[Y-SPACE] Your Choice, Your Voice
by Micah Queisha De Guzman
Everyone wants a change in this world, but no one wants to be the change. No one wants to be the first to speak up; everyone wants someone else to take action, which becomes the primary issue. However, with a leading initiative of a person, with one’s influence, mindset, and example, a person may promote unity among the people that may result in a beneficial change for the community.
A leader is known to be the person who leads the initiative action. Leadership is described as motivating people to follow the goal within the limits provided by the leader, to the point where it becomes a collaborative effort, a shared vision, and a collaborative success.
In a country, all citizens must be united to achieve the same goal we all are longing for. Having an influential, person-oriented, principled servant-leader, with a common goal and understanding with the people, fulfillment of one’s responsibilities are big factors towards achieving the desired goal to make the country prosperous for the benefit of everyone.
Change is everywhere around us, and it is the single factor that has the most effect on our lives, yet people are still not used to it. People are still resistant to change.
John F. Kennedy once said, “Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.” Aligning it to our current situation, no one could have foreseen that a global pandemic would change everything for people around the world. In this circumstance, people do not have a choice but to make a change as a part of their everyday life. Change may be difficult, but it is the only way to progress.
The drastic changes brought by the pandemic caused the government to present solutions to fight against this battle. As there are people who conform to the presented solutions and changes, there are still people resisting the changes initiated by the government. One of the reasons why is because they want something to hold on to when they choose to conform to the given changes. People want to believe and to trust that the people in authority who will initiate the change and the change itself would constitute them a better life. If this seems difficult for them to see, then resistance to change is the most likely act people would do.
It is true that in creating positive changes in a traditional environment, a lot of resistance is going to prevail, that is why change must first start within the leader. It may not be easy to challenge conventional ways, but society will not change if the leader does not start changing first. Thus, in choosing a leader, you must consider that a leader has to become a role model to people. The leader must have a greater chance of countering biases of any kind through being aware of a person's biases. By doing this, diversity and inclusion approaches may manifest in the leader’s plans and actions aiming to constitute beneficial changes for the community.
Alongside this, you must also take note that a leader must practice authenticity. The behavior of the leader should be compatible with a person's words. The leader must behave according to the standards the leader sets for a person, be authentic, and express the expectations the leader has from the people.
A leader must also initiate change among the people. Starting from the core of people, a leader must evaluate the people’s commitment to the mission and vision of the community and their common goal.
Being an effective and successful leader does not mean the leader does not encounter any conflict. Rather, it means a leader must know how to solve problems effectively as they arise. Problem-solving is the essence of what leaders exist to do. The goal of a leader is to minimize the occurrence of problems, which means the leader must be courageous enough to tackle them head-on before circumstances force our hand. A leader must be resilient in one’s quest to create and sustain momentum for the community and the people the leader serves. In choosing your leader, you must be able to see that the leader can manage change. The leader must have the ability to transform with the right means, strategies, and preparation to support the needs of the people. It entails more than just planning; it requires tackling the critical human factor of change resistance. The resistance to change may be resolved through proper communication, effective planning, and execution of actions. The leader must include the people in the change process.
In choosing a leader, you must see that the leader must aim to be as impartial and objective as possible. A leader needs to inspire their people to accept all aspects of diversity and inclusion for it is an integral aspect of every community. Being an effective leader takes time. It nurtures one through a process. A process that includes experiences. Experiences that include learning. And learnings that include failures and successes.
Be meticulous in choosing your leader, because remember, your choice is your voice.
Micah Queisha De Guzman is an incoming 2nd year Legal Management student from Colegio de San Juan de Letran. She aims to encourage people to be knowledgeable and to be well aware of choosing great, effective, and efficient leaders for the upcoming elections. She also supports youth and women empowerment.
YSPACE is a platform open for young writers to contribute their worth-sharing thoughts and stories to the world. It is a space for young people and by the young people which aims to promote a strong sense of empowerment and inspiration to young Filipinos.