The UST Center for Creative Writing and Literary Studies (CCWLS) and ABS-CBN, in cooperation with the UST Office of Student Affairs (OSA) and the Office of Public Affairs (OPA), held a leadership lecture featuring Ms. Charo Santos-Concio last August 18, 2017 (Friday) at the Dr. Robert C. Sy Grand Ballroom of the Buenaventura G. Paredes, O.P. Building. Ms. Santos-Concio is popularly associated with “Maalaala Mo Kaya?” the longest-running drama anthology on Philippine television.

Grounding her lecture on Catholic formation, Santos-Concio said leadership was not an option for Christians; rather, it was an imperative, a duty, and a mission. “Upon our baptism, we are commissioned by God to be a priest, or a prophet, and king,” she said. “To be a priest is to be God’s presence to everyday life. To be a prophet is to speak the truth. To be king, now that’s leadership. Every Christian is destined to be leader meant to be a king or queen of the dominion that God gave to the person,” she added.

Santos-Concio encouraged the aspiring leaders to first look in himself/herself before leading people: “You can have all the best skills and the wholesome discipline but it all begins with oneself.” Moreover, she said that it was necessary to give voice to the people and do not stop honoring them, “People will always be the biggest challenge to leaders,” she said. “And yet, people will also be your biggest asset.”

For Santos-Concio, self-awareness and the unwavering perseverance to one’s own sense of purpose are the key qualities that prepare potential leaders for situations where they need to face the challenge of leading. “It all begins with one’s self. Mastery begins with self,” she explained. She highlighted her point with a clever acronym she developed to connect with the millennials, H.U.G.O.T., or How to Understand your Gifts in Order to Transform. “You can have all the best skills and the wholesome discipline but it all begins with oneself,” she advised.

While she admitted that it is much easier to be a follower than to be a leader, Santos-Concio asserted that true leadership, whether it is in one’s personal or professional life, is dynamic and responsive to time and place. People who take up the challenge are honed by carrying the consequences of their decisions along with the weight of creating their own future.

When asked to give advice during the open forum, Santos-Concio said, “Think of any act as the last performance of your life so you will give it your best,” as part of her A.T.M. or Advice to Millennials.

Her book “My Journey: The Story of an Unexpected Leader” was also launched during the event. As a gesture of appreciation to her audience who queued before the program started to be able to get a copy of her book, Santos-Concio signed copies of her memoir. Santos-Concio is the ABS-CBN Chief Content Officer and the current president of ABS-CBN University.