What kind of manager are you? (Last part of “Starting a business is starting a contract with God”)

This is a continuation of my sharing on trusteeship in business, with the spiritual belief that one’s endeavors, such as engaging in business, belong to God and are carried out in service for others. My previous reflection was about when you should start a business. Granted that you already started one, my next question for you is: “What kind of manager will you be?”

I am sure you have heard of many top schools offering crash courses on management for professionals and business owners. While I commend them for sharing what is ideal and the mechanics of leading others, I learned in my own way that good management is best learned through hands-on experience.

June Luna Prosel Pharma

It is also important to have a unique company philosophy on how to manage. It doesn’t matter if your own company managers are different from the other managers in other companies as long as they deliver what the company expects from them.

Let me share with you an experience. A few years back, I sent an email to all my company managers, requesting them to define each letter of the word manager as an acrostic with their very own thoughts and ideas based on their experience. I’m going to present to you the well-thought-out definition made by Mr. Ralph Ruby, a very dedicated manager, and I am going to pose questions for you to reflect on.

Motivate – To motivate is to inspire. Are you motivated to do your job as a manager? Are you able to inspire your co-associates to be good always in life and work?

Assist – To assist is to show concern. Are you able to assist your team members in their journey toward accomplishing their tasks, instead of nagging them to finish as soon as possible?

Nurture – To nurture is to nourish, cultivate, and help others grow or develop. Are you a positive force in the personal development of the people assigned under you?

Accept – To accept is to welcome new things and new challenges. As a manager, are you willing to accept whatever comes and learn from your own mistakes and from others?

Guide – To guide is to go to the right path and to show full responsibility. Are you confident in guiding your team to do the right thing and according to plan?

Energize – To energize is to excite, be active, to spark and hype up all the time. Are you maintaining your attitude to radiate optimism within the team?

Respect – To respect is to love. Do you value your life, your work, your team members, and every person you deal with?

I hope this acrostic helps you define the kind of manager you are in your company.

Conclusion

There is pressure in ownership and pleasure in trusteeship. When I started my business, I thought it was mine, but I soon realized it was not. It was for my family. Some of the members of my family thought it was theirs, but they also realized it was not. It was really for the employees, they said. The employees thought it was for them and for their families, but they realized it was not. They said it was for the community. And finally, one day, we all realized that it truly belongs to God and is for the country and the whole world. This is trusteeship in business. #

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When should you start a business? (Part 2 of “Starting a business is starting a contract with God”)

In a blog post last month, I presented a reminder to the younger generation about how starting a business is equivalent to starting a contract with God. When you have decided that you want to enter into a special relationship with God by venturing into the business world and be of service to as many people as possible, the next best question would be, “When is the best time to start a business?”

My answer is simple. The best time is when one is between 35 and 40. It is best to start a business when you still have the energy and vivacity to do so. I am sure you know of several people who are planning to engage in businesses after they retire, when they are 50 or 60 years old. However, I do not recommend this. I would throw this question to them: Why wait for our retirement when we are too old already and have less energy after giving our best and most productive years to our employers?

June Luna Prosel Pharma

In my case, I started my business at 29. You may think that I was too young to be wise in making decisions. Yet I did not regret it. I may have encountered many challenges in my youth but the advantages outweigh them. I owned my time and, in the process, I spent more time with my family. I also had enough energy and I can make decisions immediately when needed.

Now that I am getting on in years, I am enjoying the fruits of my decision to start a business at the right age, as my children take over the company I started.

The hope or wish for a business (or SANA in our language) is the first level of business creation and acquisition. The next is desire (or GANA). To have desire to be in business is the right attitude during your company’s inception but to sustain this desire is an altogether different story.When business becomes merely a fashion as a result of peer pressure instead of passion, we will not survive in the long run.

The next level is inheritance (or MANA). There are there who are fortunate to have grandparents and parents owning and managing large businesses and turning them over to the children upon their retirement. I can only hope that they will love what is given to them and that they will make it a success by taking care of the operation, people, and community.

The last level is “no more” (or WANA). In contrast to the previous levels, if a business fails, we say, “Wala na (no more”, and we start blaming everybody and everything except ourselves, including the atmosphere, the conditions, situations, the people around us, and even God for the fate of the business.

Which level in business creation and acquisition are you? And when do you plan to start your own business? When you do so, don’t forget that you are serving God and others through what you will be doing. #

[Special] My 2018 Lenten Reflection

I will continue to share about my thoughts on trusteeship in business next month. For now, as the Holy Week draws near, I would like to take a reflective pause and share with you a special post that contains my Lenten reflection, which is essentially inspired by the message of the Holy Father Francis for Lent 2018. This year’s theme is, “Because of the increase of iniquity, the love of many will grow cold,” which is spoken by Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew (24:12).

June Luna Lent in Cebu

Iniquity is described as immoral behavior. What is its context in the Bible verse? What could cause it such that the serious ripple effect would be the unwanted development of cold hearts? For me, iniquity is man-made; it is not part of any equation of God’s creations. Therefore, iniquity is developed by man himself or abused to manipulate others.

For example, upon being bombarded by the media with advertisements, many of us tend to forget the purity in simplicity and select to be influenced or mesmerized into buying things we do not really need, mistakenly perceiving them to be our true happiness. As this scenario becomes a vicious cycle, many of us may commit immoral behaviors and become trapped in the pit of greed, failing to become wise and generous children of God created in His image.

Pope Francis, in his message, reminded us why we have to do two important things as followers of Christ. One is alms giving, which “sets us free from greed and helps us to regard our neighbor as a brother or sister”.

The second is fasting, which “weakens our tendency to violence; it disarms us and becomes an important opportunity for growth.” Pope Francis added that “it allows us to experience what the destitute and the starving have to endure” and “expresses our own spiritual hunger and thirst for life in God”.

In addition to this, I advocate the life of simplicity, with these principles:

  • When there is less expenditure, there is more splendor, and when there is more splendor, there is greater glorification.
  • Simplicity breeds generosity and abundance. Greed creates a culture of scarcity that leads to poverty.
  • The true measure in the practice of simplicity is the happiness and contentment experienced by the person, not the quality or quantity of things he or she acquires.
  • There is greatness in ordinariness.
  • Simplicity is spiritual economy that brings about our integrity and dignity.

For this coming Holy Week, may this short but heartfelt reflection aid in guiding your spiritual thought process. I hope that what you are doing in preparation for Easter Sunday, such as reflecting, alms giving, and fasting, will convert you into pure children of God free of iniquity and abundant in love for God, for His Word, and for others. // By Juanito “June” Luna

Reminder: Starting a business is starting a contract with God (Part 1)

When March comes around, talks begin to circulate about graduation of this person and that person. The air is filled with anticipation for what the future will bring, more so for the people who will leave the confines of a higher education institution and join the ranks of the hardworking people who compose the labor force of our country.

Some would venture to start a business they have dreamed of after being inspired by role models like their parents or successful people like Steve Jobs. When they do, a few would not be able to sustain what they started for some reason or another and would go beyond territorial boundaries to find greener pastures.

This personal reflection serves as a reminder for the younger generation eager to start their enterprises on the importance of building and maintaining a special relationship with God in all endeavors. Businesses are no exception.

business start-up cebu

When establishing a business, first we should not be concerned so much with the number of customers who will not help or people who will discourage us. Rather, we should focus only on those who will help and encourage us to move on. These positive people will take you far to accomplishing your business goals.

It is a fact of life that there will always be people who envy others, and such envy can motivate them to wish others not to succeed. There are even cases that such people exist within our circles. I can only hope that you reading this post is not one of those envious individuals.

Also, go beyond the enthusiasm killer and mind-blocking myth that we cannot start a business with little or no capital. I suggest that you start the business with whatever capital you have and just muster enough courage, wear a hardened face, and do not hesitate to use the loan facilities of the bank. Just make sure that you do not fail to repay the loan or even just the interest on time.

Always remember that putting up a small backyard business employing at least five people as a start is definitely a more spiritually fulfilling and rewarding endeavor than living on interest from investments. Although living on interest is not necessarily a bad thing, it can be a very boring practice and the fulfillment from serving God by helping others cannot be achieved.

To end, here are two points I want to emphasize:

  • A business in full partnership with God gives the potential entrepreneur the vision of sharing the profit of the business with humanity in general and with employees in particular.
  • I live by the dictum that everything of mine belongs to God and therefore must only be used in worthwhile and spiritual ways.

In my next post as a continuation, I will share about business creation, acquisition, and management. For the meantime, please visit my website, www.junelunalifesharer.com, for more details regarding my spiritual mission. // By Juanito “June” Luna

Is it “natural” to be angry in love? (Part 2)

This is the second and last part of my discussion on anger in connection with relationships, in time for February, which is considered by many as the love month. In my last post, I asked you, “If two people love each other, is it okay or natural to be angry toward a person you have committed a relationship with and promised to take care of from the start?” My answer was the ideal no. What’s yours and why?

Anger can destroy relationships. It is a sign of inferiority complex that can possess us to do things that can hurt our partners. We sometimes think that we are superior to other people. Other times, our superiority complex manifests itself in the form of negative actions to hide our feelings of inferiority and insecurity in relation to other people.

When our very selves or positions are being threatened by somebody whom we perceive to be inferior to us, we show our inferiority under the guise of superiority by shouting and bad-mouthing the person or by displaying a negative attitude and bad behavior toward him or her. Have you experienced this?

June Luna Cebu Prosel Pharma

As a concrete example, in my case, this happened to me in the past. I used to react like this to my wife, Ellen, whom I perceived to be superior to me. Every time we discussed certain issues and I felt that I was already on the losing end, I would raise my voice or even shout for her to stop talking, thinking that I could win the exchange that way. But I realized otherwise. I may have won the discussion, but I actually lost her respect and the opportunity to learn more from her deep knowledge and experience.

So how can you control your anger and prevent it from being a norm or a natural thing in your special relationship with another person? There are many ways, but let me share about one. And it’s humility. Humility, in its malice- and ego-free form, can make you a better person for yourself and for other people.

If we humble ourselves in front of a person, but we still hurt inside, that is not tolerance; it is our ego silently and actively working. If, however, even in the face of criticism, insult, and defamation, the heart is still strong and stable and we are not affected, this is humility in action. The foundation of humility is self-awareness and self-respect.

If in the face of defamation, insults, and criticism, we can still honestly say “thank you” with good feelings and with exactly the same tone of voice as when we receive praise, appreciation, and recognition, then we can say that we are stable, immovable, and unshakable because we practice the virtue of equanimity. Equanimity is simple being stable in the middle, immovable and unshakable—whatever the situation is.

Humility and equanimity can be easy words to say but when you want to preserve your relationship, when you don’t want to be hounded by the guilt and regrets that lack of anger control leaves at its wake, these two words should become your daily habit. // By Juanito “June” Luna


ANNOUNCEMENT: I invite you to visit my new website, www.junelunalifesharer.com, which contains my videos, music, inspirational cards, life lessons, and so much more. See you there, too! Thank you.