April 18, 2017

When I see something horrible in the news and then the subsequent comments of shock and surprise wondering what we’ve become, I can’t help but think what took us so long? What did we expect?

There are of course many examples to refute what I’m about to say below, but the trend is there nonetheless. THIS IS US–NOT A RIGHT WING OR LEFT WING MONOPOLY.

These are but a few of many examples.

  • Statistically, over half of all resumes and employment applications have a falsification on them. Not typos or errors, but out-and-out lies regarding previous employment, education, etc.
  • Even in the most prestigious of our higher learning institutions, major cheating scandals occur regularly. Of course this is the fuel for the future leaders of our society.
  • Human kindness (even civility) has taken a back seat to behavior seen on TV that has been fostered and passed off as acceptable with shows such as Survivor, et al.
  • The 7 Deadly Sins have been treated as though they were the Bill of Rights by many, who can easily rationalize their behavior.
  • Personal religious or spiritual beliefs are compromised without conscience, few would ever think to listen to another viewpoint, and hatred permeates society.
  • None of the major economic systems can work long-term without a dash of the human impact, but without some credence given to the finite nature of available resources, economic systems will fail to survive.

We have such a beautiful gift of unlimited information resources available to us, especially via the internet. Without a financial and human based perspective upon which to base our perspectives and judgments, we can turn into rabid jackals who get exactly what we deserve.

So when someone says how can someone do this terrible thing, maybe the better question to ponder is what terrible thing will happen next time?

What do you think?

Making America HATE Again

July 31, 2016

While watching one of my all-time favorite groups this evening, I was almost brought to tears. The Temptations music was great as always but quickly reminded me that when I was first acquainted with them, I firmly believed there was hope for a kinder, gentler country. As of this writing, things seem to have regressed with little hope of racial harmony. 

All of a sudden the 7 Deadly Sins have become the Bill of Rights and a major political party candidate spews bigotry and hatred daily. Even scarier is that he has a very large following that rationalizes his hatred. 

I must be very naive because I actually thought  we could make a difference in the 60s. I knew it wouldn’t be easy but going backwards at a fast rate seemed incomprehensible. 

The Temptations music was merely a catalyst for this malaise that I am witnessing. Will we come to our senses?  Oh how I wish that it would rain!!

Certifications and More Certifications

August 29, 2014

In my early career, it was sufficient to have an undergraduate degree, and as icing on the cake, a graduate degree.  There were very few professional certifications that job candidates showed and even fewer that were required.  In my chosen field, a PHR or SPHR became the “gold” standard for excellence in Human Resources.  I resisted for many years, but curiosity got the better of me and I registered for and took the SPHR exam.  I had too much practical experience to sit for the PHR exam.

I bought a cheap study guide, read through it, took the practice exam, and then I felt comfortable.  I didn’t need the overly expensive prep courses that were popping up with regularity.  After taking the exam, immediate results were not available so I had to wait several weeks to find out what I pretty much already knew.  My score was very high and of course, I could then put the letters “SPHR” after my name and on my business cards.  

But what really happened?  Was I now more effective in my HR role?  Did an aura of wisdom suddenly surround me?  Of course not.  I did my job to the best of my ability as I had done before.  But I started feeling like I had contributed to the mentality that says certifications are the savior of not only my discipline, but many others as well.  And the market for expanding our certification credentials continues to grow to this day.

With the need to screen electronic applications more quickly, the certification is often used as the pass/fail criteria.  While there are many, many talented individuals who have the certifications, I feel there are a great many others who have been bypassed for opportunities in which they and the company would have succeeded.  While this system may seem to be an easy way for recruiters to “thin the herd”, does it really force people to spend large sums of money on preparation and testing just to be considered?

Of course I believe that functional knowledge is important, but I have seen individuals pass a certification exam with a very poor employment track record within their particular discipline.  I’m not advocating dissolving the certification process by any means, but would suggest that using it as a pass/fail criteria is not a good idea–for either the candidate or the company.  I welcome your thoughts below.

In spite of what happened in baseball today, it is still the greatest game. And for anyone who doesn’t believe the NFL and NBA have a problem, I say WAKE UP. MLB’s drug policy is much stronger.

August 5, 2013


A few years later but still kickin’

March 2, 2013


Treat Your Job Like a Stepping Stone AND as a Perch

March 25, 2010

The heading may seem to be both ends of a continuum, but hopefully you’ll see the wisdom in this type approach.  For the most part, we’re all looking to advance in our careers and use our current job as a stopover to show our wares and be considered for that next opportunity.  So we want to perform and perform well.  It would be easy to fall into a quick fix type mode and do only what it takes to advance, with little regard for what you leave behind.

I worked at a manufacturing location that was the “launching pad” for many of the corporation’s rising stars.  Some were terrific and others left there with the organization in much worse shape than when they arrived.  The latter  group obviously had no feeling for the employees who remained to clean up the “mess.”   The vicious cycle this created was a problem for those who were genuinely concerned about the local operation.  Employees became very skeptical of the motives of any new manager, and sometimes made it difficult for the manager to obtain good results–even when their motives were the right kind.

My suggestion is to use the job as a stepping stone BUT act like you’ll finish your career there.  It’s the equivalent of thinking globally and acting locally.  You’ll get results and cooperation from fellow employees, satisfaction from knowing your legacy will be a positive one, and the experience that prepares you well for your next assignment.  If you stay with the same company, your reputation will also precede you to that next assignment.

And besides…someday you might have to go back to that location!!  How will you be perceived then?


Integrity Challenged by Compassion

February 1, 2010

Several times in my career, I have been faced with the responsibility of administering a reduction in force (RIF.)  So many factors to be considered from the financial aspect as well as from the emotional aspect—-for both the organization as well as the individuals.  As a Human Resources professional, I was always at the center of activities during a RIF.  The trickiest part was doing a balancing act between maintaining personal, department, and company integrity, while showing as much empathy and compassion as possible for those employees who have already or will have lost their jobs very soon.

Many of the employees losing their jobs hadn’t prepared for such an event, either monetarily or skillwise.   They are frightened and very apprehensive of what the future will bring.   They’re looking for any possible advantage to help them find the next job.  There’s a real sense of urgency!

Now comes the tough part.  Occasionally one of these people would ask me for either a recommendation letter or some other sort of certification showing they had met some qualification that wasn’t in fact true.   I felt very compassionate towards these employees who had given their lives to the company, and don’t for a minute think that that didn’t weigh heavily on my mind.  However, I felt that I had to be true to myself and to the company.  I couldn’t in good conscience lie or exaggerate an individual’s credentials, and this didn’t make me very popular with that person.  That was something I just learned to live with.  I tried always to be compassionate but frank with the employee when I explained that I couldn’t comply with his/her request.

You may think you’re helping someone out, but at what cost if you don’t give an accurate representation.  Your integrity and your company’s reputation may be at risk.  Plus, is it fair to the prospective employer?


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