New Addition

Amy and I have a huge announcement.  We have been working on a domestic adoption for the past year and a half, and I'm excited to report we have a match.  I’ll tell you more later this month.


Huang Family Newsletter, February 2015

Crazy month for the Huangs.  Lee had many work deadlines plus several short business trips (NYC x3, Wilmington x3, Connecticut).  Amy continues to juggle many patients at work.  We celebrated Jada's 10th birthday, and Aaron is about to test up to yellow belt in karate.


Staying Sane

As an introvert who is tasked with very extroverted kinds of responsibilities on a daily basis (running meetings, leading teams, networking), it is paramount that I find ways to rejuvenate my constantly depleting social energies.  Here are some of my methods:

1. Friday night.  Setting my schedule for the week ahead, catching up on email, and recording notes on meetings I've had from the past week makes me feel less scattered.

2. Early to bed with a book.  Alas, more often than not now I am either out late or have to work late, but when I don't you can find me under the covers with my nose in a good read.

3. Morning routine.  This gets thrown if I'm out or up too late the night before, but where possible I get a jump on the day by praying, reading my Bible, checking my email, exercising, showering, and making my day's to-do list...all before anyone else is up in the house

4. Me time on the weekend.  The four of us can often be found all doing our own things, so while we enjoy together time it's nice to have solo time too, which I usually use to watch stand-up comedy on Netflix or to play a little piano. 

5. Blogging.  My head is constantly buzzing with thoughts, so recording some of them on my blog lowers the volume a little (I only wish I could share more, but for work's sake I prefer to be discreet about my opinions and encounters).


Too Long for a Tweet, Too Short for a Blog Post XV

Here's an excerpt from a book I finished earlier this month, "His Excellency: George Washington," by Joseph Ellis. 

There it was, simple and profound.  At the personal level, Washington was declaring that he had sufficient control over his ambitions to recognize that his place in history would be enhanced, not by enlarging his power, but by surrendering it.  He was sufficiently self-confident, assured about who he was and what he had achieved, to ignore all whisperings of his indispensability.  At the ideological level, Washington was declaring that he instinctively understood the core principle of republicanism, that all legitimate power derived from the consent of the public.  He did not agree with the versions of republicanism that emphasized the elimination of executive power altogether, and that opposed energetic government as a violation of all that the American Revolution meant.  But he was a republican in the elemental sense that he saw himself as a mere steward for a historical experiment in representative government larger than any single person, larger than himself; an experiment in which all leaders, no matter how indispensable, were disposable, which was what a government of laws and not of men ultimately meant.


Danger is Lying Nearby

Image result for brian williams memeIn just a few short weeks, Brian Williams has gone from trusted media sage to embattled half-truther to Internet meme.  Funny or sad, it should also be instructive.

I know - personally or professionally - people who have fallen in similar ways, and I myself am not immune to the opportunity or the temptation.  Whether in business, politics, or even social services, whether for fame or money or power, it is seductive to misrepresent yourself or otherwise abuse your position for personal gain.  Oh the internal conversations we have with ourselves, to defend or compartmentalize or convince: no one will know, I deserve this, it's for a greater good.  Such is how character erodes over time until nothing is left and it all falls off the cliff. 

We may lament Brian Williams' fall or have a laugh at his expense, but let us be wary of times we may be in a similar situation, to not act in the same way.  I know I am susceptible, so I am being cautious.


Responsible Banking Act

My firm has had the privilege of working with the New York City Department of Finance and the newly formed Community Investment Advisory Board to produce the first reports related to the recently passed Responsible Banking Act.  These reports are similar to the ones we do every year for the City of Philadelphia to shed light on how banks are doing in terms of home lending, business lending, and branch locations in low-income communities.  Equitable access to financial services and products is crucial to a functioning economy and a just society, and I am honored to play a role in informing the discussion through research, analysis, and discourse.

As part of this process, hearings are held in every borough of New York City, and these past two weeks I've attended three of the five.  You can find out more and look at video here.  Our Needs Assessment report will be completed in April and our Annual Report in November. 


Recommended Reads, 19th in a Quarterly Series

Stuff I've read lately that I'd recommend:

Colonel Roosevelt (Morris).  The long-awaited third in the TR trilogy.  Not nearly as fast-paced as his ascendance and presidency, but still captivating.

Vision of the Anointed (Sowell) and The Future and Its Enemies: The Growing Conflict Over Creativity, Enterprise, and Progress (Postrel).  I blogged about these two books late last year.

Try This: Traveling the Globe Without Leaving the Table (Freeman).  Delightful exploration into different cuisines.  You will be hungry and frisky after reading this.

http://lalalovelythings.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/reading-bethan2.jpgSteve Jobs (Isaacson).  Fantastic insights into a brilliant yet flawed man.  Must read for business bio readers and non-readers alike.

The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life (Schroeder).  Another brilliant yet flawed man.  To use the book's central analogy, it's fascinating to see the snowball pick up snow over time.