YMCA Marin

Firstly, I must congratulate the Y for leading such a great initiative when it comes to healthy living. I read through the information provided on the Y website and can see the impact that the Y has already had in the community – kudos to you!


What do you think are the biggest opportunities and barriers for individuals and families to lead a healthy lifestyle? What role can the Y play to address these opportunities and barriers?

I have presented the barriers via an infographic shown below. As an active member of the Y, I am aware of how the Y currently has addressed some of the issues and have shown them in the infographic too!

Issues Infographic

The Y has done a phenomenal job to try and lower the barriers to encourage its members to live healthy lifestyles. In addition to what has already been implemented, I believe having a stronger and more targeted marketing campaign that raises the awareness of the Y and its services will prove beneficial. With the world becoming more digital and Facebook Live as the new trend, perhaps hosting a Facebook Live session to provide information about healthy living to the community could be a good tool to use.

In addition, it may also be a useful exercise to use Human Centered Design principles to deeply empathize with members of our community and design a solution to their problems through prototyping and testing as shown via the infographic below. I believe the Human Centered Design process can be used to address the big issue of self-consciousness. It would be great to discuss further during our interview on Friday 2nd September!

Human Centered Design

What does healthy living mean to you personally?

Tell me about the last time you stepped out of your comfort zone and what you learned from the experience?

As part of the MBA we went through a Leadership Development program which enabled us to self-reflect on our strengths and areas for improvement. I have always been the person to take the lead and initiate any task or project. Most of the time this is a great attribute to have but our Leadership Coaches informed me that I may be hindering other members of my team from contributing and taking the lead in the task using their own authentic style. Therefore, I took the feedback positively and worked on becoming a more ‘dynamic’ leader instead, by enabling other members of my team to lead but also demonstrating my presence and leading sub-tasks. At the beginning this was very hard for me as I’m always looking for new challenges to execute any plan or strategy that has been devised. When working with my teams during the MBA, I had to stop myself from always taking the lead. My gut instinct always pushed me to stand up and deliver but I had to control my impulse. I had to control my patience and believe in the process for my personal development and the development of my team members. As the project progressed, it became easier for me to control my impulse but at the same time, the other team members who were at first apprehensive to take the lead, eventually stood up and led with passion, motivation and determination! This experience taught me that I don’t always have to take the lead and at times it is OK to take a step back and let others take the baton. I also learnt that trust and a collaborative team environment is built when every team member owns an aspect of the project and is held accountable for their respective task.

Tell me about a time you created a strategic vision for your team, staff, etc. What were the steps you took and how did you implement?

In 2014, I had the vision to host the first traffic-free, community based triathlon event in Bristol, UK. At first, I didn’t know where to start but as I began the journey to hosting the event, all the pieces fell into place very nicely!

I first began by telling my close friends who were into triathlon about the project and if they would consider volunteering their time to support me in the project. I had to ensure that the people who wanted to be part of the core management team needed to share the same vision as I had. Every team member’s vision needed to be aligned to ensure we are sailing in the same direction. Therefore, after reaching out to several people and also to the local triathlon clubs, I met up with those who were interested over a coffee and at times in a group socializing environment. This process enabled me to get a better idea of how the person would integrate within the team and also identify the strengths and motivations of each person.

After about a month of meeting over 30 people, I hosted a ‘meet and greet’ event. I booked a conference room and arranged for refreshments to be served for those who came. I delivered a presentation which I prepared summarizing the project, timeline, requirements, roles available and the amount of time each person would have to spend on a weekly basis to ensure the project runs efficiently and smoothly.

I then informed everyone that if they wished to volunteer or if anyone had any further questions, they could reach out to me and we could discuss further.

In summary, I wanted to work with a team who mutually shared the same values and mission, and had skills that complimented each other. If these aspects were part of the team’s core competency, then executing the project would be far easier!

Tell me how you would build relationships in the community specifically around health care providers in Marin County.

I would break this process into several steps as described below:

  1. Build database of health care providers
    1. Assess existing partners
    2. Online research
    3. Collaborating with existing Y employees who have experience in this area
  2. Identify a common goal and vision that both the Y and health care provider share.
  3. Communicate that the Y and the health care provider share similar goals and working together will enable both to address a larger market and deliver their respective missions.
  4. Invite providers to the Y for them to see and assess facilities (probably provide free lunch or refreshments such as coffee, pastry, etc) – it’s part of relation building!
  5. Develop trust as this is the holy grail that keeps relationships strong!
  6. Always be willing to help – your favor will be returned in some form or another!

Marin County Health Providers