In 2011, Miggy Zaballero, who was then managing a training company which he started, was invited to observe his first Management Strategies program. “I watched Leo Castillo and Cristina Alafriz. I was amazed at how they led and delivered the leadership program for the client. I knew, in that instant, that I wanted to do just that, I wanted to be able to do what they do. I actually said to myself na balang araw, andyan din ako sa harap ng mga clients and I will deliver the programs for them.”
Fast forward to 2019, and Miggy is now the Team Engagement Head of Management Strategies. He has designed and led numerous programs with as many as 500 participants for some of MgtStrat’s biggest and oldest clients and will continue to do so to ensure constant innovation and creation of high impact, relevant, and incredibly fun learning experiences for teams. Apart from that, he is also now trusted to lead and grow the newest business unit under Management Strategies – Team Journeys, Philippines.
How did he accelerate his growth? It all started in 2015. Fresh from his stint as a teaching fellow for Teach for the Philippines, in which he had to take a 2-year absence from MgtStrat to teach full-time in a Quezon City public school, Miggy rejoined MgtStrat’s roster of consultants. Since then, he has completed his certification as an Action Learning coach for the World Institute for Action Learning (WIAL), completed the Management Strategies Mentorship program, participated in the internal Strengths Coaching modules and most recently started his journey to complete the Diploma in Organization Development from Ateneo CORD. Outside of his role, he keeps himself busy as he completes his Masters in Educational Administration from the University of the Philippines.
“I felt like I came back at the perfect time, right when MgtStrat was launching its new development roadmap for its consultants. Because of that, I was given more opportunities to facilitate, I joined the mentorship program, and the company sent me to seminars and workshops for me to sharpen my skills even more.”
Because the company invested a lot in him, Miggy felt that it was only right to give more and to give back. “The more I felt like the company was genuinely interested to develop my skills and talents, the more I wanted to take on bigger roles and bigger challenges. And that’s exactly what I did.”
According to Miggy, his “big break” came in 2016. He recalled the time when he had the opportunity to run a branded customer service program for a client in Cebu. After the program, Valerie Eraña, who is one of the partners and the one who led the program with Miggy, gave him a shirt from the client with a note that says “always remember to have fun.” To this day, Miggy has made it a ritual to wear the shirt on the night before a big program as a reminder to enjoy the moment and have fun with the clients and his team.
Not everything came easy, though. When he was starting out, he was one of the youngest consultants on the Management Strategies team. Because of this, he had doubts in the back of his mind at the start: “What if the participants won’t listen to me because of my age?”
“Back then, if you put me in front of people, especially leaders and executives, there was the fear that they would not believe in what I said because I was not old enough to know what I was talking about. Mukha kasi akong bata.” He shared. “So that was my fear and probably the biggest obstacle that I had to overcome.”
For Miggy, joining the company’s mentorship program helped him breakthrough. “My mentors in Management Strategies, Cristina Alafriz, a partner, and senior consultant Benjamin Leogardo, spent a lot of time with me and they were able to help build my confidence,” he said. “Little by little, I was entrusted with bigger roles which I saw as a reward for what I have been doing for the past years. The more roles I was given, the more confidence I gained and the more I was able to be myself and reach my goals in the company. On a fun note, Tina kept giving me ‘courage challenges’, which pushed me to really get out of my comfort zone, learn from mistakes and develop not only my courage but I think more importantly, the trust in myself.”
Another thing Miggy appreciates is that Management Strategies gave him the opportunity and resources to give back and connect consultants to the public school system as part of the company’s Corporate Shared Value program. Last year, he organized a four-month intervention that brought consultants of Mgt Strat and WIAL coaches to work with San Vicente Elementary School in Quezon City to help solve the school’s ten (10) most pressing challenges.
Beyond the training he receives and the opportunities being given to him, Miggy thinks it’s also the people and culture within the company that is setting them apart. “It’s not just my mentors but also all the other consultants and partners who really support each other and push each other to deliver high quality programs. The company prides itself in having such high standards when it comes to the services it delivers and it’s only fair that the same is expected from us consultants.”
According to Miggy, his new role would involve leading the team engagement strand of both Management Strategies and Team Journeys, which is the new team building unit for small and medium enterprises (SME’s) in the Philippines. He knows that there are a lot of challenges in building a new company from the ground up, but knows that Management Strategies will give him all the support that he needs to succeed.