I have often felt out of place. I am quiet in a world that prefers loud, sensitive in a world that prizes tough, and caring in a world that rewards expedient. What makes me different often has made me feel vulnerable.
After four decades, I can finally see that I've created my own path and succeeded on my own terms not in spite of who I am, but because of it. I can finally start to see my gifts for what they are and share them more freely. In so doing, I can make a bigger difference.
It's funny that we can be our own biggest blind spot. Sometimes I feel like I was the last person to understand the difference I can make. I now aspire to help others love and live their difference in the world.
In my 20s, I left academia to explore the wider world of business. In my 40s, I left business to follow my calling. My passion for coaching gave me the courage to leave the corporate workforce, but my curiosity about our individual and collective inner workings remains constant.
I am certified as an executive coach by the Hudson Institute of Coaching in Santa Barbara and accredited with the International Coaching Federation (ICF). I bring to coaching my own perpetual pursuit of growth and development, including: training in Inner Team Dialogue (a parts-work approach rooted in Voice Dialogue), mental fitness and Positive Intelligence, and the Community Resiliency Model (from the Trauma Resource Institute); work with a somatic women's coach; a coaching supervision group; an amazing network of like-minded, whole-hearted coaches; and constant reading.
My perspective is informed by almost 20 years of experience working with senior clients around the world at the intersection of strategy, thought leadership, and executive development—all in the service of individual and organizational growth.
At Deloitte, I was a founding member, research director, and chief of staff of the Chief Executive Program, which supports CEOs and business unit leaders at all stages of their career. I studied and wrote about topics such as emotional fortitude for CEOs and how CEOs are leading through the pandemic in the Fortune-Deloitte CEO Survey.
Prior to joining Deloitte, I was affiliated with the leadership and organization practice at the Monitor Group, which Deloitte acquired. There, I designed and delivered highly customized leadership development experiences that served more than 3,000 executives. I also partnered extensively with Monitor’s network of thought leaders and faculty, led knowledge management for their leadership and organization practice, and co-authored Monitor’s approaches to capabilities transformation, globalizing work, and the power of stories.
A member of Phi Beta Kappa, I received my B.A. and M.A. from Harvard University in East Asian Studies, with a focus on Japanese literature and classical Japanese dance. My parents would have much preferred a degree in economics or something "practical," but I was more inspired by The Tale of Genji, which some consider to be the world's first novel.
Ever since I was small, I have craved a more coherent understanding of my own family history. My parents were born in China and grew up on opposite ends of the island of Taiwan. My grandparents lived through multiple wars and reinvented their lives multiple times as a result. During the pandemic, I convinced my parents to join weekly Sunday morning "family history" interview calls over Zoom with me and my sister. It has been my most precious family experience in recent memory, and I am so grateful to have these stories to pass on to my own children.
When I was 26, I stepped back into a ballet studio for the first time in nearly 10 years, after discovering that there is such a thing as ballet classes for adults. I immediately wished I had never left. It felt wonderful to reclaim a passion that I didn't really know I had when I was younger. And it was humbling to re-engage as an adult with an art form that provides so much joy in striving for a perfection that can never be achieved. For an adult dancer who can't do a tenth of what she used to be able to do, there is no better proof that the journey is its own reward.
Some of the gifts I bring to coaching: Deep empathy and intuition. The ability to see profound beauty in our imperfect humanity, in our striving, and in our stories. Musicality. An outside perspective, forged by a lifelong experience of being an outsider. An impulse for creativity and humor that can turn work into play. An innate curiosity about the inner workings of everything.
The quality of my voice is naturally soft. I've been self-conscious about it for most of my life. Only in recent years, through my work as a coach, have I been able to see that there is more power and ease to be gained by embracing my literal voice, than trying to hide it. (Is there something about you that you've been hiding? What do you stand to gain by embracing it instead?)