About Me

What is this blog about?

Yes, I write about work. Yes, I write about current issues and experiences surrounding HR, Business, Leadership, etc, etc. But most of what this blog is about… is people. How we are consistent. How we are inconsistent. How we are inconsistently consistent and vice versa! How we as people are doing things right and doing it wrong. How my own opinion and fact is right and wrong. How we succeed and fail in work and in life.

However, to write only about work and stay within the context of work would be boring and missing the point. We do not live on an island. The issues we have at work are some of the same issues we have in life. While we often like to complicate and argue against the connections between the two, the fact remains that we are human and it all connects whether we like it or not.

The only way we can become better people is when we recognize the fact that we have to be open and sometimes change the way we think about everything!

Happy Friday!

experience 640x480 What is this blog about?

Drinking the Kool-Aid. Job Security versus Engagement

ad Drinking the Kool Aid. Job Security versus EngagementSo I’m drinking the Kool-Aid.

Taking the whole pitcher to the head. Some of you know that I started a new job a while back. So far I am really enjoying it. They have actually been exactly what they said they would be. Not only in the function I perform, but also the autonomy and control I have in making stuff happen. I am working with some great people, downloading and sifting information from the current executives. So far, they seem to be open and ready for what programs I’m building. That does not mean there are no challenges.

Survival versus Sustainability

On that note, I also have a lot of responsibility to perform. In my 8+ month job search I thought a lot about exactly how long it would be before I would be forced to break down and just accept or go for “anything that came along.” It is a tough decision for anyone to make. In this market one that many have never experienced or quite know how to approach, the typical thought around “I will try and see what happens” just isn’t practical. This approach, as many of us have found, does not do a company justice nor does it do us any favors. But we search for hope. We do all this work to look attractive and get a position we believe will be great for us, without often thinking if it is good for all parties involved. These approaches cause us to be locked in a survival mode rather than sustaining mode. In my mind…

  • A Survival mode pushes us anywhere. Gets us to do anything in order to survive. It justifies any approach and or thinking that we are owed something. Often it can make us place blame. That blame being justified or not.
  • A Sustaining mode, I believe, makes us think more about the long term and how it affects those around us. It weighs our selfish needs against what is reality and often makes us think more about all parties involved (from our family and colleagues to even, in the job search, the company or agency we would like to represent). Sustaining mode is not easy. It forces us into the hard farming mentality versus hunting for the now.

For those in any mode there is always help. In the form of network groups, job search chats, support groups, etc. Yet many people don’t take advantage of them. It takes practice to build routine. It takes consistency. Many have practiced the same routine over and over. Now they need a change.

what does it mean 19746 1278251649 0 Drinking the Kool Aid. Job Security versus EngagementIt’s not all double rainbows

I was fortunate enough to obtain the role I have. The team is excited. My boss is excited which is what helps contribute to my own excitement and confidence. And I would tell you myself, I need a lot of confidence!

With everything going well in this still short time frame, we still have challenges. Changes, the industry, and current economic uncertainty keeps people on edge. I could be excited but at the same time my excitement can also be viewed as being smug or egotistical. In that I have to be careful and empathetic.

Also who knows what could happen. I could be back where I was. Looking once again. You hope but you plan as well. Right now I have Engagement but that is not the same thing as Job Security.

I think your ability to be polished and have the abilities to interview and not only look like a strong candidate but be a strong candidate is one benefit… the actual ability and capabilities to perform within a role you obtain is an entirely different story. I believe this is why I waited and didn’t just accept any role no matter how attractive or unattractive.

Not all of us can wait for the right role, but all of us can be patient about how we approach our direction.

So what about you. Are you engaged in your role (no matter how long you have been there)? What is keeping you from being patient?

and now our moment of zen:


They’ve Landed: One path to a career, not just a job!

“Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.” - Abraham Lincoln

and I’d like to think I hustle!

Feel free to fast forward to the header to the “They Have Landed” at the bottom to see what I will be doing, but if you like a story, then read on!

don draper ars Theyve Landed: One path to a career, not just a job!

The long walk down the hall.

In the beginning of October of 2009 I was in quite an unfamiliar place. My position leading a Corporate Training and Development department had been eliminated. I found out on a Friday. I left later that afternoon. It was not too hard to pack and leave the desk I had spent a few years in. The reason it wasn’t hard: (1) I was in charge of the budget lines and P&L (2) which gave me insight into my department and the companies situation. (3) As a result I had started packing boxes inconspicuously for about 5 months. I knew things were getting tough as in every part of construction and manufacturing. I had the information in front of me as I received the monthly budget reports.  As I have said to many of my colleagues, while I hoped for the best and that nothing would affect my job, I wasn’t blind. I understood that there was a strong possibility that I would be gone before the year was out. So when my boss walked me into her office and gave the news, I was fortunate enough to not be as surprised as I may have been 1 year previous. Before the day was out, I had closing conversations with my boss, my dotted line boss - the CEO, and a few others. I obtained referrals from the people that mattered.

If you have no plan, then you have no plans.

I had prepared. I was now like many people who had found themselves with no job and now on a 20 minute drive home that felt like an eternity. Five months before this drive, my family and I had sat down and looked at our financial situation. What came into the household and what went out. For years we had a monthly budget. I would enter in and adjust everything from salaries and contract income, to the expenses of diapers, food, credit cards and extra curricular activities. Ultimately this gave me out profit and loss of the household.

This time, when reviewing the budget, I added another column to help calculate the salary of $0.00. It helped to give a true picture of what the coming months could look like. What sacrifices we would have to make and helped to light a fire under my butt to try and shrink the time-line as much as possible. I was working on my MBA and paying for it out of my own pocket which made matters a little tougher.

The one thing you can’t let go of…

In order to stay sane, there has to be something you can enjoy and not allowed to get rid of. My wife and I discussed this. In order for us to function she decided on her one thing and I decided mine. My one thing would be golf. Outside of family and my network, golf continued to help me think strategically, not take things so seriously and hold my tongue (not always, but I tried) in what seemed initially to be tough-to-face challenges.

Just because you are not working, does not mean you don’t have work to do!

I remember colleagues at my last job, making statements like “so what are you going to do now?” or “are you going take a break?” My response was exactly this: “Hey, just because you are not working, does not mean you don’t have work to do!” I believe this. In the almost 10 months that have passed I have created what I think is a strong personal footprint, a heck of a good site in ReThinkHR.org, been asked to speak at various groups and have received a great handle on Social Media and how it can work for me. Most of all I have made a lot of good contacts, built a new foundation of relationships with new colleagues that I would have otherwise never had a chance to meet.

opportunity Theyve Landed: One path to a career, not just a job!The thing about an Opportunity

You can’t always wait for opportunity to knock. If you did, who is to say it would ever stop by and even deliver. There are times when you will need to create an opportunity when none exist. Look underneath when it is not traveling on the surface. You may even have to gain access without permission. I mean really, how often do you ever get anything worth having if you were only allowed to ask for permission?

‘They’ have landed

So the whole point of this is to let you know that THEY have landed. The position… Leadership Development Consultant for a Midwest, full service Document Management company. With over 2900 employees across the United States, I will be working directly with the CEO, Executives, Directors and Mid-Level Leadership. I will oversee the development, coaching and identification of talent within the organization, create programs to increase organizational capability, and help to identify emerging leadership for the organization. I will also attempt to use social media within the company in the way we deliver and interact for learning and leadership. This is the simplest way I can explain a very detailed and not as simply stated job.

new job Theyve Landed: One path to a career, not just a job!

I am ready and sincerely excited for the challenge. The level of investment and energy that a company takes in ensuring not only the health of its products and services, but also the health of the people providing those opportunities is something I take to heart. To actually talk with executives within an organization and receive a consistent response is greatly refreshing. Especially in these times.

No Ego Involved, sincerely

I say THEY have landed not to be egotistical. I firmly believe that my own abilities and strengths are assets. There are a few reasons my search was long (even longer than I expected).Regardless of these reasons I always believed that what I have to offer is just as good or at times better than what a company could offer me. You have to have confidence in times like these. That, a good attitude, and a willingness to laugh at the hardest and most difficult times. I still plan to take part in many of the activities I have been involved in over the past months. For those of you who just came across me recently, get use to me… I’ll be here for awhile!

Spring Cleaning

Make my crap your treasure

For the past two days we have been outside. Neighbors, people from other localities and anyone who read an add came buy our home. This weekend our street had a neighborhood yard sale. People came by offering nickels and dimes and other small bills from the things we no longer want. I am happy to say that most of the ‘stuff’ we were able to get rid of. However, today is Sunday and we have some things left over.

Cleaning House

Before the culmination of the last two days there had to be decisions on what was valuable and what others would want. What could be kept and thrown away. That process took weeks. Yet, starting to go through the junk for a simple garage sale wasn’t so simple. At the same time it allowed me to find other things. Clean out parts of the house and garage that needed to be cleaned.

Spring Cleaning

To compare this to work is very easy. Maybe there are some things in your office, at your work station that you need to remove, box up or maybe give to a co-worker that could really use it.

For those that are “location-neutral,” working out of your home, remotely, traveling to and from - from city to city or driving your car from appointment to appointment - maybe you could stand to get rid of some things that no longer belong or add value to your space.

Letting it go

letting go by admitchell08 Spring CleaningIt will be hard to get rid of some things. Especially if what you hold in your hand, when trying to make a decision, has been with you for a few years or more. That planted geranium that you bought and placed in the corner when you first started. The old picture of your anniversary and employee of the month certificate. Maybe it is a desk calendar that holds the writing of some important project or  number (while the date is from 3 years ago or older). Regardless maybe it is time for you to clean it all out, make a decision on what you need to keep and what needs to go.

Not always easy

When I was laid off from my last job, I knew a year out that it would possibly happen. I could see the affect of the economy on the business. I saw my budget and P&L lines decrease slowly. I prepared. But even though I knew and had time, it was still not easy to decide between what I would put in a box to take with me or what I could leave.

Start off the week with some Spring Cleaning

Monday, when you get back to your space and begin the week, take about an hour to do some spring cleaning.

Are you doing anything now to clean house? How will you put things in order?


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