Newsletter | Your team matters, a lot. Including decision making.

You may have heard Jim Rohn's quote at a certain point: "You are the average of the five people you spend most time with." But are you really taking this quote into full consideration? As we get older and spend more time working, for most adults, the five people we spend most time with often would be our colleagues and bosses at work.  Have you thought about how that impacts your decision making and who you are as a person? Or how you may influence others as a person? 

If not, you should. And neuroscientists Moran Cerf at Northwestern University who has been studying decision-making and happiness for a decade got some evidence for you.   

What Cerf found was that at the end of the day, every individual had the potential to impact others. "Buzzkills brought down people's mood, fast-talkers caused the pace of conversation to pick up, and comedians got people feeling light or funny." To think that one conversation can change or pivot an environment or ambiance is quite powerful. This also means that every hire at a company can cause both a positive or negative ripple effect in the organization's culture and engagement dynamic. 

If who we surround with impacts the way we think, decide, and execute, shouldn't we be more thoughtful about our hiring, managing, and embracing new talents? How might I be more intentional as a leader, company, and a friend?"

with love, Monica Kang

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Resilience is a tool, not a personality trait

Resilience is a tool, not a personality trait

When you think of resilient people, who comes to your mind? People whose perseverance led them to make it against all odds? Or those who went through all kinds of trials and tribulations and got awarded with sweet success? Are you thinking about those who are able to bounce back, failure after failure, mistake after mistake? Does it remind you of outliers (Malcolm Gladwell), grit paragons (Angela Lee Duckworth) or originals (Adam Grant)?

Newsletter | You never know what is going on on the other side.

I remember how shocked I was when I learned how my supervisor had to manage hundreds of emails per day, fifteen years ago. How is it possible to get that many emails? I thought that was what it meant to be a manager. 

Today, considering all the social media and digital platforms we use to communicate getting hundreds of notifications a day is the new norm. We feel so connected and informed that I think we sometimes forget what the full picture is behind the scene. I was reminded of this last week when I got the flu and felt very sick. 

When my email communication slowed down and I had to decline meeting requests, I got some unhappy responses from individuals.

I did not fully explain why I was slower than usual with my pace of communication as I didn’t feel that was necessary. But their reactions reminded of me of how I may have had, at times, judged others too, or evaluated situations based on what I thought was true, instead of understanding the whole truth. It’s always our unconscious bias that kicks in when we pass hasty judgement. In this digital age, we forget how little we truly know about what really happens behind the scenes. Building a strong self-awareness and deferring judgement as a creative leader is very important. This insight reminded me of that very lesson: that we never truly know what happens behind the scene. How can we be more mindful and open-minded about it? How can we communicate the importance of this in team collaboration?

with love, Monica Kang

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Newsletter | Why do you do what you do?

If I asked you this question, do you have an answer for everything you do? With the rise of purposeful living and workforce, I started wondering how one can truly understand what purpose is and how to make sense of it. For instance, while purpose is something that makes you feel enriched, happy and challenged, haven’t you noticed how the “what” and “how” has evolved over the years? What brought you the greatest joy 10 years ago is not the same as today, nor will it be tomorrow.

So while I may know why I am doing something today, that can all change tomorrow. How do you know which 'whys' will change, versus not? It makes me ask more questions as I wonder how much of my 'why' is formed based on my past knowledge... which will not be as much as what I will know in the future. And it makes me wonder, what more could we ever do only if our 'why' was different?

What would you do differently if your why was bigger and deeper than what you say today? Will you still be doing what you are doing the way you do?

Keep asking those questions. You’ll find some new territories.

with love, Monica Kang

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