5 Things I learned as Coop Secretary in 2017

Time flies just the same very year, but why does it always surprise us when it does? I was appointed secretary of the Cooperative Insurance System of the Philippines (CISP), an insurance co-operative, in the summer of 2017. At Cooperative Health Management Federation (CHMF), a healthcare co-operative, I have held the same position since its…

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Don’t ask permission to lead

Image: Gecko & Fly. There’s so much empty platitudes about leadership you can find lying around that you can easily choke on them at any given day. Leadership is about initiative, open-mindedness, grit, grace under pressure, and many other things to many other people. You don’t need a management school for this. “How to Lead When You’re Not in Charge” shows us we don’t have to be the most monied, physically strongest, or most intellectual to lead. So go, lead.

Know your blue ocean

Image: Kindland. Warning: It’s hard to explain this to someone who does not take the time to read, someone too proud to pick up a book (or an excerpt, or just to Google a term, for godsakes), or someone too lazy to think. But for someone starting something like you, this is important. HBR’s The Explainer: Blue Ocean Strategy is one of many good intros on the subject that are available practically everywhere for those willing to exert some minimum amount of effort.

Complete the staff work

Image: We Are Cow. I don’t know when and where the term “completed staff work” started. All I know is I want more people to f*cking follow and do it. Gen. G.E.R. Smith’s final test of ‘[i]f you were the chief would you be willing to sign the paper you have prepared, and stake your professional reputation on it being right? If the answer is in the negative, take it back and work it over because it is not yet “completed staff work”’ pretty much sums it up. Here’s an elementary way to look it, if your staff turns in work without running a simple spell check, never mind a grammar check, either he doesn’t know what the hell he’s doing, or he simply doesn’t think that much of you. Either way, it’s a cheap way to operate. Are you cheap?

Learn how to decide

Image: What But Why. If it’s Urgent and Important, do it asap. If it’s Important, but Not Urgent, calendar it. If it’s Urgent, but Not Important, pay somebody else to do it. If it’s Not Urgent and Not Important, what the hell are you doing with it anyway? Learn more in Inc.’s “3 Decision-Making Models Used by Warren Buffett and Jeff Bezos.”

What did you fail at this week?

Image: NYMag. There are people afraid to fail. But don’t discount the number of people who are afraid to succeed. You know, those who waste your time with over-analysis and other repetitive nothings, but in the end cannot put it together, never mind pull the trigger. Yeah, those types. In “Billionaire CEO Sara Blakely Says These 7 Words Are the Best Career Advice She Ever Got,” Sara explains how her father did her a big favor. If you’re a dad, this is good. That aside, I don’t know why, but I repeatedly fail at not being curious at the close phonetics between “Sara Blakely” and “Blake Lively,” tbh. Why?

Principles by Ray Dalio

Are you radically open-minded?

Image: Simon & Schuster. This is hard to do because it goes against the grain of how we naturally are. Especially for starters who instinctively feel there must be no room for self-doubt in their system. But if you “remember that you’re looking for the best answer, not simply the best answer that you can come up with yourself,” then you see the nuance and importance of this. It starts with knowing that being close-minded is a mental hurdle, a critical one.