Is Executive Experience Essential for the Next Chief Executive?



Imagine a fashion brand that is in need of a marketing VP to boost its appeal to the middle class, an Asian cuisine restaurant that needs a chef to introduce Indian food into its menu, or a top-ranking university that needs a Physics professor to spearhead its research thrust in materials science.

These companies and organizations usually do not leave the selection of the key people critical to the success of their operations and growth to the lowliest employees who are hardly aware of what qualifications and experience are essential for the critical task at hand. For instance, Henry Sy does not ask all his sales ladies across the nation to vote and choose who will manage the SM mall they are building in the next fortunate city.

Subscribe to our Substack community GRP Insider to receive by email our in-depth free weekly newsletter. Opt into a paid subscription and you'll get premium insider briefs and insights from us.
Subscribe to our Substack newsletter, GRP Insider!
Learn more

Selecting the Right Person to Fill a Vacancy

A job interviewer looks for applicants with a long history of experience in the position they need to fill. The search body or screening committee usually looks for former projects handled, positions held, and records of past success in the applicant’s resume.  Considering the fact that it is easy to hire but difficult to fire, job interviewers are very keen on ensuring they find only the best and most suitable person for the role, as if the very survival of their organization depended on it.

A democracy such as the Philippines however does not work this way. A popularity vote is a decision made by people usually unqualified themselves in deciphering and differentiating who is qualified for a job or not. The reason why this country keeps electing inept officials into government positions is because we ask incompetent fools to decide for us.

Why do we ask the squatters, criminals and addicts to decide who should manage their city? Will they choose one who will demolish the destructive elements they hold dear? How can we ask scavengers and beggars to find visionaries when their myopic eyeballs can’t see past the next meal they wish to put on their tables?

Choosing the Right President is Simple Common Sense

Regarding the question at hand: is executive experience essential for the next chief executive of this country? This is a tough one for many Filipinos. But to help fire up some of those dormant synapses in their coconuts, an analogy could help: How do you think a janitor will fare in conducting research required for a Physics professor, or how would the food taste if we hire a sales lady to cook exotic Indian food for an Asian restaurant? You decide.

For this coming elections, only a handful of candidates have executive/management experience they can carry over and draw from when they move up to the next level of responsibility; and even fewer have careers that blaze with a trail of success behind them. I think it’s basic common sense to wish for someone who has held the executive role of managing at least a city or a province to take on the job of managing a country. Or should we leave the most critical role of taking the helm of this country and propelling the direction of 100M people and the future of their children to an inexperienced newbie?

If our people are unable to see the logic behind simple questions such as these, then we are bound to stay stuck on the path of mediocrity, corruption and incompetence for many decades to come. Can common sense save the day?

16 Replies to “Is Executive Experience Essential for the Next Chief Executive?”

  1. zaxx,

    Can you make a suggestion to your writing staff about doing an article on the damaged ecosystem of this country, the result of arrogance and selfishness of the Failipino people—and what needs to be done to restore it, instead of going back and forth about the strifes among political candidates/parties which have no ending?


  2. The best way to pick a president is if their mother died recently. Yeah, grieving via the ballot works for us. Forget experience or judgement or talent or judgement or temperament. Forget people skills or problem solving. Just look at someone who keeps referring to dead parents. PROUD TO BE PINOY!.

    1. correct. forget about qualification, experience and intellectual capacity. then all he will do throughout his term will be to glorify his dead parents and demonize all his predecessors. galing talaga.

  3. Regardless if we use our common sense or not, if that candidate will not do what he promise…our country will still be the same.

  4. That’s why educating the mediocre 80% is the key. Then preventing those in 20% desperate for power grab to manipulate the election result (I was told by an elderly that controlling the election result is how things really work. Also to successfully educate that 80%, they must be removed from dire poverty and societal discomfort because those things prevent them from thinking and see their own potential and other needs besides their own. Poverty and damaged society made people desperate as foreseeable criminal charges made politicians desperate for power.)

    It’s up for the real leaders really how they can enlarge the people’s mind to vote for the best. A candidate or party can use black or yellow propaganda. There’s always the big bias media who will curb the survey results and analysis on nationwide forums and debates in favor of their candidates. Sensationalizing trivial stuffs instead of questioning the vows, promises and candidates qualifications to lead. These things can easily influence the uneducated masses. That can be countered though by reportage of the truth and bringing on the platforms and brilliant track records of real leaders. And these leaders being a desirable reflection of the people where when they look at the candidate, they see the better part of themselves. Finally, HONEST and CREDIBLE COMELEC.

    Just my 2 cents. 😛

    1. Changing the Philippines is like moving a mountain. That’s why we need someone who is almost superhuman for president.

      1. Like Spiderman. Because with great power comes great responsibility. But I’m telling you, buddy, with Mar lagging behind, the yellows will try to cheat. How can they possibly return the advance of their sponsors if their president won’t win? Also I want to see them try. I want to see what the mad Duterte crowd will do should Mar take the top place this election. 😀

        1. Yup hcus pcos machines may be Mar’s last alternative. Then that might lead to civil war. bloody revolution.

          Probably a very short one coz I don’t think any soldier will really want to fight for Mar.

    1. The great orator will be leaving the US a staggering $56 trillion in debt /obligations. No wonder.

      A lot of that debt they owe to China. I was talking with an American friend lately and he said that even if the US sold all it’s properties and national parks, it wouldn’t be enough to pay. And there are entire sections of LA that are filled with homeless people. Joblessness abounds. It’s not as rosy as you may think.

  5. executive experience is good to have but I wouldn’t say essential. A president can delegate to cabinet ministers in the same way a CEO can delegate to VPs. What is most important at this point is a unifying person with a vision, who recognizes the issues, and has an honest desire to serve.

    1. Vision – yup that’s key alright. We’ve seen many flavors through the line of presidents we’ve had for the past 30 years:
      Cory- Never again (freedom)
      Ramos – Phil 2000 (NIC- hood)
      Estrada – Erap para as mahirap
      Arroyo – Strong republic
      PNoy – Daang Matuwid

      The best in the list was Ramos – being a general, he had excellent executive experience.

      A president is basically an entrepreneur who can bring a nation from pt. A to pt. B within 6 years. Without that vision, he/she will just be reactive rather than proactive, he will not know how to choose appointees that will best serve his goal, and not know what to focus time/resource on.

      How Steve Jobs was able to bring us the smart phone was through vision – that’s what executives can do. They can execute a dream into reality. Businessmen are actually one of best pools of people to find executive material – unfortunately they are not as famous as showbiz personalities.

      Trump is a businessman – his empire is a testament of his competence to lead the US. Maybe we should follow the US and start looking for promising businessmen next time.

  6. Executive experience and managerial experience are very important in the choice of the President of the Philippines. Along with his/her ability to work with others. Leadership and managerial talent are plus.

    The ability to see thru the future, or maybe 10 steps ahead of the enemies of the Republic, is also important.

    “Without Vision, the People will Perish”…a qoute from the Christian Old Testament Bible.
    During that time, the Israelites, were lead by charismatic leaders…

    I believe also, in Integrity, for any public official. Liars and political opportunists are running , for public offices. However, it is very easy to spot them…

  7. The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between, the leader is a servant.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.