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The Leadership Process in the Philippine Essay

CHAPTER 1. INTRODUCTION

Background of the Study

The local government unit (LGU) in the Philippines, whether this may be the barangay, municipality, city, or province, is a fertile setting for the study of the phenomenon of leadership, along with the factors that go into leadership. At the center of this phenomenon is the barangay chair, municipality mayor, city mayor, or provincial governor. As the leader of their respective LGU, these local chief executives (LCEs) take into account or are confronted with various factors as they go about their daily grind at the barangay hall, city hall, municipal hall, or provincial capitol. Obviously, leadership is a complex phenomenon wherein a variety of forces interact with each other. Four factors have been identified in the literature to play interdependent roles in the leadership phenomenon.

The first is the leader himself, especially his qualities or characteristics. The next is the follower and the qualities or characteristics he possesses. Then there is the factor of the situation or context or existing circumstances. The last factor is communication referring to the medium and style in which the communication is delivered by either the leader or the follower. Given the number of LGUs in the country from the barangay level up to the provincial level, many leadership cases – specific instances of leadership, along with their elements, processes, patterns, relationships, and causes and consequences – just pass by unknowingly, undocumented and undescribed.

This is unfortunate because the daily information of how leadership occurs could amount to raw data or grounded data even for mere profiling or benchmarking purposes. Indeed, there are some LCEs whose good leadership, being doers or achievers during their respective incumbencies, has gone unrecorded for posterity. Some of these good LCEs are no longer in office, may have gone to reside abroad, or may have even died, in which case their accomplishments have become totally forgotten. The LCEs themselves have ideas of how they ran their respective LGUs during their administrative terms. They knew in their time what the challenges were to their leadership; how they were able to get some grasp of the different factors or ingredients involved – their own abilities and values, the followers’ needs, the communication needed to persuade followers to action, and the situation – with the aim of effectively carrying out a successful program or project.

In this regard, how the LCEs view their leadership from their own testimony is research material for scholars and researchers, especially from LCEs with good leadership tracks. Ultimately, one can gain insights and lessons from their administration, management, or in one word, governance. This is all for the sake of learning what the best way is to run one’s LGU. Such concern is highlighted against the backdrop of the Philippines having its share of bad LCEs around. Most of us, Filipinos, know much how some LCEs just relegate their stock theories of effective leadership to the sidelines and one wonders what ever happened to the string of seminar-workshops they attended that had to do with their role as responsible LCEs. Instead, they apply principles based on self-interest or politically-motivated agenda According to Conger (1990), “unsuccessful leaders fail due to the inclusion of their personal aims in the organizational goals…leaders substitute personal goals for shared organizational goals…leaders’ needs diverge from those of the constituents.”

As a result, not only is their leadership not effective, they are not able to endear themselves to the hearts of their residents. Fortunately, the country does not have a lack of conscientious, pro-service LGU leaders who have remained true to their public servant’s calling. Though few in number, these LCEs may have thrown their hat into the political ring because they did not like how their LGU had been run by predecessors. That is why the moment they got elected into office as municipal mayor, or city mayor, or provincial governor, they immediately set about doing their tasks. Other LCEs may have entered politics to continue their predecessors’ causes and/or commitments. They wanted to sustain the achievements that were already bearing fruit in the preceding administration or administrations. Among the crop of these LGU leaders who wanted to continue the unfinished tasks of their predecessors were the former mayors of Marikina City and of San Juan City, Marides Fernando and JV Ejercito, respectively.

Their efforts further turned around their respective city governments which went on to become exemplary LGUs and whose programs and projects were touted highly successful (Dulay 2011; Fernando, B, 2006; Gonzales, 2009; Zamora, 2007). Marides Fernando and JV Ejercito were doers and achievers, proof of that being the number of awards they received one after the other from appreciative award-giving bodies and organizations. The inference that can be made then is that the leadership processes in their LGUs were well in place, something that needs to be researched on, written up, published, and the information therein disseminated for everyone to know and to learn from. During their incumbency, the media lionized them and their accomplishments in the press, disseminating their good leadership record to the public. It would seem then that almost everyone knew about their leadership feats.

Today is different however. Both are no longer city mayors. Marides Fernando has resumed the life of a private citizen. But JV Ejercito remains active in politics, this time as San Juan’s lone congressional representative. However, it would be still equally fruitful to pay their leadership feats as city mayors a revisit. Distanced from their former city mayor’s role, no longer in the thick of it all as city mayors, their own recollection or their personal views of their leadership as well as their own description of the leadership events and processes then may bring out certain hindsight – further revelations – about those events and processes. One advantage of this revisit is that they no longer are cautious about their statements since what they are saying is all about the past now. The same thing may be said about their staff and employees at the city hall, the members of the party to which they belong, or the constituents, that is, the city residents.

As followers, they may have been cautious about saying anything of the leadership of their city mayor while the latter was still in office. Today, they need not be cautious of their testimony about the past leadership, or about the leadership elements and processes which they may have observed and sensed at the city hall. Their former bosses are no longer around anyway. But their recollection of the past would still be alive and equally valuable – hindsight, revelations, and all – for purposes of this case study. Accounts of leadership may be approached from various means. One approach is examining leadership from the eyes of the leader himself; another is from the followers. From either perspective, the approach may look at the leader solely in terms of his qualities/traits, or in addition to the leader’s qualities, other factors may be examined, such as the situation or context and the communication used.

It may also look at the leaders and the follower’s perspective simultaneously, in terms of the four factors of leadership such as in this case study Obviously, there is a great advantage of approaching leadership from both the lens of the leader and the followers. This will rule out a one-sided view, which usually in the past was a leader-centric point of view. Another advantage is the inclusion of other data points, or dimensions or factors of leadership – not just the qualities/traits of the leader, nor the qualities/trait of followers but also of the situation and the communication aspects that certainly have a hand in the shaping of leadership.

This multi-sided examination of leadership contributes thus to a well-rounded description and analysis of the administration and leadership of LGU leaders such as Marides Fernando, city mayor of Marikina City and JV Ejercito, city mayor of San Juan City, both of whom assumed their respective mayoralty post in the same period, from 2001 to 2010.

Statement of the Problem

The study addresses to answer the following questions: 1. Generally, this cases study will try to answer the question on how may the ex-city mayors themselves, Marides Fernando of Marikina City and JV Ejercito of San Juan City, as well as selected constituents of their respective LGUs, describe and analyze the leadership process during these two city leaders’ administration of their respective LGU from 2001 to 2010, touching around the four factors in leadership process, namely, leader, followers, communication and situation?

2. Specifically, this paper will try to answer what are leadership approaches of both mayors? Who he is? What he knows? What he does? How may both ex-city mayors and selected constituents describe, analyze, and compare the leader factor and its relationship with other factors in the leadership process?

3. What were the characteristics of the followers of the two mayors? Who the followers are? What they know? What they do? How may both ex-city mayors and selected constituents describe, analyze, and compare the follower factor and its relationship with other factors in the leadership process?

4. What were the mode and processes of communications that were applied by the two mayors? What were the directions of communication? The formality or the informality of the communication? How may both ex-city mayors and selected constituents describe, analyze, and compare the communication factor and its relationship with other factors in the leadership process?

5. What were the prevailing situations during the time of their administrations? The relationship of the leader to his superiors, his peers and his subordinates? The organization where the mayor was operating? How may both ex-city mayors and selected constituents describe, analyze, and compare the situation factor and its relationship with other factors in the leadership process?

6. What patterns and relationships among the four factors in the leadership process – the leader, the follower, the communication, and the situation – may be identified, described, analyzed, and compared by the two ex-city mayors and by selected city constituents?

7. What insights and lessons may be gained from the two cases of Marides Fernando and JV Ejercito for application in the area of public administration and governance in general, and in LGU administration and governance in particular?

Objectives of the Study

1. To examine, shed light on, and to describe the leadership process during the administration of ex-city mayors Marides Fernando and JV Ejercito, revolving around four factors: leaders, followers, communication and situation.

2. To describe their leadership approaches, who they are, what they know and what they do; and , analyze, compare, understand and appreciate the leader factor and its interrelationship with other factors in the whole leadership process,

3. To describe what kind of followers they have, who they are, what they know and what they do; and, analyze, compare, understand and appreciate the follower actor and its interrelationship with other factors in the whole leadership process,

4. To describe their application of varied communication process; the direction and formality of communication and, analyze, compare, understand and appreciate the communication factor and its interrelationship with other factors in the whole leadership process,

5. To describe the situation the two mayors were into; their relationship with their superior, peers and subordinate and the various organizations they were into; and , analyze, compare, understand and appreciate the situation factor and its interrelationship with other factors in the whole leadership process, and

6. To describe, analyze, compare, understand, and appreciate the patterns in the leadership process, the similarities and differences, in the two cases under study,

7. To gain insights and learn lessons from the case studies of two achieving ex-city mayors for application in public administration and governance.


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