Be yourself. Dare to be weird! Stop settling for mediocrity.


Be yourself. Dare to be weird! Stop settling for mediocrity.

I am so excited to be attending the 2013 VA State SHRM Conference at the amazing Homestead Resort in Hot Springs, VA. Day 1 is over and BOY was it a long day. We started with a fabulous keynote from former Army Ranger David Hart, who skydives for a living these days. He brings inspiration to us all. We filled the middle of the day with incredible concurrent sessions.

I will say that the absolute best session I have attended so far came from The Frontier Project’s founder Scott Wayne. Talk about WOW. The lesson learned? Stop settling for mediocrity. Stop living in the middle. Explore new things. Change things up. Grow, learn. INNOVATE. I couldn’t help but think about the role of feedback in this process. I firmly believe that open and honest communication with employees – communication that is structured – can facilitate rising above mediocrity.

Expectations are a critical part of an employee’s success. Oftentimes, managers believe that employees automatically know what is expected of them – as if somehow, the power of osmosis magically morphed this information into the employee’s brain. Seriously? Employees need to have expectations clearly, directly and succinctly laid out for them.

How about this for mind blowing?? What if we involved the employees in setting those expectations? Shut the front door!!! That’s just nuts! Actually, it’s not crazy. When the situation offers the opportunity to engage the employee in the expectations-setting process, grab a hold of that opportunity and DO NOT LET GO! Employees who are involved in setting their own goals, objectives and expectations are typically far more excited about meeting or exceeding them. Why? They own them. They helped create them. You want proof? Google it. There are countless cases out there that prove this is the best approach.

Back to the conference experience…

The most interesting presentation of the day was another keynote delivered by the brilliant Dr. Martin Davidson. The topic of Diversity is always good for some interesting discussion, but Dr. Davidson has taken a different approach. It’s all about wholeness – as a person. Diversity through sharpening one’s lens in order to “see” differences is what can be leveraged in any organization. This was absolutely a new perspective for me.

It’s about bringing out your inner snowflake – the thing that makes you different, whole. It was an eye-opening, not to mention a perspective shifting presentation. Having just started my business, I don’t want to lose the one thing that makes me unique, weird, different from all of the other HR consultants that are out there.

I am NOT your run-of-the-mill consultant. I am not going to tell you what you want to hear. I am not going to subscribe to the status quo. I am going to push my clients to the edge. The edge of what you may ask?

To the edge where a single decision can mean the difference between success and failure as an organization.

To the edge where innovation becomes a reality and not just talk. To the point where your employees will push for success, not settle for mediocrity.

This is what makes me different. This is what I have to offer and before today…I wasn’t sure if I wanted to “put that out there.”

Now? I am doing you all a serious disservice by keeping what makes me different to myself.

Now for the fun part of the day…some of my colleagues and I attended a dueling pianos event at the end of the day. Needless to say, we got to unwind and have some fun. Enjoy the pictures and stay tuned for a recap of tomorrow’s session and the key takeaways!


What do you think? Please feel free to comment and provide your perspective and insights! We get better together!


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