• 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…

  • Career satisfaction,  Happiness,  Personal Brand,  Stress Management

    Feeling Stuck? Look into Your Fears

    Are you feeling stuck in your job? Are you having a lack of motivation? Are you feeling like quiet quitting? It must be hard to carry on like that. On top of it, when someone asks you about your career vision – it could be even more frustrating. It happened during a seminar when I asked the audience to do a visioning exercise. A gentleman got frustrated and challenged me, saying, “none of these works; I tried everything, and it doesn’t work!” Though I felt a little awkward, I could sense his disappointment. But I also learned something from it. It is difficult to project into a future vision –…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • Patterns and Tools: Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
    Career satisfaction,  Coaching,  Personal Brand,  productivity,  Self-leadership,  Stress Management,  Time Management

    A Workshop Emerged from the Themes of Coaching Tech Clients

    After 12 years of coaching software engineers to VPs in the tech industry, I found this common theme: feeling fulfilled about our work and contribution is challenging. Managing a thriving relationship with the boss, peers, and other stakeholders is not easy. They would always want more from us; our passion would be interpreted as aggressiveness, our analytical thinking style would be seen as a lack of executive presence. And the list goes long. In addition, managing a family, kids, along full-time demanding work becomes a losing battle at times. No wonder 55% of the adult population feels Languishing, a lack of zest. As high-performing, high-achieving leaders and individual contributors, all of my…

  • 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…

  • Authenticity, a bird showing its colors - Image by wasi1370 from Pixabay
    Career satisfaction,  Communication,  Executive Presence,  Happiness,  Leadership,  Personal Brand,  Self-leadership

    Is “Authenticity” Backfiring On You? Here Is Why

    Theresa, a senior developer in a tech firm, said that their management encouraged them to be authentic. It prompted her to be passionately sharing some of her opinions. There was only one problem: others saw it as negativity bias, resulting in some stern feedback from his manager. Prakash, a senior Director, was frustrated with his team’s progress and didn’t hide it during the team meeting. It cost him a promotion. Jim, a business development manager, said that he felt lonely to be constantly fighting for the right thing when others were too comfortable tolerating the mediocre decisions the team was making. All three stories have one thing in common. They…

  • Career satisfaction,  Leadership,  Personal Brand

    Managing up/Self-promotion : What To Do About It

    In my recent survey, an amazing 79% of people said that Managing-up/Self-promotion is the most challenging aspect of their work. I didn’t expect it at all! I then started thinking about it more and realized it is the tip of the iceberg. Based on my experience, the real issue underneath is our reactive mode.  A more effective approach is to be purposeful in our engagement and align it with our bigger vision and core values. Deviations are fine as long as they are exceptions rather than the rule- as it doesn’t sustain for very long. Interpretation of the Data A good majority of people think Managing-up/Self Promotion is their biggest challenge. As a manager or a…