Here is the transcript of Mr. Manuel R. Guillermo’s inspiring talk at the 10th annual Business Orientation Program (BOP) of the American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (AmCham) given to the selected 30 outstanding students from various universities in the country held 17th of April 2012.
I was at the welcome reception at the US Ambassador’s residence last Saturday and I saw how everyone hang on to your every word as each of you articulated your expectations, hopes, and appreciation for being a part of the BOP. Reference to breaking through the so-called “real world” was uttered a few times. Interesting how people yet in their academic environment are prone to refer to the world of business as the “real world”. Well, to some extent, this may be true if we are to consider that in the business world, the risks one take as you go up the hierarchy of positions become greater in magnitude, in implications and in consequences.
In the world of business or the real world, if you will, you can lose your shirt, literally. Of course, as there are risks, there are safeguards. It’s really only the reckless – who, for lack of training, preparations, common sense, or simply because of sheer greed, would be prone to ignore those safeguards.
But let me not take you too far unnecessarily. The thoughts I’d probably like to leave with you tonight – at the risk of oversimplifying – is my favorite advice to young professionals – which is to say that the real keys to success in the real world are not “smarts”, or qualifications or belonging to a brand-name firm. Sure they are important springboards. Rather, success derives from courage, drive, energy, passion, ambition, enthusiasm, excitement, initiative, discipline, a dream and an ample self-confidence to keep on trying.
The most important trait you ought to learn is how to interact effectively with other people, and with the global nature of the business world, this also means interacting with and being sensitive to different cultures. Everything you’ll want in professional life (and outside it) will come from another person: a client, a colleague, a superior or subordinate. You’ve got to know how to get other people to give you – willingly -- what you want.
Incidentally, I have been a management consultant most of my business life, first with SGV & Co., then with the Andersen Consulting – now Accenture. With that as a background, what I have been very much involved in the last 12 years is being in the business of searching and identifying executive talent for large corporations. It would be good for you to know that my clients, when deciding to hire the right talent for them – after being satisfied with the right technical competencies of the candidate – would invariably favor one with superior leadership skills and communication skills.
So, guys, take it from me: be very good with your mainline technical skills, whether it is finance, engineering, IT, or human resource management. But that said, what would really separate you from the rest of equally technically skilled young professionals are your leadership skills and communication skills.
As a parting shot, keep going back to the values that I cited earlier, those about courage and passion. Your level of success in the future will be commensurate with those intrinsic values that you can fortify yourselves with.
Visit this link for more information about the event: http://bit.ly/Kp2O2Q