• Let's Get Real Podcast cover
    Career satisfaction,  Leadership,  Personal Brand,  Self-leadership

    My Podcast Interview: Resilience Inside and Out

    Earlier this month, a fellow leadership coach, Nina Simonds invited me to her podcast, Let’s Get Real. Nina started this series in 2020 because, as she wrote, “I love having REAL conversations with people who inspire me. In my 20+ years as a leadership and relationship coach, I experience the most flow when I am learning in a community with others. Let’s Get Real is a place where my guests and I explore personal experiences that have been catalysts for our own growth. We also explore and share some of the tools that help us see others more fully and give us the confidence to lead and love well.” In…

  • Super hero employee
    Coaching,  Communication,  Executive Presence,  Leadership

    From High Achiever to a Leader: It’s a Mindset Shift

    Stephan was a VP of a Fortune 200 company. He was one of the top performers and indispensable for high stake projects. As a result, he was stretched thin; and had no downtime. He tried to delegate to his team, but unfortunately, he had to jump in when things got tough. It was unsustainable and unscalable for him and the organization. That is when he looked for a coach. I summarized his learning journey in the sections below. Start with Selfcare On our first meeting, I noticed that Stephan looked sleep deprived. However, he also candidly admitted that he had so much to do and so few resources that working…

  • A man working with a laptop
    Happiness,  Leadership,  Personal Brand

    Being an Introvert is not a Weakness to Fix

    Have you ever heard of extroverts having to develop to become quieter? Probably not too often. But if you are an introvert, there are tons of feedback for you to come out of your desk, mingle with people, and overcome the fears of public speaking, you name it! Now here is some good news for you (and me). In the article, The Upside of being an Introvert (and why the extroverts are being overrated); It says, “It takes both introvert and extrovert to make history.  Introverts have less number of friends but those relationships tend to be deep and rewarding. Introverts tend to think more thoroughly and that is a…

  • Career satisfaction,  Personal Brand,  Self-leadership,  Success Strategy

    Self-Promotion Doesn’t Have to Be Selfish

    A couple of years ago, I ran a survey among tech professionals, and it came out that “Managing up/Self-promotion” was the top concern. I was not too surprised. Talking about ourselves seems opposite to humility – it contradicts our values, yet managing up is essential for reward and recognition. Over the years, I learned that it might feel more altruistic if we see it as helping our managers and others do their job better. When I became a manager for the first time at a large corporation, I got a new team from another division. Since it was close to the annual review time, their previous manager prepared their performance data for me to submit…

  • Conflict at work
    Coaching,  Leadership,  productivity,  Stress Management,  Work Culture

    What Causes Conflicts In Teams

    No one wakes up thinking, “I will ruin the day; I will be ineffective today.” But even when everyone on the team is a decent person – stress, conflicts, and drama happen. I have identified a few underlying causes behind them. When thinking and feeling styles are different When someone is under stress When someone overuses their strengths For this article, I am leaving out the toxic cultures where the main actors are ego, selfish interest, and a lack of trust. On a team I led, there was a very energetic, proactive, independent-minded person who was very good at generating ideas and following through with them without help. Let’s call…

  • Two men are talking in a business setting
    Career satisfaction,  Coaching,  Communication,  Executive Presence

    A Tale Of A Coaching Session

    In corporate, coaching means helping someone do their job by giving them advice. Some examples are “have you considered XYZ?” and “If I were you, I would do it this way.” But professional coaching is about helping someone maximize their potential by creating awareness and developing an implementation plan according to their choice. I will describe one coaching session here to shed light on it. I got this new coaching project; I met the client for our first session last week. A woman in her mid-30s, a manager at a Biotech company, showed up on my Zoom screen. Let me call her Kate. We spent 10-ish minutes getting to know…

  • Leadership,  Success Strategy

    The False Dichotomy Between Success and Failure – They Are Not Opposite of Each Other

    “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” Author and Harvard professor Sarah Lewis mentioned this famous Churchill quote in her book The Rise: Creativity, the Gift of Failure, and the Search for Mastery while making a case for mastery and continuous improvement over those milestones we revere so greatly.  Recently Stacy Abrams gave us a masterclass on turning failure into powerful learning. After her highly contested, narrow-margin defeat in the 2018 gubernatorial race, she focused on organizing at the grassroots level. Two years later, it resulted in Joe Biden’s historic win in Georgia. Abrams captured the process in her book (After the loss) “I’ve made myself…

  • Coaching,  Communication,  Leadership,  Work Culture

    Remote and Hybrid Work Is Here To Stay: How Are You Catching Up?

    Even five years ago, calling into a meeting was not very encouraged. But this Covid19 pandemic suddenly turned the culture upside down. Nowadays, organizations are having difficulty bringing people back to physical offices. Two years of forced remote work taught us that we don’t have to be in one physical place to be productive. Historically, pandemics changed societies. In 1347, the Black Death’s most significant socioeconomic legacy was its role in ending feudalism. In 1819, the Spanish Flu revolutionized public health, spawning the new fields of epidemiology and virology. In addition, it led several Western European countries to adopt universal healthcare systems that are still in operation. Remote and Hybrid…

  • 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…

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

    Conversations To Foster Greater Understanding

    Recently this post by an organizational psychologist 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…