Simon says
BUSINESS MATTERS BEYOND THE BOTTOM LINE - Francis J. Kong (The Philippine Star) - December 15, 2019 - 12:00am

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Sunday that the world’s efforts to stop climate change have been “utterly inadequate” so far, and there is a danger that global warming could pass the “point of no return.” 

About four weeks ago, I had half an hour of conversation with Simon Sinek, the celebrated author of the book “Start With Why.” He was one of the featured speakers in this year’s WOBI NYC Conference or also known as “World of Business Ideas Conference,” held at the Lincoln Theater. And Simon had something to say about this issue.

Simon says: “To call it ‘Global Warming’ is ineffective.” So when the news shows us states and places where there are record snow and freezing temperatures, people would no longer believe. We call it “Climate Change.” Of course, climate changes. What else do you expect?” This brought laughter to everyone in the room while the interview was taking place. And then Simon says: “The debate is whether global warming is natural or man-made is incessant. Now suppose you call it Global Cancer? Just like the medical condition that we know, it could be man-made, or it can be a product of our genetic makeup. Well, who cares? But cancer is cancer, and you would stop debating about it and start managing or mitigating it. And this is why there is very little seriousness and concern in the area of “Climate Change” because we still do not see it as cancer. Suppose you call it something else like “Global Cancer” or something I don’t really know... then perhaps it is time to stop just talking about it and do something about it.”

This got me thinking. In a blessed country like ours, when summer comes, and there is a water shortage, we get upset, and the blame game begins. But when the rain comes and the flood flows, the debate stops, and there is very little incentive for us to mitigate the problem. 

The same principle works for business and life. When there is a prolonged period of economic calmness or even business growth, there will be minimal incentive for companies to disrupt themselves. But the moment a crisis happens, then that would be the only time a great transformation is forced upon us. Perhaps we have to change the semantics in order to achieve seriousness and urgency in our action initiatives?

Personal success operates the same way. Once there is a prolonged period of prosperity and growth, the tendency is for the person to believe that everything will be all right. Then there is the temptation to enter in hubris and this faulty sense of self-confidence develops into arrogance and can only be addressed when a crisis or a problem comes. Then transformation begins to work. Some become better but unfortunately others would not recover. Perhaps we should change the semantics and no longer call it “Success.” Call it something else. Call it, “An undeserved God’s blessing” or something so that we may be kept humble. 

It has been said that once a person reaches the age of 50, it would be impossible for the person to change; unless a major crisis happens. Do not wait for that to happen.

A defective lifestyle? Do not call it a “lifestyle” or merely a weakness or a defect. Maybe we should call it as it is. It is a sin.

And this is why we need a Savior. And why we celebrate the season commemorating the birth of the Savior. A blessed Christmas everyone.

(Reserve the dates: January 29-30. Attend the highly acclaimed Level Up Leadership Seminar and Workshop 2020 edition. Learn inspiring leadership lessons and valuable life skills in this widely acclaimed program at the new wing of Seda Hotel, BGC. For further inquiries or advanced reservations contact April at +63928-559-1798 or register online at







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