Thursday, September 30, 2004

We need others to become perfect

Business Times p.B1
Thursday, September 30, 2004

By Moje Ramos-Aquino
We need others to become perfect

“Ultimately isn’t life a series of moments strung together to create a whole story? And wouldn’t it be wonderful to be able to increase the incidence of perfect ones? If someone tells you that things in your life were perfect right now, you would no doubt dismiss it out of hand. But you would have to admit that everyone is born perfect. Created perfectly. A miracle, really, when you think about it. That’s why we cry when we see newborn babies—tiny packets of extraordinary perfection. Then what happens? Life gets complicated.” Thus Scott Blanchard and Madeleine Homan introduced their inspiring book, Leverage Your Best, Ditch the Rest (HarperCollins).

And more complicated when you took your first step on your personal journey on entrepreneurship. Two neophyte climbers share understanding of these complications.

Rod Salazar, a consultant at Benpres Corp., admits enjoying a blessed life full of its own trials and challenges. He had climbed a lot of mountains, figuratively speaking, many times simply because it was there and he wanted to climb it, or sometimes he needed to. The trek to Mount Makiling was the first real mountain he climbed and, in hindsight, made him affirm that achieving perfection in mountain climbing, as in life and business, becomes easier by having people to rely on.

“This is always true in anything we want to do or need to do at work or in life—there are others who we can learn from and take guidance from. Also, there is the rest of the team and I know they will be there to support each other, including me. The actual climb was exhilarating. The camaraderie was great, the teamwork obvious and the concern for each other’s welfare overwhelming.”

The authors Blanchard and Homan wrote successful managers are good coaches. The main goal of coaching is to help others objectively see where they are (current state) and where they need to be (future state) and then to develop a plan to get from here to there—with as little effort and with as much fun.

Bunny Peña-Gerochi, an executive of First Philippine Holdings Corp., says that for the long haul, you have to let others help you in climbing as in business. “Going up, I refused help many times for various reasons like thinking that hanging on to a solid tree trunk is better than grabbing the hand of a friend. Other times, I thought it would make very little difference. By the time we were on the way down, my knees where buckling down. Looking back, I could have had less postclimb aches and pains had I accepted more help.

Bunny realized that peer pressure works. She thought that as long as people were going to do it, she had to see if she could also do it. She relates that there came a point in the climb when she just had to focus on the mountain and forget about the limatik (leeches). It was as if nothing would get in the way until she finished what she set out to do and her mind sort of just naturally rid itself of distractions. She was not anymore afraid to get down and dirty. She didn’t just walked or climbed, she knelt, sat and slid across the ground whenever she had to. Bunny successfully climbed to Peak 2.

“Doing something totally out-of-character feels great. This was my first climb ever. We were battered and bruised after the climb. But the excitement of what we actually went through and accomplished slowly dawned on me as I told my husband and kids [the first of many audiences] about the experience. My second grader considers it ‘cool’ and my preschooler wants to join the next trek. What an achievement to do something my sons actually want to do, too! My husband was no less impressed. I feel wonderful.”

Blanchard and Howan suggest a coaching journey starting with self-acceptance and continuously acquiring new habits to improve one’s quality of life.

Next journey we will explore the Balanced ScoreCard.

(Moje, president of Paradigms & Paradoxes Corp., facilitates self, team and organization development initiatives. Her e-mail address is

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