'The leadership development journey: How Entrepreneurs Develop their Leadership Through their Lifetime’ is the 4th book of Jen Vuhuong (discover other books at jenvuhuong.com/books).
This book reflects leadership development is a self-learning longitudinal journey embedded in a multilevel multi-context social learning environment with 9 influential factors: parents, teamwork sport activities, teachers, role models, mentors/coaches, community-based networks (social factors); self-learning, experimentation, self-reflection (self factors).
These findings of the book are based on a longitudinal qualitative study of interviewing 100 SME's business owners and leaders attending a British leadership development framework and an international communication and leadership programme.
My journey of creating the book
From January to April 2017, I had the opportunity to experience a 12-week course to study leadership as a part of my master’s degree in International Management in the UK. Earlier to that, I always associated leadership with something big, just for someone in a big organization or a country, and ambiguous. The leadership perception wall was consciously and subconsciously socially constructed. Thanks to the 12 weeks, I founded each brick in the wall slowly taken down to open a diverse picture of leadership. Most importantly, it helped me embrace a strong desire to understand more about it. I would read about it, think about it, ask people about it everyday.
It seems that when we focus on something, opportunities start showing up. I was invited to be a speaker in a collaborative leadership conference. The lecturer of the subject was willing to guide me in the later leadership research. My journey of leadership development moved to the next chapter. After practicing leadership unconsciously and consciously over my whole life and deeply researching on the topic of leadership over the past year, writing this book to share with you what I think about and what I have found about the leadership development journey of almost a hundred SME owner-managers/founders/CEOs and future leaders from different countries has been an honor. The book aims to give you a clear big picture of different perspectives on leadership in literature/practice and the common patterns that help the interviewed leaders develop their leadership capability/identity in SMEs’ context.
My intention is to convince you that leadership is not an ambiguous faraway subject but an act of developing, being, becoming, starting from TODAY; and that leadership resides in each and everyone of us, that everyone of us is a leader of our own life, our families, or an organization.
And one last thing on leadership, GIVING. I have received supported from so many great people. They have unconditionally given me emotional and mental support. I truly appreciate their leadership expressing in the GIVING way - to me is the soul of living. Finishing this book, I feel grateful to life to have support from so my mentors, professors and editors.
Dr Gareth Edwards deserves a significant credit here for inspiring my journey of studying about leadership topic. Thanks for his guidance, support and insightful knowledge. Dr. Vikas Kumar is also my gratitude thanks to his willingness to support me not only in academic studying but also in my career path since the first day I decided to write a book on leadership.
Transformation coach Stuart and Msc project manager Edwin deserve my true appreciation for advising my thinking and writing during more than one year in the UK.
You, every single person I have met, also a great motivator for me to continue my leadership development journey!
Our leadership program is based on the research
Author of #amazon top-selling book 'Nonstop loving living and giving', Jen's books include 'Nonstop loving, living and giving', 'The Goal Achiever', 'Unleash Your Passion', 'The YOU journal', and 'Leadership development journey'
#most passionate personal development coach/trainer and international speaker; Jen has spoken in different personal development events in more than 10 countries including Malaysia, Spain, Thailand and the UK;
#winner of International speaking contest in Malaysia, Vietnam and the US Embassy
#best performer of Masters in International Management in the UK; Business Innovation and Technology Management;
#best performer at Dell partner and Samsung;
#scholar of the 2 world top scholarships - Erasmus and British government Chevening;
#founder of EmpowerLeaders (CSpeaking Gym, Be The Leaders, Start with Green); co-founder of HEC - Hanoi Entrepreneur Community;
#trainer of EYI public speaking academy and Institute for strategic LEADERSHIP development research, the US Embassy
#sport lover- winner of arm wrestling competition at university and top marathon runner in Malaysia.
“It is impossible. Be realistic, you are just a little girl, just staying at home, getting married and have a busload of kids’. That’s what a friend of my father told me when I shared with him that I wanted to enter the top university to go abroad to open my mind. He was one of many others around me trying to give me different ‘labels’ when I was a kid that made me create a ‘shell’ to protect me from them.
I kept myself in the shell, kept silent in my entire life at primary, secondary and high school. I didn't want to speak with people because I was afraid they would give me another judgment or labels. But deep down in me, I desired to speak up to share my ambition and make it happen because of my family who worked extremely hard to raise me up and saved me more than 3 times from kidnapping, drowning in the river and losing 1 liter of blood.
I entered university, moving to a new environment where I would join different social skill development community. I broke the silent ‘shell’, and yes became one of the most extrovert students!!! Most importantly, I would connect with my best self and others!
With that, I achieve different full scholarships to work for Samsung then study 2 Masters in Spain and the UK with the top scholarships Erasmus and Chevening (and yes, best performace prize for both Masters). I also made my dream come true, setting up my international training workshops in the Uk and published 4 books. I believe more and more that the first step to any achievement is to break the shell to fully lead their life.
The more I went, the more people I met, I feel hurt to see them keep themselves in the shell. At the same time, I also feel excited because I know I can help them, and when they break it - the shell - they will shine and make a difference in a way they cannot imagine!
Have you ever experienced it in your life? And somehow you see it in your children or the youth somewhere? Living in the shell? Or maybe you have experienced...breaking the shell or seeing someone doing it and then shine with their full potential!
If you have! Then we have same mission and we can work together to embrace the potential of the Youth!
I have founded different projects related to empowering youth to be the leaders of their life and yes first breaking the shell of lack of confidence then developing essential leadership capabilities needed in the 21st century. Our projects till 2018 include Be the Leaders, Start with Green (Green Start), and Speaking Gym.
We are an organization based in Vietnam that functions as a community providing people-training on personal development and leadership development. We want to expand to other Asian countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia, China, Thailand or India and build (and maintain!) connections with western countries like the UK, the United States, Spain or Germany.
JEN’S COACHING CLIENTS STORIES
“Thank you so much, Jen VuHuong. My girl is really inspired with full energy to get out of her shell. I am also inspired by her empowered voice this late afternoon after being with you. Love you so much.
Thank you so much for the wonderful time you share with my teenager. It helps her tremendously to define who she wants to be❤️ the plan she made after being with you really touched my heart.
— Student's mother - Nguyen Dam
“I don’t know how did she do it, but during the conversation she helped me to realize what do I really want, and it feels like it was all already in me, I just didn’t know how to find it. I really couldn’t be happier, now everything makes more sense and I get up every morning very motivated with a lot of energy to reach new goals.
— Office manager - Agata Kaniecka
“I have attended several workshops of international trainers, but it is the first time that I have felt myself in each second during your workshop without any distraction. Thanks for your sharing that empowers us to be courageous to be ourselves.
— _ Leo Vu, Istart
“If your mind’s in a whirl, or you have any problems, situations or feelings which you don’t understand or can’t cope with, I urge you to go to see Jen for wise guidance on how to move forward
— Marketing director - Jeremy Fraser