At every stage of our professional growth, God sends us bosses and peers who may not pontificate much, but through their example, help us walk the straight and narrow path.
Here’s my last installment on the workplace mentors who have strongly influenced my life:
Amading Veloso, my first boss at the San Miguel Food Group, was a kind soul who valued integrity and honesty.
I remember the time he agonized about firing one of my most promising staff who was caught with a padded reimbursement. Though he really liked the guy, Amading let him go anyway because he did not want to set a precedent for would-be cheats.
I was secretly looking forward to retirement when Pet Bautista, my second-to-the-last boss at the San Miguel Food Group, insisted I take up the Asian Institute of Management’s (AIM) management development program (MDP).
Other bosses would just have saved the money and rationalized that I was an old fogy anyway. But Pet valued his people and their need for continuous learning.
He also seriously practiced MBMA or management by moving around, often visiting far-flung company facilities, dealers and contract suppliers, and spending time talking to our farm and factory workers.
Pet sincerely listened to their concerns and encouraged feedback, motivating his managers to take immediate action.
Pet went back to his previous multinational employer after his San Miguel stint, after which he became managing director of one of the country’s biggest food manufacturing concerns.
My workplace spiritual mentor? Cyd Latunio-Esquivel.
She genuinely showed concern for her co-workers. She became light and salt to me at a time when, career-wise I flourished, but my heart floundered because of inner turmoil.
Cyd introduced me to Jesus who at that point in my life was just a name I prayed to. Cyd invited me to a balikbayan’s concert where for the first time, God’s love became real and I accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior.
Cyd, with her husband Gerry, eventually became full time missionaries of Campus Crusade for Christ (CCC). While pregnant with her baby, Cyd’s kidneys started to malfunction. Suffering through years of dialysis, a kidney transplant, and a number of near-death crises, she continued to persevere in her ministry until she passed away.
Old ties last. I came full-circle with CCC when, after dedicating my recent book in memory of Cyd, I found myself holding a writing seminar for CCC missionaries.
My dear friend Che Solijon—who heads CCC’s communication unit, commented, “You have the CCC DNA in you.”
I believe this is true too of the mentors who figured in our lives.
Wherever they are Lord, I pray you will continue to keep them and strengthen them, and exceedingly bless them so they can continue to be a blessing to others, in Jesus name. Amen!.