By Charo Santos-Concio as told to Rowena Joy Sanchez
(It’s a rare opportunity to be in the same room with a powerful woman who exudes warmth, intelligence, grace, confidence, and passion – someone like ABS-CBN Chief Content Officer Charo Santos-Concio – so when I got that chance during one of her speaking engagements, I knew I had to drop an inquiry and be enlightened by one of the country’s best. Here’s her response to the question about balancing one’s good-naturedness with toughness when it comes to leading people.)
Sometimes, we can be quite literal. ‘Yung being nice, weak na, being tough, strong na. Hindi. You can be nice and tough at the same time. Paano ba?
It’s strength of character. It’s knowing your boundaries. You have to set the standards for yourself. Mahirap kasi kung wala kang boundaries eh. ‘Yung neither here nor there. Eh, pwede nang magkamali ako basta may stand ako. Iba naman ‘yung being stubborn and arrogant. But saying it in a respectful way or in a polite way, but standing your ground, is I think, the balance that everyone is looking for. ‘Di ba pwede namang sabihin mo na hindi pwede. Na, “I’m sorry pero hindi pwede. Magalit na po kayo sa akin pero hindi pwede.” Or “I’m sorry, pero late ka, so saka ka na humabol kasi naaantala mo kami.”
Pero ‘yung late na, tapos sasabihin mo, “Ay sige okay lang.” Hindi tama eh, ‘di ba? Kasi ‘pag alam mo kung ano ‘yung tama at mali, you stand your ground. Saying it in a polite way, in a respectful way, is not a problem. Should it be a problem? Kailangan ba mahadera ako? Don’t put people on the defensive. Be sure of yourself. Get that confidence… Don’t take things literally that being tough is not being nice. No. You can be both.
Iba ‘yung doormat. ‘Yung doormat, ‘yung parang kahit nalang ano, tanggap na lang nang tanggap. Ang problema nun hindi na “she’s too nice” kung hindi, “she’s too scared, she’s too afraid”. Fear is your number one enemy, I’m telling you. Fear talaga. ‘Yung fear, fear of rejection kasi eh. We’re all human and we’re all looking for affirmation. We all want somebody to tell us “We love you,” “You’re great,” right?
But I hope that each and every one of you will get to a point where even if the world ignores you, because you love yourself and you know you’re good, it should not matter. I really hope and pray that each one of you gets to that stage. Because that’s when you feel, “It’s alright. I can choose my battles, I don’t have to make pansin every person na medyo hindi ako nabati ngayon or I was not given a pat on the back. It doesn’t matter.” Pero siyempre, I understand. We go through different phases in life, eh. Eh ako naman na sa afternoon na ako of my life. Kayo eh, papuntang tanghali pa ba? Or na sa katanghalian na ng buhay ninyo. So mainit pa, mapusok pa, medyo hindi pa tayo detached sa ego natin. ‘Di ba? Hindi pa natin nama-manage.
Everyone should have a healthy ego. Ego is good kasi kung walang ego, eh, walang magbabalanse. See, that’s what you have to work on. Make sure it’s a healthy ego, because that healthy ego balances your emotions, your issues, issues na ayaw mong tingnan. So, ‘pag bata ka pa, minsan, kahit na hinahanap mo ‘yung sagot, ‘di mo mahanap. You struggle about the answers because you still lack the experience. Don’t worry.
I’m telling you, it will come from left field, you’ll never know when, but it will. I’m already telling you, dadating ‘yan sa buhay ninyo. There will be a drop to number two in your lives and a “Wowowee” in your lives. And I hope that when it comes, your hearts and minds will be open to use these instances as an opportunity to grow and to mature and to know your real selves. And be kind to the person that you will see inside. Mahalin niyo ‘yun. Mahalin ninyo. You learn to forgive yourself. Love yourself unconditionally and then the world will not matter.
For more inspo, pick up a copy of Charo’s bestselling leadership-cum-life book “My Journey: The Story of an Unexpected Leader,” available on bookstores nationwide.
Thought Picks features essays on life, love, and other matters of the mind and heart, aimed at spreading inspiration and enlightenment.