• Happiness,  Leadership,  Personal Brand,  Uncategorized

    Courage From Within – How Conviction And Trust Can Help

    Growing up I didn’t think I had much courage. One day I saw this quote saying: Courage is not the absence of fear it is acting despite — because something is important to us. That made perfect sense! Fear will always be there and that might be a good thing as it enforces us to prepare well by doing the due diligence. Conviction is an important part of courage. I am able to bring courage because my conviction about the matter is stronger than the fear. 22 years ago, when I first came to the US for my grad school, it was the very first time for me to be in a foreign…

  • Career satisfaction,  Success Strategy

    How To Think Of Your Career Growth, Agile or Waterfall

    Anyone familiar with software development knows agile is the way to go when you are developing new software or a product. But when it comes to career what does it really mean? Well, I didn’t think about it until that moment I was in the middle of a coaching session with a senior technology leader of a fortune 500 company. Let’s call him Peter. Peter was planning a transition, leaving his corporate VP job and start doing something on his own in about a two-year timeframe. But he was getting frustrated that he didn’t know what it would be and the little time he had he couldn’t make any progress…

  • Career satisfaction,  Happiness,  Leadership,  Success Strategy

    Reconnect With Self – A Leadership Lesson from CBS’s Madam Secretary

    In an episode of CBS’s Madam Secretary (Meaning of Life, May 13th, 2018), there is a side story where Russell Jackson was prescribed by his doctor to find a relaxing activity because of his heart condition. His intern Stevie was to find something not too “touchy-feely” activity for him. Stevie was going for all the well-researched activities like yoga, meditation, Tai Chi etc, none of which land well with Russell. Stevie’s Dad, Henry McCord came to rescue. He told Stevie, “All these practices are a warm-up for the big question, the Spiritual journey. All his life Russel avoided it. He might drive himself to an early grave trying to avoid it.”…

  • Career satisfaction,  EQ,  Happiness,  Leadership,  Success Strategy

    Reactivity To Thoughtfulness- A Corporate Manager’s Journey

    “He doesn’t work well with others.” “He has issues dealing with bad news.” “He is a star performer, but he is lacking executive presence.”  These are some of the typical “pain points” I have seen when organizations hire coaches for their mid-managers. Organizations often spend a lot of time, energy and money on the symptoms, throw expensive training with very little sustainable impact. My experience says these are mostly symptoms. A coach approach can help address those underlying issues. Here is the story of a mid-level manager at a large tech organization. Let’s call him Peter. Peter’s issue was poor conflict management. He had a hard time letting go. Hearing the…

  • Career satisfaction,  EQ,  Happiness,  Leadership,  Success Strategy

    What A Car Can Teach Us About A Successful Career

    I was talking to Andrea, a leader in a big corporate here in the Seattle area. Very smart and hardworking she was, her resume spoke for itself. As a senior director role in this new job, she was facing some challenges that she had never experienced before. The main feedback she was getting that others didn’t know what value she was bringing to the organization, they were not aware of her contribution. The solution in her mind was simple, only if she had the skill of being vocal in meetings she would have been prolific enough to blow her own horn. Not that she totally felt confident that she had…

  • Career satisfaction,  Happiness,  Success Strategy

    Everyone And Their Mother Is Talking About “Coaching” – What Is It Really?

    It will be rare to find someone who never heard “coaching” and yet it is one of the most overloaded terms today. Starting from sports coaching, tutoring or mentoring a junior professional, coaching bears a very diverse context. One common denominator though, it is about helping another person getting better at some skill. In the professional world, coaching is becoming more common in recent years. And that is where it could use little more clarity. According to the International Coach Federation(ICF), coaching is partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential. The basic premise is, the person being coached is…

  • Career satisfaction,  Personal Brand,  Success Strategy

    Women In Tech – Let’s Tap Into Our Own Greatness

    [Look for a special discount code inside -Sharmin] Background Story – Last year I attended a global conference in Warsaw with a few hundred International Coach Federation (ICF) leaders from across the world(140 countries to be specific). The trip was very significant for me on many levels including the opportunity to meet some very talented and passionate leaders in the coaching industry. Kelley Russell-Duvarney was one of them. Although our personal backgrounds had very little in common, we found ourselves in an extremely engaging conversation as we sat in the last row of a tour van for several hours during our group trip. We quickly appreciated the similarities in our thinking as we…

  • Career satisfaction,  Happiness,  Success Strategy

    Are You a Mom, Thinking of Going Back to Work?

    Rebecca was a 39-year-old woman and a mother of two (8 and 10). She had a college degree and a 10-year of mid-level corporate experience. Rebecca was happily married to her husband Bob who made a handsome six-figure income, they were comfortably living an upper-middle-class life in a suburban town in the Seattle area. The only downside, Rebecca took an 8-year break after she had her second child and she was feeling lost about how to go back to work. It was clear that making money was not the main concern for Rebecca. Though some income of her own would have helped her self-esteem, “I want to have something to use…

  • Career satisfaction,  Success Strategy

    Having A Hard Time Getting Your Voice Heard In Meetings?

    Tim is an engineering leader at a local hi-tech company. He is very good at his trade, has a very deep understanding of the technology stack and has decent ideas about the current industry trends. All his career he has been very successful got promoted fairly quickly up to this level, and now his next move is stalled. The concern? He doesn’t talk in meetings. Tim brought it up in a recent coaching session. His reason for not speaking in meetings? He doesn’t want to share a half-baked idea and look stupid. He thinks it is more respectful to stay quiet when he doesn’t know everything. Fair point. Flashback 15…

  • Happiness,  Success Strategy,  Time Management

    Time Is Fixed But Energy Is Not

    “There’s not enough time.” “Time is running out.” “I wish I had more time.” These are complaints we hear frequently. High-performing, high-achieving professionals often come to me for better time-management strategies. There are 24 fixed hours in a day, and after applying all kinds of self-depriving techniques we can find at most 12–16 hours of available time on a given day. How it is even possible to do more? Time is fixed for everyone from the Dalai Lama to Barack Obama. I feel helpless! But wait, maybe we are looking at the wrong place. Think about a very productive, fulfilling day of your normal life (pick a good day, not…