• productivity,  Success Strategy,  Time Management

    The Myth of Multitasking

    Too many times, I hear that you can’t survive without multitasking. Checking emails during a meeting, responding to a door knock while trying to focus on your work seems to be a common scenario at the workplace. While it often pays off to take care of multiple things at once, it would be useful to look at our brain to see when it is NOT the best strategy. According to this book, any task requiring a small amount of analysis or decision-making is processed in the brain’s pre-frontal cortex (PFC). The PFC is a tiny and very much energy-hungry part that sits right behind our forehead. If the rest of…

  • 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 cause more harm than good. Growing up, we all developed traits that kept us safe, got us what we needed, and helped us achieve success. Other than hyper-achiever, pleaser, perfectionist, victim, are to name a few. My top two are hyper-achiever and pleaser.  Psychologists Hal and Sidra Stone call…

  • Tearing elephant By ArtTower on Pixabay
    Career satisfaction,  EQ,  Executive Presence,  productivity,  Success Strategy

    Use Emotions As Your Ally

    Do anxiety, outrage, frustration, or sadness often grip you? Do they get in the way in high stake situations? Do you wonder why you are not getting what you want? The solution could be lying under your unrecognized emotions. We are emotional beings. Emotions are signals that inform us that something important is at stake. When we notice and acknowledge them and take the time to process them, we can make better decisions and improve our relationships. But when we plow through them with premature action or hide them under a mask, we do more harm to us and those around us. Emotional Intelligence or EQ is a well-known term these…

  • Leadership,  Personal Brand,  Success Strategy

    Courage From Within – Conviction And Trust Can Help

    Growing up, I didn’t think I was very courageous. One day I saw this quote saying: Courage is not the absence of fear. It is acting despite — because something is important to us. It made perfect sense! Fear will always be there, which might be a good thing as it forces us to prepare well by doing due diligence. Conviction is an essential part of courage. I can bring courage because my conviction about the matter is stronger than fear. Twenty-two years ago, when I first came to the US for my grad school, it was the very first time for me to be in a foreign country; it was not…

  • 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…

  • Career satisfaction,  EQ,  Executive Presence,  Happiness,  Leadership,  productivity,  Stress Management,  Success Strategy

    Organization Politics – How We See It Can Change the Meaning

    “I really like doing my job, but I hate politics. When I ask others, everyone says the same thing; they hate politics. If no one likes it, then who creates them 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 an action people engage in to advance their self-interest at the cost of their colleagues’/team’s interest. It is a win-lose game driven by the intention of gaining something for a selfish purpose. As someone who spent 20+ years both inside organizations and then coaching organization leaders, I get…

  • A Woman -Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash
    Career satisfaction,  Success Strategy

    Job Searching for a Career Path Change? Act Like a Farmer

    A job change is usually a daunting task. It becomes even more challenging when it involves a discipline, industry, or a role change. People often see it as continuously submitting resumes through the job boards, like throwing spaghetti on the wall and seeing what sticks. For those wanting a career-path change, this rarely gives a positive outcome and becomes very frustrating. A leader in the non-profit, let’s call her Tricia, wanted to move to the for-profit sector. She had been applying through the job boards but didn’t get much traction. On top of her super busy schedule, this was causing her more stress and disappointment. I asked how she preferred…

  • Image courtesy Pixabay.com
    Career satisfaction,  EQ,  Executive Presence,  Leadership,  Success Strategy

    Having A Hard Time Getting Your Voice Heard In Meetings?

    Tim is an engineering leader at a hi-tech company in Seattle. He is very good at his trade, has a profound understanding of the technology stack, and has decent ideas about the current industry trends. He has been very successful, got promoted relatively quickly up to this level, and now his next move is stalled. The concern? He doesn’t talk in meetings. Tim brought it up in a recent coaching session. His reason for not speaking in meetings? He doesn’t want to share a half-baked idea and look stupid. He thinks it is more respectful to stay quiet when he doesn’t know everything. Fair point. Flashback 15 years, I was…

  • New Year Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
    Success Strategy

    Feeling Anxious Setting Goals for The Year? Try These 3 Techniques

    The common “water cooler” conversation around this time of the year is the New Year’s resolution. My standard answer used to be “be more organized,” which hardly happened!  I was not lying though, I really felt I needed to have better control over my life, but honestly, I didn’t know how to do it.  So I forgot about it even before I finished that cup of coffee I brought from the kitchen. I know many of you are in the same boat as I was. A Resolution sometimes gives us more anxiety and guilt than any meaningful outcome. Here are a few creative ways you may try this year: 1. Start…