“A mentor is someone who sees more talent and ability within you, than you see in yourself, and helps bring it out of you.”
- Bob Proctor
Being leader is not an easy job, especial being leader for a social organization with many challenges but big vision as Vietnam Social Health Revolution (VSHR). One of our mentors, Ms. Pham Tran Dan Thi – Leader of Healthcare Book project, is a role model for the life of a typical leader of the team.
Expect the unexpected
As a pharmacist, Ms. Thi is busy with her daily tasks from works; however, she is interested in social development which leads her to a workshop organized by VSHR. During that event, she felt so inspired by the speech of Founder & President of VSHR – John Masud Parvez. Then, turning from impression to motivation, she became a member of VSHR, jump in projects, and soon be one of the VSHR leadership team member.
Wow, such a beautiful Saturday morning, and you are here, at VSHR office?
Sure, VSHR is my favorite place for weekend. I have been here on weekends in the last one year. Today, I have a meeting for Healthcare Book project, but before that, I have a sharing session with contestants of Vietnam’s Amazing Student Contest.
That sounds great, can you share more about the interesting works that keep you “sacrificed” personal time in the last one year?
Honestly, I came to VSHR without any expectation about anything.
At first, it is just a one in a millions social works. Then, as good things take time, after few months, I involved in bigger projects and decided to be more proactive in leadership roles. And that’s where life happens, expect the unexpected, I saw so many people come and leave, sometimes I feel up and down, too. It is hard for making work-life balance, so definitely even harder for work-life-social contribution balance, and of course, extremely hard for a pharmacist in Vietnam. (smile)
To me, the works at VSHR bring me a lot of chances for doing things that I have never done in my life or career. For example, my main work is about pharmacy, so I don’t engage much with the marketing as content, fan-pages, videos, … So VSHR is the organization that give me opportunities to try and learn new things. Fortunately, those task support me improve my skills that recently, when I have promoted in my main work which demand some marketing knowledge then I already have the experiences and yes, confidence! So true that you do the good things and good things come back to you.
Actions speak louder than words
It’s interesting how words, said by another people, can change the way we feel about ourselves, but it is not the best part yet, the most amazing thing is about how we can turn words into actions that create values.
What make you want to go with VSHR in a long run?
Well, if you are lacking in motivation at work, for instance, you possibly might consider “Should I Quit?” – And that’s just the top of the iceberg. Finding the time for VSHR with the mission to help people, my and our Vietnamese people are what make me feel like a reward. Sure, there are many social club and organizations out there, experiencing the very same thing and sharing same vision; but the outstanding and different of VSHR is, putting it into two words – VSHR makes you feel that you’re not alone, never. VSHR Focus on United Nations SDGs, not just by words but actually by ‘DOING’ it.
Here, we are not a company and not “family style” as others, at VSHR we are all partners, there is no managers but all “leaders” as our founder’s statement. Everyone will have chances to access the non-stop learning process. Always, there are new things to learn as well as “good to know” things.
What does it means as “not family style”?
Uhm, every day we have a lot of people who want to join and actually, they become VSHR members, but just a few days, then they disappear. If you are looking for a short-term social organization, it’s ok. But it would be better if you think “out of the box” and start to consider about “sustainability”. We are working as a social organization that value the “actions” not just words. Yes! Everyone can come up with a lot of ideas, concept, views,… but not everyone is willing to turn those ideas into actions.
After some case, the people development department has come up with the “culture” as a professional organization with self-commitment and self –motivation, as it helps the whole team keep moving forwards with outcomes.
It’s not a company with KPIs but it is not a fun party too, so, there will not be that “easy” forgiveness when you break your commitment. So, the tasks and actions are all there. Just do it!
Passion is the key!
During the interview, Ms. Dan Thi also shared about the challenges of being a leader of a social organization which commitment is another story.
What are the most difficulties during your time with VSHR at first as member, then to become leader of a team with 20 people?
To me, not only with VSHR but the most difficult things is all about expectation that determines everything that is happening to one’s life. Just in the same way as positive words can make you smile when you are down, or a funny quotation can make you laugh – VSHR brings to me both happiness and sadness, it’s true. This means that, the challenges of being a team member or leader are always there, it’s about your expectation and other things related like: personal time, hobbies, family, friends…. it is better to keep thinking about positive impacts that what VSHR do and I am a part of it instead of getting upset about what I missed in my life while spending time for social works.
Do you have any message to your team?
Uhm,…I start to love what I am doing now. And I believe that my team will do the same, too! (smile)
“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”
— John Quincy Adams
Thank you so much Ms. Dan Thi for such an interesting talk, wish your journey with VSHR will be always full of enjoyment, hope to see you soon in our next mentor interview!