What is a Servant Leader?

I was invited by my pastor to participate in a Bible.com Study last week on Servant Leadership called “Kingdom Leadership in Your Workplace,” and I LOVED seeing this perspective.  Whatever your particular faith or beliefs, I believe we can all agree if we are focusing on being better leaders, and in my case, being a servant leader, the quote below will resonate.

In the study, this quote stood out to me:

“Servant leaders value the development of people around them; they build their communities, act authentically, and share power.” [Oxford comma added by me because that’s the right thing to do.]

When we think about our behavior in our organizations, are we showing up in this way?

Value the development of people around you:  Are you focusing your resources and efforts for professional development on yourself, or are you sharing with your team?  Do you support professional growth and development, or are you secretly intimidated by the growth of one or more of your team members?  Examine yourself and share the wealth.

Build your community:  Are you building your team?  How are you supporting your organization?  Do you give back?  Are you a member of your state or local chapter?  Twitter chats?  LinkedIn posts?  There are tons of volunteer leadership positions available through online, local, state, and national professional association chapters – SHRM and otherwise.  I’m in HR, so I became a volunteer leader on the board of my local SHRM chapter, GCHRA.  I’m also now a co-moderator of #JobHuntChat where I help facilitate the conversation between those “in search” and those helping those “in search.”

Act authentically:  Are you being your true authentic self?  If not, what is holding you back?  Is it safe to be authentic in your workplace?  Do you make it safe for others?  If not, what is holding you back?  Are you behaving as the leader you always wanted?  What can you do tomorrow that will bring you closer to bringing your authentic self to situations?

Share power:  We are entrusted with our teams for a reason.  It is our esteemed privilege to serve our teams and our people.  We do them a great disservice by not empowering them to one day lead their own teams.  Empower your people.  Share information.  Communicate often.  Do not be an information miser.  Foster a culture of accountability within your team to empower them.

Are you a servant leader?

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PSA: Participate in #JobHuntChat

Are you participating in the Twitter chat #JobHuntChat?  It will take an hour out of your day, and you will get to:

  1. Help others
  2. Learn something new
  3. Meet new people

These all sound great, right?  I have been participating for a while, and I’ve very recently tried my hand at moderating and lived to tell the tale.  It took a minute to get used to which handle I was using.  I was among friends, and it wasn’t life or death, so it all worked out.  It wasn’t about me anyway – I was there to facilitate the conversation.

The #JobHuntChat met this evening at 9pm EST (8pm CT/7pm MT/6pm PT), and it meets every Monday at that time.  The format is similar to other Twitter chats:  Q1, Q2, Q3, etc.  There are #jobseekers, #jobhelpers, and #HRPros ready and willing to help in any way they can.

It is guaranteed to be a good time, and I hope to see you there!

Greetings from the Beach!

Just a friendly reminder of the importance of family and spending intentional time with those we love.

Yes, I’m still #insearch, but this vacation was pre-planned, and my family is the most important medicine to my mended heart after my position was eliminated, and I was “promoted to client.” 😉

So I sit on the balcony, listening to the ocean, counting my blessings as I watch my daughter sneak Fritos instead of eating her sandwich and my son contemplate life in his captain’s chair, I am completely at peace and ready for the next chapter.

At least for the moment, I’m going with the flow, not worrying about things I can’t control, and living in the moment.

Happy Thursday, friends. Enjoy every minute!

Believe in Yourself #GuestPost – My Dailey Journey

This week, I was fortunate to be a guest on Wendy Dailey’s blog!  I was an early guest on the HR Social Hour podcast.  Jon & Wendy started this podcast a few months ago, and it is well worth the listen if you aren’t already subscribed.  Wendy and I met on Twitter several years ago, but we have not yet met in person.  We are putting plans in motion to remedy that.  Please click the link to view the post and check out Wendy’s other content on her blog!  Believe in Yourself #GuestPost – My Dailey Journey

Where is Your Focus?

The picture above was taken for a contest with BarkBox for our monthly subscription.  As you can see, Maximus is laser-focused on anything he deems to be resembling food or a squeaky toy.  Food/toys give Maximus instant gratification.  There is no obstacle that he won’t try to tackle if there is food or a toy on the other side.  As a 10 lb, short-legged pup, that’s not always easy, but he makes it happen.

So, I ask you:

Where is Your Focus?

Your focus determines your efforts and your attitude.  Are you focusing on the things you can’t control or impact?

We all have the same 24 hours in a day.  Those that are productive, positive, and are intentional in their focus will make the most of that time.  Those that choose to be bystanders in their life will not.

Spending time worrying about things we can’t control is a complete waste of time.  If you are doing that as an employee, you are wasting your employer’s resources – YOU.  No one wants to waste the company’s resources, right?  Right.

Mistakes Distract Us:

If you made a mistake at work, focus on making amends, and move forward.  Do not dwell on something you can’t change.  Put that effort into restoring trust, repairing relationships, improving processes, etc.

Changes Distract Us:

I was speaking with someone earlier this week about changes going on at work.  She has been through some ownership changes, and her role has changed as a result.

“I can’t believe how much things have changed in such a short period of time.  I don’t see a future there anymore, and I thought I was going to retire from there.”

My friend allowed herself to grieve the disappointment, and then she moved forward, focusing on her time on where she could make an impact with her team and her internal customers while looking for another job.  I have no doubt whatsoever that she will land on her feet, and she is being smart while she deals with her emotions surrounding her disappointment.

Drama Distracts Us:

Don’t allow your focus to be altered by drama.  If you find yourself getting sucked in, start asking yourself questions to access the other part of your brain and make sure you have your story straight.  Remember that you are not a victim of your emotions.  The only person that can control you is you.  Don’t get emotionally highjacked.

Focus.

 

 

Yes, You Must Read the Posting First…

As you may have previously read, we are on the job seeker journey together.  I promised to share some helpful tips, and here is my first one.

Help me help you.  The number one rule, when applying via an ATS is to READ THE DESCRIPTION before applying.  Seriously.  Then, UPDATE YOUR RESUME.

If you have two screens like me, keep your resume on one screen and the posting on the other.  If not, snap one window to the right side and use the split-screen.  First, however, save a copy of your resume.  If you use OneDrive, it has a super fun feature where it will automatically save your progress, i.e., save over your original version.  I only had to do this once to do a Save-As the next time.

Okay, back to the magic.  With your new resume WIP on one side, and the desired job posting on the other, pay attention to the prioritized responsibilities and skills required.  Look at your resume, and move up and/or expand on those skills that seem to be of highest importance in the posting.  Also, pay attention to the wording and change yours to match.  If your resume states “Recruitment” vs the posting stating “Talent Acquisition,” you’re not going to match.  Make sense?

Why does this matter?

There are a few reasons.  The number one reason:  there may not be an actual human being screening your resume first.  You have to get past the scan before you have any hopes of dazzling that hiring manager with your sparkling personality and engaging storytelling, right?

Trust me, seeker to seeker and HR pro to seeker, it makes a difference.

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It’s Okay to Ask for Help

Being in HR for nearly 15 years, I can tell you that I know my strengths and my weaknesses.

Patience is not one of my virtues.  However, it is vitally important when you are unemployed.  In my prior role, I had a rule with my team that when we had an applicant, we responded to them within 24 hours – even if all we were saying was “I don’t have an answer, yet.  I will get back to you.”  When someone is unemployed or currently employed and contemplating making a change, every hour counts to them.  We didn’t always meet 24 hours – sometimes it was 48 hours or the next business day, and we took advantage of every automation possible to help us be more efficient.  A good ATS should help you communicate more effectively with your candidates – not hinder it.  That’s a post for another day, though.

Asking for help is another struggle for me.  When you have a servant leader mentality, you want to help others – not yourself.  My blog is HR Without Ego because I don’t ask for praise or thanks.  I take satisfaction from helping others and knowing I made an impact.  In the current state of the job market, however, I have learned that it’s okay to not only ask for help but to accept it.  I have always built my network based on a pay it forward mentality, and I was very uncomfortable asking anyone to reciprocate.  However, that changed thanks to coffee one morning with John Rhoads who I met at the HR Roundtable moderated by the fantastic Steve Browne.

John is a life coach, and trust me, when you think you’re going to retire from your current company, the harsh reality that you’re not is hard to take.  He was the first person that I had spoken the words “my last day is next Friday” to at the Roundtable that morning, and I nearly cried saying it.  I’m sure I looked like it because he looked at me and said:

“It’s going to be okay.  You’re going to be okay.”

I was nervous to meet him for coffee that morning for a multitude of reasons.  First, I was embarrassed that I had lost my job.  Second, I didn’t want to ask anyone for help.  I was in HR, after all, I do this for a living.  Shouldn’t I know how this works?  Third, I was facing unemployment, so if he was selling something, I wasn’t buying.

I survived the meeting, nerves and all, and I was so glad that I had not talked myself out of going.  John had just posted this video that morning, the importance of owning our story.  He reminded me that it’s okay to ask for help, and that I’m most valuable helping my next organization, so I need to focus my efforts, own my story, and in the meantime, I will blog about the journey of being “in search” (where did that name come from?) and hopefully help others that are in a similar circumstance.