Leadership | Excellence | Achievement | Diversity
As we proceed with the Women’s LEAD Initiative, we are asking women in the community to answer questions about their own LEAD experiences (Leadership, Excellence, Achievements & Diversity)
Eve Chang on Leadership, Excellence, Achievement and Diversity
Eve Chang shares her experience as a teacher, a mother and an aspiring lifelong learner pursuing further education.
Tell us about a time you experienced bad/good Leadership
Good leadership is so key in an organization, a meeting, or a gathering of people for a common goal. Many a board meetings have I sat through where the group leader allowed others to monopolize the sharing time, did not energize people to do “better” and could not communicate their points effectively. While rare, few leaders can guide quietly yet inspire and draw people into their cause, communicate effectively and succinctly, keep the discussion on topic, and allow others’ thoughts to be heard. I was fortunate enough to have worked with a fantastic principal—he saw his staff as fellow humans who had a life outside of the school and encouraged them to deal with home/life challenges so that they could be better teachers and support staff at the school. He led with humour, fun, and honesty, which set the tone for his staff, students, and parents. Staff meetings were filled with laughter and addressing the issues at hand. He modelled what authentic leadership was, and it was amazing for me as a new teacher to see and experience.
Tell us about a time you experienced Excellence
I will follow Tassan’s lead and interpret this as MY excellence, not experiencing someone else’s excellence…
With many different life experiences and challenges, learnings and chats with like-minded individuals, I feel that I am becoming the best version of myself, my excellent self! And I’ve realized that I could not have arrived at this point without going through challenges, problem-solving, asking for help and learning from others. Having and raising kids with a spouse that travelled and worked a lot due to necessity (when building a new business), giving myself permission to ask for what I need and want, parenting teenagers during COVID and beyond and having some perspective on what is truly important for me—all shaped and allowed me to discard old parts of me and discover new and stronger parts of me that I hope to contribute to making society just a wee bit better place to be!
Your greatest Achievement
Career-wise, becoming a teacher was the best thing I did for myself and my identity. However, after having kids, I decided to just work one day a week, and for almost 18 years, I felt like I had lost a part of myself and was on a search to find something else to fill the hole in me. I became the CEO of my household while my husband grew his company into a leading brand that he eventually sold. But through all this, I always felt incomplete and believed that my life was more than just being a wife and mother. Through a few more obstacles and self-reflection, my journey has led me to pursue a Master’s degree in School Counselling. To feel like I can offer more to the world in a helper role has filled that hole…getting the cobwebs out of the old brain felt invigorating!
I’m not sure if it’s an achievement, but I’m most proud and thankful for remaining true to myself and holding on tight to my values and beliefs for grounding during big transitions in my life. I am very thankful that I stayed humble and did not succumb to the pressure of how others thought I should be different.
Tell us about Diversity in your own life/career
Being a teacher of Asian descent, I found it helpful for me to connect with students and parents of Asian descent, and I was able to share cultural understandings with my students. I also had empathy for newly immigrated families and perspective on what those students were feeling and thinking during a time of great transition. I was fortunate that I was never discriminated against as a teacher—I felt it was an asset rather than a hindrance. It has always been an enriching experience to learn about others’ cultures, beliefs and different points of view and identities as it just means that we’re all unique—it’s fantastic that we’re not all the same!? It was my personal life experiences of prejudice and judgement that had me on guard for what employers, fellow staff members and parents might throw at me. Over time, I learned that if I was my authentic self, 99% of the time, people would see me, not my ethnicity and what their beliefs are that go with that.