Asia 21 Philippines Discussion Series: How to be a Leader for the Future

Doris Dumlao and Mark Ruiz

MANILA, PHILIPPINES – Times are changing, and so are the standards for what an ideal leader should be. People of different ages and different sectors gathered in Bo’s Coffee, Glorietta 5 last Tuesday, February 19, 2013. All were eagerly awaiting the insights of two young leaders– Mark Ruiz (Co-Founder and President of Microventures Inc./Hapinoy) and Doris Dumlao (Senior Business Reporter for the Philippine Daily Inquirer) both of which are Asia 21 Young Leaders.

When the audience was asked what made them attend the event, a variety of answers arose. Most of them wanted to know what kind of leader the Philippines needed in the future; some were looking for a fresh perspective in contrary to the leader we know today; and a few, although already leaders in their respective fields, wanted to know what they could contribute to their organizations in terms of leadership.

Open Forum
During the discussion, Mark Ruiz talked about the shift of the pace of life from decades ago to today. He said that we are experiencing major changes in this day and age because the world is more volatile. The backdrop of the world is that it's constantly evolving with technology as one of its main factors. He said that one of the effects that technology has, especially with the power of social media, is that people now are beginning to appreciate the fact that there are certain things that we need to work on, on a global level. He also reminded us that it is technology that has opened us to global challenges, but also to global opportunities.
As leaders for the future, he emphasizes that collaboration is extremely important as well as empathy with those who have less because empathy reveals the fact that we cannot only live for
ourselves. He also talks about the new and upcoming kind of leader, the “social entrepreneurs”. When asked about the key to Hapinoy’s success, Mark pointed out that it is important to be passionate about the problem you are trying to solve and not to get into it just because you want to feel good about it. He also stressed on how important it is to find great partners in starting your own venture.
Doris Dumlao then talked about the role of entrepreneurship in the development of our country. Citing Mark Ruiz as an example and several other Filipinos who have successfully built businesses from the ground up, she explained how there is always room for entrepreneurs and start-ups in the Philippines. People should not be intimidated by the big corporations because we have to realize that they all had to start somewhere, as well. In addition to a great vision and business plan, people should also constantly try to innovate and be more outbound looking to incorporate not just the Philippine market but the global market. “If you're not competitive in this kind of environment, you'll lose market share”, she said.
Also, Doris said that there is a growing demand among consumers and investors for greater corporate governance. She emphasized that the best way to succeed in this fast paced world is to
benchmark your organization/company against global competitors. And what better way to learn about their practices than by networking.
Being a delegate to several international conferences such as the Asia 21 International Summit and the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, she shared the importance of meeting people from different backgrounds and seek for opportunities for possible collaborations. By establishing relationships with other leaders around the world, you will increase the scale of your business or project and get to learn from their best practices as well.
It was a timely and fresh take on leadership, as expressed by some of the participants. It gave them an idea of what leaders should do to prepare themselves for the uncertainties that the future may bring. Meeting the young leaders also allowed the participants to learn something from the speakers’ experiences and insights. And it also promoted the objective of passing on the knowledge to the future leaders of society to prepare them for the future that they may be facing.
The Asia 21 Philippine Young Leaders Discussion series is a partnership between the Asia 21 Young Leaders Initiative and Young Public Servants. For more information on the next sessions, email