• 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…

  • 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 - Mohammad Hossain Pixabay
    Happiness,  productivity,  Success Strategy

    Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail and How to Make it Work

    Almost half of the Americans make New Year’s resolutions, but fewer than 10% successfully achieve them(source)! The most popular resolutions are staying fit, work-life balance, and personal enrichment. All these are great resolutions to improve one’s quality of life. Then why the success rate is so low, and what can we do to beat that? One of my coaching clients set his goal to reduce his weight by going to the gym every day. Knowing that the key to setting achievable goals is to align them with one’s true essence, I asked him these clarifying questions: What is the bigger purpose it is aligned to? What will you feel when you…

  • 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 success milestones we revere so greatly.  Recently Stacy Abrams gave us a masterclass on turning failure into powerful learning. After her highly contested, narrow margin failure at 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…

  • courtesy pixabay.com
    Career satisfaction,  Coaching,  Happiness,  Success Strategy,  Work Culture

    What Intrinsically Motivates Us (Hint: It’s not money)

    David, a tech leader and a father of two, was in a big dilemma about a job offer. The money was higher than what he was making in his current job, but something else didn’t feel right. His friends said he should take it – “after all, you do the work for money, like a mercenary.” Humans are driven only by money, and materialistic rewards is a false premise.  Research shows that additional money doesn’t increase our motivation when we have enough money to meet our regular needs (higher than just basics). Especially if the work needs creativity or deep thinking, money doesn’t guarantee higher performance. In his book Drive, Daniel…

  • Compelling vision - Image by Peggy und Marco Lachmann-Anke from Pixabay
    productivity,  Success Strategy

    The Fuel of a Good Goal Is a Compelling Vision: 4 Ways to Craft

    All of us are familiar with setting goals and achieving them. Goals are our vehicle to success. But often, we have a hard time making headways in our goals. The reason? Even in the best cases, they feel dry and do not invoke genuine enthusiasm. Here are four ways to set a meaningful goal connected to a compelling vision. Focus on the Emotional Connection How do you feel in your heart, gut, and body when you think about a goal? If it is neutral or negative, re-think. In a recent coaching session, my client Jordan was having difficulty making his goal a SMART goal. For starters, a SMART Goal is…

  • Setback - Image by Fábio Luciano Sorg from Pixabay
    EQ,  Happiness,  Success Strategy

    Overcome Setbacks Using 3A’s : Acknowledge, Analyze and Act

    Theresa has been feeling very down the last few days. Her manager informed her that she didn’t get the promotion this time. He was quite compassionate while giving her the bad news. Still, it is hard for her to overcome this feeling of defeat. At times it feels like a loss or a betrayal even. It is hard for her to be present for her family though they have understood her disappointment. Theresa’s situation may sound familiar to many of you. As grown-ups, we know that everyone goes through such setbacks once in a while. Depending on our resilience, the level of suffering varies, and we come out to the other…

  • 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.”…