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Pod Leader of the Week: Amy Wu

Amy Wu   (center) is the Chief Financial Officer of Discovery Asia-Pacific, responsible for finance, strategy, business development, commercial operations, and pan-regional production for the region with coverage over 35 countries.  She was previously a Senior Vice President of Finance and Operations at NewsCred. Amy has 10+ years of experience in Finance, Operations, Corporate Development, Strategy, and VC, working with companies ranging from pre-funded startups to growth stage pre-IPO companies.   Amy recieved her BA from Harvard in Biochemical sciences and currently sits on the Board of Directors for Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health - AIDS Initiative.

Amy Wu  (center) is the Chief Financial Officer of Discovery Asia-Pacific, responsible for finance, strategy, business development, commercial operations, and pan-regional production for the region with coverage over 35 countries.

She was previously a Senior Vice President of Finance and Operations at NewsCred. Amy has 10+ years of experience in Finance, Operations, Corporate Development, Strategy, and VC, working with companies ranging from pre-funded startups to growth stage pre-IPO companies. 

Amy recieved her BA from Harvard in Biochemical sciences and currently sits on the Board of Directors for Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health - AIDS Initiative.

What about your career has surprised you the most? 
It’s been most surprising how circuitous and unexpected the journey has been, and at this point I no longer try to make 5-10 year plans. I just take it as it comes! Across my career journey to date, the only one constant factor has been the people. My friends, mentors, and partner have graciously led me to each step of my career journey, and I have no doubt they will continue to. 
 
What about the future excites you?
Not knowing what I will be doing next.
 
What about the future scares you? 
Striking the right balance between work and family.
 
Which book has had the most significant impact on your life and why? 
 
Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni. Best 4 hours I ever spent learning about executive management dysfunction and recovery. Every manager knows that their success lives and dies by the execution of their teams. Patrick Lencioni breaks it down succinctly.
 
What tool do you use everyday that is invaluable? 
2 tools: (1) I’m old-school and use a notebook to track all my follow-ups, which I ruthlessly make sure are crossed-off. If I’m not constantly disciplined in initiating, coordinating, and following-up with my different workstreams, the interdependencies across and outside my teams mean that I become weeks or even months behind. For me, that’s probably 30% of speedy execution. The other 70% is hiring the right people. (2) Meditation. I did a course with the Art of Living and now do breathing exercises and meditate 3x a week. It’s changed my life to maintaining a positive mindset and keep at bay my insecurities when work/life starts to feel overwhelming.
 
What does the word 'power' mean to you? 
The ability to influence how people think and act, in a positive or negative way.
 
If you woke up and had 1,000 emails in your inbox and could only answer 100, how would you choose which ones to answer? 
I’d first answer emails from my family and partner, my boss, and my direct reports, probably in that order.
 
If we could arrange a dinner for you with one person in your industry, who would you want to invite? 
Angela Ahrendts, current head of retail for Apple and previous CEO of Burberry. From everything I’ve read about her, she’s a boss, who came from humble roots to turnaround the Burberry business and now is one of the highest paid female executive in the world.