Monday, October 31, 2011

An Offer You Shouldn't Refuse

I’ve noticed an increasing number of tweets, posts, and general comments about the pressure we’re facing in our lives.  Work has taken over much of our waking hours, and when we’re not at work, thinking about work, or staying up late catching up on work, we’re trying to be a Super-Hero Dad/Mom/Coach/
Volunteer/ Son/Daughter/Friend/Candle-Burner.

How’s that working out for you?

Here’s My Offer
I’m into fitness.  Not in a crazy way, but I’ve struggled more than enough over time being in shape and out of shape and then back in shape again.  I finally got to the point that I decided to just stay in shape.  I feel better, have more energy, and can keep up with my work (and my kids) a heck of a lot better.

But I know there are many people who struggle to stay focused.  It’s not that they don’t want to add a level of fitness to their life, it’s just that they lack one key piece of the puzzle -> a training partner.  So just like Project Social provides support to those trying to get their legs under them in the world of social media, I’m offering to help you literally get your legs under you. 

Obviously we can’t pound out the push ups side-by-side, nor is this intended to be a guilt-laden commitment, but we can certainly leverage the power of social media to keep each other motivated, engaged and supported.  I’m open to all options whether its a daily tweet, text or email -> it's your call.

How About You
Have you been thinking about attacking your busy schedule, stress, and feelings of being overwhelmed?  Please don't use the lame excuse that  you don't have the time.  Get fit, get healthy, get going!  Plus, it’s no fun training alone.  I’m all in if you are.

I’d love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

pics courtesy of canihelpyousir and skimble

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Regrets Have No Value

Ouch.  Really?  No value?  That’s right, none.  How many of us can change anything in our past?  Anyone?  Can we learn from the past?  Sure we can, I do on a regular basis.  Do I sit around wallowing in self-pity because I didn’t always make the right choice or that I wasn’t picked first in gym class?  No…that would be lame, and I hate it when I’m lame.

Regrets Are Like Excuses
Now before you think I’ve morphed into some sort of insensitive lout, please keep this in mind.  I am a bit of a control freak (and I mean that in the most positive way of course.)  So if regrets fall into the category of things I can not control, then I have no interest in spending any time on them.  I’m into learning, getting better, and taking action.  Unfortunately for many people in the workplace, regrets are used as an excuse to whine about their lot in life.

Listening to the daily meeting of Whiners International has absolutely no appeal to me.

All Regrets Aren’t Bad
Perhaps a touch of sadness occasionally is connected to a regret:  not clearing the air with someone, sadness over a harsh word spoken, or embarrassment from a previous time in your life.  Here’s the twist that many people miss – you can still do something about those issues.  It almost always starts with this step:  swallow your pride and talk to the other person.  If they’ve gone on ahead, take a few quiet moments and tell them anyway…they’ll hear you.

How About You
Are you a charter member of the self-pity club?  If so, you’re not only annoying the hell out of everyone around you; but, you’re also doing a major disservice to your health.  Take the first step and reach out to someone for help.  And then dump those regrets for good.

I’d love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

pic courtesy of mississippigarden

Monday, October 24, 2011

I See A Clear Path With My Narrow Mind

Some of you may know I am heavily into hockey as a fan, hockey dad, and for the last five years as a youth hockey coach.  As our team continues to improve and play against some of the highest level talent in the country we’re stressing the concept of peripheral vision with our players.  Hmm, peripheral vision.

The concept is so simple, yet all too frequently I find myself following my vision, or my plan, or my idea in my professional life.  Am I really taking into account all of the factors, perspectives, and options when I make decisions?  I’m guessing the answer is no.  That isn’t a good feeling.

Tunnels Are Easy
Have you ever driven through a tunnel?  How many options did have to proceed?  The path before you was obvious and knowing exactly what the plan was made it easy to execute.  No decisions, no challenges, no need for others to help steer the car.  You had it all under control.

Peripheral Takes Practice
Back to my hockey club…we recently told the boys they needed to practice using peripheral vision in their daily lives because the more they practiced this skill the better they would become.  Imagine that…practicing a skill each day will make you better at that skill?  How many times have I missed opportunities to “practice” my peripheral vision at work?  Too many I fear.

How About You
How do you overcome your tunnel vision?  Do you trust those around you enough to include them in decisions: or, is the path before you so clear that there really is no need for any additional input?

I’d love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

pic courtesy of timgrey

Thursday, October 20, 2011

HReality Show

Sometimes reality truly beats fantasy.  Particularly in HR.  Consider what happens in "our" world.  First and foremost the overwhelming majority of employees come to work each day, do a fantastic job, and go home to live their lives away from the company.  Except for those that aren't in that "overwhelming majority."  HR has the privilege of spending extra time with that group.

Leadership Matters
Time for me to disclose a bias of mine...I believe that almost every problem organizations face today is based on leadership.  Sure, we deal with difficult employees, but when you consider how small a percentage that is of the overall company employee base, and compare that with the long list of challenges that must be met, you tell me where the responsibility lies?  The employees are not empowered to hire, fire, schedule, purchase, allocate or direct work, or do many of the things that we expect our leaders to do, and do quite well I might add.  In his post How Mindless Leaders Can Create Workplace Problems, Ray Williams describes in detail how detrimental ineffective leadership can be both on the leader and their respective teams.

He Said WHAT?
When I think about some of the most difficult issues I've had to address, the examples at the top of my list are all related to leadership.  Let's face it, too often we hire "superstars" without giving them a chance to learn and grow.  On the job mentoring is fine for that select few that have "natural" leadership abilities (although I would submit that their "natural" abilities are a product of an environment that was chock-full of positive leadership role-models); but, how many leaders have you seen fail over the years that should have been effective?  Why do we continue to allow that to happen?

It's More Than Selection
I'm a huge proponet of behavior-based interviews, but only if they're really, really difficult.  No one has an easy job, and if the candidate is not able to answer challenging questions about themself, how in the world are they going to be able to perform for the company? 

So what should we do when we bring on a new leader and we believe they are going to "hit the ground running?"  I love that many people do you know that slam into the ground and start running at the same time?  I don't know any either.

How About You
What are you going to do about this leadership challenge?  Perhaps the fastest way is to reach out to a leader that you know is struggling and offer to be a sounding-board for them.  This way you're not being critical; in fact, you might be giving them just what they need.

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses. 

pics courtesy of kndino and ellisondrive

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

155 Birthday Candles

Today marks the 155th post and one year anniversary of NoExcusesHR.  Unbelievable.  Let me say how very blessed I am to have received so much support and encouragement over the last twelve months.  Blogging has allowed me to expand my network and connect with some of the brightest minds in ways that were impossible just a few years ago.  That's why it's time for you to get started.  Today.  What began as a crazy idea has turned into a tremendous personal outlet on many levels.
Blogging Matters.  It touches people.  It makes people think.  And it helps you hold yourself accountable.  At least it does for me.

Which is why you need to add your voice.  Don't let a year go by only to look back and wonder what might have happened if you had started.  There are plenty of people willing to help, starting with me.  Think about it...

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

pic courtesy of wymm

Monday, October 17, 2011

Are You Going to Finish Strong?

I spent a lot of time this weekend thinking about all of the challenges that lie ahead for me this week.  Sometimes it felt like maybe I had taken on more than I could handle.  I started to slip into a little "woe-is-me" session.

And then I watched this short video and quickly realized I have exactly zero least problems of any consequence.  Take a look...and let me know what you think.

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

I'm Hiring A Recruiter

I'm going to try mixing business with blogging.  Is it appropriate?  Am I crossing some sort of forbidden line that will forever compromise my professional life?

I don't care. 

I have a vacancy and I want a kick ass Recruiter who embraces social media to be part of my team.  Period.  It will help if this HR pro has their SPHR or PHR, understands hospital-based healthcare, and isn't afraid to keep pushing the limits of what "HR is supposed to do" - but healthcare experience is not a deal breaker.  We work in Florida, so recognizing Spanish (let alone speaking it) would also be a plus; but again, not required.

Let me say it again, I want a kick ass Recruiter.  Someone who isn't afraid to work hard in one of the most impactful organizations on the planet.  I mean my organization we save children's lives everyday who otherwise wouldn't live.  Tell me what other company is doing something more important?  That's right, there isn't one.

Check out a preview of the job...think about it...and get in touch with Clare to learn more.

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

pic courtesy of bengrossman

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Finding My Priorities

Q4 is underway and along with it comes new performance targets, year-end pressure, and hopes for a strong 2012.  During times of transition it can be useful to take a look at ourselves before we jump into that monstrous task list and unrelenting ping of the Inbox.
Lucky and Happy?
I must admit I am lucky.  I love my job.  I have  a great group of people to work with, and my organization has one of the most important roles to play in society -> caring for sick and injured children.  But does that mean I love every part of my job?  Is that possible for anyone?  I don’t think so.  The reality is that even for those of us who truly are blessed with a good job, even to the point of feeling a bit guilty about it, it doesn’t mean we enjoy every aspect of that job.  And that’s okay…it’s what we do about it that is most important.
Love/Hate Relationship
We all have a long list of responsibilities, and with that an even longer list of issues that require our attention.  So what about those things that take a lot of time and energy but aren’t on our favorites list?  Have you identified what those items are?  Are you aware of the risks these particular issues pose to your leadership?  Avoiding the tasks that you...well...really dislike won’t serve you well or the people around you.
New Focus
It comes as no surprise that the world of work, and in particular leadership, is changing dramatically.  New employees have integrated technology, social media, and a heavy emphasis on work/life balance unlike any other generation.  For Managers that still cling to the “bootstraps” work ethic, the reality of the modern worker is a massive disappointment.  It’s not that expecting employees to work hard is an old fashioned idea; it’s just that how that idea is manifested in the world of work today is very different.  Does everyone really need to be in the office all day and night when email, calls, and updates can all be done from an iPhone?
Boring Comes First
Investing some time to consider what must be done that does not get you excited is worth it…as long as you take care of those issues first.  Hit them while you’re fresh and energized.  You’ll be more productive, and will be able to knock out those items faster than if you wait until you are worn out from a productive day and still have the “mundane list” looming.  I know I’m switching up my routine to follow this plan.
How About You
Do you ever take time to identify the boring stuff?  Or, is your Inbox calling so loudly that you never have time to consider what comes next?  It’s okay to take a breath once in a while, and then to prioritize specifically when you’re going to tackle the not-so-fun part of your job.  Get it done, and then get on with the new, exciting and challenging projects that are waiting!
I’d love to hear from you.
No Excuses.

pic courtesy of lovingthebike

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Self Bias Resistor

Sometimes leadership can be a lonely assignment.  Add a few layers of complex relationships, regulatory interference, a host of third party interests, and before long the years are grinding along and you're stuck in the same place.  Let me state for the record that no one deserves to be in "that place."

Lonely = Network-less
Sometimes we come across leaders who, once capable and motivated, have now slipped into a state of perpetual plodding.  Often they don't even realize how far they've fallen until someone reaches out to them.  This is more than the proverbial forest from the trees conundrum; this is about leaders who are literally slipping into irrelevance before our very eyes.  If we know someone who appears to be at such risk, what should we do?  Intervene - and risk insulting them and damaging our relationship?  Ignore - and risk carrying the burden that we might have made a difference had we only taken action?  The answers are not easy, nor should they be taken lightly.

Leaders Take Action
For me the answer is clear - intervene in the most supportive and non-threatening way possible.  But intervene nonetheless.  It's not about saving someone from them self, nor is it about an over active hero-complex.  It's about doing the right thing, which the last time I checked was always the thing to do.

How About You
Who do you know that is heading down the slippery slope of irrelevance?  Sure, they should try to help themselves if they can.  But sometimes that's not so easy.  Can you pinpoint when the passion in their work faded away, and the routine of paperwork, bureaucracy and excuses took over?  It doesn't matter if you can, really.  What matters is what you're going to do next.

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

pic courtesy of mallindesign

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


I've been traveling on a consulting assignment this week....very far from home and my team in HR.  And to be honest with you, I've never been more thankful for the team back in the States.  It's not that the people I'm working with on this engagement aren't good - in fact, quite the opposite is true.  They are as dedicated and professional as I've ever seen.

But the challenges I'm helping to address this week are not what my team and I deal with on a day to day basis in the trenches.  And for that, I'm thankful.

Thankful for their work ethic.

Thankful for their support.

And thankful that I have the privilege to lead such an amazing group of HR professionals.

How About You
Have you mentioned lately how important your team is to you?  If not, today might be a good day to do that.  I know it was for me.

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

pic coutesy of tihh