Career Success – How to Succeed like an Executive

There are five types of job skills essential to career success.

  1. Hard skills – These are trade skills (like programming, accounting, finance, chemistry) that you need to perform your job.
  2. People skills – There are 20 soft skills (including communication skills, interpersonal skills) you should develop on how to best work and interact with others so you can influence their perception of you, your work and motivate their actions.
  3. Self management skills – There are eight soft skills (including patience, stress management) you need to manage how you perceive yourself and how you react to adverse situations
  4. Work Attitude – Establish positive work attitude (such as hard working, loyal, willing to learn) that is typically valued by companies
  5. Professionalism – Practice the basic etiquette of business in the way you dress, speak, and act
After working 15 years in corporate america with a Stanford bachelors degree and a Wharton MBA, I realized that good schooling could only take me so far.  The secret to succeeding like an executive (VP level and above) in any corporation is actually mastering soft skills (20 People Skills and 8 Self Management skills).  Here is why
  • Soft skills are the most difficult to master and will separate you from the mass. Almost anyone can learn basic Professionalism and the necessary Work Attitude that are fundamental to career success.
  • As for hard skills, many schools have rigorous programs regarding how to develop specific hard skills.  As long as you are smart and can study hard, you can master the hard skills.   Soft skills, on the other hand, are not taught well in school and require dedicated effort and practice while working to develop.
  • Soft skills is what will get you promoted to executive level (VP and above).  If you look at any executives you admire today, I would bet that the reasons they advanced to that level is heavily due to their leadership skills, communication skills, or ability to inspire action and deliver results – all soft skills. You can find many engineers with great hard skills that have had difficulty achieving executive level due to lack of soft skills.

If you want to achieve career success and executive level status in any corporation, then it’s important to develop your soft skills.  You can read books and take training; you can learn from your mentors; you can practice at work every day to develop these skills.  I can also help.

  • I have been in your shoes as a business professional for 15 years – I can understand both the rewards and challenges that exist in business careers. I don’t mean just the work itself, but also office politics, team/people dynamics, and culture challenges.   I have 15 years of business experience working with at least 20 companies across five industries.   I have made plenty of mistakes that I can help you avoid and also achieved career success.  I want to share my insights with you on how to succeed in a business career – insights that cannot be learned even in MBA school.
  • I have been coaching business professionals for the last 10 years and this is my passion – Not all successful business professionals can be good career coaches.  It takes a different skill set to coach others on how to achieve career success.  I am good at this because I have been trained in consulting on how to be a good career counselor, I have done coaching for the last 10 years, and I am passionate about this topic.   It is an honor to be able to help you reach your full potential in your career.
  • I can help you both succeed on the job and during job search – While there is 10% unemployment, 90% are still on the job.  For the 10% looking for a job, I can help as I know how hiring manager think and how you can stand out in the job market.  I have recruited hundreds of candidates.   For the 90% on the job, I can help you find ways to work smarter, build transferable skills that will help you at any job and reach career success faster.   So many of us are not recognized enough at our jobs for all of our skills and accomplishments.  This is NOT because we are not smart, but because we are not taught at school that hard work alone does not guarantee success.  It requires more than hard skills to succeed in your career.  Soft skills like communication, interpersonal skills, etc… are also critical to climbing the career success ladder.
In additional to the 140+ articles on this blog, I have launched a free career success newsletter series called How to Succeed like an Executive.  It contains weekly tips (not published on the blog) on how to develop your soft skills to achieve career success on the job and in the job market.   As long as you have the desire to succeed, you WILL get there.   The first set of topics include …
  • Five simple communication tips to increase your career success
  • Eight tactics to manage your boss
  • How to turn negative feedback to your advantage
  • Transitioning to manager is a roller coaster ride
  • Speeding up your results through patience
  • 7 steps to becoming a Rock Star manager
  • and much much more.

Sign up today!  Learn focused tips in 5 minutes and apply them immediately.

Best wishes to your career success. I look forward to taking this journey with you. I am always in your corner.


6 thoughts on “Career Success – How to Succeed like an Executive

  1. Lei Han Post author

    Thomas, I am so glad to hear my articles are of use to your students. If there are any topics that your student may be interested in and I haven’t written about it. Let me know. best wishes,


  2. Thomas

    Thank you for writing and posting this article. I give out out to college undergraduates often.

    Best regards

    Thomas (Student Affairs)

  3. Joseph

    Hi Lei
    I just wanted to say I value your emails tremendously, they are a constant source of help. Please don’t stop as I am learning a great deal.

    Best regards
    Joseph (Security Engineer)

  4. Scott

    I love reading your newsletter. Very practice and helpful. I really like the article on How to turn Negative Feedback into Your Advantage. We are always so emotional during a time like that and it’s nice to see how we could handle it well calmly. Thanks for writing

  5. Nick

    I really like the newsletter article on Five Characteristic to Avoid as a Manager. It’s not addressed often. A great read

  6. Tamara

    I think your newsletter article on How to Turn Negative Feedback into Your advantage is great. Thanks for addressing this issue


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