ARCHIVE: NEWSLETTERS [2018]​

WHERE THERE IS A WILL, THERE IS A WAY

Repeat. When there is a will there is a way.

It’s very easy to remain worried if we focus on only the challenges: Limited time, budget, team bandwidth, and resources. Those are all real challenges but simply worrying about them won’t change the situation. Instead, change the focus on what you can change and how.

THAT FEAR IS A NORMAL THING.

Trying something new is quite an experience. Scary, interesting, daunting? You can choose which word seems more fitting for each moment.

Whether you are trying new food, raising your hand for the first time to share your idea, or reaching out to your crush, not knowing what to expect can be an intense experience.

YOU CAN NEVER SAY ENOUGH ‘THANK YOU’S

Thank you. Merci. Gracias. Kamsahamnida. Arigato.

It’s a word we use at the end of an email signature. It’s an expression we say at a podium when we speak. It’s a phrase we use when we talk to new people. Many times we say this phrase out of habit. But how often do we say it when we really need to those who would appreciate the most.

YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

Repeat. You are not alone.

We all need this reminder at times.

This message dawned upon me even more as I finished watching Misaeng, a popular Korean TV Show series about the workplace. (It’s on Netflix!) It’s a series about the daily challenges and joy employees in a corporation go through – regardless of whether you are an intern, a manager or a senior executive.

HOW INCLUSIVE IS YOUR LIFE?

What are your answers to these questions:

Who are the five people you spend most time with?
What are the five restaurants you frequent?
What are your five favorite TV or Movie Shows?
What are the five things you spend most time reading or learning about?

ALL THE QUESTIONS I WANT TO ASK.

How often do you ask these questions when you walk into a restaurant?

Why do I like coming here?
Why did they choose this color and how does it make me feel as a customer?
Would I bring my friends here? Why/why not?
How many people can be seated at one time?
How long would people stay?

METHOD TO THE MADNESS

When I start setting up the room with my prompts, it shakes up the room’s expectation a bit. They see play-doh, colorful SPARK cards, sharpies, fidget toys, color construction paper, origami bird, and more.

ARE YOU REALLY PRESENT?

I admit I am guilty. When things get busy, I find myself juggling emails, texts, and chat messages all at the same time. I try my best to determine what I need to do, want to do, and should do to make the most out of the limited time. I let my head buzz with various tasks and the danger is when I let that feeling last too long. While I pride on getting a lot of things done, in truth, I also know my best productivity is when I dedicate my time more deeply on one item at a time.

HOW DID YOU KNOW HOW I FEEL?

“I can see you smiling across the phone!”
I remember someone saying that during a phone conversation one time. We never met before. And yes, I happened to be smiling at that very moment as I was taking notes during our phone call. But how did she know what I was feeling when I wasn’t even saying a word?

IS GETTING THERE FAST REALLY THAT IMPORTANT?

How Often Do You Do Things Or Want Things Too Fast Without Thinking About Them?
In entrepreneurship, we talk a lot about how failing fast. In innovation, we celebrate fast success and scale. In our routines, we often want things ready at our fingertips and delivered fast. Even in our dating life, we want to meet our life partner faster by swiping left and right.

THE POWER TO SEE THE FUTURE.

Let’s try two activities.

1) Think of two of your favorite products and ask yourself: Where was that product ten years ago? Where was that company five years ago?

2) Take a look at the past hundred years of human history. What are two things that we still continue to do?

LETTING GO OF SCARCITY LIKE A SUMMER BREEZE

Somedays I feel a bit anxious about all the things I have not yet completed. About that project that took longer than I thought. Or that delayed decision that cost us time and money. Or that product that didn’t sell fast enough to balance out the cash flow. The list goes on. When I seek fault, I am good at seeing it everywhere. The optimistic side of me says there is always room for growth. The other side of me shouts at me that I got this all wrong and that I’m not good enough.

YOUR POKER FACE DOES NOT LAST

“Wow, your work sounds awesome. I can see that you are really passionate about it. I can see it on your face!”

“I can tell that you love what you do! Your positivity is so contagious.”

I have been hearing messages like these more and more lately from people that I meet. Initially, I used to be taken aback when someone said it.

THE LAYERS OF REASONING AND QUESTIONING.

If we pause for a moment and ask why we see many interesting things with opposite truths. Isn’t it interesting how our workload has not decreased despite all technological advancements?

LESSONS FROM MOUNTAIN DRAWING

How do you draw a mountain?

When I was growing up in Washington DC, I did not know how to draw it. However, my parents tell me that I started drawing mountains as soon as I moved to South Korea,

#SEOUL REFLECTION

#Seoul Reflection

Thank you Chosun Ilbo for inviting us to be a part of the 9th Asian Leadership Conference in Seoul last week! I am honored to have shared our vision to build a creative global workforce at the most prestigious international conference in Korea. Thanks to this opportunity, I even got to connect with

DO EXPECTATIONS BECOME REALITIES?

If you could go back in time, what would you tell your teenage self about the future you are living today? Are things as you had expected them to be, better, or worse?

I’ve been thinking a lot about this as I speak with students and young professionals. Their expectation of life, career, and love reminds me of the dual effect that expectation has in shaping our realities. On one side, it’s true that when things do not turn out the way

PROTECTING YOUR TIME TO BE BORED”

“Let’s start brainstorming.”
“Give me a new idea to do this.”

When was the last time you started your team ideation session with those statements? As harmless as they sound, this can be the very cause of getting your team stuck due to the expectation you set. An expectation that you want your team to be creative right now at this very moment and to generate ideas to help you do something right now.

SOMEONE WILL ALWAYS DISAGREE WITH YOU

No matter what you do or say, it is unlikely that everyone will side with you. Someone is going to adore that movie you thought was awful. Someone is likely to disagree on the new project idea you and your team thought was the most brilliant solution to this crisis. And sometimes someone may disagree with you because your opinions might be wrong.

TO BE DIFFERENT, THINK AND DO THINGS DIFFERENTLY.

“Let’s start brainstorming.”
“Give me a new idea to do this.”

When was the last time you started your team ideation session with those statements? As harmless as they sound, this can be the very cause of getting your team stuck due to the expectation you set. An expectation that you want your team to be creative right now at this very moment and to generate ideas to help you do something right now.

FEARLESS FEMALES IN OUR BACKYARD

When I was young, I did not think much about what my role model looked like until Disney’s Mulan came out. I was glued to the movie. I loved that I shared so many similarities with her: tomboyish personality, daring to dream big,

SIGNED SINCERELY

When was the last time you wrote a letter, email or even a text sincerely?

This thought came across as I dusted off some old letters and journals I had 5 years ago. Despite the dust, I was immediately sunk back to those days as I reread those words. Words from the loved ones, friends and even my very own self. It is powerful how you can feel the sincerity through a 2D paper. How much time would I have spent to put those sincere thoughts onto paper? How much time would that person have spent to put such complex thoughts into a handwritten letter?

THE POWER OF SAYING ‘I LOVE YOU.’

“I love you.” Saying this out loud to the person you care for can be the most scariest and the most beautiful moment, especially when you have no idea how that person feels. How do you determine when is the right time to share it for the first time? How do you expect him/her to know this without you telling him/her in person? When was the last time you really expressed it?

A PROMISE WORTH KEEPING

When I reach the end of January, I often have a silent moment of panic. How did I already reach the end of one month without doing all of this [a long list of things that I was planning to do]? I start becoming more aware of all the things that I already realized will be hard to accomplish this year, changes I need to make despite my intention, and things that are still not clear despite my hope for clarity. I start to hesitate and rethink about the promises I made to

GOING OFF SCRIPT

When you are on stage where the entire world is looking at you, it is inherently natural that you strive to do your best. Hours of practice, preparation and planning goes into it, but going off script? Eeeek. That might seem like the last thing you would want to happen. However, sometimes it may be the best thing that happens – especially when you choose to go off script to speak truth.

THE LIMITLESS YEAR I WILL CREATE FOR MYSELF

Happy New Year! Hello from Korea!

It’s a new day, a new year, and an opportunity to set new milestones to take your life to the next level. It’s funny how that simple calendar year change can shift how we feel about the day. Suddenly, I feel an extra breeze of hope, opportunity and openness in the air. Are you also humming a song right now? This begs a question: If something as small as a calendar year can shift our mood, are there other things