Villar: The Manager

By in
8 comments

* – First in a series of posts about the Presidentiables

Many of us are familiar with the Autobiography of Manuel B. Villar: born poor, sold fish in the market, and climbed up his way from the slums to the Senate.  It’s an autobiography not written in books, but in TV commercials and PR material.  If there’s any candidate hell-bent on seeking the Presidency, it is Mr. Sipag at Tiyaga; a man who built his sheer political presence based on gutting and scaling fish on a 30-second commercial spot.

A few months back, when I was invited to a chit-chat with the man, he emphasized his stand: leadership by management.  All the cinderblock-lifting and shrimp-vending on TV ad spots does not disguise the fact that he’s a successful businessman, a wealthy tycoon, and a leading figure in Philippine politics.  Yet despite all that, Manny Villar leaves – and has left – behind a trail of distrust and corruption.

Manny Villar is the consummate manager.  For all that has been said about him as a traditional politician or a populist in the suits of big business, Manny Villar is simply one thing to my mind: a manager.

Villar, in my mind, sees leadership as management.  The skills that made him a billionaire are not political; rather, they are managerial skills honed in making business happen from his offices and boardrooms.  The managerial mindset, in a nutshell, is to get things done.  Not necessarily to get things done right, but to get them on the course, get them moving, and keep them moving.

Managerial skill is the driving force of goals like wealth and progress, which Villar has touted and toted along with his Presidential campaign, and perhaps leading up to the elections.  Without a management strategy, we get nowhere near our goals.  Perhaps the issues that marred his reputation – C5, the Erap impeachment trials, Wowowee – have a lot to do with his management: keep your eyes on a goal, set a course, and keep things moving.  At all costs, at that: and for a billionaire, the notion of cost can make you wonder.  It can either impress you or disgust you.

The manager is willing to make compromises for the sake of the goal, contrasting everything in terms of black and white.  Everything in the course of the goal is an obstacle that is either negotiated, or eliminated.  To my mind, for the many compromises and issues that have surrounded Manny Villar, it’s textbook management that keeps him going.  In other words: the Presidency, at all costs.  Things are done and goals are accomplished not because they are done right, but because they are done, period.  Consummate management: the willingness to compromise for returns of investment.

If anything, Villar appeals to the desire of the common man to succeed in life and reach dreams of wealth: sipag at tiyaga that borders on kapit sa patalim. Villar will not run out of pitch and accent to emphasize that his success came from the desire to succeed.  That he is the right man for the job.  That he has the credentials, the track record, and everything else in between, selling himself to the electorate in the same way he did seafood, sand and gravel, land, and mall space.  Then again, managers are never appointed: they rise up the ranks.

Should Villar win the Presidency in May 2010, Malacañang becomes the boardroom, and every single Filipino becomes an employee in Villar’s project to progress.  Still, it bothers me to think that Villar treats the Presidency as his job promotion.  Whatever a Villar Presidency would be is something I will leave upon him should he do so.

Until then, I will be watching.

8 comments on “Villar: The Manager”

    • Jon
    • January 18, 2010
    Reply

    Nakaligo ka na ba sa dagat ng basura?…

    FFFFFUUUUUUUU..LSS man. Lolz. Damn, hate that ad. I hope to read a post on those ads too. Nice read.

      • priscilla pineda
      • February 19, 2010
      Reply

      before akala ko mabuting tao si Villar yun pala puro pera lang ang gusto nya. wala syang kakuntentuhan. Gusto nyang maging presidente para mas yumaman pa. kung nung senador lang sya marami na syang ginawang corruption lalo na pag presidente na sya. kaya di siya dapat iboto. sakit na niya ang maghangad pa ng pera, pera, at pera pa.

  1. Reply

    marck, are you going to write about nick perlas? 🙂

    • carloleal
    • January 19, 2010
    Reply

    Good read. Thank you for articulating my sentiments. While I respect him for his ‘sipag at tiyaga’ managerial style and even admire for his cinderella-like rise from poverty, I do not agree his being comfortable mixing Bongbong with Satur, and the tapping Willie and Manny as his celebrity endorsers. Politics to him, like his business empire, is definitely addition (of the doble-doble variety).

  2. Interesting article. Now the question is Will Manny Villar make it to Malacanang. More power to your blog.

  3. Reply

    HOW, REALLY, DID MANUEL BAMBA VILLAR, JR. GET TO BE RICH? It may bear and serve the Filipino nation well to investigate and know that Manny Villar may actually have broken through from Tondo-ragged accountant to billionaire-rich presidentiable by allowing himself to be used as a foreign investor’s dummy in the Philippine real estate business. You see, the conduct of real estate business in the Philippines is made exclusive by law to Filipino citizens, necessarily because its affairs involve sensitive issues that affect territory, patrimony, and national security. Wasn’t that a debonair American who was smilingly visible every day at the offices of Crown Asia, Inc., way back before the Villars became political aspirants? Unfortunately, sighting American presence at the Crown Asia, Inc. organization deteriorates to zero visibility in hot election weather, especially nowadays! As Manny Villar embarked on a political career, it naturally became strategically imperative to avoid flaks of damaging controversy about being economically beholden to foreign influence, especially from nationalist camps of the likes of then Senator Teofisto Guingona Jr. who was one among legislators instrumental in passing general law limiting conduct of real estate business in the Philippines to Filipinos only. In fact, it was from 1997 to 1999 that the bespactacled, middle-aged, happy American investor (silent or express?) of Crown Asia, Inc. was last regularly observed at the 18th Floor of Cityland Herrera Tower. Most of us often have “humble,” sometimes “rotten,” beginnings; yet being transparent about such beginnings can do more good than harm. The key to the answer may reach as far back as auditing days at SGV, or perhaps good Senator Manuel Villar would like to comment on this matter at this time?

  4. Reply

    HOW, REALLY, DID MANUEL BAMBA VILLAR, JR. GET TO BE RICH? It may bear and serve the Filipino nation well to investigate and know that Manny Villar may actually have broken through from Tondo-ragged accountant to billionaire-rich presidentiable by allowing himself to be used as a foreign investor’s dummy in the Philippine real estate business. You see, the conduct of real estate business in the Philippines is made exclusive by law to Filipino citizens, necessarily because its affairs involve sensitive issues that affect territory, patrimony, and national security. Wasn’t that a debonair American who was smilingly visible every day at the offices of Crown Asia, Inc., way back before the Villars became political aspirants? Unfortunately, sighting American presence at the Crown Asia, Inc. organization deteriorates to zero visibility in hot election weather, especially nowadays! As Manny Villar embarked on a political career, it naturally became strategically imperative to avoid flaks of damaging controversy about being economically beholden to foreign influence, especially from nationalist camps of the likes of then Senator Teofisto Guingona Jr. who was one among legislators instrumental in passing general law limiting conduct of real estate business in the Philippines to Filipinos only. In fact, it was from 1997 to 1999 that the bespectacled, middle-aged, happy American investor (silent or express?) of Crown Asia, Inc. was last regularly observed at the 18th Floor of Cityland Herrera Tower. Most of us often have “humble,” sometimes “rotten,” beginnings; yet being transparent about such beginnings can do more good than harm. The key to the answer may reach as far back as auditing days at SGV, or perhaps good Senator Manuel Villar would like to comment on this matter at this time?

    • PrettyOrange
    • April 21, 2010
    Reply

    bakit wala si bro.eddie d2?

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