Gonzo HR


My favorite Writer Hunter S. Thompson is responsible for Gonzo journalism, and I think my muses cross over into “Gonzo” territory.

This past week I met up with the Sr. Operating team from my time at Success Academy. Noel (the COO, but really president) and Dennis the CFO and a good friend. We pushed the envelope on conventional operations and HR during our close to two year stint working together. I think Success is succeeding in part because of the foundation we laid 2 yrs. ago. We built stability and infrastructure into a hyper growth  organization. I built a sustainable HR and Talent model. Dennis brought order to financial chaos and Noel brought a level of professionalism and strategic mindset to the organization.

We dished on personal stuff and yes spent a good 45 minutes reminiscing about all the crazy stuff we endured. In the end the organization is better from our services and we are more versatile executives having “survived” our tenure there.

Dennis and I started on the same day and he departed about 2 months prior to my departure. We were kindred spirits working in unison. It was amazing to see HR and Finance on the same side of the table constantly and a tribute to what the relationship between the functions could be.

Noel was our fearless leader. Smart, calculated and steady at the helm. I watched him quell the most contentious meetings to a level of civility on numerous occasions. A brilliant engineering mind, Noel could see the big picture like no senior executive I have worked with in my 30 plus year career.

Success was like a Hunter S. Thompson’s road trip without the drugs in his “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” memoir. One day I will write a short story or maybe even a memoir on our time there. It also rings true of another famous writer…It was the best of times and the worst of times….

I loved the work but had cognitive dissonance over the mission and practices….No child should be denied a great education based on their zip code, however we all need to live within a certain level of appropriateness in changing the education landscape….lets just leave it there for now.

In any event, I have come to to recognize that I am a bit of an HR rebel, I could not have worked there if I was not. My writing also has an edge, maybe even a little more then an edge, I would call it an Attitude. Your free to call it what ever you wish. Maybe it is even GONZO…

My time writing for Fistfuloftalent.com, recruitingdaily.com, and most recently the SHRM national blog has allowed me the freedom to express my views without a filter. I want to thank all of them for the platform and Freedom of Speech that it has afforded me.

It has shaped my personal brand and more importantly is a true reflection of my views, beliefs and ethical perspective.

I have a lot of content out there right now on the sites mentioned, here on LinkedIn, and even occasionally on guest sites like Carnival of HR.  I am also suddenly in demand to speak at conferences. I will be at the Paylocity User conference in Chicago this November, a few SHRM regional conferences and  a slew of conferences the first half of next year….

Maybe GONZO is not such a bad thing….




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