Project by Project NY 2018 Annual Retreat Kickoff during APA Heritage Month

Project by Project NY: May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month! PbP-NY goes to the Poconos!

Project by Project NY (PbP-NY)’s Annual Leadership Retreat in the Poconos!

Retreat Theme: Activate the Hive!

What better way for PbP-NY to kickoff this year’s Asian Pacific American Heritage Month than to host our Annual Leadership Retreat! We escaped the hustle and bustle of New York City to spend a weekend of unity in the mountains to discuss the state of Asian leadership in US, this year's partnership goals, and this year’s PbP-NY focus: Asian Americans and immigration.

Our theme for this year’s retreat: Activate the hive!

How do bees relate to Asians?  It goes beyond the yellow pigments.

Like bees, we are an integral part of society. We work silently without being noticed but we are often overlooked. We shouldn’t be. Without bees, nature cannot exist and without Asians in the workplace, most companies wouldn’t either.

Currently, the Asian community is buzzing stronger than ever!

If there’s anything to take away from the retreat, it’s that we truly are a group of thoughtful, passionate, intelligent, hardworking, and witty team of individuals; we never hesitate to give without complaint. Our fearless chapter President, Tiffany Lin, is the brightest shining example of this ethos.

Already, our small group has achieved and accomplished so much over the years. We’ve helped out countless organizations, donated countless hours of volunteer work, and inspired countless peers to be corporate and community leaders. Still, after this weekend together, we all realized that we could achieve so much more, especially if we continue to lean on each other,  to constantly lift each other up, and to push each other to do better. To be better. During this retreat, we learned that, together, we can grow stronger and move forward as a hive.

We have some seriously talented Asian Americans not only in PbP, but all across the U.S., in all levels of society. We need to work to not only activate the PbP hive but to activate all Asian leaders across this wonderful country of ours.

We need to break the stereotype of the model minority and instead be perceived as the model citizen, model professional, model parent, model community member, and model community leader.

We need to inspire, motivate, and give each other a voice of hope.

We look forward to having more talented Asian professionals join us in the years to come and make our hive even stronger. Together we are “Hive Strong"!

For more info on this year’s retreat and what we did, visit our blogpost!

Keep the conversation going! Use #PbPHiveStrong and #PbPHive to send out a positive message and show us how YOU'RE changing the conversation! We will feature select entries on our social media accounts!


A conversation about equality

A major discussion took place during the retreat, around the topic of equality. There’s been much in the news about the bad things that our fellow Americans have done and said. But equality should not be about anger or disdain toward these groups. Many of them still have so much to offer to all of us. We must learn to be like the best of them and not react to the worst of them.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said it best - even though his situation was a lot more dire and tenuous than ours currently is, the same concept holds true:

“And that is something that I must say to my people who stand on the worn threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline.“

Compared to Dr. King, our struggle is a much easier one. Our struggle is only for inclusion and recognition. But like Dr. King, we should use dignity and hope as our allies, not hatred or resentment.

The perception remains that Asian Americans are not suitable for the C-suite. The excerpt below was taken from “Why Asians remain absent from the tech industry’s highest echelons”.

…..the perception of the “model minority” has had a pernicious effect on Asians working in Silicon Valley by inculcating a belief that they lack leadership qualities…. Diligence and deference to authority are useful skills for getting hired. But “as you move up the ladder,” she said, “soft skills like communication, networking, and influencing become more important.”

In the years to come, we should seek to change and challenge this perception.

I implore every one of you to get out of your comfort zones and explore something new. Learn something new. Try new things. Bring something interesting to the conversation.

We need to challenge the common perception of Asian Americans in everyone’s minds. We must seek to carry the best conversations and carry ourselves with the most dignity. We must exhibit the best etiquette both inside and outside the workplace. The impression you leave on everyone should be the best that anyone has ever made, in the course of that day, that month, or that year. Only then, can we hope to get a place at the table.

Introducing: David’s corner.

This section will be available at the end of each newsletter to share with readers some wisdom regarding a certain topic.

This month’s topic is health.

We tend to put our career first and struggle with healthy work life balance. To this, I would say, please prioritize your health first, before your career.

That’s right: Health before career.

The story:

A pharmacist took every overtime shift offered at his local pharmacy. Overtime paid 1.5x his salary. So, with enough OT shifts, he was able to earn twice as much in one year. But he neglected his health and failed to spend time with his family. Eventually, this led to a stroke at a young age. He lapsed into a coma and left behind his wife and three young children.

The why:

  1. You may lose your job but because you’re physically and mentally healthy, you have the energy and mental acuity to land a new job or start a new company. In the story of the pharmacist, when he lost his health, he lost everything.
  2. Health is a virtuous cycle: as you become more active -> you make better decisions -> your work life improves -> you see the benefits -> you eat healthier -> you feel better -> you have more energy -> you become more active. Rinse. Repeat.
  3. You will give others a positive aura as your health grows better. You will have “the healthy glow” as your circulation improves. Your coworkers will like you more because you're more alert. Your boss will appreciate you as you “bring the energy”.

Start pushing on the flywheel, engage in 30 minutes of exercise 3x a week. Eat just one healthy meal a day. Forgive yourself. If you can’t keep up with one healthy meal a day, do one healthy meal each week. If you can’t do 30 minutes of exercise 3x a week, try once a week. Just keep pushing. The momentum will grow. That flywheel will turn.

The science:

From: The Willpower Instinct by Kelly McGonigal, PhD

Train Your Mind and Body

  • What follows are two strategies that will give you absolutely the most bang for your buck in regards to improving Willpower
    • Also they will help with general health and happiness

The Willpower Miracle

  • Megan Oaten and Ken Cheng conducted a study on a technique for improving Willpower
    • At the end of the treatment here is what happened to the subjects:
      • Improved attention span
      • Improved ability to tune out distraction
      • Less smoking, drinking, and caffeine
      • Less junk food, more healthy food
      • Less television
      • More studying
      • Saving more money, fewer impulse purchases
      • More in control of emotions
      • Less procrastination, and better at being on time
    •  So, what was this miracle drug?
    • Physical exercise.
  • Exercise helps in pretty much every aspect of your life
  • It is the closest thing to a Willpower wonder drug we have
    • Heart variability shoots ups with fitness
    • More gray and white matter throughout the brain
      • Most increases in the prefrontal cortex
    • In some cases as powerful as prozac for depression
  • So, how much do you need to do?
    • How much are you willing to do?
      • No point in setting a goal that you will abandon in a week
        • Even 5 minutes can help
  • So, what kind of exercise is best?
    • The kind you will actually stick to
      • The body and brain don’t really discriminate, so do whatever you are most willing to do

Willpower Experiment: The Five Minute Green Willpower Fill-Up Feeling like you need a quick dose of more Willpower?  Get outside for just five minutes and move around.  This will help give you a quick willpower “fill-up”.  If that outside is green space, the effect is greater.  It doesn’t have to be a mega workout.  Here are some examples:

  • Get out of the office and head for the closest greenery
  • Cue up your favorite song on your iPod and walk or jog around the block.
  • Take your dog outside to play (and chase the toy yourself)
  • Do a bit of work in your yard or garden
  • Step outside for some fresh air and do some stretches
  • Challenge your kids to a race or game in the backyard

In the long run, exercise will give you much more energy and power than it takes away.

You can also view the video here:

Mandarin Phrase of the Month

Traditional text (Taiwan/HK):

社會公平 shè huì gōng píng


Simplified text (China): 社会公平 Pin Yin: shè huì gōng píng Pronunciation aid: Shuh Huay Gong Ping Translation: Social Equity

Try it on your Chinese coworkers to see if they understand! How well did you do? Tell us on social media!

Support Project by Project®

Ready to take the step from supporter to Project by Project member?  Join our steering committee for 2018!  We're always looking for great additions to our team and Project by Project is a great way to meet people, develop your leadership skills and give back to your local community!

Sign Up

Thank you for supporting Project by Project programs and partners! If you would like to help, please click the link below.

Make a Donation

Subscribe to our newsletter!

Don't forget to follow us on social media!

 Facebook @ProjectbyProjectNYInstagram @pbpnyTwitter @pbpny