Like meeting the ex-girlfriend?

Meeting the ex-girlfriend is full of awkwardness right? It’s sometimes a competition of who chose the better path. The ex-girlfriend is all “I got rid of that loser” and the new girlfriend is all like “he’s not a loser, you were the problem” or something like that. Here’s the deal though, being a grown-up affords you the opportunity to be polite, civil, and to skip the judgement on both sides, so here it is.

Yes, I know who you are. Yes, I have it on good authority that you know who I am.

Yes, I used to do the job that you are doing now (quite well in many ways). No, I do not wish you failure or hardships in any way. Contrary to popular belief I wish you lots of success and for you to exceed my biggest goals that I met there.

I’m not the ex-girlfriend of the place, I’m part of the history of the place. Let’s be the professionals that we are and skip awkward.

feel the awkward

It’s about to get real

It’s graduation season! It’s a happy time for students and an emotional time for parents and family. I love graduation season. I love the hope and excitement in the air and the feeling of accomplishment that you can see on students faces. People everywhere are celebrating all kinds of graduations from Pre-K through college, but this year I’m focused on a high school graduation. Class of 2014 is getting ready to wrap up their high school career and walk across the stage to seal the deal. Class of 2014 is of huge interest to me. I’ve watched class of 2014 grow up, I’ve cried for them, I’ve laughed for them, I’ve been scared for them and I’ve been happy for them. I took great interest in them learning their ABC’s and how to tie their shoes. I’ve watched from afar as class of 2014 has navigated through the obstacles of being a teenager and transitioning from jr. high to high school. I’ve watched them make friends and I’ve watched them lose friends. Class of 2014 happens to hold a special place in my heart because class of 2014 holds something that is very special to me, my baby brother. So class of 2014 as I say what I am about to say please know that I love you as much as I can love a group of people and that I’ve seen your trials and I’ve been in your corner this whole time, but… $h!t’s about to get real. I mean that from the bottom of my heart. Graduating high school is great, I’m so proud of y’all and glad that you are accomplishing high school graduation, but you’re not done. Millions of students graduate high school every year so no matter what you hear this graduation season you actually have not accomplished something amazing. You’ve accomplished something average. What are you going to do next? You don’t have to go to college, but you need to do something. Maybe a trade school? Anything, just don’t stop at high school. High school isn’t enough. I say this as your future employer, you won’t have a chance in getting a decent job in any field with only a high school diploma and don’t listen to anyone that tells you that you can. The world is changing so those stories of people who have a good paying jobs with only a HSD are fading away. When you talk to old timers that tell you all they have is a HSD and they have a good paying job, don’t let them fool you into thinking they didn’t have to work hard to get that good paying job. Don’t let them fool you into thinking that they were never passed over for a promotion because they only had a HSD. You don’t have to get a college degree, but get something.  Don’t make your future harder than it has to be, start what you finish and do something more than a high school diploma.

Class of 2014 I love you and I believe in you. Whatever you want to do in life I want you to be successful in it. Celebrate your graduation. Be safe, be smart and make memories. Welcome to the next stage of your life.



Tommy, I love you and I believe in you. Whatever you want to do in life I want you to be successful in it.


But…But we’ve come so far!?

Why do I blog? So I can rant, duh! You guys know I’m always talking with my HR friends about what is going on in their organizations (I’m so curious) and for some reason this is coming up in more than one organization. Is it the change in weather? Whatever the reason, I don’t like it.

What is it you ask? This annoying phrase (or variation of this phrase) that absolutely makes my skin crawl: “Well, compared to where we used to be things are a million times better”… Sorry, come again? I know the mantra “Strive to be better than  you were yesterday… Only compare yourself to yourself…” blah blah blah. That doesn’t apply in business. Measuring your organizations success to yesteryear won’t get you very far in the business world for long.

In business, you have competitors. You have competitors that you don’t even know about, that know everything there is to know about you. You have competitors that are devoted to out doing you.

You have customers. Become complacent with business practices and force your competitors to leave you for a better vendor. Relationship shmelationship, you can’t provide then you don’t get to keep the business.

You have employees. You have employees that you need to take care of. Lose all of your work to a competitor and you’re no longer able to feed your employees.

What about this “metric” of success at a department level? “Oh that manager used to be so hard to deal with, at least now he doesn’t cuss us out”. He’s still scary and impossible to please. I don’t care if he is better than he used to be, I know how good he should be. “Our procedures may not be where they should,but they have come a long way.” Oh, but we know where they should be? Then let’s take them there! “We don’t have the best way to track our AAP, but it’s come a long way.” “Our safety procedures need improvement, but they aren’t as bad as they used to be.” I could rattle off hundreds of comments like this that slowly hold organizations back from taking their performance to the next level. It irks me to no end when “long timers” use this as a reason to not work towards continuous improvement. “But we’ve come so far, isn’t that far enough?” The answer is no.

Where do you start? I don’t know, but in my opinion-HR. Your HUMAN RESOURCES department should be able to help you maximize your HUMAN RESOURCES. Hello! There’s a concept. Really the answer is longer than I’m willing to give in this post (it’s getting long enough in my opinion), so let me challenge you to think of answers to this issue. Have you already dealt with this issue in your organization? Or a previous organization? Where would you start and what steps would you take to help change the mindset that is holding back your organization.

Now that I look successful, I don't have to do anything ever again.

Now that I look successful, I don’t have to do anything ever again.