Leadership and character

. . . is the topic of my latest Trade Tripper column in this Friday-Saturday issue of BusinessWorld. Excerpts:

"On the other hand, Confucius goes on to relate, the following are things no leader should do: 'Cruelty — leaving the people in their native ignorance, yet punishing their wrongdoing with death. Oppression — requiring the immediate completion of tasks imposed without previous warning. Ruthlessness — giving vague orders, and then insisting on punctual fulfillment. Peddling husbandry --stinginess in conferring the proper rewards on deserving men.'

Confucius must have worked here in the Philippines. Wannabes usually fall into a similar pattern: the up-at-dawn workout buff, the intense participant and note taker in meetings, the swagger in corridors with the ever-present sheaf of papers, the always-late-for-the-next-meeting demeanor, the propensity to play favorites to sycophants, 'elitista' in the shallow 'sosyal' sense of the word, and the stealing of credit due to others. However, the most common similarity is that wannabes never get anything done or are never known for being good at anything whatsoever, be it in a technical area or some other field. All that activity with nothing to show for it, compounded by high staff turnover, low employee morale, and minimal profits. Obviously, guys like that haven’t read The No-Asshole Rule, or Nudge by Thaler and Sunstein."


Trade disputes: asymmetry and policy mechanism

. . . is the topic of my latest Trade Tripper column in this Friday-Saturday issue of BusinessWorld. Excerpts:

"The analogy necessarily made with regard to the settlement of trade disputes rests on certain levels, whether it be on the formative, normative, or substantive sense. The toolbox analogy is commonly employed, particularly when defining the settlement of disputes as an allocation of certain rights between State parties to the dispute.

Nevertheless, the analogy, while presenting in a certain sense the diversity of available mechanisms within which such rights, liabilities, and obligations are to be recognized, all of which it must be considered still fall within the parameters and restrictions laid down by general conceptions of what we consider to be sovereignty in its internal and external sense."