I visualize my journey as a leader as the tree of life: a bloom of interwoven paths, constantly evolving, extending towards greater self-discovery, deeper interpersonal introspection, and a holistic understanding of what makes us human.
I’m grateful to live and lead in ever widening circles — from team to organization, enterprise, and community — and every individual whom I’ve met along the way has left a profound impact.
April 2018 — Present
The philosophy that I strive towards as a manager is best summed up by Google Design Director Joshua To’s Five Lessons in Managing Ambiguity: steward talent with humility and open-mindedness, encourage artistry around the work space, pair visionary thinking with real world happenings, lead by example, and remember that the job is never done. In my small design team, I’ve championed others, I’ve owned up to mistakes, and I believe I can always do more to better the lives entrusted to me.
At Outward, anyone could start an initiative or put on an event inspired by their passions. I reveled in this freedom and used the opportunity to bring what I love about design to other teams. I started a Gratitude Challenge to inspire colleagues to write and share appreciative notes to each other; meant to last 30 days, it carried on for a year. In 2019, I gathered colleagues to organize day-long programs to celebrate International Women’s Day and Earth Day: people came together to design group murals or do a compost workshop. These kinds of moments, to witness the collective cultivation of joy in the workplace, help fuel my day to day.
I was selected for the 2018 cohort for Williams-Sonoma’s Leadership, Education and Development (LEAD) program. LEAD aims to create a focused developmental experience for high potential leaders throughout Williams-Sonoma. Over 9 months, with my class of 16, I was given a unique opportunity to accelerate my development, build self-awareness, develop a network of peers, and build greater knowledge of Williams-Sonoma’s business and brands. It was a tremendous privilege to have learned alongside the most gracious and giving group of EVPs, VPs, and Directors, led by our fearless advisor Carmen Allison.
In October 2019, I joined 89 other people in Paradise Valley, Arizona for Within, a leadership retreat crafted specifically for emerging womxn leaders in design and technology. Its founder, Mia Blume, wrote of it as a life sustaining experience, and I can confirm that four days of connection, creativity, reflection, and learning under the sun and stars gave me a renewed sense of self and clarity of purpose. Within taught me that the best thing a leader can do for her team is to know how to sit with yourself, to understand your personal power, and to live in alignment with your values, in order to lead authentically.