Guest Business Columnist

Articles in The Philippines Star & Integrity Reporters



’Tis the season to pay our taxes  – December 30, 2013

MANILA, Philippines – I have to admit it. I love what the BIR is doing. No country can progress without adequate state revenue. While nobody likes taxes, it’s the price we must pay to participate in, and benefit from a society.

Many are flabbergasted at the recent ads that publicize the highest taxpayers — and by virtue those who are noticeably absent… Read Article >


Managing the swarm of business ‘seagulls’  – December 16, 2013

MANILA, Philippines – In the world of multinational business, the heavily matrixed organizational design is the norm. This means there are end-markets, like the Philippines, interfacing with regional and global HQ, situated most likely in far-flung locations. Decision-making is fragmented among local, regional or global groups… Read Article >


Making the world a better place  – December 9, 2013

MANILA, Philippines – Life is full of choices. And each of us in this life has the choice of how we want to impact the world. Some choose to leave the world a worse place than we found it. Some choose to leave it the same as they found it. Some choose to leave it a much better place.

Nobody had more of a positive impact on the world than Nelson Mandela. The world is a lesser place today without him among us… Read Article >


Ignorant Facebook comments don’t help anyone  – November 18, 2013

MANILA, Philippines – Rarely in business does the end justify the means. For example, making a profit no matter who is harmed is never acceptable. But there is one case where the end does indeed justify the means, and that is in the area of CSR, or corporate social responsibility … Read Article >


The adversity advantage  – November 4, 2013

MANILA, Philippines – I have always loved the saying, “Tough times never last, but tough people do.” Being “tough” is far more than talk. It is proven under adverse conditions. And these are the times when we see what people are made of. When real character comes to the surface … Read Article >


What does innovation look like? – October 21, 2013

MANILA, Philippines – There is not a more popular buzzword in today’s business than “innovation.”

Every company wants more of it. Very few get it. And the few that do tend to disproportionately win in the market.

Think Apple. Think Samsung. Think Procter & Gamble. Think Lucky Strike “Click and Roll.” Think C2 iced teas from URC … Read Article >


5 personality types I would never hire   – September 16, 2013

MANILA, Philippines – Interviewing is an art, not a science. And, like any seasoned interviewer, I have had my share of surprises — someone who impresses you to no end in the interview, getting everything right. And then, after hiring, well, they simply are nothing short of disappointing. You wonder, “What happened to that amazing person I interviewed?”… Read Article >


Why diversity is important for your business  – September 2, 2013

MANILA, Philippines – There is perhaps no greater misunderstood concept in business today than the concept of organizational diversity  or having a team that has a range of diverse individuals in its composition.

For some, it is a buzzword, a politically correct term that brings with it quotas, scorecards tracking hiring and promotion trends by gender, and annual reporting … Read Article >


The best business truths – August 12, 2013

MANILA, Philippines – In any facet of life there are truths or sayings that have stood the test of time, and prove to be eternally relevant pearls of wisdom. “Experience is the best teacher” or “Necessity is the mother of invention” are classic examples of timeless sayings that can guide us … Read Article >


Winning in business with the Jesuit approach – July 15, 2013

MANILA, Philippines – I am admittedly a proud product of the Jesuits. From my roots in St. Xavier School in Cincinnati, Ohio, to later teaching at Ateneo de Manila, the Jesuits have played a huge role in shaping who I am today.

Yet, beyond being imbued with the values and principles of a Jesuit education, I also learned one thing that has subsequently helped me in building brands and businesses around the world. I call it “The Jesuit Approach to Business.”… Read Article >


The risks of the microwave mentality  – July 1, 2013

MANILA, Philippines – When we want things cooked, we want them cooked fast. There’s no patience anymore. And sometimes patience is a good thing, certainly in business.

Businesses and businesspeople often reflect the personality of the society they live and work in.  Sometimes this is good, and sometimes it is not… Read Article >


Out-of-this-world teamwork lessons from NASA – June 17, 2013

MANILA, Philippines – Businesses and organizations can learn from all walks of life, from winning athletes to musicians and artists, to name a few.

Even astronauts.

T.K. “Ken” Mattingly is a former NASA astronaut, a member of the Apollo 13 and 16 missions, and was immortalized in the Hollywood blockbuster Apollo 13, in which actor Gary Sinise played him… Read Article >


Why promising young executives fail – June 3, 2013

MANILA, Philippines – As a coach and teacher at heart, there is nothing more satisfying than to see one’s former pupils surpass the teacher and go on to great roles and accomplishments.

Conversely, there is nothing sadder than to see young talents squander opportunities and end up flying far below their potential … Read Article >


Think poor to get rich – May 13, 2013

MANILA, Philippines – Sometimes the simplest of events can provide a plethora of wisdom.

A week or so ago, I was having lunch with one of the Philippines’ most successful businessmen — a man on all the lists for most wealthy in the Philippines, Asia, and globally. A self-made man. Someone I deeply admire and respect… Read Article >


The comfort principle – May 6, 2013

MANILA, Philippines – A few years back I had the honor and pleasure of spending New Year’s Eve with the Sy family, including Henry Sy Sr. and children Tessie, Herbert and Hans. They told the amazing story of Mall of Asia: how it was a dream of their father’s tracing to the times when the family would take picnics alongside Manila Bay. … Read Article >


Are you revenue or an expense? – April 15, 2013

MANILA, Philippines – I should probably start this with a disclaimer of sorts: “Not recommended for anyone who can be offended by harsh reality.” Read on at your own risk.

A few months back I was conducting a training event in the US when one of the most exceptional people I have ever known made a simple yet provocative statement… Read Article >


Much ado about sin tax reform – April 1, 2013

MANILA, Philippines – As a business leader, there is nothing more humbling than to stand on a soapbox, passionately defend a position, and then find out later on you are wrong. Nobody is perfect. I can think of the multiple times in the past where I was sure of a given outcome…Read Article >


Filipino competitiveness is not good, it’s great! – March 25, 2013

MANILA, Philippines – I was a panelist last week in the Euromoney Philippines Investment Forum along with many dignitaries, including President Benigno Aquino III and Secretary of Finance Cesar Purisima. One of those “standard” questions came up concerning, “What can the Philippines do to improve competitiveness?”…Read Article >


When passion becomes profitable – March 4, 2013

MANILA, Philippines – During my years in P&G, we used to have a saying: “Passion is worth +10 index points of growth.” We would see, time and time again, that assuming everything was the same, taking employees from being “just employees” to being “passionate employees” would lead to an extra +10 points of growth...Read Article >


Are you really courageous? – February 18, 2013

MANILA, Philippines – Uche Orizu is the most courageous person I have ever known. The gold standard. Whenever I hear people say, “I have guts” or “I have big balls” or “I have courage,” I always think of Uche. And I wonder if they could pass the Uche test. Most can’t. Uche did not go around bragging about her courage. She just lived it… Read Article >


Have you ‘purified’ your business? – February 4, 2013

MANILA, Philippines – There is an old dictum that says, “Nothing purifies like the bright light of the sun.” This means nothing will get at truth and reality faster than putting a situation under the glare of a spotlight!
We can see this in life all around us. The recent victory for the P-Noy administration on sin taxes was a result of finally shining a light on the past 16 years of an unfair and low-revenue excise system. Once Congress saw the many flaws, as good… Read Article >


Are you a tree or a flagpole? – January 14, 2013

MANILA, Philippines – We never know the great “learning moments” in our life when they are happening. It is only after the fact that we realize the moment.
It was in 1995 I was living in Morocco and I organized a lunch with my young marketing team and our visiting CEO then, Mr. Durk Jager. One of the young team asked a very provocative question:… Read Article >


The jock correlation in business – December 17, 2012

MANILA, Philippines – With many sports headlines today trumpeting organizational and solvency issues with various teams and sports associations across the world, there is often an almost missionary zeal to bring to sports a more “business approach.”
Fair argument. But like many things in life, the sports vs. business debate is … Read Article >


Employment is just a bowl of vegetable soup – November 12, 2012

MANILA, Philippines – One of the first principles I explain to young people seeking their first job, or looking to change jobs (or those entering marriage, for that matter!), is to recognize that any employer (or spouse) is just like eating a bowl of vegetable soup.
What? … Read Article >


What kind of employee are you? – September 17, 2012

MANILA, Philippines – It really does seem like an employee can be categorized into one of three boxes.
My first employer, Procter and Gamble, had a three-level performance rating system — you were either rated a “1” (top 10 to 15 percent), a “2” or a “3.” I then went to work for another great company, Coca-Cola, and they too had a … Read Article >


When does your personal life impact your business life? – September 3, 2012

MANILA, Philippines – One of the biggest news stories over the past few days has been the case of an executive of a major multinational slapping and verbally abusing an MMDA enforcer. The YouTube video has had nearly two million hits. Bloggers have had a field day discussing the matter. And there have … Read Article >


The dark side of technology – August 20, 2012

Manila, Philippines – When I started my career in business over 27 years ago, times were simpler and even a bit barbaric. Mail used to come the old-fashioned way. Our phones were permanently affixed to our desk. There was not a computer in sight, and technology stopped at the fax machine. Presentations were … Read Article >


Don’t get bitter, get better: Losing gracefully in business – July 30, 2012

MANILA, Philippines – Michael Jordan didn’t win every championship. Brazil doesn’t always win the World Cup. Usain Bolt doesn’t win every 100-meter race.
Nobody wins all the time. Nobody. This is true in sports, in life, and certainly, for that matter, in … Read Article >


Business traveling made easier – July 16, 2012

MANILA, Philippines – I was going to start off by calling this column “Business traveling made easy.” But as any of us frequent business travelers know, it is never easy!
But it can be made easier. And while passing through … Read Article >

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