by Hannah V. Obal
To describe Jose Jessaldo Layese, one would probably call him a fine young gentleman who is great at conversations, who has a good sense of judgment, and has a fine knack for leading his people well into success.
Fondly called “Kookie” by those close to him, Jose has been working with the Toyota Cebu Group for over 12 years now. He is the general manager of the newly opened Toyota branch in Talisay City.
But as a young child, Jose was expected to take a different path from the one he has.
“My late father was a businessman operating gasoline stations and merchandise stores while my mother is a city councilor and a practicing lawyer. I was expected to follow the footsteps of my mother, and my orientation since childhood was to become a lawyer,” he said.
But circumstances steered him away from becoming a lawyer.
“I became more and more interested in Business Management instead. I wanted to pursue corporate management and eventually have my own business someday.”
With a knack for motivating people and simplifying concepts, Jose landed a job at Toyota Mandaue North as a Marketing Professional selling cars. His personality of being helpful toward clients made his clients appreciate and love their vehicles even more.
His hard work led him to a promotion wherein he became a sales manager for four years, and the rest, as he said, was history.
Leading by example, Jose believes he has to be the person he wants his team to be.
“If I say or instruct something, I make sure that I will be the very first person to follow it. I explain to my team that I am merely a maestro to an orchestra making sure that the team plays the most beautiful masterpieces.”
He attributes his success in the company to his great mentors.
“I am so fortunate to have the very best mentors at Toyota Cebu in no less than our Senior Vice President Jose Manuel Y. Cuenco and of course our Executive Vice President / COO Jesus V. Cuenco and President Jose V. Cuenco. They personified the ideal leaders who do not settle for anything less than excellence at work, and embodies core values of honesty and humility in all business and personal dealings.”
With the automotive industry in Cebu becoming fiercely competitive, Toyota and Jose have been stepping up their game, and constantly thinking outside the box for ideas.
“Simply put, the customer wants to get the very best value for his money, time and efforts.”
Optimism is key for Jose, and he sees the car industry in Cebu and Region 7 continuing to flourish, with enhancement of products, vehicles, and services in store for clients of Toyota Cebu Group.