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Press Release: The founder of PRO Leadership, in his new book, unveils 12 soft skills that make or break one’s success


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                               Press Release

New book unveils 12 soft skills that make or break one’s success

Soft Skills That Make or Break Your Success: 12 soft skills to master self, get along with, and lead others successfully by Assegid Habtewold- a leadership expert and soft skills workshop facilitator, is now available. The book is based on a story and shares great insights, approaches, and tools essential to develop the 12 vital soft skills that make or break one’s success.

Silver Spring, MD, July 13 2017 (Success Pathways Press) 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 over depend on their technical expertise. They neglect to develop their soft skills proactively and in turn pay dire prices individually and cause havoc in their organizations. Common workplace complaints such as high turnover, conflict, and low productivity many companies experience come down to lack of certain soft skills.


The book is based on the story of a successful professional (Dan) who was promoted to lead a multimillion-dollar project because of his excellent technical skills. Unfortunately, due to lack of some soft skills, problems started to pop up where he couldn’t get along with his peers, and lead his team members successfully. Dan almost got fired by his immediate boss (Susan) from leading the project until the CEO of the company (Paul) negotiated a deal that required him to attend a three-part Soft Skills Development program and to work with a mentor (Rafael) to continue leading the project. The book narrates how the problem began, the negotiations, and the main discussion points of the 12 mentoring sessions. Each chapter summarizes the three key talking points of Dan and Rafael: a) Four insights Dan gained from each workshop, b) The assessments, processes, models, and tools he found helpful, and c) Immediate actions he plans to take as a result of attending that particular workshop.


When asked why he wrote the book, Dr. Habtewold responded, “I worked as a researcher for an international research organization for more than five years up until I came to the US in 2005. Between 2005 and 2007, I was a production operator and then a software engineer working for a multinational corporation. These opportunities gave me chances to work with outstanding professionals. However, the majority of them, like Dan, they struggled to get along and continually advance in their career due to lack of certain soft skills. Since I became a trainer in 2007, I’ve continued to witness the dire prices of lack of soft skills at individual and organizational levels. That was why I decided to write this book to play my share in empowering individuals to develop those critical soft skills that determine their success….”

Soft Skills That Make or Break Your Success is unique from other similar books because it shares:

  • Data that show how soft skills play the lion’s share for one’s success. Here are just two examples: “46% of new hires fail in the first 18 months, and 89 percent of them failed for attitudinal reasons [soft skills]. Only 11 percent failed due to a lack of hard skills.”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.” Such bosses lack the vital soft skills necessary to get along and lead their team, and thus, they cause chaos, high turnover, and low employee morale.
  • Stories like Nikola Tesla- the legendary inventor, who died poor and in isolation due to lack of soft skills.
  • President Donald Trump’s Twitter war with President Enrique Pena Nieto over US-Mexico border to illustrate the vital role soft skills like negotiation play to get along and lead high stake negotiations between nations. The book offers some key lessons from this Twitter feud between two presidents that can be used in any negotiation.
  • Some stories of the author including the culture shock he experienced during his early days in the US, and how he worked on his cultural intelligence to get along with diverse people in his new home. He also shared latest practical examples, case studies, and lessons he learned from his readings and experience as a former professional and now a facilitator of soft skills workshops.
  • Many other valuable lessons.

The 12 soft skills that are covered in this book are industry and culture neutral. In whichever industry and country you may belong, they empower you to achieve extraordinary results in your personal life, career, and business. The book contains great insights, tools, and processes that enable you to develop the 12 soft skills that make or break your life, relationships, career, or business.

Book Information:

Title: Soft Skills That Make or Break Your Success

Subtitle: 12 soft skills to master self, get along with, and lead others successfully

Author: Assegid Habtewold

Publisher: Success Pathways Press

ISBN: 978-1-947524-01-9

Published: July 2017

Pages: 226

Genre: Personal Growth, Professional Development, and Leadership

Free download: To download the first few sections and conclusion of the book for free, check out this link:

About The Author:

Assegid Habtewold is a coach, consultant, speaker, and trainer at Success Pathways, LLC. He has over two decades of leadership experience and has been empowering leaders from diverse industries on themes that are covered in this book. He has diverse professional background: Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, Master’s in Computer Science, and Doctor of Strategic Leadership. He has already written two books on leadership. He frequently blogs and facilitates workshops on the 12 soft skills discussed in this book.

You can order the book from Amazon

For more information, review copies, or interviews, please contact:

Assegid Habtewold

PO.O. Box 10136

Silver Spring, MD 20914

Email: or

Tel: 703-895-4551




The new French President delivered on his promise- Gender equality

The new French President Emmanel Macron announced that half of his cabinet members are women.


In 2015, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau too did the same.


These bold moves by French and Canadian leaders should be followed by other nations’ leaders.


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Gender equality, however, should not be limited within the sphere of politics and government. It should trickle down. Businesses, community organizations, local and international organizations too should follow suit to empower women to lead.

Our hats are off to President Macron!

To read the full story, check out Huffington Post’s article:


PRO Leadership Global Inc. ( is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization based in Maryland, US. PRO Leadership PROmotes leadership, PROduces leaders to bridge the leadership gaps (Geographic, Gender, and Generational gaps) to tackle the major ills worldwide one community at a time. If you would like to support what we do, feel free to reach out to us, and be part of the movement.

More Women in Decision Making

One of the leadership gaps that PRO Leadership is committed to bridge, in partnership with other stakeholders, is gender leadership gap.

Researches show that women around the world are marginalized from taking leadership regardless of their number (more than half in most cases) and shouldering the lion share responsibility in their respective community. It’s not a rocket science to understand the dire consequence of such a disparity.

Without the full participation, and leadership contribution of women, no community could be able to tackle its acute and chronic problems, and bring lasting changes.

Let’s just pick one sector, politics.

Latest data show that women are underrepresented at national decision making level all over the world. Why we should go far. Let’s take the superpower nation, the US. In the US, only 19% women are in the House of Representatives. 

This is sad!

That is why PRO Leadership (is PRO Women) is committed to raise awareness, and most importantly empowering women to succeed in their leadership roles.

You should do something about it whether you’re a woman or man. The question is, what should be your practical role in bridging this gap?

You can team up with us to play your share. Together- the journey may be a protracted and twisted one, we could bridge the gender leadership gap and in turn tackle the major ills that are afflicting the world at large, your nation, and community in particular. Say something, do something about this!!!

PRO Leadership Global Inc. ( is a non-profit organization based in Maryland, US. PRO Leadership PROmotes the right kind of Leadership, PROduces great leaders to bridge the leadership gaps (including gender leadership gap) worldwide one community at a time. If you would like to support what we do, feel free to reach out to us, and be part of the movement.

Becoming PRO Change

Succeeding in the 21st C as a leader demands being PRO change. Unfortunately, PRO change leaders are short in supply. They’re one of the competitive advantages of their teams, organizations, and nations.

The goal of this blog is to inspire you join these few elite PRO change leaders.

You may ask, what are some of the characteristics of PRO change leaders? That is a legitimate question. Here are some of the features of PRO change leaders. They:

  • Truly love change.
  • Aren’t scared of change.
  • Thrive in the midst of disruptive change. They don’t attempt to just survive like other leaders.
  • Have both the hard and soft skills to initiate, implement, and sustain change.
  • Discern change ahead of the curve.
  • Boldly face change and use it to advance their mission and serve the people they lead.
  • Don’t wait for change to come, they create the necessary changes that they believe transform their people, organizations, and nations. While other leaders hesitate and say ‘wait and see’, PRO change leaders aren’t afraid to take risk.
  • Don’t tolerate mediocre results and lingering performance, they stretch their people, empower them to excel and achieve unparalleled results through continuous change.

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Here are a few questions for you:

  • Are you one of the NEW BREED leaders who are true change agents?
  • Do you understand that change happens frequently whether you like it or not, and the best way to handle change is to be friendly with it, and using it for your own advantage?
  • Have you developed both technical and soft skills necessary for you to empower your people make smooth transition through the different phases of change?
  • Do you dive into the future and anticipate the coming changes ahead of the crowd?
  • Are you futuristic to discern and meet the coming changes half way while other leaders are clueless of what is coming?

If you answered YES to these questions, you’re already a PRO change leader. If you answered NO to one of these questions, you need to develop the necessary attitude, mindset, and soft skills necessary to become PRO change leader; of course, if and only if your desire is to succeed as a leader and remain relevant in the 21st C.

PRO Leadership Global Inc. ( is a non-profit organization based in Maryland, US. PRO Leadership PROmotes the right kind of Leadership, PROduces great leaders. PRO Leadership aspires to contribute its share in bridging the leadership gaps worldwide one community at a time. If you would like to support what we do, feel free to reach out to us, and be part of the movement.

Becoming an inclusive leader

Successful leaders are those who are confident enough that they are not threatened when diverse views and ideas are expressed within their organizations.

They, on purpose, promote diversity of viewpoints. They are inclusive who entertain ‘organized disagreements’ knowing that such an organization enjoys a great deal of benefit from the collision of diverse ideas.

For their organizations (whether they are for profit, non-profits, charitable organizations, political parties, NGOs, etc.) to innovate and continuously improve and grow- they pay the necessary price. Some of the prices include but not limited to swallowing their egos, willing to listen, and open to be corrected when they are wrong, and when their ideas and proposals are inferior.

Your country, community, and the world at large needs confident leaders in the New Year who are willing to design within their organizations organized disagreements, entertain diverse views, and who are willing to tolerate outliers within their organizations.

Such leaders, rather than attempting to build cult and monotonous collection of ‘yes’ men and women, they are committed to the higher purpose of the organization and to the Greater Good by allowing people to speak their minds!

What kind of leader do you want to be? What will be your legacy? Do you want to be remembered as a control freak dictator? If you’re not in a leadership position right now, what kind of leaders are you supporting?

If you would like to become an inclusive leader, break away from this tradition of intimidating dissenters. Purposefully invite people that may not agree with you all the time.

Create a culture that promotes diversity and embrace inclusiveness if your desire is to tap into the talent, uniqueness, and experience of all of your people!

Wish you in the New Year success as you attempt to become an inclusive leader who is willing to incentivize organized disagreements!

Community forums to cope with anxiety and build resilience

Local community organizations including PRO Leadership are going to organize three community awareness forums in the DC Metro area.

These community organizations recognized the fact that uncertain times are in the horizon in the US and in Ethiopia.

They are convinced that they should arrange such platforms to prepare Ethiopian-Americans to cope with the anxiety that followed the recent US election, and ultimately to build the resilience of our community for such uncertain times.

The first forum is going to be on this coming Saturday Nov 26, 2016  between 3 – 6 pm.

Don’t miss this opportunity.

Don’t forget, you’re born to lead, and this challenging time calls upon you to step up your game as a leader.

Take leadership wherever your talent and experience is needed. But first, come and equip yourself to strengthen yourself so that you could be able to strengthen and support others.

For more info, checkout the flyer below:


Becoming The Fearless Leader

The world desperately needs fearless leaders, leaders who know how to deal with fear. Most importantly, the world needs leaders who inspire their people to overcome fear so that they may keep moving forward in the face of fear. We have such great leaders in our history and would like to share two of them here in this blog.

In his first inaugural address while the nation was experiencing a cruel depression, Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) inspired Americans who were afraid of the great depression. He appealed to the nation: “Let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.” FDR was the right leader whose voice comforted America in that dark period in its history because he knew the very nature of fear. As a leader, he identified, labeled, and confronted FEAR so that people would overcome it. His plea was if Americans refrained from entertaining fear, they could come out alive from that vicious depression.

Fear is brutal. It has an invisible power to cause us live what hasn’t yet happened. It’s a ghost you cannot see and touch but its presence terrorizes you if you allow it. The problem is that there is no known cure to overcome fear. It’s persistent. The only way to defeat fear is to learn how to live and co-exist with it. No one is exempted and immunized. Fear attacks everyone once in awhile. But, as leaders, we have an additional responsibility to become fearless. Very few leaders, however, learned how to triumph over it. One of such leaders was the late Nelson Mandela. He said, “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” Mandela, our hero, was honest about feeling afraid. In his autobiography, he expanded on the above statement. Once he was onboard of a small plane. It was a local flight within South Africa. The crew was told one of the engines went dead once they were on the air. Everybody began to panic. Mandela too thought that was it. He thought he was going to die that day. But, everybody was looking at him and counting on him to encourage them. What they didn’t know was that he too was scared 🙂

The difference between those on that flight who entertained and fed fear, and finally exhibited it outwardly; and Mandela was that he knew the true meaning of courage. He knew how to deal with fear. In the book, he shared how he took leadership and calmed everyone and asked the team to hope for the best while he was afraid within. Since he didn’t display fear in the outside, they thought he was a superman who doesn’t feel fear. They were wrong. He was a bold man who overcame his fears at cellular level 🙂 He didn’t allow fear to grow within him, and manifest in the outside. As for the plane, it landed safely…

As leaders, not only we need to overcome our own fears, but also must help our people to overcome fear. We cannot help our people to overcome fear unless we have first conquered our own fear and become fearless in the face of fear.

We all may not have the same kinds of fears. For some the fear that torments them could be health related while for others financial, and still for others the fear of losing, failing, rejection, and so on. Whatever fear (s) we may experience right now, we all should learn from Mandela. As leaders we shouldn’t allow fear to overwhelm and paralyze us. While it looks like we’re afraid and feeling that we’re going down and sinking at any second from NOW and this is our last breath/day/week/month/year, let’s acknowledge it, overcome the feeling, and stay on course. Let’s move forward regardless of the fear that is attacking us from within. The storm will, for sure, pass. We’ll survive to tell the story to the people we influence. And most importantly, let’s take a lesson or two on how to manage FEAR this time so that we won’t allow fear to terrorize us and our people as it did this time when we face it the next time.

Some Leadership Qualities Necessary to Bring Lasting Change

My recent article entitled Leadership Gap: The main reason why we keep failing to topple dictatorship was posted on some Ethiopian Diaspora websites. In that article, I recounted how, in the last couple of decades,  people around the world fought and toppled dictators. By using the case of a formidable coalition called Alliance For Change (AFC), which was established in 1995 to lead Ghanaians’ quest to make a smooth democratic transition,  I pointed out how the alliance gained a wider array of support. The leadership of AFC was composed of ten influential leaders. They  forced the government, its international donors, and finally succeeded to carryout a democratic transition. For instance, they put all donors and creditors on notice that any loan given to the dictatorial regime in Ghana will not be paid back. They also demanded that a free press and media be established in Ghana before the grant of any aid. These and many other strategic choices by the leadership finally brought democracy in Ghana.

I also compared another movement that failed to bring the intended change because of a leadership gap. Occupy Wall Street (OWS) could be considered as one of the latest unsuccessful revolutions. By all accounts, OWS met the most important criteria of a successful people based movement. It had millions of committed, and passionate (sometimes violent) followers. Sadly, it failed but why? There could be all kinds of other reasons why it was broken but there is no one single factor like leadership gap that contributed toward its demise. OWS left its indelible mark on human history as a futile movement that initially attracted millions to its cause. Because of lack of leadership, all the efforts, and sacrifices of those courageous young people ended up fruitless.

In that article, I recognized the four most important leadership qualities that contributed for the success of AFC. These qualities aren’t just important when it comes to leading democratic changes at national level. They are critical to bring any lasting change at community, organizational, and societal levels too. Whether someone is a leader of a community organization or corporation or government agency, s/he should consider developing these qualities. Let’s quickly review some of the characteristics of AFC leadership and learn some lessons (we don’t need to duplicate every thing) to address the leadership gap that may exist in your communities and/or organizations. AFC’s leadership was:

  • Visionary. AFC leadership showed a clear picture of the future Ghana. People were committed and stayed in the fight regardless of temporary setbacks because they saw the light at the end of the tunnel. That in turn caused them to withstand any challenge they faced before they entered into that bright future. Now, ask yourselves. Do you have a shared vision? Do you have visionary leadership? If not, what should you do to bridge this gap?
  • Trustworthy. The ten leaders of AFC renounced any political ambition from the onset. They came out in public and announced that they don’t run for political offices, and seek ministerial positions and/or any other rewards for their leadership involvement during the transition. And they kept their words. Their preoccupation was the future of their motherland. This decision generated the trust of all parties- oppositions and supporters of the ruling party alike.  By the way, Mandela didn’t have a political ambition. He refused to take the presidency. They literally begged him to become the president of South Africa. Since he was humble, he gave in, and agreed to lead just for one term. Is your leadership trustworthy? Is the future of your organization and community is the preoccupation of the leadership? Or do some members of the leadership just intend to exploit, manipulate, and trick the public for their own hidden ambition and agendas? Leadership that aims at making successful and enduring transformation should be trustworthy. Unfortunately, there is no short cut. The leadership should earn the people’s trust. Talking, promising, please trust me, and so on don’t cut it.
  • Inclusive. The leaders of AFC came from diverse backgrounds. You see in the group a lawyer, an educator, an activist, a journalist, a woman, etc. This allowed them to garner the backing of wide range of supporters. Not just in Ghana but around the world, the time we’re in require embracing diversity and becoming inclusive. Is your leadership could be able to garner a broader support? If not, what is missing? What can you do about it?
  • Charismatic and transformational. The leadership of AFC was filled with charismatic and transformational leaders. As charismatic leaders they inspired the populace and created a fierce urgency of NOW. As transformational leaders, they went beyond just motivating the people. They empowered the people and transformed them into leaders. They gave opportunities to their people to take leadership at all levels and play their share. Accordingly, they established some groups to coordinate the efforts between the main group back in Ghana and Ghanaians in the Diaspora, rally the youth, engage the media, and so on. Strategically employed diplomatic efforts to deprive the dictatorial regime any external support. Not just in the case of AFC, if you closely observe, you could be able to witness that charismatic and transformational leaders were at the center of other successful movements worldwide such as the resistance movement that liberated India (Gandhi), the African Americans civil right movement (Martin Luther King Jr.), and South Africans struggle against Apartheid (Mandela). Do you have capable leaders at the center? You may have but the question is are they both charismatic and transformational? Successful and lasting changes demand many charismatic and transformational leaders at all levels.

Which qualities do you already (your leaders) have? Which one (s) are you working on currently? Let me know your feedback and comments…

Leading Change by Reproducing Leadership in Others by Timothy Rodriguez

TimA true leader understands the value and need for personal growth and development.  Effective leaders cultivate an environment that welcomes change and eventually brings out real change in the actions and behaviors of those under their leadership.   Effective leaders facilitate the change process, overcome resistance, and encourage others to embrace change rather than fear change.  An active leader provides support, motivation, and strategies to guide the change process.  Life is constantly evolving gradually from simple to complex and vice versa.  Life begins to move you forward into positions you may not be expecting or anticipating.  For this reason, a leader holds an important responsibility in the change process…anticipate, inspire, embrace and lead.

A true leader continues to evolve and understands that leadership is not a destination, but a journey.  Leaders inspire others to follow, engage in activities that refine and fine-tune their leadership acumen and attributes.  More importantly, they demonstrate behaviors and principles of good moral conduct and character, which capture the minds of people and inspire them to follow.  A famous speaker once said that good leadership does not always start at the front, as mayors, presidents, CEO’s or as managers; it starts at the back as servants.

Actions of great leaders:

  • Make followers,
  • Help others grow as faithful followers,
  • Communicate effectively,
  • Inspire and equip others for the next task,
  • Work in a respectful and collegial relationship with members, staff, and volunteers.

As a visionary leader, one must reproduce leadership in others.  Leaders must learn how to mentor leaders so that they, in turn, go on to generate more leaders.  A wise leader takes actions to inspire others to join together, follow, and pursue collective goals and actions.  They provide three major and important components: a) the ability to be structured, b) receive instruction, and c) allow formation in their lives.

Every human being needs structure, even when they are in their mother’s womb.  Many people never achieve their fullest potential or proper growth because they do not accept structure.  We all receive structure whether at school, home, work, in our cars, or places we visit.  As leaders we must embrace change and structure in order to advance forward successfully. People who struggle with either or both, will become limited and not reach and operate within their gifts and talents.  I always say a building without structure will crumble much faster and easier when challenges occur.

After having received structure, we are ready to receive instruction.  May I remind you, that those who have no structure will not welcome change because they are stuck in an old way of thinking.  Many people now days seek instruction from technology, copy others, which makes them a shadow of someone or something.  You will always find someone to mentor you and instruct you in the areas that you are weak or need improvement.  Many don’t care about instruction; they want it now and fast.  We can’t build on instant relationships.  We cultivate those relationships, which come our way to instruct us for the better.

Once receiving structure and instruction, we can move into formation.  Here is where the character of a leader begins to be formed – attitude, mentality, moral principles, work habits, ethics, fundamentals, and integrity.  We may possess a world of information but lack formation and leadership skills to lead others.  After all, information is not the same as formation.  Therefore, a leader must seek and accept structure, instruction, and formation daily, which will lead to a successful career, filled of longevity and legacy.

In conclusion, the best example I can share is the story of the “Eagle”.  The eaglet at first receives structure in the nest.  In their young stage the eagle does not know they were chosen to be the kings of the air, to operate and live in greater heights, and that they were born to rise as great leaders and rulers.  As they grow, they receive instruction from the parent in regards to who they are.  They are being prepared for their jump into destiny. Finally, they are ready for formation.  The parents begin to instruct them on how to fly and leave the nest on their own.  The final push out of the nest becomes the greatest lesson from the parents. Now they are ready to make their debut and soar to new heights.  Eagles were taught to fly with eagles and dwell in the heights.  You and I have been born to soar to new heights and become great leaders.  Having mastered these three steps, you will be ready to step out without fear and lead change.

About the author:
Timothy Rodriguez is a native of El Salvador, and migrated to Long Island New York at the age of 10.  In 2002, he graduated from Molloy College, where he received a Bachelor’s degree in Education.  He also completed a Minor in Spanish and is currently pursuing his Master Degree in religious studies.  Since 2008, Rodriguez has committed his life to serving the needs of others. He is also a soccer coach in the DC district. Rodriguez is a proud Father to his “princess” Elise Rose Rodriguez. In his free time, Rodriguez enjoys spending time with his family, playing sports, reading, reflecting, teaching, running, and playing his guitar.

VOL Podcast Vol. 4 Issue 1 Leading Change

Vice Of Leadership Volume 4, Issue Number 1 covered the theme: Sensing Change Ahead of the Curve and Leading It Artfully


Presenter: Dr. Assegid Habtewold, Founder of PRO Leadership.


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