Amy Kan

Cues and Views

The Workplace Initiative founder and lead coach, Amy Kan, in brief.

Amy Kan

Home: Los Angeles (South Pasadena, to be exact).  Other places lived: New York, London, Los Angeles.  Profession: Coaching and leadership development.  Organization: The Workplace Initiative.  Title: Founder and Lead Coach.  Pronouns: She/Her/Hers.  Alma mater: University of Michigan (BA); London Business School (MBA); IPEC (CPC).

Latest accomplishment: Publishing my sixth article for, about executive presence. What’s been your big (or biggest leap)? Changing careers to coaching and leadership development after a lifetime in corporate marketing.  Hobbies: Cooking, reading; just taking up pickleball.  Recent travel or adventure: Lisbon, Portugal.  Last book read: Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow, by Gabrielle Zevin.  Recently viewed and recommended: The Patient with Steve Carell (on Apple+ TV).  Recent unique acquisition: My first tattoo.

Personality profile: Optimistic, collaborative, energetic, inspiring, creative.  What is your greatest joy? Laughing with the people I love.  What word or phrase do you use far too often? Awesome.  What natural talent have you neglected? Art, particularly painting.  What occupation, other than your own, do you most admire? Rock singers.  What is your favorite place (or way) to spend money? New experiences, especially travel.  What is at the top of your bucket list? African safari.  

What three emojis best describe you? 🙌🏻✈️🙋🏼.

What was your favorite college course? An English class in which we watched classic movies and analyzed them.  The movies were great and my writing was vastly improved.  What was your favorite childhood toy or game? Masterpiece from Parker Brothers, a strategy game about art auctions.  They don’t make it anymore.  What’s prominently featured on your home or office wall? A framed silk quilt (c. late 1800s) made for my great-grandmother when she got married.  Besides your parents, who has had the greatest influence on your life? My husband.  What’s the best advice you received growing up? Always pay your credit card in full.  What company or organization do you most admire? Patagonia.  

What is your big idea? We are all capable of having a fulfilling work life.  It requires that we look inward to know what is really important to us, let go of fears (and possibly the expectations of others) and make conscious decisions about how we move forward.  What change would you like to see in the world? Greater compassion, more listening to different perspectives and greater mutual respect. What widely held belief do you reject? Better to be miserable in a job than to not have one.  What mega-trend most concerns you? Social media algorithms.

What title would you choose for the movie about your life? The Bright Side.  Who would you like to spend an evening with, in heaven? My dad.  How would you choose to spend tomorrow, if you knew it was your last day on earth? On a wild and fun adventure with my husband and kids.  What advice would you give your younger self? Embrace your true self and love her.  The rest will follow.  What period in your life would you do differently, if you could? My high school years.

Personal mission: To help people enjoy their lives more through greater satisfaction and fulfillment at work.  Favorite quote: “Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom” (Aristotle).  Desired epitaph: I am not finished.

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