Wai@UnleashedLeaders.com • 650-438-4633
Wai Poc is an Executive Coach with +20 years of leadership experience from Fortune 500 companies to C-levels at start-ups. For the last ~10 years of executive coaching, Wai has specialized in being a sounding board to help his clients build strategic relationships.
Wai’s sectors of expertise are high tech and biotech. He loves engineers, technologists (scientific, medical, and operational), and all those in G&A functions due to having coached out of Stanford’s Graduate School of Business.
In his last in-house role at Genentech for +10 years, Wai consulted – before, during, and after – reorgs with VP clients and their leadership teams in Engineering, Product, Research, Sales & Marketing, and G&A. Not only has Wai been ‘at the table’ on key business decisions, but also he got into coaching as a result of facilitating succession planning up to and including the SVP and CMO levels.
Innovation comes from the mixing of a wide range of ideas. Wai values diversity, having recruited at the National Black MBA Association and at Out and Equal. As the male co-lead for a gender diversity strategy for +2000, he presented on Gender Diversity at the National Institutes of Health.
Born in Shanghai and raised in Hong Kong and Miami, Wai identifies as Chino-Latino. Crossing cultural bridges from his earliest years, Wai has traveled to +60 countries. A sabbatical field expedition to Madagascar led Wai to MacArthur Fellow and primatologist Patricia C. Wright, with whom he is now writing a book on power and politics in the workplace. Their goal is to decode the primate roots of human competition and collaboration with Unleashed: A Field Guide to Power and Politics at Work.
- Strategic Influence: building cross functional allies
- Power and Politics: navigating up, down, and across
- Leading Change: scaling by leading leaders and senior teams
- Diversity and Global View: innovating with different ideas
- Well Being at the Executive Levels: rebalancing for resilience
Examples of Past Coaching Engagements
- CTO at PE-backed AI company with unicorn clients: Leading change, incl. reorgs, to scale and integrate Machine Learning into global Engineering
- Director in UX: Building strategic relationships to be more effective in XFN product review meetings with partners in Eng, Product, PM, and Marketing
- Sr. Group Medical Director: Leading team of MDs and influencing executive decision-making
- General Counsel at VC-backed biotech: Widening into enterprise responsibilities, from avoiding legal risks to taking business risks
- VP in R&D: Partnering with a woman of color on fitting in and owning her power
Stanford’s Graduate School of Business
Wai is currently engaged in one of the following per academic quarter:
- OB 374: Mentor / Facilitator in Interpersonal Dynamics, a Top 3 course for MBAs
- OB 372: TA for David Bradford of “Influence without Authority”
- Leadership Coach for mid-career (35-45 years old) MSx Fellows
- Facilitator for groups in Executive Education with Directors and VPs
- Executive Coach with global CFOs through Executive Education
Specialist in 360 Assessments
For several years until 2020, Wai was 1 of 5 global coaches delivering 360 assessments to all Directors at Google across the Americas, APAC and EMEA regions and enterprise-wide in Engineering / AI / Cloud, Product, Sales & Marketing, and Business & Strategic Partnerships.
Partial List of Clients
- Oliver Wyman
- Russell Reynolds
- Federal Reserve Bank
- Stanford University Graduate School of Business
- Stanford University School of Law
- Stanford University Management Academy
- Mercy Housing for Seniors
- San Francisco’s Dept. of Public Health
- Centre ValBio, international wildlife conservation
- Imerys, industrial French multinational
- Weill Cornell Medical Center
- Sutter Health
- Kaiser Permanente
- Blue Shield
- Revance Therapeutics
Wai has coached clients in Germany, UK, Belgium, Spain, Uruguay, Brazil, South Africa, Japan, PRC / HK, India, New Zealand.
Korn Ferry, CoachSource, 7 Paths Forward, Growth Axis, Mariposa Leadership
Education / Assessments / Certifications
Wai’s approach is personalized and not one-size-fits-all, meaning he integrates a wide continuing education into his executive coaching and selects for his clients what’s practical.
- David Peterson’s 7 Paths Forward for Advanced Coaching
- Marshall Goldsmith’s Stakeholder Centered Coaching
- NVW: Certified in Integral Coaching
- ICF: Professional Certified Coach
- Stanford University: BA
- GGU (while working full-time): MBA
- Columbia University: Certified in OD
- UC Berkeley: Certified in HR
- Wharton: Certified in Strategic Decision-Making
- Caltech: Certified in Innovation Mgmt
- Grove Consulting’s Team Performance Indicator
- Glenn Parker Team Player Survey
- 5 Dysfunctions of Teams
- Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode for Negotiation
- Stephen Drotter’s Leadership Pipeline (from GE)
- Stanford LEAP 360
- Korn Ferry VOICES 360
- Design Thinking through IDEO
- Lominger’s Career Architect from Center for Creative Leadership
- MBTI / Myers-Briggs
- Insights Discovery
- Crucial Conversations
- Social Styles at Work
- Situational Leadership
- Barry Rhein’s Selling Through Curiosity
- Miller Heiman’s Large Account Mgmt
- Certified ScrumMaster in Agile and Lean Work Environments
To relax, Wai practices a therapeutic form of martial arts, occasionally conducts culinary experiments at home to his other half’s chagrin, loves nature but is leaving too many plants unattended, has a wishlist to learn the guitar to play Latin music, and makes up for spending too much time at work by providing snore-inducing massages to his dog Teddy Roosevelt and cat Geo.
It has taken +40 years. Wai loves coaching his clients: To build allies, access support, and get big things done!