Have you ever thought about "trusting your instincts"?
Huang Leren, a harvard business school professor who has been rejected three times by Harvard From Admission to Faculty, eventually turned to her for a job. Many scholars have told her that "your research has no impact and has too many problems" and she nearly gave up her instincts. But she did these things to help her become who she is now, to see her real experience and methods together.
The 2021 Women's Fan "Multi-Leadership" survey of thousands of people surveyed women and genders, difficulties encountered in leadership, and integrated into FAQs, inviting celebrity predecessors to answer, give their experiences and solutions. We invite Laura Huang, an associate professor at Harvard Business School, to share her real experiences and methods exclusively with female fans through six questions and six answers!
Q1: Please use a paragraph to describe your leadership style.
I will try my best to reach out to those who are capable, to explore the talents of others, and to create a free space where I can lead people to play to their strengths.
Q2: What is "leadership" for you?
For me, leadership is an ability to inspire others to understand the value they create and learn how to improve their self-worth by embracing different self-worth in different situations.
This is also the main driving force behind my book Hidden Advantage and Project EMplify. In both works, we focus on this type of leadership and how to develop such abilities.
Q3: Please share a story about how you overcame the "counterfeiter syndrome".
Trust your instincts.
I have been rejected three times by Harvard University, as well as by universities and research institutes, and by first-time candidates. But a few years ago, Harvard University contacted me and asked if I was interested in working for them, or more precisely, they were interested in me, and I had done some research on stereotypes and discrimination in the workplace.
Earlier, when I first started this research, many scholars told me that my research had too many problems and had no impact. These negative feedbacks almost made me abandon my instincts, but fortunately, I chose to believe in myself, that my research was important, that I had not let Harvard's rejection, or other people's negative comments about my research, dominate my decision, but that I had chosen to trust my intuition.
As for exercising leadership, I would like to suggest that honing your intuition is one of your most important soft skills.
Q4: Flip a weakness to an advantage, what have you done?
At the beginning of my tenure as a professor and researcher, I was unfamiliar with academic writing and was often trapped in self-doubt.
One day, I turned to a scholar who was well known in my field of study, and he told me that he had been rejected 18 times before one of his books was accepted successfully. Inspired by him, I decided to try my scalp, aiming for rejected 18 times. As a result, just as I was about to be rejected for the 14th time, my book was accepted! I was really shocked and happy.
This experience showed me a pattern: I began to develop an intuition that helped me decide which plans should be abandoned early and which should be focused, and I learned that I was fit to work with people who weren't fit and what type of person.
Now, instead of writing six or seven articles at the same time, I tend to focus on a single book and go all out, and when I feel that my research doesn't seem to meet my expectations, I immediately stop and stop. Such a habit, I am on the writing road, after several times rejected and encountered adversity slowly developed. In rethinking and redefining the situation, I turned weakness into strength, treated adversity as a learning experience, and applied it to my work.
The ability to rethink, redefine and adapt is an important soft skill that each of us needs to overcome our weaknesses.
Q5: Please share an exercise that will help you gain confidence in leadership.
Before a phone call or a meeting, I'll write down three talking points, and then, in the intercom, I'll take the lead by improvising the topics they're talking about with my talking points, based on the hints and reactions they give. This structure not only makes the other person feel that I am ready to come, but also keeps me open to improvisational response in the conversation, so that I can create joy through professional knowledge and elegant attitude, and impress the other person's heart.
Q6: Do you have any leadership-related role models in mind? Can you share it with us?
My teachers have always been my greatest source of inspiration, and they made me who I am today.
When I was a professor of information science at Duke University, Dr. Burton-Lee, a professor of information science, said that I was "very 100, 1000 people in the world." Laura Bottomley, who encouraged me to embrace my true self, told me that there was nothing wrong with doing things and that I should give myself a chance to try my own way.
To this day, this is still the philosophy of doing things that I follow every day. When my non-profit program, Project EMplify, was just starting out, I knew that what I wanted to do was create a level playing field for people in under-resourced areas through soft skills education and training. In this direction, we now have free workshops, a mentorship program and a selection of books around the world. In Taiwan, we also cooperate with rural schools in the Huadong region.
It has always been my dream to start a school that specializes in training poor students in soft skills, because I have seen too many people succeed not on their abilities, but on the tiny perceptions, subtle awareness, and hidden stereotypes of the person.
I co-founded Project EMplify in the hope that through books, mentorship and education, students and teachers in poor areas can learn soft skills and bridge the gap between school education and workplace needs, because most people from poor areas do not receive such training, which we mean "core functions" or "interpersonal skills".
At Project EMplify, we embrace soft skills, empower people to find their strengths, and then embark on a more successful path.
My desire is for more people, especially women, to use their soft skills to turn weaknesses into strengths, so that whatever challenge you choose (#ChooseToChallenge), you will be unstoppable.