• Career satisfaction,  Happiness,  Leadership,  Success Strategy

    Reconnect With Self – A Leadership Lesson from CBS’s Madam Secretary

    In an episode of CBS’s Madam Secretary (Meaning of Life, May 13th, 2018), there is a side story where Russell Jackson was prescribed by his doctor to find a relaxing activity because of his heart condition. His intern Stevie was to find something not too “touchy-feely” exercise for him. Stevie was going for all the well-researched activities like yoga, meditation, Tai Chi, etc., none of which land well with Russell. Stevie’s Dad, Henry McCord, came to rescue. He told Stevie, “All these practices are a warm-up for the big question, the Spiritual journey. All his life Russel avoided it. He might drive himself to an early grave, trying to avoid it.”…

  • Pete Carroll by Bobak Ha'Eri / CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)
    Coaching,  Leadership,  Success Strategy

    What Makes Seahawks’ Pete Carroll A Great Leader

    The Seahawks began the 2020 season with a good all-around showing in a 38-25 win over the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday (source). Amid the Covid-19 pandemic and the more recent massive wildfire all through the west coast, this victory has brought some well-deserved breeze of fresh air among the Seahawks fan in the region. Those who have been following may know that Seahawks’ head coach for the last ten years, Pete Carroll, has been the catalyst behind the team’s rise. It got me thinking, what can corporate and business leaders learn from him. The one answer I got is his self-awareness, clear sense of purpose, and the genuine desire of…

  • Applying Software Engineering Concepts in Coaching
    Leadership,  Neuroscience,  productivity,  Stress Management,  Success Strategy

    Applying Software Engineering Concepts in Coaching

    Many of you know that before coaching, I was a software professional, and I studied computer science in college. A common perception is that coaching is the opposite of software engineering. But in this past decade, I noticed many similarities than differences between these two.  Last week, I was talking to a client who has a Ph.D. in Computer Science and works for a cutting edge research project for one of the topmost tech companies. He has been feeling overwhelmed with his task list that keeps growing every day and has sophisticated interdependencies. I knew that one way to reduce his “overwhelm” state was to bring him to his strengths.…

  • Fire and Water - Image by Iván Tamás from Pixabay
    EQ,  Leadership,  productivity,  Stress Management

    Stressed About a Situation? Either-Or Thinking Could Be The Cause

    Case Study 1 Helen, a mid-level leader, was frustrated with her boss. He told her one thing, but his behavior during meetings was saying something else. She was confused, and the only conclusion she could come up with was he was not forthright. I noticed the anger was pretty high in Helen’s voice as she spoke. “You seem upset about this,” I said. “Yes I am, because…”- Helen tried to justify her anger. I offered her a quick breathing process, and it helped her feel calmer. I then paraphrased the situation. “Your boss told you X, and now in the meeting, he is acting as Y. You are curious about…

  • Interview with the International Voice
    Career satisfaction,  Leadership,  Personal Brand,  Success Strategy

    My Interview with The International Voice

    A few weeks back, Japnit Sethi from The International Voice, reached out to me to be a guest in his new show on YouTube. Japnit, a Computer Science graduate student at Virginia Tech (my alma mater), founded this with a mission to inspire the next generation of international leaders from all over the world who aspire to make their mark within the North American Tech Industry. We talked about a wide range of topics, starting with how I got into tech, my early days in the US, Job interviews, learning from my career at Microsoft, and finally, my work as an executive coach with leaders in technology. Japnit did an…

  • Work from Home
    Leadership,  productivity,  Work Culture,  Work-life integration

    COVID-19 Amplified The Working Parents’ Struggles: What Can We Learn?

    This pandemic has exposed the vulnerability in every system, both large and small. Working parents with young children are one example. Three key points came up from the parents’ and thought leaders’ messages lately. Parenting should be a societal priority, not only the parents’ problem. Risk of burnouts, mental health issues are more eminent than ever. Work culture needs a rehaul in both organizational and personal levels. Parenting should be a societal priority, not just the parents’ problem. Three things lockdowns have exposed about working and parenting: Parenting happens at all hours, Parents can’t do it alone, Raising children is not just a personal choice. The United States has always…

  • Superhero
    Leadership,  Personal Brand,  Success Strategy

    Working on Your Confidence? Watch Out Your Go-to Words and Root Cause

    Confidence is a common topic my clients bring to coaching. Anyone working on it knows that confidence is not a simple binary thing. It shows up as a part of a complex set of behavior that stems from inside more than outside. Our word choices often can hinder how confident we appear. “Think” is one such word that got my attention lately. The ability to think – about complex problems, gives us an edge as knowledge workers. Ironically overuse of the word may not serve as much. This tendency is common among women and people who are more analytical. One of my clients, let’s call her Tatyana, is working on…

  • Happiness,  Leadership,  productivity

    Managing a Virtual Meeting – Learning from my “Big Fat” Family Zoom Call

    This pandemic has done one magical thing; families, far and near are coming together via video calls. Like many others, my family is spread globally across six time zones spanning three continents. We have had a Messenger group, mostly for updates, memes, and occasional group calls that very few participated. During this late March, we wanted to have a planned video call and brought Zoom for the first time because of the technical limitation of Messenger.  It went ok despite some glitches; most of the people came in and participated. Even though everyone thanked me for the initiative, I had a nagging feeling that I wanted to make it better. We…

  • Work from Home
    Career satisfaction,  Leadership,  productivity

    Working From Home — The Employees Are Leading The Change (Guest Post)

    Tara (not her real name) from our finance recently rang me on a late evening for online approval of a bank transaction. It was unusual because we encourage people to complete their works during regular hours. I overheard her only daughter, 4, saying something to the dad in the background. The mom was enjoying her family life, and her daughter was having fun with her dad. I felt happy for her. But she was breaching the Working from Home (WFH) policy; it doesn’t permit other members of the family in the same room. Something is amiss in the policy, then. As the world is going through the COVID-19 turmoil, the corporates everywhere…

  • Leadership,  productivity,  Work Culture

    We Now Can Relate To The “BBC Dad” – How Covid19 is Reshaping the Way We Work and Live

    A few years ago, the BBC Dad video went viral on the internet, evoking compassion, some criticism, and mostly, amusement. Ironically, in these last two months of home quarantine, we all got a taste of it during our Zoom calls – It is now a lived experience for every young parent and pet owner. Covid19 pandemic has changed the world – one big shift is the way we do our job as knowledge workers. According to the author and thought leader, Daniel Pink, we are going through a “massive experiment.” It will be interesting to see how it reshapes our perceptions in terms of remote work, the separation between work and home life,…