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.