Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

In tech companies and startups, we’ve heard about and practice modern leadership with radical candor, transparency, and vulnerability. We want to bring our whole selves to work and be an authentic leader. We want to do this while delivering on impact and performance to the company.

But does being transparent and vulnerable work all the time? How much is too much? What if the company isn’t set up with the right performance incentives to enable authenticity? What if the company has set up a system of cross-org competition that rewards aggressive behavior? …


Torn poster on a green wall saying: Change is coming. whether your like it or not!
Torn poster on a green wall saying: Change is coming. whether your like it or not!
Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

So you think you want a change. There’s something you want to be different in your life. Perhaps your CEO friend got her own executive coach. Perhaps you’ve been wondering if there’s something you can do to work on some of your growth feedback. Perhaps you’d like to be a better leader and figure out the secrets that everyone else seems to know.

Most of my clients have never worked with a coach before. They’re typically in the technology and/or creative fields given my design background. People seek out coaching because they want something to be different in their lives…


Woman in mid-air jumping between two cliffs
Woman in mid-air jumping between two cliffs
Photo by Sammie Chaffin on Unsplash

What causes you fear?

For many people in a professional setting, there’s a fear of public speaking and expressing your opinion. It can be on a large stage, perhaps TEDx in front of tens of thousands of people, fully mic-ed and camera-ready. It can be in a leadership meeting where you feel like you don’t quite belong, yet you have something to say. You see that something isn’t right in the work being presented, or the consensus of sameness in the room and you want to speak up and voice your opinion. …


Asian woman holding up a wire heart with bright blobs of light behind her and lights in the darkness in the background
Asian woman holding up a wire heart with bright blobs of light behind her and lights in the darkness in the background
Photo by Bart LaRue on Unsplash

I am a Thai woman, of Chinese heritage and a first-generation immigrant. I’ve spent 22 years working in tech before leaving corporate to start my own business coaching and advising leaders in tech. Last year, after the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor amongst many others, I started introspecting about my own role in racism, and remembering the casual racism of my youth. I wrote about my Asian privilege where in the world of Silicon Valley and tech, I’d personally experienced far more sexism than racism. This is when I first encountered the term “model minority,” often used to…


Silhouette of people walking along a ridge with a pink sky behind
Silhouette of people walking along a ridge with a pink sky behind
Photo by Jehyun Sung on Unsplash

I’ve worked with many people through the years both as a design leader in tech and now as a leadership coach. Many people continue to associate leadership with management, believing that you’re only a “real leader” when you have direct reports. This is a common limiting belief that we put on ourselves when we’re individual contributors. And on the other side of the coin, there’s been many years of my life when I’ve been a terrible manager of people. I had zero skills or training on how to lead and that negatively impacted the lives of people reporting to me.


Cute black puppy lying down and mournfully waiting
Cute black puppy lying down and mournfully waiting
Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash

Waiting. Waiting. Waiting.

We might be waiting to hear back after a fantastic interview for a dream job, a pitch for funding, or that sales meeting that could save the business. We’ve all been there and many of my clients are actively waiting to hear back about something right now.

This isn’t a great place to be, especially not for active, high-performers who are used to springing into action. It feels like everything has been done—all the prep work before the meeting, showing up and presenting yourself well, and the requisite follow-ups afterwards. …


Bees flying into a hive
Bees flying into a hive
Photo by Damien TUPINIER on Unsplash

Many high-achieving professionals in tech at some point in their career find that their work has become their identity. In certain years, this can be a really good thing. Having the drive and capacity to pour all your energy into a professional endeavor is what powers innovation from both startups and larger tech companies. Yet, the danger zone of this is when life feels imbalanced. This imbalance happens when your work is your only identity and when things aren’t going well, especially in times of transition or stress. As we approach the one-year mark of the pandemic, we’ve seen the…


Handwritten sign on a wood tag amidst a cluster of wooden tags: We have been dying since We got here and forgot to enjoy the view. live fully.
Handwritten sign on a wood tag amidst a cluster of wooden tags: We have been dying since We got here and forgot to enjoy the view. live fully.
Photo by Randy Tarampi on Unsplash

“Don’t be silly all women have imposter syndrome.”

A male coach had offered to help one of my clients with her imposter syndrome and when she told him that she thought her problem was possibly the opposite, he cut her off with those words.

This story made my blood boil. I’ve long had issue with the term imposter syndrome. I wrote in From Imposter Syndrome to Pioneer Syndrome:

Perhaps imposter syndrome isn’t a bad thing. If you’re feeling a little bit intimidated and out of your element, it’s likely a sign that you’re playing in the big leagues. You don’t…


Sleeping red fox on a wood plank with lush trees in the background
Sleeping red fox on a wood plank with lush trees in the background
Photo by Derek Liang on Unsplash

I used to work out regularly with a personal trainer, Cam. This was when we still had in-person gyms and the camaraderie of sweating and grunting together. I got a personal trainer to keep me more accountable and to help me with the mechanics of strength training. As I aged, I wanted to build functional muscle strength in my entire body and particularly get stronger in my upper body to build up paddle power for surfing. I didn’t care how much I lifted or achieving personal record (PR) numbers. Or so I thought. It turns out that I’m pretty competitive…


Groups of penguins together in South Georgia against mountainous backdrops and pink clouded sky
Groups of penguins together in South Georgia against mountainous backdrops and pink clouded sky
Photo by Ian Parker on Unsplash

The term “leader” can be problematic. Some of us hear the word a lot but we don’t necessarily know what it means. As a leadership coach, I help people find their strengths and unique voice to perform better at work, develop stronger relationships, and amplify their growth + impact at the organization. Yet I also hear from many people that they’re not leaders because:

  • I don’t manage people. I’m not the boss.
  • I do manage people, but I’m not good at it.
  • I don’t have the skills or training to be a good leader.

One of the most important parts…

Tutti Taygerly

Leadership coach & champion of difficult people; designer of human experiences; ex-Facebook; surfer, traveller, mom; tuttitaygerly.com

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