November 10 is the 239th birthday of the United States Marine Corps.

So what, you ask?

First of all, just think about that. Two hundred and thirty nine years of excellence and stellar results. Talk about sustainability!

I doubt that there is an individual who doesn’t think “Wow” when they hear or see a U.S. Marine. The Corps’ reputation of being our elite fighting force is enough to strike fear into our enemies and trust into our citizens. How can an organization sustain that kind of excellence for 239 years?

Listen to the newly promoted Commandant of the Marine Corps, in his birthday address to his Marines – you’ll hear a bit about what makes a Marine a Marine.

Here’s my “so what.” We, the business community, can take lessons from the Marine Corps. This isn’t a new concept; over the past 15 years several authors have followed Marines to try to understand their success, and published their findings. And it’s great information. Continue reading

Please Don’t Take Me For Granted

Never take other people for granted. There is a point of no return in all relationships.”

trust_fall_distraction_400_clr_13592I love this statement by syndicated columnist Thomas Sowell. What a wonderful reminder of how quickly everything can disappear. Our safety. Our family. Our country. Our trust.

I think about taking things for granted sometimes when driving over a rickety bridge or walking down a street crowded with cars. I trust that the engineers who built and inspected the bridge did their job well. I trust that the cars speeding along the street see me walking and aren’t going to sneeze and veer into me at the exact moment of passing. Continue reading

HR Strategy? No, People Strategy

What’s the difference? I’m so glad you asked!

bar_graph_conference_400_clr_5943I don’t think that there is anyone in the profession of Human Resources who doesn’t yearn to be “strategic” but what does that really mean? Are we strategic because we sit on the Executive Team? Are we strategic because we are invited to the party in important business planning, like acquisitions, organizational change, or new ventures? Are we strategic because we have the ear of operational leaders?

You can probably answer yes to each of those questions, but more importantly, to all of those questions. Those are activities though. I suggest that we become strategic when we impact the organization’s bottom line. Continue reading