• 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…

  • EQ,  Happiness,  productivity,  Stress Management,  Success Strategy,  Time Management

    Super Mom Katherine’s Time Management Dilemma

    On my way to walk this morning, I saw my neighbor Katherine in her signature pink sweatshirt. Both of us were glad to have company for the walk. The weather was exceptionally nice for a Seattle morning; the temperature was mild, and the sky was clear with the golden rays of sun sparkling on 84th avenue, my usual walking route. After a small talk, I asked Katherine how she was doing at the new job she had started recently. “I am not there yet; I need to start making some boundaries for all my responsibilities, my work, my children, my parents…” she started. My question just hit the center of…

  • Idea generation
    productivity,  Success Strategy

    Ambiguous Project With Not Enough Guideline? Follow This 5-Step Process.

    Myriam is a product manager at a multinational company whose job is to understand current industry trends, anticipate customer needs, design product road maps, and get buy-in from upper management and stakeholders. So naturally, all these require her to start with very little information and mainly with a vague concept. “Dealing with ambiguity” is her everyday norm at work. So even though she is usually good at delivering such projects, it initially takes a toll on her.  “I get overwhelmed, I lose sleep, I procrastinate, then I get stressed out from the pressing and looming asks hanging over my head,” were her words when I talked to her last week.…

  • 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,  Success Strategy

    How To Think Of Your Career Growth, Agile or Waterfall?

    Anyone familiar with software development knows agile is the way to go when developing new software or a product. But when it comes to a career, what does it mean? I didn’t think about it until that moment when I was in the middle of a coaching session with a senior technology leader of a Fortune 500 company. Let’s call him Peter. Peter was planning a transition, leaving his corporate VP job and starting doing something on his own in about a two-year timeframe. But he was getting frustrated that he didn’t know what it would be, and he couldn’t make any progress because he didn’t know “it.” It sounded…

  • EQ,  Happiness,  Leadership,  Success Strategy

    Caterpillars to Butterflies : Human Maturity Stages

    When I ask “What do YOU want” people sometimes get confused.  Common responses are: “Wouldn’t that be selfish”? “I always think about others, I want others to be happy; am I not supposed to do that way”? Awareness of renowned development psychologist Robert Kegan’s Human Maturity Stages may help understand the dilemma. Kegan said humans go through several major stages of maturity in their lifetime. And not everyone reaches all of them in their lifetime. Ego Centric Self (Stage 0-2) This is typically the stage from birth to adolescence. At this stage, the earth revolves around them. Others are there to fulfill their needs. They hardly have the capacity to feel…

  • 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.…

  • 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…

  • Career satisfaction,  Happiness,  Leadership,  Success Strategy

    “Never Looked Back” – Is a Myth

    Recently I was sharing the story of my career change and someone commented, “…and you never looked back”! I was caught by surprise. The fact is, I did look back, many times. The past 10 years of my new career was anything but easy and many times I doubted and regretted my original decision. That comment invoked a deeper insight in me though. “I never looked back”, gives us the impression that the person found their ultimate path and everything became better afterward. It is like those “lived happily ever after” fairy tales. This is far from reality and I am yet to meet someone with significant successes, who never…

  • EQ,  Leadership,  Success Strategy

    Feeling – A Vital Missing Part from the Thinker’s Head

    “What do you feel now?” I ask my client Tom in the middle of our session. “I think it is, …”, he replies. “What do you feel”, I ask persistently. “Well, I think it could be …”; little baffled, Tom reiterates his thoughts. In Tom’s mind “feeling” is a synonym of “thinking”, he(who is an engineer) lives and breathes in his head, the rest of the body underneath merely serves as a pedestal for his head! Tom is not alone. When I first came for my coach training I had a hard time with these “feeling’ questions. I didn’t know much about it other than, feeling good or bad. Then…