Lessons from Lolo and Lola, By Rustan's President Donnie Tantoco

The Rustan's president talks about the values passed on by his Lolo Benny and Lola Glecy.

The Rustan's president talks about the values passed on by his Lolo Benny and Lola Glecy.

The acronym WISDOM captures the DNA of our grandparents. It’s become our culture in the companies that I’ve worked with. We live it, we breathe it. It’s what keeps us strong.

W is for Winning. Lolo has always had a victor mentality. He hates mediocrity. It’s all about excellence. He always wants to win. Of course, we can’t win in everything, so we choose to go into things where we can be amazing, where we can be demonstrably superior. We have to keep that winning spirit.

I is for Integrity. That means honesty. It means trust in our relationships with our employees, with our business partners, with our customers. We create trust. Whenever we say we’re going to do something, we do it. Our words, our actions, and our thoughts are all aligned. That’s integrity.

S is for Sharing. When things are successful, we share the success with our employees, with those who make it possible. During painful periods, we are there for our employees. We do not let them down.

Donnie and his Lolo Benny

D is for Daring. That’s what Lola showed us. We’re pioneers, not followers. We pioneered the department store, the supermarket concept. We pioneered weddings. We pioneered the idea that the shopping is not a transaction. It’s an experience, it’s a pleasure. We’ve got to keep up that pioneering spirit going. We don’t play it safe, even if that will make things easier. We take calculated risks. That is daring.

O is for Outstanding. It’s all about basic discipline. We have to do the basics consistently well, day in and day out. Sometimes it may get boring, routine. Sometimes it becomes drudgery. But we have to recognize that what we do consistently is what makes the company successful.

M is for Malasakit. It’s the most important of all. We really believe in the goodness and greatness of our employees. And give them self-respect so all that goodness and greatness comes out, gets discovered. And in doing so, our people exceed what they thought would be possible for themselves.

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About The Author
Yvette Fernandez
Yvette Fernandez is the Chief Storyteller of the Gokongwei Group. Previously, she was the editorial director of Esquire Philippines.
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