• 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…

  • Leadership,  productivity,  Success Strategy

    The Pen is Luxurious Than the Keyboard

    This year I have made a commitment – I will be more accountable to myself. I found a paper notebook is helping me in this regard. Every day/week I am jotting down what I want to focus on, what my intention is and how I am doing.  A paper and pen is definitely not the state of the art personal productivity tool but surprisingly enough it is helping me to be more mindful about my time. I now have more clarity about where I am with respect to my bigger goals (also written/drawn on a paper).  I wonder, what is the point on going back to a non-tech solution when I…

  • 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…