My Writings

Reflections on Life and Leadership

Most Recent Articles

9 High Leverage Skills We Should All Learn (And Why Aren’t We Teaching Them Already?)

“It's not only children who grow. Parents do too. As much as we watch to see what our children do with their lives, they are watching us to see what we do with ours. I can't tell my children to reach for the sun. All I can do is reach for it, myself.” - Joyce Maynard From a young age, children are taught various things. However, most of the...

10 Prerequisites for Management I Learned from Bad Bosses and Being a Bad Manager Myself

I have a confession to make - I know almost nothing about people management and motivation. The more I learn about leadership and what motivates people to do their best work, the more I realise how little I know. Although few managers would admit they lack the skills required to do their job, the reality is that most don't have a clue. According...

I Got Promoted To Management. Three Reasons Why That Was A Bad Idea And Doesn’t Work

Your manager is most likely a bad fit for being in a managerial role. I was a bad fit too when I got promoted to management as nobody told me that management is a completely different role that requires a new set of skills. People get promoted to management when they are good at their current jobs. I got promoted to management this way too....

From Blame Culture to Accountability – A 6 Step Framework for Teams

Culture plays a key role in determining an organization’s overall performance.  It determines how employees interact with others within and outside the organization and give them a sense of direction. Ironically, executives rarely give culture the attention it deserves, and the consequences are always detrimental. If you fail to shape your...

How To Create Psychological Safety At Work

People perform best when they feel safe and don’t have to watch over their shoulders. These days, uncertainty looms in almost every element of our lives. Hence, creating a safe workplace for people is in the best interest of any organization.  At work, the greatest threat people perceive these days is harm to their psychological identity -...

How to Powerfully Step into the New Year 2021

I think it was 1989 when I, for the first time, realized that the 1st of January was a special day. The biggest change for me, one that always took a few weeks to get used to, was to write 1990 instead of 1989 in our school notebooks daily. While the whole world celebrated and wished each other on the 1st of Jan, nothing much else seemed to have...

5 Valuable Life Lessons Struggle and Hardship Teaches You

When faced with difficulties as human beings, our natural reaction is to avoid the situation rather than power through it. Years of evolution have wired our brains to seek the comfort of the familiar and avoid the discomfort that comes with new and challenging experiences.  When you experience fear, whether physical or psychological, the...

7 Key Reasons Why Asking Powerful Questions & Coaching Works Better Than Giving Advice

We’ve all got an irresistible urge to offer advice. It’s a basic human instinct. We often switch to our expert, advice-giver, answer-it, solve-it, fix-it mode. A recent medical research study revealed doctors interrupt their patients with advice within 11 seconds. (Phillips, K.A., Ospina, N.S. & Montori, 2019) But why do we feel compelled to...

9 Steps To Make The Most Out Of Difficult Conversations

“The right word at the right time will unlock the door to treasures - the wrong one will close it forever” - Rasheed Ogunlaru Think about a discussion you have been planning to have with your manager. For example, to ask for a raise. Perhaps as a manager, you may need to terminate an employee or resolve a conflict with a co-worker. These are some...

Want To Improve Performance? Before Giving Feedback, Give People These Four Things

Do you use feedback as a tool to improve performance? If your answer is yes, you are not alone. Most managers see (and use) feedback, most of which is negative or critical, as a tool to improve performance. If you give positive feedback too along with the negative (the sh*t sandwich), we all know that people tend to focus on the negative and...

6 Reasons People Are So Unhappy At Work

According to this study cited in Forbes, more than half of the US workforce is unhappy. Gallup surveys show that nearly two-thirds of employees are disengaged at work. In my own experience of the last 15 years and the numerous stories I have heard from people in multiple countries, I have heard and witnessed the same. Why do we wait for Fridays...

5 Simple (But Not Easy) Steps Every Manager Can Take To Improve Work Culture

If you are lucky enough to be someone’s employer, then you have a moral obligation to make sure people do look forward to coming to work in the morning. - John Mackey I have been leading teams for 12 years in companies such as Yahoo, Booking.com, etc in India and Europe. When I look over the last 12 years, I get a smile on my face on recalling...

How To Respond To Anger Like The Adults We Are Supposed To Be?

In my previous article on anger, we saw that anger hides what we care about. If we look deeper and take the time to introspect, anger can tell us what we really value, and which value has been violated that resulted in the anger. Anger can communicate a lot of important information, but only if we are willing to listen. Can you control the...

3 Ways Strong Leaders Manage Intimidating Employees With Poise and Confidence

If you are a leader or manage a team, it is not uncommon to come across someone in your team who intimidates you. This might be because they are better than you in a particular skill and that brings your insecurities to the fore. Or it might be because the person might be overly assertive, has temperament issues and you are trying to avoid...

5 Unconscious Ways We Limit Our Own Freedom

I still remember that morning of excitement. It was supposed to an relaxing long drive in my new car, but I had no idea how the day would turn up. As I started the engine and pushed down on the accelerator, I got busy admiring the posh interiors and the sophisticated dashboard of my car. As soon as I got on the highway, I turned on the cruise...