How did you get your start in HR?
My career in HR started as a business operations leader. My ability to connect to employees at all levels of the company is what drew a Human Resources leader to ask me about moving into HR. My first role was in change management, creating and teaching process & behavior change and influencing leaders to better manage employees to achieve business results. This role created an opportunity for me to move into the HR Business Partner team as a regional leader managing other HR professionals. Over the years, I learned all aspects of the HR function and how to conduct myself with authentic leadership to grow and develop those that I interact with.
What does your role as an Executive Counselor involve? What drew you to it?
As a former client of McLean & Company, I experienced firsthand the value that the tools, process, research, and data we provide that develops the individuals on an HR team with a focus on impact to the organization. During my career, I am most proud of being able to transfer my learning experience to others, watching them grow their careers and skills. I feel a real sense of achievement and accomplishment. I believe that with my experience and what McLean has to offer, we will help HR professionals grow as valuable and contributing members of the organizations they support, creating success for continued growth.
What do you do to take care of yourself?
My free time is spent relaxing at home with my dogs and wife. To stay energized and keep my youth, having any of our nine grandchildren over is always refreshing and completely takes my mind off anything that may be stressful. My wife and I enjoy traveling the world, learning about other cultures. I also enjoy a great classic car show!
What advice do you have for someone starting out as an HR leader?
In my experience, there are three critical skills to have when being in any leadership role, and especially necessary when you are working in Human Resources:
- Understand the business so that you can truly help managers and employees as they work together. To have credibility when applying policy or critical talent practices, you must understand how the business operates and what is expected of any issue you are working to resolve. I consider myself fortunate to have been on the business side prior to becoming an HR professional as it helped me when I needed to influence others.
- Build relationships. This is one area that will be most useful as an HR professional. When you are able to create trust and respect through interacting with others, showing humility, and listening, you will gain credibility. Authenticity is critical. Seek to understand to be understood. This requires actively listening, paraphrasing responses, and coming to common ground on whatever topic you are discussing. You are a collaborative partner, not the final answer to issues.
- The role of an HR professional requires that you serve as a curator of culture. HR executives are the conscience of the company, requiring the ability to influence others collaboratively while building relationships and credibility with leaders. Surfacing facts, asking questions, and proposing solutions that align with the organization’s values are core to HR leadership and model the desired behaviors that lead to the desired culture.