Posts by: Laurie Ruettimann

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Today is Carnival of HR Day, a splendid celebration of writers and thinkers who create fabulous HR content.

This year, blog submissions were down. So, instead of waiting for people to send links, I’ve gone into the community and pulled some of the best articles I’ve read.

That’s right. I still read HR blog posts. Do you?

Sarah Morgan kicks off the carnival with a post about race, dialogue, and debates. www.thebuzzonhr.com/2019/01/30/blackblogsmatter-week-3-i-aint-going-black-forth-with-you/

Doug Shaw wants to know where good ideas come from? consultingartist.com/creative/practicing-part-two

Mollie Lombardi is writing about real-time pay visibility and other lessons from the US federal shutdown. www.linkedin.com/pulse/real-time-pay-visibility-other-shutdown-lessons-mollie-lombardi/

Kris Dunn writes about regrettable career decisions, bold career moves, and criticism. www.hrcapitalist.com/2019/02/the-coldblooded-art-of-owninggetting-in-front-of-huge-career-mistakes.html

Katie Augsburger offers five HR mind-shifts we all need to make. medium.com/@katie_16182/five-hr-mindshifts-we-all-need-to-make-b510cabe1df0

Dorothy Dalton thinks it’s time to KonMari your career. dorothydalton.com/2019/02/02/time-to-konmari-your-career/

Mary Faulkner walks us through her HR career journey. ia-hr.com/how-i-got-here-my-hr-story/

Lars Schmidt tells us how a CHRO should plan their first 100 days. amplifytalent.com/21st-century-hrpost/how-a-chro-should-plan-their-first-100-days

Tim Gardner writes about how he could’ve done more in his career to stop discrimination. www.performanceicreate.com/confronting-discrimination/

Kate Bischoff is doing what she does best and writing about harassment with an eye towards how we manage grief. thrivelawconsulting.com/2019/02/07/like-grief/

Kate is also doing double-duty on the Ultimate Software blog and writing about whistleblowers. blog.ultimatesoftware.com/whistleblowers-are-good-thing/

Don MacPherson describes the future of energy in America by interviewing an expert named Lauren Azar. www.12geniuses.com/12-geniuses-podcast/2019/1/28/the-future-of-energy-in-america

Joey C. Price interviews Esther Weinberg and asks, “Why is dignity such an important aspect of the workplace? Is lack of dignity an unintentional occurrence?” jumpstart-hr.com/180-how-to-develop-and-maintain-dignity-in-the-workplace-ft-esther-weinberg/

Fabulous blogger Sabrina Baker writes about stepping into a new HR role. www.acaciahrsolutions.com/stepping-into-a-new-hr-role-do-this-first/

Prasad Kurian writes about OD Managers and the unconscious of the organization. prasadokurian.blogspot.com/2019/01/od-managers-and-unconscious-of.html

Tim Sackett is big enough to write about himself in the third person and ask, “What Does Tim Sackett Do?” timsackett.com/2019/02/11/what-does-tim-sackett-actually-do/

Kathy Rapp wants to know if money buys happiness? fistfuloftalent.com/2019/02/money-buy-happy-employees.html

Robin Schooling tells us about her work-life balance challenges and managing the care of her aging mother. robinschooling.com/work-and-life-and-everything-in-between/

Wendy Berry gives us an overview of her 2018. wendyberry.com/more-about-my-2018/

Tracie Sponenberg asks, “HR is changing. Are you?” www.linkedin.com/pulse/hr-changing-you-tracie-sponenberg-shrm-scp-sphr/

Brad Galin writes a motivational post about not giving up. www.rollercoasterhr.com/10-percent/

Wally Bock wrote a review of Cal Newport’s new book called “Digital Minimalism: Choosing A Focused Life in A Noisy World.” www.threestarleadership.com/books/what-im-reading-now-digital-minimalism

Melissa Fairman wants you to save your sanity this time of year. melissafairman.com/save-your-sanity-this-year/

Steve Browne is writing about people, people, people, and HR. sbrownehr.com/all-the-verts/

Tamara Rasberry also has a fabulous 2018 year in review. tamaramrasberry.com/2018/12/31/2018-my-hr-year-in-review/

Mike Haberman wants to know if a new minimum wage should come with an education? omegahrsolutions.com/2019/02/should-a-new-minimum-wage-come-with-some-education.html

Renée Robson writes that your organization is drifting and you have no idea. reneerobson.com/2019/02/12/your-organisation-is-drifting-and-youve-got-no-idea/

HR Jazzy says that black blogs matter — Y’all Want to Play? hrjazzy.blog/2019/02/04/blackblogsmatter-yall-want-to-play/

John Sumser is writing about security and the HR center of excellence. www.hrexaminer.com/security-series-7-the-hr-security-center-of-excellence/

Jane Watson would like to help you understand toxic cultures. talentvanguard.com/2019/02/03/understanding-toxic-cultures/

Red Branch Media wants to tell you which social media platforms work best for your company. redbranchmedia.com/blog/social-media-platforms-work-best-your-company/

Ben Eubanks celebrates the 50th episode of his podcast. upstarthr.com/were-only-human-50-hitting-a-milestone-plus-special-guests/

Wendy Dailey talks to Aiko Bethea about #HRUprise and the conversation about HR, women, the LGBTQ+ community and other topics that will fascinate you. mydaileyjourney.com/2019/02/08/hrwonderwomen-episode-4-with-aiko-bethea/

Jonathan Segal is writing about Valentine’s Day and kindness. blog.shrm.org/blog/valentine-s-day-and-kindness

Here’s what Katrina Kibben learned by writing 60 job posts in 60 days. katrinakibben.com/2019/01/15/what-i-learned-job-postings/

John Baldino is writing about choosing happiness, excellence, and intentionality. humareso.com/2019/02/12/really-dont-care/

HR Bartender writes about the next challenge in the workforce—loneliness. www.hrbartender.com/2019/employee-engagement/loneliness-workplace/

Dan Miller at Globoforce writes about storytelling, the Grammy’s and Michelle Obama. resources.globoforce.com/globoforce-blog/michelle-obama-builds-on-storytelling-theme-at-grammys

Claire Petrie also revisits 2018. clairepetriehr.com/2018/12/31/2018-revisited/

Dave Ryan writes about ageism and being a white guy. www.performanceicreate.com/ageism-a-white-man-intro-to-discrimination/

Ginny Engholm writes that the future of content marketing is female. managingeditor.com/future-of-content-marketing-feminine/

Carlos Escobar helps us to be more patient, say thank you, and contribute a little more to the world. cescobar.com/2019/02/01/5-reads-how-to-be-a-more-patient-person-say-thank-you-no-excuses-how-to-exclude-people-from-projects-and-more/

Achievers submitted an interview with Lauren Brittingham of BayHealth Medical Center. www.achievers.com/blog/2019/01/a-recognition-moment-an-interview-with-lauren-brittingham-of-bayhealth-medical-center/

William Tincup shares the top 25 reasons the HCM industry wants Workday to implode. www.linkedin.com/pulse/top-25-reasons-hcm-industry-wants-workday-implode-william-tincup/

Paul Hebert believes that ageism is real and it’s your fault. fistfuloftalent.com/2019/02/ageism-real-fault.html

Madeline Laurano gives us a look ahead at talent acquisition. www.aptituderesearchpartners.com/2018/12/07/talent-acquisition-a-look-ahead/

The Recruiting Animal interviews Robert Smith, not from The Cure. www.blogtalkradio.com/animal/2019/02/06/robert-smith-partner-at-rockstarfindercom

The folks at Limeade want you to know why they love Tim Gunn. Spoiler alert: he’s keynoting their conference. www.limeade.com/2019/02/why-we-love-tim-gunn/

Jeanette Bronée wants you to create remarkable relationships. pathforlife.com/create-remarkable-relationships/

Yvonne LaRose writes about OD and Title VII Consulting. consultantdesk.blogspot.com/2019/02/od-and-title-vii-consulting.html

Greg Poulin gives us an article about HR and benefits trends for 2019. medium.com/@goodlyapp/latest-hr-myth-busted-by-human-resource-experts-14b67e05a1a3

Nicole Roberts wants to motivate us and tells us to do it, anyway. hrwithoutego.com/2019/01/09/do-it-anyway/

Ryan Estis shares the traits of mindful leaders. ryanestis.com/personal-growth/the-mindful-leader-inside-ey/

Neil Morrison leaves us with this thought: we need to embrace the truths that hurt. change-effect.com/2019/02/11/we-need-to-embrace-the-truths-that-hurt/

Like what you read? Want to read more? Check out the Carnival of HR twitter account and write something interesting for next month’s edition!

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Super excited to announce that Ultimate Software is sponsoring Let’s Fix Work for the next few months.

Ultimate Software is an American technology company that develops and sells UltiPro, a cloud-based human capital management solution for businesses. That’s payroll, HRIS, talent management, engagement, employee experience, and all the nerdy stuff that goes along with getting you paid and making sure you love your job.

It’s a significant achievement because Ultimate Software has never partnered with a podcaster before, and they trust me enough to collaborate on Let’s Fix Work over the next 12 weeks. We have fabulous guests lined up including Armen Berjikly and Rana Hobbs, along with Kevin Kruse and Dan Pink.

(Okay, maybe not Dan Pink. His people keep turning me down, but, nevertheless, I’m persisting!)

I’m also eager to spread the world about Ultimate Software’s free HR workshops where you can improve your skills and earn HRCI, SHRM and APA recertification credits.

It’s so important to stay current in the field of HR, and these free and local courses will help you learn and network at the same time. Click here for more information —> www.ultimatesoftware.com/LFW

So, please help me welcome Ultimate Software to the Let’s Fix Work family. They’ve been named as the best places to work in tech, they scored 100% on Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 16th Annual Scorecard on LGBTQ Workplace Equality, and they are a Great Place to Work® Certified Company.

It’s an honor to work with an organization that’s walking the talk and fixing work!

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What is SHRM?

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the world’s largest HR professional society, representing 300,000 members in more than 165 countries. You can find their website here: shrm.org

What is the purpose of SHRM?

According to the SHRM website, “SHRM provides education, thought leadership, certification, community, and advocacy to enhance the practice of human resource management and the effectiveness of HR professionals in the organizations and communities they serve.”

Where is the SHRM headquarters?

The SHRM headquarters are in Alexandria, VA. The SHRM address is 1800 Duke St # 100, Alexandria, VA 22314. The last time I was there, it was an office building with a small bookstore in the lobby.

You can find them on a map here: goo.gl/maps/corKMCPRARu

Who runs SHRM?

Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., SHRM-SCP is the President & CEO. Mary Mohney is the Chief Financial Officer. Emily M. Dickens, J.D. is the Corporate Secretary and Chief of Staff. Jeaneen Andrews-Feldman is the Chief Marketing and Experience Officer. James L. Banks, Jr., J.D. is the General Counsel. Nick Schacht, SHRM-SCP is the Chief Global Development Officer. Alexander Alonso, Ph.D., SHRM-SCP is the Chief Knowledge Officer. Jessica Perry is the Chief Digital Officer. Marc Goldberg is the Chief Technology Officer. Wendi Safstrom is the Executive Director of the SHRM Foundation. Lisa Connell is the Executive Director of HRPS. Lynn Shotwell is VP and Head of Global Outreach & Operations. Achal Khanna is the CEO of SHRM India & Business Head of Asia Pacific and MENA. Mike Aitken is SVP of Membership.

Sean Sullivan is the new Chief HR Officer of SHRM, which has to be the most meta-HR job out there.

You can find the leadership email addresses here: www.shrm.org/about-shrm/Pages/default.aspx

Who is on the SHRM Board of Directors in 2019?

Right now, the Chair is David Windley, SHRM-SCP. Other directors include Coretha M. Rushing, SHRM-SCP, Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., SHRM-SCP, Janet Alberti, Melissa Anderson, Sally Hornick Anderson, SHRM-SCP, Michelle Bottomley, Steve Browne, SHRM-SCP, Thomas W. Derry, Johanna Söderström, Patrick Wright, Ph.D., and Gretchen Zech, SHRM-SCP.

You can reach the group at Board@SHRM.org with any questions.

Is SHRM political?

Depends on who you ask, but they tend to mimic and mirror the US Chamber of Commerce in many ways.  In advance of the SOTU, SHRM just published a report about the “world of work” and immigration.

Why should I have a SHRM membership?

A SHRM membership gives you access to content, courses, materials news and conferences to help improve your core competencies in HR. Additionally, a SHRM membership provides access to a community of like-minded individuals who care about the field of Human Resources.

Does a national SHRM membership cover my SHRM state council’s dues?

No, you must join your local and state SHRM chapters separately.

How much are SHRM membership dues?

SHRM Professional Membership is $209/year. Global membership is $95 if you live outside of the United States, and you can pay in Rupees.

What is a SHRM certification? How do you become SHRM certified?

SHRM offers testing and credentialing for business professionals who demonstrate an aptitude in the field of human resources. You must pass an exam to become SHRM certified; from there, you can recertify using continuing education credits.

Which SHRM test should I take?

There are two types of SHRM certification: the SHRM-CP and the SHRM-SCP. You can learn more here: www.shrm.org/certification/

What is the SHRM Certification test like?

According to the SHRM website, “The SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP exams contain two types of multiple choice questions: stand-alone knowledge-based items that assess a candidate’s knowledge and understanding of factual information, and scenario-based situational judgment items that assess a candidate’s judgment, application, and decision-making skills.”

See their webpage for more information: www.shrm.org/certification/

Is the SHRM certification the same as an HR certification?

No, there are various types of HR certification tests. Please visit the websites of HRCI, CEBS, APA or explore getting your MBA, which is the ultimate HR certification.

Why is the SHRM certification important?

SHRM certification is essential if an employer asks for the credentials in a job description.

Where to buy the SHRM learning system?

You can buy the SHRM Learning system anywhere online or on Amazon.

What is a SHRM conference?

SHRM conferences are structured events where business-focused speakers provide insights and ideas to audience members who want to learn more about the topics relate to the field of HR.

Events are open to members and non-members for various rates. Find SHRM events and how much SHRM conferences cost here: www.shrm.org/events/pages/default.aspx

Where is the 2019 SHRM Conference?

The 2019 Annual SHRM Conference & Exhibition is in Las Vegas, NV.

Where is the 2020 SHRM Conference?

The 2020 Annual SHRM Conference & Exhibition is in San Diego, CA.

What are SHRM webcasts?

Per the website, “SHRM webcasts cover important HR and workplace topics such as hiring, recruiting, onboarding, certification, labor laws, open enrollment, benefits, interviewing and more.”

You can learn more here: www.shrm.org/learningandcareer/learning/webcasts/pages/default.aspx

Are SHRM webcasts free?

Many if not all of them are free.

Per the website, “Most SHRM Webcasts are available for three months after their live broadcast. Unless otherwise noted, these programs are approved to offer professional development credits (PDC) for SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP credentials. SHRM webcasts are also approved by the HR Certification Institute for recertification credit hours. Programs approved for HRCI business credit or Global HR credits are indicated after the program date.”

You do not need to be a member to listen to these webcasts.

Can SHRM help me calculate a turnover rate?

If you are a member, you have access to information on how to calculate the turnover rate.

Can SHRM help me document reasonable suspicion?

Yes, if you are a member, SHRM can help you document reasonable suspicion. Here’s the article.

Want more SHRM information? Visit shrm.org today. Please send HR-related questions to hello@letsfixwork.com and Laurie will try to answer them.

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Can HR fire me?

The answer is yes and no.

You can be fired for nearly any reason and at any time as an American with few exceptions. However, it’s rare for HR to fire you.

If you are fired, the decision to fire you comes from someone else. A supervisor or manager can fire you for just about any reason. An HR professional will coordinate the process and make sure the reason you are fired is grounded in legal reasoning. They are also there to explain your rights and benefits when you leave the organization.

HR professionals rarely have the authority to fire an employee summarily.

Can HR force my manager or supervisor to fire me?

Some people run afoul of the HR department, but your local human resources representative cannot force your manager to fire you. If you are fired because HR doesn’t like you, it most likely means that your manager didn’t like you.

Often, HR is a scapegoat.

Can HR fire me if I am a whistleblower?

The Whistleblower Protection Act can shield federal workers from retaliation. However, this law doesn’t apply to private-sector workers, many of whom are fired for reasons that are, on the surface, unrelated to their whistleblower activities. There may be state protections or other ways private citizens have rights and privileges. Contact an employment lawyer or attorney for more information.

But, again, I can’t stress this enough: HR professionals rarely make a decision to fire anybody. In most organizations, the decision to fire an employee is made by a supervisor or manager. The local HR department clears the determination with the legal department or outside counsel and simply processes the paperwork. When the decision to fire someone has been made, HR can offer limited support and explain the next steps to the affected employee.

Should HR support workers? Of course, but sometimes that’s not enough to protect you from being fired.

Can I blame HR for being fired?

Sure, but it’s not always fair or accurate.

I hate HR.

Maybe you should hate the corporatist agenda that puts a bureaucratic layer between you and your supervisor due to outdated, 20th-century labor laws and vote for federal and state candidates who will have your back. Or maybe you should go work in HR.

Have you got HR questions? Email Laurie at hello@letsfixwork.com and she’ll try to answer them on her blog.

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From a reader:

Have a quick question for you…how in the heck did you learn to market the way you do? I’ve been studying your Twitter feed and it’s like you take people on a journey of your life both professional/personal. You make people feel like they know you. How do you do this?

That’s not a quick question, but here was my quick answer:

I’m talented. 😘

The reader is asking two questions about himself:

1. Can I learn to do what Laurie is doing?
2. How do I create a sense of authenticity and intimacy like Laurie?

The first question is very easy. Sure, you can do what I do. I’m storytelling via digital media, and I learned how to do this from watching other people and copying their methods. The tools are out there. The roadmaps are built. You can even outsource your social media and still get away with storytelling.

But the second question — the one about authenticity and intimacy — is much harder to answer. I’ve had to negotiate my way through relationships and endeavors to land at the place where I am now: interesting enough that key people pay attention but not interesting enough where I’m stalked and harassed online.

The only people who pay attention to me are the individuals who go out of their way to look, which means that I’m relatively safe. My fan base is 52% male, mostly over the age of 35, and they earn more than $100,000/year. I can share details and perspectives without being assailed.

I love the fact that it’s easy to live my middle-aged life in public and without much hassle. There are some people who don’t care for me — and it’s for respectable reasons — but nobody wants to destroy or defame me. They just ignore me, dismiss me, block me, or disregard me when my name comes up in their social media feeds.

Isn’t that just great? How blessed am I to live this life of HR fame and fortune?

I’m fully aware that my HR famousness gets renegotiated when I publish my next book and start making media appearances, again. More people will watch, I’ll have new competition, and I’ll have to figure out a new strategy to share important information about my journey while maintaining some level of privacy and safety.

I’m not sure how it will go, but I know this: my relationship with my readers — executives, HR leaders, supervisors, and individual workers — matters to me. Call it influencer marketing or call it storytelling. The only way to take people on a professional and personal journey is to open the damn door and invite them in.

That’s not marketing, that’s manners.

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I’m just back from 24 hours in Las Vegas where I spent time remembering my friend IJ Gorman.

Ira-John Gorman was an athlete, a coach, and a teacher. He persisted through a rocky childhood and made a place for himself in this world by being an advocate for children, their education, and his faith. Family was everything to him, and his definition of “family” included people who endured less-than-stellar upbringings.

And his definition of a family included me thanks to his lovely wife, China Gorman.

China and I have been friends for a decade. On a trip to Las Vegas in 2010 or 2011, my husband and I joined the Gorman family for dinner at Ceasars Palace. Ken sat to my right, IJ sat to my left, and because I have atrocious table manners, I kept trying to drink IJ’s water.

I grabbed his water a dozen times before IJ laughed and told me, “Look at your hands and make the ‘okay’ sign. See how your left makes a b, and your right makes a d? Bread and drink. Bread and drink. Bread and drink.”

Ken and I still use that to this day!

It’s so funny that IJ Gorman taught me table manners, but he was committed to being a positive influence in my life. When I saw him at HR events, he always asked me if I was doing okay. Were people treating me with respect? Anybody hassling me? Because I should come to him if there was anything I ever needed. Did I hear him? Was he clear? Come to him with anything. He was here for me.

When I had the privilege of seeing IJ in person, our conversations always went to respect and integrity. He believed in the adage that how you do anything is how you do everything. Having a personal brand online and a different set of behaviors in real life was appalling. There should be no daylight between what’s in your heart and how you act in person. Show up for people no matter the medium. Relationships matter.

I went to Cuba with China in 2015, and IJ sent a message on Facebook asking for photos of his lovely bride in Havana. She would never think to post selfies. He wanted to see his wife enjoying herself.

I ask you — How many husbands would do that?

And IJ reached out with support and kind words about my blog posts, speaking events and videos. He’d send cat videos to say hello. And he never missed my birthday.

IJ was such a phenomenal human being, and his memorial service was everything you’d expect for a guy who was so beloved by friends, family, and colleagues. Everybody in the room laughed and cried, and, not that it needed to be confirmed, but it was clear IJ was a powerhouse of a human being who made the world a better place.

We all just got better for knowing him.

#IJGB

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Just yesterday, the Coast Guard published a newsletter for its furloughed workers and family members with advice and tips on how to earn fast cash during the government shutdown.

Among the many gems? Have a garage sale or be a mystery shopper.

America has hit a shabby low under Donald Trump. The shutdown isn’t impacting the elite bureaucrats and coastal technocrats who overlegislate our country into a hyperfeminized nanny-state.

The government shutdown touches regular people — parents, neighbors, and even HR professionals.

Hey, Laurie, I’m currently furloughed from work…and looking to make some extra cash. Do you think you can give me some pointers on how to get some speaking/training gigs? I’m looking to expand my portfolio of work. Appreciate any insights you can share!

First of all, I’m sorry you’re caught up in Donald Trump’s hissy fit. Because he’s too stupid to remember the nuances of immigration policy, and because he’s trying to distract us from the constant stream of bad news coming from Mueller investigation — you’re out of work. Thanks, Vladimir Putin.

Second, I’m sorry your job is linked to racist attitudes against brown people, women and children. You work in HR, a department believes in ability and merit, and your livelihood is jeopardized by people who believe in fencing in brown people like zoo animals. That’s gotta sting.

So, how do you earn fast cash during the government shutdown?

Get yourself to a temp agency like Kelly Services. Literally, pick one out and meet with the branch manager. Tell your story to the people in the office, and let them know you’re available immediately for training opportunities — or anything where you can use your brain.

Relationships are the currency of the private sector. Be a name and a face. Be helpful and enthusiastic. They’ll help you out because staffing agencies have been saving lives and monthly household budgets like yours in America for 60 years.

Find a staffing agency ASAP. And I’m going to send another note to my senators, Richard Burr and Thom Tillis, with a link to your story. Good luck, and I’m sorry we aren’t doing better by our government workers.

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Hey, everybody. Today is my birthday.

If you haven’t heard the details, the rumors are true — I am 44 years old, I have three cats, two sore hips, and one big wish for you to donate to Hustle Up the Hancock in honor of my birthday.

What is Hustle Up the Hancock? It’s actually an event that’s been rebranded as Hustle Chicago. I run up 94 flights of stairs to help fight lung disease. Your donation will go towards advocacy, research and programs to help people breathe easier.

Know someone with COPD? Do you have asthma? Are you struggling to quit smoking? Live in a house with radon? (I hope not!) I run up a skyscraper to help people breathe better, and I would welcome any donation — $5 or a million bucks — to improve the lives of people in Chicago and around the country.

Many of you know this race is important to me. It’s my 7th time up the skyscraper, and I’m running because my sister struggles to quit smoking. I’m also running in memory of my friend, Jenny Stein, who passed away from lung cancer at the age of 41. Science says quitting smoking is harder than quitting heroin, and these jokesters at Juul know it. But here’s the good news: if you can keep a kid smoke-free before they are 21, they probably won’t smoke for the rest of their lives.

So, thanks for all of your love and good wishes on my 44th birthday. Sucks to get older, but the journey is a little less painful when you have a purpose and goals that are bigger than yourself. Every donation on my birthday is special, and I’m also grateful for those of you who aren’t in a position to donate but send good wishes.

Love you all. Appreciate the support!

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I have a post-it note on my desk that says, “Write about resilience.”

It’s there because a friend of mine was catching flack from her friends for having a side hustle. She’s running a business, trying to drum up leads by being a thought leader on social media, and it’s not going over well with the people who love her the most.

“It’s demeaning.”
“It’s beneath you.”
“You’re embarrassing yourself.”
“Why are you always on Facebook?”

People have opinions, and they’re not afraid to share them.

My friend’s experience made me think about my blog and writing career. Not a day goes by when someone doesn’t offer an opinion about my work.

In the early days, the negative comments would bug me. Well, okay, they still bug me. Just recently, a friend told me that what I’m doing — trying to be an un-motivational speaker — is cringeworthy. And a former colleague said to me that my work stories are great but I better never write about him. Oh, and some of you know that my mom says I’m not allowed to write about her except to say that I have a mom and she’s alive.

Nobody loves you or has your best interests at heart like your family and friends, right?

But I’ve developed a thicker skin and some resilience.

Resilience is one of those words thrown around by self-help gurus and motivational speakers to push you when times are tough.

“Life is a marathon, not a sprint, and resilience helps you stay in the race and cross the finish line.”

I hate that analogy, and I speak from my experience as an entrepreneur and marathoner when I tell you that resilience isn’t a major muscle group. It’s not your glutes or your quads, pushing you up a hill when your body is exhausted. Resilience is the quality that gets you started in the first place.

You don’t sign up for life as an entrepreneur — or a speaker, writer, creative thinker, artist, small business owner, coach, consultant, parent, guardian, community leader, volunteer — without demonstrating resiliency. You’ve opted for something other than a comfortable, narrow, self-indulgent life. Congratulations, you’re resilient.

And resilience manifests in your work. Maybe you write, speak, perform, draw, sculpt, cross-stitch, build businesses, coach little league, or even work in HR. If you persist in the small moments when you could cut corners or avoid the work of doing the work, you’re resilient. No grunting required.

Finally, resilience is the ability to take incoming flack without compromising your values. Nobody does anything interesting without making a fool of themselves, first. Maybe your work is cringeworthy. Perhaps you’re embarrassing yourself and, possibly, others around you. Maybe you get it wrong more than you get it right.

But how about this — Maybe your friends are assholes? Maybe your family is jealous? Maybe your colleagues don’t have your best interests at heart?

If you can stand your ground and endure the judgments and jokes, you’re resilient.

It takes a backbone and resilience to say, “I’m sorry you feel that way about my work. What I’m doing is not for you. Don’t look.”

The good news is that it’s possible to be resilient even when it’s been difficult in the past. Everybody can demonstrate resilience on demand and without apology. And resilience is required if you ever want to do anything substantial with your life.

To be resilient in 2019, you must decide what you’re about to tackle is worth more than the collective opinions and ideas of those around you. Are you willing to stop caring about what others think? Willing to depend less on the advice of others and have the courage to redefine relationships, if necessary, to achieve your dreams? Give up the old to have something new and worthwhile?

I’m not sure if you are resilient, but I know my friend has a steel spine and can endure the petty comments and negative feedback from her family members. She’s resilient. And I believe you are, too.

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Lots of lists on how to improve your HR department in 2019.

Here’s mine.

1. Take your current time-to-fill and cut it in half.
2. Kill exit surveys and focus on daily conversations between coworkers, colleagues, and supervisors.
3. Stop worrying about culture, worry about kindness.
4. Recognize and reward character.
5. When someone shows your data, dig deeper and ask questions about source material and collection methodologies.
6. Every 98 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted. People can’t work if they’re hurting. Remember that work can’t provide psychological and physiological safety, only people can do that.
7. Microlearning is good. Practical and applied knowledge is better.
8. The most significant way to improve someone’s life is to lift them out of poverty—emotional and financial. Give someone a raise, and lift their spirits.

This list could be a mile long. Want to improve your HR game in 2019? Question everything — the status quo, technology, advice from experts like me — and be brave enough to put the employee experience at the center of everything you do.

Your company doesn’t exist without smart and talented people who move the needle forward. And, guess what, neither does your HR job.

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