• Happiness,  Success Strategy,  Time Management

    Time Is Fixed But Energy Is Not

    “There’s not enough time.” “Time is running out.” “I wish I had more time.” These are some complaints we hear frequently. High-performing, high-achieving professionals often ask for time-management strategies. After applying all kinds of self-depriving techniques, we can find at most 12–16 hours on a given day. From the Dalai Lama to Barack Obama, time is fixed for everyone. How is it even possible to do more? But wait, maybe we are looking at the wrong place. Think about a very productive, fulfilling day from your recent past. What guided you when you planned that day? Did you automatically react to whatever ended up on your plate? Was there something different…

  • 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…

  • The author on a spring afternoon in Seattle
    Happiness

    What life stage are you in – Survival, Success or Significance?

    Watching Joe Biden’s inauguration, I have been feeling highly spirited all day today. This topic I found from Pastor Rick Warren at the Oprah show, seemed appropriate for this week’s post. He said, “Everyone lives at one of three levels in life: Survival, Success, and Significance.”  Survival– You live from week to week, looking forward to the weekends, vacations, and finally the retirement. In my words, this is life in “Autopilot mode.” Success – Your life is pretty full with eating out, driving a nice car, looking good, feeling good, having goods. After being at this level for a while as people grow, they start thinking – If I am so successful,…

  • New Year - Mohammad Hossain Pixabay
    Happiness,  productivity,  Success Strategy

    Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail and How to Make it Work

    Almost half of the Americans make New Year’s resolutions, but fewer than 10% successfully achieve them(source)! The most popular resolutions are staying fit, work-life balance, and personal enrichment. All these are great resolutions to improve one’s quality of life. Then why the success rate is so low, and what can we do to beat that? One of my coaching clients set his goal to reduce his weight by going to the gym every day. Knowing that the key to setting achievable goals is to align them with one’s true essence, I asked him these clarifying questions: What is the bigger purpose it is aligned to? What will you feel when you…

  • Country Road
    Happiness,  Stress Management,  WorkLife balance

    This Holiday Build Resilience Through Family Stories and Connections

    It is the holiday season. Despite everything that is going, I smell it in the air. Holidays are all about connecting with those near and dear ones, share traditions through food and other rituals. Even though this year’s holidays across the world had to be more virtual than in person, the spirit is no less. A few years ago, in a rare family get-together,  I got another chance to remember how these connections and touchpoints help our resilience and overall wellbeing. In Nov 2017, after 20+ years, my geographically dispersed family  – my Mom, siblings, and cousins got together at our grandparents’ home in rural Bangladesh. Although the occasion, sending…

  • courtesy pixabay.com
    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…

  • Goats fighting: Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay
    EQ,  Happiness,  Leadership,  Stress Management

    Are Disagreements Hard For You? EQ Analysis Can Help

    A very passionate, competent, and committed gentleman, Nathan was a Product leader at a medium-size cutting edge tech company. Disagreements, differences in opinions, were a regular part of his job, yet it was hard for him. It ended up being a personal attack that costed his relationships. He felt awful. He wanted to establish what he felt right for the organization, but he didn’t mean to hurt anyone. Disagreements came at a high price for him. Nathan believed that there were only two options: not to raise his concerns and maintain the harmony or fight for his point and accept the consequence. Either of the choices sucked. As we started…

  • Setback - Image by Fábio Luciano Sorg from Pixabay
    EQ,  Happiness,  Success Strategy

    Overcome Setbacks Using 3A’s : Acknowledge, Analyze and Act

    Theresa has been feeling very down the last few days. Her manager informed her that she didn’t get the promotion this time. He was quite compassionate while giving her the bad news. Still, it is hard for her to overcome this feeling of defeat. At times it feels like a loss or a betrayal even. It is hard for her to be present for her family though they have understood her disappointment. Theresa’s situation may sound familiar to many of you. As grown-ups, we know that everyone goes through such setbacks once in a while. Depending on our resilience, the level of suffering varies, and we come out to the other…