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  4. About Slim

I live to create a world, where those on the journey of innovation can trust, with absolute certainty that, within 72 hours, they can receive the breakthrough support they need to make sense & progress in any difficult situation. The kind of support that inspires them to realize their full potential, especially under stress and anxiety.



Short Bio / 약력


My coaching approach integrates my 21-year career, where...

For the first 9 years,

I consulted Fortune 500 companies on how to innovate through customer-centered product / service design.

As a consultant at MAYA Design
(a BCG Company)
, my clients included:



As a byproduct of this experience, products and services I helped design have won numerous awards including:

Followed by 4 years, where...

I researched the interpersonal and psychological hurdles artists face on their journey of innovation.

I conducted the research at:

To do the research, I not only observed and interviewed the resident artists, but also immersed in making art myself by:

  • Drawing / Photographing,
  • Furniture Making,
  • Modern Dancing,
  • Sculpting,
  • Theatre Acting.

As a byproduct of this experience, I not only wrote and published, but also artistically illustrated a book summarizing the research results as well as the suggested interpersonal and psychological remedies for those on the journey of innovation.

The book has won numerous awards including:

Followed by 8 years, where...

I coached Founding CEOs to better lead and manage their company, their team, and their board through innovation.

The Founders I’ve coached conduct business in a variety of industries including:

  • Beauty / Cosmetics,
  • Consulting,
  • Consumer Goods & Services,
  • Education,
  • Enterprise Software,
  • Financial Services,
  • Fitness / Wellness,
  • Healthcare,
  • Heavy Industry,
  • Manufacturing.


As a byproduct of this experience, I was invited by Singularity University as one of 4 founding members of their Leadership / Team Coaching Bench along with Ellen Leanse, Robert Ellis, and Sherri Rose.

I was also invited by SAP to coach the various Founders doing business using SAP technology.

For reasons of confidentiality,
I am not at liberty to disclose specific company names.


Weaving through my career is my ability to help people realize empathy.



We realize empathy when we experience a moment where we go “Ah ha!” “Ah...” or “Ha ha ha!” concerning someone or something we either could not or had incorrectly assumed to understand or appreciate fully.


With the realization, we often acquire an insight that illuminates a new perspective with a clear path forward we either could not foresee or had deemed not viable.



For Founders, realizing empathy is particularly important for...

Unified Team Building,

Because for varying reasons, there often arises a tension between the Founder and their stakeholders (i.e. co-founder, employees, board members, suppliers, customers, etc.)

Such tension can contribute to important conversations that either never happen (because people are avoiding them, staying silent) or go nowhere (because people are arguing incessantly or refusing to see eye-to-eye.)

To navigate this challenge,
Founders typically try to understand their stakeholders
so as to merely persuade the stakeholders to their ways. This can often frustrate or infuriate
all those involved, as people are unwilling to compromise.

Better Decision Making,

Because there are often times when the Founder feels significant doubt and anxiety before deciding on what to do and how in order to make progress on a difficult or even crisis-driven situation.

The Founder may also be worried that the wrong decision can bring harm to either one’s self and one’s organization or any of the stakeholders (i.e. co-founder, employees, board members, suppliers, customers, etc.)

As a result, the Founder can become extra sensitive to what exactly to say or do. Such extra sensitivity can further paralyze and overwhelm the Founder, making it even more difficult for them to make a decision.

Effective Delegation.

Because as employee headcount increases, there comes a time when the Founder realizes that there is simply not enough time in a day to manage everyone one-by-one, and the only way forward is to start working on the business as opposed to in it.

While the conclusion is clear, work must go on, and the Founder may have difficulty finding the time or structure to prepare for this transition.

As a result, they may feel stuck merely judging how passive, undisciplined, or subpar (and ungrateful) their employees are, as feelings of anxiety, distrust, and resentment toward their employees loom large.

What often happens in all these situations is that the Founder either struggles alone without making meaningful progress or seeks consultation from a mentor or acquaintance.


In the latter case, they often receive advice that doesn’t fit along with either empty words of condolences or a reminder of how all this is the Founder’s fault, leaving them stuck without a clear path forward, feeling isolated and frustrated.




So what I do instead is...

I first help the Founder reflect on their emotions and emotional needs so honestly and organize their thoughts so clearly that they can see themselves and their situations from a much healthier, broader, and more objective perspective.

I do all this without giving any advice. Only once they start to see new and valuable ways of perceiving themselves and their situation, do I share—with permission—suggestions or additional perspectives that can fill in any missing links.

I’ve learned from my research
into the interpersonal and psychological hurdles faced by artists, that through this process, people can naturally realize empathy with themselves and other relevant stakeholders. This then often leads them to acquire a new perspective with a clear path forward they either could not foresee or had deemed not viable.

The illuminated path sometimes embodies a solution that resonates with both the Founder and the relevant stakeholders.

At other times, the path invites the Founder to get prepared for the difficult conversation required to discover such a solution. In which case, I also help the Founder rehearse for said conversation.

Having either found a solution to their problem or prepared for the difficult conversation required to do so, the Founder feels relieved to know of their next steps and confident of their ability to carry through. Such relief and confidence also restore the equanimity, mind space, and energy required to elevate their leadership performance.

For long-term clients with frequent engagements, I also recommend a round of 360-degree qualitative stakeholder interviews, where I interview a variety of stakeholders whom the Founder respects and trusts. This exposes valuable perspectives unknown to both myself and the Founder.

Some clients also request that I provide ongoing and impromptu support. Knowing with absolute certainty that I am there for them throughout their journey of maturation has shown to help Founders make greater progress beyond the coaching sessions.

At the end of the day, Founders often tell me they have matured not merely as a leader, but also as a friend, a spouse, or a parent. One who knows how to trust, respect, and love one’s self in ways they never knew how, enough to now be able to share the same with others like never before.



My coaching approach is also informed by...


My experience growing up or doing business in...

China,

where I also learned how to speak Mandarin Chinese to a medium level of proficiency.

Egypt,

where I had learned, but eventually forgot, how to speak Arabic.

Korea,

where I also learned how to speak Korean fluently.

the US.

where I also learned how to speak English fluently.


My training in...

Computer Science,

at Carnegie Mellon University, School of Computer Science.

Conflict Mediation,

at Center for Mediation and Collaboration, Rhode Island.

Management Theory,

at Point Park University, Graduate School of Business.

Suicide / Crisis Management

at Samaritans Suicide Prevention Center, Rhode Island


My exposure to...

Dynamic Facilitation,

as Pioneered by Jim Rough and documented by Rosa Zubizarreta.

Motivational Interviewing,

as Pioneered by William R. Miller and Stephen Rollnick.

Narrative Therapy,
as Pioneered by Michael White and David Epston.
Non-Violent Communication.

as Pioneered by Marshall Rosenberg.



Here are some things I have said:

“Being present to a vulnerable expression of honesty is a privilege. It surprises us, challenges us, and reminds us of what it means to be human. It is what gives us the courage to vulnerably express our own honesty.

“Many of us are trained to perceive all conflicts as problems to be solved. Most conflicts are not problems, but paradoxes.

“Paradoxes cannot be solved. They can only be dissolved by learning a new perspective, where the conflict no longer is.

“To empathize is to feel connected or at one with what we could have otherwise objectified or felt separated from.

“To realize empathy we must notice ourselves objectify or separate, then choose another way of being. Difficult under stress!

“Demanding diversity and inclusion is easy. What’s difficult is navigating conflicts that arise amidst diversity and inclusion.

“It isn’t mere diversity and inclusion we need. It’s unity amidst diversity and inclusion without conformity. This is impossible without empathy.

“Without the ability to realize empathy amidst conflict, diversity and inclusion can merely fuel fragmentation and resentment.

“Empathizing may accompany feelings of resonance or coherence, but those are not objective measures of understanding.

“Verification alone can determine the accuracy and precision of our understanding. Yet, no method can verify perfect understanding.

“We can empathize and still misunderstand. That’s not necessarily bad. It can be presumptuous to claim we understand fully.