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    Entries in blog (34)

    Thursday
    Mar302017

    Career and Life Advice #1

    New series on the blog, (calling it a series in case I decide to try this again, if so it will look like it was some kind of a plan all along), titled 'Career and Life Advice'.

    What makes me qualified to give either career or life advice?

    Nothing!

    That's why the plan is to share career or life advice from folks who have had  pretty demonstrable career success or plain to see amazingly cool lives. Ok, maybe I will try to sneak in some of my own thoughts down the line, we will see.

    First up, some career and life advice from San Antonio Spurs head coach, and noted curmudgeon Gregg Popovich, from an article where Pop was discussing the coaching ability of one of his assistants Becky Hammon, who many NBA observers feel will one day become the first female head coach in the NBA.

    What is one of Hammon's qualities that contributes to her success according to Pop, (and here comes the advice part):

    "She's been perfect," Popovich said. "She knows when to talk and she knows when to shut up. That's as simple as you can put it. A lot of people don't figure that out."

    Boom.

    Solid career and life advice in three sentences.

    And advice we can all learn from.

    Know when it is time to talk and perhaps more importantly, when it is time to shut up.

    In trying to follow said advice, I am going to shut up now.

    Have a great day.

    Tuesday
    Oct252016

    The Carnival of HR and the Old Days of HR Blogging

    I started blogging in about 2007, right about the time I started teaching a course in HR Technology at the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York.

    For some reason in my HR Tech class I thought it would be a good idea to make sure the students knew about blogging - how to set up a blog, how to update a blog, how to write on a blog, etc. And in what turned out to be indicative of a few other things I covered in that class, I realized I needed to sort out how to do those things myself before I could teach them to the students.

    And so the first iteration of this blog was launched in 2007.

    Sometime later that year I ran through the same exercise with Twitter. I thought it important to talk about and demonstrate this new thing called Twitter in class, so I had to learn how to use it myself. So in late 2007, my initial Twitter handle, @Sbjet was born. I remember being VERY excited when I crossed 100 followers. That was big time in 2008.

    And something else was big time, at least to me, back in the early days of my HR and HR Tech blogging - the monthly Carnival of HR. 

    I have not written about the Carnival of HR in ages, so chances are some, or maybe even many, folks reading this blog today are not familiar with the Carnival. But back in 2008 and 2009 this monthly collection of the best blog posts from around the HR blogosphere was a really, really big deal. I tried for what seems like ages to get a post of mine included in the Carnival, only to be passed over. 

    I was pretty much unknown, writing a dumb blog about technology and teaching for a tiny, tiny readership. 

    But I kept on submitting a post each month anyway, and one month, finally, one of my posts was included in the Carnival of HR. I wish I could remember exactly when that was, but I do remember being really, really ecstatic about it when I found out, (this has to be the nerdiest thing I ever got excited about). 

    But back then, being in the Carnival of HR felt, at least to me, kind of vindicating. I felt, somehow, that it validated what I was doing in the eyes and opinions of the other HR bloggers who back then I was SURE were all better, smarter, and more popular than I was. I actually think most of them still are by the way.

    And also different back then, was that it really seemed like the smallish number of folks who were actively blogging about HR all would read each other's posts, would comment on them fairly often, and would share posts with each other in old school ways like Email and Google Reader. Sure, Twitter was just starting to become a thing by 2009 or so, but even then, the HR Twittersphere and the HR Blogosphere were pretty much the same group of folks, give or take, and there was (maybe I am being really naive here), a real sense of camaraderie and community there.

    And I guess that is why the Carnival of HR seemed so cool to me back then. It was like a public list of who was in the club, who was doing interesting work, who was contributing and had something to say.  Getting a post in the Carnival of HR meant you were a part of the cool kids, and even at whatever age I was then, still seemed like an accomplishment.

    I kind of miss those days, back when the center of the conversation was actually distributed around the internet on the couple of dozen or so HR blogs that were THE ONES to read then. Lots of them (and their owners), had cool names like HR Minion, Your HR Guy, HR Ringleader, HR Maven, Punk Rock HR, and the HR Capitalist. Some of these names still are active and vibrant in the HR blog world. Some, not as much, or their owners have moved on to new things and new adventures.

    But for me, someone who without blogging would NEVER have gone on to do any of the cool things I have been able to do these last few years, the early days of HR blogging were just about the best times I ever had with this blog.

    Why take this walk down memory lane?

    Because my HR Happy Hour Show partner Trish McFarlane messaged me last week to let me know she was hosting the latest Carnival of HR, and wondered if I had a post to include in the round up.

    I will admit to not having thought about the Carnival in a long, long time, but then of course I remembered how once it was the MOST important thing for a lowly HR blogger like me. And I remembered how cool it was to be included.

    So of course I sent Trish over a post to include in the Carnival, (and thanks Trish for using it!).

    You can check out the Carnival of HR on Trish's HR Ringleader blog here.

    And check it out you should. Because there just might be someone included in the Carnival for the very first time, and who thinks that being included is the BIGGEST deal ever. 

    And you know what? 

    They would be right. It is the biggest deal ever. 

    Thanks Trish for including me. 

    And thanks to all the HR bloggers out there for letting me into your club.

    Wednesday
    Jun292016

    Which questions are too personal?

    I am sure at least 50% of the folks who read this will think I am nuts, (and probably do think that anyway), but I have to break from the regularly scheduled fare to go a little bit off topic here.

    This post is called 'Which questions are too personal?' and was inspired by two separate but related interactions I had yesterday, both of which, (possibly because I am crazy), bugged me in a similar way. First the run down of what happened, then why it did get to me a little, and then tossing it open to you for comments/feedback.

    Scenario 1 - An introductory business call set up by a mutual contact with a person whom I do not know, but is in the same industry. The purpose of the 30-minute call was to learn about a new product/service offering from this person's organization and to get some context around some additional correspondence related to said product/service.

    Scenario 2 - A lunch time trip to a fairly busy local establishment to get some take out. A location I have been to many times before, but this time was being helped by a person I have never seen in the past. 

    Both of these scenarios are completely normal, run of the mill, and typical kinds of interactions that most all of us have all of the time, if not many times a day.

    Why did they both stand out from normal life and end up bugging me at the end?

    In scenario 1, the person on the call asked me where I lived, how long I have been living where I live, if I had a family there, and if so how many kids did I have? Again, this was a business call with someone whom I do not know and have never met before.

    In scenario 2, the person behind the counter asked me where I grew up, was I watching the Euro soccer tournament, and which team was I supporting.  Again, this was in a small, local take out place and a person I have never seen before.

    Now I know that many of you, perhaps most of you would think, 'What's the big deal? Those are just casual, small talk kinds of questions that people ask when they meet someone new. It's just being polite.'

    And at some level, I guess I would agree with those of you who feel that way. I am sure that both of the folks were just being polite, and were not trying to pry into the life of a total stranger (me).

    But some people, (me), are really private and almost guarded (for myriad reasons, none of which matter), about their personal lives and take questions like 'So, how many kids do you have?' as a question and topic they would rather not discuss with someone they just met, particularly in a business context like the two described above.  For some people, (again me), getting asked those kinds of personal questions by complete strangers is really uncomfortable.

    I know you may think that question, and others that are similar, are totally benign and mundane even, given the norms of civilized society.  

    But perhaps making the mistake of falling into the trap of 'If I feel this way, there must be plenty of others who do as well', I think that it's smart when in a business context to avoid wading in to personal questions when making small talk.

    If you have to make small talk, ask about something relevant or at least tangential to the purpose of the interaction - maybe the industry overall, or a particular piece of professional work the person did that you are familiar with. Again, this might just be my hang up, but 'I read what you wrote about XYZ, tell me why you think that' is a much more comfortable and proper conversation to have than 'So, what grade in school is your kid in?' when we have never met or spoken before.

    Ok, that's it. Rant over.

    Am I off base?

    Should I feel compelled to tell people about my personal life the first time we ever speak?

    Friday
    Jun242016

    There's no way...

    that the UK voters will choose to leave the EU

    that the Cavaliers will come back from trailing three games to one and beat the Warriors in the NBA finals

    that Donald Trump is a serious candidate for President

    that Donald Trump will win a single Presidential primary

    that Donald Trump will become the Republican Party Presidential nominee

    that Leicester City will win the Premier League

    that the United States Congress will continue to react to increasing and worsening mass murders and shootings by doing more or less nothing

    that the 'restricted' caller who calls me four or five times each day will continue his or her relentless approaches (ok, that one is really just a personal gripe)

    that Microsoft will do anything to LinkedIn that won't be fantastic for LinkedIn users - especially the non-paying ones

    that your CEO doesn't have the very best interests of you and the rest of the employees there at ACME Widget company top of mind when making his or her business decisions

    that the best producing employee on your team will leave to join the competition for a few more dollars - after all - 'You have a great culture!'

    that we won't be shocked by the next shocking turn of events - we know better!

    Have a great weekend!

    Wednesday
    Jun152016

    The 8 Man Rotation - 2015 Season - #8ManRotation

    As an HR/Talent pro I am on record as stating that you can learn just about everything you need to know about leadership, management, performance, assessment, teamwork, engagement, culture, succession planning, the workplace and ultimately winning from watching sports.

    In fact, not only do I believe that to be true, my 8 Man Rotation pals Kris DunnTim SackettLance HaunMatt Stollak and I spend lots of time, energy, and pixels all year long trying to make that point through the numerous posts we craft that hit upon the themes of Sports and HR.

    And each year our pal Matt Stollak compiles these pieces into The 8 Man Rotation E-book, which the boys and I are proud to release today.

    The 8 Man Rotation: The 2015 Season is 106 pages of our best takes in 2015 on the themes of HR strategy, analytics, talent management, performance, recruiting, compensation and more - all with a connection to the wide, wide world of sports.  The 2015 Season I have to confess, was probably our finest season yet.

    Please check out The 2015 Season, (embedded below, email and RSS subscribers will need to click through)

     

    Huge thanks go out once again to the fellas for letting me be a part of the crew and to Matty Ice in particular for doing all the hard work to bring the Ebook together each year.