When the pandemic struck in March 2020, I thought it was the end of the world. Until eventually, it dawned on me that I was in the business of helping businesses to aid in the work-from-home (WFH) or remote working setup. So instead of being worried about the fate of my employees, my enterprise, and my source of living, I was pretty to decide and change the way we do business. We jumped immediately to the concerns and array of issues brought by this pandemic. Our team of experienced and expert managers met almost daily to solve the problems of other businesses, leading to the continuity of our business.
We were fortunate that our core competence as a business was recognized by the LGUs, one of which is improving the way the province of Laguna addresses its citizens’ issues.
I guess this story now addresses the one requirement I got from the vice-chair of the Department of Management and Organization to answer the question, “How should graduates manage both their careers and well-being as they enter the workforce despite the pandemic?”
One is being agile in embracing change. We focused on our core vision and mission and the reason for our being as an enterprise. We looked that by addressing the needs of our customers given the technology we have, their businesses would flourish. Focusing on your customers will lead our business to thrive in return. Opportunities come and do not focus on just how you will gain from it, but rather how well you, as a Lasallian leader, solve the business problems your market is facing.
It was not rocket science. It was simply true to our mission and my commitment as a Lasallian leader. That leads me to my second point, that next to being agile in embracing change, you manage your career and well-being by looking back at your life’s purpose. Our purpose as a business is to provide the needed technology to our partners. The WFH was a blessing in disguise for us and brought us more extensive and better partnerships with the big-name telcos we have at present. This will not be possible if we do not revisit why we started this business initially.
Lastly, how do we become authentic “humanistic” leaders as change agents not only for business growth but, more importantly, for social and ecological well-being? Well, it all boils down to the universal message each of us can relate to, that is, love. Love and faith in humanity–as we continue to do good to others and create a society where everyone manifests genuine concern. A just and fair community, and everyone gets a share of the efforts they have produced. A society where the rich become more affluent and the poor become poorer. A society where everyone gets a decent living and every employee brings food to the table sustainably to live a well-balanced lifestyle.
It sounds very lofty and mouthful, but it is the price we Lasallians have to embrace. We are given this great opportunity to earn this diploma, and from this excellent education, we have that tall order from our founder to pay it forward to the less fortunate.
We all have the power to change our society, enterprises and future employers. All it takes is to look into our intentions, anchored on the values we inculcated from this great university for the past four years of our stay here. There’s no shortcut or magic formula. It has to be your lifestyle. Other than that, as we spend a lot of time on the Internet, be always hungry to learn new things, so whenever you think of something, go online and start researching.
In these challenging times, all the more, we need you, change agents, to change the way we do business that touches the very core of our society. These workers toil the 8-5 shift, come to work, do their share to make a living. These are the people who need us the most, and that starts not when we enter the workplace, but the moment we end this program, we all have that power to change. So are you ready for that remarkable journey, my fellow Lasallian alumni?
Once again, a pleasant good morning to all and Animo Lasalle!
This article is an excerpt from the commencement speech of Mr. Erwin Co during the 56th Recognition Rites of the Ramon V. Del Rosario College of Business last 8 January 2022, 10 am via Zoom.
Erwin Co is the president of Gur Lavi Corp. He is a 2001 alumnus of the BS Applied Corporate Management Program of the RVRCOB. His company received the Top VoIP solution award in the Asia Pacific Region from Enterprise Networking Magazine 2022 for helping SMEs during the pandemic through Gur Lavi’s cloud-based solutions.