During the first two sessions of our class, our professor introduced us to the Lasallian Business Leadership Framework and the life of St. John Baptist De La Salle.
I only knew of St. John Baptist De La Salle as the patron of De La Salle University. But I never heard about him in my undergraduate classes. Watching the movie, I learned more about him and the process of how he founded the Congregation of Christian brothers and how these Brothers continued his work to establish a network of schools around the world, including here in the Philippines. I was amazed to learn that St. John Baptist De La Salle pioneered the classroom set-up and other innovative teaching methodologies. He left behind his wealth, comfort, title and even his family to pursue his vocation as an educator despite the opposition from the ecclesiastical authorities. He was declared a saint in 1900 and the proclaimed Patron of Christian Teachers in 1950.
In one of our break-out sessions, we reflected on the traits of St. John Baptist De La Salle as a risk-taker, innovator, servant-leader and mentor. As a Lasallian business leader, the following are my thoughts on modeling our lives based on St. John Baptist De La Salle’s examples.
If you want your business to succeed, risks are necessary. Some risks may not pay off, but an optimistic risk-taker will always look at failure as an opportunity to learn. We are all threading in uncertainty during this COVID-19 pandemic, and business leaders need to take calculated risks to survive and thrive.
It might be tempting to stay in your comfort zone, but you need to take the chance to grow and achieve your goals. I always take calculated risks and sometimes leap of faith depending on my gut. One example would be applying for a job in Manila without any relatives and with barely any savings. Fast forward to today, I was glad I made that decision because that shaped my career.
This is critical in business to reap the benefits of efficiencies, stay relevant and have the edge against competitors. Innovation also improves the standard of living and addresses community needs. I am lucky that my current company allows us to lead the innovation and transformation of our finance processes and procedures.
The term “servant leadership” refers to a “philosophy and set of practices that enriches the lives of individuals, builds better organizations, and ultimately creates a more just and caring world. Servant leadership is important because it creates a nurturing environment where workers feel like they are head, appreciated, and respected.
It can help businesses build stronger work cultures with high employee morale and engagement. For one to be a servant-leader, one must meet the needs of your employees. You need to lead by example, establish trust, be collaborative, accountable, forward-thinking, and committed to growth.
I’d like to believe that I am a work-in-progress servant-leader. I possess these traits but still have room for improvement. I will continue to work on these traits and hopefully enrich others and our organization.
As briefly mentioned in my other blog, our CFO started the mentorship program in our department. I am a mentor to an accounts payable manager in our department. According to Matthew Reeves, being a mentor serves as a way to give back and is an important development and learning experience. Teaching others is the best way to learn yourself. In the same way, mentors become more competent as leaders and communicators as they guide and help rising talent. I can attest to these benefits of mentoring, and I see the positive impact it made on my mentee and our department.
I hope that I will be able to emulate these traits of St. John Baptist De La Salle and apply these to my daily life and beyond my MBA studies.
The author is an MBA student at the Ramon V. del Rosario College of Business, DLSU. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The views expressed above are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official position of DLSU, its faculty, and its administrators.