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Miriam Defensor Santiago v2
December 4, 2016

Miriam Defensor-Santiago

The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of knowledge but rather a lack of will.

Miriam Defensor-Santiago

Asia’s Iron Lady and Ramon Magsaysay Awardee, Miriam Defensor-Santiago, was born in Iloilo City, Philippines. She’s born to lead, eldest of seven children, graduated valedictorian in primary and secondary school, magna cum laude in BA Political Science and cum laude Bachelor of Laws, earned her Master of Laws and Doctor of Judicial Science in the US, became a Senator in 1995 and the first Filipina and first Asian elected a Judge of the International Criminal Court.

Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago
Official portrait of Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago

She was also known the Dragon Lady as she was formidable and headstrong especially to those who try to shortchange the law. However, through time, people saw how this stronghold shifted into a lofty and funny persona. This shift was observed after the death of her son and when she was diagnosed with lung cancer. In 2014, she published a funny book entitled, “Stupid is Forever” and then a sequel entitled, “Stupid is Forevermore”.  Another change witnessed by many was her returning to her faith from being agnostic. She died of lung cancer in 2015.

As leaders, integrity should be the core of our DNA, without it, we have only led in vain. Integrity, however, is nothing without the will power. Your belief maybe in support of the truth but if you do not have the will to act upon it then your indolence has robbed your people’s advocacies and with time passing, you would not have moved an inch.

Why do you think our people lack the will? ‘Will’ requires trust, an open mind, knowledge and energy. As a follower, I need to first trust the person (my leader) that whatever he is teaching me to do will benefit me. Trust is not readily given but earned, so as leaders we never forget that trust is one golden treasure we never lose or take for granted. Most of our time spent with our people must unfailingly pave the way to augment the tower of trust as our people will always be open and eager to hear what we have to say. Our people need to be educated of what they are about to do especially on what they will be up against so educate, educate, educate.

All of the above will energize them to  fulfill the goal and don’t forget to hold their hands as they go through the rough journey as this will make them trust you even more.

Attributes: Fierce, Intelligence, Determination, Passionate, Courageous, Feisty

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Learning and Culture Director at Stellar Philippines
Fran Saguindang Riego de Dios, MS has been in training and leadership development for more than a decade now. In earning her Master of Science in Biology degree, she joined the College of Science and Mathematics faculty of MSU-IIT and published her studies in Asia Life and Philippine Scientists Journals. For her, moving into the corporate world felt odd at first but with the scientific method and discipline in her backpack, it has become a fulfilling experience. You may also visit her personal Science Blog Site at Live Well. She also enjoys music (sings and plays the piano) and art (portrait sketch).
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