November 14: It’s another B1G Friday at CCF Main! Couldn’t keep up with the flashing words on the screen. “Magna Cum Laude. MA degree in Trinity College. Continuing Courses at Harvard University. Apologetics in Oxford University. Toastmasters Award. Something of the Year Award…” They were talking about tonight’s speaker, Francis Kong. But the emcee, Ickhoy de Leon, on his live intro, lauded him for this: “The one thing that really takes the cake for me is how he loves his wife.” Standing ovation for our speaker! (A virtual one.) This SRO event (not from the standing ovation but from an unusually larger crowd tonight) is his 299th talk for the year. I once paid P3,500 to listen to him speak several years ago at the Dusit Hotel. So tonight, I’m relishing the free entry.
Tonight, another time to be (as my friend Minnie would say) a “sailing cat” (English for saling pusa) as this event is supposed to be for singles. Hail to the organisers for allotting chairs in the rear for non-single sailing cats who want to get inspired about work anyhow.
If Francis Kong wasn’t getting the crowd to giggle or roar in laughter, you could hear a pin drop while he spoke as the young people—- me included :)—- opened our ears wide to hear what he had to say. He spoke about work, stress, targets, realities in the workplace; deprivation of time, attention, and sleep; leadership, the different pursuits in life (excellence, elegance, truth, what’s next, what if’s, value, results, relationships, knowledge, and something bigger than oneself: pursuit of purpose); He talked about the 10 Most Important Work Skills in 2020, the 6 Drivers of Change; not wasting crises by pursuing the lesson in one’s loss. He gave over an hour of motivational speaking and truth telling to the enthusiastic crowd. Here are some excerpts from his talk:
Pursuit in itself is not bad. Pursuit of the wrong things, however, will get you into trouble… So many single girls make a mistake because of the wrong person they’re pursuing. (Take note dear ladies!! If they’re married, stay away from them, won’t you darlings?) Having a mindset focus of pursuit is so critical to leadership. Lacking this one quality can sentence you to mediocrity or obsolescence. At my age, I have to pursue more knowledge, more excellence, more information … not because I want to compete with other trainers but because God has not engineered people to be obsolete and useless… If I want to shine in the workplace because I want to show that the God whom I serve is the most excellent of them all, I need to improve myself all the time.
A leader’s failure to pursue clarity leaves him in a fog.
A leader’s failure to pursue creativity relegates him to the routine and the mundane. Failure to pursue talent sentences him to a world of isolation.
Failure to pursue change approves apathy.
Failure to pursue wisdom and discernment subjects him to destruction and foolishness. Failure to pursue character leaves a question mark on his integrity.
Failure to pursue purpose would keep him away from his destiny. What you pursue is that which you value… The question is “What are you pursuing?” …
I want to pursue excellence in the marketplace. Throughout the many years of doing this, God has shown me time and time again that this is where He wants me to be. That’s the purpose bigger than me… I challenge all my kids, “Be excellent in the marketplace. Be evangelists of God’s standard of excellence.” Now watch. This is the foundation: This can only be achieved if you pursue Christ first in your heart. The heart, in nature, [has] a vacuum. In the absence of God’s presence in that heart, it will be filled with something else that you will pursue… because what delights you will drive you.
You know how many times I’ve failed in business? You know how many times I’ve made stupid decisions because of my own pride and stubbornness? But you’ll never find The Ilocana (his endearment term for his lovely wife, Lilia) say, “I told you so.” She will simply say, “God has a better plan for us. Let’s move on.” I’ve been cheated big time by business partners. But she will always say, “Don’t extract revenge. That’s God’s business. Let’s move on.” History is a good teacher when I look back. Part of being cheated and hurt is God’s plan in developing our character. It’s so hard to hurt and hate at the same time. You release your hate, you lessen your hurt. What’s the worst thing for you when you don’t release your hurt and you don’t forgive? You will become the person you hate.
There exists a gap between success and significance. And that gap is called Purpose. You have to understand your purpose in life.
Francis Kong shared much more. Some personal parts he shared on the condition that we wouldn’t tell. So you will have to get your own ticket to listen to him. Or catch him at a future event at CCF. Two more B1G Events in the “PRODUCTability – WORKability Series” coming up for the months of November. I will yet have to check who the speakers will be but I’m sure they will be great! Mark the dates: Friday, November 21 and 28 at CCF Tiendesitas. Come by 7pm if you want a seat. Admission is free.
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