As summer comes to an end, the heat gets hotter. I've been a guest on a podcast and learned from a major fail.
Hello, it’s hot out there! I’ve had beloved cousins from far away visit, so this has been a fun, special and hectic summer. Here’s a photo of us braving the heat through the Bronx Zoo a couple of weekends ago.
My cousin June and me with our kids at the Bronx Zoo (Photo Credit: Chong Oh)
Failing Big Time
To be honest, I’ve had a big work challenge this summer. I feel like I let a client and partners down. If you’ve sat across from me in a coaching session about how to regroup during a setback and move on to a creative, generative space—away from a reactive place—I hope you took good notes, because I need them!
In the past two years, I’ve been proud of consistently taking on new opportunities I’ve never done before. With a “I can’t let this fail” attitude and a burst of energy, I figured out how to do these new things well. It’s been fun, energizing and great for growing my business. I felt like I was leveling up as a professional.
I'm realizing that I need to prepare contingency plans for what happens if it takes me much longer than I would like to learn how to do new things. Going forward, I’ll give myself enough time and space to figure out what I need to do to successfully take on something new. And I will try to correct a problem sooner when something is off. Failing sucks, especially when it involves people and work you care about and respect.
Rhea Wong's podcast, Nonprofit Lowdown
Meanwhile, I was on Rhea Wong’s podcast, the Nonprofit Lowdown. She titled our episode “Asians Are POCs and How to Be Your Own Boss.” She begins the episode with, “This is the Original Boss Lady.” No one has ever called me that before. Ha! It was nerve-racking and a lot of fun. I learned that I laugh too much when I’m nervous. Also mentioned with love are Richard Buery, Mike O'Brien, Barbara Chang, Jerry Colonna, Waine Tam, Janice Brown and my husband, Chong Oh—they are all people who supported me throughout my career thus far.
In our conversation about my early years as a young executive director and my transition into being an executive and leadership coach, we also discuss self-sabotaging and the fear-based voice in our heads. This last topic is something that comes up often in my conversation with my clients.
Here’s a quick, free quiz you can take to see what inner voices and doubts you have that may be holding you back. Of course all these assessments are just an invitation to think and reflect. It’s not meant to be a diagnosis. My top result when I first took it many years ago was: "Pleaser & Achiever."
Quick quiz to assess your inner doubts
Like me, Rhea served as a nonprofit executive director for many years, and uses her past successes as well as failures to support other leaders. Check out the full library of episodes, featuring relevant and unexpected topics for nonprofit professionals, from nonprofit accounting and technology to finding your purpose.
I really enjoyed episode “#30 Intentional Leadership with Erica Hamilton.” Erica is a friend and a former colleague from iMentor, and now works as Principle at the Arbor Brothers. Listening to this episode made me feel happy. If you listen to any of the episodes, let me know what you think!
And please share your stories on getting through work (and life) failures and what you’ve learned from them. I’d love to hear from you.
My first Core group meeting for Chief felt really good. More info about that in my next set of Notes. By then, I will have taken on my second Core group of women leaders I will be facilitating as a Guide.
Speaking of women leaders, I am also taking my mother — MY original boss lady — to Paris for her 70th birthday next week. Visiting Paris is on her bucket list, so I had to make it happen, even though I speak 0 French and had 0 time to plan. Wish me luck!