Back to Blog
When you talk about allyship or being an effective ally, it really starts with understanding the contexts that surround the issues that you want to support with. There is no excuse for this and am appalled by the the hostility and unrestrained anger directed against a particular group or entity because they think they hold the moral high ground on the issue.
Here are some of the things that are not allyship:
1. Taking sides and making comments without understanding and knowledge of the issues, e.g. companies doing Black hiring, promotions, or donating as part of 'looking and feeling good' without the benefit of embedding these principles as areas for action.
2. Being supportive doesn't mean taking a blind eye on excesses. If your partner or the party you're siding with has committed a grave error of judgement or seemed too morally superior and doesn't receive constructive comments from the other parties, it's better to point that out early on before the real crisis starts.
3. Don't mouth word salads that seemed to be the flavor of the month and be gone in the new few months. It becomes pathetic when you sound like a parrot talking about decolonialization, white supremacy, apartheid, and other concepts that pit people against one another as a zero-sum game. Chants like from the river to the sea is a nice slogan but totally stupid. It calls for the total annihilation of a state. Regardless of where you stand in the Israel-Palestine conflict, it's like putting coal in already burning situation. It masked the real issues at hand, and in practically, these word salads do not make sense in real-time cessation of hostilities much less the deep-seated anger, hatred, and trauma experienced by many parties.
Being an ally should be informed by reason and not by zealotry based on misinformation and fake news. Check your facts and know that there is definitely a more peaceful and less confrontational method of getting into solutions. The biggest obstacle is the mindset that the world needs to change because a few people said so.
Are you an ally or a complicit part of the web of agitation for the sake of stirring more conflict and paranoia? If you're not part of the solution, then you are part of the problem.
Back to Blog
With the world on Gaza these days, there's a call for ceasefire but not a call for peace.
Peace is surely underrated, underexplored, underinvested, and under-committed in this specific conflict. Revenge in this situation is overemphasized, as in the use of military might.
Aside from Israeli and Palestinian deaths, Hamas as a terrorist organization is not vilified as much as the Israel-Arab animosities more aroused than ever. Pitch forks on both sides including the mainstream media showing its partiality on the issue.
Peace whether in the form of multilateral diplomacy, Qatari-based leadership, or an Arab League-UN combination should be explored to the maximum. Israel should be restrained from exacting more harm on civilian population in pursuit of Hamas' leaders and Hamas must be pressured by its allies and friends to release the hostages. A ceasefire doesn't mean that Hamas had won or giving Hamas a congratulations. They can always continue to fight to get their aims but the Palestinians have been bombed enough.
If the lessons of the Oslo Peace Accords can come alive again, they need people from the Israeli side who can broker long-term peace and not just the sure military victory from a terrorist organization. The Palestinians need better leadership too. The Palestinians deserve a better deal post-Hamas and that they should govern better than what their leaders did a decade ago.
Let's not let history repeat itself.
Back to Blog
As a new instructor in a university way back circa 2000s, I was mistaken to be a student trying to attend a faculty orientation training program. When I told the nun I am an instructor, her eyeballs grew big.
As a consultant in a room of community service providers, they think I was there trying to get their monies out of their budget into my pockets. People have stereotypes of consultants. I told them, " I'm just here to help."
As a Filipino immigrant, I was always perceived to be a caregiver or a nurse by way of just knowing my ethnicity, they could guess my employment or occupational interest somehow. I usually told them otherwise.
As a minority writer and author of a commercial book, my publisher was perceived to be more partial and welcoming of unheard and non-mainstreamed voices in the sector. What's wrong with that?
As a job applicant before, I was told that they are looking for a senior professional who had previously taken executive-level positions. I had to do a short litany of what I had accomplished at a younger age. Age is not a defining factor of competence.
As a diaspora in Canada, some people assume that I have married my husband to get permanent residency and citizenship. My husband is quick to correct that notion.
As an instructor, I was told that my stories tend to convince them that I am an expert in the course. Yes, I'm really the expert. That's why they've better listen up.
As a social enterprise, I was told that I'm very entrepreneurial. I had to be. I'm running a business not a charity. Even charities must be entrepreneurial to survive.
Mistaken notions perpetuate when you don't enlighten them in that moment. Surely, we all have the fair share of these on a regular basis. What matters is what we say and do when we catch them.
You may only have one chance. Do it well.
Back to Blog
I get some really nasty reviews from time to time.
Because of the anonymity factor, they tend to get too overly negative or too overly positive which defeat the purpose of constructive feedback.
Overly negative is downright vindictive. They have the beef. Maybe I caught them cheating, gave a zero mark for tardy submission or something else. If I am speaking, maybe I left an important point - tapping them on their backs for a job well done rather than challenging them with their paradigms and mentalities.
I can't fake this. The President of the club told me to challenge the members to think different. I did with gusto. After the presentation, he reverted to saying that I missed the mark in giving them lots of praises. What in the world was that?
If I will review each of those reviewers and commenters, I would surely get back to them with some great reviews about them. Tit-for-tat, right? No.
As always, we win some, we lose some. But we need to be prepared for both at all times.
Back to Blog
An association executives told a crowd that in her next strategic planning exercise, she will hire this person who happens to be a member of the association and had been waiting for her turn to be contracted.
It seemed that they get to contract only those consultants that are already part of the association for the longest time.
It seemed that it's part of the reward and seniority system.
It seemed that looking beyond their walls is counter to how they operate and think.
It seemed that for all their talk on innovation and fearlessness, they fear outside experts and perspectives.
It's the same thing when a senior executive at an academic institution noted that they only get the big firms for management consulting. Why? What's the point?
We can't lie about where our loyalties ultimately rests. Usually, relationships fossilized and so does thinking and then it becomes a force of habit, not a stroke of innovation.
Back to Blog
There was a furniture store in a city next to our town that had a sign, "FINAL SALE-CLOSING SOON" for years. They never closed and and until they did, it wasn't their final sale.
And when they eventually closed down and a new furniture shop moved in, the people can't believe that they were gone.
What you say you will do matters most. It matters to your customers, to the public at large, and to anyone who cares to know.
If you tell them that you're closing, or hiring, firing, downsizing or doing a strategic planning, please take the time to do it well and within the time you committed.
Or else, it's just going to be fake news.
Back to Blog
We are all destined to progress from one step to another.
Yet this destiny or destination is not well explored by a lot of people because that next step is over-analyzed, overthought, and under-taken.
We debate, try to justify our next moves with excuses, and then after all the talking, the action part is less stellar.
There is no tutor, mentor, or coach for stalling progress. If you don't get the tough love from them, fire them away and get someone more strict and that should be YOU!
Personal accountability goes hand-in-hand with public accountability. You can't rely on the faceless crowd to power up your discipline. It comes from within.
The distance between your thoughts and your actions should be very narrow. If this is not the case, you won't get anything accomplished or end up with more failure work to your disadvantage.
What are moving to progress today? If it's just making your bed and cleaning the house, great! And if more than 50% of your today's priorities, well done!
It's not the volume of the action, it's taking advantage of the compounding benefits of acting now that will do you good.
Back to Blog
I have been volun-told and volun-steered in many ways in the communities that I navigate. At first, I am very open to the idea provided it suits my interest, talent, time, and engagement methods. Other than that, aside from what I do on a main basis, I just want to enjoy my time leisurely.
Recently, being asked to do this and that is something that I have to look closer and with more awareness that I can't possibly commit to many things and then drop them one by one.
My experience in my last volunteer advisory role was like punching your way through too many intelligent people in the room all the time. These are great people with great ideas but execution and really being common sensical is a mile a way. My contrarian position irked a lot of people (I wasn't a favorite!) and this is the risk we all take when were not sycophants. Sharing a different and vital perspective should be welcomed but people can be overly sensitive and enamored by their own views too much. If this is the environment, I might as well read a good book or play with my daughter in the playground or watch My Little Pony with her. Stumping mushrooms on the ground is fun too.
I don't want to be volun-shoved and volun-steered in the wrong direction. They might as well be barking on the wrong tree.
Back to Blog
This Thanksgiving Month, I've going to debunk the common myth about success and achievement. You didn't get lucky and you shouldn't thank that the stars aligned in the right time you were in that place.
It's the result of your own efforts, planning, faith, strategy, and perseverance- being in the right room, at the right time, with the right crowd.
There are many countless people that are supporting and enabling you, conscious to you and/or not, since your were in Kindergarten.
There are also many people that serves as your inspiration and challenge when you're faltering and starting to waiver in your commitment.
There are loved ones that care enough to loan their monies without the expectation of return when your first start-up was launching or you need further education.
You have tremendous amounts of ideas and sometimes talent that are enough to serve a sizable market.
There are opportunities that just opened because of political, societal, economic, and communities coming together and doing something about these issues.
There are people that you turn when you felt dejected, isolated, and need an ego boost.
If you see the value in your resume, that means your past and future employers see the best in you before you even believe that in yourself.
The truth of the matter is that luck is best served on a hot plate with rice and teriyaki chicken on top.
Don't ever believe your lucky, believe that you can always achieve when you make it happen.
Back to Blog
When is enough really enough?
I can make a thousand subscribers, have more books published, have million followers but do I really need that to grow my impact in my small part of the world with a viable group of community members, clients, and supporters? Nah.
Every business is personal and every organizational leader has their personal dreams, fears, and gaols. What is important is to tap into the core value of each organization, not what is popularly being done in the sector.
Some non-profits should not do social media just because everyone does it nowadays, or implement a hybrid work model if that wouldn't fly with the current delivery model and the type of clientele that they have. Some organizations should fold up for good and some should merge and be acquired by other stronger and more robust organizations instead of letting themselves perish in the marketplace. Some organizations must retain their mission in the face of the temptation to grow too big too fast. Some will have to recalibrate what they're doing to make it to the next year.
Humans are never content. Remember the Israelites in the wilderness, complaining about the manna they ate everyday versus starvation, cruelty, near-death, and oppression in their former lives.
As a strategist, a lot of organizations come to me for growth, expansion, sustainability, and resilience. But before getting deeply involved, we need to define the terms first. Their own definition versus the predominant moves in their sector. I wouldn't take a project that is sure to fail. Failure to have a clear definition of these is the worst failure of all, especially for those who are just trying to help the process move along.
What is enough? What sustains and not break you? What keeps it together in balance and rhythm? Becoming better is enough.