• Career satisfaction,  Leadership,  Personal Brand

    Managing up/Self-promotion : What To Do About It

    In my recent survey, an amazing 79% of people said that Managing-up/Self-promotion is the most challenging aspect of their work. I didn’t expect it at all! I then started thinking about it more and realized it is the tip of the iceberg. Based on my experience, the real issue underneath is our reactive mode.  A more effective approach is to be purposeful in our engagement and align it with our bigger vision and core values. Deviations are fine as long as they are exceptions rather than the rule- as it doesn’t sustain for very long. Interpretation of the Data A good majority of people think Managing-up/Self Promotion is their biggest challenge. As a manager or a…

  • Image by alan9187 from Pixabay
    Career satisfaction,  Happiness,  Personal Brand,  Self-leadership

    Know your Strengths, Capitalize on Them

    Too often, we send employees to training to fix the areas of weaknesses. We expect people to be well-rounded to be successful. The fact is, excellent performers, are rarely “well rounded”; they are sharp. The difference between an excellent performer and an average performer is that the former is aware of their strengths and regularly cultivates them. In contrast, the latter one spends time and energy in a scattered way. What I Mean by Strength 1. An activity is your strength when you can do it consistently, repeatedly, happily, and successfully. 2. You don’t have to have strength in every aspect of your role to excel. 3. You will excel by…

  • A Cat Image by Heinz Hummel from Pixabay
    Career satisfaction,  Coaching,  Executive Presence,  Happiness,  productivity,  Stress Management,  Success Strategy,  Time Management,  WorkLife balance

    Are You Sabotaged By Your Inner Hyper-Achiever?

    A high-tech leader, let’s call him Jason, said, “I can’t relax; I always have to do something useful. Nobody makes me do so; it’s me. This is how I am”. Jason is not alone. Many of us have such hyper achievers in us, pushing us to do more. This trait may have helped us be where we are, yet its overuse cause more harm than good. Growing up, we all developed traits that kept us safe, got us what we needed, and helped us achieve success. Other than hyper-achiever, pleaser, perfectionist, victim, are to name a few. My top two are hyper-achiever and pleaser.  Psychologists Hal and Sidra Stone call…

  • Tearing elephant By ArtTower on Pixabay
    Career satisfaction,  EQ,  Executive Presence,  productivity,  Success Strategy

    Use Emotions As Your Ally

    Do anxiety, outrage, frustration, or sadness often grip you? Do they get in the way in high stake situations? Do you wonder why you are not getting what you want? The solution could be lying under your unrecognized emotions. We are emotional beings. Emotions are signals that inform us that something important is at stake. When we notice and acknowledge them and take the time to process them, we can make better decisions and improve our relationships. But when we plow through them with premature action or hide them under a mask, we do more harm to us and those around us. Emotional Intelligence or EQ is a well-known term these…

  • 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. Brilliant 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 and 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 the team settled…

  • Career satisfaction,  EQ,  Executive Presence,  Happiness,  Leadership,  productivity,  Stress Management,  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 Barb 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 who spent 20+ years both inside organizations and then coaching organization leaders, I get…

  • A Woman -Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash
    Career satisfaction,  Success Strategy

    Job Searching for a Career Path Change? Act Like a Farmer

    A job change is usually a daunting task. It becomes even more challenging when it involves a discipline, industry, or a role change. People often see it as continuously submitting resumes through the job boards, like throwing spaghetti on the wall and seeing what sticks. For those wanting a career-path change, this rarely gives a positive outcome and becomes very frustrating. A leader in the non-profit, let’s call her Tricia, wanted to move to the for-profit sector. She had been applying through the job boards but didn’t get much traction. On top of her super busy schedule, this was causing her more stress and disappointment. I asked how she preferred…

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    Career satisfaction,  EQ,  Executive Presence,  Leadership,  Success Strategy

    Having A Hard Time Getting Your Voice Heard In Meetings?

    Tim is an engineering leader at a hi-tech company in Seattle. He is very good at his trade, has a profound understanding of the technology stack, and has decent ideas about the current industry trends. He has been very successful, got promoted relatively 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 years, I was…

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    Career satisfaction,  Coaching,  Happiness,  Success Strategy,  Work Culture

    What Intrinsically Motivates Us (Hint: It’s not money)

    David, a tech leader and a father of two, was in a big dilemma about a job offer. The money was higher than what he was making in his current job, but something else didn’t feel right. His friends said he should take it – “after all, you do the work for money, like a mercenary.” Humans are driven by only money and materialistic rewards is a false premise.  Research shows that additional money doesn’t increase our motivation when we have enough money to meet our regular needs (higher than just basics). Especially if the work needs creativity or deep thinking, money doesn’t guarantee higher performance. In his book, Drive, Daniel…

  • Flat tire- Image courtesy Pixabay.com
    Career satisfaction,  Happiness,  Leadership,  productivity,  Stress Management

    How is Your Emotional Tire Pressure?

    “I am just busy,” “I could use a nap,” “I am so tired.” Does any of these sound familiar to you? If yes, you belong to a very large group of working professionals who keep going every day despite all such feelings – it is like driving your car with low tire pressure. A 2017 article from Occupational Health and Safety said, 43% of Americans are too tired to function well at work. If it included the knowledge workers, it would have been much higher. And all these were before 2020. This year – the pandemic, the election, the social unrest, the forest fire, the blurred work-life boundary – we…