Leadership | Excellence | Achievement | Diversity
As we proceed with Women’s LEAD, we are asking women in the community to answer questions about their own LEAD experiences (Leadership, Excellence, Achievements & Diversity).
Linda Ong, Manager, Internal Operations, at Nicola Wealth, on Leadership, Excellence, Achievement and Diversity.
Tell us about a time you experienced bad/good Leadership.
I’ve been blessed to have worked for amazing leaders over the last 15 years of my career – all of whom were women, including here at Nicola Wealth. What I’ve observed is that there isn’t “bad” or “good” leadership. Misinterpretation of leadership style may lead people to define leaders in a negative way. Having a high degree of self-awareness also makes for great leadership, particularly when it comes to knowing when to lead, and when to follow.
Tell us about a time you experienced Excellence.
I’m a big fan of applauding excellence in others. I am constantly inspired by former staff and team members who have moved on to management and leadership roles, and watching their mastery in developing their own teams, projects, and taking what they’ve learned when we were together and creating something that is their own – better, improved, different. It’s definitely a moment of shared pride in hearing about their success and learning from them!
Your greatest Achievement.
In 2013, I had the incredible opportunity to develop a coffee table book and a documentary on the Wallace B. and Madeline H. Chung collection at UBC Library. The collection is a tremendous asset to the university and is a designated national treasure, containing more than 25,000 fascinating items reflecting early Canadian Chinese history in BC, immigration and settlement, and the CP Railway company. I had experience in providing PR for books, film, and broadcasting but was overwhelmed at being delegated the responsibility for producing a historically important book and film for the university.
Together with a four-person Communications team, we worked with an author, book designer, librarians, archivists, and a local filmmaker to produce two outstanding pieces. I’m most proud that the two pieces have a longer legacy and support the collection’s impact. Limited copies of the book are available in BC high schools and the film (Passage of Dreams: The Chung Collection) premiered on Knowledge Network where it sometimes appears on repeat.
Tell us about Diversity in your own life/career.
If you have a seat at the table, make sure your seat is not the only one that is representative of the change you want to see. In 2001, I volunteered as the first publicist for the Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre (VACT) years ago. My role was to get as much PR as possible for VACT to showcase Asian actors so that they would have equal opportunities in the film industry. I had a behind the scenes look at playwrights, actors, and authors whose voices were underrepresented, undercut, and underpaid. The positive publicity received in the first two years helped the novice organization make an impact in the competitive arts community, and to give confidence to those artists to not give up their craft. It’s remarkable how VACT has matured to an organization that now provides workshops, stages its own productions, and tours nationally.