Speaker Series with Amy Chang, Tech Pioneer and Board Member, Proctor & Gamble

November 20, 2020



Emotionally Caring For Your Team

Michal Katz

Let me ask you this. There are a lot of people listening today who are at the earliest stages of their career. What advice or what would you say skills are important for leading, both at the junior level or the most senior level, particularly organizations during a time of change or times of challenges like we are today. What do you think is some of the skills that folks should be thinking about developing?


Amy Chang

I strongly believe that every leader and every manager, especially as they think about servant leadership. There's a winning of hearts and minds, and a care for your team beyond professional, but that's emotional care for your team that has to happen, especially now in the midst of all of the huge sea changes we're going through. I encourage every single leader to think about having a conversation with your team members over time. This is a longitudinal conversation, that's not urgent but it is important. Around people's hopes and dreams. What are they hoping to accomplish over the next three to five years? There's a fabulous first round capital CEO summit video that you can still have access to by the folks that wrote the book, Radical Candor.


They talk about having this conversation around hopes and dreams, with every single one of your direct reports every six months to a year. What you'll learn about them as humans, it'll surprise you, it'll shock you in some cases in a great way.


Addressing Ethics in Tech

Amy Chang

It's almost too late in the cycle to only think about it when you already have a successful company. In the context of being involved with the Stanford Engineering School, and in the context of being involved with higher ed, I've been thinking about the role of ethics and other emotional, social learning classes in the context of even middle school to high school, to undergrad to grad, and what needs to happen as we're training these wonderful young minds to begin to understand the technical components of what needs to be built. We also have to train them to think through the ethics of what you should build and how you build it, and the choices that you make along the way, every single day, there are decisions that founders make. There are decisions that management teams make, to either enable something or not enable something.


A lot of those tradeoffs are really thorny, and they’re sticky, and they're mired in, "I have eight competitors who are also in this space and if I don't do this, somebody else will." But the how I do it and the safeguards I put around it, and the thinking through, how does this shape out? All of those questions if they are supplemented by that underpinning of thinking through it from an ethical and societal standpoint, too. If we can train folks to have some of that undergirdling and that framing, right, around these decisions, I think that can only be a good thing. But we've got to start earlier than we're starting, and we've got to make it part of the curriculum the whole way through.

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