Level Up Leadership: Dacy Yee

Listen to the podcast (FULL TRANSCRIPT):

Level Up is designed to help you get to know the leaders of Experian and gain insight into the skills needed to grow your career.

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Most recently, we spoke with Dacy Yee, Chief Customer Officer of Experian Consumer Services, Direct to Consumer. In this role, Dacy drives the vision and execution of Experian’s customer focused strategies in order to deliver optimal experiences, communications and offers to customers, and engage them with Experian’s products and services, building brand advocacy. 

Here are a few takeaways from our discussion with Dacy:

Your goals will change a lot. That’s OK.
Dacy encourages everyone to be unafraid of change, as most of the rewarding moments of her life came with great change. Even though you may be goal-oriented, it’s important to remain flexible and accept the need to change and adjust goals. Dacy’s career came to a fork when she was faced with the decision to move forward with a career in law or in marketing. Her choice of the career that would make her most happy has ultimately led her to her current position as Chief Customer Officer at Experian.

You have to be intentional about your balance.
The word “balance” is thrown around the workplace a lot, and by now, you know what it means. But being intentional about the different balances of your life is a challenge in itself. As a breast cancer survivor who was diagnosed just after buying a new house and giving birth to her second child, Dacy knows a thing or two about being intentional about your balance; in fact, she treats this as another one of her goals she must achieve. Like she said, it’s so easy to get wrapped up in your professional goals and begin to sacrifice other parts of your life, but balance will not come to you; you have to actively pursue it.

Support does not have one look.
When you notice a colleague might be going through a hard time, you may question ways you can best show your support. The truth of the matter is, support looks very different to everyone. It might be hard to gauge whether someone wants you to ask if they need anything or if they’d just like to be left alone, but as Dacy suggested, sometimes it’s just best to go ahead and do some of the things you know will help. For example, one of the things Dacy appreciated most during her battle with cancer was lotion for her dry skin (a side effect of chemotherapy).

No one will take care of your career as well as you do.
Unfortunately, as Dacy pointed out, it isn’t your manager’s responsibility to manage your career—the responsibility of nurturing your career belongs to you. The first step before anything is to ask yourself what you want. What do you want for your career? What do you want to do next? What do you want that will satisfy your curiosity? Dacy says the best piece of advice she received from her mentor, Ty Taylor, was to “declare.” Declare your wants and needs because no one will know unless you do so.

Acknowledge your doubts and move forward anyway.
We all hear that voice that tells us we aren’t good enough or that we aren’t ready for the next big thing in our lives, and a lot of leaders tell you to ignore or stifle this voice. Instead of doing that, Dacy’s advice is to listen to and acknowledge this voice. Even as a C-suite level executive, Dacy still hears this voice from time to time, but what’s different is the way she’s adapted to that voice. Instead of ignoring that voice, Dacy now arms herself against it by reminding herself of her strengths—like she said, she is confident in her ability and her drive to figure out anything she may not know or be prepared for. Sure, you might not be ready for what’s next and that’s OK. But you can always count on your capabilities to help you along the way.

Embrace the diversity of your team.
At Experian, we all know how important it is to bring your whole self to work every day. The diversity of our teams is what makes us so innovative and successful—the more perspectives and ideas we have, the better off we are. Dacy also reminds us that diversity can also come in personality types. There’s a misconception that all leaders are extroverts, but Dacy considers herself extremely introverted. That doesn’t make her any less of an effective or impactful leader. Diversity in background, personalities, approaches and more will always be a good thing.

We were so happy to have the opportunity to chat with Dacy for Level Up.

Check out interviews with other Experian leaders.

Full Transcript

Mike: Hey everybody, welcome to the Level Up Leadership podcast. My name is Mike Delgado.
Patty: My name is Patty Guevarra.
Mike: This podcast is designed to help you get to know the leaders here at Experian, and also gain insight into the leadership skills and traits needed to grow our careers.
Patty: In this podcast we’ll talk mentorship, career navigation, handling rejection, work-life balance, mental health, diversity inclusion, and so much more.
Mike: We hope you enjoy the show.
Mike: So usually the way we start Dacy, is we usually start off with: Tell us about your background.
Dacy: Oh boy. I hate talking about myself. This is all about myself.
Patty: Yeah, this is just an hour all about you.
Mike: Well I tell you Dacy, this is the first time I actually read your bio. I mean, I’ve always looked at your LinkedIn profile, but Patty printed up your bio. And-
Patty: I said, look at this.
Dacy: What does my bio say?
Mike: And, I was like what? I was like JD-
Dacy: Oh, yeah.
Mike: In San Diego. So let’s start there.
Dacy: Okay.
Mike: Yeah. So, you got your undergrad in economics?
Dacy: I did. I went to UC Santa Barbara.
Mike: Yeah.
Dacy: So I’m a Gaucho.
Mike: So, at that point, you obviously could have went right into business. But you decided to go to law school, why did you choose law school?
Dacy: I really love school, I liked learning. And, that idea of furthering my education was kind of exciting. I wanted … I’m also Asian, and that’s of high value within my family, was to get an advanced degree. So, I chose law school. Because I was interested in it. But also there was kind of a practical reason, around it. I didn’t have enough work experience to go straight into get my MBA. So, I thought that law would be a really great way to get into school faster. And it seemed really interesting.
Mike: Yeah, was there a certain type of law you’re interested in?
Dacy: I wanted to learn everything. When I got there, Children’s Advocacy was, something that I leaned into. So I started working for the Children’s Advocacy clinic.
Patty: Cool, that’s so cool.
Dacy: And doing some really neat things in there. There’s all sorts of ways that you can get involved. I also did some, Women’s Law. So there was a domestic violence clinic that I volunteered at, regularly. So, there’s so much to learn, and be involved in, and law touches so many aspects of people’s lives, that there’s a lot of ways to help. So, that was a lot of fun.
Mike: I guess cool that you’re attracted to the social issues aspect of law, like helping the underserved women, children. That that’s where your heart is. So, when you finished law school, like, you can go really any direction at this point. Because if your undergraduate work, get your law degree, you can obviously go work for a law firm. So what was like your mindset at that point?
Dacy: You know, right after law school, the mindset is to pass the bar. So you spend a good chunk of time after graduation, very focused, and you’re not really done after law school. So. studying for the bar is a full time job. And I treated it that way. I camped out at the law library and studied, got there every day at the same time, I had a lot of discipline around me, that’s the way I approached it. So, I would show up at the law library, and I look for my same seat. And I would almost like check in at the same time, break for lunch at the same time and finish at the same time every day. So treated it like my job. And that’s what worked for me. I just needed to have that routine around it. And discipline around it. And then I sat for the bar at the next session. And that discipline worked for me. So I passed that first time.
Mike: Congratulations, that’s awesome. First time.
Dacy: Yeah.
Patty: Wow.
Dacy: Whoa, thank goodness, because I didn’t want to do that again. Yeah, treating it like a full time job that you don’t get paid for. I really wanted to surpass that first time around. So it was so relieved. And it’s a huge gratifying feeling. And for me, it felt like it was the hard work. Definitely it wasn’t my intelligence or anything like that. It was the time and the hours and the discipline that I put around it because that … I described the bar as the hardest test of all mankind.
Patty: I bet though.
Dacy: Which is the way that I wanted to think about it. It wasn’t a small task for me. I didn’t think of it as a slam dunk. So I had to earn it. And that’s how I felt about it. So huge relief to know that Yeah, I passed it the first time around and didn’t have to go through that, a second time. I don’t know that I would survive it the second.
Mike: I’m sure you would, jeez, you’re so driven. Have you always he’s been like very driven, very intentional about how you’re going to achieve your goals.
Dacy: I have. People tell me that. That’s the way I’m described. When people talk about me. I’m the oldest of three girls. So I think being that, having that seat, the oldest child seat. I feel that was a part of it. And I see that in my daughter too. She has that oldest child syndrome.
Patty: Yeah.
Dacy: Yeah, I was driven, I felt the pressure, a little bit of pressure. I didn’t want to let my parents down. Holding that position. And, that’s a part of me. I don’t know how much of it really is being-
Mike: Yeah.
Dacy: … that oldest kid. But yeah, I’ve heard that about myself, when described by others, pretty driven, very focused, maybe a little stubborn. And that word pops in sometimes, but yeah, that’s for sure. Pardon me for a long time.
Patty: I’m sure you have days where you don’t want to do anything. And the motivation is not there. And Mike and I were just having a conversation earlier, about motivation and how some people, really need something to motivate them in order to do their job. And then some people just think like, motivation isn’t a thing, just do it. So I want to know what kind of person you are. And if you have any tips for motivating yourself to have the discipline that you have.
Dacy: I’m a goals driven person. So I like having a goal. So that’s how the bar was. That’s kind of how I’m wired, is I like to have an end state that I’m driving for. And that helps me, that motivates me, I like, steps to accomplishing a goal, like to see how I’m doing moving towards it like to have a finish line too. Because I like that sense of relief and accomplishment when I get there or as we moved towards it. So that motivates, me. I also the other side of me is, because I can drive so hard. And I love that goal, can get pretty worn out too. So the other side of it is, having that recovery, around me and making sure that I’m intentional about that and staying really healthy.
Mike: Yeah.
Dacy: I mean, I have this balanced, point of view, that that’s really important.
Mike: So, I want to ask you about that. Because that’s, something that’s really hard for people, who are very, very driven, like yourself, very goal focused, you get obsessed with the goal, you’re thinking about what do I got to do to achieve this goal? But it’s actually very healthy. What you just said, to make time for yourself. Right? Can you talk about how you’re intentional about taking time for yourself, because, here at work Experian, we all get consumed. We all have dominant goals. We’re all trying to push hard, for our own goals and our team goals. But can you speak to like how you’re intentional about taking time for yourself to recharge and refresh?
Dacy: Yeah, I haven’t always been good at it. So I’ll admit that. And I even will find myself being not very good at it now. So, you have to be intentional but I find that I have to be intentional about it. There are definitely times in which I feel like the goal takes over, and I’m all about it. And I can go and, start to sacrifice other parts that are pretty important to me just, things like, exercise or, time with my kids and my family and my husband and, have I spent as much focus and time on those goals. So, I think there’s just good reminders that, I need to present myself. So I’ll admit that, it’s not always that balanced. But just being really focused on it.
Dacy: I think I had a great … I don’t know if great is the right word to describe it. But there was a turning point in my life where I got sick. So, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. It came at a time in my life in which there were a ton of moving parts and ton of pressure. I had two small kids, I just had my second child, he was nine months old, my daughter was just entering kindergarten, I was juggling, the job, and new home and, got the diagnosis like at a really crazy time, in which there was a lot going on. But that hits the brakes on you pretty hard. So that’s the moment in which, you’re forced to balance when you have no control.
Patty: Exactly, yeah.
Dacy: And, then you really just have to look at the fact. Well first of all, I came out of it grateful and I’m healthy now, and it feels like a second chance at being intentional about the balance. You don’t ever want to be caught off guard and thinking, “Okay, I didn’t take that opportunity.” Well, the balance and, I don’t want to regret that. I mean, the day that I got my diagnosis, I came home and I had the piece of paper in my hand, I walked in the door. My husband asked me how the appointment went. And I told him I had cancer. And then like five minutes later, I said we got to go to soccer, and got in the car and got my daughter to soccer. And that was just the pace I was going. And so, I think as it sinks in, and you have time to absorb you realize there’s a lot more to be intentional about balancing things and taking those moments and giving yourself a break. So that was a good hard lesson.
Mike: When you got that diagnosis, you got that piece of paper, and then you’re like you got home and you’re like you’re immediately back to like, “Oh, I have responsibilities I needed to go to practice, I got to do this, got to do this.” At what point did it, hit you? Like, it’s time to slow down, it’s time to reassess.
Dacy: My husband’s really good at that. So he’s just a good counterbalance to me. And, I think as we started to having … we started having more and more serious conversations about planning, and what’s the treatment going to look like? And what are the outcomes and I think, the natural progression of your mind, and the conversations take you to a place where, he made me pause and just say, “All right, well, we got to think about this.” And he’s an amazing partner, that that helps keep everything in check. We both do that for each other. He’s a busy guy too. He teaches high school English. And that’s got different pressures, but a huge time commitment. So, that’s what’s nice is that we can balance each other.
Patty: How did your diagnosis affect your leadership and your career because I know there’s probably this like, horrible choice you have to make where it’s like, I need to focus on my family and my health. But then I also need to make sure my career is still progressing, because, I want to get over this diagnosis, I want to beat cancer. So how did that look like for you?
Dacy: Yeah, I am. You focus, I definitely focused on the treatment and making sure that … Again, I’m goal oriented. So, that point, the goal just shifts. So the goal then becomes, my dominant goal at that time was I got to get the treatment. And I got to make sure that I can do that the best way that I can. So, my personality takes that goal. And just does that really well. I’m an ex, I’m a really good patient, I’m a good listener, I go to all … I do-
Patty: You’re like a doctor’s dream.
Dacy: Yeah. And I ended up being hey, that’s how I saw the path to achieving my goal of getting healthy was, I’m going to learn what I can, I’m also going to, make decisions quickly with the information I have, and I am a good patient. So, that becomes the goal. Once I got to a point where I was feeling better and healthy, then for me, the goal becomes, “Well, I want to get back to enjoying the life that I fought so hard to keep.” And for me, the career was a really big aspect of it. Coming back into the office, there was just this mindset of, I really want to be here. And I’m really excited to be here, I think I have a lot to contribute. And so there was a renewed energy, around me. And I think I had a different lens in making decisions. It was an important shift for me, and I think was great for me, to be more vocal about what I thought. And really, really taking advantage of the fact that I was here.
Patty: Right. Not take things for granted, the little things.
Mike: I want to ask, what advice would you have for, employees here that, they see somebody who is maybe going through an illness, or they’re going through something, and they’re in their families. And they’re not quite sure, like, how do I best support this person during this difficult season?
Dacy: The best thing to do, at least for me, from my perspective was to be there, to let them know that you’re there to support them. And to do that the best way that you know how, which is take into consideration what that person, would like and what they need and, help them. I mean, one of the best things about working at Experian, time and time again, you will hear it from everyone who works here, it’s the people. And we do think of this as a family. And so that’s what you would do for family members. So it’s the same. And, I think also when you’re going through something, like that, like cancer that feels as big as cancer. In many ways. It’s so overwhelming, and that person needs to focus on their health, and be able to, focus on that goal of getting healthy.
Dacy: And so, sometimes they can’t answer the question of what can I do for you? When you’re sick, you get that question a lot. Let me know what I can do.
Mike: Yeah.
Dacy: Let me know how I can help. And sometimes maybe you should just do some of the things you know will help, right?
Patty: Right.
Dacy: Drop off a meal, drop off some gift cards. I had a lot of people picking up my kids for play dates, because I wanted them to have a normal. I didn’t want them to think about that stuff. So, just do it. Because you know what they are, you don’t need permission. So, in a lot of cases, that person going through that, can’t even think enough to ask.
Mike: Yeah.
Dacy: For those things.
Mike: That’s right. I think what’s hard is, sometimes my natural reaction, is to withdraw. Somebody is hurting, someone’s suffering. I don’t know what I can do. So I’m going to like, just let them. I want them just to be okay.
Patty: Yeah.
Mike: And I’m going to stand and just kind of watch. I want to help but I don’t know, like the right words to say.
Dacy: Yeah, I and that’s very natural. And I think you know the person, that’s going through it. But they’re probably, very non intrusive ways to help and dropping something off or nice gestures, I had co workers, that would … when you go through chemo, your skin gets really dry. And, this co worker knew that. And so she just dropped off some really nice lotion, at my house.
Patty: That’s good, little things.
Dacy: Yeah, she didn’t knock on the door. So, that was very sweet. And that was an Experian co worker that was so kind.
Mike: How did your boss during this period, provide you comfort, help you through this process where you had to like mistakes from work. Some days, you just, I can’t come in, I’m just too sick?
Dacy: Again, Experian is an amazing place to work. It says so much about this team. And it wasn’t just my boss, it was, all the way up to the highest points of leadership that I had access to at that time. And then my entire team around me and people not on my team, everyone rallied, around me. And provided support, would check in, with me, if I couldn’t come in the office about what I thought about certain strategies, if decisions were being made, but also, took the ball and ran with it when they could probably assume that decision I would want made. And so, they … again, they didn’t ask, they just did those things to help. And I felt the support from every level of Experian that I had access to, from people that reported to me, adjacent teams all the way up to our leadership. And so, they were all just here to help things keep running, and then to support me how I could and it’s a really great place to work. Really is.
Mike: I’m curious. Did your team or leadership ever have to like, let us take this because you’re so driven, right? And, you just want to continue moving forward. And you don’t want things to slow down. But you’re sick? Was there a point where people were like, “Dacy, just focus right now on yourself. Let us take this from you right now.”?
Dacy: Yeah, absolutely. There are definitely points in which that happened. And then definitely points in which they knew would make me more comfortable, if I was involved. So yes, it’s combination of all of those things, that happened.
Patty: So you’ve been at Experian since 2008. So, 11 years now.
Dacy: Yeah.
Patty: And before that you were at Toshiba for more than six years.
Dacy: Yes.
Patty: So you like to stay at one place for long periods of time.
Dacy: Yeah.
Patty: I want to know, what about the work culture and the environment makes you want to stay in one place for so long.
Dacy: It’s so funny because, when I entered both of those organizations, I didn’t think of them, necessarily as, “Oh, I’m landing, and I am making myself comfortable, and I’m staying.” So, it’s funny, I walked in with more the intention of, I probably can learn a lot and help a lot in, maybe a three year run, where I think I could probably gain a ton of experience and also really contribute, and drive, a lot. In both cases, one of the key reasons, that has kept me here and Experian for 11 years, and I can’t believe it’s 11 years. And I’m saying that. But, it’s constantly challenging. It’s dynamic, and it’s an interesting business and, I get to do interesting things, and the business problems are evolving. And so, that’s fun, the people also have a great deal to do with it.
Dacy: I mean, the teams are amazing, here. And it’s fun to work with very talented people. It’s fun to work with people that challenge you and make you, a stronger leader, and contributor. And so, as I think about what keeps my interest, it’s that. And I’ve had wonderful opportunities here too, I feel like every … at the right increments of time, in which I feel I’m ready for something new, I have been very fortunate to be able to take on something new, and take on either a new team or a new initiative in which, I get to learn something, and I feel challenged, and I get to contribute something new. So, that has continued on in the 11 years, that I’ve been here. And that’s been a lot of fun. And I think that if that wasn’t here, and it wasn’t interesting and challenging, and I didn’t get to work with, amazing people that made me stronger, then that wouldn’t… It’d be easier to to find something else to do.
Mike: I think part of that is like, I think you’re naturally curious. What advice do you have for those here at Experian who maybe, are not feeling challenged, they’ve been in a role for a period of time, and they’re feeling like, “I’m just doing the same thing as last year.” But they hear what you’re saying that. And they’re like, “No, I want to be like that, I want to be challenged, I want to be working on new things.” What’d be your advice to those people who maybe feel stuck right now?
Dacy: That’s a great question. I think of it this way. And when I talked to members of my team or I mentoring someone, one of the best pieces of advice I got, early on, is that. I’m accountable, for where I go. I have to be proactive, about what I want to do. And so, in many points in my career, I had to think about it. And so, you used to be able to answer the question for yourself, what do you want? And, really start to chart out what that looks like for yourself. Do you want to lead people, is that the next step for you? I had to ask myself, do I want to take on a more challenging project? Do I want to think of things more strategically. So, those are all questions that you have to be able to answer for yourself.
Dacy: And then, you have to be able to answer that for, your leadership. Your leadership will ask you, “What do you want to do next? What’s going to satisfy that curiosity or that desire to learn something new?” And, if you can’t answer it yourself, your manager, it’s not your managers job, necessarily to manage your career, it’s your job, to manage your career. And so that’s the best advice that I have is take on that responsibility. If you are curious and looking for something else, no one’s going to give it to you, just because they think you might be curious and looking for something else. You have to be proactive, and the one managing that, no one else is responsible for it.
Dacy: And then, when you can answer that question for yourself, you have to also be brave enough to go have the conversations with the people that can help you. Now they’re not responsible, for your career. No one is, except for you. But you have to go and initiate the conversation so someone knows. The people around you that have influence and can help have to know that that’s what you’re declaring, for yourself. So the best advice I got, was from Ty Taylor, who has been an amazing mentor for me. And he said to me, “You did declare.” And that phrase, has lasted, with me and really has guided me into moments in which, “Okay, now I know the action is mine.” I have the ball, I need to take it somewhere. And I need to first of all, think about what I want to declare and then carve that path out for me. And I’m going to ask for help now. But that responsibility belongs with me.
Patty: I love that you mentioned that, because you said it at a past event for Asian Pacific Heritage Month to declare and that became like my motto. I made a little list of goals and each one said declare what you want. And then it would be my goal. And I’ve actually achieved a lot of those goals this year. So that’s a really good piece of advice. So, thank you for that.
Mike: It’s solid. [crosstalk 00:25:44] at the FinCon event, the last KeyNote. It wasn’t I declare, it was ask. And she framed it as, well before you even ask for that thing. You have to ask yourself.
Dacy: Yeah.
Mike: You have to know, yourself. Are you giving yourself permission, first, before you can declare it?
Dacy: Yeah, I think that that’s great. That’s great advice. And I can’t take credit for that. I’m glad that, the declare steam it works for you. But-
Patty: Being passed on.
Dacy: It’s being passed on. It works, but Ty challenged me with that. And I, [inaudible 00:26:20] gone in with these questions of where I should go. And I wanted to use my opportunity of utilizing hi, as a mentor, well. And it was very, very direct feedback to me. And it stuck with me. And I’m glad it’s worked for you too.
Mike: I wanted to bring up something, I was watching this, LinkedIn live event. And it had the, New York Times, diversity inclusion editor. I’m not sure that’s the right title. But she was basically saying for about six months, she was declaring that she deserved this new role. And she had all this experience. And she was a great writer, people respected her. And so she fought for this thing declaring, that she wanted this role. Well, they finally offered it to her, after like six months. And the moment that she got it. She was like, saying an imposter syndrome crept in, like, “Oh, no, I made a big mistake. Who am I, to take these shoes.” And so, for those who are like, they’re declaring what they want, what they think that they want, like, I want to move into this leadership role or into this new business unit. And then it gets granted to them, they get exactly what they asked for. But then that fear creeps in.
Dacy: Yeah, that voice.
Mike: That voice that we all get. It’s uncomfortable if we’re stepping into a new area. And we’re going to be challenged. And, now we feel like, “Oh, no, did I just make a big mistake?”
Dacy: Uh-huh(affirmative).
Mike: Can you talk about that?
Dacy: Yeah, I know that voice.
Mike: Yeah. I know it very well.
Dacy: I hear that voice. I know that voice and I acknowledge it. That voice has crept up on me, a lot. And what used to happen is, I used to get tapped on the shoulder or, asked to take on, a role and that voice would come in at that point. And, there have been times where I have said, “I am not ready.” So I’m going to say no to that offer. Because I want to do a good job. I want to succeed at it. And so that voice creeps in. And for me, that is typically how that voice works, with me. I think everyone, that voice comes in differently.
Mike: Oh yeah.
Dacy: But that’s how it works for me is, it kind of says, “You’re not ready. You don’t know how to do that. That’s not what you do.” Or yeah, I would say, “That’s not what I do, I do this, this is the opportunity, I’m going to wait for instead.” And so, that for sure has popped up, in my path. I’ll tell you what’s different, and how I’ve adapted that voice a little bit, because it still happens, it still comes in, I still have doubts. And I have questions about whether or not, am I an imposter? Or can I really do this? Is the voice used to creep in, and it used to tell me, “No, you can’t, I can’t do it.” And I would actually make a decision off of that. And, of late, lately when the voice comes in. I’m shifting, I think maybe of the tone of it.
Dacy: And I’m realizing I have a little control on how I interpret this voice that’s telling me that I can’t do something. And, what I do instead is, I’m changing the narrative. And so, I recently have taken on a new role. And I got the promotion that I asked for, that I really felt like I want to do this and I think I’m ready. And I’m declared and I’ve declared, and I’ve declared. And lo and behold, I recently was promoted to Chief customer officer for the DTC business. I’m so excited about this role, but the way that I’m changing the tone of that voice is now, and my husband asked me, he said in the past, you’ve been very nervous and saying you’re not ready, you’re not ready. What’s different about this?
Dacy: And the difference is, I am confident in my ability and my drive to figure it out. I’m confident in my ability to learn, and that I know this business. So I’m focusing on the positive.
Mike: I love that.
Dacy: I know this business, I know how it runs, I’ve been here 11 years. And, I may not know how to be a chief customer officer, but I am going to be the one that figures it out, I’m going to figure out what it looks like for me, and I’m going to figure out what this business needs. And I’m the best person suited to do that because I want it. So the narrative has changed a little bit, the voice creeps in, for sure.
Mike: I love that, I love that.
Dacy: But I now, must going to change it to, I mean, me, I’m not ready for it. That’s okay. But I am so confident in my drive, to figure it out and make decisions that are best for this organization, best for the teams that I’m responsible for, and the people in the careers that I want to help drive and influence then, I can count on that. And I know, I can count on those things that I know. And so I’m not going to worry about the parts that I don’t know, or, the chief customer officers and, that are out there that I don’t know what they do. But I know what I’m going to create, and what it’s going to look like here. So I’m just going to count on the things that I can do.
Mike: I love that attitude.
Patty: Yeah.
Mike: I think about, like, you’re not going to be offered something that people don’t think that you’re ready for. Right? So your boss, the leaders, are like, “Dacy, is got this.” So even when those doubts creep in, it’s like now the people that chose me for this role know that I can do this.
Dacy: Yeah.
Mike: Yeah.
Dacy: And I’ve worked with them, they definitely know my strengths and what I can do, and they certainly know the opportunities that I have to and I know I have support. So again, this is an organization that is supportive, we all succeed together. And we know that, and so, I know that if I need help, I can figure it out, I can figure out the ways that I can get help and figure out what I need.
Patty: I love that advice of acknowledging the voice because more often than not you hear, “Ignore the voice, stifle the voice.” And that’s hard because you will stifle it for however many weeks and then a few months later, it will just be like, “Hey, I’m back.” I think acknowledging-
Mike: What’s up?
Patty: … it and then turning it around. You’re listening to the voice, but then you’re actually like, “No, I think I got this.” I think that’s better. Because it’s like you’ve accepted that, “Yeah, I have doubts of myself. But I’m better than that. So.”
Mike: Yeah.
Dacy: Yeah I hear that phrase. When you go to panels or you listen to other leaders speaking that phrase, Fake it till you make it.
Patty: Oh, yeah.
Dacy: Comes up a lot. And I actually, I cringe a little at that. Because faking it implies that, I’m going to pretend that I know how to do this. I feel much more comfortable for me. And I’m uncomfortable with that thought. And that’s actually I think why I said no to things, I’m uncomfortable with the faking part because I don’t want to be found out. But, the other part that I don’t have to fake is, I don’t have to fake that I’m going to figure it out. So, I’d rather, I lean more that way. So I think about it that way. And that gives me a little more comfort when that anxiety or that voice comes up.
Mike: I think that’s the right way to frame it. Like, can you figure it out? Can you be a student again? Can you learn this? And like Yes, yes, yes. Okay. You’re in it.
Patty: Yeah.
Dacy: That’s more digestible for me, than I think going around the other way. And I think once I accepted that, that was, my formula my, my path, it becomes easier to take on those big things.
Mike: Yeah. It’s kind of like when you’re passing the bar, it’s like you knew the bar, the huge-
Patty: The hardest test of all mankind.
Mike: Difficult, massive, test and you’re like, “Okay, I can figure this out. I’m going to be disciplined. I’m going to learn, what I need to do to pass this exam.”
Dacy: Yeah, I focused on the things I can control.
Mike: Yeah.
Dacy: Which is, I can control my study time, or my preparation. And so yeah, I have more confidence in that.
Patty: So, you mentioned before, that Asian Pacific Heritage Month event, that you’re introverted.
Dacy: Yes.
Patty: And I think that surprises a lot of people because you’re such a strong leader, you just got promoted to the C-suite level. And, I know a lot of our feedback after that event was people wanted to learn more about how they could become leaders when they’re introverted. Mike and I were just talking that there’s this misconception that introverted people don’t like to talk. But really, it’s kind of just like, we get more energy being by ourselves and our energy depletes when we’re around other people. But, I think a lot of people think they can’t be leaders when they’re introverted. Can you speak more on that?
Dacy: Yeah, I’m very much so introverted. I am much more comfortable thinking about thoughts and strategies in my head before they come out into real life. So my process is different. I’m married to an extrovert. And, I can see and experience how he thinks, he thinks out loud, first, and then, that’s the way his process works. So, I have a very clear example…
Patty: Of what that looks like.
Dacy: Of what that looks like. But I don’t think being an introvert makes me a less, effective or impactful leader. In fact, I think it’s great to have diverse types of personalities, approaches, people of all sorts of backgrounds and experiences. This is a great place to be, by the way, for that. I mean, Craig has done an amazing job of, you know, that thought of bringing your whole self to work well, me bringing myself to work means that I’m bringing my introverted self, to work and the way that I approach things. So yeah, I think about my processes a little different. But I still have the same, you know, I think I have ideas and I have approaches and thoughts and solutions that I bring to this environment into our work environment.
Dacy: So, yes, I am very much so introverted. And in many ways, I have thought of myself as a contradiction, because I am this person that, I want to be quiet. I’m not always comfortable speaking up necessarily, or being the first to speak up. But I want to be heard.
Patty: Right.
Dacy: And, I don’t want to be noticed. But I certainly want to be a valued contributor. So yeah, it’s a challenge. I think, it’s a misperception, that an introvert isn’t … might not be your first choice for a leader. But it’s great to think about diversity, and team makeup and team composition, and making sure we challenge each others, ways that we think so that we get a better solution out there. And, I think that that’s part of it. That yeah, I think of myself as that contradiction, but, just because I’m not going to be the first voice to speak, doesn’t mean that I don’t have a really valuable perspective.
Mike: That’s right. I tend to find that, it’s the people who are more analytical. They’ve been thinking about things, like when they talk, exclamation point, because they’re saying something they’ve thought about clearly, I can be very extroverted. And just like talk, talk, talk, brainstorm. I can say a lot of meaningless things. But, when I tend to … my wife is very introverted, when she speaks to me about something, she’s thought and processed that thing, for a while.
Patty: Over and over again.
Mike: Yeah. So when she shares something with me. It’s impacts me.
Dacy: Yeah, she’s ready.
Mike: Yeah, she’s ready for it. And sometimes they think about, the meetings they go to. And they’re looking for like everyone to be brainstorming, not everyone is going to be comfortable to sharing, of the top of their head, an idea that they have, because they’re still like processing it. And I’m kind of curious, what’s your advice for the leaders who, have some very, very talented introverts, and you’re all in a room together. And somebody will just going to be more quiet, because they’re still processing things, advice for drawing them out, or the right way to talk with them?
Dacy: I think it’s all about understanding, people and taking the time to think about it. So, for what I know about introverts, at least for me, I process things a little differently. So I’m thinking about it in my head before I’m going to say it or interject. And so, if I’m a aware … First of all, I need to be aware of that, I need to be aware that I might want to speed up some of that thinking and processing. So I don’t miss the topic, right? So I need to be ultra aware of, in a meeting and in a dynamic, I’m not always going to get the luxury of being able to just go about, the way that my brain is processing it. So I might need to try to alter and be flexible and some of that, so that I can be effective and impactful.
Dacy: So number one, I got to take that accountability and adjust, to my environment a little bit. I think the other thing we can do, a lot of us can do as leaders or peers, is, be aware of who you have in the room. And then if you understand someone’s thinking about a little differently, or they typically are going to come in maybe a little later, or they’re typically thinking of a solution, but, aren’t necessarily ready to speak about until it’s perfect in their head, we can either help, draw that out if people … if we find that they’re comfortable with it, or just understand that the pace of the meeting that we set, you might want to consider some of those thoughts just to make sure that you get all those great ideas and those solutions out.
Dacy: And then, and try to make room for that. And think, the introverted individuals, that’s just one aspect, there’s probably a ton of other ways in which we can be more inclusive, and conversations and meetings we have, just so that we consider that the outcome is going to be stronger as we get more ideas on the table.
Mike: That’s right. I totally agree with that. I always think sometimes we should have a big, shared google doc or something over the screen for those that just … for typing out ideas while people are talking.
Dacy: Yeah, it’s different. So they’re probably … meetings are structured in a way. And I always thought, there’s sometimes just the format as some of the meetings, we run … it can gather the extroverted ideas first.
Mike: That’s right.
Dacy: So that’s one format.
Mike: Right, right.
Dacy: So yeah, being creative around how we can gather other ideas. So that’s a great idea. It’s just, maybe hard to execute, because we’re in-
Patty: We’re always go, go, go.
Dacy: Yeah, we’re go, go, go, we have a meeting culture. And that’s the way that it kind of exists now. But yeah, it doesn’t always have to be just that way.
Patty: I’m panicking a little because we only have five minutes.
Dacy: Okay.
Patty: I feel like I have so many questions for you. But one thing I did want to ask, is that, you were involved in Children’s Advocacy and Women’s Law in law school, and you volunteered for the domestic clinic. And I feel like you translated that well into your leadership today, because you’re heavily involved in women in Experian and the Asian American ERG. So, I want to know, how you kind of supplement that to your leadership and your everyday job and how that helps you and why it’s so important to you?
Dacy: Early on in my career, I was, again, very goal oriented, go go go. And the goals that I shaped, were all around what I thought success look like. For, I don’t know something in my mind that I thought success was, as you … it always was go after the next promotion, or just go after the next visible accomplishment. And that way that that’s hey, that seems to make sense in that path. And, what I have found is that, you definitely have to look for what fills your cup, and what is satisfying to you, and those things are, really, really important to me. Again, the whole idea of bringing your whole self to work, that’s a part of me, I identify with being an Asian American, female, going through her career path here.
Dacy: I also identify with some other things, I’m a mother that wants to balance, raising my family with having a really, hopefully successful career and which I’m really proud of. And so, that’s a part of me, and so those activities, I’m lucky enough to work in a place in which those activities and opportunities are there for me to be a part of, and I love them. They’re really, really fun, part of my day to day. And I hope that it has an impact on others. I really like mentoring people, that’s a part of what drives me. And so that’s a big part of my time here and I make time for it. And it’s part of my experience, and I think it’s a big part of. So it’s not just the numbers that I drive, or the outcome and performance that my teams can … to get us to operationally, I look at this as part of my whole experience here.
Mike: I feel like Dacy is like the dream employee.
Patty: Totally.
Mike: Right? Because like, high performer in every single way, goal driven, just like, it’s in her nature, and on top of that, in her nature is to mentor others. Women in Experian group.
Patty: Empower and develop.
Mike: Empower others, I mean, I think you model, like what it is like to be a successful employee-
Patty: A successful leader again, in general.
Mike: And leader, a successful leader for sure.
Dacy: I hope that all my bosses, hear that.
Patty: Okay. Well, we’re running, out of time here. Do you have any last questions?
Mike: Well, I feel like we need to do another podcast because, there’s so many different things that I would love to get into later on.
Patty: Absolutely.
Mike: Like her mentorship. I want to learn more about her drive and things that she … why she’s so driven. I’ll let me get into that on another show.
Dacy: That sounds like a big therapy session.
Patty: Right? Like why is Dacy the way she is?
Dacy: Yeah.
Mike: We’ll get our couch there.
Dacy: Okay.
Patty: Well thank you for your time. This has been a really good episode.
Dacy: Thank you, I was super intimidated, by this whole set up.
Patty: It was fine, right? It was casual.
Dacy: But you guys made it very comfortable. So thank you.
Patty: I’m glad.
Dacy: Thank you very much.
Mike: Thanks Dacy.