• 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 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…

  • EQ,  Happiness,  Leadership,  Success Strategy

    Caterpillars to Butterflies : Human Maturity Stages

    [Key point: If you are doing everything right, working hard and still not getting the fulfillment, don’t just label it as the mid-life crisis. You may be ready to transition to the next maturity stage. It’s your choice to pay heed to your heart’s calling or to stay comfortable and forgo any further exploration of this wonderful life you have.] When I ask “what do YOU want” people sometimes get confused.  Common responses are: “Wouldn’t that be selfish”? “I always think about others, I put others needs ahead of me, am I not supposed to do that way”? I realized some awareness around Kegan’s Human Maturity Stages might shed some light…

  • Leadership,  Success Strategy,  Uncategorized

    Procrastination – How to Manage this Common Vice

    [Summary: Don’t get too hard on yourself- find the root cause and handle it in a smarter way.] If you are reading this you might be like many of us who suffer from procrastination. But don’t stop there – this is just the tip of the iceberg, the symptom of something bigger underneath. Pay attention and address the root cause. For my case I procrastinate for different reasons. For example, when the task: Needs deep attention (e.g. creative thinking) Is hard – something I am not naturally good at (e.g. accounting). Is boring (organizing, paper work, chores) My strategy depends on the reason for the procrastination. For the high energy…

  • 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 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 are visiting me; this is their first time in the US so I wanted to show them some landmark. On the same token I thought that if my…