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The Mental Strength Coach
by Andrei Jablokow, Ph.D. '84, '87

A Strategy for Success at Work
January 2014

Is technical expertise and qualification the key to success at employment? Well, it certainly helps and is often a requirement for a position in our employment culture, but they are not as significant as people would have you think. There are many very well educated people (with all the degrees, certificates, and publications to prove it) who are left wondering why they are disappointed with their careers and never advance as far as they would like before coming to a full stop.

If you want to advance your career working as an employee, the ability to handle people and behave appropriately is essential to career progress at every turn. Some people seem to have notable skills in this area so they rise quickly and are put on display for all to see and comment on. Other people start out fine but then seem to get locked into one place where they are unhappy. Why are some people more effective at work than others? Is it the job they are matched to, their boss, the demands placed on them, the culture of the employer, their nature, their attitude, their personality, or their temperament?

For those who realize that dealing with people is a skill that can and must be learned, there are plenty self-help books, seminars, and trainings of a uniform nature that address how to act and behave in the workplace. Some educational materials consider individual personality or style in their materials and assessments. I like these programs too, but how many of these 'feel good solutions' have you been through with no real outcome or results? I understand why it may seem like fluff or just an interesting theory.

What's important is to find a balance and sense of realism about yourself and the various situations that you'll encounter. Without this knowledge, it's almost impossible to adequately prepare to succeed in the workplace.

Your boss will only give you opportunities if you can convince him or her of your potential. Your boss has to believe that you will act with the appropriate behavior and excel at the given task. Behavior means what you say and how you react in a particular situation. It's how you come across to others and the basis for how people interact. It's fun to learn about your personality preferences but, we have to look beyond ourselves at work because we have to interact with other people, and because we are being paid for what we do.

We all have good and bad habits in our thinking and behavior as well as limitations in our self-knowledge and blinders in terms of how others see us. Our confidence in a situation, with specific other people and groups, and with being able to change and adapt (cooperate and collaborate) will also affect how we react and behave. Understanding your role in a team, dealing with difficult people, fitting into the culture (corporate identity), and taking on new situations as you advance to higher positions will continue to challenge you and require you to continue to learn and reflect.

In order to progress in an organization and succeed at work, a person must have a clear understanding of where to fit in and how to make a personal contribution. And this isn't a once and done affair. This process needs to continue throughout your working life. You can start the learning process right now in your current position and never stop. Work with someone, like a coach or mentor that can help you create a strategy that will serve you beyond your technical and job specific knowledge. You will be amazed at how far and where you can go.

On Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014, Andrei Jablokow will host an interactive online discussion with practical tips on how to create a strategy for success at work and become more effective when working individually and in a group. Leave with techniques on how to self-monitor, reinforce and evaluate your progress. More

About the Author

Andrei Jablokow, Ph.D. '84, '87, is a mental strength coach. He works with high performers, those professionals and business owners who want to take their game to the next level. His clients have more clarity and focus, as well as the mental strength to manage change and adversity. And, they get more done with less stress.

Andrei has a diverse background in interpersonal communication, coaching, speaking, training, sales, marketing, education, and accelerated learning. He's able to guide professionals to reach their highest levels of mastery, so they're able to maximize and sustain their performance... even under pressure.

Andrei is a business partner of Steve Siebold, CSP. Steve is author of 177 Mental Toughness Secrets of the World Class. He's been featured on The Today Show, Good Morning America, BBC Television Europe, NBC Australia, CBS, FOX, and dozens of other television and radio programs and in newspapers and magazines around the globe. Steve and Andrei train sales and management teams in the strategies of mental toughness to increase their bottom line results.

Andrei has a BS and MS from Drexel, as well as a PhD in mechanical engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He's taught engineering at Penn State University and Drexel.

He a graduate of Coach University, Structogram® Master Trainer, a Certified Book Yourself Solid® Coach, and a Certified KAI Practioner. He's also Belbin® Team Role Accredited and a PhotoReading┬« Instructor.
A martial artist and a Certified Kettlebell Athletics Instructor, Andrei lives with his wife Kathryn and their two sons in Lansdale, PA.

For more information or to contact Andrei directly visit:

Issue Archive

June 2013
Mental Strength for Career Management

November 2013
Understanding Effectiveness