A Quick Update From the Practice Field


I have been busy on the Fistful of Talent and SHRM blogs lately and unfortunately neglecting my own site. So for those who follow me, here is a quick update:

I am at the Mid Hudson Valley, NY  SHRM conference on Thursday 10/26 and then at the Paylocity User conference on 11/2 in Chicago. I am doing my Money Ball for the Talent Function Presentation at both. This is an encore of my SHRM national presentation this past June in New Orleans.

I am also already confirmed for the SHRM Legislative conference in Washington DC March 2018 and the SHRM Talent Management conference in April 2018. I will post specifics in a few weeks but feel free to visit the SHRM.org conference site for details.  It will be fresh content for both conferences and I am working diligently on the presentations for both. I will also be doing some blogging for SHRM at the spring conferences….

I am currently doing some project work for two businesses, however I am looking for new engagements as we enter the 4th quarter of the year. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me to discuss how HC3 can assist you.

Finally, Golf season is coming to an end, but my tennis group is going strong thru the winter months. I suffered  a minor injury to my right eye the other night while playing tennis and am sporting a purple Shiner. The medical staff sais I will recover and don’t expect to miss any time on “IR”.

Well that’s about it for now, stay tuned and please feel free to follow me on twitter @HC3


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!

Apology Not Accepted


I am not big on apologizing in business and I don’t much care for being apologized to either. It’s not that folks shouldn’t let you know they take responsibility for a mistake or doing something inappropriate. I just think that fixing it and moving on is a lot more productive and a lot less dramatic.

Personal apologies are slightly different in my book. Yes there are occasions where they are necessary, but even in personal endeavors they are often a poor response to dealing with a situation. It also seems like an easy out. I will say I am sorry and the situation magically corrects itself.

We are all human and are going to make mistakes. In business, they are even expected. Just recognize them quickly and fix them. My best learnings have been from mistakes. At Leviton, I failed twice in implementing a High Potential program. The first time I didn’t get buy in. The second time I started to low and wide in the organization. If not for these two failures, I may never had succeeded on try number three.

At Success Academy, there was this apology culture if you made a mistake. It wasn’t just required but expected too. When the apology for a mistake didn’t come it caused rumblings, emails, phone calls and even an occasional meeting to diagnose why. I always held to the concept of fix the mistake, learn from it and move on.

In retrospect, I probably would have been better off to just say sorry, even if I really wasn’t. But that’s not who I am for better and yes occasionally for worse.

I also never really needed an apology when someone screwed up a project I assigned them or a daily task. They happened all the time, most were insignificant. Occasionally it was something big. I always focused my staff on fixing it. When they would apologize I would often say “don’t apologize, fix it”. I think that as a rule this was more effective (at least for me). You can ask them. I bet most appreciated not having to apologize and I believe the response was more effective in the long run.


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….



It’s Attitude Week for HR


My most recent SHRM blog post was on – you guest it – HR with Attitude. You can click here to see the post. I tend to have repetitive themes that I write or publicly speak about.

This one I believe firmly in. Attitude is not about being aggressive or obnoxious. It is about being competent, taking a stand when you have the information and the facts, and not backing down.

HR needs an injection of this every so often.

You can also check out my previous post on the very same subject it was a podcast and you need 12 minutes to listen. You can click here  to check it out.

I am working on a presentation on this very subject and putting it in my bag of tricks to take on the road in 2018….be on the lookout…

I promise to write about other stuff going forward….

Hope you all have a great day!