Monday, April 16, 2012

First World Problems

"No free Wi-Fi here?"
"I was stuck in traffic, but at least I had satellite radio."
"What do you mean my smart phone froze up?"
"The grocery store was really busy...what a hassle."
"We're meeting in the new state-of-the-art building on campus."
"I wish we could find some good people for these jobs."

Wait A Minute
I think I may be losing touch. No, I'm not wandering around the office hearing voices. But I am wondering if I'm not seeing everything around me. Sure, I strap on my corporate blinders and charge on ahead through my day, juggling my priorities as I run from meeting to meeting using my iPhone and jumping on my pc when I'm in my office.

What am I not seeing as I race through my day? Is there someone who needs a few moments of my time? Maybe that person is an employee in need? Maybe that person doesn't work for my company, but because I never look beyond the four walls of my office regularly enough I've missed seeing them.

Maybe I've missed seeing them.

Good Corporate Citizen? Really?
My organization does a tremendous amount of good in the community. I'm not talking about that corporate citizen. I'm taking about the human citizen. Me. What is it that I'm doing to reach out and connect to those either inside or outside my organization to lend a helping hand? Regardless of what I might put on the list, the real question is whether or not it's enough?

Many times we default to the circle we live in: neighborhoods, colleagues, friends with similar jobs and kids and neighborhoods. When do we take a time-out and decide to look in unfamiliar places? Isn't that choice part of leadership too? If we're in the business of providing Human Resources leadership, perhaps we should reach out to other humans in addition to the ones we're paid to provide support?

“We must not, in trying to think about how we can make a big difference, ignore the small daily differences we can make which, over time, add up to big differences that we often cannot foresee. ” Marian Wright Edelman

How About You
Does your day start and end with your flashy car, the latest iPhone, and a power suit? That's okay if it does. The issue is what you do in between your morning commute and last look at your email at night. Does it include reaching out to embrace the diversity around you; or, do you need to check the release date of the newest gadget instead?

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

pic courtesy of telegraph


  1. Great thoughts here Jay. We had a power failure at work recently, and people felt they couldn't get any work done. Yes, the network was down but laptops were operable, and we couldn't use internal offices or conferences room. But we could TALK. You, know take the time to see how the others in the office are doing. Connect.

  2. Nice piece Jay. The labor lawyer in me sees another problem with the breakdown of genuine conversation between HR leadership and staff. If you aren't communicating with your folks to find out how people are doing, the labor unions are. The quickest way to unionization is to stop talking to and taking an interest in your employees.