Monday, October 31, 2016

Be Very Afraid

"I can't understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I'm frightened of the old ones."
John Cage

How About You
What are you afraid of this Halloween? I hope it's not doing everything you possibly can to make a difference in your organization.

That would scare me to death.

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.


Wednesday, October 26, 2016

You Can't Ignore the Warning Signs

"You have to understand, we're special here."
"Our culture is different than other organizations."
"Our values drive 100% of our decisions."
"Innovation is one of our core strategies."
"Our employees are our most valuable asset."

For the love of all things good and holy, 
please stop saying these phrases. 

You don't back them up. You aren't going to back them up. Oh, and your employees stopped believing your empty "culture" talk a long time ago.

Words + Action = Leadership
Words matter. They can be inspirational, threatening, filled with empty promises or so energizing that entire organizations follow you.

But for those of us that have interacted with (or been a part of) senior leadership teams we've not only heard those opening phrases...we've used them!


Newsflash! Your organization is only special when you combine the fancy language in your mission and values statements with action. 

If your behavior does not match your rhetoric, you have failed.


The Front Line
Action happens in every organization on the front line. You remember the front line, it's where all of the employees are located. Not in the fancy board room, or the executive meetings where the head nodding in agreement is so prevalent I've often thought I was head-banging at a metal show. (see inspirational song reference)

The opportunity to engage, challenge the leadership status quo (who is often only interested in protecting their position at all costs), and make a meaningful difference is right in front of you.

However, the warning signs of inaction, group-think, and a clear disconnect from the reality of your corporate culture must not be ignored.

How About You
Don't be the talented leader who is tossed aside when a new CEO arrives and quickly picks up on your history of inaction and fear. Start earning your money today. Start challenging your colleagues when they need it. And above all else, get the hell out of your office and start building real relationships with the front line.

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

pic inspiration

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Kinetix Update --> WE NEED YOU: Holiday Book Suggestions!

Calling all Kinetix employees, friends, clients, family and more!
The holidays are right around the corner and our gift wrapping supplies are set—all of this can only mean one thing: it’s time to submit your ideas for our annual holiday book.
Annual Holiday Wha…?
Our annual holiday book! If you’ve known us for a few years, you know what we’re talking about. If you’re new to the Kinetix crew, let us fill you in. Every year around the holidays, as cookies and swag gifts begin piling through the door, Kinetix’s elves get together to do things a little differently by sending off books to our friends all over.
But these are no ordinary books. These books have spunk. We’re talking titles like Fahrenheit 451The FountainheadJPodThe Alchemist and, most recently, Company
With such a diverse collection, you may be wondering what all these books DO have in common. If you haven’t figured it out, there is one common trait: all of these books get you to think about talent in a different way. They encourage you to be better by opening your worldview to all the different ways we can perceive talent within and around us. And, honestly, what better way is there to finish the year off and kickstart a new one?
There’s just one thing missing for us to get the books from our wrapping tables to your desk…
Your Input!
In the past, our best books have been suggested by Kinetix outsiders—friends of friends, clients, vendors. But whether you proudly wear a Kinetix badge or not, we want you hear what books you’ve been reading that have given you a new perspective on talent!
There’s just two guidelines for book recommendations:
  1. It has to make you think about talent. There should be themes that relate to bettering ourselves by expanding our points of view (just don’t call it a self-help book.) Talent doesn’t have to be the core focus of the book—and in most years past it hasn’t been—but it should relate to talent in some way. After all, that is our passion at Kinetix.
  2. We don’t want best sellers. Maybe you read The Girl on the Train this year and thought about how it breaks down the walls of what we think we know; maybe you went for the nonfiction Alexander Hamilton biography that inspired the hit Broadway musical and considered employee relations in relation to Hamilton and the other founding fathers. Those are all valid points, but at Kinetix we like to break the mold. Your recommendation CAN have been on the bestseller list in years past, but if it’s a book everyone has read this year, we’ll pass it over.
That’s it—follow those two guidelines and your recommendation just may end up going out to hundreds of people.
Sound off in the comments below with your good reads, or send any recommendations to to be considered. We can’t wait to see what you’ve had your nose in this year!
I'd love to hear from you.
No Excuses.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Exhausted is the Goal

embrace your whole life

embrace busy

embrace hectic

embrace chaotic

embrace wins

embrace losses

embrace long task lists

embrace non stop meetings

embrace employee drama

embrace leadership failures

embrace fitness

embrace eating clean

embrace difference

embrace pushing yourself much harder than you are now

embrace feeling tired

embrace the moments you rest and recharge

embrace nature

embrace your family

embrace your friends

embrace your colleagues

embrace your full life

...and at the end of it you drag yourself across the finish line, tattered and exhausted...

...sit back and smile, because you will have lived every single minute of your life to the absolute fullest.

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.


Friday, October 21, 2016

Bully Leaders and How To Protect Your Team


There are many words for it, but it all comes down to one thing.

Bully Leaders
I'm not sure why I'm still a little surprised each time I hear about a leader who behaves like a bully in the workplace. Considering the massive amount of awareness out there relative to workplace bullying, you would like to think this issue had gone by the way of copier codes we used to assign employees.

But sadly, the people our employees should trust the most are the ones they sometimes need to be wary of the most.

It turns out, your job title doesn't afford you the opportunity to be a bully, your ridiculous behavior simply destroys your credibility while you strut around acting like you are the second coming.

Harsh? Not one bit. Try being on the receiving end of a bully leader's behavior. 

It's horrible.

Holding the Bully Leader Accountable
Despite the coaching and guidance we provide to employees who become targets, there is only one legitimate way to address bulling behavior. It is a tactic that I have used repeatedly over the years, and it is incredibly effective.

Here are the steps I've found that shut down the bully leader:

1.  Immediately confront the bully and require (not ask) that the behavior stop.

2.  Advise them that under no circumstances will they have access to your team members unless they work directly through you.

3.  Allow for some time to pass before you meet with the bully to set your expectations going forward based on their specific behavior choices. (this delay will remove their sense of control and shift the power to you)

How About You
I don't even need to ask if you know who the bully leaders are in your organization. My real question is...what are you doing about them?

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.


Monday, October 17, 2016

Defining Your Brand

Work is hard. Successful work is even harder. For those that have moved up the ranks, or aspire to one day, there is a new requirement that must be addressed.

That "requirement" is staring back at you in the mirror every morning as you contemplate your jam packed day ahead. (The same day that you say is so busy you don't have time to work on the requirement....but that's none of my business.)

You Have A Story
My story really kicked into gear when I googled myself a number of years ago. Sure, I found a "Jay Kuhns"...unfortunately the only one I could find had been a physician in Hawaii in the 1940s.

That's right. Despite being a Vice President of Human Resources at a well respected hospital, I was invisible.

Hello, reality check.

Reinventing Myself
The stark reality of having a strong career but nothing to show for it outside my organization was downright depressing. I was beginning to realize the power of personal brands (I prefer the term Leader Brand); and how a person's brand could be used to differentiate themselves and their organizations in the market.

To make things worse, I often said I was a "brand ambassador" for my hospital, yet I was not posting, retweeting, or sharing any of my own organization's content. 

Massive failure on my part.

By the way...the SAFEST content to share is from your own company. It has already been fully vetted and why isn't every leader automatically sharing it?

Here we go...

Step 1. Eat a massive helping of humble pie. I do it regularly to keep myself grounded.

Step 2. Start building your social profiles on the big three.

Step 3. Post content every day. Once you get comfortable with it you'll need less than 10 minutes. I know you have 10 minutes, so don't use the "time" excuse.

Step 4. Be amazed as you "suddenly" become someone that is viewed as a contemporary thought leader who understands and uses modern tools for business. 

Oh, and every person you'll ever hire again is using these tools, so imagine what they'll think when they are researching whether or not they want you to be their boss?

How About You
There is so much more to discuss about building your brand, but in order to go deeper you must first get started. Start today. No more more jokes about social media being a waste.

It is not a waste. It is an incredibly powerful tool for business that you must start using now. I will help you. (I get kind of fired up about this stuff.)

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.


Thursday, October 13, 2016

I Don't Care Anymore

When I started my career I used to worry about a lot of things. Sometimes the level of worry stopped me from getting my work done. At other times I moved so slowly that when I finally did make a decision it was so agonizingly late that it didn't impact the situation at all.

Worry is not only over is completely useless.

Completely. Useless.

I Used to Worry About

1) Looking bad in front of my colleagues

But I don't care anymore because now I focus on doing the right thing regardless of what they think.

2) Confronting my colleagues because they may not "like me"

But I don't care anymore, because it actually hurts them and my organization when accountability becomes optional.

3) Adopting "best practices"

But I don't care anymore, because someone else's best practice has little or nothing to do with my corporate culture, team, technology, or values.

4) Taking risks

But I don't care anymore, because I learned that taking risks is the only way to achieve breakthrough performance. 

How About You
Do you play it safe and benchmark your work to justify every move you make? How's that working out for you?

Maybe it's time you stopped caring too? You may just make the biggest impact of your career.

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.


Tuesday, October 11, 2016

The 'Club' Is A Pathetic Excuse

Mission Statements.
Codes of Ethics.
Guiding Principles.

...lots of important words...


The words don't matter in a good ol' boy corporate culture.

You Can't Hide From Your Decisions
I've been working for a long time. During the last twenty years I've been fortunate to serve in leadership roles...and have seen all sorts of "leadership" behavior.

The employees see those behaviors too. Sometimes I wonder if "those leaders" actually believe the action they take in the workplace is invisible to the masses? 

In the world of #HealthcareHR the employee population is particularly bright. Physicians, nurses, therapists, legions of support staff that are oriented and trained to work in an incredibly intense environment, and a long list of other professionals with advanced degrees all fill these organizations.

Yet for some unknown reason, the same "club" continues to dominate. How is this possible in 2016?

Stop Shaming Yourself and Your Organization
There are so many challenges facing companies today. An unpredictable economy, tremendous government regulatory interference, huge numbers of retiring employees (who leave with valuable skills and experience), and of course the ongoing struggle to integrate contemporary business strategies into our work.

There simply is no time for arrogance, sexism, racism, and for God's sake there is absolutely no time for men to cling to some neanderthal-type hold on power. One might suggest if we had a different looking executive profile the business world could produce better results.

How About You
Who do you follow? Are they passionate about all races, backgrounds, and see gender as a non-issue? Or, do their true colors come out behind closed doors or when their insecure egos are threatened?

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.


Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Piece of Your Action

Quick poll: how many of you have executives running around your organization getting into everyone else’s business? These same leaders are often focused on their own popularity instead of tackling the real issues facing organizations in a thoughtful, intentional way.
…and how many of your other colleagues wish “someone” would do something about it?

We Created This Problem
Perhaps I’m reaching a bit, but here goes. At times if feels as if society has created a mindset that almost demands we avoid hurting people’s feelings at all costs, raising controversial topics, or…heaven forbid…holding people accountable!

What if they don’t like me anymore?
What will “they” think about me?
I’m not good at confrontation.

Well, I have to ask…what the heck are you doing in a leadership role? This is not daycare. 

Let’s Ask Ourselves
Have we created a new generation of weak leaders who are proud to have finished 9th, and no longer understand their obligation to get results (in a thoughtful way…yes, it can be done.)

Are the legions of junior level executives now positioned to assume true leadership roles, actually ready to take that next step?

By the way…age has NOTHING to do with this dilemma. We all see leaders who are “older" yet behave as if they are still trying to win a popularity contest instead of taking bold decisive action.

How many times do they need to admit that they made a mistake before we relieve them of the burden of their own "leadership?"  

Solving the Problem
How do we correct this situation quickly? There is a simple solution, yet I don’t think many will follow this path. It will require standing alone while your colleagues watch and wonder what will happen to you.

Confront the leader who wants a piece of the action directly. Directly.

Directly. (are you with me?)

How About You
Are you exhausted from managing the behavior of the executives in your organizaiton? Trust, that you are not alone. Make the decision to step up and do what everyone wants “someone” to do.

You are that someone.

I’d love to hear from you.

No Excuses. 

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

You Can Go For It Too!

"I knew things needed to change. I just didn't feel like I was staying as current as I used to do so effortlessly. It felt like my job had changed, the industry had changed...and somehow I was suddenly stuck in place."

I remember when I realized I was on the precipice of becoming irrelevant in my work. Oddly enough, it happened when I was settling in to one of the most important roles of my career. I had just accepted a VP of HR position and could not have been more excited.

All those years of hard work and sacrifice had come together. The people I was going to be working with were terrific, and as I would find out later, were willing to try very new ideas.

But first...I came to a chilling realization. 

"If I kept the same mindset...the same approach...and the same attitude about HR leadership...I would no longer deserve to be in my job."

Talk about a buzz kill! I felt like I was moving from hero to zero in no time. Something had to change, and I knew what...or rather who...had to change.

Sadly, role models for my transformation could not occur in the healthcare human resources space. There simply weren't any leaders taking risks or doing innovative work (that they shared!) particularly when it came to employer brand, recruitment, or candidly, getting results.

I decided to watch and learn from other leaders and industries and then apply those approaches to myself and my work. It was scary at first. It was difficult to explain at first. It was slow at first.

Until it wasn't scary, or hard or difficult. Why? Because actually working in 2016 vs holding on tight to your 1992 mindset changes everything.

How About You
Maybe it's time you took a hard look at what you are actually required to deliver in your work. I had to do it.

It turns our that the human resources department is not the core business of any organization. We are the jet fuel that helps each company deliver world class results in an ultra competitive world.

Are you ready to go for it? I'm here to help.

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.