I enjoy sharing my stories and the lessons I've learned over my many years as a business leader in HR. I also enjoy hearing other's stories from the trenches - they inspire me to learn and grow. I hope that some of my stories might inspire you too!
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Good HR Happens in Front of the Desk!

One of the growth and development activities that I assigned my employees at least once per year was to pick a function in the company, outside of HR, that they didn’t know or understand very well.  The challenge was to get to know it – the product/service it provided, skills required, customers, business impact, etc. […]

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Employees – A Perishable Resource

I get so sick of hearing employees being called “our company’s most valuable asset.”  And they are most likely sick of it too! People are not assets, they are a resource.  A resource that can and will come and go as it pleases.  The global economy in which we live and work makes that possible […]

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Challenges are Ripe for Learning

Growing up, one of my favorite NFL coaches was Tom Landry.  I loved the quiet, calm reserve he demonstrated; seemingly never frustrated or elated.  I remember watching in amazement for his non-reaction whenever they would score.  Of course, I thought his trademark fedora was cool too!  Landry has been criticized for his demeanor by his […]

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The Courage of Conviction

I recently read Tony Dungy’s book called Quiet Strength.  I always liked Tony Dungy even before reading his book.  But now, I have an immense respect for him as a leader and a person.  The reason why, in a word, is conviction.   Coach Dungy stayed true to his convictions, his beliefs, through good times and […]

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Trust and Control

Whether in the leadership role or a parental role, letting go is hard.  Whether delegating an important task to an employee, or releasing your adult child from your support, letting go is not easy.  Here’s the reason:  trust and control. 

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Connecting with your Employee: Be Authentic

Who are you?  Stop whatever you are doing and really think about that question.  Who are you?  I’d been asked that question many times over the years, but until it was asked in the right context, I had never really given it much consideration.  But when I did, wow!  I couldn’t answer the question.  I […]

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Visibility Matters

I recently heard this about the social media world:  If you are not there, no one will miss you.  With all the noise out there in the clouds, I have no doubt that is true.  However, that sentiment does not apply to leadership.  On the contrary, if you are not there, your employees will miss […]

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Because Mom, We’re a Team!

I am often humbled by the wisdom of my 13 year old son, a boy who came out of the womb with a football in one hand and a baseball glove on the other.  Since the age of 4 he’s been throwing, catching, hitting or kicking a ball with other kids – on and off […]

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The Power of Positive Thinking

A popular subject, I know.  But, please, endulge me a little and consider my own personal story on the power of the positive.  Almost 3 months ago, I was diagnosed with a life threatening disease.  I could have let the news take me down and render me useless to myself, my family, my friends and […]

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Intentional and Continual Learning

Nothing energizes me more than an executive (or anyone in a leadership role, for that matter) who recognizes that they don’t know it all and still have room to grow.  I thoroughly enjoy observing the “aha” moments, helping my client develop actions plans for progress and hearing about the successful execution of something we’ve discussed […]

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Leading with a critical eye – Catch them doing something right!

Our society has trained us to look at everyone and everything with a critical eye.  Nothing is ever good enough.  We have all become quality control inspector #13.  In just about any situation we might find ourselves being overly critical; thinking things like, “I wouldn’t have done it that way,” or “they could have done […]

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Don’t Forget Where You Came From!

At my son’s Little League All Star game a few weeks ago I engaged in a conversation with the home plate umpire before the game started.  I asked him how long he had been umping little league games.  He said it had been 18 years.  He then proceeded to tell me about a conversation he had […]

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The Green Mile

Back in my corporate life my employees and I in the HR department used to laugh that coming to visit HR was like walking the green mile; especially, if you got a call to come for a visit.  Although we laughed about it, the very thought of that walk being akin to the green mile […]

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The Three Hardest Words

Repeat after me, “I don’t know.”  Or in text language, “IDK.”  Those are the three hardest words for anyone in a leadership role to master.  Or that has been my experience, anyway.   

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Sometimes you just have to laugh!

While rushing to my car yesterday in down town Austin I tripped over a crack in the sidewalk, pulled my right hamstring and almost splayed out in front of a bus load of people.  How embarrassing!  After righting myself from my rapid descent into the pavement, I locked eyes with the bus driver, shrugged my […]

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Dance the Dance that Got You There!

I was watching the national championship pre-game show last week listening to coaches Urban Meyer and Nick Saban share their ideas on who might win the big game – Auburn or Oregon (we know how that turned out – darn Ducks!).  Saban’s perspective resonated with me.  He said that the team who wins will be the […]

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Leadership

“The growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership.” – Harvey S. Firestone

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Effective Leadership

Can effective leadership skills be learned or do you have to be born with them?  Yes they can be learned, depending on whether or not the “leader” truly has an interest in other people (versus just themselves or things).  By definition a “leader” is someone who provides guidance and direction to others; shows the way.  […]

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I Miss My Peeps!

It really is nice not having to report to anyone or have anyone  report to me for a change.  But then again, I miss my peeps!  The biggest drawback to leaving my work family after so much time is not being able to see them everyday.  Yes, I admit, I miss having employees to delegate to, rely […]

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HR is Worthless!

I have officially been outside the walls of corporate HR for almost 6 months.  I guess because I no longer wear an official HR hat, other business professionals – like CEO’s, CFO’s, COO’s, business owners, leadership in general – now feel comfortable telling me what they really think about the HR function.  What I am […]

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Moxie

When I was still but a young pup in the burgeoning world of HR, just recently renamed from the dreaded “personnel”, I worked for a crusty old fart, whose name I will protect because I actually like the guy.  He was about as traditional as they come.  He was stubborn, believed in the class line […]

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Leaders, Don’t Take Your People for Granted!

Ken Blanchard is at the top of my all time favorites list of business authors.  I like him because he knows how to cut through the BS and fluff to get to the practical stuff you need and can learn from.  I’ve had many “a-ha” moments over the years reading his books.  To follow is […]

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How to Motivate Employees

How to Motivate Employees How do you motivate employees?  Besides having a pretty compelling business plan, it’s simple.  Treat them with respect.  That’s it.  No daily pep rallies and cheer-leading required.  Unless you’re just one of those peppy types of people, it’s not realistic anyway.  And how do you treat them with respect?  Well, if […]

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How do you define success?

I’ve been wanting to blog for a while.  I’ve always had loads of ideas, opinions, beliefs, etc. swirling around in my head, constantly, driving me crazy.  And, I’m sure, driving the people around me crazy as well.  Although I took notes on all these thoughts, it’s hard to recapture the passion behind them when they […]

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Mirror, Mirror…

Have you looked in the mirror lately? Sure you have. We all do every day. But do we really see who’s staring back at us, warts and all? What I mean by that is when there is conflict in your life, how often do you look in the mirror to find both the cause and […]

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