• Happiness,  Leadership,  Success Strategy

    Decisions, Decisions | How I planned and survived my family vacation

    “How can we make good decisions when there is not enough data”? During my seminar a few weeks back, I got this question from a gentleman in the audience. As someone giving the seminar I guess I was supposed to be an “expert” on this! Alas, I could not act as the know-all expert, inspired by Brene Brown, I chose to be a human instead – showed them how sub-optimal my own decision-making process is!  I told them this story. My parents were visiting me; this was their first time in the US so I wanted to show them some landmark. On the same token, I thought that if my…

  • Career satisfaction,  Happiness,  Personal Brand

    Feeling Stuck? Look into Your Fears

    Feeling stuck in your job? Having a lack of motivation? It is very frustrating when despite all the hard work, you don’t get the deserved recognition. On top when I say, “Focus on your vision”– it could add more fuel to it. Last year during my seminar a gentleman from the audience challenged me, “None of what you are saying works, I tried everything, it doesn’t work!” Though I felt a little awkward, I could sense his disappointment. I also learned something from it. It is not easy to project into the future –  our brain finds it hard to visualize something it doesn’t have the experience about. On the other hand, since…

  • Career satisfaction,  Happiness,  Leadership,  Success Strategy

    Organization Politics – How We See It Can Change the Meaning

    “I really like doing my job but I hate politics. When I ask others, everyone says the same thing, they hate politics. If no one likes it then who creates them in the first place”? My friend sighed as she and I were catching up over coffee on a beautiful sunny spring afternoon. We commonly use the term, “politics” to describe an action people engage in to advance their self-interest at the cost of their colleagues’/team’s interest. It is a win-lose game driven by the intention of gaining something for a selfish purpose. As someone spent 20+ years both inside organizations and then coaching organization leaders, I get very curious…

  • 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,  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. The main feedback was, 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. Deep inside though she was not feeling confident about her contribution either. All her time was spent getting…

  • 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,  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…

  • 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…