Category Archives: Real stories

How to Become an Extraordinary Leader – 3 Unexpected Lessons

When I was nominated for a leadership training at work, I was honored but skeptical I would learn anything substantial.   I am glad however to be proven wrong.  In the last five months, I have learned more about my leadership style and leadership brand than I had ever expected.   Even better, I am already applying…

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Happy 2017 – Say Yes

Happy New Year!  Sunday was my annual Hot Chocolate 15K race.   My friend Agnes got me into it 3 years ago.  It’s a great way to start off the year – a long run (9.4 miles) followed by a nice cup of hot chocolate and an amazing natural high all day. Well, I didn’t…

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How to Get Promoted as a Generalist in a Company Full of Specialists

Are you a “Generalist” or “Specialist” at your company?   Both exists in most companies and serve distinct purposes.  According to Merriam-Webster dictionary Generalist is defined as “a person who knows something about a lot of subjects.” –  a Partner in a consulting firm is  a generalist as he or she would sell work, build relationships, and…

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Interpersonal Skills Example – Can You Let It Go?

This interpersonal skills example can happen any day at work or in life.  It was our second day in Beijing.  My cousin, my mom, and Isabel went to visit Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City.  It was majestic, fun, but a super long walk.  By 1pm, we were all exhausted, hungry and decided to Uber back…

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Are You Happy? A New Path to Happiness

Last weekend, my hubby suddenly asked me “Are you happy?”  I didn’t know what to say, even after thinking about it. I asked him, “What do you mean? Are you talking about work?  Life?  Us?” He said, “No, just in general.” I asked, “Are you happy?”, still not knowing what to say. He said, “Yes.” Not…

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Farewell Letter to Coworkers – A Great Example

It’s never easy to say farewell to a company and a team.   However, this will happen many times in your career, as most of us have at least 7 different jobs until we retire.  While many farewell letters to coworkers are fairly standard and boring, it may serve you to take some time to craft…

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Career Advancement – How Louis Quadrupled His Income

Mastering soft skills is critical to your career advancement.   Louis Johnston, one of our executive authors, agrees.  He shared in this interview how mastering certain soft skills helped him skyrocket his career and quadruple his compensation. Louis started as an Online Marketing Associate, 10 years ago.  He has since been promoted to Manager, Director, Senior Director, and…

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3 Unexpected Lessons from My 15K Race

Two weeks ago, I ran in a 15K race in San Francisco.  It was the Hot Chocolate Run.   I didn’t run fast nor break any records.  On the contrary, I didn’t train for it, had only two hours of sleep the night before, and almost didn’t make it to the race.   This was not like me.  This article…

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Less than Ideal Job? Go Beyond Your Job Description

In part 1 and 2 of our talk with Executive Author, Jane Lin, we discussed the Best Secret to Finding Your Dream Job. Negotiating Job Offer – What 70% of People Fail to Do In this final part, we migrated our conversation from job search to on the job success.   We don’t always have…

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How Basketball Coach Valvano Changed My Career Perspective

A big thank you to our Executive Author, Cindy Wong-Zarahn for writing this article In the U.S., the national college basketball tournament affectionately known as “March Madness” mesmerizes much of the country for a few weeks in March. The latest tournament is recently behind us, and throughout the TV coverage I was reminded of one of…

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Negotiating Job Offer – What 70% of People Fail to Do

In part 1 of our talk with Executive Author, Jane Lin, we discussed the Best Secret to Finding Your Dream Job.  Assuming you have a job offer, now what?  Should you negotiate? We will have on average seven jobs in our life time.  Knowing how to negotiate job offers and initial salary at each new job can means…

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Who Would You Rather Be – Elsa or Anna?

Lei:  I am excited to introduce a new Executive Author to our Soft Skills Gym – Cindy Wong-Zarahn.  I only met Cindy last year but feel like we have been old friends for years.  She has close to 20 years of experience in the corporate world with plenty of battle scars as well as very sage advice….

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How to Better Communicate Work Status to Your Boss – 4 Tips

Effective communication with your boss is essential to your career success.  One of the things your boss will always want is proactive communication of your work status & progress.  It will show that you are on top of your work and you respect him enough to keep him informed. This not always easy.   Below is…

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growth mindset example

Growth Mindset Example – Learnings from My 4-day Cleanse

A few months ago, I did a veggie and fruit cleanse for the first time in my life.  Why?  All the usual reasons Vanity – I wanted to get back to my college weight after having two kids. Peer Pressure – My husband and my friend were doing it that week Efficiency  – I didn’t have…

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How to Stop Thinking about Work – 5 Tips

It is critical to your mental and physical health to know How to Stop Thinking about Work.  This post is written for my benefit and yours, if you find yourself in a similar situation. During the last six weeks, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about work.   I love my new job, and theoretically I am only working about 40 hours a week,  8:30…

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