Introverts – Finding Your Voice

In this week’s The Faces of Business Episode, our guest speaker was Stephen Lu. Stephen is a Public Speaker and Career Coach. Apart from this, he is also the Obsolescence Project Manager at Lockheed Martin. Stephen found his voice when he started helping people learn more about LinkedIn and their career paths.  since Then Stephen has released over 150 videos sharing his knowledge and interviewing people.

Finding your voice is quite often a challenge for introverts. But there are people who did that and are succeeding at it too. In today’s episode, we learned how to find our own voices.

In this week’s The Faces of Business Episode, our guest speaker was Stephen Lu. Stephen is a Public Speaker and Career Coach. Apart from this, he is also the Obsolescence Project Manager at Lockheed Martin. Stephen found his voice when he started helping people learn more about LinkedIn and their career paths.  since Then Stephen has released over 150 videos sharing his knowledge and interviewing people.

The conversation started with Damon asking Stephen about his past and how he got into engineering. To this, Stephen responded saying that he was born and raised in Silicon Valley. This is why he opted to do Computer Engineering when he grew up.

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Moreover, he chose this subject because he liked to see things in action. After this Stephen shared how he got into Lockheed Martin. Apart from this, he also shared his story of how he got into the Leadership Development Program at Martin.

Stephen said that when he applied for the first year, he didn’t get in. However, he got in when he applied for the second time. Further, into the conversation, Stephen shared his current role at Lockheed and what he does there.

He said that he works as an Obsolescence Project Manager. In this role, he makes sure that there is a consistent supply chain. Apart from this, he also said that the projects he does, each take preparation beforehand, then comes the actual project and after that, there is the report of the project.

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Therefore, according to Stephen, each project takes around two to three years minimum. After this Damon shifted the conversation to finding your voice. He asked Stephen how he found that voice.

To this Stephen said that, when he first got rejected at the LDP, he joined the PAAN for some skill development. This is when he said, he started creating videos about various things. After this, Stephen shared his experience of finding your voice.

He said that he took upon a 52-week video challenge where he created one video every week. This is how he started building his confidence and improved greatly.

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Further, into the conversation, Stephen explained a bit more about his 52-week challenge and finding your voice. He said that he made a list of all the things he learned in his training and divided them into 52 videos. This is how he completed his challenge.

After this, Stephen said that he still classifies himself as an introvert and said that he is the loudest person at a networking event yet he does get tired of this.

The conversation ended with Damon thanking Stephen for his presence.

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Damon Pistulka, Stephen Lu


Damon Pistulka  00:02

All right, everyone, Welcome once again to the faces of business. I’m your host, Damon Pistulka. And with me today, I’ve got Stephen Lewis. Thanks so much for being here, Steven.


Stephen Lu  00:13

Yeah, it’s an absolute pleasure. I’m happy to be here.


Damon Pistulka  00:16

Yeah, it’s it’s cool. I’ve been looking forward to this a long time. You know, we met I think it was probably over a year ago. Now, when we were on a networking call with with some other live streamers. And this was before, you had already been doing a lot of live stream before I had done any. So I think it was a quite a while and I’d watched your stuff. And it’s great to get you on.


Stephen Lu  00:37

Yeah. Thanks for thanks for sharing that. Yeah.


Damon Pistulka  00:40



Stephen Lu  00:40



Damon Pistulka  00:41

this is this is fun, because we’re trying to we’re going to talk today about introverts finding their voice. And I think it’s, it’s, it’s really nice to be able to talk about that because there’s a lot of people that look at video and live streaming go, Wow, I can’t do that. I’m not an extrovert. I don’t like to get in front of a camera, blah, blah, blah, you know, and there’s a lot of reasons not to do it. I don’t like what I look like. I mean, hell, that’s, that’s what a lot of us, you know, whatever it is, there’s all kinds of reasons that people tell themselves, they shouldn’t do it. But it’s cool to see you’ve done it.

We’ll talk about your videos, you got over 150 videos, you’re helping people, not only you got a full time job, which we’ll talk about that because you got a cool full time job. And then we’ll want to talk about your your work as a public speaker, career coach, video teacher, that kind of stuff, too. So let’s start out man, you You are a smart Dude, you got a degree in Computer Engineering? What the heck, that’s that’s cool, man. That’s cool. So what what really got you into computer engineering? Because you got to? That’s not one that people would pick right off the bat.


Stephen Lu  01:51

Yeah, good. Good question. You make me dig all the way back here. But uh, yeah, but I was in high school. I knew I wanted to get into some sort of engineering. Because I like being hands on, like building things and taking things apart and figuring out how things work, things like that. Yeah. But like the specifics of why Computer Engineering, I think it’s just because of where I was. So I’ve been in the Silicon Valley, my whole life grew up here, went to school here. And I said, Well, you’re in the middle of Silicon Valley, you might as well learn computer engineering.

So went into college, didn’t have any programming experience, which really was a challenge. Because the students who did that in high school, and yeah, education with coding, and programming isn’t as prevalent prevalent. Back then, as it was, you know, today when you have like, elementary school kids coding, but yeah, well, that’s, that’s what I did. And I studied computer engineering. What I really liked about computer engineering is it’s a combination of hardware and software.

Yeah, those were the projects I really enjoyed the most. For example, one of the classes in my embedded systems class, I worked in a team and we had two RC cars that were store bought. And then we took them apart, we added our own motors, we added our own sensors, we added your wireless communication devices, things like that. And we wrote code for it. And the idea was that we can drive one car anywhere, and then the second car can follow it on its own while avoiding obstacles.

So just kind of that combination of hardware, as well as writing code for it. And then seeing things move, seeing things take action. That was the most exciting part of it, when I was studying computer engineering in school.


Damon Pistulka  03:32

That’s pretty cool. That’s pretty cool. And I forgot when we got on, so if anyone’s got any comments, go ahead and drop them in the comments on on LinkedIn, Facebook, wherever you’re listening, and we will get back to those as well, because we’re watching those in the in the windows two. So that is, that’s interesting. So that the Yeah, you just think about the combination of hardware and software because everything now is a combination of hardware and software, even the cars we drive.

It’s the simple things now that the appliances in our home, you know, they’ve got software to run the the washing machines now and things like that. So it’s obviously different. not that complicated in some respects. But there’s a lot of stuff that goes on in the everyday things now.


Stephen Lu  04:19

Yeah, absolutely. I mean, Everywhere you look, you know, all these smart devices. You know, it’s it’s software and hardware, it’s it’s everywhere. So I think that’s a good thing to learn. And it makes you a little more versatile, right? You can have a full hardware job or you can have a full software job. You can go either way there.


Damon Pistulka  04:36

Yeah, yeah. Well, that’s cool. So let’s, let’s fast forward a little bit. So you get your degree and you start working for Lockheed Martin. And you’ve been at Lockheed Martin a while and we’ll talk about that a little bit. And, and you got in there leadership development program. I want to talk about that, like that’s super cool, dude, and that you’re able to do that. But what drew you into Lockheed Martin?


Stephen Lu  04:59

Yeah, But to be honest, I was applying for a bunch of internships. This was my This was my senior kind of I did a four and a half year thing. So yeah, seniors a little, a little a little vague there. But I was applying for internships for the summer, and I was graduating December. But what happened was Locky reached out to me and said, Hey, you know, we want you to come in for a full time interview. I said, Oh, that’s perfect. Yeah, let me come in for a full time interview. So basically, I interviewed for my full time job eight months before I graduated, but it was more more of a misunderstanding.

They had my old resume. So they do it either way, I actually pushed it back. It was because, you know, they took so long to get back to me that my resume was out of date. But anyways, one of the managers liked me enough and decided to hire me. I just had to wait eight months after I graduated to start working there. So at that point, I mean, I didn’t have any other offers.

I talked to a TA, who used to work at Lockheed to say, Yo, this is, What’s your thoughts on Lockheed? And, you know, should I take the offer things like that? And, you know, again, nothing but positive things to say. So that’s what I did. And yeah, basically, you had a job offer eight months for I graduated and, you know, really had true senior writers my final semester in school.


Damon Pistulka  06:13

Yeah, no doubt, because you’re sitting there with offer in hand, and you’re ready to go. And you’ve been lucky now. I’m just kind of flicking through the years here. It’s been seven years, seven years. Yeah. Yeah. That’s cool. So you got selected for a leadership development program. Now that that’s pretty, pretty unique, because it’s, they don’t just give it out to a ton of engineers and lucky, do they?


Stephen Lu  06:37

Oh, it was definitely a selective process. And I, I applied about two years into the company, and I got rejected. Sorry, I’ll go into a little more detail about that. And one of the stories later, but I came back the next year and you know, got in and it’s you know, you apply, you got right application, you got apply, explain why you’re good candidate, you got to have your manager, you got to have Oh, people write letters of recommendation. And then you go into an interview when they ask you questions on the basis more like behavioral or situational questions about your potential leadership skills.

So that’s where I failed my advice, the first time where I made it to interview but I wasn’t prepared for it. So I worked on it. And the following year, I did get in so the year I got it, I think there’s about like 90 people that applied. And let me see here it was it 25 of you and the 15 that’s selected. So yeah, definitely very, very selective and very competitive.


Damon Pistulka  07:33

Yeah, yeah. Cool. And and is that what part it was part of that then to you to get your masters in science and engineering? Or was that along with you doing your master’s in science and engineering?


Stephen Lu  07:45

It was it was a parallel, but as being part of the the program, there were definitely some perks with it. One of the big purse was we got to waive the yearly tuition reimbursement cap. So really trying to do my Masters, or even if I got in or not, because at that point, it was the second time I was applying for the program. And you know, I got in, I was like, Okay, I’m going to accelerate my master’s program, I’m going to take more classes, I’m gonna take summer classes. Because at that point, I was the pace I was going was going to be four years, and I wouldn’t have to pay anything out of pocket, because I’ll get everything fully reimbursed.

Yeah, yeah, I try to compress it, I lose a year’s worth of investment. But since I gone to the leadership development program, they waive that requirement. So I was like, Okay, I’ll graduate in three years. And I’m glad I did, because my last year would have been last year during the pandemic, so Oh, yeah. Good decision there.


Damon Pistulka  08:34

Yeah, that is, that’s really cool. And I say, Hello, Amanda, listening to us. Awesome. Thanks a lot. Thanks for the support. Cool. So the so we’re talking about that you’re lucky Martin. Now let’s talk about your, your, your work there a little bit now as you’re an obsolescence project manager. So kind of explain what that is. What are you really doing there?


Stephen Lu  08:59

Yeah, that’s a good question. It’s, uh, I mean, I don’t even notice but also less than sometimes, but it’s, so I’m a project manager. And then the types of projects I manage are related to parts obsolescence, which which relate to supply chain, basically, what obsolescence means is, we have 1000s of parts on our product, and we want to make sure we have a constant, consistent supply chain, but sometimes, you know, parts go obsolete, you know, the supplier can’t find a certain material anymore, or supply goes out of business or for any other reason.

So the idea is that we want to have enough of a heads up that aid you know, the supply wants to exit the business or you know, they’re there even downstream supply chain has issues. So we want to make sure we are on top of that, and then we can plan. We have enough time to plan and identify a replacement part to replace that one and and go through all the testing all the qualification of it to make sure it meets all the requirements before we run out the current part.

So there’s always this this hard deadline at the end of the Yeah, let’s say you have 100 parts, you use 10 a month, you’re gonna be out in 10 months, but you can’t Yeah, you can’t change that. So, so those are the types of projects, I manage those a lot of it’s working with the supplier, identifying the replacement. And once that’s identified, making sure that we come up with a good qualification plan, making sure it meets all the requirements and, you know, going through the testing, and this testing, it’s, it’s it’s rigorous, right, because, you know, we were getting a fence.

So you know, you got to make sure you want to make sure it meets all the requirements. And like I said, we have 1000s of parts, but we can’t go the whole product if we’re missing just one part. So, you know, what I work on is really important. And it’s definitely challenging, as I said, with a hard schedule, our deadline was because of the party.


Damon Pistulka  10:45

Yeah, and no doubt, and most people may not think about the the critical nature of every single component, right, because you can’t just substitute this little bolt for a different little ball that goes in the wing of a jet, it just doesn’t, you just can’t because that that might ruin the jet, you know, in the wrong situations or something like that, or, or whatever the application is. But that that is really something that too, I bet you get compress schedules A lot of times, because you’re going to run out of parts and the testing alone, the certification of the new replacement product takes you right up to the end.


Stephen Lu  11:24

Or sometimes it’s past it. And then we got to find different strategies. Sometimes we just go to the supplier, say, Hey, give us all the material you have, we’ll buy all of it. And that pushes out the meet date, or we find ways to celebrate our schedule, we find things where we can say, Oh, you know, this part was used by another supplier. And it’s worked for them. And we make the argument that it’s similar enough that we don’t have to go through all the testing. So you know, most of the time, it’s Ideally, you want to have enough heads up.

But there’s challenges. And that’s a couple of my projects, where, hey, we’re past the deadline, like just right off the bat before even starting. So how we’re going to fix that, and is just coming up with strategies to mitigate that. So far. I’m you know, all my projects are good work. Yeah. Well, often going, I was definitely a challenging part for that project starts you didn’t know your your schedule is broken.


Damon Pistulka  12:13

Yeah. Yeah. And and when you talk about this, when you when you talk about lead times and stuff, so just if you just had a typical testing cycle on a new component, what what’s an average, if you looked at is it two weeks, three weeks, 12 weeks, 25 weeks. And then on getting new product approved?


Stephen Lu  12:32

I mean, the testing part, it could be anywhere, it’s more like three to six months, you’re negotiating with the supplier, right? You’re saying, hey, supplier, go test this part. So you can work in the whole contracts thing you’re working, the whole preparation of this is how we’re going to test it getting all the documents approved, getting all the drawings, approved, the testing and stuff, yeah, it’s three to six months, but all the preparation beforehand. And once you’re done with testing, you got to write the report, you got to get that approved, you know, by by the customer as well. So it’s a lot, it’s a long timeline. So most of these projects are two to three years long, at the minimum.


Damon Pistulka  13:06

Oh, that’s awesome. That’s awesome. Two to three years. And and you know, that’s, it’s interesting in the in the aerospace and defense, because those lead times are not uncommon, that’s real typical. And most people that are in the commercial sector, you’d be looking at something like that, well, 90 days, they could probably get something that’s approved and you know, with a drawing review and materials, review, whatever and then certified and go, but it is really interesting with aerospace and defense how that that the critical nature, obviously, first of all, but it changes that timeline so much.


Stephen Lu  13:39

Yeah, you can’t just you know, bias by pour it off the shelf, right? Yeah. Are you great SP, whatever, asked me all these different standards, so it’s not as easy finding a direct replacement part.


Damon Pistulka  13:50

Yeah. Well, and that’s, that’s really something to do you. Do you ever find where it’s a custom part where you’re just like, we can’t make this again, we’re gonna have to redesign all the all the equipment that’s in the field.


Stephen Lu  14:05

I would say it’s more like we’ll do a redesign. So if there’s a certain like, sub system where multiple parts are going obsolete, that we do redesign where we don’t need these parts could do, like I said, each of these projects, you know, two to three years, right? You multiply that by five by 10. And then it’s a lot of money, or you can just do a redesign. Yes, it costs a lot of money for a single project. But at least you know, you get rid of that you find parts that you know, will have a long, long term supply chain. Yeah.


Damon Pistulka  14:35

Yeah. That’s cool. That’s really cool. I mean, the the project management involved in that over a two year project, I mean, is is just managing all the pieces and making sure they come together at the right times is is quite a feat of project management. I mean, it’s like building a building kind of project management from the ground up. So that’s cool. Well, what What do you like most about what you do?


Stephen Lu  15:04

I think just overall at Lockheed, just knowing what I do makes a difference in the world. Just, you know, with the products I work on, you know, I’m protecting our, our American citizens and protecting the soldiers overseas who are defending this country as well. So just yeah, basically just the mission of what you know what I get to do. And just knowing that, you know, like I said, What I do really makes a difference in the world, right? It’s not like, I’m designing an app or, or something like that. It’s actual, like physical product where, you know, our soldiers get to use on to defend our country.


Damon Pistulka  15:40

Yeah. Yeah, that’s, that’s really cool, man. And I wanted to spend a little time talking about your career and your engineering work that you do, because it is, it is a it is helping our country defend ourselves and, and and the people that are protecting us.

And I think that’s super cool as well. But I want to I wanted to build that up because you were talking about introverts finding their voice and and you and I sitting here today, people will go, Well, he doesn’t sound like he’s an introvert. But you you had to break through and come out of this. And really, you’ve, you’ve done over 150 videos on LinkedIn. So kind of this step back aways and go, what really got you have the mindset where, hey, I want to break out of this. And this might be a way to do it.


Stephen Lu  16:28

Yeah, so I’ll go back to what I shared earlier, when I applied to that leadership development program on and made it to the interview. I wasn’t selected. Yeah. And I asked the program manager asked the program manager for feedback. And he said, you need more leadership experience, which I thought was ironic, because I mean, this is why I’m applying for the leadership development program. You also need more project management experience. So for the project management experience, I decided to go get my masters in engineering management.

So that checked that box. So for the leadership part, I was thinking, well, how can I get leadership experience, right, I’m in a team here where everyone has 20 years of experience, I can’t just come in and become, you know, the lead on a project. So I decided that, Okay, I’m gonna go join an organization at work, we have all these different employee resource groups that focus on the different minorities of minority groups that we have. And it’s okay, I’ll join the pan or the professional Asian American network, I joined that group. And I was the site mentoring and professional development chair that started help get me out out of my shell.

Prior to that I was not part of any clubs or organizations when, which I really, really regret. Yeah, but you know, being part of the organization, I’m coordinating all these different events, I’m coordinating speaking events, I’m coordinating speed mentoring events. And as part of these events, I have to be on stage, introduce the speaker or facilitate the event. So definitely, definitely didn’t come overnight. But just being I guess he’s time just going up there coordinate each events getting a little more comfortable. In those situations, getting more comfortable with public speaking really, really helped.

A year later, I became the site co chair. So now I’m the face of the organization, by emails on a weekly basis, people know me because I’m a part of this organization. And then now I’m running monthly meetings, I’m doing all these different other things. So it really, really helped overall with that. But another thing, which you touched on the videos, that really helped as well, I’m in 2018, I decided to do a 52 week challenge of doing a video every single week on LinkedIn, where I will share some piece of career tips or advice. My first video was absolutely crap. I can joke about it now.

But I mean, I was super nervous. I couldn’t even look at the camera. I was doing a selfie style with the with the with my phone. I couldn’t even look at the camera I you know, it just got stuttering. My voice was quiet and I just didn’t sound confident at all. So but I mean, I always like to bring up that first video and share it on LinkedIn every once in a while just to show people Hey, this is how I used to be. And this is, you know, just weekly every single week putting out video.

The progress Yeah, you see progress over time, it doesn’t come overnight. And just getting more comfortable with putting myself out there just that weekly practice watching my own videos. just noticing my tendencies fixing those over time. In combination with being part of this organization really help me help me break out that kind of introvert shell not saying I’m a full extrovert but being just being more comfortable in general with public speaking with what just having confidence and having that confidence and just being able to talk to anyone at any time really helps in a variety of different situations.


Damon Pistulka  19:38

Yeah, yeah, I think I think you’re right you you were you were forced into being more onstage in the public eye and getting comfortable with it. And that helps them and the videos like you said as you do videos, you look at the first one I think everybody unilaterally says this the first one they go oh man, I was horrible and They don’t realize that, you know, everyone’s like that. The first video it was the first few times it’s gonna be harder and it’s gonna get a little easier and a little easier. So what what are you doing in your videos on LinkedIn? I’d like you to I understand. But if you could explain a little bit your your 52 week challenge you’re doing about job. What you’re doing in your 50 week and 52 week challenge more specifically?


Stephen Lu  20:25

Yeah, so in 2018, I did the 52 week challenge where I actually have a list of things to talk about. Because Yeah, I went through all my notes from all the presentations and seminars and mentors that I had just put together a list because that’s, you know, that’s kind of how I do it, I’d say, Oh, I need 52 things to talk about, I better have a list ready. And I just pulled one item from each of those, which is kind of like best pieces of advice. I think one that the first video I said I had was, was a networking tip that before, before you approach someone at a networking event, you think in your head that I really like you.

And that’s just kind of said I’m excited to talk to this person, I want to get to know this person, and that just changes your, your your demeanor changes your body. Just kind of, if not your peers, but like just kind of how you look. And, and it just reaches some coffee. So when you go talk to him, You sound more confident, and more willing to, to talk to them. So that’s one of the tips there. I just should just tips in general related to career and professional development. You know, time management, resumes, interviews, just a long list of things.

They’re nice only 19, I had a lot of fun with the with a 52 week challenge, I decided to do it all over again. But that time I, you know, I ran out of things to talk about because I didn’t, I ran through my whole list. But I started sharing little things, sharing things that were more personal to me, I started my new job as a project manager. So I did a video about what I do at a new job. And I talked about the things I’ve learned as a project manager, I’m also still doing grad school at the same time. So I talked a lot about dealing with time dealing with stress, and then how to be better at time management.

So I shared a lot of stuff that was more personal, that was relayed to me directly. And that really resonated with with the LinkedIn audience. Because people want to know who you are people just, you know, we’re all human, we all have emotions to our feelings. So just good to hear from someone that just sharing their their feelings of emotion. So, and yeah, fast forward to 20 experimented with different types of videos, I do some cooking videos in the beginning of the year, I did 10 second tip videos, and I just started posting a lot more. Instead of just doing only videos, I realized that that text posts are literally just scripts for my videos.

So I was always a guest writing text posts, because I’m an engineer, I hate writing. But once I realized that it’s really just a script, I just post it and you know, they get a lot more engagement than my videos. So that’s what I started doing. And then this year, my chip, I decided to start a new 52 week challenge. But I’m doing a LinkedIn live stream every single Friday, every single week this year.

So I have number 16 coming up, I believe tomorrow and it just really helps. Again, just continue to get better at public speaking and confidence. You know, with the videos, you can record it, you can edit it, and you can just adjust and do whatever you want to it. But with the live stream, it’s more of a it’s more of a conversation. And it’s unedited, it’s live. So there’s a whole dynamic behind that as well. But I’ve been really, really enjoying it so far.


Damon Pistulka  23:28

Yes, I do. Like the live stream format. I’m not much of a you know, prepare a script and do those kinds of things. Because I really, I look at some of the the, the great interviewers that we see, you know, Larry King, even go back to Johnny Carson, and you look at some of these people that had interviewed just, or David Letterman, 1000s and 1000s of people, Jimmy Kimmel, even any anybody that you want to think about that is interviewed a lot of people, and you watch them and understand it.

What I’ve really learned is that there is an art to it there is or skills like like an engineering their skills that you’d in project management, you develop skills in project management that makes it easier over time, there’s the same thing and interview it and I had, you know, I hadn’t thought about it that way before. And you go out and you can study these people. And if you do that as as you know, it’s it’s really pretty remarkable how you can go Oh, that’s that’s what I want to do. I want to pick up that that little trait right there, that little tip right there and use that and make your your interviews and lives a little bit better.


Stephen Lu  24:35

Yeah, I agree there. I’ve, I’ve learned quite a bit just through my LinkedIn lives. You know, every single guest is different. Every single guest has a different personality. So it’s just being able to adjust. You can’t just be rapid fire all the time where you can’t just be direct all the time. You just have to be able to adjust to, you know, to to guests, and then just you know, because some people like to talk a lot. Some people are sort of like short answers to it. Being able to adjust and ask the right questions to get, you know, kind of a more more detailed answer. Yes,


Damon Pistulka  25:06

Yes, for sure. Well, we got Valerie, she says it, I don’t think we’re promoting that we need to break out interior introverts need to break out. I think it’s just sometimes people feel it feels is what they want to do. And, and, you know, really you, in a lot of respects, you may not have broken out of your shell, you just get more comfortable with doing what you have to do.


Stephen Lu  25:29

Yeah, it’s, uh, you know, I still classify myself as an introvert, I’m not the loudest person in the room, at a networking event, I get tired at networking events as well. So I kind of the, the point I’m trying to make is, you know, you don’t have to be completely shy enough to be completely quiet, it’s okay to get a little uncomfortable to break out of your shell, to post videos to to get more confidence in public speaking. So just look for opportunities to do that. And that’s going to help.

It’ll help you in your career, right? Because you’re going to, at some point in your career, you’re going to, especially for myself, as a project manager, I have to have confidence when I speak, I can’t say, Oh, well, I’m not sure if we’ll finished by the end of this week. No, I have to know one way or the other. If you’re not, yeah, be confident in my answer.

And I’m presented to program management I presented to the customer. You know, I can’t show you know, I can’t show any uncertainty with that. Because that’s shows that I don’t know what I’m doing. So I can just by putting yourself in situations, getting more comfortable with public speaking and building up your confidence really helps. really helps you in your career.


Damon Pistulka  26:36

Yeah, yeah, I think so. Valerie even says that she’s an extreme introvert who loves public speaking. And I think that’s this. Well, you said one thing in there that, that I think as introverts and I am one and I do a lot of video and people would think I’m not but you said one thing that happens to me, if I go to a networking event, I get tired, it drains my energy, because I’m naturally not an extrovert. But I know what we need to do when we’re in those situations. But it’s not a natural reaction for me.

So I myself I don’t know if it’s my mind that does it. But just like you said it just wrong. So true with me because I’ll walk out of a networking event and I am exhausted. And then you see people that are extroverts, my wife is an extrovert and and she will go there get more energy. They don’t want to leave because it’s just like this is this is this is building me up and so so true. So true. So this is this is awesome. So you’re teaching people the videos, the tips, how did how did your cooking videos go? Cuz I remember that now. You said something about the cooking videos. That’s cool. Because we I think we met about the time you were doing cooking videos.


Stephen Lu  27:50

Yeah, I decided to do something new. I shot all the videos on my phone. I edited them all on my phone with the with the apps I had, yes, just do something different. Right? You know, cuz LinkedIn? Yes, it’s professional, but you don’t have to talk about work. You don’t have to talk about career stuff all the time. So it’s one of trying something a little different. I think, yeah, like I said, I made four different videos. One of them was, let me think here.

Well, it’s been a while, you know, basically, one was like my steak recipe number one was making me so salmon, just no random face there. So it’s just something I want to go back and do, it just takes a little more coordination, because you got to move around the kitchen, got to have a camera, camera person with you to help you with that. So little coordination.

But what I’ll be doing actually, for work as part of the agent organization, and I’m in next month is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, the lineup of a variety of events that we have next month, we’re actually going to live cooking classes. So I’ve volunteered myself to do one. So I’ll be doing that sometime next month. So I’ll be shared internally, but you know, don’t get me back into doing cooking videos on LinkedIn, I might do it on LinkedIn live and, and you know, they’ll be like, you know, the one I have to do for work,


Damon Pistulka  29:03

that’d be cool. That’d be cool. Because I’ve thought about that, you know, I’ve you do this. And I thought about some other just fun kind of things that we could get do on live that would be interesting for people, as you said, to get to know more about you more about the person behind what’s going on the video and do those things because it is it is it is about sharing more about yourself and your life and what you’d like to do.

So another thing that you’re doing along with these videos, you started, people started asking you asking you some questions and started asking you about about career stuff. So that, that kind of were you expecting that were you thinking that was gonna happen or just kind of happen organically?


Stephen Lu  29:47

Yeah, that that came out of the pandemic, right. So, you know, a year ago at this point, everyone’s saying, hey, you better come out of the pandemic better than you went in and we all thought it’s gonna be a few months thing. So I decided that Well, I’ve been infected. Literally coaching people with my weekly videos on LinkedIn, I might as well make it more formal. So I rebranded myself on LinkedIn as a career coach and set up a, you know, whole calendly, and zoom and all that stuff.

So I can have coaching calls with people. And so that’s that’s how it started with that rebranding, yes, I’m still a project manager as my full time job. But with the coaching, I do that I do that on site do that I’ll set up work hours, weekends. And so it’s just kind of a culmination of everything I did over the past three years at that point, with all the videos with all the tips I’ve shared, especially with not just the resume and interview prep stuff, but just how to create content on LinkedIn, how to get more confident with with public speaking, how to make videos, as well. So just sharing all that with with anyone who’s who’s willing to learn.


Damon Pistulka  30:44

Yeah, yeah. And it is, and a lot of people struggle to get to take that first step. And if you’re helping them get that first step and get down the road, then oftentimes, it’s like with video, once you do a few, it gets a little better, and you start to find other people that are that are helping you. So what do you enjoy most about that?


Stephen Lu  31:05

Yeah, just just helping people with what I tell a lot of my clients is a, I used to be where you were, I used to be a college student, right? Or I used to be completely scared of posting videos on LinkedIn, because I’m afraid of either I have nothing to say that people care about, or I’m afraid of people judging me on how I look, or how I sound. Whatever thoughts you have in your head right now, I’ve been there before.

So I think that really just sort of seeing like people who are, you know, early on in the careers that, you know, by helping them they’re going to be ahead of where they are than, than I was at their age, right, and just see what they can do, you know, in the future, or later on in the career. So you i think i think i what my journey resonates with a lot of people just going from being assigned to or to getting comfortable with public speaking doing these weekly LinkedIn lives. that resonates with a lot of people. So I see myself and a lot of the people I coach as well.


Damon Pistulka  31:59

Yeah, yeah. And it is I agree. And when you say that, because it’s just, it really is about just being comfortable with yourself. And you said that are they going to think I look fine, and not interested in the topic. And you know, once you get going, and you start doing it, and you understand, and you get to enjoy, like our interactions and just enjoy the people that you’re talking with.

Really there, if the rest of the world likes it great, you will find somebody that some people that will and some people that won’t, but it’s more about making the connection with the people that you’re talking with are the things that you’re doing, you know, like you said in the cooking or, or whatever you’re trying to help people with. So that’s cool. Well, the Yeah, I was looking at looking at a couple other notes that I had here.

So now this has got to be kind of cool. So how many people are in the pan organization and lucky mark, because people don’t understand in a corporation like that when you have the the sub sub clubs or whatever you want to call them and the associations in there. How many people are in that and Lockheed Martin?


Stephen Lu  33:03

Yeah, so we have, let’s see, here, we have five different business areas. I used to be the chair for one of the business areas I stepped down last year to open up the spot for someone who wanted to get wanted to be in a position but I can say at least for the business area. I mean, we have about 1600 people in our Yeah, yeah, in multiplied you know, maybe you can both find that class four or five.

But there’s a lot of different people recently had an event across the corporation about the you know, violence against Asians and you know, the hate and stuff going on in your house, people can help and we had a call where anyone can join right? You can be an ally, you can be agent, you know, whatever. And I joined that it was overnight. Look, there’s at least one to 50 people on that call. And this was like ask this is an after work thing. Not doing the work day. So it was good to see all that support as well.


Damon Pistulka  33:54

Yeah, yeah. Cuz I tell you what, that I will take a second to talk about that. And that’s just absolutely ridiculous. What’s going on? I just get I don’t believe it. I don’t believe it. I never thought that I would see that kind of junk. And I’m just gonna say that’s, that’s where I’m gonna stop because I get angry pretty fast about those things. But it’s good to see that there’s a lot of people participating.

A lot of people come to the conversation around it. I do. I do think I like that. So that’s, it’s it’s awesome, man. It’s so great to get to talk to you because I want people to understand that you don’t have to be that lively bubbly person that’s that this is the the like you said the loudest, craziest one in the room or whatever. You can. You can do video you can do public speaking. It just really takes developing a skill like any other.


Stephen Lu  34:49

Yeah, exactly. It’s, you know, like I said, like, bring up that first video because that shows how far I’ve come. So we all have to start somewhere. Yes, you can be super nervous right now. You can lack all The confidence, you know, possibly, and I used to be there, right? I was there back in 2018 when I started my 52 week challenge, so we all have to start somewhere, right? Don’t compare yourself to to anyone else and just put the first video out there, put the first post out there. And once you put that out there, you get a big weight kind of lifted off your shoulders, because you just posted something and every single post after that just gets so much easier.


Damon Pistulka  35:23

Yeah, yeah, you’re right, there’s a Bonnie Strom injure is a friend of mine on LinkedIn. And she does a lot of Tick Tock videos around her gulledge product and she talks about when she started doing video, and they would put the first one out, and there’s more product based videos but you know, like, just bombed, just bombed No, nobody watching and she’s got now she’s got, I don’t know, 20 million views on tik tok and other places like that are 25 million it goes up like crazy now, but it is that just keep putting it out. keep refining your skill get get a little better.

Take some take some you know, constructive criticism if that’s what you want. And just keep doing it. Because Yeah, you just start doing it. And it’ll get more natural and to get better for you.


Stephen Lu  36:11

Yeah, absolutely. Definitely gets easier.


Damon Pistulka  36:13

Good stuff. Well, Steven, it’s been wonderful having you on the faces of business, I can tell you, I’m so happy that we got this opportunity to talk a little bit. And if people want to talk to you, or get ahold of you about the career coaching, talking about public speaking, or just anything, where’s the best place for them to get ahold of you?


Stephen Lu  36:33

Yeah, just connect with me on LinkedIn, I respond to every connection request, I respond to every message I get on LinkedIn. So that’s the best way to, to keep in touch with me. I don’t know if I can drop it in here. But ya know, send me a message. And you know, if you have any questions, concerns, anything you need help with, you know, just send me a message and we’ll get on a 15 minute call, kind of figure out what your needs are. And we’ll take it from there.


Damon Pistulka  36:53

Very good. Very good. We’ll do that. And I was some Valerie had another comment here real quick. Before we jump off, he says LinkedIn is make next makes networking so easy for introverts. She’s right. And yeah, in person networking, not so much. It is tougher, especially in some of the some of the larger networking events you do. But thanks, Valerie, for listening.

Thanks, Amanda, for the comments in here. Thanks, Steven for being here to get and you know what, we’re gonna be back here again next week, with some more wonderful guests on the faces of business on Tuesday at about 305 every every time we do it Tuesdays and Thursdays. And yes, I should have. By now after about 60 of these things. I should know who my guest is next week, but I don’t but I’m sure they will be interesting, and we will have a lot of fun doing it. So thanks, Steven, for being here. Thanks, everyone, for joining us.


Stephen Lu  37:46

Yeah, you’re welcome, David. How

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