Motivational Speeches

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Interviewed by a local TV station based on my new book

The Ethiopian TV and Radio (ESAT)’s Reeyot interviewed me based on my new book. The interview wasn’t conducted in English. It’s in Amharic…

ESAT Yetsehafian Dimtsoch Reeyot with Dr Assegid Habtewold Thur 17 Aug 2017

2-Hour Workshop on the top 12 soft skills

Sholla presents a boot camp style 2-day intensive workshop on September 2 – 3, 2017 based on the newly published book entitled ‘Soft Skills That Make or Break Your Success: 12 soft skills to master self, get along with, and lead others successfully’. The facilitator of the workshop is Dr. Assegid Habtewold, the author of the book. He has been a trainer for some government agencies and corporations since 2007. Entrance fee is 300 USD/person. Only 20 attendees are admitted for the first batch. To learn more, check this link:

However, Sholla would like to invite Dr. Assegid to facilitate a 2-hour fast paced workshop exclusive to Sholla current students and Alumni for free on August 19, 2017, @4 – 6 pm at Sholla (8204 Fenton St, Silver Spring, MD 20910). We have, nonetheless, some seats reserved for guests.

Please note that research conducted by Harvard University, the Carnegie Foundation, and Stanford Research Center revealed, “85% of job success comes from having welldeveloped soft and people skills, and only 15% of job success comes from technical skills and knowledge (hard skills). Unfortunately, many professionals, especially technical professionals in IT, Science, Engineering, and so on over depend on their technical expertise. Accordingly, they neglect to develop their soft skills proactively, and in turn, many struggles to get jobs that match their skills, many of those who set their feet in may lose their jobs because of their inability to get along with diverse people. Since having well-developed soft skills is a requirement to become a supervisor or a manager and succeed in these leadership positions, many technically savvy professionals unable to advance in their careers, and watch from the sidelines while others with average technical expertise climb the corporate ladder.

These shall not be your fate. You can develop your soft skills proactively to complement your technical skills, and take your career to the next level. It’s possible, and we’re here to help you.

You’re hardworking with an outstanding personality. You have excellent technical skills as IT professionals. Nonetheless, to succeed in the US, get promoted, and climb the corporate ladder, you need to hone your soft skills. This 2-hour workshop on August 19, 2017, @4 – 6 pm is packed with great insights, tools, and processes that will empower you to develop the 12 top soft skills that make or break your career success.

Please confirm your attendance of this invaluable workshop on August 19 by writing email @ or calling at 301-588-3893. Since we have limited space, first come first served.

Report on August 11th conference

The Skilled Immigrants annual conference in Alexandria on August 11th was very successful. As part of the first panel, I shared my experience as an immigrant, and the soft skills necessary for immigrants to succeed in the US.

A couple of sponsors donated over 35 Soft Skills That Make or Break Your Success book to participants.

Report on August 4th workshop

The workshop on August 4th was very successful. Within 1-hr, participants could be able to:

  • Appreciate the importance of soft skills for their success
  • Which soft skills are vital to develop personal mastery, get along with and lead others
  • And more.

The workshop was held at Veterans Plaza, downtown Silver Spring. Here is a YouTube photo slideshow to watch some of the pics taken from the event:


Interview with Eric Rasch on Soft Skills

2-Day Boot Camp Style Intensive Workshop

Sholla presents a boot camp style 2-day intensive workshop based on the newly published book entitled ‘Soft Skills That Make or Break Your Success: 12 soft skills to master self, get along with, and lead others successfully’. Here is a link to read the synopsis of the book, press release, and to download the first part and the conclusion of the book for free:

Learning Objectives:

This workshop gives you the necessary insights, processes, and tools to develop your soft skills that empower you to take your life, career, and business to the next level. The workshop has five over-arching objectives. At the end of the course, participants will be able to:

  • Understand the vital roles soft skills play in mastering self, getting along with and leading others
  • Discover the soft skills necessary to succeed in managerial positions
  • Assess which soft skills have been missing that deterred them from attaining personal mastery, getting along with, and leading others successfully
  • Identify tools, processes, and approaches that enable them to improve their soft skills that equip them to master self, get along with, and lead others
  • Develop action plans to practice what they learned right away when they return to the workplace


Course outline:

Part I: Soft skills to master self:

Soft Skill 1: Increasing self-awareness

Soft Skill 2: Regulating Emotions Wittingly

Soft Skill 3: Managing Time and Energy Wisely

Soft Skill 4: Solving Problems & Making Right Decisions


Part II: Soft skills to get along with others successfully:

Soft Skill 5: Playing Teamwork

Soft Skill 6: Communicating Effectively

Soft Skill 7: Promoting Diversity & Embracing Inclusiveness

Soft Skill 8: Turning Conflicts into Opportunities


Part III: Soft skills to lead others successfully:

Soft Skill 9: Motivating Others to Aim High

Soft Skill 10: Coaching & Mentoring to Empower Others

Soft Skill 11: Negotiating With Others for Win-Win Deals

Soft Skill 12: Leading Others Through Change Smoothly


About the author and Trainer of this workshop

Assegid (AZ) Habtewold wrote three books including his latest book entitled ‘Soft Skills That Make or Break Your Success’. He has been serving some Government agencies [National Institutes of Health (NIH), General Services Administration (GSA), US Department of Agriculture (USDA), Forest Services, and National Cancer Institute], Public Schools, Fuji Films, Everis, Westat, Per Scholas, and so on. AZ has also been working with world-class management consulting companies such as CI International and ICATT Consulting. He has been facilitating workshops on the 12 themes incorporated in his third book. He also has been working as a contractor to provide public seminars and on-site workshops for seminar companies such as SkillPath, and National Seminars. AZ has the following degrees: Doctor of Strategic Leadership, Master’s in Computer Science, and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. He has over 20 years hands on leadership experience that began as a youth and student leader. He has been providing training and facilitating workshops for more than nine years in the US. AZ came to the US in 2005, is a US citizen, and lives in Silver Spring, MD.



  1. We have limited seats. 20 participants for the first batch. First come, first served.
  2. Each participant gets a copy of the book for free.
  3. Handouts will be sent once you register for the boot camp.

If you may have any question or need explanation, please call at 703-895-4551 or 240-429-1445 Email:

To register, go to Eventbrite:

The Pope of Soft Skills

On August 4th, 2017, just before facilitating a workshop based on my new book at Veterans Plaza, Silver Spring MD

If you’re wondering why I’m called the Pope of Soft Skills, check this brief video clip from yesterday’s presentation at Veterans Plaza

My next presentation is going to be on August 11th, 2017 in Alexandria VA. The event is organized by A Consortium of Northern Virginia Workforce Development Organizations.

Theme: Workforce Conference: Rebuilding Your Professional Career in the US’.

This is especially important if you’re an immigrant who would like to take your career to the next level. This kind of opportunity comes once in awhile. Use the opportunity to jumpstart your new career you’ve been dreaming to launch for a very long period of time. If you intend to revitalize, relaunch, rebuild, and/or make a career change, this conference equips you with the necessary info, tips, and guidances.

If you know someone from your family, among your friends, and colleagues who may benefit from this conference, please inform them to attend this vital event.

Don’t quote me 🙂 I heard that some companies have already ordered my book to give to participants. I’m not yet sure how many copies. If I were you, I’d go there early and get a copy. This is a fantastic book so use the opportunity, of course, to hear many great speakers, and it doesn’t hurt to get a great book for free. 

To learn more about the time, place, and most importantly to register, please check out this link:

Resume writing and interviewing skills are overrated

Both resume writing and interviewing skills are critical. In the 21st C, nonetheless, they are overrated. I’ll show you why, and what to do about it.

Simply put, resumes let you circumvent the automated gatekeeper, also known as soulless automated resume rejecters. Nowadays, corporations use software to screen candidates. Recruiters don’t read thousands and hundreds of resumes any longer. They depend on resume screening software to short list candidates. In modern days workplace, your resume can only allow you to dodge resume robots. That is it! No more, no less.

Once you’re in front of a recruiter (s), it’s another kind of game. You may think that you can get into the door if you just ‘perform’ and impress the interviewers. Bless their hearts. Many well-meaning organizations ‘prep’ job seekers on interviewing skills. They prepare them on the kinds of questions recruiters may ask, how to dress, smile, hand shake, and respond to some of the commonly known challenging questions.

These ‘crash courses’ are aimed at circumventing recruiters, the second layer gatekeepers. I must admit. They sometimes work, especial if the recruiters are novices. But, many of these prep classes are insufficient to equip job seekers to win seasoned recruiters their side. These classes are incapable of helping candidates continue to succeed once they set their feet in.

Speaking of experienced recruiters, they are fake proofs. They use behavioral questions. They don’t just ask the usual yes or no questions that are taught in interviewing skills crash courses. What do you think will be the response of a candidate if a rookie recruiter asks, “Are you a hard working person?” “Do you get along with others?”, and other similar questions? The candidate will definitely say a resounding Yes to each question. She may even roll her eyes and use some nonverbal cues as if to say why you even asking me these questions.

Don’t miss read me here. You need a killer resume. You need to prepare for interviews. No short cut! But, your attitude shouldn’t be to fake it until you make it. Be genuine to know the organization, its mission, corporate values, the job description you are applying for, and so on. Most importantly, be yourself. I like Judy Garland’s advice, “Always be a first rate version of yourself and not a second rate version of someone else.”

Remember this. You’re not for sale. You too are also choosing whether to work for that company or not. Go there not just to be selected, to pick too. Go there to understand the working environment, the company’s culture, and so on. You may not want to work for that company if your values collide with theirs. If the corporate culture doesn’t allow you to flourish, why accepting the job knowing that you wither away and suffer?

That being said; go past preparing for interviews. Aim beyond bypassing the two layer gatekeepers. Have well-developed technical skills and know-hows to impress the domain expert- the hiring manager.

Above all, develop your soft skills proactively. Otherwise, even if you’re hardworking, your technical skills off chart and a nice person, your body languages, eye contacts, demeanor, energy level, communication approaches, and interactions with recruiters may send wrong messages, and you may not be selected regardless of your superb hard skills, hard working ethics, and excellent character.

Knowingly or unknowingly, many recruiters make the hiring decision within the first 3 – 4 seconds. As you walk in to greet and shake hand with the recruiter, she is gathering lots of data using her senses. With that brief first impression, she makes her mind to hire or not to hire you. That is why people say first impressions last.

You may wonder why? It’s simple. The brain processes a vast amount of data within a few seconds and reaches conclusions. That is how our brain is wired to function. It’s helping us. It tries to make our life easier. Most of the time, consciously or subconsciously, we side with our brain without questioning its hasty conclusions, and in turn, take actions.

Yes, we need our brain’s super computing power. Unless we’re mindful, however, it could cause us make decisions based on inadequate data and some unconscious biases. And, recruiters are not exceptional. They may over depend on their brain and intuitions. They may not be aware that anything they do after that first impression hiring decision is to justify their initial choice. And the initial first impression could be flawed.

Whenever I sit in a panel to screen candidates, I make sure that I use behavioral questions. I’m a human being. I’m aware that I possess a mighty brain. It processes the data that are gathered through my senses within the first 3 – 4 seconds. Based on my past experience, core values, and what I see, feel, intuit, touch, and hear right there, I may climb a virtual ladder in my mind to quickly reach a conclusion. Since I know how the brain works; however, I don’t immediately buy into its hasty conclusion and suggestions. I dig further. I use scenario-based questions. You recruiter may not take these steps. He may totally depend on his brains suggestions.

Let me be clear here by giving you a simple example. Sometimes, you meet someone for the first time and within the first few seconds, without knowing the very reason why you trust that person. You start to share your info, give your phone number, and even take the person with you to introduce him/her to your family and to have lunch or dinner. On the other hand, occasionally, you may meet someone for the first time. You cannot put your finger on it, but somehow you mistrust that person. It doesn’t matter whether this person is the world’s number one trustworthy person. Your brain, be unknown to you, climbed that virtual ladder in your mind and reached a swift conclusion.

Recruiters are humans like you and I. Unless they have self-awareness and conscious about how the brain works, they too are victims of their own brain. And therefore, they may reject the right person and favor the wrong one based on limited data within the first few seconds. Your job is to be the right person plus get selected, and this takes well-developed soft skills.

Steve Jobs of Apple used to create scenarios to select the right candidates who fit the corporate culture of Apple. Of course, some of his screening approaches were too risky, and I’m not here suggesting using all of his methods. For instance, he used to ask weird questions and put his bare feet on the table in front of candidates to watch how they would react. He was trying to figure out whether these candidates function well in a casual, no holds barred environment at Apple.

If your desire is to circumvent the automated gatekeeper, yes, have a great resume. To bypass recruiters work on your interview skills. Don’t also forget that many companies put you in front of a domain expert to test your technical skills before they let you in based on your resume and performance during the interview. In that case, you need to have your technical expertise handy to impress the domain expert. Still, your technical skills cannot guarantee your ultimate success; they qualify you to get the job, to set your feet in. That is it!

Once you’re in, if you want to flourish and continually succeed in that organization, you need well-developed soft skills. Research conducted by Harvard University, the Carnegie Foundation, and Stanford Research Center revealed, “85% of job success comes from having well‐developed soft and people skills, and only 15% of job success comes from technical skills and knowledge (hard skills).” Your technical skills only give you a low 15 % chance to stay there and climb the corporate ladder.

Of course, many who, somehow, circumvented the multiple layers of screening without having the right skills, according to Mark Murphy, fail within the first 18 months. What is interesting, however, is that He said, “89 percent of them failed for attitudinal reasons [soft skills]. Only 11 percent failed due to a lack of hard skills.”

The bottom-line is to win recruiter (s) your side, get into the door, and succeed in that organization you need certain soft skills. You cannot over depend on your killer resume and interviews skills alone. If the recruiters are experienced, they sniff your lack of soft skills. You cannot pass them by only preparing for the kinds of questions most recruiters ask.

Thus, resume and interviewing skills are overrated. What you need before getting your feet in and afterward are well-developed soft skills.

Knowing the vital roles soft skills play for success in the workplace and beyond, I wrote a fantastic book entitled ‘Soft skills That Make or Break Your Success: 12 soft skills to master self, get along with, and lead others successfully’. Go to the website of Success Pathways, LLC to learn more, download the first part of the book for free. If you’re in the DC metro area, don’t miss my upcoming presentations on August 4th and 11th. I’m also in preparation to provide boot camp style 2-day or 3-day intensive workshops that will start soon. To learn about these events, check our website @

A presentation based on the new book

21st Century Community ( cordially invites you to participate in the Monthly Career Success Summit- This is information and action filled event!!!
Friday, August 4th @ 6PM (EST)
Every First Friday of the Month  @ 6PM (EST)
Downtown Silver Spring – Civic Center 
Veteran’s Plaza Spring Room.
The Friday, August 4th career summit will feature Dr. Assegid Habtewold, the Pope of Soft Skills.
Topic: Soft Skills That Make or Break Your Success.
Soft skills play the lion’s share of success. However, many people over depend on their technical expertise. And thus, neglect to develop their soft skills proactively and in turn pay dire prices individually and cause havoc in their organizations. Whether you’re looking for a job or a professional aspiring to climb the corporate ladder or an entrepreneur who just opened a business or expanding to reach more customers or a senior manager supervising dozens of team members, you need certain well-developed soft skills to succeed in what you do. In this workshop, based on his recently published book, Assegid Habtewold will show you how the 12 soft skills discussed in his book make or break your success.  This jam-packed workshop provides you eye opener insights, approaches, and tools, which you could immediately apply in the work and marketplaces to take your life, career, and business to the next height.
Assegid Habtewold is a coach, consultant, speaker, and trainer at Success Pathways, LLC. He just published his third book entitled ‘Soft Skills That Make or Break Your Success: 12 soft skills to master self, get along with, and lead others successfully’. He has over two decades of leadership experience and has been empowering leaders from diverse industries. Assegid has different professional background: Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, Master’s in Computer Science, and Doctor of Strategic Leadership. He frequently blogs and facilitates workshops on the 12 soft skills discussed in his new book.
Other activities include: 
  • Practicing Your Elevator Speech
  • Scavenger hunt of community career resources
  • speed professional networking 
  • Informational  Interviews
Dinner is catered by our sponsor, Balager Restaurant.
Assegid donated two of his books to the 21st C Community. We will use them as door prizes. The two persons who will come first will be rewarded. Be one of them…
While this event is presented free of charge, donations of any amount are welcomed and accepted to support and fund future programming.  
For more information, please call Behailu Bekera 202-834-7710; Mulugeta Dessie 301-366-6058; Gabe Hamda 904-382-5471; Mesfin Felleke 775-240-1497

Soft skills are responsible for crushing many people’s dreams

My book entitled ‘Soft Skills That Make or Break Your Success: 12 soft skills to master self, get along with, and lead others successfully’ just got published. In the book, I presented some convincing data that clearly showed that soft skills play the lion’s share for one’s success. For instance, research conducted by Harvard University, the Carnegie Foundation, and Stanford Research Center revealed, “85% of job success comes from having welldeveloped soft and people skills, and only 15% of job success comes from technical skills and knowledge (hard skills).” Regardless, many inventors, technocrats, business owners, new hires, supervisors, and managers from diverse industries over depend on their expertise. Accordingly, they neglect to develop their soft skills proactively and in turn pay dire prices individually and cause havoc in their organizations.

In our history, we’ve witnessed many technically genius individuals struggling to succeed because of lack of some essential soft skills. Nikola Tesla was one of such individuals. Tesla invented AC electrical system and coil, which is recognized for laying the foundation for wireless radio technology. On top of these two inventions, Tesla was also a pioneer in discovering technologies such as X-ray, remote control, radar, dynamos, and so on.

Sadly, Tesla lacked the necessary soft skills that could have complemented his technical skills. He was unable to communicate- both in writing and verbally, his inventions. He came short of promoting and marketing his discoveries. Tesla failed to hold patents for all of his inventions. He was also unable to negotiate to benefit from his ideas entirely. At the end of the day, regrettably, his technical genius couldn’t save him from dying poor in solitary.

As of 2016, Forbes acknowledged that Apple outshines its tech peers such as Microsoft and Samsung. It’s one of the most valued companies in the world. Behind the formation of Apple were two outstanding individuals- Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak.

However, without the supplement of Jobs’ soft skills, Wozniak- regardless of his off chart technical genius, wouldn’t have pulled off Apple. Even if he could, he wouldn’t have launched it to become a worldwide phenomenon without Jobs’ excellent soft skills. In short, millions around the globe wouldn’t have enjoyed the amazing products of this leading company if the two didn’t come together and complemented one another.

Both Tesla and Wozniak had outstanding hard skills. Unfortunately, these were not enough to attain extraordinary achievement. Only 15% of success comes from technical expertise.

The difference between the two gentlemen, nonetheless, was that Wozniak teamed up with soft skills genius Jobs who articulated, promoted, and marketed Apple and its products; selected, empowered, and continually inspired Apple’s leaders and team members; negotiated, formed coalitions, and more. Tesla wasn’t lucky to have such a partner. He paid the dire prices of lack of soft skills. Accordingly, he died lonely and in debt.

The same is also true when it comes to entrepreneurship. When some technical professionals see that they are amazingly good at what they do, they are tempted to start a business (or encouraged by well-meaning people to become their boss). They quit their job and open their own business thinking that their hard skills alone are enough to excel in the business world.

Disappointingly, it’s widely believed that nine out of ten new startups end up unsuccessful. There are many reasons why new startups fail. What you won’t find in the list of reasons why the overwhelming majority start-ups die is the lack of technical skills. If you sum up all the reasons, however, they boil down to one thing- the lack of certain soft skills.

Not just in the field of invention and entrepreneurship, everywhere, the lack of soft skills is affecting every industry. Let’s just pick the corporate world. There is no shortage of employees. For every position they announce, businesses receive hundreds and sometimes thousands of submissions from overly qualified, technically excellent, and highly experienced applicants. The common challenge all companies face is selecting that one right employee who has the qualification and experience plus the soft skills to fit into the corporate culture and get along with the already existing team members.

Despite carefully selected criteria, background checks, and contemporary screening approaches, the majority employers often end up disappointed in their choices. In the majority of the cases, this is not usually an issue with technical abilities. Mark Murphy- author of Hire For Attitude said, “Forty-six percent of new hires fail in the first 18 months, and 89 percent of them failed for attitudinal reasons. Only 11 percent failed due to a lack of hard skills.” The expertise that brought the new hires through the door was unable to help them stay there longer and flourish. Companies let go of many of their new hires regardless of their superb technical expertise due to the absence of certain soft skills.

Of course, it’s not just new hires that disappoint because of lack of soft skills. Look around you. Many existing employees, supervisors and managers also struggle due to lack or poorly developed soft skills.

Higher-level positions frequently involve supervisory duties that require having excellent soft skills. Unfortunately, many companies don’t pay close attention to soft skills when they promote their super achievers. When the latter demonstrate outstanding technical abilities and outperform their peers, they get promoted to lead their team. And, as a result, they cause havoc.

Common workplace complaints such as high turnover, conflict, lack of synergy, and low levels of productivity many companies are experiencing today come down to lack of certain soft skills by supervisors and managers. For instance, “A Gallup poll of more than 1 million employed U.S. workers concluded that the No. 1 reason people quit their jobs is a bad boss or immediate supervisor…People leave managers not companies…in the end, turnover is mostly a manager issue.”

So, what does this all mean? If you are a business owner, professional, supervisor, or a manager, you need to understand that your dream cannot be realized unless you work on your soft skills. If you are a leader, you should know that the majority of the troubles in your organization are the result of some of your key people lacking certain soft skills.

The bottom-line is, if your desire is to succeed and achieve extraordinary results, you and your team need to develop the 12 soft skills unveiled in the book. These 12 soft skills are necessary to master self, get along with, and lead others successfully. They are industry and culture neutral. In whichever industry and country you may belong, they empower you to achieve extraordinary success in your personal life, career, and business.


Assegid Habtewold is a coach, consultant, and soft skills and leadership workshop facilitator at Success Pathways, LLC ( His new book is available at Amazon. To download the first part and conclusion of the book, and also get more info about the book, check out this link: