Good leadership = Good spaces

There are bosses who talk. There are leaders who walk their talk. There are bosses who sit behind a table and bark orders. There are leaders who stand at the front and lead by example.

A recent experience made me realize that words unsupported by actions don’t matter; that our character comes out in what we consistently do, not what we consistently say.

Even if we consistently pray. 

That’s why there is a meme that says, “You can’t treat people like garbage and worship God at the same time.” I went through this for about two weeks, and while it broke my heart, I chose to discontinue.

Then I attended the 25th anniversary celebration of Torre Lorenzo Development Corporation (TLDC) last June 13 at Le Pavillion in Pasay. It was classy and organized, just like its leader.

What makes a leader?

1. They care about excellence, not just in their property but also in their people. But they know they are its first model, and they make sure to visit and check their developments in order to maintain its quality.

Quality first: TLDC corp comm manager Alyssa Garcia-Salang and Chief Operations Officer Cathy Caseres-Ko are proof that culture is crucial to success

2. They are present, knowing firsthand what is going on in their team and property. They make the effort to go around, roll up their sleeves, and do the work. No ivory tower, no. They lead by example.

3. They are human, they see their team as human, and they respect their team’s expertise as well as understand their imperfections. They hold their team accountable, but they also listen to what they have to say.

I asked Ms Cathy Caceres-Ko, Chief Operating Officer (COO) of TLDC, on the secret to the success of her collaboration with CEO Tomas Lorenzo. (They both have strong personalities, you see, but they get along.)

Leading with impact: TLDC founder and CEO Tomas P Lorenzo with the author at the company’s 25th anniversary celebration last June 13

“Tomas Lorenzo and I are effective collaborators because we share the same vision for the company: to create an impact on the real estate landscape by being the leader in innovative design, exceptional workmanship, and personalized service,” Ms Cathy begins.

“We both believe in being present. We visit our project sites regularly to identify areas that could be improved,” she continues. “We cannot run the company effectively if we do not go the site, observing how things are done, understanding the challenges; and gathering information and insights directly from the frontliners.”

The author (right) with Property Report editor Pam Imperial and Philstar Media Group accounts lead for digital and property Rens Estipular at the TLDC event

Cathy and Tomas’ skillsets are complimentary. He  is the main driver of strategy, innovation, and relationships. Cathy makes sure the organization is operationally ready to bring these strategies and dreams to life.

 Alyssa Garcia-Salang, TLDC Corporate Communication manager, chimes in. “One of the most compelling things I learned from Tomas is when you do things with genuine purpose. Don’t compromise on quality, profit will come.”

I had also recently visited Jpark Island Resort and Water Park in Cebu, where I met Ms Moirele Cañete, Executive Assistant of Mr Justin Uy, dubbed “Mango King” because of his company, ProFood International Corp., proponent of the Philippine Dried Mangoes and Cebu Dried Mangoes.

Jpark Island Resort and Water Park has been around for eighteen years. How has Mr Uy been as Chairman of the Board and boss?

Unwavering perseverance: Moirele Cañete, executive assistant of Mr Justin Uy, poses with the author during the latter’s visit at ProFood International Corp.

“Learning from Chairman Justin about resilience, hard work, and perseverance has been a profound journey for me,” Ms Moirele shares. “These qualities aren’t just about overcoming challenges but embodying a mindset of continuous growth and adaptability.” 

Through Mr Uy’s example, Moirele says she has learned that setbacks are opportunities for learning and that true resilience is built through facing adversity with courage. 

The most important lesson she has learned from him: success is often a result of staying committed to one’s vision despite the difficulties encountered along the way. 

What makes a leader? It’s not one’s position, nor his salary. It’s the impact one has made on his team and their bottomline, through kindness, example, and – most importantly – integrity.

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Have you had to recover from working with a toxic leader? Tell me how you did it. Email [email protected].