Creating Your Own Luck | Vidya Raman


Yes, you CAN find fulfillment in the corporate world…

(And you don’t have to wait for luck—you can create your own!)

My guest Vidya Raman is a motivational speaker, leadership coach, and author of the new book Lucky You: An Insider’s Guide to Achieving Success and Finding Fulfillment in the Corporate World.

In this episode, she’ll share insights from the book, including:

  • The SHIFT Framework
  • How to get ahead without sacrificing job security
  • Forging your own path to fulfillment
  • A master plan to make yourself lucky
  • And more



Vidya Raman: So immediately when you’re feeling like, oh, nobody’s helping me, turn the switch and start helping other people. It changes the dynamic completely.

Voiceover: You’re listening to the Build a Vibrant Culture podcast with professional speaker, coach and consultant Nicole Greer.

Nicole Greer: Welcome everybody to the Build a Vibrant Culture podcast. My name is Nicole Greer, and they call me the vibrant coach and I have an amazing guest on my show today. Her name is Vidya Raman. She is a motivational speaker and I know this because we hang out at the NSA Carolinas together. And she’s a Maxwell Leadership certified coach. 

She has over 25 years of corporate experience engaged in various roles, including being a senior leader. Her mission is to help corporate employees develop an owner’s mindset to scale new heights and success and satisfaction. And big big news, her new book everybody is Lucky You: An Insider’s Guide to Achieving Success and Finding Fulfillment in the Corporate World. 

Yes, you can find fulfillment in the corporate world. Alright, so now we have everybody’s attention. Okay, so she is dedicated to helping corporate employees find meaning and feel fulfilled in the work they do. Vidya, welcome to the show.

Vidya: Thank you so much, Nicole. Thank you for having me. Thank you.

Nicole: Yeah, I’m so delighted. And so Vidya and I have hung out at many National Speakers Association Carolina’s meetings, because you know, we got a lot to say. So we’re trying to figure out how to do it in a great way. And she put her thoughts down on paper. So before we get to the book, Lucky You, I want to ask you. I’m collecting definitions of leadership. What’s your definition of leadership?

Vidya: Leadership is a very broad term. But for me, I look at leadership as the capacity or the ability to guide and influence others, to walk in the direction of the vision you have set. So really, it’s the ability. It’s the capability of guiding and influencing people, or your followers, or your team in the direction of the vision.

Nicole: Yeah, and it sounds simple, but it’s more challenging than we think. Right, getting people to follow us. And I think that your book is going to help people, which, you know, in my mind, like the best leader is a great follower.

Vidya: Oh, without a doubt. Without a doubt, Nicole. You know, absolutely following. By the way, nobody gets smart, overnight. Nobody gets, you got to see, and this is why and I’m going to go slightly though, with all this work from home, and all the other things that are happening right now. 

I see people who are starting their corporate career. I’m not able to model after other leaders, right? Because I always feel I grew because I watched others in action. I picked up on what was good. And I decided I never want to be like the bad leader. So there’s so much you learn from watching others and following others and watching them how they handle stress. How do they control? How do they accomplish self mastery or self efficacy? 

All that comes from watching other people being a follower. Early in your career before you can get your leadership credentials where you are comfortable in your own skin, and then hopefully you have such a clear vision that people want to follow you because they trust in your vision. You know, so. Yeah, absolutely.

Nicole: Huge. And in your book, Lucky You: An Insider’s Guide to Achieving Success and Finding Fulfillment in the Corporate World came out May 23rd. This is hot. It’s still hot. I can hardly hold it. Okay, hot off the presses. So Vidya, tell me, why did you pick the title, Lucky You? I think that is such a fantastic title. What’s that about?

Vidya: You know, this is an interesting story. Because early in my career, like I mentioned in my book, I was always a hard worker. I had a strong work ethic. And I was also very ambitious. And I always thought early in my career that hard work would get me results. And I’m not just talking about hard work with no results. It was hard work and results. But even with that, I stagnated. 

And that was a time and I would watch when other people got ahead. I would say, you know what, they’re just lucky. Because I couldn’t understand how else are they getting ahead when I wasn’t, so I would attribute luck. But later in my career, as I became wiser, and all those little insights I gained, I said, you know what? 

They created their own luck. It wasn’t evident to me. There were some times I would even assign nefarious reasons for somebody getting ahead. But what I didn’t realize, what I didn’t realize was they were strategic. They planned it. They knew how to show up, how to pay attention. How to influence the right people, the people with the power and the authority to promote them, right. 

And if you were just thinking, I want to work hard and produce results, somebody’s got to pay attention and promote me, that doesn’t happen. So I always say, start with curiosity, pay attention. And these people did. They knew what worked and what did not work. I got smart, a little late in my life, but not early enough. 

But that’s why I wrote the book. And I said, when we assign luck to other people’s successes, I say, you know, noticing, some people are the beneficiaries of dumb luck, for sure, or happenstance luck, but many others are really smart and strategic. So I say, you know what, they created their own luck, and so can you.

Nicole: That’s right. And so in the book, she’s got a little framework for you. It’s in chapter two. And in there, she introduces the shift, it is an acronym S H I F T. And I’d like to kind of talk through the steps because it’s kind of the framework for the book, too. So the first thing we talk about in here with shift is people have to set the stage for their success. So will you talk a little bit about setting the stage?

Vidya: Absolutely, because and the reason that was step number one, because often, like I said, if you’re working hard and producing results, and you’re not getting ahead, look inwards, because it’s all about self awareness. And you know, what leadership we talked about leadership begins with you. It absolutely begins with you. So setting the stage is first get to know yourself. 

So it’s a practical step, there is a method of knowing what your values are, because, and by the way, I always feel there’s so many online tests people can take to know their values. Because once you know your values, it’s so clear, you understand, why do I feel this pain? You get to know what’s causing this, and then you can aim and target better. 

And also, decision making becomes so much easier when you know your values because when you’re faced with a trade off, you pick correctly. And then you talk about interests. What are your interests? Now, I kept everybody within the corporate boundaries. And I’m basically telling people, you can get ahead right where you are, without sacrificing your job security. 

So figuring out your interests, even in that space, in a corporate world where people think I have a defined job description, I say, just pay attention to what you do every day. So you know, what interests you, or what drains you, right? That’s the thing. Then also know what your strengths are, because you can pick all this up by some questions I asked in the book. 

You know, people compliment you on certain things, certain things come easy. You don’t know what your strengths are, but your peers know what your strengths are. So once you get to know yourself better, you apply yourself better. Know your temperament is a whole bunch of self awareness. And beyond that, in the same chapter, I talk about social awareness. 

So you’re not alone in a corporate world. You’ll work with other people, so do what motivates them. Know what their triggers are, and what your triggers are, and how you work well, with others. It’s not so complicated. Working people are complicated. But once you figure out the right strategy, where you don’t make it all about yourself, you make it about the other people, guess what you’re building. Influence. 

So now they want to spend time with you because you’re making them feel so good. And that’s where you grow with social awareness. But what happens to people who are ambitious and driven, they feel like they have to keep broadcasting. It’s okay to speak up about what you’ve accomplished. 

But if you keep doing that and you make the conversation about yourself, people don’t pay attention. So I always feel, compliment somebody else and you may get noticed more as a leader.

Nicole: Oh my gosh, did everybody write that down? Say it again. If you compliment somebody else you might get noticed for being generous and kind and alert and awake. And oh my gosh, that is the best.

Vidya: Yes. And people I always say if you’re in a conference room, and if somebody slightly lower in the hierarchy, says something, pay attention, ask an intelligent follow up question. Just because you were paying attention. And thank them and say, wow, what a great idea. And suddenly, you’ve validated the other person and everybody else in the room is looking at you. Like wow, like you said, kind, generous. Your profile is raised. And so it’s just a very counterintuitive way to do that.

Nicole: Yeah. Which is fantastic. Okay, so don’t miss what she just said. She said, to set the stage, you’ve got to know your stuff. You got to know your strengths, your values, your interests. And one of the things you also have in here, which I think is so important, is like check your your customer service level. 

Like you know, a lot of people you know, Vidya, they never heard of this, like, I’m not in customer service. No, you’re in customer service. You have all these internal customers. So I love your idea of a service attitude. Will you just talk about that one for a little bit. Because again, it’s the same idea as complementing a little bit.

Vidya: Exactly, exactly. When you are at a low point in your career and you’re feeling frustrated, you’re almost ready to throw your hands up in the air, I say, you know what, look for opportunities to serve, because this is where you turn the tables. So then if people are looking for a volunteer, if another team needs extra bandwidth, go offer your services. 

Or maybe start any affinity group in your company. When you start helping other people. It is amazing. There’s others going to be your ambassadors, they’re going to champion your cause. So immediately when you’re feeling like, oh, nobody’s helping me, turn the switch and start helping other people, it changes the dynamic completely.

Nicole: Right. And so if you’re doing that you’re shifting big time, which is her framework that she uses throughout her book, SHIFT, s h i f t. All right. So the other thing you also say is, you know, you got to understand what your personality is, what your temperament is. And you mentioned several assessments in the book. 

So tell me a little bit about, you know, you know, I think a lot of times people, they’ve taken personality assessments, but maybe they haven’t taken it really seriously, that they need to know what it is and then manage themselves.

Vidya: Right, so from a strengths, by the way, all large corporations have that in their learning and development libraries, you can take those tests. Otherwise, you have free ones available. Similar to the values assessment I spoke about, like the big five for strengths. But what I mean by that is, sometimes people are not self aware at what they’re good at. 

And if there is a weakness, I’m not saying work on your weakness, but if it’s a weakness, that’s a detriment to your career, take, for example, communication, right? If that is your weakness, you can’t say I can ignore it, because I’m only going to focus on my strengths. You got to start saying, you know what, let me at least neutralize my communication problem, let it not be showing up in my performance evaluation year after year. 

But so these kinds of insights, you need to know you need to practice you got to get intentional. And it’s so easy, pick one or two. And then just focus on that. That one strength, or that one weakness you feel is the one that’s blocking you. And also your tendencies, your natural tendencies. 

Take for example, if you’re a morning person, but you’re not doing anything productive in the morning. You know, you wake up a little late, or you’re taking care of other stuff that’s less important. Maybe you do wake up early, but you don’t focus on the critical task, what’s important to you. 

So I say, go with your natural circadian rhythm. Take the most important task and get it done in the morning, if that’s your rhythm. If it’s late at night, do it then. Because I’ll tell you one thing, you’re the most productive, and you get most creative and you get more done by working with your natural rhythms. There’s less friction. So do that. 

So look at your peak activity, and then figure out, introvert extrovert? Do you need big picture? Are you more detail oriented? And when you know that, work to your strengths. Look for opportunities, if you’re a detail oriented person, don’t go reaching for the big things because you might stumble, showcase your strength in what you’re good at. And not to say you can’t learn new things. 

But that’s the reason why you learn all that. And a little bit of delegation, even if you’re not in leadership, and you will figure out how to delegate and automate stuff, especially things that drain you. Do less of it, and you can do it. I have noticed Nicole, in my long career, people will put up with the same crisis every day. But they won’t do a thing to make it easier on themselves. 

Like it may take two three weeks of automation, working with somebody else, a vendor to get some things automated. But you see, I don’t have the time now. But you know what, the time you sacrifice now will give you hours and hours back later, and you’ll feel less strain. So it’s just being smart about what’s draining you every week, you know.

Nicole: Alright, so the next thing we have here, the H is harness hidden gems. All right. So tell us a little bit about that. It’s a little bit about focusing on what you’ve done so far in your career. Yeah, kind of hits and misses.

Vidya: Yes, the hits and misses. So again, you know, in a corporate world, again, you get annual feedback, and maybe you get regular feedback, it depends on the culture of the company. Pay attention to the top two or three. Think about when you received a compliment when you kind of failed or stumbled on a project. 

Because these things could when you get to goal setting, the goal setting starts at this point, because you know, if somebody said you are so good at running a meeting. You got to figure out this is something I can offer from a large team facilitation. There are so many things. That’s exactly what I did in my career. I opened up the space to run a meeting, not just in my little team, I opened it up in a broad department level. 

So there are things people can do. So figure out what your strengths are. Your feedback from your bosses, from your peers, somebody telling you what your, you know, if somebody is constantly complimenting you on something, you got to make it mastery level good. That’s the thing in harnessing.

Nicole: And that’ll be easy too, right. It’s easy. Yeah, it’s shoring up those weaknesses, that’s the hard thing. But making a strength shine is amazing,

Vidya: So that you can get to mastery level. That’s a hidden gem. Even your weakness, if somebody says, you know what, if somebody is joking and casually mentioning, oh, if I send you an email, I know, I’m not going to get a response for another three days. You may laugh at it, because your friends said it. But if you start seeing a pattern, that’s a hidden gem that you’ve got to work on. 

This may be what’s hurting your chances of getting ahead, because they don’t look at you as a serious person. So pay attention to these little gems. And then the other gems that are more common, is if you manage time well, your priorities well, life is easy. This doesn’t even matter if it’s corporate America or anywhere else. Manage your priorities, manage your time, you’re gonna get a huge win. 

The other thing people stumble on is fear. At the worst possible time. You have doubts, when you’re supposed to speak up, you stay quiet. All these little things of stepping out of your comfort zone comes from managing your fears. And there’s a huge approach and a spreadsheet of write it down document why you’re not speaking. 

All these things, fear management and again, I close the chapter with a good morning routine, to set the intention for the day. Run your day, like a project, which doesn’t mean be exhausted at the end of the day. Give yourself time to breathe and relax during the day. Because you are at your productive and creative best when you manage your day as well. You know, you can’t get everything done. We’re all human, so.

Nicole: That’s right. And here’s the thing. Leaders do like people that can manage their time, there’s nothing worse than somebody says I didn’t get it done. I thought I could get it done. You know, I forgot about the meeting. I mean, 100, things like that. Right? So just getting your calendar under control. It’s gonna be huge. All right, very good. All right. 

So the next thing is the I. So we’re going through SHIFT and I have Vidya Raman on the Build a Vibrant Culture podcast. And so we’re working through her framework SHIFT. Alright, so the next one is ignite your power. All right, so I want to know, I’m in corporate America, I might be a little burnt out. COVID did a number on me. So how do I get powered back up? Tell me.

Vidya: Yeah, you’re right about getting power back up. You know, you’re going to get your power back with intentionality and consistency. So in the prior step, we talked about writing down your goals. I’d say one to two maximum goals. Don’t try to get everything done, because nothing will get done. Because we all have pretty rigid calendars, we have jobs to finish. And plus, you know, things that are responsibilities at home. 

So pick that one or two from the hidden gems, create your goal. It could be that I need to improve communication. From written communication, actual meeting conversations to public speaking, pick whatever it was, it could be the whole package. I’d say that’s all I focus on. So you set your intentionality in the morning, that every conversation of mine is going to be gentle, is going to be intentional and persuasive. 

And you know, figure out what meetings you have for the day. And that’s all you focus on. And then grade yourself at the end of the day. How did I do with my conversations? Was I persuasive enough? Was I rambling? You know, all these things that people go off on tangents. 

So you can just watch yourself. And by the way, when you start doing things consistently, and at the same time, you’re watching your environment, the people in the room, reading the room, you know how many people in a very political environment and corporate world is very, very political. You could step on landmines if we’re not reading the room. So read the room, get back to our social awareness, figure out what’s going on in your company. 

So just with your consistency, intentionality, self awareness and social awareness, you actually start feeling confident. Confidence comes back to you. And that’s how you get your power back. And when you are confident you can actually now supercharge, and that’s what I do in the next step, is build up that building blocks of confidence with all those little courageous steps you take with consistency. 

And yeah, this is just, I call it I give everything a timeframe. So that’s a two month timeframe of practicing these skills. Once it feels like second nature, reading the room, being more self aware, making sure you are not reactive. Because if you’re a reactive person, and you get annoyed easily or you, I used to tear up, Nicole, when somebody would hurt my feelings. And I had to work at it and say, not a very good professional look. If my goal is to get ahead, crying is not a good thing. 

So it’s just self mastery is what I call it. Plan ahead, think ahead. Do not react. You know, you’ve heard this right, people shouldn’t respond when you’re mad. Let that email sit in your inbox, draft box for a long time before you know you clean it up and then send it. So respond, but do not react. All that gives you power back because you have discipline.

Nicole: Yeah, that’s fantastic. So get yourself powered up. And so the other thing that you do, which I think is so good in the book is it’s very practical. Yeah. So, you know, here’s the thing, everybody, you know, there are a lot of leadership books out there. But isn’t it wonderful if you get a book that gives you very practical, applicable information, and asks you powerful questions. Vidya is a coach, and so she can’t help herself. 

She’s asking all these powerful questions on every page. And here’s the thing, you could breeze right through them. But if you bought the book, you sat down and you filled in the blanks, you start to get great clarity. That’s what I feel. She goes through and talks about how you can have professional and personal goals and how some things are hard skills, some things that are soft skills. 

And so a very thorough goal setting process that she’s got in here, which I absolutely love. And then you talk about accelerating those with different things with your self awareness, which we already discussed. So I think it’s really, really, really good. And at the end of each chapter, there’s a summary that helps you remember, this is what I just read. 

So really great consolidation in there. All right, so we’re to the F, which is forge your path to fulfillment. Yeah, so will you talk before you jump into that, like, fulfillment. We know that word, but like, I’d like to define it. What does it mean to be fulfilled?

Vidya: Fulfilled, comes it’s a very individual definition. You just feel content and satisfied, because at this stage, you have created, you’re not following somebody else’s success model, you’re creating your own success definition. By now you have clarity on what exactly you want. So people could be, some may say, you know what, I don’t want to go up the corporate ladder. Some may say, I just want to become a master at this particular skill set. 

So whatever you define your success model to be, and if you are feeling content, and when I say that, if you’ve set an agenda at the beginning of the day, two or three things, and you’re getting it done, you know what you feel like a successful person, every day. And if you’re balancing other domains of your life, whether it’s your family, whether you have fun, time for fun, and play, health is good. 

When you look at the whole equation, are you happy with the you know, it doesn’t have to be perfectly balanced, but in whatever balance it is, are you satisfied. That’s feeling fulfilled. Where you’re not feeling like I’m missing out on something. So that’s the whole thing. So you pick your goals, you go for it. 

And throughout my book I say don’t try to do too much. Because when you do too much, you fill up your calendar, you’re going to be stressed. Guess what happens. If you’re super stressed at work, your family life is going to suffer. So and also, it’s not a good leadership look at work to look like you’re like a chicken with his head cut off, because it’s not, people don’t want to follow you. You’re not a charismatic leader, if you look stressed, because you haven’t managed your priorities well. 

So calm and cheerful is the way to go. Always. And that’s how you attract attention to what you’re doing. So anyway. So it’s a very personal definition to feel fulfilled in your life with all the domains in play. Do what you can do not push yourself to an extreme, where three domains fall off, where you’re focused on work.

Nicole: Right, right. Yeah. And so one time, Vidya, I had a coach that I was working with, and he was such a genius. And he said being fulfilled, is like when you go to New York City and you have dim sum. Does everybody knows what dim sum is? And so they bring these little carts around and he says, every time the cart comes by, they have exactly what you want. And it’s still hot. And it’s just like you get what you want. 

And so if you set your goals, and you start achieving your goals, you’re getting what you want. You get filled up. So like your belly gets filled up on dim sum, so you just get filled up on the inside with all this good stuff you’re doing. So that’s fantastic. Alright, so tell us how to forge our path toward fulfillment. So this is chapter six in the book is talking about the F in her SHIFT framework.

Vidya: It’s a very large chapter. So I’m going to give you a short synopsis. Okay. So you know, we talk about burnout, and all that these days, right? So people feel they don’t have. Burnout comes when you feel you don’t have agency when you don’t have autonomy. So you feel like I’m just working at something to get something done, but I don’t have control. People want a little control. 

So I think a lot of corporations have woken up after the great resignation and quiet quitting, to give you some room, and frankly, if you’re strategic about it, you can actually push the edges to take some control back. So I talked about autonomy, mastery, and purpose. So get very, it’s a very deep exercise to figure out. Once you get that, you feel you have so much agency. You have control. 

And when you work with that strategy. I call it the amp strategy, you feel fulfilled, like you are controlling your destiny. Besides that, I also talk about adaptability. And I tell you, in corporate America, adapting is a major gold star. You get promoted if you’re adaptable. If there’s a change being announced, and you’re out there in the corner, complaining about the change, you’re not getting ahead. 

So the best thing to showcase your strength as an adaptable person is the moment there’s a big announcement and half the crew is complaining, you go to your manager, and so you know, how can I help? You know, that is showing, yes, it’s difficult, change is hard, but show that you can be adaptable. And you know, and then also when people say, this is broken, that’s broken, take the initiative. 

Be the change you can be. This is how you get noticed. So you know, they say people do business with those they know, like, and trust. And if you feel you’re not getting visibility in your company, this is when you say you know what, something is broken, there is a silo, people are not collaborating well together, figure out what can you do. 

Can you build a bridge? There are so many things you can do. Take on, maybe you know what, if you feel I can add fun to my work environment, start a book club, or a nutrition club, anything. Do something that’s creative out of the box that gets you noticed. So those are the kinds of things I speak about. 

And of course, I also talk about not everything is going to be smooth sailing as you’re marching towards your goals. When you do encounter problems, I talk about the lens solution. Reframe the way you look at a problem, and you’re going to start finding solutions all over the place. So that’s forging the path.

Nicole: Okay, well, she said it really quickly. So I’m gonna make her slow down. She said, oh, I have this thing called amp. And it’s like autonomy and mastery. And also purpose. All right. So, you know, I talked to people all the time. I know you do, too, because we both do coaching. 

And, you know, and people will tell me, they’re like, I’m stuck. You know, and so I think being stuck is like, it’s like the world has me stuck with stuck in the mud or whatever. But it’s like, you’ve got to practice a little autonomy. You gotta like, you know, step up and do your, you know, what are you gonna do for yourself to get yourself unstuck? 

So, to amp up our game, which I love that. I think that’s fantastic. Will you talk about autonomy, mastery and purpose, just for a second. I know people have heard, you gotta have a purpose. You know, I’m not sold Vidya that people are slowing down to really figure out their purpose. So will you talk a little bit about amp? I think it’s fantastic.

Vidya: So the root of this came from Daniel Pink’s Drive book where he talked about the intrinsic motivators. So they’re already intrinsic motivators. And when I say when you feel like you don’t have agency to do or you don’t have control, the first thing is figure out where you do have control. And I give examples of fast food workers who showed autonomy to get ahead. 

So if you have, I talk about self awareness and social awareness, what I’m talking there is curiosity. If you’re paying attention to your work environment and watching gaps, areas that could be improved. There is space for you. Everything is not perfect in the world, especially in your corporate environment. Look for where you can shine, look for a problem that everybody talks about and nobody does anything about. It’s like the repeat problem and the whining.

Nicole: Right. Groundhog day.

Vidya: Yes, groundhog day! So anyway, talk about, look for an opportunity that you can take control, and it’s your baby, don’t give it away. So if you have an idea, don’t go to your boss and say, you know, I have an idea. What can we do about it? You should say I have an idea, and I even have a plan to implement it. You know, that goes a long way. It shows initiative. 

So autonomy and initiative go together. And by the way, it makes you feel so good. That you’re not just an order taker. If you’re an order taker, you don’t feel so fulfilled. Remember the word fulfilled. But when you have control, you feel good about yourself. You’re doing something. And I’ve seen people do all kinds of things at work, to stand out. I know people who got a promotion, because they started an affinity group. 

Hard work, but they got noticed, because it’s just initiative, that’s autonomy. And also, you know, if you see something is broken, go look for how you can fix it. Help somebody. All this makes you stand out. Because you can easily say, oh, that’s not my problem. It’s their problem. Again, that service attitude gets you noticed. That’s one. 

In the mastery part, you know, if you are sitting in a small group in a large department, and you want to be noticed, look for something and I’ll give an example. Maybe it’s Excel macros, right? People in your team already know you’re good at something, and they come and ask you to help them. 

Now you should think, how can I become, take my good to great and become a master at it. First of all, it makes you deeply happy. You feel good, you feel energized, when you work on these complicated macros. You become the master at it, and suddenly your boss is now thinking, you know what, I am going to get brownie points by championing you as a macro thing. 

They get a win by telling another manager in the department. Use so and so because he’s going to help you. And yes it’s a win win. You get noticed everywhere else. Your boss gets credit too, for being generous with one of his direct’s time. And your mastery can take you places you get noticed. And suddenly, senior leadership team members are talking about you being amazing at something because you’re so good, they’re going to start asking you to help other teams. So that’s one. 

And then purpose, of course, now you may say, so you can either have the simplistic idea of purpose is I work for an insurance company. My insurance company’s purpose is bring people peace of mind. Or if you feel like you’re not affiliated with the industry that you serve, and their purpose, find your own. Maybe your purpose is growth. Your purpose is learning. 

Maybe becoming the future version of yourself is purpose. I tell you, that motivated me a lot too. I had a vision of who I wanted to become. And that was enough to wake me up in the morning excited, because I was building this future person. So it could be the growth the person you want to be. So you start behaving like your future identity today. 

So that’s the purpose. Learning, growing, providing for your family too is purpose. So know that you have a noble cause. And that is good enough. Do all three together, if you can do a little of something, you’re going to start feeling you’re not just coming in checking in and checking out.

Nicole: So you gotta get amped up people. All right, very good. All right. And so we’re working through Vidya Raman’s SHIFT framework in her new book. And it is Lucky You: An Insider’s Guide to Achieving Success and Finding Fulfillment in the Corporate World. So the last thing is the T in our SHIFT framework, which is thrive and flourish. So will you talk a little bit about how we need to set ourselves up to thrive and flourish?

Vidya: So thrive and flourish is more, it’s a little bit of a look back and a look forward. So what I do there is I’m saying, okay, you have spent a whole year in that forge your path to fulfillment where you were adaptable, being the change you want to be. You’re seeing success coming your way. 

Based on what you’re seeing, maybe you need some course correction, maybe you’re on the right path, whatever it is, you now know, you have the power, the agency, to do what you have to do. So you’ve come to a point of first getting your power back, doing this for a year. Now you say, okay, I understand why I’m not getting promoted, because now you become acutely aware of what’s the issue. 

So you can decide, do I want to continue here, move to another department, or you may discover during that journey, you realize you were in the wrong spot the whole time. You suddenly think the marketing department is doing cool stuff, and you want to be there. But you’re now kind of landing in this passion zone. 

And, or you may suddenly decide, I’m so comfortable here, now, my boss likes me because I’ve shown them I’m a master at something. I’m feeling comfortable. I’m not going to get chopped in the next company layoff. And now you know how to market yourself in the company. We’re all in the sales business. You can be a corporate employee and still sell yourself. 

So now, based on your success for a year, you are now thinking, where do I want to go next? So this is you planning. And that’s where you’re thriving because you’re good at, because you’re curious, you have courage now, you could have tried stuff out and that’s going to set you up on a path to really thrive and flourish. 

So it may be completely divergent from what you thought initially. But you’re just such a confident person. Now you can go in any direction you want to. So that’s the whole thing. You’re not limited by your initial, it’s just built up your basic personality. You’re a confident leader by this point.

Nicole: And you’ve become lucky.

Vidya: Yes, suddenly you start noticing where previously you felt invisible, you start noticing opportunities come by. Because what you’ve done is you’ve intentionally changed the prior image. And you really harnessed your strengths. And I think you’re getting noticed now. And you get opportunities. Others may think you’re lucky, but really, you created your own luck.

Nicole: That’s fantastic. Yeah. And so that’s the whole book, but like, you didn’t get it all, right. So if that doesn’t tell you, you need this. So really, what this is, is a master plan to get yourself back in the game. To go back up the feeling scale to make yourself lucky, which it’s not luck. It’s the hard work of setting the goals, doing all the things that Vidya is talking about. 

And in the back, she’s got a wonderful reading list. Vidya and I both agree on this. Leaders read, right? People who want to get ahead, they’re reading other people’s stuff. So you need to read hers. And then also look, she’s got worksheets in the back. This is really great. This thing’s gonna be tattered and torn. I showed her where I’ve got stuff written in the margins. Look, I got things, I got corners turned down here. 

So you’re gonna do the same thing. And so I really appreciate you being on the Build a Vibrant Culture podcast, but there’s somebody listening right now they’re like, wait, whoa, is not over, is it? One more nugget. Well, I mean, what little last goodie, would you drop on us? I know, there’s one special listener out there that would like one more little piece of Vidya Raman wisdom.

Vidya: Thank you. Yes. When I wrote the book, I wrote the book for an emerging leader. For somebody who is ambitious, who is driven. So I say leadership begins with you. So that’s the nugget. So start with, and I tell you, any executive coach, Nicole, you’ll agree, that you can coach people at the very top, but you start with self awareness. 

So I say leadership starts with you. Become entirely aware of who you are as a person. What are your emotional triggers? What do you value? So go there and once you know who you are, and you’re comfortable in your own skin, you have overcome challenges with courage, you become that confident person. 

And importantly, is you have clarity of where you want to go. So I say before you ever can lead a group or a team, get clear about who you are and what your vision is. So I say leadership begins with you. Start on a journey with a book like Lucky You. And you will start seeing a transformation. Nothing is as daunting. I’m gonna hold up my book too.

Nicole: We’re twinning!

Vidya: I truly believe it’s amazing the transformation that starts to happen just by knowing who you are, and being aware. So curiosity. So here’s the thing. Leadership begins with you. And remember the three C’s. Curiosity, be very, very curious. Curious about yourself. Curious about others. Curious about your job, your industry, be curious. 

Be courageous, do not stay quiet, because you can never separate from the pack if you’re always playing it safe. So that’s courage. And the last one is, confidence is built. It takes time. When you start seeing the small successes, that’s how you become that confident person. And if you’re a confident communicator, you’re moving up the leadership tier. No doubt about it.

Nicole: That’s fantastic. All right, the three C’s that was a major nugget at the end. And here’s what I know. You can go to her website You might just get a really cool bookmark like I have as well that has 15 strategies to help you feel lucky in your career. All right, so 15 strategies that work. Got mine right here. Vidya, it’s been so good to be with you on the Build a Vibrant culture podcast. You can go to her book website. But also she’s at And we can also find you out on LinkedIn, is that right?

Vidya: Yes. Simple handle. Vidya Raman. That’s it.

Nicole: Okay and I’ll spell it for you. V i d y a r a m a n. Ah, this was so good and rich. People are gonna love this. Thank you so much.

Vidya: Thank you, Nicole. Thank you so much for having me. I truly appreciate it. Thank you.

Voiceover: Ready to build your vibrant culture? Bring Nicole Greer to speak to your leadership team, conference or organization to help them with their strategies, systems and smarts to increase clarity, accountability, energy and results. Your organization will get lit from within. Email And be sure to check out Nicole’s TEDx talk at

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