Top Ten Lines Lousy and Incompetent Managers Would Say

Good leaders, like good managers, provide vision, inspiration and direction (Morriss, Ely, & Frei, 2014). People want leaders who pursue goals and put emphasis on values (ethics) that are deemed important. People want leaders who respect and promote the dignity, autonomy, and self-esteem of their constituents.

A job title doesn’t make a person a leader. More so, it doesn’t direct a person to exhibit leadership behavior. It is a mistake to refer any person as a leader by virtue of his/her position. Leadership, rather than a mere quality, is more of a function that inspires individuals or groups without the coercive use of power (Roussel, Thomas, & Ratcliffe, 2014). But, let the reality speak for itself. These people actually exist. Many have been fooled by the notion that people holding an office are there because they are good managers or leaders. Some might be but it is not always the case.

While I believe both managerial and leadership skills are learned in the process, this isn’t enough reason for constituents to become minions of their growing tribe; let alone suffer the consequences of working under lousy, weak, and ineffective managers.

In no particular order, here are the top ten things ineffective and incompetent managers (by title) would say:

1) I cannot do anything about it.

This is possibly the worst thing a manager would say. While there are limits to one’s authority or power, anyone who is holding a high position can do something about his/her constituents’ opinion, suggestions, or grievances. He / she is in the position to forward, at least, these grievances to the proper authority for appropriate action. I guess this is the least the manager can do. Well, maybe, unless otherwise stated by law.

2) It has always been this way.

While we love the idea of preserving tradition, we don’t love the idea of being stuck in the old, corrupt, and ineffective system. We shouldn’t be afraid of trying out something new even when it’s scary. It’s always scary when doing things the first time. Traditions stick around because they preserve culture and customs. But if the ‘tradition’ is ineffective, might as well venture out to something new and different and make it the new tradition.

3) I don’t make the rules. I (try to) enforce them.

Is what a manager would say if he / she lived during the dictatorship. We are bound to question rules especially if they affect our welfare. I am not a fan of bending rules. Rules exist to create an organized environment that allows organizations to pursue its goals. Rather than bending rules, question. Revise. Question. Revise. Enforce.

4) I will consider your idea.

Or maybe never? Don’t hear me out. Listen! Maybe the best ideas come from the person we least expect.

5) This shouldn’t be fun.

Says the manager who’d rather live to see satisfactory ratings than a company made of happy, content, and goal-driven constituents. Work could and should be fun. Work, without play, makes Juan (or Juana) a dull boy (or girl). A productive workplace is one which people feel safe – safe to experiment, to challenge, to share information, and to support one another (Harter & Adkins, 2015).

6) You’re better than (insert name).

Or worse, “(insert name) is better than you.”  Stop comparing one employee with another. Spend time discussing one’s strengths and weaknesses. Ang kalaban ay ang sarili. An employee and his/her manager should strive to improve the former’s mere average.

7) Because I’m the boss.

Says the weak manager. Just because he/she is the boss doesn’t mean he/she is right. Yet again, we live in the age where most of our heads are managers by title alone.

8) I don’t have time for you.

Yes, you do. Yes, you should have. Research have shown that managers spend greater than the average portion of their time listening. But doing a lot of listening doesn’t mean managers listen well.  Listening is not the same as hearing.

9) Sh*t, P*ta, T*nga, etc.

Need I say more?

10) (silence)

People value an effective two-way communication. It is the basis and sometimes the foundation of any healthy relationship.  The best managers know and understand that each employee is unique. Each person has his / her own successes and challenges at and away from work. Knowing that employees are people first, managers move towards accommodating their employees’ uniqueness while managing toward high performance (Harter & Adkins, 2015). It is when people feel another person is invested in them that they are more engaged.


People leave bosses, not companies. A Gallup study of more than 7000 US adults revealed that one in two had left their job to get away from their manager to improve their overall life at some point in their career. In the case of the nursing profession in the Philippines, nurses leave the country primarily in search of better opportunities abroad. However, some do leave because they’ve grown tired of the system.

For several years, we’ve all been witnesses to countless managers who let titles do their jobs. Let today be the end of that era.#


RSA 2 of 2

December 18 marks the END of my TWO-YEAR RETURN SERVICE. Two years ago, I started working as a research assistant at Health Futures Foundation, Inc. Seven months after, I left the organization to become a staff nurse at the Philippine General Hospital.

I believe I have completed my RSA and is now therefore “free” of liabilities pending the submission of my final RSA report by the end of this year.

What a journey it has been! Hello TOR without the words “for employment in the Philippines ONLY”! Not planning to leave the country though. 🙂

Happy to be of service to the Filipino people! Para sa bayan!

Care for those who care


We seldom talk about it because we think it’s “part of the job” or that we “signed up for it”. This is a skewed view of what nursing really is. Priority is given to patient care but self-care should be given equal importance. I believe violence in the hospital – be it physical, emotional, or verbal – coming from either patient or fellow HCP is obviously underrated and often unreported or underreported.

We, nurses, often struggle with role conflict between our duty to care for others and one’s duty to self when providing care especially following a critical incident that involves violence.

I believe what we need is an (1) immediate debriefing following a violent incident and (2) a good supportive work environment to prevent violence (both from patient/caregiver and fellow HCPs) and, maybe, enhance resilience.

Much like the lauded newly-established customer care center, we deserve the same mechanism where nurses (and other HCPs) could voice out their concerns, struggles, grievances of any sort without the prejudice of being judged, ridiculed, and sanctioned (especially by seniors) for basically just stepping up for one’s human rights.

We’ve got a long way to go before we finally realize that job satisfaction and quality of life affect the quality of care we render to our patients and the overall patient outcome and satisfaction. While hospital services and health care delivery have been improved in the past months, I cannot help but ask, what about us? People who care for other people also need to be cared for.

I cannot accept that “this has been the practice” and that “we cannot do anything about it”. We shouldn’t stick with practices that are clearly outdated, irrelevant, and ineffective. And yes, we can do something about it and the rest of the many issues and challenges we are facing day after day.

Care for those who care?

UP Manila says ‘No’ to Medical Cannabis Legalization in the Philippines

I agree that:

1) further research on Cannabis’ efficacy and safety should be done under strict protocols (provided by national institutions) to ensure patient safety and safeguard public health.

2) any policy, especially public health policies, should be evidence-based.

“UP Manila says ‘NO’ to Medical Cannabis Legalization”
Download whole document:

No to HCP shaming

Pt asks about procedure

Pt: Sabi nung nurse… Pre-res: Wag kayo maniwala sa nurses. Sa amin ka maniwala, sa mga gaya kong naka-white coat.

Conversations like this support the misconception that nurses are dumb and “alila ng doktor”.  Maybe we could simply correct the wrong statement (if indeed it’s wrong) and do away with statements like “wag maniwala”.

A good HCP will strive to make the entire HC team better in terms of knowledge, skills, attitude.

I say no to doctor shaming but I also say no to shaming nurses and other HCPs. We are a team and we use a multidisciplinary approach. 🙂

Top Ten Lines Overheard at the Department of Neurosciences

I keep a record of the most memorable lines I hear in PGH. Some aren’t funny, of course, but they remain to have an impact on me up to this day.  To celebrate my first anniversary in PGH (08/01/17), I share with you the top ten lines I overheard at the Department of Neurosciences as of July 2017. 🙂

  1. Caregiver: Straight ka ba? (Straight 16hr duty pala.)
  2. Patient: Nurse, nag-iinit ako. Two weeks na kaming walang…(censored).
  3. Patient: Masakit ka tumusok. Masasaktan asawa mo niyan.
  4. MD: Kumusta ka sir? Ay kumusta pala yung pasyente?
  5. MD: Ang point ko mali ang bilang mo!
  6. Caregiver: Kailangan niya makarinig ng scientific terms para kumalma.
  7. RN: Bahala kayo. Mag-SL ako bukas. (Kahit parang hindi siya sick. Huhu.)
  8. RN: Bago ka pa lang. Wala kang karapatang mapagod! (Earned right ang mapagod.)
  9.  Patient: Nurse, bakit ganito pa rin itsura ko? Hindi na ba magbabago ‘tong mukha at katawan ko? (Major body transformation pala ang gusto.)
  10. Caregiver: Nurse, pa-sanction (suction).