Headstart Alabang

June 18, 2022 – 133 attendees experienced another fun and productive evening in Crimson Hotel Manila in Alabang as Rocket Station held its 2nd Headstart Leadership Summit for 2022.

Guests were welcomed to an affair of bright lights and a collaborative atmosphere where they were encouraged to meet new people and share their ideas about leadership. Host Raphael Resus further energized the excited crowd as he began introductions and initiated the long-awaited program.

Headstart Leadership Summit 2022: Alabang had five inspiring speakers take the stage, with each talking about different aspects of leadership that all can learn and improve upon.

The first speaker of the evening was special indeed. Mr. Rob Nickell, Rocket Station’s very own CEO, flew in from the USA to grace the event with both his presence and wisdom. Before going forward with his prepared talk, he gave Rocket Station’s top 10 Virtual Assistants praise and highlighted their achievements both at work and within their communities.

These Rocketeers are:

  • Jana Marielle Cruz        
  • Maria Katrena Escarlan
  • Kristine Montehermoso
  • Kristine Kaye Hernandez        
  • Juan Kookie Navales
  • Mary Lyn Gallor
  • Jicelle Berioso
  • Genevie Umandal
  • Ericson Solidum
  • Charisse Joy Espinoza

Mr. Rob Nickell also emphasized that the great growth the organization is continuously experiencing is because of the work of every member of the Rocket Station community; as well as the numerous programs that the company holds to take care of its people.

He then proceeded to talk about several points. The initial talking point was about work culture, and how it is responsible for turning the company’s values into tangible changes. Next was how Rocket Station is a team of leaders, and how he defined leadership beyond its dictionary definition. 

Here is the Leadership checklist that Mr. Rob Nickell shared:

  • Identify and leverage the strengths of others.
  • Teach others how to succeed.
  • Use mistakes to strengthen and grow the team.
  • Use frequency of interaction to build relationships, consistency, and most all trust.
  • Promote a realistic but bright future for the team.
  • Sell

The next esteemed guest was none other than Rocket Station’s very own Director of Philippine Operations, Mr. Romil Hombrebueno making his 2nd Headstart appearance.

He began his talk by going over what he experienced and learned as a leader during his earlier years at Rocket Station, and his growth to where he is now. Mr. Romil Hombrebueno then proceeded with his first point about leadership, knowing and understanding oneself. He drilled the importance of this simple concept and how everything truly starts within. 

Here are the things you need to know about yourself for effective leadership:

  • What motivates you?
  • What triggers you?
  • What makes you happy?
  • Why are you doing this?

He connected this to the importance of self-awareness, and how we are all still students of leadership. One of the most important concepts is that taking a step back, then taking two steps forward is crucial when we make mistakes.

Moving forward from oneself, Mr. Romil Hombrebueno brought forward the necessity of knowing your team members as a leader. By this, he meant knowing them beyond work.

  • Who are they outside work?
  • What motivates them?
  • What triggers them?
  • What makes them happy?
  • Why do they do what they do?

These are necessary to ensure that as leaders, people can add value to the lives of team members. He further elaborates that better leadership means that people are required to share happiness with the people around them.

Mr. Romil Hombrebueno also glossed over how he prefers to be called coach and dislikes being called boss. He elaborates that being a good coach means knowing your team members well and that you understand their strengths. Leadership means knowing that others can, and probably are better than you, and maximizing them by having empathy and believing in them.

This mindset means that leaders identify their team members as leaders themselves, and can do their job well. This results in autonomous leadership.

After having a delicious dinner break, the event picked up from where it left off. Rocket Station’s Head of Operations Ms. Nina Sta. Ana took center stage to give her presentation for her 2nd Headstart appearance.

Starting off, she hyped the crowd by highlighting how Rocket Station’s attrition rate is over 4x better in taking care of its members compared to other companies in the Philippines, truly an impressive feat.

Her talk centered around how Rocket Station is a powerhouse team, and how this came to be through 4 Pillars of a Powerhouse Team.

First was the importance of Transformation. Transforming means being the change we want to see in the world, and to evolve. She also emphasized that transformation means not focusing on “best practices”, but rather focus on “better practices” to remove the illusion of a dead end.

Discussed next was Empowerment. This segment is truly inspiring as Ms. Nina Sta. Ana started this with the story of her first time applying for a work-from-home position, being empowered by the leadership team’s trust, and thus launching her to where she is now. Empowering others is just that, giving them confidence so it can trickle down to their work.

The 3rd Pillar Ms. Nina discussed is the Pillar to Achieve. In order to fulfill this Pillar, she explains how it is important to be prepared, and how the best way to prepare is to learn by doing. It is crucial to practice everything that we do and need to do so that we can achieve the goals we set.

Ms. Nina Sta. Ana then proceeded to talk about the 4th and last Pillar of a powerhouse team, which is to Motivate. Her speech went over how Rocket Station is a Great Place To Work-Certified team, and that creating that type of work culture matters. This pillar is achieved when the team remains positive despite numerous circumstances and that positivity is only achieved through a great work culture and everyone being on the same page.

Changing things up was the next speaker. Rocket Station’s Mental Health Coach, Ms. Bea Hombrebueno talked about the importance of taking care of ourselves, and taking it a step further than just physical health.

A great thing to remember from her speech early on is that “there is no health without mental health.” She then discussed fully the meaning of mental health, and how everyone can take better care of themselves, and their team members.

Mental Health can be defined as how a person can achieve the following:

  • Self-Awareness
  • Effective Coping
  • Being an Efficient Worker
  • Being an Advocate

She then differentiates Mental Health from Mental Health well-being. Mental Health well-being is one’s mental state which can be identified through the following:

  • How you feel
  • What you’re thinking
  • How well do you cope with day-to-day life

After clarifying all of these terminologies, Ms. Bea explained how the Philippines is in a Mental Health crisis due to the events leading to 2022. As leaders, everyone must therefore be on the lookout for burnout, a higher form of stress. She also presents courses of action leaders should take to avoid this from happening.

Here is what you can do as a leader to avoid burnout in your team:

  • Recognize
  • Monitor Workloads
  • Promote Work-Life balance
  • Lead by Example
  • Recommend Support

The last speaker for the night is an illustrious persona who is widely known for their talks about leadership and growth. Jonathan Yabut took the stage and quickly made known why he’s recognized as a great motivational and educational speaker.

He opened up his talk with the concept of Diversity. He went beyond the textbook definition and shared what he believed to be the Diversity leaders should be striving for. It is not just about religious views, gender, ethnicity, or age. Diversity is also about thinking style, technological comfort, communication style, and emotional states. He further elaborates that we can go even beyond this.

Going even further, diversity is just the first step. There must also be inclusion and belongingness. It is during this time that he admires the quick responses of Rocketeers to his questions which tells him that Rocket Station has a great work culture at play.

He expertly teaches how to achieve the next level of diversity and inclusion in the workplace through 3 ideas:

The very first thing is to embrace diversity as leverage, not as a compliance tool, for your team’s success. This means that leaders must structure their system itself for diversity. The processes and company policies must adhere to people no matter what type of person they are, and what type of working habits they might have. This idea transforms the term “culture fit” into “culture add” for leaders, and is a great way to grow and find people that can think beyond.

Next is to embrace that training isn’t just about your way of learning it’s also about their way. People can learn and take feedback differently. Making a diverse workplace means coming up with ways to train and inspire growth in others no matter what learning style they’re comfortable with, or what type of feedback they appreciate more.

Last but not least is to build innovative teams, by championing psychological safety. By creating a space where team members can actively participate and feel safe in doing so, leaders can receive out-of-the-box ideas from team members. Mr. Yabut also expresses a way to establish this work environment.

Here are his tips to create Psychological Safety:

  • Consult downwards
  • Treat Feedback as Two-Way
  • Be Brave to be Vulnerable

After learning from the five wonderful guests of the evening, the participants of Headstart were treated to a lively afterparty which also gave them the chance to mingle with their colleagues and co-aspirants. During this time attendees were charmed by the performances of Rocket Station’s very own Sharmaine Absalon, Rocket Station’s Got Talent Season 2 Grand Champion Arne Osabel, and 1st runner-up Mc Jed Domingo.

To top off the night, a same-day edit video was shown to the attendees to give them a quick reminder of the splendid evening they just witnessed.

Interested in learning more about this event? You can view the full live stream on the official Headstart Leadership Summit Youtube channel!


Rocket Station’s Department Managers go on a memorable Team Building at Tree Farm, Liliw, Laguna
As Rocket Station rapidly grows, our Managers’ responsibilities are also growing. Leading to the calling of a team-building event for our Department Managers. Last August 26-28, 2022, our Department Managers went to Tree Farm, Liliw Laguna, not just to unwind but also to reconnect and inspire each other.

About Rocket Station: Rocket Station is a core-value-focused company that hires and trains expert teams to enhance the lives of others through better business.



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