Journey Batch 6 Companion Princess Ubay-Ubay is the outgoing President of the Central Student Government of Xavier University – Ateneo de Cagayan. Grabbed from her Facebook Notes, she shares her leadership experience during her stint in their Student Government.
A living heart is one that yearns, one that hopes for the most beautiful things, one that gets hurt with deceit and lies, one that defies the world’s demands to meet its own, and one that endlessly searches for its deepest desires.
All my life, I have been trained to become what a leader should have and should be. A leader should have a clear and consistent vision. A leader should have a well-defined plan. A leader should have excellent communication skills to influence teams. A leader should be open-minded. A leader should be patient in dealing with different personalities. A leader should be persuasive to inspire people to move toward a goal.
Leadership as a journey of the heart
My leadership journey molded me to see leadership more than the obvious surface – to look beyond everyday tasks, deadlines to beat, and projects to perfect. Leadership is more than being competent in what I do. It is more than having the skills that make me a good problem-solver or an excellent communicator. Leadership is even more than the ability to do anything perfectly with the right attitude in handling a team.
I learned that leadership, above all, is a journey of the heart. It is about fulfilling what the core of my humanity desires and about aiding my longing for truth and justice in the world. My leadership journey is a sum of the evolution of my heart and the choices it made amidst the most difficult crossroads it encountered. It is clearer to me now that the reason why I serve society in any way that I can is simply because I see myself as a servant and my heart is a heart that serves. My heart gravitates towards people whose hearts are wounded, scarred, and defeated. My heart wishes for the poor and the oppressed to live better lives. My heart also searches for the hearts of young people who want to make a difference in simple yet extraordinary efforts.
Mission to Love
My mission to lead is the mission to love, and everything else just follows perfectly. God granted me the grace of leadership to be more loving in the world, especially to His people who need most of my love. It is, at least to me, never prestige wrapped with positions of organizations that made my leadership pure. I felt the truest essence of leadership when I am not in the office of the student organization nor in the beautiful scenery of the countries I visited around the world during international leadership conferences. I felt it in the seemingly mundane walks around Divisoria that became the home of street children living in poverty and hunger. I felt it in Saturday afternoon visits in a community of native weavers in Barangay Puerto who get less than what they deserve from capitalists. I felt it in the simple conversations with little girls in the mountains who walk under the scorching heat of the sun for two hours or so every single day just to reach the nearest school. I felt it in my immersion at a home of a fisherman feeding a family of seven kids with a daily income of 100 pesos.
I felt the purest essence of leadership in my ordinary journeys in life that taught me more than everything I learned in class. These were the moments that moved me and disturbed my heart. I am a person who leads simply because these experiences made my heart’s journey more meaningful. It is from this journey of the heart where I learned that in the most basic essence, a leader should be loving. A voice within calls me to love. The greatest mission in leadership, after all, is not about loving to lead. It is about leading to love.
Journey Goes On
As I aspire for different roles to serve society, the journey of my heart goes on. Every new day is an opportunity for me to be more loving to God’s creations. The capacity to love is so overwhelming because it is in moments that I serve others when I see God’s miracles working in my life. I feel God’s presence inside me so I am not afraid to discover His Divine Will for me. In service, I am able to fully trust God to be with me in my vocation and I allow myself to be His instrument to bring love in this world.
To student leaders of organizations, your leadership role may end at some point as it is defined by tenure, but your leadership journey goes on. Leadership will lead you to pursuits you never thought of venturing. It will bring you far, even beyond your basic responsibilities in the organization. The great challenge for you is to fulfill your roles in your organization in a way that a difference is made not just in your life but more importantly, in the life of others. But the greater challenge for you is to keep journeying until love transcends your ability to lead. Keep journeying until you are no longer afraid to discover what is inside your “sacred space”. Keep journeying until your heart becomes a heart of a servant.
And when it does, don’t be afraid to love. Lead with love and just let your heart lead the rest of the way.
Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam!