• Leadership,  Success Strategy

    The Power Of Yes – Leadership Lessons from My Car Dealership

    I was in the waiting area of the dealership while my car was getting an oil change. Tony, one of the service reps saw me and asked if I had been helped. As I nodded positively,  he seemed to recognize me and said, “You have the grey Forester, right? What brought you in today?”. I was pleasantly surprised that he remembered me from my last visit three months ago. In today’s data/AI driven world, Tony’s apparent simple human conversation felt like a rare treat! I have already been a happy customer for the past several years of this local dealership.  As a coach helping leaders and teams harness their fuller potential,…

  • Career satisfaction,  Leadership,  Success Strategy

    How Coaching Can Increase Employee Engagement

    I have worked within the high tech industry for over a decade and I have always wondered why a large number of the great hires end up disengaged, identified as below average performers so soon after hire! First as a manager and now as a coach, my observation is the raw potential the employees bring often gets underutilized because of the chaos in the workplace. Despite the relative maturity in the high tech industry we still depend on Darwin’s “Survival of the fittest” theory. I believe a coach can be a catalyst to increase the odds for each employee to be of the “fittest” species in the corporate jungle. Below are the stories of two…

  • Career satisfaction,  Leadership,  Success Strategy,  Time Management

    Want to Take your Career to the Next Level? Manage Your Attention Wisely

    “I don’t have the time to pause and think, my days are filled with back to back meetings. When someone asks me a question, I just tell them what I know and I go to my next meeting. I feel like I am fire-fighting”. Adriana, a senior director of a fortune 100 company was telling me this during our recent conversation. She is not alone. If you are even moderately successful, back to back meetings is a sad reality of your life. The more damaging part is, this kind of constant demand on our attention reduces our ability of deep thinking. We end up exhausted creating the same old results…

  • 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…

  • 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. 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…