The beginning of a leadership journey.
Working hard to get what you want — this is the kind of childhood Amiel Lazo grew up with. Raised in a humble family, Amiel was early exposed to this reality of life: that he cannot simply get what he wants on a whim, unless he is able and willing to work hard for it. Although a little unconventional to how most children are being raised, Amiel is grateful he was brought up this way for he believes that paved the way for his leadership journey.
Looking back, Amiel traces his leadership influence on a hot day in May back in his grade school days. Seated among fellow students in a quadrangle, Amiel was held in awe of the mass keyboardist’s passion in playing the instrument. This brief encounter would later on change Amiel’s life as he discovers the wider and deeper truths about life. “Since then, alam ko sa sarili ko na may gusto akong gawin sa buhay.”
In 2007, he joined their local community’s choir. From there, Amiel believes that he has a deeper sense of what passion means as his beliefs in life deepen and his urge to bring about change strengthens. Although, during this time, these all remain vague for Amiel, this particular moment in his life is crucial in his leadership journey, “Naging foundation ito kung ano ako ngayon. Kung ano ang gusto kong gawin sa buhay ko.” In 2016, Amiel entered the development work sector and slowly found clearer meanings and aspirations in his life.
Merits and challenges of being a leader.
By handling a male chorale group for almost five years now, Amiel can attest that the challenges of being a leader are no mean feat. Amiel also recognizes that leadership does not mean simply having power over others, nor is it a hierarchy.
To note a few of his reflections and learnings from his leadership journey, Amiel lists the following: First, knowing and being clear about what your why is important in one’s journey. According to him, if your why is clear, it will radiate from you — that whatever challenges, rejections, or failures may come into your life, you will be able to overcome such feats and that you will not be disheartened and exhausted to keep trying. Second, it is also important to understand that not everyone you will work with will have the same level of passion and eagerness as yours. Thus, you should not expect that they will deliver the same amount of effort you give into your work. Third, listen and converse — this is important in any sort of relationship. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, believe in yourself. There will come a time that the only person left believing is you, therefore, it is important not to lose hope in oneself.
Dealing with burnout and taking care of oneself.
Drawing emphasis on his whys, Amiel points out that it is important to know why you are doing the things you do, even if other people may not understand. “Hindi bumababa ang value o ang level ng paniniwala mo sa isang bagay kung paano siya nakikita ng isang tao. […] I will just keep moving forward.”
In taking care of himself, Amiel says that as long as he is happy with what he is doing and with his life in general, he can assure that he is doing well.
Journey in the LMNP fellowship program.
“Seeing different perspectives and learning from experiences of other people” is what Amiel must take away from the fellowship program. Although it is currently still unclear how the overall program will impact his life and journey in the future, Amiel claims that for sure, he will be able to make use of the learnings he has gained in the fellowship in his work.
A call to his fellow young leaders.
Listening, empathizing, and doing something is the process Amiel would like to impart with the young leaders of today. And if this fails, listen once more, empathize again, and do something about it again. Amiel shares that no one is truly successful on their first try, but if your intentions are pure and your purpose are clear, “ darating tayo sa part na masasabi nating ‘we did it and it worked!’ ”
As further advice for his fellow leaders, Amiel recalls a phrase from a Thai BL movie: “Is it possible to live our entire life without loving anyone at all?” According to Amiel, this remains a question still, but we all know what the answer is: it is impossible. Thus, this remains to be his guide: “Hindi possible na mamuhay ako para sa sarili ko lamang at mawalan ng panangutan sa ibang tao.”
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