• A Busy Woman:
    Career satisfaction,  EQ,  Leadership,  Self-leadership

    Are You A Go-to Fixer For Your Team? You Are Not Helping.

    Elizabeth was a long-tenured senior officer at a commercial bank. She had a high sense of responsibility. Most of her time was spent fixing problems created by others both at work and in her family, leaving no time for herself. Friends stopped inviting her to get-togethers as she said “no” many times. The irony is that despite helping others, her relationships with her family (her adult siblings) and colleagues were also pretty strained. Ben, a high-achieving retired physician in his early seventies, volunteered for a cause close to his heart. After a while, he realized that instead of fulfillment, he felt guilty and overwhelmed most of the time. The sense…

  • 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 developing new software or a product. But when it comes to a career, what does it mean? I didn’t think about it until that moment when 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 starting 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 he couldn’t make any progress because he didn’t know “it.” It sounded…

  • Career satisfaction,  EQ,  Executive Presence,  Happiness,  Leadership,  productivity,  Stress Management,  Success Strategy

    Organization Politics – How We See It Can Change the Meaning

    “I like doing my job, but I hate politics. Almost everyone says that they hate politics. If no one likes it, then who creates it 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 people’s actions to advance their self-interest at the cost of their coworkers’ interests. It is a win-lose game driven by the intention of gaining something for a selfish purpose. As someone who spent 20+ years inside organizations and then coaching organization leaders, I get curious about this. Barb’s comment made me ponder even more.…

  • 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 can cause more harm than good. Growing up, we all developed different traits that kept us safe, got us what we needed, and helped us achieve success. Other than the hyper-achiever, there are several other traits; pleaser, perfectionist, victim, are to name a few. My top two are hyper-achiever…

  • Career satisfaction,  Happiness,  Leadership,  Success Strategy

    “Never Looked Back” – Is a Myth

    Recently I was sharing the story of my career change and someone commented, “…and you never looked back”! I was caught by surprise. The fact is, I did look back, many times. The past 10 years of my new career was anything but easy and many times I doubted and regretted my original decision. That comment invoked a deeper insight in me though. “I never looked back”, gives us the impression that the person found their ultimate path and everything became better afterward. It is like those “lived happily ever after” fairy tales. This is far from reality and I am yet to meet someone with significant successes, who never…

  • Sharmin Banu
    Career satisfaction,  Coaching,  Success Strategy

    Why Targeting A Job Title As A Goal Doesn’t Work – Sharmin’s Interview With Ascend Global Media

      Q: Why is it important to set an authentic goal? When we are too focused on outside-in recognition like a job title, money, etc., we narrowly define our goal. It will be very hard to keep our attention to what is truly important, and we may get easily distracted by the hurdles.  As a result, we may act and behave less than our best, which leads to unproductive drama, a win-lose kind of game. When setting a goal, think about the behavior and experiences that lead to a desirable outcome. Often people say, “I want to be a VP, Director, CEO, etc.”. I understand those titles show your level…

  • Craft New year Goals
    Career satisfaction,  productivity,  Success Strategy

    Webinar this Week: Craft Sustainable Goals For The New Year

    The beginning of the year motivates us to start things right. Ironically it often creates social pressure to declare a popular resolution rather than thoughtfully develop a meaningful and sustainable goal. Most people go with losing weight, eating healthier or changing diet, getting fitter, and doing more exercise. No matter how good these look, sustaining them through regular practice becomes a hurdle. I also had my fair share of going with the social norms and not following through. So it is no surprise that this new study has found that about two-thirds of people abandon their New Year’s resolutions within a month. In this article, I shared three techniques to alleviate…

  • Patterns and Tools: Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
    Career satisfaction,  Coaching,  Personal Brand,  productivity,  Self-leadership,  Stress Management,  Time Management

    A Workshop Emerged from the Themes of Coaching Tech Clients

    After 12 years of coaching software engineers to VPs in the tech industry, I found this common theme: feeling fulfilled about our work and contribution is challenging. Managing a thriving relationship with the boss, peers, and other stakeholders is not easy. They would always want more from us; our passion would be interpreted as aggressiveness, our analytical thinking style would be seen as a lack of executive presence. And the list goes long. In addition, managing a family, kids, along full-time demanding work becomes a losing battle at times. No wonder 55% of the adult population feels Languishing, a lack of zest. As high-performing, high-achieving leaders and individual contributors, all of my…

  • Entrepreneurial Spirit
    Career satisfaction,  Leadership,  Self-leadership,  Success Strategy

    Entrepreneurial Spirit : Build The Product YOU

    “All humans are entrepreneurs not because they should start companies but because the will to create is encoded in human DNA.” – Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn. If you are itching to create something and share it with the world, you must be thinking about the product and possible funding. While those are crucial, we often ignore that we need to work on ourselves, the mindset, learn, and improve how we operate  – the product, YOU. To start, ask yourself these three questions – WHY, WHAT, and HOW. The Why Why do you want to do this? Some of the answers I heard before are:  “Everyone else I know is…

  • Goats blocking the street : Image by Dennis Larsen from Pixabay
    Career satisfaction,  Happiness,  Self-leadership

    Career Satisfaction: What Is In Your Way?

    “Not enough time,” “Not enough support from others,” “Lack of ideas” topped the list for my survey question: “What is in your way of a more satisfying career?”  It would have been great if somehow these external factors of time and support were resolved so you and I could flourish. But alas, as said by the Greek philosopher Epictetus, “We cannot (always) choose our external circumstances…”. In algebra, we learned that we need to work on the variable part if something is constant. Epictetus added, “…but we can always choose how we respond to them.”  Our choice to respond is the variable part! You may wonder what makes Epictetus the…