always been called “The Pearl of the Orient”--- “Perlas ng Silanganan”.

The truth of the matter is that solving the problems of our country is a Herculean task. This process of transformation will take some time. However, by accepting this fact, we would have won half the battle. If only we will accept such, then we can plan better what to do next, so we can move up to next step, instead of “band-aid” solutions here and there. “Band-aid” solutions will get us nowhere.

This truth led us to the Pearl Principle. To be able to solve the problems of our country, we need to individually take it upon ourselves to change for the better. And as we evolve and reach out to people within our spheres of influence, something will spark!!!

This concept must first be embraced by a good number of the middle class and must be led by the middle class. The elite and captains of industry of our society have been given multiple chances to lead this change, but it just won’t take off. However, if all people from all strata of society will embrace it, well and good. However, I personally believe that the middle class must led---for they are still within reach by those from below and can truly feel for the great masses. The middle class have not lost their dreams (yet) and they can truly inspire others to hope. They can show how dreams can be fulfilled and that dreams can still be fulfilled. They can be the bridge to our future as a people.

It will only take one ordinary person to start the SPARK and spread the flame until it becomes big enough to touch others and move them to the same direction. The FLAME that I am talking about here is NOT a destructive flame but a PASSION intense enough to forge metal into a new form.

This is the mission of the Pearl Principle. To awaken the resolve from the majority that each has a hand in creating the true Philippines. We are all oysters creating pearls to string around our Motherland to make it live up to its historical destiny as THE PEARL OF THE ORIENT!!!

Proponents of the Pearl Principle are pragmatic idealists. They do not just prescribe. They know that each awaked spirit must also have skills and competence to effect change within one’s sphere of influence. Notice that we always use the term “within one’s sphere of influence”. This is because of the proponents’ belief that the core must be strong and the core of society comprises of the individual, his family and his immediate community.

The competence to effect change within one’s sphere is called GENERATIVE LEADERSHIP rooted in the GEAR THEORY OF DEVELOPMENT.

The Gear Theory of Development states that a single gear by itself is almost useless. It has to get engaged with other gears to create movement/motion and energy. A person who has evolved because of the Pearl Principle must “engage” with other “gears” or people of the same mind-set. One will not be able to achieve much if he just keeps to himself.

He will need to become a Generative Leader who can make others hope and LIVE again. He LEADS, INSPIRES, VISUALIZES, and ENGAGES his people to CREATE new solutions, generate new ideas, think out of the box.

CREATE actually stands for creation, reinvention, enrichment, adaptation/assimilation, transformation and enlightenment. These thinking processes are operational in a person’s brain only if he is in a state of optimism. Pragmatic idealists who are true disciples of the Pearl Principle possess these abilities.

They lead because they inspire others with the way they live their lives along tenets of morality. They are guided by a noble vision--- living lives of purpose and commitment to make a difference and contribute to making the world a better place by being good, doing good, spreading goodness within their spheres of influence….. because all of our spheres of influence put together make up the entire Filipino people. To get to 80 million, we must begin with number “1”. We are all part of the big picture.

The Pearl Principle position on Generative Leadership is that it should also be evident in the work ethics of a person. First, he must possess self-mastery. he must engage his team to create and reinvent new ways to do things, products and services which enrich lives of people and our ecology, keeping in mind how such new ways of doing things, products and services adapt and assimilate cultural differences. His actions must be purposeful in the hope that these will contribute to the transformation of society while his decisions should help enlighten even those around him. A true Generative Leader sees himself at the center of a unified field of diverse energies that can fuel change.

The Pearl Principle. Copyright Centre for International Education. All rights reserved.

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