Keep Moving Forward with EJ Zara

EJ Zara. The one and only person that came to mind when I was looking for someone to run leadership training sessions for the site I was supporting. I couldn’t find him, though, on any social media site. I checked in with my friends who might have contact with him to no avail.

I was deep in thought thinking of a lead aboard a bus along EDSA one day. When I checked the road, I saw him, EJ Zara, unloading pots and flowers and dressed in what looked like a gym outfit. Ah! Just the person I was looking for. Someone I hadn’t seen in years, with no contact information, now appearing right in front of my eyes. I guess when you really think about someone, the universe acts and brings the person right in front of you! Visually, at least, for I couldn’t get off because I was onboard a Point-to-Point (P2P) bus. Truly, it felt like I was in a movie.

On the same day, I couldn’t remember how, I was able to finally reach out to him.


Who is EJ Zara?

Photo from Salt and Light Ventures

EJ’s key areas of strength include sales, marketing, events planning, management support, training, training needs analysis and design, business development and implementation, strategic management, organizational design and structuring, monitoring, control and human resource development. He has conducted high-powered team building trainings designed to build high-performing teams. Presently, EJ is a managing partner of a firm that specializes in professional development solutions, strategic planning, coaching and HR – #TheResourceHat.

EJ’s outstanding educational credentials include the following – Certificate in Global Leadership from the Thunderbird School of Management in Arizona, Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the Ateneo de Manila Graduate School of Business where he was a Silver Medalist, graduate with honors from the University of the Philippines with a degree in Bachelor of Science in Psychology.

He has recently been awarded a certification in Executive and Life Coaching by the American Management Association (AMA) and is a coach-in-training (ACC level) by the International Coaching Federation (ICF). Currently, he is taking up his PhD in Business Leadership from the Ateneo Professional Schools.

I know, I know, that was a lot!

EJ’s Passion

“I have a strong passion for helping organizations and individuals move forward. May this be through training or coaching, I wish for all of us to keep moving forward; whether crawling, walking, or running, as long as it is forward.”

Never Stop Learning

One of my mentor coaches told me that a person can only develop people up until their level of development. Once we stop learning, we can only help people up until our own capacity. This keeps me motivated to study and learn; to help people level-up their capacity, too.”

Of Fulfillment and Challenges

“The best feeling is when I am able to influence organizations and individuals move forward. When I see them finally roll and are able to pursue better things for themselves, that is fulfillment. What challenges me would be my own life and struggles. I need to be able to have enough self-worth to share with others. As they say, what you don’t have, you cannot give. It is a challenge for me to always be able to have that which I can share with others.

“Not finding my purpose for a while was challenging. There was a point where I could not figure out what I was meant to do. I was relentless in finding it. And now, I was able to. I was able to find my ikegai (evolution with purpose). We all need to find it. If one has not found it yet, be relentless and do not stop until you find it.”

About the “millenial generation”

“I am not particular about labels; I for one am not a fan of labeling our new generation of employees as millenials. Let us all treat each other as human beings. Kindness, compassion, respect, these are the values that will lead all of us to success.”

Advice to the young leaders and coaches in the workplace

“For our young leaders, be relentless in finding your ikegai. Find that which you love to do, good at, paid for and the world needs. The world needs you. We need each other to move forward.”

Words of Wisdom

“Everyone has their own journey. Just keep moving forward. The past is done, the future, we do not know for sure. Focus on the present, our power is here.

Take care of you.”

Tomorrow he will be the keynote speaker on “Becoming a Peer Coach.” Yes, that’s no less than Francis Kong to his right in the poster.


After he ran sessions on leadership to the executives and business writing and communications to the non-executive staff, each time I released training registration, the question I always got was this, “Will it be EJ?” Seats are gone in a matter of minutes plus some people on the waitlist.

I wonder how amidst his schooling, coaching with clients and speaking and training engagements, time with and for family, he still has the time to manage his other business – Zara & Flowers.

EJ is a Professional Executive Coach, a trainer, an entrepreneur, a family man, a man of character and values. Despite all his accomplishments and those that he is still to achieve, his feet remain firmly planted on the ground.

He is an inspiration to keep learning, to keep finding your purpose (ikegai), to keep moving forward.

What do you think of the concept of ikegai? Have you discovered your purpose? Feel free to share in the comments section below.

Thank you for visiting. I hope this story inspired you and in case, please share so as to inspire more people.

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I look forward to our next conversation!

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About Emile Therese

Emile Therese is a graduate of the University of Philippines in Diliman with a degree in Psychology. She is happily married. She and her husband, Dennis, are blessed with one amazing daughter (and hopefully at least one more child). She believes that values and character ought to be taught as early as possible and that these are key to community and nation building. This was also how she and her siblings were brought up by their two awesome parents! She is a Certified HR Professional who advocates employee engagement in its entirety. Emile believes that true employee engagement rests on the pillars of basic human needs and in ensuring that process and leadership basics are in place - the employee engagement imperatives. She hopes to contribute to making this world a better place for all of us now and the next generation. She loves sipping tea, conversations, reading and writing. The latter gave birth to two blogs - Purposeful Parenting Journey (purposefulparentingjourney.com) and Engagement Imperative (engagementimperative.com).

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