Month: September 2017

Don’t Apologize, Just Fix It…


One of my favorite “Markisms” is the statement: “don’t apologize, just fix it”. I wrote about this a few weeks ago on this blog. Apologies that is.

So today’s rant is a little bit of closure and a little bit of wishful thinking regarding my University issues all wrapped up in a nice little bow. My meeting with the President at the University finally happened after 8 months. I will say that she ascribes to a similar position like my own, not quite an apology, but certainly an acknowledgement of bad process and some mistakes. She spoke at 50,000 feet for the most part, however did come down to street level with some brutally honest assessment and commenting  on organizational weaknesses and the need to fix them. So I give her a B+/A- for the late mia culpa, and an “A” for transparency and awareness that the issues are bigger than most were aware of just a few months ago. It takes a little humbleness to stare someone down and admit weaknesses and mistakes, even if their was no remedy for me personally on the micro issues that I dealt with this past spring.

The Provost, Associate Provost and Executive Director of the Union were present and just by the audience it was obvious this was no casual chat. We made some real progress for the adjuncts at the University in that there is now an awareness that there are some big issues as well as power in numbers in presenting a unified front in the future. For that I will take a back seat and let others share the  stage of engaging administration. I did my part and safe to say I was on my best behavior too. Aside from a few lite barbs there were no insideary comments…

It felt a little like datente in the UN….

So lets just say I am moving on and hope they are to. More importantly I have their word that they will work to FIX some things…no apologies…and we will be back to see if they practice what they preach.


Over 50, Should I be Blogging or Playing Golf?


Sometimes I wonder if I should hang up my cleats on blogging and just play golf. Yes, I am over 50 yrs. old and one of the older bloggers in the HR space. It’s my 10th anniversary blogging and maybe my time has come and gone?

To set the record straight, I have been blogging since 2007. In fact, this is a 10-yr. anniversary for me. Thanks to Laurie Ruettimann  (Punk Rock HR, Cynical Girl and her own name), Penelope Trunk (Brazeen Careerist and her own name) and Kris Dunn (HR Capitalist and Fistfuloftalent) I was inspired to try my hand at blogging. I was at Leviton in 2007 and Dina Anzalone, my new HR manager was charged by me with starting a social media presence at Leviton. I had stumbled on Penelope’s blog back then and her musings on the startup of the Brazeen Careerist website. We signed on as a Beta company and were one of the first businesses to have employees contribute content to the site. We took out a small advertising package for recruiting support and Dina along with a few employees wrote content for them. Back then I had dinner 4 or 5 times with Penelope whenever she would come to New York City. I would take her to dinner and pick her brains. She was the ultimate in Disruption before anyone coined the phrase. I thought she was the coolest Entrepreneur. She was so Raw and transparent. I learned a lot from those few interactions. She was and is still someone that I look up to for inspiration.

I also read Laurie’s blog religiously, eventually getting the courage to post comments on her sites. Laurie and I eventually became friends and would catch up in person at conferences and I even had her do some consulting along with Robin Schooling while I was at Success Academy. Laurie was also 5 yrs. ahead of the curve.

Reading Laurie’s blog led me to other sites including FOT and Kris’s personal blog. Never would I have imagined that a few years later I would be a regular contributor on FOT. Kris was another trailblazer that is an incredible writer with great insight to the HR community. Folks including Jessica Lee, Paul Herbert, Kelly Dingee, Maren Hogan and Jen McClure were some of the early folks on the site. They were all fantastic bloggers, raw and hard hitting. Eventually I got the courage to start a blog on the google platform for free. Part journal and part brain fart, it was a mish mosh of my thoughts and experiences.

As I worked out the kinks, Laurie even spent some time one afternoon with me on the phone way back when offering suggestions. She probably doesn’t remember but it was an important event for me. One thing she said back then was “just write”, she told me the more I write the better I will get.

It was the most profound yet obvious advice I have ever taken in and acted on over the past decade.

As my blogging progressed I mustered the courage to reach out to John Hollon, who at the time was the editor and chief at TLNT, another one of my favorite sites. John gave me a shot and published several articles of mine over the years. He was always brutally honest with me, occasionally rejecting content, offering suggestions and a champion for me as I continued to progress in my writing for professional publications.

There have been others that have influenced me greatly since my early days. Tim Sackett, Robin Schooling, Sharyln Lauby, and the list could go on. They might be surprised to read this in a blog post, but they were instrumental…

Although I have a great sense of humor my writing never quite got to the level of funny. I am a serious topic writer that has just a sprinkle of snarky and sarcasm sprinkled in. It used to bother and upset me that I didn’t have that gift like Tim or Kris or even Laurie. But I found my own unique voice and am continually learning to fine tune it. Yes, I am the “HR with an Attitude” guy and proud of it.

Over the past 10 years my writing has appeared in numerous national and international publications. In print and on-line. Places like SHRM, World at Work, HR Executive magazine, TLNT, ADP, and numerous other industry publications have printed my thoughts and musings…This has wrapped around my national conference presentations and being quoted in a multitude of online and print publications as well as television and radio spots locally and nationally.

So now I am at an inflection point in my career and life. I am no longer the C-Suite HR dude and my writing as well as conference presentations (discussion for another day) have had a great run.

Many of my colleagues have suggested hanging up my writing cleats for something less controversial. For me that would-be golf where I have finally broken the 3-digit score barrier on a regular basis. Last week I shot 97 and 93 on two challenging courses!

I must admittedly mull it over but in the interim I will continue to write and speak, and provoke, agitate, and hopefully spur discussion and dialogue.

I am not ready to hang it up just yet….I think I can continue to do both at least for a little bit longer!

Time will tell….

A Quick “Catch” Up


I have not written anything directly for this blog in a while, so I thought I would catch my followers up on what’s new and what’s not.

First the Fall semester has begun and I am teaching 2 grad HR classes in the MBA program at Adelphi. My students are awesome and I just agreed to having Geico sponsor a class research project in my Selection/Recruitment class. More on this in future posts.

I am still dealing with the run off of poor administrative management at the school. My latest update is a couple of union meetings with other adjuncts who are similarly upset.  I have a meeting finally with the President in a few days. Only 8 months from my original correspondence. So much for a sense of urgency, but let’s give it the benefit of the doubt until afterwards…maybe there is good reason or rational. I will be updating you on this too.

My business endeavors include acting as the Chief Talent Officer for a VC backed start up and part-time Senior HR strategist for a major catering business near my home. I am still doing work for Signium and recently completed an international compensation project in Ireland.

On the speaking front, I have two engagements in the fall. One speaking at a regional SHRM conference and the other speaking in Chicago at the Paylocity User conference. The topics for both is Money Ball for the Talent Function, a revised encore of my SHRM presentation in New Orleans this past June. I have a few conferences in the oven for next Spring, with brand new content. I will keep you posted on dates and local.

I continue to write for Fistful of Talent and am now a regular contributor on the SHRM national blog. This may be one of the reasons I have been absent from my own site, but will make a concerted effort to start writing my own stuff once again as the summer comes to end.

Finally, my golf game has finally improved to a point where I am finally playing double instead of triple digit scores. Barely, but I will take 96-99 scores regularly if I can. The goal is to get to a 90-93 level in the future. My Tennis season  (season # 17 with the same group) is starting this week and I am looking forward to Pro Football  after my Met’s self-destructed this past summer.

Well that’s it for now, I think your all caught up.

If you need any HR consulting, Strengths programs (Gallup), or project work, please reach out!