My first leadership experience was managing a team of fellow teens, picking melons and tomatoes on my family farm. Here’s a picture of me at the very beginning of my career (age 5 or 6), impressing the boss and working my way up to team leader.
Fast forward… in my corporate career I started out as a computer programmer. Computers were so new in the workplace in the Eighties. I really liked helping people feel confident as quickly as possible when they were worried about looking stupid or breaking the machine.
I love helping people at work to get along better, enjoy their work more, develop, succeed and thrive. I decided the best place to help people this way was to go into Human Resources. Getting my Master’s in HR helped me change direction, and now I was in a better position to be in-the-know about how things really work in an organization.
Even before I got my first HR assignment I found people came to me for help with improving their chances of getting promoted, discussing their performance appraisals, posting for new assignments, and maneuvering office politics and difficult conversations. I rounded off my 20-year corporate career as an HR Manager serving a constituency of over 550 employees. I keep up with my former cohorts, and of course, my clients help me keep my coaching and training grounded in the reality of the workplace.
I’m all about empowerment and encouragement. I even go so far as to call myself a Chief Encouragement Officer. You can be one too. This means:
You hold a positive vision for what human beings are capable of, for yourself and for others. You have an unconditional commitment to see what others do well. Just as important, you are committed to telling them. You also apply this to yourself.