Leadership Learning & Development

Transform Leadership Development through Breakthrough Learning Experiences

Training Isn't Enough

Leadership training isn't enough to develop effective leaders. Experts agree that classroom training contributes 10% or less to what leaders ought to learn to become effective. Ninety percent comes from real-world leadership experiences.

Unfortunately, many organizations still rely on leadership training as the first solution to build and develop leaders. And most of leadership experiences we get from the "real world" do not necessarily make us effective leaders.

The problem with leadership training isn't obvious to many corporate trainers. There are hundreds of interventions, but they insist on classroom training because they are trainers.

Even the most interactive, entertaining, experiential, and fun-filled leadership training programs will fail to develop leaders when training isn't the answer.

The good news is that we are making progress. Some experts now give more attention to learning, workplace learning in particular. The focus shifts from what trainers get to what the learners get.

But they are still in the minority.

The biggest problem, of course, is not training. The biggest problem is that in many organizations, those who are tasked to develop leaders do not fully understand why they develop leaders.

And when there is lack in understanding, there is no commitment.

Every organization develop leaders. Some deliberately; many by neglect.

Leadership development is a strategy. Great organizations understand that they need to build the competencies of their potentials and champions to serve the needs of their clients today -- and to prepare their leadership to address future challenges.

These organizations do not just send their supervisors and managers to public seminars when goals aren't clear.

They know what important goals learning must serve. They know which two or three vital behaviors leaders must learn to achieve their big goals. They use the six sources of influence to engage leaders so they adopt new leadership behaviors. They know ways to make everyone accountable to the achievement of goals.

You are here because you want to develop leaders. Let's get started.


Leadership Training: From Madness to Mastery

LLeadership training, when done wrong, makes many leaders mad. It deprives them the opportunity to reach their fullest potentials. It delays their growth. This doesn't sound right, but this is true for many organizations which blindly believe that classroom training alone is the way to develop leaders. This is so third-world.

We must run away from this madness.

Many training providers hyped their leadership programs as the best and only solution. And the uninitiated readily accepts. Many training providers regularly send outlines of seminars, workshops, or learning sessions without really knowing what you need. They used highfalutin' words. Words that impress confused minds. Words that really express nothing.

Big, ambiguous words still sell. This is why many leaders think that leadership is complicated. This is why many of us believe that great leadership is difficult to achieve.

Many leadership programs are measured based on volume, not on value. In short, many training providers sell content without context. The more content they provide, the more reasons the unsuspecting training managers have for buying. Yes, this is so third world. And though we have progress in many areas, many of us are still circling around like headless chickens.

Training providers will continue to sell content if you don't demand them to listen to you. What you really need is not more content. What Filipinos need are leadership learning experiences designed based on your context. Because every company is different. Because every leader has to work on a specific context.

Leadership training programs created for everyone are unlikely to serve your business objectives. Often, you'll hear a provider say that they'll just align or try to connect their training program to your business strategies.

This will not work.

You don't align leadership training to business strategies. Leadership training is a means to execute your business strategies. Unfortunately, your third-world training provider will try to persuade you that they'll be able to align their canned training programs to your business strategies. They'll convince you that they'll be able to drive their bicycle like a Ferrari.

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Stop the madness. Be the master of your leadership development.

We must turn leadership training courses into value-added corporate learning.

Businesses can't afford to blindly invest in leadership training courses and learning initiatives. No, it is not wise to simply shop for the more popular leadership training programs.

Your business must create a strong leadership learning culture.

1. From the very beginning, you must carefully design your leadership learning strategy and integrate it into your talent management strategies. Your leaders should see a strong link between leadership learning and career progression. Leaders must see how the improved capacity to play a leadership role will drive business results.

2. Always begin with context, not content. If you cannot link a goody-goody sounding leadership training program to your business strategies, don't even try to align or connect it. You will be wasting time and money.

3. Link your leadership training with knowledge sharing, coaching, and mentoring between colleagues. Ninety percent of leadership learning happens outside the classroom. Find out what you can do with that 90 percent because the space to create the magic is wider than what most people believe.

4. You may still continue your in-house seminars, workshops, masterclasses, learning sessions, and others. But leverage behavioral change. Use gamification. Flip the classroom.

5. But don't just be enamored by "new". You'll find dozen of new methods. You'll discover new technologies. Mastery happens when you keep your eyes on target business results, not on what's hot.

You can accelerate leadership learning by first identifying specific business goals, then by picking few vital behaviors to achieve these business goals, and by sustaining change using various sources of behavior-changing strategies.

It is madness to overwhelm your leaders with content they cannot use. It is mastery when you help them adapt new behaviors that will make them deliver business results.

Crucial Employee Questions Leaders Must Answer

Effective leaders deliver results that matter. They bring organizations to the future. Unfortunately, many organizations fail to transform their high potential people into leaders.

If you are losing your leaders because you failed to invest in people, the best time to act is now.

Investments in people, when done right, produces results that really matter:  high profit growth, better employee engagement, lower employee turnover, deeper pipeline of talent, improved productivity, delighted customers, and more sustainable business.

Your ability to answer these five critical questions that employees are asking of their organizations will help you deliver results that matter.

1. Are we all aligned on the people investments needed to achieve our goals?

Challenged organizations have CEOs and senior leaders who do not undestand the pulse of their organizations. This may result in the organization's inability to invest in the right areas and in the right people.

It is important that the CEOs, senior leaders, managers, and employees have aligned views on what is really needed in the organization to grow.

Employees need to fully understand the direction of the organization and have positive views on the ability of their leaders to get things done.

2. Is there a compelling reason for me to work here?

Challenged organizations have CEOs who, in times of economic crises, stop investing in people until the "good times" come.

Employees in challenged organizations feel neglected and typically do not have the confidence about the future of their organization. Leaving the organization is always an open option.

Effective CEOs demonstrate their commitments to employees during booming economic times. During difficult economic crises, they continously invest time and resources to employees and consistently communicate that they are the engine of future growth.

They have committed employees because they do not stop fulfilling their commitments to employees.

3. Will I be effectively developed and fairly rewarded for my performance?

In challenged organizations, employees feel that their CEOs and managers do not really care. They do not get the resources and support they need.

On the contrary, effective CEOs and managers find the time to drive improved performance - and they are more effective in creating performance-driven culture.

They provide daily performance feedback and regular coaching. Also, they possess significantly higher core managerial skills when addressing poor performance.

They set stretch goals and create compelling rewards program.

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4. Do I receive timely and quality support?

In challenged organizations, human resource professionals spend more time accomplishing government requirements.

In high performing organizations, human resources are more active in driving and designing implementation of people development programs.

They function as business accelerators . They do not just send employees to classroom training, they also spend time gathering business needs and in aligning programs to business strategy.

HR leaders enable and equip employees.

5. Am I trusted and encouraged to take ownership?

In challenged organizations, employees avoid accountability. They tend to play safe, do not take risks, and blame others. They do not feel trusted.

In champion organizations, driving accountability and trust represents a core part of their cultures and is viewed as critical to executing their business strategies. They include employees in decision-making process.

In summary, what can be done?

To differentiate your organization, you can focus your interventions on the following:

1. Strong organizational alignment.

2. Clear vision and compelling employee promise.

3. Performance-driven culture.

4. Efficient and effective people practice.

5. Pervasive accountability and trust.

Keynote Speaking

Stories that Win Hearts. Strategies That Drive Results.


If you are here because you are looking for keynote speaker, there is a chance that we can work together. If you are like my clients, you know that a keynote speaker and a motivational speaker aren’t the same.

A keynote speaker can help you influence your people to embrace change. Many speakers deliver their favorite topics again and again. This is not  true for a keynote speaker.

Your needs define the content and the tone of the speech. The keynote speaker has to kill his darlings so yours will come to life.

This separates the keynote speaker from all other kinds of speakers. He speaks so he can help your organization communicate your big hairy audacious goals to your people. Your goals may include new customer experience strategies, implementation of expected behaviors or mindset, new leadership practices, and others.

Using stories that persuade and strategies that drive results, the keynote speaker plays the role of mentor, coach, educator, and inspirer — all for 60 minutes and a bit longer.

I am speaking from experience having been invited many times as a keynote speaker.

The point of hiring a keynote speaker is to help you change the mind of your people, to help you paint a picture of something that you have not seen, heard, or believed before. He is your messenger, not your messiah.

A messenger, not a messiah.

When you introduce a keynote speaker to your group, he temporarily becomes a tribal leader. Something like the voice of what your organization desires. While standing on the platform you have given him, he has the opportunity to take your people to intellectual and emotional journey.

The keynote speaker cannot change the world for you. But this same speaker, with the right message, right tools, right delivery, and right connection can make your people understand why their world needs to change, show them how to do it, and be inspired to make change happen.

My first step is to begin empty. I will listen to you. Tell me what you really want.

Clarity is what you need. I can help you zero in on your most important goals. Let’s get there soon so I can help you better.

Personal Development

You can pursue personal excellence and mastery, develop your sense of accountability, and be a high impact professional.

Team Development

You can become a better team player, build teamwork, and develop your teams. Get things done and achieve your goals together.

Leadership Development

Become a better leader. Inspire and develop leaders in your organization. Accelerate growth and make things happen.


Practical Advice to Become Better Leaders

Read practical advice on personal development, leadership, team building, innovation and workplace learning.

How to Become Indispensable

During the last talk I gave, someone asked for some strategies he can use to get himself promoted faster. I thanked him for his courage to ask that question which almost everyone wanted to ask but never did. Filipinos don't ask this of questions in public, most specially when bosses are around.

My simple answer: be linchpin. Be indispensable.

In this post, I will show you how to do that.

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Ever dreamt of changing the world?

ou can and you will. Make the eyes of those around you sparkle. You can speak more of possibility instead of scarcity. You can create a positive change in your organizations and communities. Yes, you can and you will. My name is Jef...

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Create a Sense of Urgency

Twenty five years ago, there were two newspaper boys. Both were born to poor families and both had parents who did not have college education.

They were selling newspapers to support their families.

Dodong, the younger and smaller one, couldn’t compete for customers against Toto who was older and bigger. Toto ran faster. He offered discounts. And he convinced customers to pay him only during pay days.

Five years ago, these two met again on that place where they used to wait for customers.

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Two important jobs of Filipino motivational speakers

A motivational speaker has two jobs: push you to dream bigger and to encourage you  to make your dreams real.

The motivational speaker tells stories so you can see yourself from those who became successful. In his stories, he shows you that every successful person is somewhat like you. Or that you are in reality in a better position and is more capable of achieving whatever you want in life.

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Invest in Your Biggest Dreams

When you work for something that makes a difference in this world, undertake it with painstaking excellence. The smartest way to change yourself, your community, or the world is by working harder and longer than anyone else.

What is it that you are passionate about? How many hours will you spend today to bring your passion to life?

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Personality vs Personal Development

The confusion is not only in the meaning but also on what is more meaningful.

This is why many speakers offer personal development when they are actually talking about personality development.

And training associates look for a personality development speaker when what the boss really wanted is a personal development speaker.

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On Becoming A Leader

Excuses begone!

People have many excuses why they don't take charge and lead. Let me tell you what these excuses are – why you must say goodbye to them.

I will also encourage you to get into the habit of reading INSIGHTS. and subscribe to People Matter Letters. Bring leadership learning experiences to your organization. Learn more on how to become a better leader.

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Resist the urge to criticize.

hen you become aware that your spending more than 15 minutes criticizing co-employees, organizations, or the government, snap out of it. Give more attention to creating more value. This is what I learned from the conversations I had...

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Do one great thing at a time.

A to-do list is a good thing. However, a to-do list with ten, twenty, or thirty items is overwhelming. It is a sure template to daily failures and frustrations. Because there is not enough time to do all things . And all things aren't equal.

To believe that your reason for breathing another living minute is to accomplish a to-do list is one big mistake my friend. You decide what should be in that list.

You decide which one you must do now. And this is another way of saying that you decide which you must not do now.

If today were your last, what would you do?

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Live this day as if it were your last.

How old are you now? Do you think that you still have fifty, forty, thirty, twenty, ten, or five years to live? Do you think you'll get to 100 years old – and get 100,000 pesos from the government?

I hope to live until I am 100. I hope to live healthy, strong and evergreen. I hope to live wealthy and wise each day of my life for so many years that there is no time to get tired of living.

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