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Soft Skills that Make or Break Your Success- Preface


Researches show that the lion share of success comes from soft skills than technical. Sadly, many professionals over depend on their technical skills. And thus, neglect to develop their soft skills proactively and in turn pay dire prices individually and cause havoc in their organizations. Common complaints such as high turnover, conflict, lack of synergy, and low levels of productivity in many of today’s organizations come down to lack of certain soft skills.

This book is based on the story of a successful professional , Dan Murphy who works for a multinational research organization- Global Health Research (GHR). Dan was promoted to lead a multimillion dollar project because of his superb technical skills as a researcher. Unfortunately, due to lack of certain soft skills, problems started to prop up. He couldn’t get along with his peers, and lead his team members.

After several attempt to help, verbal warnings, and then a written one for his file, his immediate boss- Susan Jeffrey, decided to remove him from leading the project. However, since Dan was one of the superstar researchers at GHR, this caused havoc and forced the CEO- Paul Gray, to intervene. Finally, Paul negotiated a deal, which required Dan to attend a three-part Soft Skills Development program, and to work with a mentor in order to continue lead the project.

The book narrates how the problem began, the negotiations, and the main discussion points from the mentoring sessions. The first part of the book covers the discussions among Dan, Susan, and Paul. Introductions of the remaining three parts (Mastering Self, Getting Along, and Leading Others) narrate the discussions between the trainer and attendees of the program. The 12 chapters narrate Dan’s one-on-one mentoring sessions with his mentor- Rafael Arthur.

The main discussion points of each mentoring session include:

  1. Four key lessons he learned;
  2. Some of the assessments, processes, models, and/or tools he found helpful; and
  3. Immediate actions he plans to take as a result of attending that particular workshop.

The story of GHR and its staff in this book is fictional but realistic. GHR and its employees serve as an illustration of common challenges many companies around the world may face because of lack of certain soft skills. As a former researcher and workshop facilitator for scientific and research organizations, the examples are based on my experiences though the identifying details have been changed.

The program Dan attended is composed of 12 interactive workshops necessary to master self, get along with, and lead others. These 12 soft skills 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.

Speaking of extraordinary success, by default, we all strive to succeed. It’s within our DNA. By hook or by crook, every one of us goes the extra mile to succeed- to achieve more, and go to the next level. We all, individually and collectively, have a desire to succeed.

Of course, success is subjective. It’s in the eye of the beholder. What you consider success may not be recognized as success by someone else, and vice versa.

To achieve the success that you’re pursuing, you need personal mastery; you need to get along with, and lead others successfully. And, this book contains great insights, tools, and processes that empower you to develop the 12 soft skills that make or break your success in life, career, and/or business.


1. The print and kindle version of the book will soon be available. Stay tuned.

2. Below are some of the follow-up services Success Pathways will soon start to provide based on the theme of the book:

  1. Book signings
  2. Keynotes
  3. Individual workshops
  4. Individual and group coaching
  5. Soft Skill Development program

If you may have any question or need additional information, let’s know. If you’re also interested to get one or more of these services, don’t hesitate to reach out:
Email: and/or
Tel: 703-895-4551


85% Success comes from 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).” 

Unfortunately, many inventors, new hires, supervisors, managers, business owners, and professionals over depend on their technical skills. Accordingly, they neglect to develop their soft skills proactively and in turn pay dire prices.

Success Pathways understands the critical roles soft skills play. We provide soft skill workshops to empower your people attain success in what they do.

The following are some of the soft skills workshops we provide. Our workshops are very interactive and engaging filled with latest insights, practical tools, processes, and methods your people could use in the workplace right away. You may click the links below to read the synopsis and learning objectives of each workshop:

  1. Communication Strategies
  2. Effective Presentation Skills
  3. Turning Conflicts into Opportunities
  4. Negotiate Like a PRO
  5. Promoting Diversity and Embracing Inclusiveness
  6. Essentials of Project Management

If your team needs one or more of these workshops and/or to learn more, please feel free to reach out.

Note: Success Pathways Press will soon publish a reference book that provides insights, stories, and processes to empower readers develop the right attitude, mindset, and soft skills necessary to succeed in what they do. We’ve also designed a program for organizations that would like to empower their people by inviting Success Pathways to their organizations. We will work with you to customize the program to align it with your corporate culture, organizational setting, and the needs of your people. If you’re interested to be notified when the book and the program become available, let’s know.

Tele: 703-895-4551

Change before it is too late

More than we would like to admit, we all resist changes that we don’t:

  • Understand or
  • Like or
  • Believe.

Fairly speaking, there’re no people who are born resisters (change haters). Unfortunately, resisting some changes comes with dire prices.

But, many individuals, communities, and organizations did ‘extinct’ (became irrelevant, bankrupt, etc.), not ONLY just for resisting change, but also for failing to discern change and making the necessary changes ahead of the curve.

Many who paid the steep price for failing to be proactive were not stubborn, contrary to what the majority of us think, they were just reluctant for awhile and slow to respond.

Think of all the giants who did extinct from the face of the earth or those which remained insignificant and irrelevant, they did try their best though too late. They woke up at one point, and desperately tried to catch up with change. By then, it was in vain. That is why the former chairman and CEO of General Electric Jack Welch advised, “Change before you have to.”

In the past, it used to be ‘change or you would remain stagnant’. Now, in the 21st C, the mantra has changed big time: ‘change or die!’

It is a choice each one of us should make:

  • Do we want to be proactive and change before it is too late or
  • Do we risk it and hesitate to face the consequences of our negligence?

We can become friendly with change, project into the future, and make changes before they become mandatory…

If you ever want to empower your people to understand the nature of change, develop the right mindset, skills, overcome resistances, and successfully lead all stakeholders during change, let me know…


Assegid (AZ) Habtewold is the owner and lead trainer at Success Pathways, LLC. He facilitates Change Management workshops. Here is the link to learn the learning objectives of our Change Management workshop:

AZ has been facilitating very interactive and dynamic soft skill and leadership workshops including Leading Change for diverse clients using latest adult learning methods. In his upcoming book, which will be published soon, he provides insights, stories, and models to empower readers develop the right attitude, mindset, and skills necessary to initiate, implement, and sustain change successfully.

Generating and Managing Your Energy on a daily basis…

Realizing for the first time the importance of energy management was a breakthrough for me.

I still remember where I heard about it the first time.

Before that revelation, I had been trying my best to manage my time, which- as we all know, is limited.

We all have equal time regardless of who we are. Whether we are rich or poor, educated or unlearned, tall or short, popular or obscure, time treats all of us equally. We all have 24 hours per day. That is why C. S. Lewis noted, The future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of 60 minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is.”

On the other hand, I came to realize that, unlike time, our daily energy is not fixed. We can generate, and manage our daily energy ‘indefinitely’. Accordingly, I immediately identified key sources of energy, came up with a simple and straight forward plan to:

  • Balance and renew my energy,
  • Expand my energy capacity, and
  • Create energy management rituals on a daily basis.

The results? Extraordinary!!! Wondered so many times why I hadn’t known about this earlier 🙂

Once I got some results, I decided to incorporate energy management in our time management workshops.

Now- more than over, I strongly believe that, as Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz wrote, “Learning to manage energy more efficiently and intelligently has a unique transformative power, both individually and organizationally.”

Do you manage your energy on a daily basis? Have you got some successes? Are there challenges? How do you plan to overcome these challenges?

If you (your team) ever struggle to manage time and energy effectively, let me know…


Assegid (AZ) Habtewold is the owner and lead trainer and coach at Success Pathways, LLC. He facilitates Time Management workshops. Here is the link to learn the learning objectives of our Time Management workshop:

AZ has been facilitating very interactive and dynamic soft skill and leadership workshops including Time Management for diverse clients using latest adult learning methods. In his upcoming book, which will be published soon, he provides insights, tools, and processes to empower readers develop effective time and energy management attitude, mindset, and skills.

Change when it matters the most…

There is a common misunderstanding concerning why once giant companies vanished or became insignificant. Mistakenly, many people think that these once glorious companies were stubborn and refused to change.

That is not accurate. Most of them made so many desperate moves to catch up with the change they had just missed. Unfortunately, their past success blinded them and felt that they were too big to lose to Change.

They hesitated for awhile and failed to make the necessary changes on time and when it mattered the most. This negligence came with a dire price. Complacency was the main reason!!!

Otherwise, almost all of them awakened at one point, stopped resisting, and desperately attempted to save their capsizing ship by making some desperate change moves. It was too late… They missed the boat that would have taken them to a splendid future. This misstep denied them from transforming their people and organization to the next height…


  • In the past, if you don’t change, you won’t progress. Survival wasn’t at stake.
  • Now, in the 21st C, the mantra is: either you change or perish!

What would be your choice? What would be your story five years from now? Don’t forget that change’s pace has quickened crazily. There would be lots of proactive changes you should make within this relatively short period of time to survive and thrive.

Are you going to be proactive, catch up with the fast paced change by discerning change ahead of the curve? Are you preparing yourself ahead to fly with the frequently changing current by changing consistently; or some how, fall behind and remain a victim of complacency and pay the dire price- irrelevance in the 21st c?

It is your choice…

Let’s know if you need our help to better understand the characteristics of 21st change, phases of change, what to to do during each phase, and change models you may use to guide your efforts to lead change smartly and successfully.

Assegid (AZ) Habtewold is the owner and lead trainer at Success Pathways, LLC. He facilitates Change Management workshops. Here is the link to learn the learning objectives of our Change Management workshop:

AZ has Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Degree, Master’s in Computer Science, and Doctor of Strategic Leadership. He wrote two books on leadership. He has been facilitating soft skill and leadership workshops including leading change for some government agencies, technology, and non-profit organizations. In his upcoming book, which will be published soon, he discussed extensively about the importance of leaders honing their soft skill to lead change in the 21st C successfully.