EO Q&A: Next-Level Leadership in EO
Leadership is an integral part of the entrepreneurial journey, and it also plays a big role when it comes to maximizing your EO experience. In this interview, Rosemarie “Bubu” Andres, an EO Philippines member, Director on the Global Board and founder of Candy Corner Philippines, Inc., talks about the benefits of member leadership and the role it has played in her personal and professional life.
What inspired you to become a member leader?
BA/ “Since joining EO in 2001, the organization has helped me in countless ways: rebuilding my business after a fire, business operations, life planning, coping with loss, building relationships, raising my children, and so on. Each time I see an opportunity to help make EO a better experience for myself and others, I embrace it. That’s why I wanted to become a member leader— it’s my way of giving back to a global community that has given me so much.”
How did you become a Director on the Global Board?
BA/ “I started out as the Chapter President of EO Philippines when we hosted the first Asia Bridge Campus. It was then that I realized how great the potential for member value is when passionate members step up and share their network, passions, time and energy. That experience made me willing to accept the Asia Bridge Forum (ABF) Chair position, back when we had less than 50 members. It was during my term that the third and fourth Forums were formed. Watching the regional integration, strong camaraderie and lifelong friendships built through ABF was so fulfilling, and I was inspired to continue contributing."
“I went on to join the MyEO Task Team when it was formed. We created MyEO Forums, Groups and Events throughout the APAC region by asking members to champion them based on their passions. Afterward, I applied for the MyEO Chair position, where I faced pushback from the organization. I didn’t understand why others couldn’t see the value MyEO provides. I resolved to find ways to share MyEO with the rest of the world. The best way to do that was by applying to the Global Board. Since joining, other passions have sprouted, like improving organizational communications, promoting interaction between regions, and encouraging the recruitment of more female entrepreneurs for diversity and increased member value.”
What value has EO leadership afforded you in business and beyond?
BA/ “For one, because of the travel requirements, I have become more strategic in my business instead of micromanaging. I am sure our management team is grateful for EO because of that! Also, dealing with peers is a constant learning experience and source of fun. To hear other perspectives, learn about different cultures and determine solutions together, it really helps me grow. But EO has become more than just a stepping stone for growth— it has become a part of our family. My husband, Ricky, is an active EO member. Our eldest daughter, Rina, joined GSEA while in college. Our son, Robbie, joined EO Engage. And our youngest, Rissa, found a boarding school through a member’s recommendation. Because of their EO experiences, my children’s inclination toward entrepreneurship is second nature. They have grown confident in sharing ideas, grabbing opportunities, taking risks and being open to failure for experience sake. I have EO to thank for that.”
What would members be surprised to learn about EO leadership?
BA/ “Member leadership is servant leadership at its best. It’s a lot of work, but just like with our businesses, when you are enjoying what you do, it is rewarding. The bonds you build are also a big bonus. I look at member leadership as a global version of the ABF. I truly own my own experience. It is a commitment. I get so much more in return when I give it my all, but I must continually invest the time and maintain respect for the position.”
“As for being on the Global Board, some may think all we do is travel, but it is actually a lot of hard work. Difficult and unpopular decisions often need to be made, but we need to keep EO’s best interests at heart. It also requires a lot of focus. Each two-hour, monthly Board call requires at least 100 pages of reading, and each in-person meeting requires about three times that. Throw in a minimum of six hours’ worth of Zoom calls a month, and that’s a lot of time away from your business and family. Everyone on the Board lives and breathes EO, and it shows in our efforts.”
What tips can you offer other members interested in pursuing an EO leadership position?
BA/ “Member leadership is truly rewarding and can be a lot of fun, but it is a big commitment. If you are interested, prepare yourself and your business, and seek the support of your family. That is important. Once that is done, consider stepping up to support areas where your passions lie. I guarantee you it is very fulfilling and provides continuous learning. In my experience, becoming a member leader is the best way to learn and grow in EO!”