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Monday, June 17, 2013

Keynote Speech of AYNLA President Reigner Jireh Antiquera at the 1st Zambales-Olongapo City Young Leaders Congress, June 16 2013

AYNLA President - Nr. Reigner Jireh Antiquera
Sa kauna-unahang Zambales-Olongapo City Young Leaders Congress

[Inihayag sa Iba, Zambales noong ika-16 ng Hunyo 2013]

PNA Zambales-Olongapo President Dr. Victor Quimen, Chief Nurse Ma'am Loreto Escobar, our AYNLA National Officers, Zamboanga-Olongapo Chapter Mayor Jestoni Maniago, distinguished colleagues, guests, ladies and gentlemen, a pleasant afternoon to one and all!

First and foremost, I would like to commend the AYNLA Zambales-Olongapo Chapter and Philippine Nurses Association Zambales-Olongapo chapter for taking the lead in initiating the very first Zambales-Olongapo City Young Leaders’ Congress. Lubos po akong humahanga sa inyong desisyon na isagawa ang okasyong ito upang makapagbahagi ang mga kabataang pinuno ng iba’t ibang karanasan at gawi, ‘best practices’ ika nga, sa kani-kaniyang organisasyon at pagtibayin ang panata ng bawat isa na humubog pa ng mga kabataang leader, hindi lamang tungo sa pansariling kaunlaran, ngunit para rin sa ikauunlad ng ating komunidad at bayan. I am truly humbled and honored to stand before you today to share a few of my own experiences and insights as a youth leader and advocate.

I was in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for the Women Deliver Global Conference when I received the invitation to deliver this message from our very own Chapter Mayor. It was the largest global conference in the last decade that focused on the health and empowerment of girls and women, drawing more than 7,000 participants from different parts of the world including Heads of State, government and UN officials, Ministers of Health and Finance, Parliamentarians, youth advocates, corporate executives, healthcare professionals, academics, civil society organizations, and media.

As I glanced through my window and stood in awe before the structure, design, and beauty of the Petronas Towers of Malaysia, I thought intently about what message I could and should share with you. After all, who am I to speak in front of an audience at an event such as this? But as the lights of the Petronas Towers continued to shine, I resolved to say, 'Ako ay tulad nyo din. Isa rin akong kabataan na nagnanais ng pagbabago at magandang kinabukasan para sa propesyon, para sa bayan, para sa lahat.

Bilang isang leader, napakahalaga po na hindi tayo nauubusan ng mga pangarap. Mga pangarap na sa tingin natin ay kaya nating abutin. Ngunit mas mahalaga na ito’y may kaakibat na aksyon at aktibong partisipasyon ng nakararami upang makamit ang mga ito at marating ang rurok ng tagumpay.

Sa totoo lang po, hindi ko lubos maisip kung ano at saan ang kinalalagyan ko sa ngayon. It was back in 2009 when I finished my bachelor’s degree in Nursing and at the time, all I could remember wanting was to pass the Nurse Licensure Examination, practice the profession in a clinical setting, and eventually, join my brother, who is also a nurse, abroad. Sa tingin ko yun naman talaga ang ninanais ng bawat isa – makapagtapos ng pag-aaral, makapagtrabaho, at makatulong sa pamilya. But as quickly as I listed down these personal dreams, I realized I could not stop there. It was then that I discovered I had a special calling, a worthwhile mission that needed accomplishing. At that moment in time, my eyes were opened to a greater landscape and I found myself thrust into the world of advocacy. It was that very same year that the Alliance of Young Nurse Leaders and Advocates or AYNLA was conceived and born. AYNLA served as a forefront organization for young nurses and other health professionals and advocates, one that promoted health as a basic human right while upholding its dynamic and cool character towards earning the trust of many nurses. We became the leading professional organization for young leaders in nursing and healthcare, advocating for the UN Millennium Development Goals, Universal Health Care, and nurses’ rights and welfare. Now, we are proud to say that we are bringing health to the people. Once just a group of 9 young, idealistic nurses, AYNLA has now grown to around 2,000 registered members and 20 recognized local chapters and core groups. In acknowledging the benefit of cooperation beyond the organization, we have also been actively collaborating with different government and private institutions and agencies to further advance our causes.

Yet the question remains. In the most basic sense, how can we make a difference? The answer is both simple and complicated at the same time - we can make a difference by starting amongst ourselves. As leaders, it is never enough to direct and command. It starts with striving to become good role models and setting examples for our members and colleagues alike. Leadership is a process, not a position, a concept where respect and allegiance are earned and not simply generated by your title. It deals with people and their dynamics, which, in the grand scheme of things, are continually changing. The challenge of leadership is to create positive change and facilitate growth that benefits all. Good leadership, then, is not about advancing oneself, but about securing progress for one's team and everyone down the road.

According to John Maxwell, #1 New York Times bestselling author, there are 5 levels of leadership, namely Position, Permission, Production, People Development, and Pinnacle.

Level 1 – Position

Position is the lowest level of leadership where people follow you just because they have to.  The only influence a positional leader has is that which comes with the job title. This is essentially based on the rights granted by the position and title held, and nothing more.

Level 2 – Permission

As you move up to Permission, people begin to follow you because they want to. This level involves the concept of choice and is based entirely on relationships. When you like people and treat them as individuals who have value, these are reciprocated and you begin to develop trust and influence with them. The agenda for leaders in this level is not preserving their position. Rather, it is getting to know their people and figuring out how to get along with them by looking deeper into who these people are. As followers likewise discover who their leaders are, solid, lasting relationships are fostered.

Level 3 – Production

With Production, people then follow you because of what you have done for the organization. At this third level, leaders gain both influence and credibility and leading others becomes fun and meaningful at the same time. Leaders become agents of positive change and they develop the capability to tackle tough problems and face thorny issues. They can now make difficult decisions that will make a difference and take their team to a higher level of effectiveness.

Level 4 – People Development

At level four, People Development, they follow you because of what you have done for them. Leaders become great not because of their power but because of their ability to empower others. They use their position, relationships, and productivity to invest in their followers and develop them until those followers learn to become leaders in their own right. In this level, leaders reproduce themselves. They change the lives of those they lead by helping them find successful career paths and the people follow them because of that. These relationships are often life-long.

Level 5 – Pinnacle

Finally, in reaching Pinnacle, people follow you because of who you are and what you represent. This is the highest and most difficult level of leadership. Here, leaders are developed to the point where they are able and willing to develop other leaders. They create opportunities that other leaders don’t. As their leadership gains a positive reputation, they create and cement legacies with what they do.

With all that being said, I would like to extend a simple question to everyone here. At what level of leadership do you think you are in right now? If we want to become effective leaders and lead the way, we too must learn to recognize where we stand with each person.  We must work to establish our credibility and gain influence. Most importantly, we must keep in mind the bigger picture in remembering that everything we do as leaders should not be meant for achieving our own ends. Instead, we must earnestly keep on striving towards larger goals that go far beyond our own. If we learn these and live them day by day, I am confident that we would be able to lead the way successful leaders do. Do not worry my brethren. Each of us, myself included, are works in progress after all.

Tulad ng Petronas Towers na aking nabanggit, bago ito naitayo, kinailangan ng isang matinding proseso ng preparasyon at pagpaplano. Nagbungkal at inayos ang pundasyon. Sinimulan sa pinakamababang palapag, hanggang marating at matapos ang tuktok. Pinagtibay ng panahon, umulan’t umaraw bago ito’y tuluyan naging maganda at patuloy na nagniningning sa mga mata ng mga nakakita nito.

Before I end, I would like to share a poem:

"Leadership is the willingness to put oneself at risk.
Leadership is the position to make a difference with others.
Leadership is being dissatisfied with the current reality.
Leadership is taking responsibility while others are making excuses.
Leadership is seeing the possibilities in a situation while others are seeing the limitations
Leadership is the readiness to stand out in a crowd.
Leadership is an open mind and an open heart.
Leadership is the ability to submerge your ego for the sake of what is best.
Leadership is evoking in others the capacity to dream.
Leadership is inspiring others with a vision of what they can contribute
Leadership is the power of one harnessing the power of many.
Leadership is you heart speaking to the hearts of others.

Leadership is the integration of heart, head, and soul.
Leadership is the capacity to care, and in caring, to liberate the ideas, energy and  capacities of others.
Leadership is the dream made reality.          
Leadership, above all, courageous."

Hangad ko po ang tagumpay ng pagtitipong ito. Maraming salamat po at mabuhay tayong lahat! 



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