Tuesday, March 13, 2018

I Saw, Today

I saw commitment today.

I saw dedication to patients.

I saw a team completely focused on a goal.

I saw preparation.

I saw real-time accountability.
I saw transparency.
I saw energy.

I saw follow through.

I saw transparency.

I saw communication.

I saw passion.

I saw priorities.

I saw teamwork.

I saw action.

I saw results.

How About You
What did you see today?

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.


Thursday, March 8, 2018


Persisting tirelessly.

I love the word indefatigable. I want to be that...every day...in everything I do. It is a word that needs to become part of who I am as a father, partner, friend, leader and person.

I want to, somehow, be everything. Is that even possible? My rational mind says absolutely not. But right now, I don't care. I want to think bigger than I ever have before. I want to believe that I can push myself...enjoy every step of the journey...

...and be everything

Foolish Path
The practical voice in my head says I'll wear myself out, or I'll get too stressed, or I'll not be able to keep up with my growing list of responsibilities.

But, since when has a "practical voice" ever led to a breakthrough life? I'll tell you when...


"Is wanting to explore a new awareness of my world...the whole world...a bad thing? Is this actually a foolish path to follow; or, is it the path that each of us wishes we had the courage to pursue?"

New Path
I'm not entirely sure what this looks like. I'm not even sure I can pull it off. But why shouldn't I try? Why shouldn't I challenge the ingrained societal messages about going too hard in life? Why shouldn't I say I'm going to make up my own set of rules, and the world can deal with it?

That feels like the path for me.

I don't want to be just another #HealthcareHR leader.
I don't want to be just another consultant.
I don't want to be just another good guy.

I want to spend my life kicking ass in every way possible. 

How About You
How hard do you push? How much is too much? When do you challenge yourself to take your entire life, not just your career, to a whole new level?

Maybe today is the day to answer those questions?

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.


Monday, March 5, 2018

I Walked Alone Into a Fight

Community - a unified body of individuals

Team - a group of people with a full set of complimentary skills

Network - an association of individuals with common interests providing mutual assistance

Friends - one attached to another by affection or esteem

Colleagues - a fellow worker or professional

Family - all the descendants of a common ancestor

So Much, But...
We have lots of words that represent the resources available to us in life, and these resources come in various forms. 

Ranging from close family relationships, to our loosely defined networks (think 3rd level on LinkedIn) it would appear that we have an endless amount of support just waiting to be tapped when times get tough.


While we do have extensive connections across many places, platforms and people; we fail to appreciate one of the most obvious facts of our journeys. 

We ultimately travel alone.

Not Bad News...
Now before you click out of this post and move on, consider the following...

...there is a reason communities, teams, networks, friends, colleagues and families are in our lives

...there is a reason, that despite feeling alone, we actually are not alone at all

Are you with me?

When you feel the pressure of your corporate life dragging you down.
When you feel like your career has stalled.
When you feel like the personal stress and strain are too much to bear.
When you fee like it is all just...too much.

Remember that although we technically travel alone, we have been provided with an amazing group of fellow travelers to share our journey.

What do you think?

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses. 


Thursday, March 1, 2018

On the Brink of Lies

"I've had enough of her...get rid of her today."

"We're fallen behind schedule...someone is going to pay!"

"That's ridiculous...go writer her up now. Right now!"

"That's why I have you here...to keep me out of trouble when I have to take action."

"We've lost confidence in you..."

"You're no longer a good fit..."

HR Leadership is Hard
I don't know how many times my colleagues have told me the following..."I could never do your job." 

Wait, what? Is HR that horrible? Is it so pressure-packed that our friends and colleagues can't even imagine sitting in our chair?


So, why then do we put ourselves through that pressure-cooker? Why do we put ourselves out there for all the world to see (and sometimes criticize) and frequently thank us for helping them through difficult issues or projects?

I used to have very HR-ish sounding answers, full of cliches and jargon, blah, blah, blah. I don't think I feel that way any longer. 

As I...ahem...grow more mature in my career...my answer feels different than all the HR-speak I've pumped out for years.

Something Bigger
HR leadership is not the only difficult role out there. And guess what? I've told my colleagues I would not want to do their jobs either. Have you caught yourself saying the same thing?

Be honest.

Leadership to me...HR or otherwise...done authentically, honestly, and frequently with a mouth full of humble pie has to be done deliberately. It has to matter to us as individuals. Of course we want to make our organizations better. Of course we want to create an environment where people want to work and feel as if their contribution to the world matters.

Leadership...for me...is about doing something that is bigger than me, and staying committed to that, even when times get tough once in a while.

I've never heard of any effective leaders that didn't face significant problems in their careers. I'm no different.

But when leadership means doing something bigger than yourself, you don't quit. You don't deflect responsibility or run for cover. You pick yourself up, get your game-face on, and you own every damn bit of the problem. Only then, can you make the course corrections necessary to be successful.

How About You
Which leaders do you look up to? Have their careers been perfect? Have they always made the right call? Or, do they mean so much to you because in spite of their missteps, they never quit? Ever.

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.


Tuesday, February 27, 2018

The Best Form of Self Interest

Now that's an odd title, don't you think? Of all things to be discussing on a human resources leadership blog...self interest?

Them, and Me
One of the challenges I face in my leadership practice is balancing my nonstop desire to push harder, faster, and better than my competition; and, understanding that the risks involved with my leadership personality can create casualties.

Casualties, on my team.

Understanding my role when mistakes are made, as well as the others involved, is more complicated than it sounds...at least for me. You see, I have this fairly large ego that continues to get in my way. My intentions are good, and often the results are rock solid, but it's the occasional collateral damage along the way that is unacceptable.

Is every miss my fault? Of course not. But every one of my reactions is completely on me. No one "forces me" to react too strongly. No one requires that I have a quick response that sometimes could be perceived as harsh. I am the only one who has the power over my responses.

Finding Forgiveness
When I find myself moving too quickly (which happens a lot) I need to build a new step into that frenetic pace. A step that allows me to ensure my words match the situation. And when I miss the mark, or realize that even though the "other person" made mistakes, I still need to lead the way.

I need to lead the way, every time.

If we think about forgiving those around us that make mistakes vs. running them over with our frustration and disappointment in their performance, a couple of interesting things happen.

First, forgiveness is not about the two people involved exclusively. Forgiveness is about resetting how the world is supposed to work, far beyond individual relationships.

Second, forgiveness, through that re-alignment, creates opportunities for individual forgiveness to be effective and long-lasting.

How About You
Is forgiveness a sign of weakness, or an attempt to simply 'forgive and forget?' We actually never forget; but when we focus on a more global reset, along with the individual healing that goes along with it, we demonstrate for our teams that forgiveness is actually a powerful leadership tool.

What do you think?

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.


Tuesday, February 20, 2018


I'm not sure if you've noticed or not, but there is a heck of a lot of negativity in the world today. Political leaders don't talk to each other anymore, they simply retreat to the safety of their extreme left, or extreme right news networks and gripe about each other.

Often the world of work is no different. I hear the cries to be different, to embrace innovation, and to be more progressive. Then all of the close-minded biases raise their ugly heads and the organization (and it's people) suffer.

Work Blessings
As I reflect on the polarized world we live in, it strikes me that I have an awful lot to be thankful for in spite of all the noise. It's too easy to fall into the trap that everything around us is "bad."

That's simply not true.

While I may be repulsed at the behavior of our political leaders, I certainly have other leaders in my life who are nothing short of world-class. I work with a team of people who are committed to doing their best work every day...and it shows...as the results of their work has allowed my company to grow at a dramatic rate.

Personal Blessings
I am blessed with three incredible children, an amazing family, and close relationships that I wouldn't trade for anything.

I am a bit of a fitness junkie, and have discovered a passion for healthy eating and daily workouts that not only help me keep pace with my busy life, but help me feel great too.

The church I joined is an open, welcoming community of faith the treats every person with respect, no matter what their background or experiences may be.

Lastly, I live in a part of the world that can only be described as paradise.

How About You
Today I'm going to let all the folks caught up in their miserable, negative existence stay right where they are. There's no room for them. I'm too busy focusing on the incredible blessings all around me.

What blessings have you overlooked?

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

Friday, February 16, 2018

The Inability to Respond

As Human Resources leaders, we care deeply about leadership competencies in two ways:

- The first, is putting forth the effort to identify, develop, and implement them. 

- The second, which is BY FAR the one we immediately forget, is to hold our leaders accountable to live up to those competencies.

Things Happen
Every day we're challenged as unexpected circumstances arise. These aren't necessarily 'bad things' but they do require attention. Our attention.

For example...new initiatives are planned and launched...milestones must not only be met, but a significant amount of effort must go into reaching those milestones on schedule...

But somehow, things aren't moving along as they should.

Another example...outdated policies and practices are identified that no longer make sense (think anything your organization has written relative to social media, employer brand strategies, or sharing content)...yet, somehow, no one ever gets around to being courageous enough to challenge the old-school thinking in the compliance department... 

So yet again, things aren't moving along as they should.

Not Unwilling...Just Unable
Back to leadership competencies. We write them. We agonize over the exact words that will represent what our organization values most in our leaders. We roll them out through training and communication plans, and ultimately integrate them into job descriptions.

Why then, after all of that effort, do we allow leaders to avoid living up to them? How is it that so much high quality work can be so quickly squandered when "leaders" appear to choose not to follow through and execute?

I submit that it is for one simple reason. It's not that they don't want to do the hard work. I am convinced more than ever, that many leaders simply can not do it

The over-inflated arrogance they carry with them consistently crashes and burns for all to see when projects do not move forward. 

They can not respond to the challenge, and when leaders are unable, they no longer deserve to serve in that role.

Harsh? Honestly friends, I don't think so.

How About You
Take a look at your leaders, and compare their behavior with the leadership competencies you've committed to as an organization. Who consistently misses the mark, despite intervention, support, and 'fresh starts?'

Something to think about.

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.


Thursday, February 8, 2018

The Judge In Me

"We are all hypocrites. We cannot see ourselves or judge ourselves the way we see and judge others."
Jose Emilio Pacheco

academic background
color of skin
faith perspective
home address
sexual orientation
business knowledge

It's Automatic
I....er...I mean, "we" judge everyone...and everything, every minute of every day, forever.


Yes, that hurts to say out loud, doesn't it? Well...sometimes we need to say the uncomfortable things out loud. We need to hold ourselves accountable to what often becomes a job-title-blind-spot that afflicts many leaders.

"Once we achieve a certain status, we lose touch with reality. We start to believe that we are better than others on the team. We move toward a superiority mindset that quite candidly, is a disaster."
Constant Struggle
For those of us with a faith perspective, judging others is really, really frowned upon. For others, well-respected leadership voices constantly emphasize the need to listen as a core competency for success. Never is "judge the team quickly and carelessly" referenced as anything but a horrible leadership failure.

The internal battle I'm engaged with, despite my daily focus on this issue, is just that...a battle! It's striking how many times I jump to conclusions, or default to traditional stereotypes even though I know they are dangerous and counter-productive.

How About You
What is your approach to ensure you minimize the time you judge others? What is your secret? I am sure I'm not speaking alone when I say, please share! I want to know!

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

Monday, February 5, 2018

There Aren't Any "HR Problems"

I can clearly remember the moments when the senior team was sitting around a conference room table, the tension was palpable, and the pressing issues were shared with the group.

"It's an Operations issue."

My gut reaction: thank God it's not HR.

So Wrong In So Many Ways
As I look back on that moment (of which there have been many over the years) I am...well...I am embarrassed.

How is it that I could be grateful that whatever challenge was facing my organization, was somehow made better for me simply because it wasn't based on my direct scope of responsibility?

Did I, in that moment, consider how my colleagues felt? Might they have appreciated a kind word, an offer to help, or even me stepping up to lead a team to help them solve their problem?

I didn't do any of those things. I stayed quiet, and went on with my day doing my "HR things."

One Company, No Departments
Over a period of time my view of "whose problem is it" changed quite dramatically. I engaged with my senior leader colleagues in a more deliberate way. 

I did offer to help, and not just empty-talk, but real roll-up-your-sleeves type of help.

It's far too easy to look down on someone who is struggling and be grateful that it's "not you" that time. 

Until it's you.

How About You
The change for me happened in my head. I decided that I had responsibility (to a greater or lesser degree) for the entire organization.

Every. Single. Part.

When everything matters, there are no more HR problems, or Operations problems, or Supply Chain problems. There are only "our" problems, right?

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.


Wednesday, January 31, 2018

I Know Everything

"They'll have to recognize my success this year. I've been the most effective member of the team!"

"I don't need them. It's better if I do it myself anyway!"

"I'm the life of the party. Just look at how charming I can be!"

"Those ideas are so stupid. Why would I even waste my time listening to that point of view?"

"Fortunately I am usually right. I don't need to worry about making big mistakes any longer. I'm at the top of my game!"

"There's really no need to say I'm sorry. I haven't done anything wrong!"

"Wow, what is wrong with them? They don't seem to fit in at all!"
How About You
Sometimes we get caught up in our own stuff, right? Maybe today is the best day to step back, look at those around us, and put them first. It's not always "about us."

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Meetings Are Excuses To Fail

I've attended a lot of meetings in my life. Actually, I've attended several life times worth. As a human resources leader, work is filled with "important" meetings and "critical" meetings and "high impact" meetings and just about every other cliche label for a meeting that you can think of.

And they're all lies.

Meetings Are Excuses to Avoid Work
Almost every meeting I've ever been to has been a complete waste of time.

Let me say that again...almost, every meeting I've ever been to has been a complete waste of time.

Harsh? Out of touch? Sour grapes?
Not at all. I'm not angry. I just don't want to waste so many hours of my life listening to drivel that should be shared in an email. Most meetings are "updates" or "report outs." 

Why in the world are we paying everyone to walk to a conference room, sit and chit chat, listen while every one takes turns giving updates, and then more chit chat, and finally a long walk to another conference room to do it all over again?

What in the world has happened to the modern world of work that we have convinced ourselves that report outs = work? Seriously?

It's All New to Me
I didn't always feel this way. I used to average between 25-30 meetings every week of the year. I thought I was "super busy" and "going hard" each day. What I was actually doing was wasting 20 or so hours each week doing nothing.



It comes as no surprise to me now as I help organizations take their performance to unimagined levels of success, that the meeting trap always gets in the way. The leaders constantly have to "run to a meeting" that adds zero value to their revenue, expense management, or furthering their culture.

How About You
When was the last time you completely eliminated a long-standing meeting that no longer added value? When was the last time you ensured only one member of your team attended meetings (versus the "key" people who really "should be there"?) When was the last time you said no to a request to attend a meeting? 

Or, is it simply safer to go to meetings and use your busy schedule as an excuse to be a failure?

It's 2018...we're better than that.

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.


Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Senior Leaders, Cheap Talk, & Being Present

"Culture is to recruiting, as product is to marketing."
Hubspot's Culture Code

Culture, Culture, Culture
The word culture sure gets thrown around a lot, don't you think? For me, it's right up there with values. If I hear one more executive espouse their organization's values, without taking action to prove they matter, I think I might spit.

Every organization obviously has a culture. However, many organizations do not have the culture they claim, or they secretly know in their "heart" that theirs has unlimited room for improvement.

If we all know these things, claim our employees are our most valuable asset, and continue to preach our culture message over and over yet still have major gaps relative to reality, what is the missing piece?

All You Do To Me is Talk Talk
For many leaders, landing that big title or breaking into the executive ranks feels like the end of a long journey, when in fact, it is only the beginning. They often feel as if they can ramble on and on simply because they must be the smartest person in the room, just look at their title!

Think of leaders as the six players on a hockey team during a game. 

Six players, but twenty-thousand fans staring at them...watching every move...hoping for good decisions, and the effort to back up what they say when they are off the ice.

It's the same for us in leadership. There are only a few of us compared to all of the employees who work in our companies. 

They are watching every move...hoping for good decisions, and the effort to back up what we say during meeting after meeting after meeting.

Are you with me?

How About You
Words are incredibly powerful tools for leaders. They inspire, motivate, encourage, reward, hold accountable, recognize and fire up the people around them. But in the absence of action...or follow through...

...the words damage the credibility of that leader. 

It's time to back up the culture talk with culture ACTION!

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.


Thursday, January 11, 2018

Flowers 'AND' Weeds

I put a lot of energy into (trying) to be a positive person. I'm talking...fired-up, today is awesome, I love everybody and everything...kind of positive. It's not fake, or insincere. It's who I am.

Being Human
Despite my commitment to being Mr. Positivity, I often do battle with an old nemesis when it comes to maintaining that positive focus:

My brain.

The self-talk machine that we all carry around in our heads can be a powerful foe. It's as if we've been hardwired to "go negative" when things happen. Right?

So many questions...
- Why did this happen?
- What could I have done differently?
- Will this create more problems for me down the road?
- Who is this going to impact?

But, wait a minute here. It's as if our brain is trying to trick us into watering the negative weeds that grow in our heads.

And the 'talk' persists...
- I am a failure.
- I am no good.
- I am embarrassed.
- I am losing it.

When does it stop?!

I think the old adage of "powering through" in these moments doesn't really apply here (or anywhere for that matter.) Powering through negative feelings is simply not realistic or healthy.

Perhaps there is another way to reconcile that self-talk? 


Instead of the self-defeating messages we seem to have playing in a loop, maybe we could try a different approach.

"I made the wrong decision for the team; AND I am still a valuable member of the organization."

"I wish I had said something different in that moment; AND I'm thankful that relationship is still as strong as it ever was."

"When I look back, I can think of so many other things I should have done; AND I recognize that no one gets everything right...I'm human just like everyone else."

AND gives us perspective.
AND shows us a more complete picture of our world.
AND allows us to water those amazing flowers in our lives.
AND changes everything.
How About You
Maybe it's time you added one simple word into your self-talk monologue? It might make a really big difference.

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.


Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Who was the last?

person you complimented on your team?

person you mentored?

person you helped during a tough time?

person you supported to receive a promotion?

person you were courageous enough to give honest feedback to?

person you held accountable?

person you told was a huge influence in your life?

person you noticed struggling and reached out? 

person you told you couldn't do it alone?

How About You
Who was the last person you thanked for everything they've done for you?

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.


Wednesday, January 3, 2018

New Year, Old Challenge

"The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process is its own reward."
Amelia Earhart

The start of each year is often filled with self-reflection, motivation to create change, or a list of 'goals' for the months ahead.

Perhaps this year, we should all focus on one simple task in our work lives...

...making decisions.

Indecisive leaders are perhaps the most frustrating, ineffective, and candidly useless members of the team. 

They don't add value, because they never make a decision. 

They don't command respect because no one is really sure where they stand on the issues. 

And, they don't instill confidence in their teams because their employees see the fear of failure in their eyes every single day.
How About You
Which leader in your organization do you need to reach out to this year to help make the decisions required in their role? Go to them today. Have an open and honest conversation...and help them realize their full potential this year.

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.