• 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.”…

  • Career satisfaction,  Happiness,  Success Strategy

    Are You a Mom, Thinking of Going Back to Work?

    Rebecca was a 39-year-old woman and a mother of two (8 and 10). She had a college degree and a 10-year of corporate experience. Rebecca was happily married to her husband Bob who made a handsome six-figure income, they were comfortably living an upper-middle-class life in a suburban town in the Seattle area. The only downside, Rebecca took an 8-year break after she had her second child and she was feeling lost about how to go back to work. It was clear that making money was not the main concern for Rebecca. Though some income of her own would have helped her self-esteem, “I want to have something to use my…

  • 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…

  • Happiness,  productivity,  Success Strategy

    A Happiness Model For the Graph Lovers

    Have you ever wondered if there is a mathematical representation of Happiness? The answer is Yes! Tal Ben-Shahar, a renowned researcher in positive psychology and a popular lecturer at Harvard, represented Happiness in terms of the X-Y quadrant. Considering X being the present Happiness and Y the future Happiness, he said we need to have both of them +ve to be happy. Imagine you are going for a family trip to the Yellowstone National Park. You have got the time off from work, you got the money for the trip, made all the reservations, and now you and your family have started the journey. It is a 12- hours’ drive,…

  • Two People Talking Over Coffee
    Coaching,  Success Strategy

    Why Hire a Coach When There Are So Many Books, Podcasts?

    It will be almost impossible to find someone who hasn’t read a self-help book, listened to a podcast, watched a TED talk, or any other YouTube videos that tell you how to improve your productivity and wellbeing, so on. I do have some of my favorites, giving me ideas, insights, and validations. One might ask, why would someone work with a coach when all such advice is already available? The short answer is, they are not mutually exclusive. One does not replace the other – both are useful. Reading books, listening to a podcast helps our overall awareness, we learn a thing or two. And there are times we need…

  • 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.…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • Leadership,  Success Strategy

    Leading in the Era of AI

    How far are we from machines replacing humans? While much of the corporate research and development of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is happening under Non-Disclosure Agreements, a recent demonstration of a personal assistant by Google CEO Sundar Pichai illustrated how advanced their AI research is . Similar research by Microsoft and a plethora of other technology companies, suggests that the impact on humans and our work will be profound. AI is developing as a powerful driver for good; in the field of medicine, for instance, it is already accelerating the development of cures for diseases. At the same time, AI releases human potential for higher-level jobs as robots are already replacing…