Saturday, February 20, 2010

Taking a L.E.A.P.

I first met JD in 2006 at a pre-conference workshop at Microsoft talking about being a 21st century leader. Then a few months later I attended his keynote at the inaugural Asian and Pacific Leadership Development Conference (APLDC). In 2007, I caught JD speaking at the National Association of Asian American Professionals Convention in Atlanta and then again at the kick-off of the Executive Development Institute 2008 Leadership development program in Bellevue, Washington. You're probably asking, "Why so many times? Right?" Well, JD speaks a lot (humorous). And on so many topics, especially when it comes to the Asian community. You can't find another person as passionate about the Asian Community and leadership as JD. In 2009 he deservedly received a NAAAP 100 award for being someone who exemplifies leadership, community engagement, and connects with professionals for mutual success.

For those of you who don't know J.D. Hokoyama, he is the President & CEO and a founding board member of Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics, Inc. (LEAP). LEAP is a nationally renown company based in L.A. and is recognized by top companies as an expert on the Asian issues. For the last 28 years, J.D. has been committed to educating and inspiring the next generation of Asian leaders.

Now earlier this year, I saw JD speaking at the EDI Leadership Together Conference on taking risks and how early messages in Asian cultures can send messages that Asians aren't outspoken, don't take risks and aren't natural leaders. Here are a few of these messages: Respect your elders. Be polite. Do as you're told. Speak when spoken to. Work hard. Do any of these sound familiar?

JD says that being aware of these will help you learn to overcome those stereotypes. Of course, this won't apply to all people, but it's amazing how many in the session said that they were not viewed as outspoken. If you are one of these, take the first step and start talking in meetings, even if it is to say that you have a question. When it comes to who's gets remembered, it's the person talking.

Gil Gido
NAAAP Seattle

No comments:

Post a Comment