AsianUpward Leadership Course

The Sphere of Influence

Develop Credibility, Visibility, and Leadership Presence

The Sphere of Influence features tactics and strategies to elevate APAs toward increased career opportunities and leadership possibilities. This 2-day course focuses on strengthening your influence capabilities as a core, which expands into methods that consciously craft your personal credibility, visibility, and reputation. Topics include:

  • The AsianUpward Cultural Fluidity Model
  • The Credibility Wheel and How to Wield It toward Professional Effectiveness
  • Collective Influence & the Halo Strategy that Aligns More Closely with Asian Values, Yet Translates toward Intercultural Impact

AsianUpward Toolbook

The Definitive Guide to Asian Pacific American Leadership & Professional Success

The premier book on APA leadership and
professional development features practical,
signature TrailBlaze Tools and applied research.

How The Sphere of Influence Works

Summer Virtual
July 29 & 30, 2021
9:00 am—4:00 pm Pacific Time
Live & Remote

Registration Information

Tuition: $1900/person. Tuition includes materials (Curriculum book and AugmentAsian ToolBook), and meals with in-person courses

Early bird: Register before March 31, 2021 and receive access to all 8 short courses

Team Advantage: $1800/person if 5 or more are from the same organization and receive access to all 8 short courses

Government Rate: $1700/person and receive access to all 8 short courses, even for single registrations

Who Should Register:

  • Individual Contributors
  • First-line Managers
  • Professionals from all industries, sectors, and fields are welcome

You, The Marketplace Masterpiece*
Assess Your Skills Rarity and Value in the Career Market
April 23, 2021, 12:30pm – 1:30pm Pacific Time

Leadership Humility as Mental Agility
May 14, 2021, 12:30pm – 1:30pm Pacific Time

Micro-Stress Management*
How to Mitigate It Before It Manifests into Mega Distress
April 23, 2021, 12:30pm – 1:30pm Pacific Time

Allies & Adversaries—Activate!*
Strategies to Leverage and Boost
Relationships in the Workplace

July 23, 2021, 12:30pm – 1:30pm Pacific Time

Predict, Pivot & Position*
Futureproofed and Functional Frameworks for Your Career
August 20, 2021, 12:30pm – 1:30pm Pacific Time

Net Worth Navigator*
Negotiate with Nuance
September 17, 2021, 12:30pm – 1:30pm Pacific Time

Visibility Vectorscope*
Leverage Intentional and Indirect Visibility
October 15, 2021, 12:30pm – 1:30pm Pacific Time

Oh Shift!*
Transform Conflict to Collaboration
November 19, 2021, 12:30pm – 1:30pm Pacific Time

*Scroll Down for the full descriptions of all 8 short courses.
**Earn a certificate with just the 2-day course.

Special Rate: Receive access to all short courses. See the Registration Information.

Short Courses Description

You, The Marketplace Masterpiece
Assess Your Skills Rarity and Value in the Career Market
Think of yourself like a gem in the job marketplace. Are your skills rare? Are they valuable? This session emphasizes a methodical approach toward assessing these two areas in the marketplace in order to optimize your opportunities with your career. When you engage in peak professional positioning, this framework will facilitate where your current skills are, as well as where to target future skills, whether technical or essential (we prefer essential rather than “soft skills”). Move toward masterpiece in the marketplace as you participate in this experiential session.

Leadership Humility as Mental Agility
Many treat humility as a behavior that boosts reputation. What if you could take humility as a leadership competency? How can you position humility professionally and deliberately? Enter Humbility or humility that leads to mental agility, flexibility, and strategy. This session systematizes how to leverage humility as you build those three aforementioned skills. Humbility catalyzes you toward leadership and professional approaches that make you flexible, adaptable, and conscious of changes. Humility is a vital asset, but Humbility elevates it higher!

Micro-Stress Management
How to Mitigate It Before It Manifests into Mega-Distress
Micro-Stress represents the seemingly insignificant, nearly invisible stresses that professionals often minimize or ignore. These micro stressors can lead to hairline fractures in our emotional, mental, and physical well-being. Fractions can easily forge into fissures. This session supports strategies to identify and address micro-stress before it manifests into mega-distress. Join this interactive session to discover more!

Allies & Adversaries—Activate!*
Strategies to Leverage and Boost Relationships in the Workplace
Allies and adversaries exist in many ways at work, yet how do we leverage each? Alliances prove easier, as they often form from common cause and can forge friendships. This session includes tactics to advance your relationships from alliances. Equally important, adversaries can prove quite valuable in professional and leadership development—if you know how to leverage these relationships. How can adversaries support us as we refine positions, recognize blind spots, and reduce conflict? Join us with this interactive session to learn how.

Predict, Pivot & Position
 Futureproofed and Functional Frameworks for Your Career
As the future of work accelerates and careens down diverging, uncertain paths, how do you Predict, Pivot & Position your professional trajectory? Communication, problem-solving, and analytical acumen top the list of over 50,000 timeless competencies that let you adapt to today’s shifting professional workplace. This session takes a nuanced view that intersects the communication with problem-solving in a practical, visual framework. You will learn to prepare and predict personalities and communication styles as you pivot and position your own messaging in flexible ways. These Tools will enhance your interpersonal dynamics and relationships, whether you have individual interactions or lead global teams.

Net Worth Navigator
 Negotiate with Nuance
How do you know your net worth in the market? Although that is a true negotiation that can run the gamut, you can certainly map out the landscape of what’s possible in requesting. It’s more than about monetary compensation. The Net Worth Navigator will guide you through the terrain of these negotiations to make it a win-win for your future partnership with your team. Join thousands of professionals who have attended the Elevate presentations and continue to advance their careers.

Visibility Vectorscope
Leverage Intentional and Indirect Visibility
Career and professional success require visibility. The root of “promotion” is “promote,” which entails cultivating visibility. This session features strategies to achieve this through the Visibility Vectorscope, which opens opportunities for others to support and “promote” you. Join us to stand out in the workplace. 

Oh Shift!
Transform Conflict to Collaboration
In these intense times, stress and pressure to perform can lead to increased conflict. Compound that with miscommunication, information overload, and cultural misunderstandings, this leads to even more potential conflict. On the other hand, we now live in a more-collaborative workplace environment than the “command-and-control” hierarchies that existed just a few decades ago. How do you navigate these conflicts and transform them into productive collaboration? This session provides some key strategies and practical techniques to achieve this. Join us to move from conflict to collaboration.

What Makes It Unique

These elements make the Sphere of Influence unique:

Contributor Acknowledgement
Receive contributor acknowledgement on a future Elevate multi-university publication. Your class cohorts provide insights that double as data integrated into publications.

Customized Report
Provide your managers with a tailored report to incorporate in your individual performance development plan.

Career & Competency Connected
Course lessons relate to any job function. See the Competency DNA Matrix.

Cross-Industry Collaboration
Learn alongside participants across multiple industries and sectors.

Learn collaboratively from the signature, trademarked, TrailBlaze Tools by Elevate that are highly practical, simplified, and visual.

Captivating & Condensed
Apply practical, research-based learning from the certificate. These courses are short, experiential, and homework-free!


Vu H. Pham, Ph.D.
As the Chair of Elevate, Vu H. Pham, Ph.D. works with dozens of organizatioans from the Fortune 500 to government and non-profit agencies. Elevate is a partnership with the University of California, Irvine’s Merage School of Business, UC Riverside, California State University Fullerton, UC Office of the President—MESA, and Spectrum Knowledge. The Elevate Program boosts organizational performance and strategic effectiveness through interactive training and data-driven research.

Guest Speakers

Allen Chen
Senior Vice President, Global Diversity & Inclusion
Bank of America

Allen Ericson
President – Community Hospital Division & President – St. Joseph’s Hospital
Froedtert & Medical College of Wisconsin

Dennis Hirotsu
Vice President, Corporate Research & Development Innovation Capability (Retired)
Procter & Gamble

Labu Sharma
Regional Vice President & General Manager
GE Healthcare

Patrick Tang
Vice President of Product Integrity
Amazon Lab126

The Competency DNA Matrix

The Elevate Competency DNA Matrix reflects the majority of competencies that organizations seek across job functions. You can incorporate these competencies in almost any individual performance development plan.


The primary competencies covered in this specific series are bolded with gold-filled icons.

Challenges that APAs Face

Asian Pacific Americans face challenges in career and professional settings. A few of these include:

less likely
Asian men were less likely to be Executives than White women

below parity
APAs had the lowest Executive Parity Index (EPI) among all racial minorities that had an EPI that’s below parity

of the federal professional workforce in 2016 were APAs
but only
are at the
highest level


less likely

Asian women were less likely to be Executives than white women


more likely

to quit when Asian men are hindered from achieving their full potential at work


more likely

to quit when Asian women’s potential are inhibited


Studies show that organizations with inclusive and diverse talent outperform in the following areas:

Dedicated, Engaged & Fact-Focused

Cognitive Diversity & Market Advantage Innovation

Driven to Bottom-Line Return

Featured Partner

Federal Asian Pacific American Council (FAPAC)

The FAPAC was founded in 1985. It is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization representing the civilian and military Asian Pacific American (APA) employees in the Federal and District of Columbia governments.

To learn more about FAPAC visit their website at

“AsianUpward is packed from start to finish with sound research and simple yet effective tools.  Every page bursts with nuggets of knowledge and strategies for success.”

Marlene Aquino

Vice President
Talent Marketplace & Experience
Booz Allen Hamilton

“There is a uniqueness to everyone’s approach to life and work, understanding and communicating your strengths is key to advancing in the workplace. AsianUpward is the guide you need to succeed.”

Ondra Berry

Senior Vice President
MGM Resorts International

“Easy to read and easy to apply – AsianUpward exposes misconceptions and illustrates how to leverage cultural differences to the benefit of individuals and companies alike.”

Gene Fraser

Vice President Programs
Quality & Engineering 
Northrop Grumman Company