Monday, April 23, 2012
Emerging Leader Spotlight: Lily Moua, USDA-APHIS
Name: Lily Moua
Current title: HR-Classification Specialist & Asian American Pacific Islander Program Manager
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Favorite quote: “How you do anything is how you do everything”.
1) What key steps did you take to get to the role you are in today?
It is nearly impossible to “get in” to work for the federal government now-a-days. I made it through right before the hiring freezes began. Having a master’s degree in public policy, great supporters, and knowing how to communicate with different groups of stakeholders (I’m very involved in community work) was key in getting me the credibility to start in good position. I must also acknowledge the professional growth and experiences I gained from my manager at Target Corporation.
Also, I am a Hmong culture/language teacher, facilitator, and mentor in the community; it’s my passion. My community trusts that I will inspire and encourage others to pursue higher goals and bridge gaps between cross-cultural generations.
2) What is your leadership style? (Self-described and/or how others might describe you)
I set high standards for myself and the individuals I work. I love coaching, mentoring, and challenging others to think outside of the box. Transparency, communication, integrity, teamwork, and having fun are a part of my core values.
3) What tools or resources have you used that have been crucial to your success?
a) Studying my own culture and defining how I want to live and leave my legacies. Distinguishing myself, knowing my goals, and understanding my passion so that I can leverage my strengths.
b) Building relationships, getting to know successful leaders and ask to be mentored by them. I enjoy learning about people’s successes and missed opportunities. This helps me foresee what potential pitfalls are ahead and what I need to develop to be a stronger leader.
c) Not just reading, but meeting inspirational people like Maya Angelou and Zig Ziglar—taking their wisdom, modeling it, by inspiring and teaching others about what I’ve learned.
d) Being hands-on and active in my communities.
4) What steps are you currently taking to improve yourself, professionally?
a) I have a personal board of directors, with whom I consult with about my development. They coach and mentor me in many ways.
b) Enhancing my communication skills. I’m learning how to express and articulate myself when the stakes are high. In my culture, Hmong women are not supposed to voice or raise their opinion with men—especially to men of higher authority.
5) What is the next step you plan to take in your career to develop your leadership skills?
One area I need to strengthen is my ability to navigate politics and improve how I communicate in professional terms (I’m still young so sometimes I just want to act my age). This spring, one of my mentors will coach me about the game of golf and the business strategies behind it. My goal is to learn a different perspective about the sport, life, and success.
I have also taken on my newest role as a co-chair to help Hmong elderly veterans define their goals and achieve new legacies. This is a new opportunity for me to reshape and preserve the Hmong community.
6) What are some top tips you can recommend to other women who want to be recognized as a high potential emerging leader?
a) When you help others succeed, you will receive double or triple the reward. Help others reach their potential and you will reach yours faster and be even more successful!
b) Surround yourself with motivated groups and individuals. Be inspired and don’t forget to always inspire others too!
c) Diversify your portfolio! Always be prepared for the next best option.
Posted by Ann at 10:00 AM