LESSONS ON LEADERSHIP
Lessons from the lady chief
of the Civil Service Commission
BY ATTY. CARLO BALA
AS TOLD TO LAKAMBINI BAUTISTA
Leading by example is one of the main leadership principles of Civil Service Commission (CSC)
Chairperson, Alicia dela Rosa- Bala. And rightfully so, as she heads the central human resource agency of the government. The Commission is constitutionally mandated to promote morale, efficiency, integrity,
responsiveness, progressiveness, and courtesy in the Civil Service.
“Chair Alice,” as she is fondly called by colleagues, has dedicated her life to public service. Prior to her appointment in CSC, she has served the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) for 39 years in various capacities—from being a training officer to becoming the Department’s Undersecretary
for Policy and Programs. She was also Deputy Secretary General for Socio-Political affairs of the Association of South East Asia Nations (ASEAN) from 2012-2015.
Her life is clearly a depiction of a model public servant. Take it from her son and close aide, Atty. Carlo Bala.
Public service is selfless service.Being a social worker by profession, the Chairperson would always emphasize that when you work in the government, you do not ask what benefit you would derive from the services you have rendered. Instead, you ask what more you can do to improve the lives of the Filipino
When you serve your countrymen, you do so with utmost sincerity and without any qualifications. You serve them equally and fairly, with no prejudice or bias. Coming from the private practice of law, I have been trained to advocate my client’s case, but in public service, you serve everyone.
It’s doing the right thing even when no one is watching. You exercise authority without fear or favor; you decide based on merits and not on popular decision. Decision-making will always be the toughest part of the job.
Do everything with utmost qualityand passion. Mediocrity is what makes people complacent. Always aim to achieve better goals, never settle for anything less. Ditch the “pwede na yan” attitude. It is better to submit one proficient paper than to submit 10 ineffectual ones. Always recognize a job well done, even in the simplest manner, like saying “Thank you.”
Everything that we do should be dedicated to the greater glory of the Lord, the Supreme Being, to whom we owe all that we have. Breathe and take a good look at the beautiful things that the Lord has blessed us. Take time to feed your soul by having a healthy relationship with the Lord.
We have a natural tendency to be indifferent to the plight of others, especially if their situation doesn’t affect us. But we should keep in mind that one simple act of compassion and kindness can make a big impact on the lives of others. Public servants should always seek to extend a helping hand, especially to those who are in need. For instance, if your office closes at 5 p.m. and the client got there before the said time, the person’s transaction should be facilitated, even if this means working beyond 5 p.m. We should
always think: a small act of kindness can go a long way.
THE GIFT OF FAMILY.
Your relationship with your family—whether it be the ones you were born into or your coworkers—is dependent on you. How you’ll establish and strengthen this relationship is up to you. The biggest challenge in my relationship with Chair Alice, is the fact that she is not only my boss, but she is also my mother. Throughout my life, she has looked after my welfare. Now that we serve the country together, it is incumbent upon me to do the same, which is to look out for her wellbeing while holding one of the critical positions in our government. Doing so is not an easy task. There are times we have conflicting views, since
we come from different professional backgrounds. As with all families, it’s not always smooth sailing,
but it is through compromise and understanding that we are able to achieve a harmonious relationship.