• Career satisfaction,  EQ,  Happiness,  Leadership,  Success Strategy

    Reactivity To Thoughtfulness – A Corporate Leader’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” in organizations. Leaders often spend a lot of time, energy, and money on these symptoms, throw expensive training with minimal sustainable impact. My experience says these are mostly symptoms; a coach approach can help uncover and address the underlying issues to create a long-lasting positive change. 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 story…

  • EQ,  Happiness,  Stress Management

    “Why Does It Bother Me?” Why We React So Much By Other’s Opinions

    It was the Spring of 2011, I was volunteering as a treasurer for a non-profit organization. My motivation was to hone my accounting skills while expanding my network. It was going well for the most part except for one small problem. One of the old members started giving me unsolicited advice on how to do my job. At first, I tried to ignore her, but eventually, it pushed me over the edge.  Being relatively new to the team, I decided to talk to someone I trusted. Fortunately, this trusted member was a coach. She empathized with me that the other member wasn’t being respectful. Then she asked, “Why does it bother…

  • A cat is being pampered- Photo by Yerlin Matu on Unsplash
    Happiness,  Self-leadership,  Stress Management,  Work Culture

    What Gets in the Way of Guilt Free Self-Care?

    “Finish your homework before you play “ – Our parents’ well-meaning advice worked well in our early days, but as adults, it is backfiring. These days, most of our work is a continuous process and hardly is completed on a given workday. We tend to postpone all the play (self-care) until we finish the work. We mistakenly think that the completion of the work and the recognition will be enough to keep us going. But the truth is quite the opposite.  Regular play (self-care) helps us be at our optimal condition; it builds the muscles for us to face the challenges of work and other areas of life. In the…

  • Children, foster greater understanding
    Communication,  EQ,  Happiness,  Leadership,  Self-leadership

    Conversations To Foster Greater Understanding

    Recently this post by organizational psychologists at Wharton, Adam Grant, went viral on LinkedIn. He said: The clearest sign of intellectual chemistry isn’t agreeing with someone. It’s enjoying your disagreements with them. Harmony is the pleasing arrangement of different tones, voices, or instruments, not the combination of identical sounds. Creative tension makes beautiful music. I commented there, which became most popular on that post (80+ likes and 20 comments). I would add, keeping the intention of understanding as the purpose, and not so much of agreement or disagreement. That way, it becomes less subjective. For example:  instead of “I disagree,” one can say, “Can you give me an example where it is…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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 only by 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…