Friday, 16 August 2013

Humility in Leadership

I recently concluded a two day leadership training for a group of top managers.

One of the participants caught my eye. His name was Warren. Warren is the Senior Vice President of the company. He is funny, witty and humble. As he introduced himself, he shared with us his story. He started as a working student. He persevered, worked hard and was determined to become successful. All this paid off as he now holds the rank of the 3rd most powerful man in the company.

Even though he was in the same training as his subordinates, he was always humble enough to acknowledge the mistakes that he has made as a leader. His zeal to become a better one was apparent. He kept an open mind through out the whole training, asking questions when things were not clear and voicing out his opinion when needed. His people spoke highly of him and were thankful for his leadership. It was evident how he was loved by all.

I have trained a lot of leaders that hold middle to high ranking positions and I sometimes get intimidated when I am in front of them.  I see one thing in common (in most of them):   the humility to continuously keep an open mind and learn new things. To assess themselves and see what are the areas they are good at and the areas they need to improve on and most of all the readiness to learn from someone who is younger with lesser experience than them.

No wonder these leaders are where they are at right now because they are humble enough to realize that they may not have all the answers.

I believe the minute you decide to stop learning and feel that you know it all is the end of your opportunity to move forward and moving forward is the direction great leaders take.

Imagine what you can become when you lead with a humble heart.

Friday, 2 August 2013

Make It Count

As a corporate trainer, my work day starts and ends with my audience in mind.

Companies work with me to accomplish an objective:  to enhance their employees image, to instill leadership skills in their team or to simply teach their sales people how to be better sellers in their industry.  I sometimes feel the pressure to change the way people think, forgetting that each of the participants come in for different reasons.

As I ask each of them what they want to learn, all of them come in with a variety of reasons. As I listen to them one by one, my desire is always not just to meet their expectations but to go beyond and make a difference. With that in mind, I move forward to share experiences, best practices and pass on the things I've learned whether it be from my own life or through books I've read and mentors I've met along the way.

During the sessions, I throw in questions that can somehow give me a validation of where they are at in the "learning" zone. There are moments that I say to myself "Mission Accomplished" and times when I feel  I need to dig a little deeper and push a little harder knowing that I only have a few days or hours with them and I want to MAKE IT COUNT.

Then the training comes to an end. I give my final piece of encouragement and wish them success in all their endeavors.  I will never know if our paths will cross again, but hope that somehow I have made my life count!

 Here are some precious notes that I receive from participants.. It makes me love what I do over and over again!
Love this!
Made my heart cry!

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Surprise Saturdays

When I'm not working, I just love chilling at home on Saturdays.

This is usually the day my laundromat delivers my weeks laundry and building maintenance comes in for any fixtures needed done in my apartment (finally had my intercom fixed after one and a half years!). Aside from that, I try to cook and whip up something for my favorite meal of the day - breakfast! And then, I go on extended hours listening to my favorite podcasts.

I love walking. While I was living in New York, I would walk an average of 20 blocks a day, snow, rain or shine. I miss doing that. So whenever I get the chance, I walk.

I needed to do a couple of errands today, so I decided to walk to the mall. The breeze was just right (although there was a little hint of rain) and I had all the reasons to shed some extra pounds to ready myself for this weekends' wedding, and boy was I in for a lot of surprises.

My first surprise of the day!

 A playground in the neighborhood! I love kids and having a playground nearby means I get the chance to see more of them :)

As soon as I got to the mall (High Street), I saw Sale signs all around (heaven!). I had to find myself a four inch pair of heels to wear this weekend. I already fitted one that I really liked, but didn't get it, in the hopes of finding something better and more comfortable. After checking out the other stores, I didn't get to find anything I really wanted so I decided to go back for my first choice. Lo and behold, they didn't have my size anymore. That made me sad.

I was about to leave the store when all of a sudden, trumpets sounded and my eyes were magnetically pulled towards the direction of a really pretty pair of snake skin stilettos. I had no plans of buying one but when I found out it was on SUPER discount, who was I to resist?? I guess, a girl never leaves a shoe store empty handed. Surprise, surprise!!!

Walking to my next stop, I excitedly trekked three flights up to one of my favorite furniture shops, Ligne Roset. This was actually the first place I worked at during my second year of living in New York.  While working there, I got the chance to meet (not just saw, okay) celebrities such as Jennifer Lopez and Chris Judd, Bjork, Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke and my claim to fame Collin Farrel, who I had a couple of opportunities to talk with over the phone (yes, we talked :)


One day, I'd like to take this TOGO two seater home and call it mine.

It was 2:30pm and I haven't had lunch. So I decided to drop by and get my yogurt fix. I like it plain with a little bit of almond toppings.

I was thrilled to know that my good friend, whose getting married this weekend, was registered at Gourdo's. 

As soon as I got in, surprise..surprise again, they were having the biggest sale ever. I drool every time I go there. I wish I had all the space in my apartment to fit in everything I want. 
So, I got my wedding gift and some extras :

Got both pieces (a patisserie plate and a hamilton beach skillet )
for less than P1,000.

I was ready to go home with three full bags of good finds for the day. While heading out the store, a friendly staff bid me good bye and said "Ma'am, have a happy weekends!". 

And I sure did. 

Monday, 30 January 2012

Everyday Manners - Buffet Style

Eat-all-you can is becoming a norm. It's a quintessential way of getting your money's worth when you're hungry. I've heard some starving friends say "I can eat a building!"

This holds true when I see people pile up their food on their plates, just like buildings.

Honestly, I 'm not a big fan of buffets. I get overwhelmed. I get full just by seeing all the food around. I like having my food in portions.

Because of the ever growing deals that we find on group buying sites for buffet eating, everyone and anyone can possibly enjoy this. Even in these types of setting, it is important that you still keep your tact and manners. Here are a few tips :

  • Check the buffet table out before filling your plate with food. This will help you decide what to have first.
  • Go to the end of the line and do not cut. Be courteous and polite. Make sure that you patiently wait and consciously watch for your turn.
  • When your turn comes, use the serving spoon. Do not get your servings on the same dish while someone else is. Serve yourself just ample portions. Do not hoard. Put the serving spoon back in the plate next to the dish and do not leave it inside the dish. This is courtesy to the next user. 
  • Going for seconds is fine. This is the reason why you should not pile up your food during your first serving. When going for seconds, leave your used plate on your table and use a new one. 
  • If you are not familiar with the food on the buffet table, it is okay to ask your hostess or the waiter what it is. 
  • Don't mix different types of cuisines on your plate (i.e. Spanish, French, Indian, Italian). You want to make sure that you taste all the flavors of each cuisine accordingly. Use a fresh plate every time you do so.
  • Try to finish everything on your plate and do not leave loads of food. Good manners is making sure that you only get enough, as we don't want to put to waste anything that someone else is deprived of.
  • Be polite to the staff. If there is a certain dish that you want that is already empty, you can ask them for a replenishment.
So before you head out to your next eat-all-you can meal, remember that eating should be a fun experience to be shared by you and everyone else around. 

Don't forget to bring your manners, it says a lot about you ;)


Friday, 20 January 2012

Tummy Tuck or Tummy Not

Lately, losing weight has become a tremendous challenge for me. Blame it on age and my current penchant for Chicharon (thanks to my mom for bringing me 5 bags of Zubuchon from Cebu), my clothes don't hang on me the way they should.

As someone determined to shed those pounds as quick as Darna can pop up when trouble calls, I tried to fill up my to-do list for January. Two of those I have yet to accomplish - try cross fit and try plana forma, both of which are high impact workouts.

My job as a trainer and consultant calls for me to always look my best. Whenever I conduct Image Enhancement, Power Dressing and Personal Branding workshops, I tell my participants that their physical appearance (which includes the way they dress, grooming, body talk and poise) is an important factor that creates a huge impact on their job and speaks a lot about who they are.

While in the "process" of re-gaining my normal weight back, I had to find solutions that would help me camouflage those bulges.

My first mission was to work on my waistline.
image courtesy of

A tummy tuck was definitely no solution.. but a tummy camouflage was. I shopped in my closet and pulled out the following styles that became my temporary DARNA:

WEAR (clockwise from top left) belted waist with low neckline one piece swimsuit, black black black tops and dresses that hangs straight without any waist definition, waist jacket, banded top, flat front pants with side zipper, spanx or shaper, wrap dresses with print, empire cut and skirts or dresses with sheering on the waist.

Clothes should always work to your benefit. Make sure that every piece fits you perfectly. After all, it was created to hide what was meant to be hidden and flaunt what needs to be shown. Wear it to your advantage.

In the meantime, let me enjoy my fruit bowl and get a head start in working those muscles!

Saturday, 14 January 2012

No Accidents

I don't believe in accidents. I do believe that things happen for a reason.

The job that you have, the family that you were born into, the neighborhood you live in, the skills and talents, everything about you is there for  a purpose.

I remember a season in my life when I was working for this export company. It was a dream job that turned into a nightmare. Surely, I prayed about this job, that God would give it to me .. and He did. Every single day of working with that company, just got worse and worse. Questions like "What am I doing here?" or "Why am I wasting my time with a company that doesn't even notice my efforts?" would cross my mind every now and then.

Then I thought to myself, there should be a higher purpose of why I'm doing what I'm doing, why I'm here at such a time as this. Knowing that my life's purpose is to DEVELOP PEOPLE TOWARDS PERSONAL EXCELLENCE, I started focusing on that. I would spend a couple of hours each day on the factory and just started motivating and encouraging our workers - a smile, a thumbs up, a praise.. whatever it took, I did. Then, I started getting the fulfillment in my job that no paycheck can give.

Living and finding your purpose is so essential for your personal fulfillment - in all cylinders of your life.

It doesn't matter what your background is, what age you're at or how much money you have in the bank, there is a purpose why God created you. Do you know what your purpose is?

Here is a story of a five year old child that knew and lived her purpose, no matter what her circumstance was.
Get your tissues ready.. I'm such a cry baby.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

What's In a Name

I have a very limited vocabulary. I want things done simple therefore I also say things in it's most simplest terms. I'm not a big words type of person either and I get tired when I listen to big words people when they talk. If only they have a pause button that would give me time to reach out for my dictionary and look for the meaning of what they just said, then the world would be a better place.

After reading an interesting article  25 Everyday Things You Never Knew Had Names, I was challenged to remember some of the names like "Philtrum" which is the groove located below the nose and the middle upper lip or "Petrichor" which is the smell outside after it rains. But hey.. I have a hard time pronouncing most of them, much more remember them, right? So I just decided to download the article on my iphone and have it as a reference tool in case of emergency.

Each time I conduct a training, one of my end goals is to see change. Change in a persons heart, change in a participants goal or change in the organization. It is important for me that each project I take on bears fruit, not just any fruit but fruit that remains.

So while I was trying to come up with what I can call myself professionally, my cousin introduced me to the word "METAMORPHOSIST". As animalistic as it sounds (Yes, my sister told me it sounds like a name of an insect), I love the word. I feel its one thing that totally describes me. It comes from the word Metamorphosis. Webster defines it as any complete change in appearance, character or circumstance. I just added the letters IST to make me the person that will aid in the change. So now, I call myself that.

For someone that's not a big words person, I have actually come up with one that I call my own.