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  • Chairperson Celo stirs leaders: Beat COVID, be S.T.U.P.I.D.!

Chairperson Celo stirs leaders: Beat COVID, be S.T.U.P.I.D.!

Posted February 02, 2021


Chairperson Celo stirs leaders: Beat COVID, be S.T.U.P.I.D.! This is the Inspirational Message delivered by NATCCO Chairperson, Marlene Celo on January 22 at the advanced celebration of the NATCCO Network’s 44th Founding Anniversary.

Good day to the CEOs and Managers whose resiliency rise above this pandemic.

I have been tasked to give an inspirational message today. I was asking myself how could I inspire the CEOs and Managers whose inspiration is even greater and stronger than this pandemic, the gutsy coop leaders who never gave up in the insurmountable challenges brought about by Covid 19!

To start with, are you familiar with the song of Miley Cyrus, ‘When i look at you?’ There is a line that says: "everybody needs inspiration, everybody needs a song... cause there is no guarantee that this life is easy."

My fellow cooperators, it is of no doubt that the pandemic has brought fear and instability to many. It has even created a havoc of insensitivity.

Much as the worries are focused more on the infectious disease, its effects are now so obvious to notice. A pandemic of joblessness has caused tensions among those who lost their jobs. There is now the pandemic of hunger among the poor who cry for food to satisfy their hunger. A pandemic of stress and depression had engulfed the majority of low earners with a desperate quest for relief and sustenance. And among the cooperatives, there is a pandemic in the decrease of profitability.  The virus has even become the center of attention and the need to augment the necessities to support humanity became less a priority.

Fellow cooperative leaders, at this moment, we refrain from seeing the outside world and listening to the tragic news that triggers our stress hormones. Let us focus on how we can build back stronger and achieve the objectives crafted in the KRAs of our business recovery plans. As CEOs and managers you are duty bound to lead in order to rebuild stronger coops after this pandemic!  How? The key is, you have to Be S.T.U.P.I.D.! Stupid may sound negative, but it is positive to beat Covid! How can you be stupid?

First, be SENSITIVE . At this time of pandemic let us be sensitive to the needs of our members. This crisis forces us reflect on our products and services that would benefit not only the members but the community as well. There is the urgent need to promote emergency savings making sure that our members have the financial and social safety nets to help them weather the storm.   This is also the time to innovate and to find new ways in serving our members.

Second, be TRANSPARENT. TRANSPARENCY is an important principle in good governance since a degree of clarity and openness about how decisions are made strengthens members' trust and support. Communicate to the members the clear picture of your coop's operation at this time of pandemic, the more faith they will have in you as their coop leader and the more they will show themselves to be trustworthy.

Transparency builds trust, and makes employees feel that they are working for a cooperative with higher standards. When transparency is added to the cooperative culture, employees will be more engaged and committed to the vision of the cooperative.

Third, be UNIQUE. Elaine S. Dalton’s famous line kicks off in every platforms saying “If you desire to make a difference in the world, you must be different from the world.” Even if sometimes, to be unique or different requires you to stand alone, but being alone is where your unique creativity can thrive, so take the risk. It will be worth it and no take turns of ‘what-ifs’.   It’s what we leaders,

great artists, and inspiring minds, do. We take our members beyond the edges of conformity to pave brave new frontiers. Just because everybody else is doing it, doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. Ask why, be bold or take the risk of creating something different, and claim that you can do it - be confident.  After all, bold is beautiful!

Next be PASSIONATE. With the current world population of 7 billion, you are one of them but with a stable job. Apple’s Steve Jobs said, “The only way to do great work is to love what you do.” And then there’s Richard Branson: “There is no greater thing you can do with your life and your work than follow your passions in a way that serves the world and you.” That is why we are all here because we love what we are doing, aren’t we? Ben Horowitz stated that ‘passion is but just one big lie or it’s just an elusive emotion that changes over time and may not be the best indicator of one’s unique talents, skills set, and potential”. Whether it’s a love for work, or a drive within that fires to some extent of doing your job you’re happy at, then congratulations! You are on the right track. But if you feel more miserable at this moment, come on . . . life isn’t so bad after all.

Letter “I" in stupid is INITIATE.  It is doing the right thing without being told. It requires resilience and determination, going the extra mile or going above and beyond your normal job responsibilities. Barrack Obama said , time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourselves. The best way not to feel hopeless is to get up and do something. Don't wait for good things to happen to you. If you go out and make some good things happen, you will fill the world with hope, and you fill yourself with hope.

Lastly, to be STUPID is to Digitize! Digitize the operation of your cooperatives. Digitization is the process of converting information into digital format, taking analog information and encoding it so that computers can store ,process and transmit such information. It is very important for data processing, storage, transmission due to the fact that it allows information to intermingle and to be carried out with the same efficiency. Digitization allows data to be shared and accessed, to be propagated without loss, and to migrate to new formats needed.

Converting paper documents to digital ones increases operational efficiency, improves workflow, and enhances customer relationships and public perception of a cooperative. More importantly, digitization ensures that should paper documents get lost or damaged, their electronic counterparts will remain accessible.

Ladies and gentlemen, KAYA Payment Platform of NATCCO is the gateway to the digitization of your coop's operation. It is the technology we call our own. There is no turning back, we must use technology to our advantage. I believe in the saying that age doesn’t matter when you are falling in love. In the same way, age doesn’t matter in using technology. According to Dr. Troy, leaders should be teachable, hence, even senior citizens must learn how to use technology. I am 67 years old and i am proud to say that i am adept with technology and with Kaya Payment Platform, life would be easier and more convenient! Kaya, mag Kaya na tayo!

Great leaders of the member cooperatives of NATCCO, remember this: To build a stronger cooperative after this pandemic be STUPID! Sensitive, Transparent, Unique, Passionate, Initiate, Digitize .

If you are Stupid you are mightier than Covid!

God bless!


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