Once in your lifetime (twice, if you’re really lucky), you will meet someone who defies your expectation of the norm and defines for you the essence of inspiring and empowering leadership.
In my case, it was a boss whom I got to know and work under long after I had given up on bosses (and the whole full-time day job shebang). He isn’t the type to turn heads when he enters a room, nor is he the type to enthrall you with larger-than-life speeches. He is never imposing or commanding; he probably isn’t the type you’d put “up there” on a pedestal. He doesn’t reek with the aura of power, and there are times when he doesn’t look or act like a boss at all.
But it is because of all this–his low-key demeanor, his detachment from power for power’s sake, his ability to lead from behind, and his willingness to work in the trenches with his troops–that he stands out in my book.
If I were a soldier, he would be my kind of general–a general I would be willing to fight and die for.
For rare is the general who would be first to arrive at the scene and last to leave the field, unable to rest or sleep until everyone is safely back home. Rare is the general who would be willing to fight alongside his troops–many times leading to make sure that the road would be safe for when the younger ones came, other times working silently behind the scenes to make sure that the mission is accomplished without a hitch.
Rare is the general who encourages ideas from all levels of the organization, and gives credit where credit is due. Rare is the general who believes in his team so much that they start to believe that much about themselves as well. Rare is the general who pushes you to fly and also makes sure that you have safety nets when you fall. Rare is the general who will inspire and enable you to create miracles.
Rare is the general who sees you not just as a number, not just as a resource, but as a human being with your own hopes and dreams and passions. Rare is the general who will take time out from his already-busy schedule to be there for you when you need a good cry.
Rare is the general who operates in such a dirty, muddy environment and insists on playing clean. Rare is the general who can survive the foulest of battles with his wits, his integrity, and, most of all, his soul intact.
Rare is such a general, and rare is such a man.
But such a general, such a man exists, and I am truly blessed to be working and fighting for change alongside him. One reason why I am still here, doing what I do for this team, is that I am inspired by people like this General, who has taught me practically everything I now know about working for change. Politics can be a filthy world, indeed, but with people like him there is reason to believe that hope lives, that we can achieve our goals without selling our souls to the devil.
Leaders like him make us see and believe that anything–absolutely anything–is possible.
So, to our beloved General, our one and only RBD, HAPPY, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! We are who and what we are because of your untiring and truly selfless leadership.
I will always be grateful to the Universe that you are my General and I am in your Team. I wouldn’t be where I am today without your encouragement and support.
Saludo ako sa inyo, Sir.
And, of course, what else do we dedicate to you but this? :>
We love you, Sir! *Group hug!*