APEC was held in Manila this week and did not disappoint. I was fortunate enough to be a delegate during this historic summit that brought about world leaders including President Obama (in a barong nonetheless) and world's worst traffic! But it was an EPIC APEC week and these are some of the things I learned.
  1. You're as good as your team.
    No one can do it alone. That's a fact. It's not products that shape brands, it's the people behind it. You don't need too many cooks in the kitchen. You just need a solid, lean, strategic team to have the same mission, but are flexible, resourceful, think outside the box, and can execute. They know what they're good at and more importantly know what they're not good at.
  2. Celebrate tiny victories, but keep pushing for the BIG IDEAS.
    Tiny victories/wins should be celebrated. You have to feel good about doing what you do and always give credit where credit is due. However, omit the champagne and parade. Feel good about it and keep pushing for your next tiny victory. Small wins done well births big innovation, big ideas, and big impact.
  3. Outsource your weaknesses
    Knowing what you're not great at, is as imperative as knowing what you thrive in. Outsource your weaknesses. If it occupies too much of your bandwidth with little results, that's also a depletion of energy that could be put to better use elsewhere. Outsource it to someone else who can (see lesson 1).
  4. Don't waste time on time wasters plagued with Excusitis and slow as fuckitis
    Time is the most expensive thing because you can never take it back. Don't waste time -- especially with time wasters. I operate at a different speed compared to the glacial pace of the Philippines. Although I understand that life moves slower here and ones ability to survive is contingent on adaptation, in no way does that mean lowering your standards. Lack of hustle is contagious & actions speak louder than words. If people want something but are unable to wake up, grow up, and show up -- bye.
  5. If you want something done, you have to do it yourself.
    I've been actively searching for an apt since landing in Oct. It has been the worst process & biggest time suck. I let go of the original 'broker' I used because he was just the worst and then tried to outsource it to a family friend, which should have been easy, but glacial pacitis plagued her too. Last night, I reached out to a new broker at 2 AM with my intention & terms. This morning we met, viewed the apt at the building I wanted, loved it, made an offer, and now I'm signing the lease. BOOM
  6. You can do anything you want.
    Really. Anything. My favorite speeches came from David Plouffe, SVP of Uber Strategy and Policy, Sheila Marcelo, CEO of care.com, and Tony Fernandez, CEO of Air Asia who drove very insightful, inspirational, and valuable perspectives. Tony said this, "We started Air Asia three days after 9.11, with 2 planes, 200 employees, and no experience in airlines. So any of you SME's who gave been told it's impossible, it's not. It's business."
  7. The best perk of being a Delegate at APEC
    Using the skyway for free and having your own designated lane. No traffic, no problem!