Taking stock of the hopefuls (conclusion)

published July 19, 2015
Last week I started writing about a scorecard for presidential candidates, as developed by a research team commissioned by the Management Association of the Philippines more than a decade ago.
The team sought to identify the major roles that a president of a country must assume. The roles were derived from various models by several leadership/management authors. Throwing in issues peculiar to the Philippines and inputs from two former presidents, a handful of top government officials, media, analysts, academics and representatives of different sectors, the team finally came up with five “must” roles of a president.
These five roles are: Navigator/ Strategist; Mobilizer; Servant Leader; Captivator; and Guardian of the National Wealth, Patrimony and Law and Order.
Under each role, there is a set of metrics­—definition, rationale, associated behaviors and associated competencies—that any voter could use to evaluate each presidential candidate. The idea is to be as objective as possible in assigning the ratings. Add them up, put the total side by side, and let the final number decide for you.
According to MAP, the scorecard can also be used for other executive positions such as governors or mayors.
Here are each of the roles:
A navigator/ strategist steers the ship of state to the destination of a just and humane society. A leader must have a firm grasp and understanding of the complex issues hounding the country. He or she must be capable of analysis, and possess a clear vision of where and why.
A navigator/ strategist addresses the root causes of poverty and other social problems, works through the complexity of key national and global issues, identifies opportunities, discerns and prioritizes among conflicting interests with the common good in mind and effectively addresses crisis situations.
He or she must possess analytical skills, good judgment, decisiveness and visionary leadership.
As a mobilizer and leader of the executive branch, the president builds alliances with concerned sectors to achieve complex objectives and build consensus.
He or she gets support of various interest groups and power brokers to implement key initiatives, works with both houses of Congress to get bills passed, attracts the best people to the Cabinet and the bureaucracy and appoints the most competent people to the Judiciary.
A mobilizer attracts, empowers and retains people with the right skills and motivation for government service, ensures all agencies attain their objectives, anticipates and diffuses roadblocks to change initiatives, and uses appropriate persuasion techniques to gain support from interest groups and decision makers.
A mobilizer should possess leadership skills, influencing skills, talent for selecting people, sound judgment, orientation for results and a strong performance drive.
As a servant leader, a president should serve the people with a genuinely caring heart and is a good example to others.
He or she must have a genuine desire to serve the interests of the people instead of enriching self, relatives and friend. He or she must work hard and follow an exacting work pace. The leader must learn continuously to decipher and act effectively on the issues of the day.
The servant leader sacrifices personal, family or other vested interests for the common good, displays humility and reaches out to all sectors, practices good work ethic and learns continuously.
He or she must have integrity, humility, is a continuous learner, and is decisive.
As captivator, a president must inspire unity, trust and optimism among the people. He or she moves people away from cynicism and builds trust in the presidency and the government.
The captivator is able to do this in spite of the fractious nature of society. He or she is able to win the hearts and minds of an increasingly cynical citizenry.
The leader understands the ideals and aspirations of the ordinary Filipino, conveys a simple but compelling picture of the country’s vision and goals, effectively partners with media to inform and build support for programs and advocacies, and shows consistency in speech and action.
The captivator has charisma, visionary leadership, and influencing and communication skills.
Finally, as guardian of the national wealth and patrimony, the president ensures that the nation’s wealth and resources are used properly. He or she demonstrates strong political will, champions the fight against graft and corruption, promotes competence and professionalism and upholds the rule of law.
The guardian should create a level playing field to stimulate growth and investments. He or she must also exert a decisive effort to stamp out lawlessness and provide peace and security to the general citizenry.
The president should advocate and practice meritocracy, champion reforms and stamp out graft and corruption, refuse to trade long-term benefits for short-term gain, display courage in making unpopular but necessary decisions, commit to the democratic process, uphold the rule of law and order, and ensure the physical security of Filipinos everywhere, all the time.
Competencies required of the guardian are integrity, analysis and judgment, initiative and innovation, communication, decisiveness and leadership. 
These are, of course, mere guides to evaluating the various personalities vying for our votes and styling themselves as the best choice we could ever make. At a time when candidates mistake us for fools who are easily swayed by sound bytes or personality politics, it is time we take our right and obligation to vote and give the matter the deliberation it deserves.