Seth McColley Headline Animator

Thursday, June 28, 2012

OFF TOPIC - I'm creating the mother of all playlists. Any suggestions?

It's 1135 miles to Orlando. I've got my vacation request approved, nine days worth of clothes, a truck filled with dance stuff, in-laws and I'm wearing sunglasses. 

Hit it.

So I'm taking some time off and making a little road trip. Unlike Jake and Elwood Blues (check out the clip below) though, my trip is a wee bit longer than 106 miles. I'm heading to Orlando for my daughter's dance competition. And yes, my wife volunteered me to drive the truck loaded with stage props. And yes, my in-laws are riding with me. In the U-Haul. On the bench seat.

Let me be clear, I love my in-laws dearly. We get along great today and I fully expect that statement to hold true when we roll into Bonnet Creek. But I'm gonna need a freaking awesome playlist to get me through this trip. I'm open to suggestions, so hit me in the comments and let me know your thoughts.

Here's the short list I've already come up with..

- "Momma Said Knock You Out" by LL Cool J
- "I Can't Drive 55" - Sammy Hagar
- "On the Road Again" by Willie Nelson
- "The Road Goes on Forever" by Robert Earl Keen (one of my personal favorites) 


 (Hat tip to Barbara Milhizer for planting this blog post idea in my mind)

Sunday, June 24, 2012

SHRM12 - For those about to rock, I salute you!

(For all you HR pros and HCM vendors out there sweating your socks off in Atlanta this week, this one's for you!) 

For a multitude of reasons (most of them legitimate), I did not make the trip to the SHRM Annual Conference and Exposition this year. So I'll just have to live vicariously through the likes of Steve Browne, Ben Eubanks, Charlie Judy, Jason Lauritsen, the Fistful of Talent crew, The Starr Conspiracy and many others. I'll be dialed into the #SHRM12 hashtag most of the week, keeping up with the action on the Twitter back channel.
To be truthful, I've never attended a SHRM Annual Conference and Exposition.

(pause for effect)

You read that right. I've been an HR pro for more than 15 years now and I've never attended a national SHRM conference. About now, I'm hoping the HRCI isn't going to come track me down and make me forfeit my SPHR certification. Quite frankly, I've never really wanted to attend the national SHRM conference. I've been a dues-paying, card-carrying SHRM member for the better part of my HR career, but I never felt the urge to attend the conference. Maybe it was the size (did I hear 15,000 are expected to attend?). Maybe it was the timing (early summer typically). I don't know, but I've never felt compelled to make the pilgrimage. Until now...

Over the last year, as I've become more active on Twitter, attended smaller HR conferences like TLNT's Transform, and started blogging myself, I feel more "connected" to my HR brothers and sisters more than ever. I can now appreciate the value in spending several days immersed in the profession, sharing thoughts and ideas with HR pros from all over the country, making new connections and hanging out with old friends. I've never felt as in touch with the collective HR community as I do now. So next year's annual conference is in Chicago, one of my favorite cities. I've got it marked on my calendar with every intention on attending.

For those of you about to rock at SHRM 2012, I salute you! Now nothing says HR, talent management, sweat, humidity and throngs of people quite like AC/DC. Enjoy the video. I have to believe that conference hall must have looked something like this when Dr. Condoleezza Rice took the stage today.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Motivational Message - Strength through adversity

"This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
from this day until the ending of the world,
but we in it shall be remembered; 
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day who sheds his blood with me 
shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile, 
this day shall gentle his condition:
And gentlemen in England now a-bed 
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whilst any speaks
That fought with us upon St. Crispin's day."
- Henry V addressing his troops (from Shakespeare's Henry V)

I am captivated by history. I wouldn't go so far as to say that I'm a history buff, since that would imply that I know my history well and that I actually paid attention in all of those history classes in school. I don't and I didn't. In fact, one of my biggest regrets from my years in school is that I didn't pay closer attention and that I didn't take more history courses when given the opportunity. Now I feel like I'm catching up. But I digress...

One of my favorite historical topics is World War II. Specifically, I'm drawn to D-Day and the battles that were fought in Europe. This week (June 6th) marks the 68th anniversary of D-Day so I thought it was only fitting to extract a leadership lesson from this event and make it make sense in our world today.

In 2001, an amazing TV series was made entitled, Band of Brothers. It was a ten-part series that tells the story of Easy Company (2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment assigned to the 101st Airborne Division of the United States Army) from the beginning (Camp Toccoa, GA) to Hitler's Eagle's Nest in Germany. The TV series was created based on the book, Band of Brothers, written by Stephen Ambrose.

Allow me to introduce you to Captain Herbert Sobel. He was tasked with training Easy Company in the states, before they shipped off to Europe. Here's a clip from Part 1 (of the ten-part series)...

If you've seen the movie, read the book and listened to the interviews, Captain Sobel was, by most accounts, a prick. But here's the rub, Easy Company would not have been the Easy Company we know today had it not been for Captain Sobel. As much as those men hated and disrespected him, as their leader, many of them went on to say that he was an integral part of their journey together. 

I'm sure that we can all think of leaders and managers that we've worked with and worked for who were flat out ogres. I know that I can. Thankfully, I can't think of too many, but I can certainly rattle off a few on one hand. You know what though? As tough as those times were and as frustrated as I was, I wouldn't trade those experiences for anything. I feel that I'm a better HR pro, manager, leader and employee for it.

Strength through adversity. What you're going through today may really suck. But one of these days you're going to be on the other side of the mess you're in now and be thankful for it. As for Captain Sobel, if he's partially responsible for what Easy Company became and the ass that they kicked over in Europe, then I'm thankful for him.