My mother owned a fashion boutique in Seoul. Every Sunday afternoon she would take me to the fashion district to appreciate the latest design trends. I wanted to be some kind of creative professional, more specifically an architect. But I couldn’t draw… so I have become a curator of design experiences around the world to discover the interactions of the design world and leadership. Fortunately, the creatives are crossing boundaries and cultures: architects become interior designers, designers become coaches, and cross-cultural interaction is a key to creative inspiration.
I.M. Pei is one of my role models. He has changed the skylines of many cities with buildings that he designed with humility, grace, resilience and cultural sensitivity. I strive to transform leadership architecture through such virtues and build cultural bridges at multinational corporations. Having travelled to over 40 countries on six continents, I feel that the world is my home and my classroom.
It is a great privilege to be a trusted advisor to many of my successful clients. It gives me tremendous joy to get to know each one of them as a person while co-creating their leadership journeys. I have enabled leaders to build their leadership brands, improve communication and collaboration, and increase influence across cultures and functions. As a change management consultant at a prestigious consulting firm, I have led cultural integration for M&As, facilitated organizational changes and coached global leaders to successfully transform and/or transition to new roles.
My Logo Design
Design is for everyone. I have designed my firm's logo based on my leadership lesson: balance is the key to inspiring leadership. Balanced leaders are happy leaders, happy leaders are better leaders. My logo has two elements:
Green Mountain: Great leaders manage themselves like climbing a mountain with the end in mind. Taking steps for an upward journey, they enjoy the process while challenging themselves toward the goal and appreciating people on the way to the top. It also represents the Chinese character for people (ren). Great leaders put people first and talent development as a top priority. Leadership design must be human-centered.
Blue Ocean: “Nothing under heaven is softer and more flexible than water. Yet nothing surpasses it in battling the hard and strong.” Global leaders adapt to challenges and opportunities, while creating blue oceans with agility.
Inspiring leaders should be balanced with two seemingly opposite, but complementary skills - yin (blue water, soft and receptive) and yang (green mountain, hard and assertive). They create an empowering architecture for their people by caring deeply, while challenging and supporting them to be all they can be and more.
Your Leadership Design Challenge*:
Design a logo that represents who you are and what you stand for.
Every good logo has a story.
What is your story?
* Inspired by Creativity on the Line: Design for the Corporate World (Stanford University Cantor Arts Center, 2017)
Lessons I Have Learned
"Treat every human interaction as a divine connection."
"You will never regret being the best, giving the best and doing the best."
"Live it up, but do everything in moderation."
"Vacations are cheaper than hospitals."