events, Practical Advice

Insights and Notes from the 16th Leaders and Achievers Summit

img_4472-001I always look forward to opportunities to improve myself through learning. For the past few years, I’ve been taking online classes offered by universities and have benefitted a lot from the excellently-planned educational material that I can access from the comfort of my own home. I like that I am able to listen to professors’ lectures from across the globe, submit my assignment on a weekly basis, participate in lesson discussions with classmates from different nationalities and of course, test my lesson retention through weekly quizzes.

Books are definitely good learning and reference material, allowing readers to be somehow mentored by the writers as they share their life, passion and research. The most exciting for me it seems, are seminars and conferences. Being a public speaker myself, it is a joy for me to listen to seasoned professionals and subject-matter experts who bring their varied education, background and experiences. The fact that I can actually interact and network with them in the flesh is a bonus. I especially like it when they open the floor for questions for it allows attendees to clarify insights and seek the speakers’ viewpoints.

I recently attended the 16th Leaders and Achievers Summit organized by Salt and Light Ventures. They brought together six world-class speakers who shared their experience and insights on Creating Leadership Value and strengthening one’s personal and leadership brand.


Gerry Plana, the CEO of Investors in People UK (Philippines) started the day with “Leadership Branding Defined.” In his talk, he outlined:
-the value of the brand and how leadership benefits from a brand
-understanding the two main strains which produced a multitude of leadership brands today
-developing one’s personal leadership brand
-developing an organization’s leadership brand

The ability to listen is the root of understanding how authentic leadership brands are.
A lot of leaders he said, often fail to LISTEN.
He shared that one of the companies that sought his consultancy showed improved employee performance with the change of leadership. People became HIGH (were valued) on everyone’s agenda.
A LEADERSHIP BRAND is an organizational capability. It is not tied to a person but to the process of building leaders.
One of the younger leaders took the stage next: Carlo Mata, Managing Director of DSM Manila LLP (Whiteand Case LLP). He talked about “Creating Your Personal Branding Value Proposition.”
A value proposition is your company’s statement of how your product or services solves a need or improves a situation. It’s able to capture what you can do for your customers.
How does one create a personal branding value proposition?
Passion needs to match with your strength. Passion alone won’t take you too far.
Don’t compare yourself to others. Strength will tell you what you can do while CHARACTER will tell you how you can keep it up. You won’t go very far if you don’t have a proper foundation of character.
Don’t fall into the trap of creating a proposition for people you don’t actually care about.
You are not meant for everybody. Some people will not like you, some will hate you. If you don’t know the purpose of an object, you will either misuse it or abuse it. When you don’t understand the purpose of something, you don’t maximize it’s value.
Know the Maker and Designer of your life. No amount of success will compensate living a life of God-given purpose.
The third and sole female speaker for the day was author and international etiquette expert Jacqueline Whitmore, founder of The Protocol School of Palm Beach. She taught us to build on our strengths by refining our presence, polish, professionalism and passion.
She first shared with us why people seemed to be ruder now compared to decades ago. Why did our parents and grandparents know the rudiments of good manners? Why did they know which utensils to use for a 6-course meal? Why did our grandparents mostly act appropriately and knew which things to talk about?
In a study, participants who were surveyed answered:
Celebrities, athletes and public figures are to blame – 38%
TV shows and movies – 44%
Breakdown of the family unit – 69%
Jackie shared that because families no longer eat together that much anymore, there isn’t an avenue to teach good table manners and conversational skills at home. Because of everyone’s busy schedules, varied activities and technological distractions, children either emulate what they see in school or just learn from whatever is shown on the media and internet. She reminded us of the importance of knowing how to conduct ourselves properly in different situations, stressing that etiquette is rooted in kindness and courtesy.
The afternoon left us with three more speakers: David Sutherland, the Chairman and CFO of International Care Ministries; Luigi Mapa, Chief Learning Engineer of LinkOD and Bo Sanchez, preacher and best-selling author.

David Sutherland shared his story of making an impact in the lives of the poorest of the poor in the Philippines through International Care Ministries which was founded in 1992.


Luigi Mapa, the second young leader to take the stage that day taught us to SEE WORTHY. To SEE WORTHY is to see beyond the physical and the present.

4 Levels of Seeing:

1) Physical

2) Intellectual Seeing – looking at data, analyzing situations from different perspectives

3) Emotional Seeing – Seeing with our hearts, sensitivity and awareness of people’s emotions

4) Spiritual – Faith, not sight. Understanding that believing comes before seeing. What is essential is invisible to the eye.

Before the final session, the speakers were given ample time to entertain some questions that were posted on the Slido conference app.




img_4452Bo Sanchez capped off the event, putting together everything we learned in his session: THE POWER OF CLARITY.

  1. Be clear about your VISION – Much of leadership is about giving hope.
  2. Be clear about your VALUES – Care. Integrity. It’s not about you.
  3. Be clear about your VEHICLE – The greater the pull back, the greater the come back. Your detour is a doorway to your destiny.

I’ve got more material recorded for my VLOG which I should be working on within the week, so please stay tuned! I hope that the notes I shared here would be very helpful to you. Thank you Salt and Light Ventures, Flair Image Consultancy and Philippine Daily Inquirer for putting together this great learning and professional networking event!

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