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Posts tagged "Passion"

Partnership and Service-The New HR Model

Some of these people have never had a good experience with an HR person. They are wary and a little cynical of the whole idea. A few of them have been burned and won’t be quick to trust someone.

I’ve had a variation of that conversation with three people in the past week. I don’t know why it’s suddenly become a hot topic, but I definitely understand where the sentiment comes from. For many people the whole idea of HR is a “no” function.

noNo, you can’t do this. No, you can’t do that. No, that would make us liable. No, we don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. No, let’s try to avoid that conflict. No, let’s just put in a policy.

Really? Who goes into a career looking forward to being a master of disappointment and let-downs?

Let’s diverge

When I’m not reading fiction and other fun stuff, I like picking up books focused on service. Customer service, stewardship, etc.

Speaking of which, the book Stewardship is phenomenal. Some of the things I’m talking about today are discussed there in more detail, so feel free to check that out if you’re looking for some ideas on how to serve others well.

If I had to boil what I do down to two words, those would be partnership and service. Probably not what most would expect, but they are mine nonetheless. What I do for my staff is partner with them in any way possible—career planning, compensation review, handling benefits for their family, etc. And the back end of that is serving them as well as I am able. This isn’t about me—it’s a reminder for everyone of what this position has the potential to be.

If you are spending your time saying “no” to everything that is asked and looking for ways to reduce freedom within the organization (how many of us would put it in those terms?), then it’s time to shape up. Make a change. Look for ways to partner with your people as a trusted, valuable resource. Find out how you can best serve each person to enable them to do their jobs better.

Beware the but

One final comment for today. Some of us are quick to say, “I do serve my employees well, but… [blah blah blah].” Beware the “but.” If you believe strongly enough in something, there are no exceptions, special rules, or alternatives.

It will be different, strange, and possibly even painful the first few times you remove the “but” from your vocabulary and move forward with your plan. But in the end, it will be worth it in the respect you earn.

Excitement Should Come With a Warning Label

My excitement is greater than my mental capacity. -Will Brannon

Have you had one of these experiences lately? You know what I’m talking about–you make a sudden connection or realization, and for a brief moment your passion overwhelms your mind with potential possibilities.

In that instant, anything is possible. Anything can happen. “What if’s” and a hundred different scenarios play through your mind faster than you can possibly process them.

Sure, you’ll later rule out some of those ideas because they aren’t “feasible,” “traditional,” or “cost effective,” but for a few seconds that level of excitement made you invincible.

Haven’t had one of those moments in recent weeks? Anything I can do to facilitate one?

HRevolution 3 and other random thoughts

I am beat. Tired. Worn out. (Cansado, for my Spanish speaking brethren.)

But I feel great. Fun, huh? See, in less than 48 hours I’ll be in Atlanta, Georgia. It will be the first meeting of many during the HRevolution event. And while it’s not easy to put together (for me or the other planners), it’s always worth it.

People come away with amazing ideas, relationships, and motivation to change this little HR/recruiting world. And knowing I get to play some small part in that is satisfying on a level that is hard to describe.

If you know me at all, you can tell that I’m a doer. I like to make things happen. I book and double book myself until my calendar cries for mercy. I just want to be creating, engaging, and leading others at all times. It’s what I love. At times it causes me to be worn to the bone with responsibilities, because I have a very difficult time saying “no” to anyone.

I talked yesterday with Trish McFarlane, the other co-founder of HRevolution. We did a webinar for an ASTD (American Society of Training and Development) chapter in Los Angeles, California. We spent 60 minutes talking about unconferences in general, HRevolution, and what makes this event unique.

Today I will be on DriveThruHR with Bryan Wempen and William Tincup. I haven’t had a moment to sit and think about what I plan to talk about, so it will be an interesting half hour! You can catch the show or the replay afterward at this link.

I read a short article once that has stuck with me. Here’s the gist of it:

There is a college professor who is an expert on topic X. He has studied for years and has published papers and reports on the topic, but he does not believe that things like social media and blogging are worth his time.

On the other hand, another young gentleman is just getting started in the profession, and he is very interested in learning more about topic X. So he starts a blog, builds a community, and writes about what he knows and is learning about the topic.

A short while later, a reporter is looking for an expert on topic X to interview for a story, so he opens up Google and does a search. He doesn’t find the professor with numerous degrees and published articles. However, he does find the man who started blogging and writing about the topic and has since been recognized by his peers as an expert. Who do you think is going to be interviewed by the reporter?

When I read that anecdote, I realized that something similar happened to me. I am not an expert and I don’t have any special qualifications other than passion and the drive to help others. However, that’s been enough to radically change the path of my career from what it could have been otherwise.

Sorry for the rambling. Just wanted to clear my head for the day!

Own Your Own Growth

own your own growthI saw this image in the footer of someone’s email the other day, and I thought it was pretty interesting. The phrase “own your own growth” immediately turned my head, because I believe we are all in control of our own knowledge growth and development. It’s a part of being passionate about what you do. Here are some other things that occurred to me right off the bat.

First, it’s obviously an encouragement to take charge of your own growth and development. Don’t expect someone else to walk up to you and hand you something to learn right at the exact moment that you need it. Start building your knowledge early and anticipate future stresses on your limits (and plan accordingly). My advice? Push your own boundaries before someone else does it for you.

Secondly, the ring across the top talks about some of the various opportunities for growth that are available to us. Some are obvious, but costly (education). Some are cheaper, but it’s sometimes difficult to get high quality information (webinars). However, at some point most of us have been through some, if not all, of the list.

  • Formal education
  • Training
  • Certifications
  • Seminars
  • Webinars
  • Coaching

And finally, something about the tree took me a minute to figure out. There was something profound in there, but I wasn’t sure what I was seeing. Then it dawned on me. The tree growing from the ground reaches up and out and is visible to everyone around us. They know when we have the knowledge or skills to do something, because they can physically see us accomplishing the task.

However, the growth and development underground is something different. That signifies to me that we have a lot of knowledge just below the surface. People have the skills we need, but some of them just can’t be seen at first glance. However, this pool of talent is always there for us to individually pull from if we are in need, because we realize it’s there. The key for a lot of organizations is finding out what is below the surface when it’s not readily visible.

Anyway, that’s just a few of the thoughts I had from this simple image. What do you see? Are there other tools for growth not listed in the bullet point list above?

Nothing “Human” in Human Resources

human errorOnce a Vice President level colleague shared with me their perception of Human Resources. And I quote, “There is nothing Human in Human Resources.” Now I am not sure what prompted this statement, but I can only imagine. Pause a moment. Think of a decision(s) that has been communicated to your organization that might lend itself to this question.

I am sharing this because it set off a series of questions I began to have about my chosen profession. What this colleague shared with me really hit a nerve. This is the core and root of what we do. We touch lives in all our actions in Human Resources. Somehow, I believe this has been lost in translation.

When I thought about one single word that defines Human Resources it is compassion. Compassion means displaying, showing or demonstrating human kindness. It means Being Human!! Let\’s face it, there is a reason the profession is titled Human Resources. Right?!

Everyday a Human Resources Professional goes to work and we deal with issues involving human beings. Yes, there is much more – operational issues, budgetary issues, strategy issues, product or project issues – but they all have a single common dominator or influence – the human factor.

I have come to learn many things about what we do in Human Resources and I believe it can be summarized as emotional and social intelligence.

I have learned that as you advance in your career your compassion grows with it. You must treat your business colleagues, partners, employees, management or vendors with respect and honesty knowing that at times you are forced to make difficult, tough decisions. When treating others with fairness and integrity, your leadership and professionalism will prevail. Maintain and treat with absolute honesty without attacking the person.

During my career I have had to make extremely difficult decisions knowing that I\’m not only affecting a single person but quite possibly a family or community. But what has set me apart professionally and personally is my keen ability to handle people with compassion while executing these decisions. This is why I love and am passionate about what I do. And this is why it is imperative and crucial that HR plays a strategic role in an organization.

As you advance in your career, whether it be in Human Resources or any other profession, your ‘soft skills\’ become that much more critical, visible and what is cascaded down and throughout the organization. Your emotional or social intelligence is what sets you apart as a true leader, a visionary, inspiring and guiding people rather than a manager managing functions or operations.

Today’s guest post is by Michelle Chesnutt, PHR. With over 18 year\’s progressive human resources experience, Michelle brings a comprehensive talent to her profession.  Having served in various roles with increasing responsibilities, Michelle works best serving in a Business Partner capacity.  Currently she is seeking a HR Business Partner role in, preferably, a global entity with 3000+ employees collaborating with a segment or unit of the business and is open to relocation for the right opportunity.  She is described as a versatile, enthusiastic and dynamic Business Partner with an expertise in employee and management leadership and relations, employee engagement, communication and compliance initiatives.  Professionally she served as the HR Director and Business Partner for a global IT company in Austin, Texas.  Recently, she was appointed as AHRMA\’s 2011 Chair, Credentialing Committee of the Career Development Committee and also lends her time and efforts to the Workforce Readiness and Programs Committees.  Through her activities she has developed a fundamental interest in speaking, blogging/writing and teaming with others on various HR projects.
Feel free to contact her if you have something to share:

How to Find/Make Meaningful Work (HRYP Series)

I’ve talked before about meaningful and purposeful work. We all want to know that our work is more than just another hour wasted like a rat in a wheel. But how can we find (or make) meaningful work for ourselves?

(Note: this is a post in the HRYP (HR Young Professional) series. If you know a young HR pro, please pass this along to them. I\’d appreciate it, and so will they!) :-)

My Thoughts

I think one of the biggest things that can set you apart as a professional is to have some enthusiasm and passion for what you do. You can know all the legal stuff, be able to coach a manager, and document an investigation flawlessly, but if you don’t have a positive attitude, people won’t want to be around you.
Keep reading…

Be Bodacious: Put Life in Your Leadership (Book Review)

I’ve been reading a copy of Be Bodacious: Put Life in Your Leadership recently, and it’s been one of the better business books I’ve read this year. I’ve realized that a good mix of “story” and “lesson” is what I enjoy in a book. While there are a lot of good picks out there, a good book needs something to tie it all together and make it stick.


-Thorough, blatant, umistakable
-Remarkable, outstanding
-Audacious; bold or brazen
Keep reading…

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