Doing Everything and Nothing: Leadership Lessons

Abraham Lincoln, Mahatma Gandhi, and even Ferdinand Marcos…we say these people were great leaders, they did a lot to spark change. But however great and effective they were, we still ponder on their faults and flaws.


What is it about LEADERSHIP, that even the definition is confusing? Leaders are servant-followers, leaders are born and not made, leaders are authoritative yet democratic, leaders listen before they talk, leaders are blah, blah, blah… It’s as if being chosen a leader is more of a crime rather than an honor.


I learned so much about leadership and unity recently. And I learned, unfortunately,  the HARD WAY. This experience, unlike past encounters, made a big blow to my self-image and emotions. Until now, I can’t get over the trauma, even if a lot of people are encouraging me to let go and move on.


I’ve always been on the top-always on the honor roll, teacher’s favorite, active in competitions, and always chosen as a leader. I am that person who thinks highly of herself, believing she can do and overcome everything. I have that big confidence to face risky situations and I have to admit, I am proud and boastful. For so long I have built and lived with this attitude, basking in responsibility and honor. I never thought that one day, my world would slowly crumble down. And by slowly, I mean very slowly, everyday a light stab until the big blow at the end.


It happened when I was chosen a leader, or rather an executive producer for a documentary. This was a class output, we were divided into production teams to have a grasp of what really happens in the media industry. We were to produce short documentary films, 15-20 minutes running time. Of course, everybody was excited because this was an ongoing tradition. We were going to present it for public viewing.


I was overwhelmed of course, for having a such position. But what I thought to be a smooth work turned out to be the worst experience ever. I DID ALMOST EVERYTHING.


What really pains me is that the people in our production team. They were so passive and a bit lazy. You need to exert a lot of effort motivating them and giving them tasks. Yes, I am strict. Very strict. But that’s because I know some of these people, and I know that they won’t work unless you force them to.


Our director, who is older than us, is always not around. She only appeared during production, and she didn’t even know what to do despite briefing her many times. Some of the Production Assistants explained to her, however she was really closed minded and ranted during the shooting. Even during the editing or post-production, she wasn’t present. She should have been there because she is the director, she is supposed to “direct” our documentary. Instead, I did everything in her place. I created and proposed the storyline and I guided the editors during editing.


I also hate and despise a certain person in our team, who assumed a position that wasn’t supposed to be hers. When we were filling up the positions, she volunteered herself saying she is worth the position. I doubted, because I think she lacks experience and I know someone in our team has more knowledge and better than her. But I gave in anyway, believing things would turn out the other way. However, I was wrong. Gravely wrong. She was a pest, and she didn’t even do her work. All she did was complain, gossip, insult and backstab people. Even me. Even if I ended up doing her work, she did not show any respect or gratitude.


In the end, I received comments that I have trust issues and that I am too authoritative and strict. That I should trust other people and let them handle their work. That I should not but in and do other’s task. That I should give them a chance. That I should be nicer and be more approachable. That I did everything and blamed others for not doing anything.


All these were not said to me personally, they were relayed to me by someone whom I am not close with. These were said behind my back. These were the most offending words I heard in my life. And to think that they weren’t helping in the documentary, but they have the guts to say these things. As if, they me something. They did NOTHING, but I allowed their names and positions to be placed in the end credits of our documentary.


Up to now, I still reflect upon what could have been wrong. A lot of people talked to me, and they told me not to mind these things. They told me that I know better and things might be like this for now, but later on the wheel will turn and I would have my saving grace. They told me to TRUST the LORD, and cast everything to him.


Why am I pondering upon these disgusting bitches when I have angels around me who trust and love me for who I am? I don’t deserve their treatment, they don’t deserve me. As a teacher of mine said before, “Don’t stoop down to their level.”


Yes, I never will.

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