Politics is not the main topic of this blog – we are usually blogging about business. But politics can also have a great effect in the business sector, especially the small and medium companies. We need a good government to support aspiring entrepreneurs and aid existing businesses towards success and sustainability. That is why I decided to write this post to, at least, make some wake-up call to our country’s various leaders.
The New Year is fast approaching, and just like any other person, a politician should also join the world in making New Year’s Resolutions. Alas, politics has earned a bad name in the Philippines – courtesy of the greedy and dishonorable (although still called by the name honorable) government officials in our country. For all these voted leaders and assigned officials in our nation, here are my top 10 New Year’s Resolutions for them:
#10 – Get a better PR.
If you can’t get a better one, don’t hire a PR professional or PR firm at all. They will just make your political image sucks! Look at all the PR stunts made by most politicians today – they lack sincerity. Remember that PR should only add to your own good image. PR is not all your image. Without a good you, no matter how good your PR is, your true image will still be obviously bad. In other words, your best PR is yourself – what you truly do and what you truly make yourself of. You are your product, and your PR is only your promoter, seller or advertiser. Without quality in you, you won’t sell. Therefore, if you want to have a better public image, make yourself better, and find the PR that would help you show to the public what you truly are.
#9 – Be techie and learn social media.
We are already in the social media and the mobile computing era. Hence, leaders and lawmakers should already be knowledgeable with them or else they would just find themselves ignorant in front of the new generation of people who are already living their lives on the Internet and social media. If you’re a young politician, perhaps you’re already a techie person. But if you’re one of the oldies, being old is not an excuse to ignorance. So get yourself in the tech world and start exploring Facebook, Twitter, blogs, Android and iOS apps, and other techie stuff.
#8 – Make your own speech, and get it from the heart.
Do you know why many politicians don’t fulfill their words? It’s because what they are saying are not their words anyway. Filipinos are now used of hearing lies and broken promises from politicians. That is why, for me, the beauty of a political speech is not already measured by how fluent or fragrant the way a politician speaks, but is is how his words are accomplished. Thus, if you can speak for yourself, speak for yourself. Speak from your heart. Speak from your burning desire. It doesn’t matter if your words have full of flower, what matters is that your words are full of power that can actually change the lives of your people.
#7 – Learn how to feel the suffering of your people.
Most politicians today, from the top to the bottom, especially those that did not lived a life in poverty, are clueless about what their people are suffering. They don’t have an idea how it is to not eat three times a day, to sleep in a hot and uncomfortable shelter with a lot of mosquitoes whispering in your ears, to ride in a public vehicle and be stranded in an endless traffic, and to have a problem how a tiny amount of salary can be budgeted with all the rising prices of basic commodities. They don’t have any idea how it is to live without relief foods, water and shelter for a week after a calamity. Hence, this coming year, learn how to personally visit your people who are suffering. Talk, hear, and feel them.
#6 – Avoid blaming or pointing fingers to others.
If you want to lose your people, then try your best to win in the blaming game. But if you want to win your people, and win yourself back as a leader, avoid the blaming game. Blaming other people only worsen any problem. It only makes solutions blurred and slow. The blaming game is absolutely not giving the masses some fun – it’s irritating for us! People are dying, while leaders are blaming each other – this crap should be stopped! One of the best resolutions a politician can have this New Year is to learn how to be proactive rather than reactive. You have to learn how to admit your mistake as a responsible leader, and efficiently come up with solutions rather than blame other people.
#5 – Avoid red-tape or too much bureaucracy.
We have the Anti-Red Tape law (Republic Act 9485) to fight corruption in all government offices in the Philippines. If you are still practicing red-tape in your office instead of avoiding it, you are disrespecting and fighting the law. Remember that your people are not ignorant with the law (thanks to our Information technology, particularly social media). We know that all government officials are accountable to anti-graft and corruption laws . Therefore, try to cut off too much bureaucracy. Make your services speedy to serve more people at the right time and the right place.
#4 – Don’t be an Epal; don’t make sawsaw!
We, Filipinos, know the term umeepal, pumapapel, or nakikisawsaw. Epal is a slang word for a person who are fond of trying hard to get attention or significance from an object or an event. Well, if you love to put your face on government projects so as to claim all its credit as a project or if you’re fond of appearing on hot issues and popular events just to get attention although your appearance isn’t significant, you have to stop that. We are already fed up of all the faces of traditional politicians. If you want to be a better leader or politician this year, just do your job and forget about the credits!
#3 – Be independent.
This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be an independent political party. This means that you should have independence in making decisions as a leader. You should have decisions that are not influenced by your corrupt allies. You have to find the right party. But if you can’t find one, you’d rather be independent. There are politicians who can’t decide for themselves because they owed some individuals (greedy capitalists and other people who are hungry of power) who funded them during their political campaign. They become puppet because of their debt of gratitude. So… starting this New Year, learn how to say No if it’s a No and Yes if it’s a Yes.
#2 – Be realistic, honest and transparent.
Since a good New Year’s Resolution should be SMART, and being realistic is one of the most important quality of it, be realistic. Learn how to be honest to yourself and to other people. You also have to learn how to live a transparent life, both public and private. Why? The Filipino people are eagerly wanting the FOI (Freedom of Information) bill. This means that they want all public officials to be transparent and accountable. Hence, fix your financial, economic and accounting records. When I say fix, I mean make it fair, honest and complete, and not the other way around.
#1 – For God sake, make an action plan and execute it!
Should I elaborate this further? Aspiring politicians should have a platform or action plan before they enter into politics. But we can observe that most of our politicians are clueless on what to do to solve our problems. Their response on disasters and other problems are too slow. They love meetings, briefings, and another briefing (what the heck are they briefing for?). Do they have an action plan or blueprint, in which they can look at to in times of emergencies so that all they have to do is to execute those action plan for immediate response? Well, if you want to be a better politician, and if you want to earn my vote and our votes, come up with an action plan and do it!
How about you? What are your top New Year’s Resolutions for our leaders and politicians? Take note that leadership can also start within ourselves. We can be leaders of ourselves. We are part of this government. Remember that our votes give birth to a government. Our votes give birth to our political leaders.