Charles Lee – CUP in LA Member Spotlight

What is your occupation and how did you come to work in this field?
I'm Brand Innovation Consultant & Author of "Good Idea. Now What?". Our company, Ideation, lives in-between the world of Executive Strategy/Business Design & Creative Executive. We help to scale brands companies, organizations, and influencers. I've studied philosophy in grad school and leveraged my experience in starting businesses and organizations to help minimize the number of people who take their ideas to the grave.

What is the biggest challenge of your work?
The biggest challenge (& opportunity) is the learning curve that comes with the profession, especially since we work across multiple sectors and disciplines.

What is your proudest achievement?
The proudest (on-going) achievement is staying very present in the lives of my kids and my wife while growing our company.

What leaders, thinkers or doers do you admire most?
I admire doers who stay grounded in the things that ultimately matter in life. I look up people like Mother Teresa, Dr. King, and my mother who transitioned from business to caring for the orphaned in China.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?
I see myself being in a place professionally that allows me to generously invest in the ideas of others who desire not only to do good business, but also create social impact.

What would be your advice to young people who want their careers and lives to have an impact?
(1) Stay focused and do the work. (2) Invest in things that matter most to you every single day. (3) Never lose sight of what is "enough" is this stage of your life. Without boundaries, you'll end up in a destructive place. (4) Don't wait for perfection. It's a mirage. (5) Stay humble and open to others shaping your potential.

Did you have a mentor or do you mentor someone else? How has that experience changed you?
I have a few mentors in a couple of key areas in my life. I'm a firm believer that no one person can mentor you in all areas of your life. I usually identify specific verticals that I need mentorship in and then go to find people who can fill that role with clear expectations for engagement. I do mentor a few younger leaders and periodically facilitate year-long learning cohorts with people I'd like to mentor.