Career Transitioning Excellence (CTEx) – Part III – True Stories of Success – Testimonials!

Career Transitioning Excellence (CTEx)

Managing this Project for 21st Century Professionals 

Part III – True Stories of Success – Testimonials!

Believe it when you read it:

          In Part II we took our audience to the next level by sharing how the process of CTEx works with today’s professionals.  This generated interest with begging questions as in:

  • Who has achieved success with the CTE approach?
  • What is their testimonial?
  • What stories can we read about?
  • How did they benefit from it?
  • What category of industries has it been applied to?

In Part III of this concluding series this week, I am here to share live responses to these burning questions. I was fortunate enough that some of them have come forward at my request to share their stories and experiences that would enable others to give CTEx what it deserves when it comes to their careers.

Let us cover the industries of these professionals before we proceed as that puts things in perspective on the universality of this approach and the associated LSS methodology touted around it.

Professional Categories and Industries:

These are few of the professionals that I have mentored using the CTEx process over the last two decades in at least five different continents.

Sample List of CTEx Clients and Transition Category

  1. Corporate Finance – Renewable Energy  Academic Teaching and Research
  2. Production Engineer Internal Transfer within Corporation  Polymer Processing
  3. Senior Executive Manager – Warehousing Industry  Transition Within Industry
  4. Training Manger  Consulting  Corporate IT
  5. Corporate LSS Master Black Belt (MBB)  Relocated from Abroad to Home Country
  6. Corporate Multinational Company  Native Based Corporation  General Manager
  7. Software Engineer Medium Sized  Transitioned via Layoff to Larger Corporate
  8. Corporate Supply Chain Manager from US to Expatriate Abroad  Renewable Energy
  9. Corporate Manufacturing Engineer  Financial Institution  Process Engineer
  10. High School Biology Teacher  Public School  Sales Manager Medical Devices Industry
  11. Consulting Engineer  Abroad to Home Country  Reliability Engineer
  12. Assembly Process Engineer  Took Assignment Abroad  VP, R & D plus Engineering
  13. Automotive Engineer LSS  Consulting MBB  MBB Electrical Engineering Products
  14. Engineer with sub standard performance to Quality Engineer at a Fortune 100 Corporation
  15. ….. so on and so forth


Benefits of CTEx:

The benefit of CTEx is obvious to all of us seeking career changes. It allows us to gain some control on the changes we make in our lives. On some occasions the change is initiated by our employer or spouse or other family members. In extreme cases it can also be in organizations that transfer its people, or lately beset with significant layoffs causing such career changes.

Each transition in our career has a negative consequence to it and it not always a bed of roses. The thorns are hidden beneath the rose petals. It could be associated with longer commutes, a new boss with a different set of values, or an administration with a culture of micromanaging as opposed to delegation. While the CTEx counselor challenges the candidate in their transition, the latter is responsible and accountable for such negative consequences. What happens in some of these transitions is that without proper guidance or challenging, or forethought, the lunge for a higher pay, title, or cushy office is masked by several negative consequences that the financial progress and ego pandering doesn’t show it was worth it in the long run. So being aware of such negative consequences in transitioning helps you minimize the risks.

While the primary measure may be associated with some benefit in the CTEx process, there are consequential measures that are secondary and need to be contained and/or eliminated in the CTEx process. and shared its importance as well. We also concluded how at some point in our careers we have a dire need for CTEx. In Part II of this series we will share how the CTEx process works and as professionals what do we need to do to leverage the process and benefit from it.

Stories of Success:

Not all transitions are executed equal.  I will also share some of those that failed and the causes behind as well as the lessons learned. Some of these candidates have agreed to share their names and profiles while others have requested to be anonymous and I applaud each of them to having shared their experience in the first place.

I asked each of them to provide me feedback on their CTEx process and shown below are some excerpts from that experience over the years.

Corporate Finance - Renewable Energy Academic Teaching and Research

  • “I have known Dr. Shree for the last 7 years. The first time I got to work with him was at my employer’s, where he consulted for us to implement a Lean Six Sigma deployment. It was really wonderful to work with him, as his insights into the fundamentals, keen observations and simplistic approach made things really easy, effective and enjoyable. He approaches a problem from its business angle and not just from the operational excellence view point. Our next interaction happened a few years ago, when I needed direction for my career transition. His systematic and in-depth approach helped me tremendously. The most amazing part is that he did not provide me with any solution, but enabled me to think in a right manner and use the right tools and techniques.” January 25, 2012

Software Engineer at Medium Sized Firm Laid Off Transitioned to a Larger Corporation

  • “I was fortunate to have Shree guide me in my recent career transition. The pointers he gave me, I believe, made a huge difference and led to a noticeable increase in high quality responses. I would heartily recommend his services to anyone looking for results in advancing their career.” November 16, 2011

Consulting Engineer Abroad to Home Country Reliability Engineer

  • “Dr. Shree is a very experienced Lean Six Sigma professional and applies its principles in every aspect of his life. He is very persuasive and committed to help his clients achieve their goals. He takes his coaching and counseling activities very seriously, contacts his clients regularly, pushes them to stay focused and is always available to provide advice and guidance. He was instrumental in helping me improve my interviewing skills and land multiple opportunities in a very short period of time (<30 days).” May 31, 2008

Assembly Process Engineer Took Assignment Abroad VP, R & D plus Engineering

  • What caused you to consider changing careers?
    • I Subbian Seetharaman have changed my career three times to date. On each occasion, I had different challenges and reasons to consider these transitions. My first job post graduation was at a medium sized company, where I had plenty of opportunity by contributing more than 12 hours of work a day. It was a very different experience by learning from our mistakes and I thank management for giving me an excellent opportunity to shape my skills and knowledge. By the 6th year into my career, I faced boredom and less challenges. After about 8 years in my career, I was exposed to LSS and realized the importance of the “concept of cycle time” in my sessions with Dr. Shree, who later became my mentor in my career transition and growth. Soon after, there was an opportunity for an overseas assignment that came by within my organization and I boldly took it over other offers and even made the effort to move to China. In this assignment, I improved my managerial skills with a large team and also learned how to work with suppliers to help optimize their processes, that was supported by Dr. Shree and his team in China. After a couple of years, with a need to be closer to my extended family members and a significant gain in my self esteem, I transitioned again successfully back to India.
    • • How did you get in touch with Dr. Nanguneri
    • In my tenure within the renewable energy industry, in India there was a need to optimize our internal processes to add significant value to our end customer. While management approved the LSS deployment, throughout the organization in different functions, I had an opportunity to interact with Dr. Nanguneri given that he was our trainer and coach. Later on he became a mentor toward my career growth. It took more than a year and half for me to accept and realize the importance of cycle time for our business processes by the coaching of Dr. Nanguneri.
    • • What factors led you to choose him as your counsellor?
    • He always shared the nuts and bolts to optimize processes. I learned of the process approach only through Dr. Nanguneri and later realized the benefits by following the process with a discipline. This completely convinced me to leverage Dr. Nanguneri for me career mentoring and counselling needs. Today as a Vice President of R&D including Engineering, I am always expecting and encouraging my teams to start with an understanding of their process by using process mapping with cycle time and critical steps identified that are critical for delivering customer needs. I realized the data driven approach in decision making only from Dr. Nanguneri. By following the process and using data I am able to navigate my career as well.
    • • How effective was your success with the CTEx process?
    • I have experienced two transition cycles with his coaching and so very satisfied with it and wish to continue to practice it with his support and help out others in need, especially the next generation of professionals.
    • • What are some unique facts you would like to share with other professionals?
    • I always look at my career across two major time frames – Before and After I met Dr. Nanguneri. Before I started interacting with Dr. Nanguneri, I always believed that for any business growth, quality must be a top priority. After the sessions of training and mentorship with Dr. Nanguneri, I understood the importance of cycle time with the built-in quality measure that is a key to any kind of business. 
    • When we started deploying LSS in the renewable wind energy industry in India, we were encouraged to disseminate this across several geographies in Asia. I worked with Dr. Nanguneri in the LSS deployment across all functions including R&D and Engineering and in China, had a unique chance to work closely with him to improve the manufacturing process of our tier-1 suppliers. We accomplished the breakthrough improvements in on-time delivery and quality levels to more than 4-Sigma.
    • High School Biology Teacher  Public School  Sales Manager Medical Devices Industry
  • “Shree was and continues to be a great resource. He showed me how to apply the principles of Lean Six Sigma to any process, including the job transition process where his help was invaluable. His advice, coaching, and support in resume construction, interviewing, presenting, and data/process analysis were excellent, and I would highly recommend him as a career coach or LSS for “life” consultant for his big-picture and forward thinking perspectives.” November 29, 2007
  • Engineer with sub standard performance to Quality Professional at a  Fortune 100 Corporation
  • “Shree helped me not only in finding a job but also mentored me as a career coach. He is like a mentor to me. Shree has guided me as a coach since my college days. The best part of Shree is his style and dedication to work for you. He will keep you focused until the goal is achieved. The most important aspect is what you learn from Shree stays with you lifetime and makes you more mature and help grow in your career. The most important is the value added through his coaching and mentoring. In Shree’s world nothing is impossible.” March 4, 2007
  • Automotive Engineer LSS  Consulting MBB  MBB Electrical Engineering Products
    • “I John Bruwer would personally like to recommend Dr. Shree Nanguneri for his invaluable career development, coaching and mentoring at a time when my career hit an all time low. Dr. Shree took on the challenge to coach me one-on-one and stayed with me throughout the process. Within 30 days, I had multiple job offers and was able to choose the opportunity which yielded maximum growth. Dr. Shree has proven to be an excellent trainer, motivator and coach who will stay with you until successful results are achieved. June 21, 2007”
      1. What caused you to consider changing careers?
        • The crash in the economy and instability of the auto industry led me to transition to the Energy Industry.
      2. How did you get in touch with Dr. Nanguneri?
        • I worked with Dr. Nanguneri at the same consultant company
      3. What factors led you to choose him as your counselor?
        • I consider Dr. Nanguneri to be an expert in the field of Career Transition. His experience, professionalism, wisdom and willingness to work with you until the career transition is complete make for a complete package.
      4. How effective was your success with the CTEx process?
        • The CTEx process exceeded my expectations.
      5. What unique facts you would like to share with other professionals?
        • Dr. Nanguneri’s coaching is effective and unique. It made my transition easier, comfortable and fast.

Conclusions of CTEx:

As we conclude this week’s series, let us make no mistake that the CTEx process applies to all professionals as well as students and not just for the PMs. Someone in your network or family or friend’s circle may be transitioning in their career and it is vital to appreciate and guide them to success with the lessons learned are listed below in two categories.

Some Dos of CTEx:

  • Find the right mentor/coach for your CTEx process as that is the critical step prior to getting started
  • Establish the ROI in your transition and validate it to your belief and justification toward the investment
  • Pay for the services without any intentions of freeloading as everyone’s time is money just like your salary
  • Populate your LinkedIn profile on a constant basis prior to CTEx to create the web presence as expected by your hiring managers
  • Appreciate the process and give it the right ingredients to succeed just like a Y = f(x) math modeled process that works flawlessly 
  • Integrate LSS, PMP, and Change Management in your CTEx and not just add them on a training calendar and calling it integrated
  • Get a sponsor that is outside of your professional network to reduce the bias associated with closer folks for some “outside the box thinking
  • Display a great sense of attitude and gratitude with your coach as that is what will get them going and forget the drudgery

Some Don’ts of CTEx:

  • Delay updating your LinkedIn profile for fear of your boss or retribution from employer
  • Discuss pricing or cost on the first occasion of interacting with your coach, as it is never about pricing if you look at their billing rates
  • Underestimate the power of the CTEx success model as it has been proven multiple times
  • Repeat mistakes to date from the CTEx coach’s track record as other people’s experience is much better than ours
  • Disrespect the time, effort and energy of your CTEx coach as time is precious and doesn’t come back
  • Shy away from planning using the BIFN methodology as we already use it mentally in other areas that are valuable to us
  • Forget to endorse peers, team, and others vital to your success as that is the least way to show your gratitude
  • Hesitate to screen your CTEx coach’s credentials and background as they are also open to transparent assesments
  • Expect the CTEx process to be a walk in the park as it takes time and can be made easier by following guidelines proactively
  • Transition for financial gains, but something which is sustainable as financial gains without peace of mind creates career ruin


First, my thanks to my mentor in my CTEx process that continues to be ongoing. Without the sustained mentoring over the years, it would have been literally impossible for me to support and challenge while delivering the goods to them. Such events and relationships don’t come often in life.

  • “Over the last years while working closely with Mike Carnell, I have benefited by learning from his philosophy on Lean Six Sigma (LSS) and most importantly how to respond to customer’s needs in a proactive fashion. The simplicity Mike brings to the table has helped me in my performance and business dealing with clients worldwide. Mike’s mentoring and volunteering guidance over the years has had a significant impact on my success. In particular, his recommendation of my capabilities, unsolicited, to customers speaks a lot of his professionalism.
  • Mike and I come from totally different cultures and yet have mutually benefited from each others’ experience over the last 5 years. Mike has a had a variety of experience under his belt and can impact businesses and customers significantly in terms of their bottom and top line metrics. Mike and I enjoyed working with clients [I have worked with Shree extensively over the past decade on several deployments throughout the world. Shree has an amazing capability to effectively mentor people at all levels of education in Lean and Six Sigma. Regardless of the time it has taken he has worked effectively to assure that the people we have trained are capable in their role and understand the application of the various tools on their projects. Frequently we have been asked by customers to spend extended periods of time away from home. Shree has never pushed back on those requests. He has always delivered the time required to get the job done. November 12, 2008] in at least 4 different continents to date. Even though our titles have changed over the years the value from our interaction only increased.” July 2, 2007
      1. What caused you to consider changing careers?
        • My needs to lead a dual career path with my spouse as well as pursue at desire to engage in a business of my own.
      2. How did you get in touch with Mike Carnell?
        • Mike and I worked in the same organization that he founded and was introduced to him by my account manager in that consulting assignment, Ms. Barbara Wheat.
      3. What factors led you to choose him as your counselor?
        • With him being a pioneer and a Founding Father of LSS, I considered him to be the best, let alone he showing a personal interest to challenge me in my decisions with an intention to help out. There is no need to speak of his experience as he had by then been instrumental in deploying LSS for multiple business units of GE under the leadership of Dr. Jack Welch.
      4. How effective was your success with the CTEx process?
        • The CTEx process exceeded my expectations and allowed me to make some breakthrough transitions in my career. In fact when it came to certain non-traditional best practices, one can also expect to learn from someone junior or younger in age regardless of their qualifications. In light of this, I wish to acknowledge that Scot Shank, a professional much younger in age has been my mentor in areas relating to sales and marketing over the years. Without Scot’s coaching on value proposition and strategy of selling, it would have been difficult for me to accomplish success in the sales area.
      5. What unique facts you would like to share with other professionals?
        • His coaching was Socratic and never involved any telling and stressed more on intelligent questioning. This uniqueness is more than sufficient in helping us folks understand what it is all about and how we could relate to it in our CTEx process. Moreover it will produce the desirable results that your customers seek in your work for them. I see this as a great value addition for our readers, peers, customers and younger generation professionals.

We have covered several areas relating to the topic of CTEx. Take time to reflect on your transitions and what worked well and what didn’t. There are only certain non-negotiable rules while one considers transitioning successfully. It is a highly customized process with a very generic template of solving the problem as the needs vary across individuals and stories are infinitely different. The process tends to be successful if one applies it judiciously and intelligently, especially with the right coach.

On the failure side, I did terminate three CTEx agreements as the elements were missing as we worked together. Since I initiated the termination on these situations, the bridge has remained intact except in one situation where the relationship is warm, however, I have stayed neutral since then. In another situation, I just refunded the advance and ensured that it was not about the payment, but much beyond the same.

Good luck!


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *