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Posts Tagged ‘resignation

How not to “fire” a team player …

From the Facebook page of Vice President Leni Robredo

…  or  a Vice President in this case.

This shook my world early this week: Vice President Leni Robredo resigning from her post as chairperson of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC), this after she received a text message from Cabinet Secretary Jun Evasco that President Rodrigo Duterte asked her to desist from attending Cabinet meetings starting Monday, December 5.

In her resignation letter, Robredo cited the following:

Of course, the camp of the President scrambled to explain their side. While some are doing damage control as usual, House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said that considering Duterte and Robredo’s political differences, he thinks the Vice President was fired.

And that appears to be the case, since the Vice President has been vocal about her criticism of the President’s war on drugs, sexual attacks against women, reviving the death penalty, lowering the age of criminal liability, and most especially, his granting of a hero’s burial to Ferdinand Marcos.

“However, as your duly elected Vice President, I will not allow the Vice Presidency to be stolen. I will not allow the will of the people to be thwarted. I will continue to serve the Filipino family and fulfill their dream for a better life,” she said in a statement.

Unprofessional

The Cabinet is like an organization which also has to observe rules, regulations, protocols. A government run liked a corporation or enterprise (a truly organized corporation or enterprise, headed by a true leader in the person of a CEO) will run well if it learns to embrace differences for the common good. But of course, politics rules.

What irked me the most is how unprofessional the administration is in relaying the desist order to the Vice President—seriously, such serious order to be conveyed only via text message? Text message!

There is such a thing as regular one-on-one meetings between the people manager and the team member, or in this case, the giver of the order (in this case, the President) and the recipient of the message (Vice President) where they could have discuss pressing matters between them.

Both camps cited irreconcilable differences. We thought early on that they could work together since they espouse some causes, like housing. But still, as a real leader, you will do your very best to rally your team behind your vision and mission by understanding where they are coming from, and how you both can compromise or negotiate for a greater interest.

When I had an opportunity to lead a team, and faced with the challenge of uniting them, especially understanding the defiance, indifference from my second-in-command, I exercised everything in my power to relay to the person how we must work together. That it is OK that we agree to disagree, but we must act together for the benefit of the team, for us to deliver results. When the one-on-one meetings and necessary interventions did not work, I had to stand firm, heavily, and talked to the person with the presence of an HR officer to clear things, and documented the meeting and laid down a a set of deliverables the person must accomplish within a specified period of time (I chose not to have a “formal” performance improvement plan since it would not really look good on the employee’s 201 file). And if these were not met, the option then was to let the person go.

Those mouthpieces of the administration, please, get your act together if you want the President to really look good. But some mouthpieces of the administration have a point in saying that the Vice President, and other Cabinet officials for that matter, is the President’s alter ego. That they should have set aside their differences for the sake of the country. That she could have positioned her opposition in a manner that would not be antagonistic, or defiant of the Chief Executive (well, it is a matter of perspective, to view it as antagonistic or defiant).

Or that she could have waited for a little while to truly speak her mind. But the Vice President has her own mind. And it did not help that the position she is holding now was, and still being groomed for the President’s bet, Bongbong Marcos, who lost the vice presidency to Robredo and still contesting it.

 

Communications Secretary Martin Andanar, in a text message, quoted the President as saying: “It is with a heavy heart that I accept the resignation of Vice President Leni Robredo.” Granted this is true, but as a leader of the nation, he could have done better in working with the Vice President. And the Vice President as well.

I met so-called leaders who could not face me or their employees and instead sent their second-in-command to relay the message. This is why I have not wasted, and will not waste an opportunity to lead because I was at the receiving end of this ill treatment from these apparent leaders. Because people will work with you if you really do your very best to work with them. You may have differing beliefs or personal differences, but you can agree to work together for a common cause.

Duterte assured Robredo that she will be able to finish her term as Vice President. We will see then.

And let this be a lesson in leadership for us all.

Email ma.lynda.corpuz[at]gmail.com for feedback.

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