Are you familiar with the old saying, “You attract more flies with honey than you do with vinegar”?
‘Honey’ is an analogy for being good. It is the thought that by being a good person and contributing more to the lives of constituents, you gain more out of life.
In this light, giving a high amount of honey has always been the key to being a great leader.
As the honey center of La Union, the local government of Bacnotan is filled with honeyed attitudes because of its woman local chief executive, Mayor Divina Fontanilla.
According to Fontanilla, being a woman in leadership is advantageous to the public because women are more expressive, and more communicative than male counterparts.
“For me, mas ‘makilatis’ din ang babae. We pay attention even to the little details or specifics of a program. One error has a great effect on accomplishments,” Fontanilla explained.
As the newly-elected mayor of the town, she assures that every constituent is significant for each one serves as the voice, the eyes, and the ears of his/her neighbor in the community.
Mayor Fontanilla, who is a registered nutritionist-dietitian and has a Master’s degree in Public Health, ensures the health and wellness of the people especially children which is part of her agenda.
“It is for this reason that we created a Nutrition Officer position, and we are humble to inform you that we are the only local government unit (LGU) to do so in the province,” Fontanilla said.
To her, a key to ensuring the implementation of good nutrition practices and advocacies of the LGU is literacy.
‘Mayor Divine,’ as what people call her, reminds her people that quitting should not be an option for public servants because at the end of the day, those who are in need shall turn to them.
As a leader, she convenes all concerned offices, talks about deficiency and on how to make things better.
Mayor Fontanilla also believes that unmet targets somehow become unfortunate blessings for them in public service.
Many thought leaders speak about empathy — the ability to understand the feelings of others — it leads you to finding out what type of honey people need from you.
Empathetic leaders, like Mayor Divine, know it's important to listen when someone needs something from them.
As she leads the whole town of Bacnotan, she is sensitive enough to constituents, local officials, and other managers who are wary of transformation.
Some are evasive in the utilization of technology because their convenience is compromised.
And these are concerns that weaken the process and subsequent delivery of services and can lead to threats to innovations, plans and programs of the municipality, among others.
But to the lady mayor, there is nothing to fear in being a local chief executive, or in any job or position that we have been entrusted with, as long as it is with genuine service.
Indeed, the local chief executive is living proof that using honey as a leader is the right way to lead.
While it may not be easy to practice using honey every day, the world needs more great leaders that guide the constituents with positivity. (JCR/AMB/ KJCR/PIA La Union)