Year In Review – Explore …Dream…Discover


I’m starting my post by reflecting on Mark Twain quotes, “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.  So throw off the bowlines.  Sail away from the safe harbor.  Catch the trade winds in your sails.  Explore. Dream. Discover.”     Just like most folks, at times I do feel the comfort of the current state and am hesitant to test the water.   Why risk it?  Why make a move and end up at the bottom of the pool?  Why change things at work?  Too many questions, but I don’t have any answers, as I have not put much thought into it.

To summarize my year, it has been a great year for me because of the following reasons:

  • Participated in the St. Elizabeth Men’s Cornerstone program – for years, I hesitated attending this retreat, but in the end I’m glad I did because I have a profound sense of appreciation for what I have and gained 18 good friends along the way.
  • Promotion at work – after years of waiting for my turn, I never waver and continue to work hard. I evolved by learning new skills and doing my very best at all times.  I never give up and believe in chasing my dream and making it happen.  It helps that I stayed positive during the numerous years of not getting my promotions.  All throughout this journey, I continued to put my people ahead of my personal agenda and make sure that I show my appreciation for their commitment and contributions.   It is my belief that people are the most important assets.
  • Participated as an assistant coach for my daughter’s recreational soccer team – soccer is not my best sport, but I figured that I’m a quick learner.  I enjoyed being there for my daughter and helping out the coach.  I truly enjoyed this experience and bonded with my daughter.
  • Caddied for my daughter’s golf lesson and tournaments – I value the time I spent with my daughter and the test of my patience.   We’ve spent a lot of hours playing together that made me look forward to next season with much enthusiasm.    The highlight was when she played at the Twin Willow shootout and placed second.  I’m so proud of her.  I’ll forever remember this experience.
  • The-Character-Based-LeaderBook launch of the Lead Change Book project on Character-Based Leader – writing a book has been on my checklist for many years.  I’m honored to work with 20 other authors that I never met until the book was launched.  This is pure collaboration using social media to its full extent.  We met through Twitter and collaborated until we completed this book.   The icing on the cake was when I met Tara at the Danbury book signing.   What an experience!  A true test of pushing the limit and working outside of my comfort zone.
  • Presenting the Recipe to the 2012 Year Up at UBS – I prepared this material in the middle of the year and was excited to share it with folks who are starting their careers and learning the ropes.  The goal of the presentation was to impart knowledge on what it takes to be successful.
  • Hosted a picnic for my group – I believe that, as a leader of my group, I’m serving my people first and making sure that I show them my appreciation for their hard work and commitment.   I took over a new group in June and was given the challenging tasks of building out a new platform while continuing to roll out the existing application. By helping the team to focus on our goals, we were able to complete our initial deliverables and then build out the new platform.  It is an amazing accomplishment considering we were behind the eight ball by 5 months.  The picnic was the highlight that people on my team still talk about to this date.
  • Learning a lot about myself – Hurricane Sandy tested my ability to help the firm recover its critical infrastructure.  I worked through adversity and led the team through our recovery and restoration efforts.    With 9 days of no electricity and working through almost 30 hours and, all in all, two weeks of continued work,  I learned that I’m capable to lead in tough situations when called upon.
  • Coaching my daughter’s basketball team – being an assistant coach is one thing, but coaching is taking the challenge to the next level.    I look at this opportunity to teach the girls leadership and teamwork.  At the same time, I’m there for my daughter and making the most of my opportunity to be part of her activities.   Like anything that I get myself involved in, I do it 100% as I spend time planning, reviewing and organizing sessions.  So far we have a great season and the girls are having fun learning how to play basketball.
  • Celebrated three years of blogging – this is an important milestone in my aspiration to spread the word and share my knowledge and experiences.   This is one of the most important missions I have—to help raise awareness on issues or challenges that people are encountering.

By all standards, this is one of the best years I ever had.   As I look back to the year that went by so fast, I feel blessed that I created a plan and tracked my progress throughout the year.   The lesson that I want to impart to everyone is that you need to create a plan.  Because without a plan, you’ll be working on other people’s plans.   Without a plan, it is like walking blindfolded as you go down the stairs.  Please start your year by creating a plan, then track your progress.   I urge you to dream, explore and discover new things and challenge yourself.

As I look forward to next year, I challenge myself to think about Mark Twain’s quote as I start updating my plan.   I want to make sure I challenge myself and avoid playing the what-if scenario.   In the next two weeks, I’ll be reviewing my plan and plotting my next steps.   Mark Twain’s quote will be a constant reminder not to play it safe.    As your take away, I hope you’ll prepare your plan and track your progress throughout the year.    I encourage you to share your story and let me know how I can be of help.  Best wishes to you on the coming year.



  1. Fabulous post! I have committed to finding an accountability partner this year and work on things outside my comfort zone. As I read this, I realized once again why I enjoyed reading the book The Character Based Leader so much. Every author inspired me in some way. I will work a lifetime without promotion. It used to matter to me. Now it doesn’t because I know that what I do to serve is far more important than promotion. I am blessed to have met so many incredible people and been able to be an encouragement to them. There is nothing wrong with being the servant leader hidden behind the scenes and it’s a lot of fun to be the eternal cheerleader. I hope to see your post a year from now and see what else you’ve acheived in 2013.

    • Thanks for your kind words. Servant and Character-Based leaders are what we need to make this world a better place. The leaders should not care who gets the credit as long as the people who worked on it are recognized and rewarded. It is my belief that people are the most important assets.

      As we stretch outside our comfort zone, we learn new things that enable us to help others. I wish you the best of 2013. Thanks for connecting.

    • I’m so glad to hear that you enjoyed reading The Character-Based Leader, and honored to be mentioned in Will’s year-end review. It was a highlight for me to meet Will as well! One thing I came to learn about him was that when he commits himself to something, he does it fully. He’s open to constructive criticism when it leads to a better result for everyone. Most importantly, he was always a pleasure to work with!

      • Thanks, Tara
        Meeting you was the highlight of the book project. I will forever remember this experience. You inspire me to do my best at all times. Thanks a lot.

    • Dear Mike,

      You’re an amazing leader. The character-based leader project was made possible because of your leadership. You’re a leader of leaders. I’m truly proud to be part of your group.


      Will Lukang

    • I’m excited about 2013. I believe this will be a busy year for me, but a year I’ll remember for a long time. I look forward to continuing the work that we started. More power to you!


      Will Lukang

  2. I realize pride is wrong, but allow me this one point. I was one of the first purchasers and readers of the Character-based Leader. You can even read my positive comments in support of all contributing authors at Amazon and Barnes & Nobel. I exercised my eternal cheerleader tendencies on FB, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Very basic book with priceless wisdom shared by leaders who practice integrity.

    Now back to my humble self.

    • Hi Jane,

      You’re stating a fact and that has nothing to do with not being humble. In fact, that is what being authentic is all about. Thank you very much for your support. I encourage you to continue to help us change the world. We can do this one person at a time.


      Will Lukang

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