What distinguishes the true leader from a mere administrator

helmaloft[1]The recent article Excellence of Execution by Marck Rimorin on his Marocharim.com provides very good insight into some very flawed notions in the way we regard the electorate’s role in a democracy and what is expected of our politicians.

I’ve for some time studied the counter-positions to our Platform, plez drive taken by many of the Establishment bloggers that continue to cling to relevance in the National “Debate”. Many of the lamer of these counter-positions hinged upon romanticism and sentimentality have since been dissected into their component parts each of which are all now sitting pickled in little labelled bottles to gather dust on our shelf of obsolete primitivist thought.

In his recent article, Marck successfully articulates the one remaining counter-position that soundly puts forth a case for a significant part of being President of the Philippines to which platforms do not apply. And that part, is the role the President takes as administrator.

Consider the kernel of Marck’s article:

In the end, the best President for the Philippines is someone who can execute and uphold the Constitution and the laws of the land. The President is not a legislator, and he or she is not an adjudicator. The President is an executor. So far, our past Presidents have failed to deliver on that.

Indeed, an administrator is no more than a custodian of a system and its processes and by-laws. In a sense Marck is right. The adminstrator merely executes within a legacy frame. In short, Marck sees the Presidency as no more than an Administrator role.

But to me, being the President of a major country is more than just being a mere administrator. For me, being the President means being a leader of a people. Marck’s limited concept of the Presidency therefore results in a failure of thinking along three points:

(i) A lack of clarity around the place a platform takes among other artefacts of state governance:

the laws of the land and the Constitution, taken collectively, is the “document” [i.e. the platform] you demand from the presidentiables

(ii) The flawed premise of societal change as necessarily originating only from legislation:

A platform is not the business of someone who executes. I say, direct the “platform plez (TM)” question to the legislative, not to the people running for President.

– and –

(iii) A retrospective (rearward-looking) rather than prospective (forward-looking) outlook:

For me, the task is to elect the best executive based on qualifications, track record, competence, public sentiment, which may not necessarily be the person with the best Binibining Pilipinas answer-slash-platform, which is basically what you’re looking for.

Thus my verdict:

I don’t think so Marck.

To be fair you actually make it easy for me as you pretty much articulate the fundamental flaw in your argument that, itself, is the common denominator across the three points I raise above:

The plan is already there (Constitution, legislation, general appropriations)

The Constitution is the philosophical infrastructure upon which administrative and governance operations are applied and, for that matter, where the general character of our society generally takes its cue from. The Chief Executive’s campaign platform (or that of his party to which his pitch should be consistent with) is the plan to guide his leadership over governance operations over the course of his term. Presumably these operations are geared not just to (Role A) maintaining the minimum functional requirements of government (those things you cite — consistency with the Constitution, compliance to “legislation” (read The Law), and subjection to general appropriations) but also to (Role B) move the society forward towards a set of development goals.

The earlier (Role A) is a no-brainer and need not be subject to debate in a mature campaign to begin with. They should for the most part be enshrined in the very DNA of the society we fancy to be “democratic”. Making “upholding the Constitution” or “complying with The Law” or “observing the Budget” one’s campaign pitches is no different from the moronism of ordering the Police to “solve the crime” whenever a crime occurs.

The latter (Role B) implies the existence of a plan or roadmap to take us from an A-state to a B-state. The candidate should describe the envisioned State of the Nation at various milestones in his term (the most important of these will be at the end — the B-State — of his term). This plan is first pitched to the public during his campaign and then updated over the course of his term subject to changing conditions that are unforeseen at the time of the formulation of said plan.

The effort to achieve the goals of this plan (every plan has them) involves the following components:

(1) work at achieving these goals within the framework of existing laws (consistent with the no-brainer Role A); and,

(2) identify impediments/challenges to achieving these goals that lie within the framework of existing laws and propose changes in legislation to mitigate these identified impediments and challenges.

The Chief Executive does Component 1 almost exclusively. He can do some of Component 2 and will more likely work with legislators to achieve part of it.

As can be seen so far, Role B (moving the society forward towards a set of goals) encompasses Components 1 and 2 and is what defines a true leader. On the other hand, Role A (business-as-usual) is the smaller of the two, is limited to doing only Component 1, and merely distinguishes a good administrator.

We need to raise the bar and elect leaders. It is a formidable challenge in Philippine society considering, as Marck points out, that we cannot even elect good administrators and are, in reality, stuck at electing mere posterboys that offer nothing more than their pedigrees and vacuous platitudes.

Advertisements

About benign0

benign0 is the Web master of GetRealPhilippines.com
This entry was posted in Government and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

29 Responses to What distinguishes the true leader from a mere administrator

  1. BenK says:

    Another huge flaw in this blogger’s argument is that it assumes that the Constitution is effective and relevant, which it is not by a long shot. Even if we give him the benefit of the doubt in his argument (which we can’t really, because it’s based on an incomplete understanding of his topic), the Administrator will be administering a program which is designed to be ineffective and insufficient to the needs of the enterprise.

  2. You raise many great points and ideally, we need the best leader we can find and that involves real vision and true leadership–as you’ve defined it. Well done. However, in terms of practical reality and the choices on the ground–I’ll take an administrator, if one presents himself among the current choices. Let’s try not to make the perfect become the enemy of the good. Maybe if we focus on setting the currently low bar based on winnability and other flawed standards a little higher to “administrator” in 2010, we would be in a position to raise it even higher to “visionary leader” in 2016.

  3. What’s with the comment system on your blog? I can’t seem to make a comment. It just refreshes to a white page.

  4. Okay, it’s working now. Sorry 🙂

  5. HusengBatute says:

    With this Marck guy’s level of understanding regarding the role of each of the main branches of gov’t, I won’t be surprised why people seem to be inclined towards puppet-like Presidents. They seem to leave it to the legislative body to do all the thinking and planning, while the executive body is left to do all the following in a practically mindless way just like a puppet, with hardly any need for the ability to identify the actual goals that would best serve the common good, economic, cultural, or otherwise.

    The President should also be able to identify oncoming opportunities that may arise as well as steer clear of any danger or calamity that would retard the progress of a nation. Laws tend to be more abstract, while the day-to-day operations which are the concern of the President or of the executive branch are more concrete.

    In basketball for instance, the committee which lays down the ground rules of the game would represent the legislative body, the referee would represent the judiciary branch, while the coach of each team would be like the president. It is the job of the coach to impart to the whole team the game plan or strategy in order for the team to win. The skills of each member of the team are most effective under the direction of a good game plan provided by the coach.

    Just as it is not the job of the committee to tell the coach what his game plan should be, the legislative branch as such should not dictate to the president what his “game plan” for the nation should be, as long as he or she operates within legal boundaries.

  6. ilda says:

    Sounds like this Marck Rimorin doesn’t know what he is talking about. Basically, he is just trying to justify the lack of credible platform of most of the candidates. Only one word can describe this phenomenon: Tamad.

    The constitution is the fundamental political principle of a country. A platform is a list of actions that any political party promises to do upon winning the election. Keeping the promise is another story though.

  7. benign0 says:

    You don’t use the Law as an excuse not to act. That’s not too different from stretching its interpretation and/or perverting it with the intent of acting unethically within its framework (hmmmm… reminds me of a previous topic that generated 500+ comments…).

    The key is in understanding its spirit which its letter (in considering its nature as a limited medium) captures imperfectly. A true leader understands the spirit of the Law beyond its letters, and therefore works with it to achieve goals that encompass it.

  8. FreeSince09 says:

    But who then has the a. character b.ability c.vision to actually get er done? Manny Villar(without the character) and Gibo (the company he keeps unfortunately) are “okay na” if you look at their agendas. Erap has none and Noynoy only has character. So are you choosing Perlas?

  9. res ipsa says:

    the premise that the constitution and laws provide everything and all that is needed is to implement them is patently wrong. provisions of the fundamental law are mere parameters and guidelines. first, it sets out the parameters and limits of what the government structure should be i.e. democratic-republican, with separation of powers among its three great branches. second, it provides a guidelines and principles upon which all other laws, be it enacted by congress thru its plenary legislative power or thru other agencies by valid delegation, should be directed.

    the role of the executive is to provide concrete projects for the general welfare of the populace. examples would be entering into agreements with other states for effective transfer of technology, capital or funding. in entering in such contracts the executive is allowed a wide latitude of discretion.

    in effect a leader, or in our case, a president must have a clear policy on all aspects of national concern i.e. economy, peace and order, employment, etc. the specifics of these things are not provided in the constitution or laws. it would be an absolute disaster to elect a president who has no inkling of what to direction to take on these matters. the constitution will not give him any answer. the laws will further confuse him.

  10. ilda says:

    Hi Batang Tondo,

    I thought this response to you (refer to this comment of yours) is more appropriate under the topic of this article.

    I can see that you are new to commenting on forums like this one. Normally, when a commentator wants to refer to an article or a book he agrees on, he just quotes a few paragraphs or sentences and then builds upon it by coming up with his own interpretation of the source the rest of the way. I was kind of confused at first on who wrote the first article, whether it was you or someone else. Especially the one on “Why are some countries so poor?” Then I realised at the bottom that you indeed copied that whole article. You need to be more concise in the future. People have less attention span nowadays 🙂

    Anyway, you mentioned that even though climate is a factor that affects the mentality of those who inhabit a particular place, you also agreed that Singapore is a classic example of a nation who did not let climate inhibit its development as a great nation. So, what do you think this says about the Philippines then?

    Would you agree that the situation in the country reflects on the people who inhabit the Philippines? Would you agree that the Philippines have been mismanaged by its public officials? Would you agree also that the public officials were voted into office by the people themselves? Likewise, would you agree that the public officials never get to be accounted for their incompetence because they never had a platform in the first place?

    Before I go into the details of your proposal, let me just say that since you have your own ideas on how to solve some of the problems in the country, can you now see the value of asking for a basic platform from our presidential candidates? Wouldn’t you want to see if your ideas come even close to theirs? GetReal Philippines has been clamouring for a platform for the last two years, even before it became hype. I don’t really understand what you see as negative about this.

    Now, let’s go to your proposal:

    You propose a computerization of every classroom in the country. This is very, very unrealistic. We can’t even accommodate a huge influx of students in every classroom with quality education at the moment. Isn’t this the reason for Efren Penaflorida’s existence? I don’t think high-speed internet will solve the problem of our education system. We all grew up going to the library to do our research and we all did well. It was good for our discipline. I’m sure the next generation will survive without Wikepedia.

    Besides, the thinking that computerization will help enhance the education system is a common misconception. It just looks high-tech but at the end of the day, students need to start with basic reading, writing and arithmetic. Computer education should be introduced in higher learning.

    On your population control measures, you are very drastic. I am for population control but I don’t really think that taking kids away and putting them in foster care will work. It’s also unethical. The government should reduce the jobless rate so that there is less time for those who are unemployed to make babies. And the Catholic Church should butt-out of people’s beds

    With your proposal on job creation and environmental preservation, they’re ok, but I note how Ben Kritz puts his solutions in a coherent form in his sample platform (refer here). Benign0 for his part also shows a framework of solutions that finds its context in his views on our cultural dysfunction (refer here).

    This goes to show that GetReal Philippines has been trying to help the country for almost a decade now but still, the electorate would rather vote for people based on their popularity and winnability.

    Do not underestimate the importance of blogging. You seem to think that it is just toilet paper to you. You kinda contradict your statements here because you want to see classrooms fully computerised but you are against the newer methods on communication on the net.

    BTW, you said you really are a nice guy but you also mentioned that you have five girlfriends; does this mean they all know you are going out with all of them?

    • BATANG TONDO says:

      ilda,

      thanks for reading my post

      1

      you made me laugh so hard on having 5 GFs thing
      that was a joke to piss my detractors, i actually have 4 ex-gfs that I still casually see and 1 current
      i am still good friends with the other 4 but i am quite serious with the one i am dating now
      i loved them all but gotta choose 1
      hard to choose 1 when there’s more than 3 billion women out there haha

      2

      let me say this again, i don’t hate bloggers i just don’t like the way they present things in a negative way like a tabloid for sensationalism and calling PInoys who voted for Efren as cheaters over and over doesn’t do anyone any good, it just makes things worse

      3

      the computerization idea may seem unrealistic right now since there are bigger and worse problems to tackle

      there must be some way to find the resources from outside if not from within

      we may need an Efren from the richer countries to give us their kariton in a way either through ODA or other resources but i am in no way an expert on how those things work but for sure without computer literacy more and more students will have a difficult time to find jobs when they finish school

      4

      population control should be a priority for the Philippines right now
      it may not work overnight but it should be taught at schools at an early age
      taking away unfed kids from irresponsible parents may look drastic or unethical but it’s for their sake and everyone’s future

      responisible parents should not have more than 2 kids if they want to be able to afford to raise them and give them comfortable lives

      5

      if i sound contradicting myself i may not be fit for this writing ideas for our country’s progress exercise but i gave it a try because you asked me too

      i just presented ideas to those people to let them know it is not the time to be pointing fingers and talking about the house is broken, because we already know that IT IS broken, we need to know how we can get our house fixed and we need some concrete actions at the soonest or our lives in the Philippines will always be miserable

      I have to stop writing in these blogs, please don’t reply to this anymore nor expect me to reply if ever you write a reply to this

      I really have 2 script deadlines and 1 film editing that I need to finish this week

      good luck with your stuff

      and thanks for being nice to me i really appreciate it that you are not like the others

      • Hsing Tao says:

        How can you advocate population control? The Catholic Church will surely block it and they are popular in The Philippines.

      • BongV says:

        we may need an Efren from the richer countries to give us their kariton in a way either through ODA or other resources but i am in no way an expert on how those things work but for sure without computer literacy more and more students will have a difficult time to find jobs when they finish school

        yup, hindi lang FLYING VOTER, MENDICANT pa.  for starters start voting for candidates who invest in education – wag yung IGNOY at KAWATAN.

      • BATANG TONDO says:

        OMG!

        HT and BV you must love me so much you follow me everywhere

        Guys again I am sorry

        I have to be out of these blogs which I know will make you happy

        Enjoyed 4 days of joking around with you guys though, didn’t mean any offense

        Have fun and take care!

        Peace

      • Hsing Tao says:

        You keep saying you are leaving but you don’t. I hope you follow ettiquette this time and make good on your promise. Not like the Pinoys who campaigned and voted an obscenely multiple number of times for Efren.

      • Ray Rodriguez says:

        Provided its true that he has 1 GF and 4 exes he still meets, then he is proud to be CHEATING. At pinagmamalaki pa na isa siyang CHEATER. Kagaya ng pagiging proud nya sa unethical behavior ng mga Pinoy noong nangangampanya, binoboto at ipinagmamalaki nila ang pagka-panalo KUNO ni Penaflorida sa CNN Heroes.

        Yan ang Pinoy. Nandudugaas na, nagmamalaki pa. Kaya di umuunlad ang Pilipinas kasi ang mga tulad ni Batang Tondo bobo.

      • homer says:

        he says he was just joking, so he’s no scriptwriter…and he’s most likely ‘the woman’ in a relationship.

        …and he’ll keep coming back for more humiliation as long as we need someone to laugh at.

      • Hsing Tao says:

        SAKAMOTO SAN and NAKAMURA SAN rob him so much.

      • ilda says:

        Hi Batang Tondo

        Oh, I wish you would not take the puns directed at you too seriously. You must admit you made several bad puns yourself. This is how it is in the blog world. The good thing about this blog is nothing is moderated unlike Filipino Voices or other crappy blogs out there 🙂

        You gotta lose that onion skin of yours. Besides, the guys are just probably testing what you are made of. It would be a shame if you don’t come back because I’ve always wanted to hear what the rest of the Pinoys who disagree with GetRealist have to say. You said so yourself, you have to represent the silent majority.

        I really wish you’d come back because I have another question.

        You said:

        …it is not the time to be pointing fingers and talking about the house is broken, because we already know that IT IS broken, we need to know how we can get our house fixed and we need some concrete actions at the soonest or our lives in the Philippines will always be miserable

        When is the right time? I really want to know how the house got broken. Since you have lived longer than me in the Philippines, you should have more insights on how the situation got progressively worse. I want to hear your perspective on that. I personally don’t see anything wrong with discussing it. A lot of people want to be enlighten too. I wish you would speak for the rest of the people who do not have the guts to speak up.

        Just think of your first experience here as an initiation and a welcome. You have to admit, the last few days must have been exciting for you.

        Cheers

        PS. You did not answer my questions below:

        Would you agree that the situation in the country reflects on the people who inhabit the Philippines? Would you agree that the Philippines have been mismanaged by its public officials? Would you agree also that the public officials were voted into office by the people themselves? Likewise, would you agree that the public officials never get to be accounted for their incompetence because they never had a platform in the first place?

        Ta-ta

      • BATANG TONDO says:

        Yes for all the above, I agree…

        But sorry I hate politics, I wish I knew more of what’s going on in the Philippines right now

        Will study up and get back to you…

        Something needs to be done…

        Hate to think it but like I mentioned to you before, I am totally against wars and bombings and killings

        But sometimes a new and better country and better leaders rise up out of the ashes of a MAJOR WAR…

        Japan
        South Korea
        Germany
        Vietnam

        Maybe it’s what we need to wake up all the TAMADS, THE CORRUPTS, ALL THE BAD SEEDS

        That’s what God does once in a while, just like when he asked Noah to start all over again after the BIG FLOOD

  11. BongV says:

    who’s following who – seems like you are lost in translation

  12. BATANG TONDO says:

    OK ANTI-PINOYS

    Yes, we are ALL corrupt

    Yes, we are ALL tamad

    Yes, we are ALL bobo

    Yes, we are ALL stupid

    Yes, we are ALL ignorant

    Yes, we are ALL gago

    Yes, we are ALL whatever

    Sige tinatanggap na namin ok tama na mga sinasabi nyo

    YOU ARE the very few na Pinoy na nag-iisip, matatalino, masipag at magagaling na tao.

    The rest of us are bad eggs

    Through these blogs you have proven your point

    So what now?

    Annihilate us ALL PINOYS like Hitler killed the Jews?

    Ano ba gusto nyo talaga mangyari?

    Sige accepted na nga namin what is wrong with us…

    WHAT NOW?

    Ano gagawin nyo sa amin????

    Ha????

    Ano ang magagawa nyo para umunlad nga tayo?

    Wala pa akong nakikitang mga solution eh puros problema pine-present nyo

    Asan mga solutions nyo asan na???

    The fact remains you are making FALSE GENERALIZATIONS on a whim

    NOT based on facts including the EFREN’S VOTERS RIGGING ACCUSATIONS that

    YOU DON’T WANT TO ADMIT NA MALI

    KAYO ANG AYAW MAG-ADMIT

    Kahit the facts are IN YOUR FACE na CNN asked everyone to VOTE AS MANY AS YOU WANT

    Di nyo ma-accept—THAT ARTICLE should not even be here anymore because IT’S FALSE

    MATITIGAS ULO NYO MGA ANTI-PINOY TUNAY NA TUNAY

    Kaya ako umiinit ang ulo dito!

    • homer says:

      What an emotional bitch!

      Oh, he’s gone already?

      D’OH!!!

    • Conyo says:

      BATANG TONDO, you asked: WHAT NOW?

      Well first, you need to calm down by having coffee at Starbucks. If you cannot afford it, then you are probably a Jolog. If I am correct, do not be worried, sa Jollibee ka na lang muna mag palamig ng ulo.

      Once your anger subsides, you need to clear your mind and digest the solution I am about to share. This is all you need to do:

      1. Focus all your energies on acquiring as much WEALTH as possible.

      2. Zone out anything (blogs, massacres in Mindanao, wowowee, etc.) that has nothing to do with #1

      That’s it. Yun lang.

      Trust me. Just do it.

      See you at Starbucks 🙂

  13. uncle pinoy says:

    unfortunately, i agree with batang tondo. i’ve seen very little in terms of solutions. and when a solution is offered, it is poo-poohed as being too simplistic.

    • ilda says:

      Uncle Pinoy

      I just want to highlight that Batang Tondo’s ultimate solution to the problems in the Philippines is to have a war in the country or a great flood:

      Hate to think it but like I mentioned to you before, I am totally against wars and bombings and killings

      But sometimes a new and better country and better leaders rise up out of the ashes of a MAJOR WAR…

      Japan
      South Korea
      Germany
      Vietnam

      Maybe it’s what we need to wake up all the TAMADS, THE CORRUPTS, ALL THE BAD SEEDS

      That’s what God does once in a while, just like when he asked Noah to start all over again after the BIG FLOOD

      You might have missed this piece I wrote to him above:

      With your proposal on job creation and environmental preservation, they’re ok, but I note how Ben Kritz puts his solutions in a coherent form in his sample platform (refer here). Benign0 for his part also shows a framework of solutions that finds its context in his views on our cultural dysfunction (refer here

      This goes to show that GetReal Philippines has been trying to help the country for almost a decade now but still, the electorate would rather vote for people based on their popularity and winnability.

      Batang Tondo is the one who cannot seem to understand the solutions being presented. He finds it complicated but it’s only because he doesn’t want to change any of the bad habits the Filipinos have.

  14. benign0 says:

    Mr uncle pinoy here is a brief copied and pasted and customised to make it look like it was addressed specially to you (it’s from a comment I made to some other dude who makes a similar observation/assertion you do now).

    In general “Get Real Philippines” is guided by the following set of broad objectives:

    😀 Provide a framework over which fundamental issues that underpin our sorry inability to prosper can be analysed and communicated in a coherent structure (i.e. the overall GetRealPhilippines.com site).

    😀 Develop an architecture for cultural change that serves as an overall landscape that adds perspective and provides context to individual initiatives (such as these “wars” against “corruption” that we keep hearing about from every man and his dog). Refer to our Solution Framework section.

    😀 Bring together a group of elite world-class lateral thinkers who, together, provide a beacon of clarity across the landscape of a traditionoal but dysfuntional national “debate” that has for the most part of our history subtracted rather than added to the collective intellect of Pinoy society. Refer to our network of “Certified Getrealists” which is listed on our Certified GetRealists section.

    😀 Push for a political “debate” over the period leading up to the 2010 elections that is issues-oriented and grounded on published campaign platforms from each candidate that articulate in categorical terms the specific positions they take on a range of issues. Refer to our brilliant electorate reform campaign Platform, plez.

    I may be mistaken, but it is possible that you (like Batang Tondo) have different definitions of “action” or “solutions” probably the sorts that glorify Pinoy concepts of “heroic” acts like doling out money and food to the poor, going to the countryside to teach in public schools for free, joining cause oriented groups to demonstrate/rally against our society’s demons such as injustice and poverty, running for public office, and yes maybe even that old favourite — dying for your “country”.

    The really hard question that provides a reality check on such notions of “action” is quite simple:

    Where are the results?

    You see now that the irony that flies over the head of most people is that a lot of people take “action” but only an ELITE few really step back to THINK THINGS THROUGH properly and communicate the outcome of said thinking coherently. That’s the reality in this here world of ours and a reality that is especially acute in backward primitivist and theocratic societies like the Philippines.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s