Monday, October 31, 2022

Soul Hacker

I have a network of close friends who also happen to be in senior executive roles across the country. And they are dealing with a lot. 

A lot of stress. A lot of big decisions. A lot of isolation.  

Did you know executive life can be incredibly isolating? Think about it…if you are the CHRO you don’t have a peer colleague, really. Sure there are other executives, but they don’t see the world the way you do, nor do they have to manage the pressure the CHRO has to deal with. 

Work can literally erode your soul if you’re not careful.

So, is our work life a foregone losing enterprise and we need to simply hang on long enough to quit, retire, or get so frustrated that we try something new?

Hell no!

Now is your time to shine. Now is your time to bring the energy and creativity you’ve been holding back for so long. The crisis of the modern workplace is your opportunity to lead your organization’s transformation into the future.

Don’t believe me? Take a moment and think about the most influential leader you’ve ever worked with. Did they need a committee of people to inspire change? Did they need a five step internal review process to lay out their ideas and energize the leadership team to move forward? 

Of course they didn’t. You don’t either.

Today is your day. Get started.

Thanks for being here.



Monday, October 24, 2022

What Do I Get?

I’ve been thinking a lot about what executive leadership is going through now that the world of work has so dramatically changed in such a short period of time. 

Are there elements of our pre-pandemic work life that have survived? Is the era of employee activism going to continue to flourish and completely reshape how organizations function; and candidly, how organized labor functions as well? Or, is this all just a collective recoil from the shock of so much change hitting at once?

That’s a lot to digest. And for today’s executives, that’s a lot to figure out quickly in order to not look irrelevant.

Irrelevant. Perhaps the most lethal word to describe a leader at any level.

There is another component to all of the talk about the new world of work. That is, what is the experience of today’s leader?

Is the job really worth it any longer?

If employees are dissatisfied on so many levels is there actually an opportunity to make a meaningful difference?

Let me say as strongly as possible: yes it is worth it!

Serving in a leadership capacity is one of the most challenging, rewarding, criticized, influential, burdensome and important roles in any organization.

How many of your colleagues “have all the answers” when it comes to how the company should be run? And, how many of them step up to take leadership roles and put themselves and their “ideas” to the test? 

Friends…precious few do this. It is far easier to attack from the safety of the sidelines than it is to step up and do your absolute best to lead the way.

What do I get as a leader? Just the greatest job of all.

Keep going. Your organization needs you.

Thanks for being here.



Thursday, October 20, 2022

The Rules Have Changed

The world or work is in a full sprint. Digital dominates all communication, employee activism is exploding, expectations of all employees are shifting constantly, and the concerns about the economy are ever present.

So, are you still engaging your employees with an annual survey, pizza party, and branded stress ball?

Are you still saying “our culture is strong, we are in good shape?” 

Have you convinced yourself and your executive colleagues that the news headlines do not apply to you because your organization is “special?”

If this sounds like one of your executive team meetings I have some bad news for you.

The rules have changed about how work gets done…about how employees expect to be treated…and how you need to lead them.

Relying on pre-COVID engagement data, anecdotal feedback, or your long history of being “a great employer” simply no longer applies. 

Does that sound threatening? Are you offended? Good.

We all have to accept that we will never return to how things were prior to 2020. Candidly, I don’t think that is a bad thing. The changes that have taken place force leaders to elevate their game. No longer will a job title and some authority guarantee your influence matters. No longer will antiquated policies, practices, and language about corporate culture have a place in the workplace today.

The good news is that you now have a unique opportunity to differentiate yourself and your organization. The ball is in your court. What are you going to do next?

Thanks for being here.



Monday, October 17, 2022


I’m overextended.

I believe that’s the polite, don’t make waves, low impact way to say that I’m feeling massively overwhelmed. 

And when I say overwhelmed, I mean drowning.

It’s mostly on the professional side. One way to look at it is that I’m a victim of my own success. Not in an arrogant way; rather, that the huge effort we’ve put in at my firm over the last couple of years is paying off. 

The demand for our services is at it’s highest point in our forty-three year history. The growth strategies we’ve worked on for so long are working. The client needs are significant.

Which leaves me woefully behind on the details, and so I’m only focusing on the most critical needs in front of me right now.

Truth be told, I’m not a big fan of only focusing on some of the work, even if it is the most important parts. It just doesn’t feel good.

So, is this just a “woe-is-me” story today? Nah. I’m more resilient than that. I’m being open about my current struggle for two reasons: 1) the NoExcusesHR community is incredibly supportive and creative; and 2) there might be someone else out there who is feeling similar pressure to what I’m feeling.

What’s next? My reality is that I’m going to be drowning for a while and I need to get (somewhat) comfortable with that…at least in the short-term. Quick pivots may work in the middle of a sporting event, but they are a fantasy in the business world.

Long-term however, I need a different approach to how I work (I’ve tried this quite unsuccessfully in the past.) Easier said than done, I know. 

Perhaps some of you have mastered the art of how to accomplish the big things and not obsess over the long list of little things?

Thanks for being here.



Monday, October 10, 2022


 I saw the struggles of the executives.

…but didn't want to over step.

I saw the struggles of the middle managers.

…but didn’t want to appear bossy.

I saw the struggles of the employees.

…but didn’t want them to think I was arrogant.

I saw the struggles of the customers.

…but didn’t want to risk moving out of my swim lane.

I saw the leadership team recycle the same old excuses.

…but didn’t want to risk my career.

So, what exactly was I “leading” again?

Thanks for being here.



Monday, October 3, 2022

Vulnerable Leadership

These words don’t sound compatible, do they? Vulnerable and leadership?

My corporate upbringing in leadership was based on having all the answers, not showing the personal side of my life, demonstrating my status as a subject matter expert, and above all else never showing my weaknesses.

Hmm, that didn’t age well.

I’ve been on somewhat of a vulnerability path in 2022. Professionally I’m open to new ideas, new opportunities and new strategies more than ever (which is really saying something.) Personally I’ve gone through more change this year than I can remember.

So, what is the thread that connects all of these massive shifts in my life? 

Getting (somewhat) comfortable with vulnerability.

For the record, getting to this point required a lot of work. Introspection, becoming more self-aware, and ultimately sharing the output of that effort with all of you is…well…really scary.

My non-stop self talk machine is forever questioning this shift to vulnerability. Will others think I’m weak? Will this compromise my career? Will I lose the respect of my friends and colleagues?

The answer to these questions has been a resounding, no!

In fact, quite the opposite has occurred. It turns out that showing the raw human side of me has opened conversations about the struggles we all face regardless of our success and scope of responsibility.

How do you handle being vulnerable? Is it something you’re starting to embrace; or, is it something that needs to stay deep inside for now?

Thanks for being here.