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Leadership, Recognition, Chaos & Love

9 Jul

Hip Decision | a blog by Chris Reed

suit and tie

When I stepped up to the microphone at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, I felt something new.

People recognized me as a leader.

The journey to that feeling had been a road trip filled with my own demons, others’ misconceptions (somewhat justifiable, admittedly), and unhealthy doses of fear and loathing.

Maybe these are things we all face as we navigate our workplaces and personal lives, and maybe they aren’t. Maybe we’re all predisposed to becoming who we are. Maybe we can be shaped by the right person in the right place at the right time. Maybe it’s all in the stars and a broken fortune cookie.

That’s a debate for another time.

What I can tell you is this: Being recognized as a leader feels really fucking good. It’s like waking up to discover your crush finally sees you the way you see them. And the best…

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Breaking the Dog; Thoughts on Process and Preparation

10 Jun

When you train an animal to be invariably obedient, you should to put your furry friend through as many trying scenarios as possible to stress her level of focus and dedication. Break the dog early and often, on your own time. In the breaking you discover a new weakness and can thus prepare your beastie for success in the future, when it really matters. It’s a new idea for me, and one I’m quite fond of.

Dog-Training-1Making the jump from beast to process is pretty easy. If you’re developing a process, what might cause it to fail? If you’re banking on a plan, what might cause it to fail? If it’s going to fail, know early so you aren’t caught unaware holding an empty leash.

We try to make plans for the future.  We plan and anticipate success. Sometimes we anticipate failure and have a backup plan. There isn’t  a definite way to obfuscate all life’s failure attempts, but we can attempt to break the dog in our minds–  frequently and uniquely, so at the least, our emotions (those hairy things) don’t get the better of us, when we aren’t prepared.

That’s all.

It’s the Journey, not the Destination

1 Apr

It’s the journey, not the destination.

iPhone 5 Wallpaper Quotes

And that has been on my mind this morning.

When you’re developing your personal brand, it helps to remember that you aren’t going to get there overnight. It takes time, reflection, and a true grasp of who you are, what you stand for, and what keeps you going that finally evolves into the final image other people “buy.” Simon Sinek says it best: “It’s not what you do; it’s why you do it.” (If you haven’t seen Mr. Sinek’s Ted Talk sessions yet, please do yourself a favor– grab some coffee and settle in to watch a few.)

It’s understandable that getting to the why takes time, which leads us to the journey.

Leader to Leader Journal puts it this way, “People want to know your values and beliefs, what you really care about, and what keeps you awake at night. They want to know who most influenced you, the events that shaped your attitudes, and the experiences that prepare you for the job. They want to know what drives you, what makes you happy, and what ticks you off. They want to know what you’re like as a person…”

Even if you aren’t leading a team and you’re just out there solo trying to shape yourself for personal growth, please be aware of your journey and remember why it matters.

That’s it. Just a personal note from the mental archives.



A Smarter Way to Lunch: Networking for the Rest of Us

30 Mar

Networking. I know, right.


There was another HR blog post about “How to Get a Great Job in 2015” waiting in my inbox the other day.  It boiled down to the old adage about getting out to get the job. You’ll find your next role over lunch, via phone, or  somehow otherwise directly engaging with a human-being, who is not behind the glossy computer screen in your kitchen.

This sentiment has been well documented, and I do think there is absolutely merit to the statement.  What strikes me as noteworthy about this though, is that in this new age of social presence and online connection often times lunch breaks are spent engaging in twitter chats from the comforts of home, with hundreds of strangers we’ve never actually met.  There are even schedules of upcoming chats, so you can always plan for a weekly lunch date .

I think these chats are just as valuable as an initial meeting for coffee or a luncheon request. We’re developing new relationships while exchanging ideas and building our social presence over our predetermined lunch topic. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Chats feel a lot less anxiety producing  for those of us who curate our thoughts a little more thoughtfully than others.

Personally, I’m not always the loudest, or most extroverted person in the room; sometimes I sit back and watch what’s happening before diving in and making my own opinions known. These lunchtime chats give us the opportunity to read through the responses, develop our ideas and share when we’re ready.

I call it a smarter way to lunch.

Navigating these social media conversations is a lot like navigating a networking luncheon, and the keys to success are still the same: engage, offer something of value, stay thankful, stay humble. All from the comfort of your kitchen table.

If you’re patient and consistent, these online relationships may develop into phone calls, and phone calls may lead to interviews, and offers.

Or at the very least a shiny new LinkedIn connection, and I still call that a win.

Radical Transparency: Another Win for Social Business Tech

23 Mar


I read an article this morning about the future of global leadership. It highlighted a group of 30 somethings who were redefining the way we do business, and the way leaders interact and guide their business growth.

The article described “radical transparency” as the factor making this possible. In the future there will be  nowhere for bad apples or bad behavior to hide. This is awesome for people and awesome for business. It’s just another plug for the benefits of global technology.

42% of the global population will have some type of smart device by the end of this year.

That’s a lot of people with a lot of things to say.

If you’re lucky, they’re promoting your brand.


If you haven’t been on your best behavior, that’s going to get out, and I promise, there will be changes.

Is radical transparency a part of your employee brand?

How do you promote it in your office?

Should You Reschedule an Interview for Illness?

27 Feb

Yesterday, while attempting to avoid squishing my smallest dog, the couch jumped up and tackled my toe.

It was a massacre.

One that ice cream and ice packs helped to remedy, but it got me thinking. What would I have done had I broken my foot prior to an interview? What is the proper procedure for an unexpected, unplanned (embarrassingly clumsy) assault on your physical self when you’ve got the interview of a lifetime lined up for bright an early the next morning? What steps do candidates take when they come down with the flu prior to an interview for that matter?

I took to the interwebs to research the topic, and the consensus according to our friendly staffing cohorts is unanimous:

Unless you’re maimed beyond recognition, in a coma, or just really don’t want the position, never reschedule an interview for the sniffles or banged up appendage. 

Here are a few friendly tips to get through an interview when you’re not feeling like a Rockstar:

1. Medicate! Motrin, Advil Sinus, Imodium, whatever. Take something to alleviate the symptoms and move on; Also, do something to pep yourself up (caffeinate!),when you’re feeling worn down. 

2. Dress for Success. Look as presentable as possible despite the illness or injury. Dress to Kill and you’ll feel a lot better.  

3. Showing up is half the battle. Show up as scheduled. Mention the situation in passing to the manager you meet with, but don’t play for sympathy points. Stoicism wins this round and indicates how badly you want the gig.

4. Never Procrastinate. If you’ve been preparing for this interview before hand (as you should!) then a last minute illness won’t knock you off your A Game. 

As always, thoughts, comments, differing opinions welcome! What do you think? is there ever a time you should cancel an interview last minute?


Tackling the Salary Expectations Question in an Interview

4 Feb

This is especially vital for women to remember, as we tend to accept what is offered. Don’t be afraid of asking for what you’re worth. Do your research!

Something Different HR

1. This is a misuse of the word travail, but it delighted me to use it here.I’m writing this one because during my daily travails 1 across the internet in search of new information about HR, I have comeacrossmanyarticles on salary negotiation. Some of the advice I agree with, some of it I don’t… and most all of it will work in one situation or another.

…So of course I also want to share my 2 cents.

As a former comp guy that has interviewed hundreds of people for positions spanning a fairly wide range of job functions, complexity, and scope – and that has asked nearly just as many their salary expectations at some point during the interview process – I can say two things with a fairly high degree of certainty:

1. When asked for their salary expectations, currently employed people are more likely…

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25 Ways to Spot Leaders You Can Trust

27 Jan

21st Century Managers: Guiding Stars

10 Jan


sigh readging

True Story of an Unguided Star  
There was once a bright graduate from Syracuse University who found a full time job with a Name Company in the midwest. Imagine her disappointment to discover that her job required none of her education, none of her intern experience.  She was slotted to routine tasks.  At her annual review her supervisor was pleased with her performance because she “required no supervision and performed so well independently.”   Six months later, the SU grad took her degree and experience to New York where she landed a job in a Small Company that was impressed with the Name Company.  At the annual review, her supervisor explained that he was disappointed with her.  He had assumed that she had acquired more skills working for the Name Company.  Panicked, she asked what she should do, for she had no idea that she was not operating at the expected…

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With Virtual Interviews and Gamification on the Rise, Will the In-Person Interview Become Obsolete?

8 Jan

Generation HR

I had nearly forgotten about the three-martini lunch, that oh so popular ritual among the businessmen in the New York neighborhood where I grew up. Then Mad Men came along with its high-definition window on what our  fathers had been up to all day at their Manhattan offices in the sky.


Is the in-person interview destined to become as much of a nostalgic oddity as the three-martini lunch? The first whiff of an applicant’s cologne, the strength and sincerity of a handshake, and those intangible signals emitted by an applicant’s body language may soon become obsolete.

What is taking their place? Two new millennia approaches to interviewing and screening applicants are becoming more popular by the day: virtual interviews and gamification.  

 Some virtual interviews (aka online interviews) may be held live using a platform like Skype.  In other cases, the recruiter will e-mail the candidate a…

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