Leadership Presence

Will Lukang, PMP, MBA, MASCL, CSM

Over the weekend, a meeting popped up on my calendar that’s unlike any of the other meetings I’m used to.   It’s about a seminar on improving leadership presence.    I was not sure I would like to attend, but I showed up anyway.

The seminar focused on imparting how to improve one’s leadership presence.   In every workplace there are people who are great leaders in their respective teams, and they do a good job sharing the good news about their team’s accomplishments.  They inspire their team to achieve greater things, and more importantly these leaders do a good job in letting management know who does what.    So what’s wrong with these leaders?  Such leaders move up the ranks but then eventually they get stuck and stop getting opportunities they deserve.   This is particularly true in time of change.   By that I mean change in leadership in the firm.  Because these type of leaders fail to promote themselves and tell people their worth and contributions, therefore they go unnoticed.

So, what’s wrong with heads down, doing your work, and inspiring and developing your team?  You’ll miss out on opportunities.   Remember when your sphere of influence does not grow, it will limit the opportunities available to your team members.    It’s a wakeup call for me because I see myself as that type of leader.  I do a good job telling people who on my team did a great job, but I don’t tell people how I contributed to the successful outcome.  As such in time of change, people would know how well my team did and might overlook the fact that I did help make it happen.

So, what is the lesson in this situation?  Be comfortable with your skin and overcome the uneasiness and tell people what you did and how you helped your team achieve their goals.   Remember, the more people who know your capability the more opportunity you’ll get going forward.  As you rise in the management ranks, the people working on your team will have more opportunity to grow.    Remember that what you’re doing is helping your team, because ultimately they will benefit from your promotion.


My e-mail account was hacked

Will Lukang, PMP, CSM, MBA, MASCL

Never in my wildest dream would I ever think that such thing would happen to me. Not me – I have the technical know-how and background to prevent such a thing from happening.   I’ve been in information technology for over 20 years and I consider myself an above-average technician in terms of maintaining hardware or software.

On the morning of January 11th everything changed, on my way to work with my friend Jason.  He told me that I sent him a link to a blog.   He asked what it was all about.  I was like, what are you talking about?  I don’t have time to send e-mails in the morning as I’m trying to get ready for work.   I quickly checked my iPhone and saw that my other personal e-mail account received the same message.  The worst part is that it accessed my contact list and e-mailed the same message to everyone.

Another friend of mine named Barry also alerted me via text message that he receive an e-mail with a link to a blog.   On my way to work, a few of my friends did the same thing.  They brought it to my attention.  At this point I was so embarrassed that such a thing happened to me.  While running a meeting, I could not help but think of what happened and was trying to figure out how to stop it.  By 10:23 a.m. another round of e-mails went out while I was in another meeting.  I called my wife to power down my laptop, because I was not sure if there was a Trojan virus on my laptop.   While in a meeting, I was busy trying to change my password on my Gmail account.   Thankfully my account was not highjacked, meaning I was still able to gain access to it and change the password.    It was only at that point that the e-mails stopped.  While the spam e-mail continued, I felt helpless and did not know what to do.  I’m thankful to have my iPhone that allowed me to access my personal e-mail; otherwise the problem could be worse.

After my 10 a.m. meeting, I stopped by Barry’s office to pick his brain on how to prevent such a thing from happening.  Barry is our resident technical expert.    Besides two brains are better than one.   We chatted and he gave me a couple of pointers like scanning my laptop and possibly installing Ubuntu on my laptop.    The rest of the day, I was thinking how to craft the apology e-mail to everyone who received the spam e-mails.

That night, I checked my laptop for viruses and found none.   I proceeded to send apology e-mails to people whom I inconvenienced.    Some were supportive while others gave me a stern warning as to what I was sending.   Either way the whole experience taught me some valuable lessons that I’d like to share.

  1. Website login account – If you have the same login accounts for different websites, use different passwords.
  2. Website using e-mail address as login ID – When a website requires that you use your e-mail ID as the user ID, do not use the same password that you use for your email account.
  3. Password strength – Make sure your password is a combination of characters and numbers.  If you can use special character that would be great, but make sure you can remember it.
  4. Change password – change your password every quarter.  Set up a reminder to alert you of the need to change your password.
  5. Request for information – If you receive an e-mail requesting information from you, DO NOT respond.   Unless you’re the one who initiates a request like password reset.  This is a common way for bad people to get your information.   It is otherwise known as Phishing which means a fraudulent attempt to secure your information such as password, credit card number, social security number, etc.

To close, no matter how experienced you are in a field, you can always be caught empty handed if you’re not prepared.  Don’t let your guard down.  Same is not really good.  With so many passwords to remember, I made a mistake of using the same password just so I would remember them easily.   That was a big mistake.    Hopefully this blog will help others avoid a similar situation to what I experienced.

Motivating your employees

Will Lukang, PMP, CSM, MBA, MASCL

In my many years of experience, I’ve worked for many managers and observed and learned how they motivate their employees.  Unfortunately, there is no blueprint or user manual that can provide us with a step-by-step guide to motivating our employees.

What I learned is that every person is different and there is no one-size-fits-all solution.   But there is a common denominator when encouraging and motivating people; it is first treating people with respect.    You do not need to be friends, but you need to be able to work well together and accept each person’s unique personalities.

Here are other ways of motivating people around you:

1)      Give credit when credit is due – do not take credit for other people’s work or accomplishment.   Learn to praise people in public and privately.  Be specific when you praise someone.  Refrain from saying you did a great job.   Mention what is it that the person did that leads you to praise the person.

2)      Listen – you’ll be surprised that if you lend people your ears and show people you care, it helps develop trust.  But you need to be sincere and do not do it just as a front to mislead others.    Focus on actively listening to people and give them the time to express their viewpoint.

3)      Seek their opinion – ask people for feedback and seek their opinion on matters that pertain to them.  Don’t make all the decisions without hearing them out.    Involve your people whenever possible.  When they are part of the decision-making process, they will buy-in and be compelled to help move things forward.

4)      Provide challenging assignments – work with them to understand their career goals and aspirations.  Provide them with challenging opportunities that help them develop their skills.   Guide them to achieve their goals and provide support, tools, and resources to help them get to where they need to be.

5)      Lead by example – this is perhaps the most effective way to motivate people.  When people see that they can count on you to be there for them, they will do their best to get the job done.  Demonstrate to your team that you are willing to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty.  Don’t just give orders and walk away expecting everything to get done.

6)      Provide reward for their work – if someone goes above and beyond, reward them if you can, assuming you are allowed to do it.  If not, treat your team and celebrate success.

While doing the above mentioned things are important, it is equality important to show that people cannot take advantage of you.    Be firm and reprimand people who step out of bounds, but only do it in private.  As I learned early on in my career, praise in public, but reprimand in private.

One has to realize that it is impossible to motivate everyone.   So, don’t make it a point to make motivating everyone a goal.   Do your best and always watch out for people who are willing to go above and beyond and take care of them.    At the end of the day, what matter is that you tried your best and put your best foot forward to make things happen for your team.


Who inspired you in your life?

Will Lukang, PMP, MBA, MASCL, CSM

Growing up I used to emulate people whom I admired.   These are people who made an impression and motivated me.    These are people who helped me develop and grow to be the person that I am today.  But the question is who truly inspired me and why.

1)      My parents – My father instilled in me the value of hard work and showed me how to be a leader.   Back then, I did not know that what I was observing and learning was leadership.   My father also taught me to treat people fairly and with respect, no matter their job and social status.    From my mother, I learned the value of perseverance and to never give up.   No matter what challenge is in front of her, she never wavers and continues to focus on the end goal and push forward with her work.    They both inspired me to do my best every day no matter what the circumstances.

2)      Michael Altman – He was a SVP at RCG Information Technology.   He is admired by a lot of the RCG employees because he showed commitment to them and sincere appreciation for their contributions.   As a SVP, he is very busy; however, if you left him a voice mail, he would see to it that he returned your call.   I learned from him how to value your employees and show commitment to their development and welfare.    He has since moved on to open his own specialty chocolate business named Tumbador Chocolate.  But he hired people who are graduates of Strive.  These are people who faced significant challenges or barriers in gaining employment.    He inspired me to be a leader who is authentic in many ways.

3)      Bob Anselmo – He was my manager at Prudential.   He was a Senior Vice President before he turned 30.   He is a great person and a leader.  He showed genuine interest in the welfare of his people.   He’s willing to roll up his sleeves and work alongside his people.   He leads by example.   Working with Bob, I got to observe how he conducted himself and how he interfaces with everyone around him.  While working for him, I took interest in learning more about leadership.   It is then that I started my leadership journey.   I seek to understand who I am and my voice and work on improving my skills to be a leader.    In many ways, my leadership style is similar to his.

4)      Amilya Antonetti – She turned an adversity into an opportunity.  Her son David constantly cried in pain and experienced shortness of breath and skin rashes.   They visited various specialists and doctors, but no one could explain what triggered the pain.   She started recording everything that happened to her son in an effort to discover the cause.   It resulted in the formation of a company named Soapworks.     She felt morally obligated to let others know what she learned, and that is the genesis of her company.     She is also an author of The Recipe and Why David Hated Tuesdays.     She is a great leader and author.   Amilya’s story is an inspiration to me.  It taught me to never give up when faced with adversity.    She is also a great leader.  The Recipe is a great book and I highly recommend it to people improve their leadership capability.  The book offers actionable lessons on leadership and team-building exercise that you can use at work or apply to your personal life.   I had the pleasant opportunity of meeting her at her book signing last year at Barnes and Noble in New York.








The five people I mentioned are instrumental in shaping the person that I became.  I’m thankful and feel blessed to have them in my life.   My parents planted the seed and provided the foundation.  Each of the people thereafter added nutrients that helped me develop and grow.  I’m by no mean done with my leadership journey.    I’m looking forward to continuing to sharpen my saw and develop my skills.   One of the things I learned in my journey was to pay it forward.  It is the very reason I tweet @will_lukang and created this blog.

In the past two years, I sent Bob and Michael a note thanking them for opening doors, guiding and developing me.   I expressed my sincere appreciation for their time and effort.   Do you have anyone in your life that inspired you?   Have you reached out to them to let them know you appreciate them?   It is not too late to show your appreciation.


2010 in review

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads This blog is on fire!.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 2,200 times in 2010. That’s about 5 full 747s.


In 2010, there were 23 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 24 posts. There were 30 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 7mb. That’s about 3 pictures per month.

The busiest day of the year was October 27th with 40 views. The most popular post that day was Big rocks and small rocks of life – What’s important to you?.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were facebook.com, lmodules.com, linkedin.com, tweeter.faxo.com, and twitter.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for life lessons, istock, big rocks, life experiences, and small rocks.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


Big rocks and small rocks of life – What’s important to you? October 2010


Life lessons August 2010
4 comments and 1 Like on WordPress.com,


Developing Talent Around Us – Strengthening Relationships One at a Time January 2010


About December 2009


Leadership Lessons from My Father February 2010