Another Transition – Exciting times ahead

Where do I start? So much has happened in the past 2 weeks or so. In fact, today is the first day I feel a little more relaxed, have some time to reflect, breathe, and gather some thoughts on how to tackle many things in weeks ahead.

Not saying it is not a good thing, quite the contrary, I appreciate the opportunities given to me to grow steps further, with more responsibilities and challenges throwing my way. Been running around in meetings taking care of so many things. But I am happy when I am challenged! Because it’s my belief that you can’t stay still if you want to grow, and learning is a lifelong process.

But as always, things can get a little bit overwhelming when you first face any kinds of transition. But I believe I AM capable of doing this. Right now I am a bit concerned I may have missed some things as there are more things to focus on my plate and feel a little all over the place as I want to organize everything exactly how I want to. Will need to come up with some system to sort things out in categories. The big boss gave me some amazing tips on how to organize my inbox the other day. I was seriously rolling my eyes at him when he made fun of the current state of my inbox, but really paid attention listening to his advice as it indeed is a great one. He said, you need to stay in control of your inbox, not let it control you. The stage of your inbox reflects the quality of your work and how you manage to be on top of things. Ask any top management level and you would hear the same thing. It’s just something I never really thought about, but I do now. And glad he took the time giving me tips to improve myself.

There was some GREAT learning and discussion along the way as we had another day of branding workshop with our branding agency. What an amazing session with lots of interaction and ideas! They came back to present 3 different brand proposition and their work honestly impressed me. Definitely world class level! They did an amazing job creating these 3 directions, not only just the branding and all fluffy stuff, but also how to run the business moving forward with our staff on the ground and so on. We then had to do some activities for each brand proposition, debating back and forth on pros and cons, giving pitches, and creating business partner campaigns. Their team leader, as always, led us with so many interesting questions and insights and a lot of things were discussed during the workshop.

The afternoon session was equally more interesting, on the implementation of our project. I was attending the session with all heads of departments and, just like morning session, a lot of ideas were thrown around and discussed in such a great length. The session truly made me think of business as a whole as it forced us to think for each department, whether it be operation, sales, HR, business development, marketing, PR, investor relation, and lots others. I LOVE that I got to see the bigger picture, overall picture of the business, and think of so many different things more than just marketing. It’s eye opening for me. And I do feel like it’s such a valuable lesson, just like I went back to university attending a seminar. But it’s MORE exciting than university because this is real world and all of us ARE going to implement all these plans next year. My head was a little swirling with all the thoughts and discussion running in my head for 6 hours. Very insightful yet equally draining sessions. Used up all of my brain power.

Even during team dinner was pretty amazing getting closer to our owner and management. It was the first time I got to listen to our owner that closely and wow, she impressed me SO much with her passion and enthusiasm in her business. I personally LOVE and look up to people who are full of passion and think it’s one of the most amazing things in the world being able to listen to them when they talk about it. People DO lit up like a Christmas tree, you see the sparkle in their eyes, you hear it in their voices, when they talk how passionate they are about something, anything. Being around this kind of people also has a positive effect on me as their energy moved me and made me want to be better, smarter, and more amazing like them.

Like I said, I know deep down it’s about bottom line for businesses. But it also touched me when the owner herself shows serious concern about her staff, about long term growth. Being a smart leader is great. But being a smart leader WITH A GOOD HEART is everything to me.

I feel like I AM seriously ranting it out now, and that probably fits the mood when so many different things at work are occupying my brain at the moment. People/Team management is another thing that has been on my mind a lot lately. It IS one of the most challenging things in business as we all are aware of. No matter how many management books, business books, coaching books I read, I can’t help thinking whether what I’ve done for my team is good enough. I don’t want to be a lousy boss, ever. My previous boss once told me, when it comes to being a manager, everyone has their own style and you’ve gotta find yours. And I suppose I am still finding mine. But, just like with anything else, being honest with constant, open communication is what I believe in, and I try to do that with my team. I want to create a good environment for the team, making sure we both help each other out to accomplish any tasks while drive and push them to finish it all on time.

My brother once said, being a mid level manager is such a challenging task as you get pressure from the top having to be involved in strategy and planning with management team and proving yourself you are capable, combined with pressure from the bottom getting involved in day to day tasks with lots of tiny little details and jumping in to help your team and moving your team forward. It is indeed like this. But hey, that IS a part of the process to grow, isn’t it? Learning to balance everyone’s expectation is such a key.

Somehow I feel like it’s taken me TOO long to come here, and I should have been where I am now years ago. So many friends or people my age built their own companies/startups since they were 25, raised 2 million dollar fund for their startups, got on Forbes Asia 30 under 30 when they were in late 20s. And what am I? Just an ordinary person doing 9 to 5 job in her 30s. Meh. Nothing extraordinary about being an “office person” Not in my circle anyway when everyone is building their own companies and doing tons of amazing things.

But yeah, this is me and my ordinary life. I am happy with it for the most part, though can’t help thinking from time to time if I am wasting my own potential as days go by, getting older but not really accomplishing anything extraordinary. Hmm, didn’t plan to make this sound so bleak. But admittedly this thought crosses my mind quite often.

As if in the blink of an eye, third quarter of the year just ended. And as always, I will probably sit down, think of what I have accomplished/failed, what I’ve learned, whether I’ve tried anything new or challenged myself in the past quarter, both personally and professionally (Lots of new PRs on my main lifts!). I feel like moving ahead to Q4 is going to be busy but also exciting. And next year IS definitely going to be an exciting year as far as I can tell. So many things to do with lots of changes coming up.

“The only constant is change,” I’ve read that quote long time ago. So true. What’s the fun in staying still, anyway!? I am excited and ready to embrace those changes while tackle all of them, one step at a time!

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