To successful leaders, failure isn’t failure. It’s an opportunity to learn a lesson and then grow and get better. It is an opportunity to turn a good idea into a great one and produce a valuable lesson (both for themselves and the house they lead). Assuming you would like to achieve something with your life, accept and, to an extent, embrace failure. There is no perfect leadership like there is no perfect relationship. Great leaders are also doomed to fail.
Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella just celebrated his one year in office last week following his assumption last year after winning the 2019 elections. Well, some political watchers can’t help but compare Labella’s administration to his predecessor, “has-been” mayor Tomas Osmeña’s. Some claim Tomas was a better mayor.
Labella is not a perfect leader. There have been failures and shortcomings in his administration. But the sincerity and his utmost dedication to serve the Cebuanos are there. If everything had gone on smoothly like it was programmed and planned, I think his administration would have delivered what he promised to the Cebuanos during the 2019 elections like basic infrastructure projects, education for the youth, health care and basic services, traffic and peace and order.
But there is this very unfortunate and unexpected event which caught leaders off-guard. The coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic threatens lives and livelihood across the world. It has been four months since the crisis struck the world, and look at what it has done to the global economy. No one was prepared for this.
Can we blame local leaders like Labella if he failed miserably to address the situation? No one is truly prepared for this. This is no ordinary crisis. We have no precedent and template for this. It’s not an ordinary catastrophe. Everything is new. Way maayong laki ani.
In his State of the City Address, Labella echoed the City’s effort in terms of Covid-19 response like relief and recovery, health, nutrition and sanitation, education and peace and order as well as infrastructure projects. Well, it is too early to judge Labella’s performance. He has only been in office for one year. One year is too short for a good leader and perhaps too long for a bad leader. He did his best but his best wasn’t good enough. We have another two years to assess his performance before voters will decide whether to keep him in office or boot him out.
For those who want to compare Labella and Osmeña, I think it is not a better idea. The two men have their respective brand of leadership, traits and attitudes. Tomas might have been firm and decisive, but he was arrogant, vindictive and had dictatorial tendencies. He played God.
Labella might be perceived as a weak leader. But he is not a bad leader. Signs of a bad leader are lack of presence, meaning you are not in command of the situation, lack of direction, lack of transparency, lack of authority, lack of listening skills and lack of faith. I think Labella has all these skills. So, he is not that bad.