Mangoes, Presidentiables, and You


While I was on a ride in Manila, somebody shared about the three types of mangoes in relation to the top presidential candidates.

She said that there is a rotten mango, a green mango, and a plastic mango. Unfortunately, that is the picture politics portray. It is sad that a candidate is compared to a rotten mango, another seems unripe, and the other seems not authentic. Such a sad scene to see (even if this is just part of the bigger picture). But are we stuck to these choices?

What can we do if these are the present choices we have? Don’t we have other choices? Can we make other choices?

In a jeepney that I rode this morning, there was a mix bunch of passengers: professionals going to work, students bound to school, and a blend of different people heading to their own tasks for the day. Among these three groups, maybe the first and third are thinking of who they will vote come 2016 elections. The second group may have their choice but they are not registered voters. They may have made up their minds while some maybe are making up their minds.

Do we have a choice among the choices? Are we stuck to these rotten mango, green mango, and plastic mango? What do you say?

The comparison of the presidentiables to these kinds of mangoes may have their reasons of their own which reasons may have merits at certain levels. But do we have other choices?

Maybe there is a better choice. Could that be you? Yes, maybe – that is you! Wait a minute…I’m not saying you are going to file your candidacy just like the others. What I’m saying is that maybe you can employ your leadership in your own turf.

What can you do to lead?

Firstly, we go back to the fundamental truth of leading yourself first before leading others. How are we doing with our own self-education? Are we continually learning? Are we taking charge of our own growth? Yes, we have the right to comment on what’s going on around us and maybe we should join the social discourse of social issues. But as we do so, we also take a step back to do an internal discourse of our own issues. So how are we growing our own mangoes?

Secondly, when we think we are to lead a group, how are we leading even if we don’t have titles or positions? As a member of a class, a group, or a team, how are we contributing to the growth of the organization? Are our actions paving progress or producing problems? You and I have to ask these questions. As we go through this process of self-evaluation, maybe we can see some lapses which should entail not a move to punish but a move to improve. So how are we growing our own mangoes even if we have no titles?

Thirdly, when we have the position or title, how shall we lead? While leading ourselves and simply doing our own roles as members, what are the good habits that we can bring along as we move to higher roles as leaders? What are the practices that probably we did or doing badly which we need to change for the better? So what fruits are we going to produce as we nurture our own mango trees?

Truly, it would take a lot of courage, sweat and even tears. It would call for hard work and smart work. It would demand a high degree of self-awareness and perhaps a lot of “self-pushing” to keep soaring in leadership mindset, manners and moves (much more than leadership skills). Big thing, right!

But that’s what we demand from those mangoes out there, right? Maybe it is also a good thing to demand much from ourselves. Well, maybe not of the same level of demand… But whatever level that would be, let me simply leave two questions for us to ponder on:

How are we growing our own mangoes? How are we growing our own mangoes even if we have no titles? What fruits are we going to produce as we nurture our own mango trees?


(Chris Dao-anis/CPA, as an author and speaker, helps young accountants and aspiring professionals become better communicator and leaders.)