Why Channeling Anger Can Be A Leadership Strength

Anger is underappreciated and expressing it is underutilized. Instead of dismissing anger, we should better understand it and learn how to channel it. We should study leaders who wield it strategically to achieve their aims — regardless of whether we like these leaders or not.

Read my latest article in Forbes HERE

Spectacular (But Very Contrarian) Advice

Win the “jury in your head” to gain credibility — Don’t be Authentic — and Focus on body language and tone.

Spectacular advice from award-winning trial lawyer Heather Hanser, and startup CEO Coach Alisa Cohn in Forbes, on advocating for yourself, winning and leading.

Their article is counter-intuitive but spot on, highlighting what a lot of the “feel-good leadership industry” overlooks.

Article Link HERE.

What you don’t hear about Crisis Communications (Podcast)

Proud to be interviewed by Nicky and Dave, where I shared:

1) Who you should take care of first, *before* taking care of your employees, 2) Why and when you should be inauthentic, and 3) The first — and most important — question to ask people around you …


Your weekend podcast listen [25 min – time stamps below]. Thank you to David Smith and Nicole Catchpole for inviting me — and hearing out my contrarian views on #leadership:

Time stamps:
1:20 “What do leaders need to keep mind during crises like now?”

2:10 Who leaders should take care of first.

4:00 When you may wish to be “inauthentic” 

5:35 Leadership lessons from NZ PM Jacinda Ardern, and U.S. rapper Killer Mike. 

9:15 Nicky and Michael: How cultures are different — and is there is a “crisis” playbook?

15:50 Dave and Michael discuss how expressing anger can work for you…

19:00 Michael shares a powerful phrase you can use to connect to employees.

22:00 Dave and Nicki explore work-life balance, and Michael shares how constraints and limits imposed by the pandemic may actually lead to better change, faster.

The Value of Experiential Learning

We need in-person contact, face-to-face dialog now, more than ever:

— my recent article on the Value of Experiential Learning, in China Currents, publication of the China Research Center.

Article Link HERE.

Proud to have started and continue to support the Chang-Lan Fellowships at Carleton College, set up in the memory of my Chinese grandparents. 

“Amid the pandemic, polarization, people living in their own social media echo chambers, and the deteriorating US-China relationship, we need fellowships and initiatives that create dialog and understanding, now more than ever.”

Thanks to Marynel Ryan Van Zee Christine Solso RJ Holmes-Leopold Rachel Leatham and C-L alums Nicole Catchpole Anthony Wong Jessica Lilu Chen David RiedelKyle Schiller David Jinkins Sara Karbeling Pierce McDonnell Sebastian Tovar Montanez for sharing insights that became this article… and to the Editors Penelope (Penny) Prime and Jim Schiffman for accepting it for publication.

Good News For Those Who Struggle with Having Diverse Interests

To all who struggle with having diverse and seemingly un-related interests, or who studied one thing but moved to ‘unrelated’ jobs and places, take note and take heart: 

Not being a singular-focused specialist does *not* have to be a handicap. In fact, having diverse interests — even being contrarian — fuels creativity, innovations and cutting-edge thinking.

For me, people often don’t see any connection between my Executive Coaching, focused on Power and Leadership (mainly with American and European executives) — and China, which I write and teach on.

It took a fantastic set of questions (mainly # 4 and # 5) from Kerry Parke at IE Business School to help me explain the link. 

Article Link HERE [5 min read]

As Steve Jobs once said, “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. … This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”

Now when people ask me about my diverse interests and “unconventional career”, I just send them her great article.

Thank you Kerry and IE Business School – great organisation that encourages diverse exploration and moving across silos.