• 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…

  • 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…

  • Children fighting
    Communication,  Executive Presence,  Leadership,  Personal Brand,  Self-leadership

    From Jerk to Genuine: How These High Performers Built Trust With Their Teams

    Result and efficiency-driven high-performing individuals often have a blindspot when relating to others. It can create unintended harm to team morale and trust. Others tolerate such “jerk” behavior as subject matter expertise, and “get things done” competencies are valued more. It is not that they don’t get any feedback to correct their behavior, but rather the opposite. They don’t get timely and precise feedback. People want to understand the feedback before they can act on it. And when they do, they commit to it and eventually become more impactful.  “I have been receiving this feedback for so many years. However, this is the first time I can understand it.” This…

  • Craft A Vision
    Executive Presence,  Leadership,  Personal Brand

    Craft Your Vision Even When You Are Not A “Visionary”

    As we grow in leadership roles, having a vision and communicating that to our teams becomes essential. Senior leaders often bring it to me as their challenge. Even though they already have a track record of delivering results, the executive level expects leaders to inspire through vision and alignment. Unfortunately, the new execs sometimes feel stuck on how else they would lead. In this article, I listed systematic ways to craft an inspiring vision. 1. Identify The Root Cause of Your Challenge Discomfort with Ambiguity If you tend to be more detail-oriented and not comfortable with ambiguity, visioning could be hard for you. Some have a misconception that a vision…

  • Clock, brain, bulbs
    Coaching,  EQ,  Executive Presence,  Leadership,  productivity,  Success Strategy

    5 Misconceptions That Get In The Way Of Sustainable Success

    Over the years, through my coaching work with the tech leaders and executives, I helped them uncover some of their misconceptions and limiting behaviors. As a result, even though they were already successful in their careers, they accelerated their success more sustainably when they recognized and overcame such patterns. I have summarised the five main ones here. Misconception 1: Starting with Others’ Expectations We often start with what is expected of us and then comply with those – giving our time and talent in exchange for money, status, and validation. This mindset works for jobs mainly requiring manual labor and physical presence at the worksite. However, as knowledge workers and…

  • 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.…

  • Will Smith hits Chris Rock on Oscar Stage
    EQ,  Executive Presence,  Leadership,  Self-leadership

    What Can We Learn From Will Smith’s Oscar Debacle

    Since Sunday, my newsfeed has been flooding with the news and commentary about Will Smith slapping Chris Rock on stage when he made a rather insensitive joke about Will’s wife, Jada. Smith later apologized to Rock. “I was out of line and I was wrong. I am embarrassed and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be. There is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness… I am a work in progress.” While this is a piece of celebrity news, we can relate to such incidents in our lives. Maybe not every one of us gets out of control like Will, but…

  • Chess board - Strategic thinking
    Executive Presence,  Leadership

    You Were Asked To Be More Strategic, Now What?

    Engineering and STEM Leaders often receive this feedback, “you need to be more strategic,” when they are passed up for a promotion. Yet, they have minimal idea of what that would look like for their context. I shed some light on what it means to be strategic and improve our strategic thinking while staying true to our authentic selves. What Does Strategy Mean  This article, Strategy versus tactics: the difference is execution, defined it as A strategy is your overarching plan for achieving your goals, but it doesn’t get bogged down in specifics. You can think of this as your compass, guiding your organization toward your objective. On the other…

  • 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…

  • EQ,  Executive Presence,  Leadership,  Personal Brand,  Success Strategy

    You were given Feedback to Improve your Executive Presence – What do you do now?

    The other day a senior leader contacted me to hire me as his coach. His LinkedIn Profile was immaculate – multiple graduate degrees from top-notch schools and a strong track record of professional work in his relevant field. He was given feedback to improve his Executive Presence (EP). However, he didn’t know what that entitled. After further conversation, we found out that in meetings with senior leadership, his challenge was thinking on his feet and being clear and concise in his delivery. Here is an example from another client; let us call him Joe. Joe was doing a presentation on the next direction of their product. Towards the middle, his…