The Clamor for Duterte’s Kind of Leadership


It may be debatable but Rodrigo Duterte’s spectacular win can be summed up as the country’s clamor for true leadership in government.  The lack of leadership and impotence in forwarding true change and the lack of conveyance of policies and course of action have plagued the Philippine executive branch for decades.  The electorate consistently screams of change.  Yet again, Noynoy Aquino failed to provide tangible leadership.

As for the rest of the 2016 presidential candidates,they all seemed to project a populist doctrine but their indifference to that doctrine was obvious.  Either in deed, as with Mar Roxas, who could not bring into evidence any claims of personal triumph in the “Daang Matuwid,” apart from the little successes of the program in its entirety.  Or in rhetoric, as with Grace Poe, who failed to articulate exactly what she meant by “Tatapusin ko laban ng ama ko.”  They both seem to be wearing a designer outfit designed for someone else, to become someone else.  Ultimately, leadership has to be authentic.   People see through politically calibrated statements.


Here is a list of exemplary leadership qualities that Duterte seem to possess and hopefully will manifest in the immediate future:

  • Duterte’s leadership style is that of the authoritative leader.  He can marshal his team to focus and achieve his objective.  He can rally people to join him in a cause especially if there is a need for a new vision.  When circumstances change, leaders like Duterte can inspire and rally people towards a goal. He also requires compliance and this style is effective during crisis.
  • He has a heart.  We could see this from the video clip during Yolanda. He made bold initiatives in Davao that only a maverick leader can.  I cannot imagine any big or small city mayor imposing underground cables from electric companies, and again, the 911 initiative.
  • His passion and dedication to his sworn duty, however vulgar he may seem to be, is exemplary.  He may not be an inspiration, but he is a motivator and not afraid to get mud on his shoes and roll up his sleeves. He is conscientious, dominated by a sense of duty.  It is something we can all emulate.
  • A good leader is committed to excellence for his people’s sake.   As I do not know the man personally, I have relatives who work with Duterte and they tell me that he maintains and demands high standards from his people, but mostly upon himself.  According to them, he would always raise his standard and expectations.  Even his staunchest critics cannot deny his social boldness.  He is thick-skinned to criticism, a risk-taker, aggressive yet responsive to people’s needs.

It may be debatable how Rodrigo Duterte’s presidency can change the economic landscape of the country.  But what is clear is that the nation clamors for true leadership in government. Morality, as our society defines it, is not even be an issue.  After all, the great leaders we know, we remember not for their saintly rhetoric – most of them are far from having that.  They stood out because they are authentic and well-meaning – their ears are on the ground and their heart is in the right place.

If the leader’s spirit is boundless, if his visions are pioneering and revolutionary, and if his heart can hear his people’s voice, that man will be a great leader.

The electorate has spoken.  The nation has made its choice. Now it is time to work together.


Posted by TalkShop
Sheila Viesca, TalkShop CEO and Director of Communication, took up Bachelor of Arts in Literature, pursued Master's degrees in Entrepreneurship and Economics, and completed her Doctorate in Applied Cosmic Anthropology. She designed the Philippines' Language Competency Benchmark for the Department of Education and pioneered Integrated Language Teaching (ILT) in workshop designs and corporate communication training. You can follow her on Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, LinkedIN


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