Do You Have a Minute ??

Do you remember the classic cartoon The Jetsons? I loved watching this show because it was a cool version of what people thought the future would hold. One of my favorite aspects of the cartoon was the video calls that George Jetson would make with his boss Mr. Spacely. The thought that you could make a “phone call” and see the person you were talking to was unthinkable in the past. It was some fantastic idea that you could only see from someone’s imagination.

Little did I know that a video call would become a reality !! This weekend I participated in something I could have never imagined would EVER happen in my lifetime. Let me backtrack for a second . . .

This summer at the SHRM Annual Conference in Chicago I had the opportunity to speak at two mega sessions, and it was incredible for many reasons. One of the many highlights was meeting Usman Abid from Pakistan. He came to one of my sessions and then proceeded to floor me by buying 38 copies of my book HR on Purpose !! for his entire HR team. Now, fast forward back to the present . . .

Usman sent me an email and asked if I had a minute to join him and his team for a Skype call over the weekend. He had taken my book and developed a two-day workshop based on it !! I was astonished to say the least. He came up with hashtags, themes and even shirts with double exclamation points. He also came up with this logo. The whole concept was humbling and overwhelming.

I jumped at the chance to talk to Usman and his HR team. I set up my laptop in my dining room and when the beep, beep, beep of Skype chimed, I answered and was seeing a room full of my peers on the other side of the globe. The. Other. Side. of the Globe !! It was surreal. The video call that I only knew from cartoons was now happening.

It was so fantastic to tell some stories, share some laughs and talk about a people-centric view of HR. The call lasted about fifteen minutes. I didn’t get a question, but someone did notice that I was wearing tie-dye with the #HRTribe hashtag on it. In fact, the folks in Pakistan cheered when I stood up and showed them the shirt. As we were ending our time together, I was overwhelmed with emotion as I thanked the team for the chance to be a part of their workshop through some tears.  Usman and his team said good-bye to me in Urdu which was very cool.

In my wildest dreams, I never thought that one day in my career I’d write a book. A book that would be purchased by a peer and then taken around the world. A book that would be developed into a workshop, and result in a video call between fellow HR practitioners in different global locations and time zones.

One thing to note . . . Usman’s did all of this work BEFORE anyone on his team even received their copy of the book !! They’re going to get their personalized signed copies at the end of the workshop.

I felt compelled to share this story for a couple of reasons. One – it’s amazing and overwhelming. You have no idea how much it humbles me that this has happened. Secondly, I think it’s important to remember that regardless of where we are in the world, we have common bonds as humans and as professionals.

The entire experience encourages me that there remains so much good in this world. As people, we can come together on purpose to lift each other up and do great work. Our humanity is a far greater bond than all of the distractions, anger and negativity that everyone seems to want to dwell on.

This week please remember that it only takes a minute to bring us together. I think we have the time to do that now and going forward !!

Share Stories !!

Do you remember when you when you were young and you’d have story time? I used to love it when my mom would read stories to me, and I loved doing it with my kids as well. I’m also old enough to remember the Bookmobile !! It was this giant converted RV/bus that would come to our town when I grew up in rural Ohio. The bookmobile was a mobile library where you could browse and check out books to read.

People love stories !! In fact, the history of every society throughout time survived by people verbally sharing stories until someone invented writing and paper. Even with this, people wrote stories down with the intent that they would be shared and not just written.

Ironically, it seems that now that we have technology which allows us to communicate instantly and incessantly, we’ve stopped sharing. We haven’t stopped writing or producing content in the least. The truth is that we are surrounded by countless blogs on a daily basis. However, the focus seems to be that people are just writing and posting their own content. Then it stops.

I don’t understand this, and I’ll be honest, I feel that my approach runs contrary to the norm. I think that great content (stories) needs to be shared with others. I love to see the perspectives and viewpoints of other people because I learn from them. My question is – How can others learn from this great content if you’re only willing to share only your own work?

Who’s going to curate all of these great stories and share them? The Bookmobile worked because it brought books directly to people where they lived. We have an opportunity to do the same thing by sharing blogs on social media platforms. We can bring the great stories being produced directly to people around the world with the click of a button. It’s an incredible opportunity to make sure that many people learn on an on-going basis.

Now, I’ve had this discussion with others and I get reasons from them about why they don’t share other’s work.  Some say it’s because their content helps them generate revenue or they have sponsors. I think that’s great, but there’s so much room out here for new content and ideas that you’re not impeding on others or losing sales by sharing the work of other people. You just aren’t.

I’ve also heard that sharing the blogs of other people takes too much time. That seems odd to me because it takes less than 30 seconds to share a blog and far more time to write and produce one. Trust me – if you have time to create, you have time to share.

This week I encourage you to start a new habit. When you hear or read a great story, share it. Don’t just enjoy it and let it sit. Think how much more information could be sent all over the world and get to HR practitioners and business people who could benefit from something you read.

From now on . . . share stories.

Replacement Parts

My Mom is an amazing human in almost every way !! This November she will celebrate her 80th birthday and I’m geeked to see that come along with family and friends. If you met my Mom, you wouldn’t think that she’s roamed this planet for eight decades. She is active, vibrant and a true servant leader in her community.

Just this past week, she had a hip replaced. This wasn’t due to an injury. She just needed some new parts. Her doctor has asked her for months if she was in any pain. My Mom always replied that she was “fine.” Evidently she had arthritis building up and her doctor was concerned that if she fell at some time, her hip would break and it could seriously hurt her. Thankfully, she had the procedure in time.

Seeing her go through this made me think of HR of course. How many systems, programs, policies and procedures have you created that are out dated, stale and stagnate? Do you even know? Chances are the vast majority of all of your human resources efforts need a check up. I’m sure that you are oblivious to how your systems are performing. I know I am. That may be a hard thing to admit, but it’s true. Most HR processes only get dusted off when there’s some “crisis” or policy violation. I know there are times when I ask to buy some time so I can pull up a Word document from some long forgotten file to make sure that I respond correctly.

This is not an effective way to practice HR. There are so many instances when we are reactive because we just don’t have a good reason to utilize our systems on a regular basis. I think it’s time we look at some replacement parts for what we do and how we practice.

I’m not sure what specifically needs to be replaced in your systems, but I’m sure there are ways to make things current and relevant. I’d suggest that you do some of the following steps to see what happens.

Does anyone know it exists? – We all have policies and procedures that were developed years and years ago. If you pull up one of these to review it and it says “As of . . .” and the date is over two years old, you need to see if people even know it exists. Chances are they don’t, and you didn’t either.

Is it relevant? – Our companies go through change on a daily basis (at least). I remember going through an old handbook I had written about the use of pagers. Pagers !! (If you don’t remember these technological miracles, look them up on Wikipedia). At the time, we HAD to have a policy because people spent too much time on them. Sound familiar? It was stupid then and senseless now. These gems are riddled in your documents. Trust me. Find them and get rid of them.

Can you be consistent? – This is the one piece of advice that I hope you use for anything you create in HR. It has to be able to be applied and implemented consistently. If it can’t be, then  keep working on it until it is. My rule of thumb is that any program, system, policy or procedure has to affect the majority of employees and not the exceptions. That runs contrary to how most HR products are created. You can’t be consistent when you’re systems are geared towards exceptions.

Try them out !! – The last piece of advice is based on my Mom’s surgery again. The hip she received is brand new and shiny. However, unless she can walk easily and have mobility and range of motion, it’s just shiny. So, instead of having constant launch parties for your HR efforts, try things out in focus groups or departments. Test them to see how they perform. If they need tweaked, then do that before you release it to the entire organization.

My Mom was up and walking within hours of her surgery. It was amazing to see. She’s walking better than she had been for months. She still had little pain still and I’m thankful for that. She’s going to continue to be amazing. She just needed a tune up. This week, start the tune up you need in HR as well !!

What’s Your Sandwich Board ??

I love when you’re out browsing shops in a town and you see a sandwich board. They are either telling you the specials of the day, or they have a catchy message to try to grab your attention. I have to be honest that I love the ones that are humorous, sarcastic or a bit snarky.

If a sandwich board is creative enough, it will cause you to stop and consider dropping in. You may not have planned to stop at that particular establishment, but the message on the board drew you in.

My wife and I were getting some birthday cupcakes for my son this weekend at Tres Belle Cakes and Coffee Shop. Before we entered the store, the sandwich board made me stop, smile and laugh !! We were heading to the store regardless of the sign because we had a “purpose” before us, but the sign set the mood going in.

When we went in the store I asked about the coffee they had, and we ended up walking out with a few “additional” pastries. I also saw a coffee brand new to me called Death Wish Coffee which both intrigued and concerned me at the same time. I may have to return to at least try this strong brew !!

While I was enjoying my pastry from the store, my mind began to wander and I wondered what my sandwich board says when people meet me both as a person and in my HR role. I also wondered what others see when they interact with HR. If I had to guess, most messages on people’s boards would be more self critical and reserved because most HR pros tend to be conservative and cautious.

Have you asked what others think of HR in your company? I know that many companies do this through surveys, but I’d like to challenge you to gauge how people see you through personal interactions. That is more telling than allowing someone to sit behind a survey to share with little or no context.

I hope that when people encounter me and my team our sandwich board says that we’re approachable, empathetic, understanding, human and . . . fun !! Yes, fun – It’s the “F” word that should define HR regardless of what your company is like. There’s no reason that people shouldn’t read our board based on our behavior and look forward to interacting and working with us.

This week take some time for reflection. If you had to actually post a sandwich board outside your department/office, would it invite people in? If it wouldn’t, what steps would you take to reformat not only your message, but how you practice HR?

I think that all HR pros should establish how they can market themselves with a simple message and attract people so that they want to know us, work with us and enjoy all that HR can be !! Have some fun (from now on) and create your sandwich board !!

Some Assembly Required !!

This past weekend I was helping my son get ready for his senior year at Ohio University by moving some of his big items to his new apartment off campus. I’m a proud OU alum and I’m geeked to see my son enter his final year of college, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for him !!

Moving furniture has drastically changed compared to when I went to college. We would either fill a small U-Haul truck or take several cars in a caravan down the highway. We had two cars for this trip, but everything was in boxes. I mean the furniture was in boxes !! You see we went to IKEA to get a bed and a dresser.

I’m a huge fan of IKEA. How cool is it that you can get furniture that is functional and practical all in boxes? Yes, it takes some time to assemble everything, but it’s worth it. You can get every type of furniture as well from beds to sofas to dressers to shelves. One of the very unique aspects of buying furniture from IKEA is the instructions that come with the piece.

The instructions only include pictures. There are no words. None. It’s very strange because if you’ve ever assembled anything else, they seem to be covered with more words than pictures. Also, there are tons of parts involved to make even the most simple box !! As I was assembling the furniture along with my son, I couldn’t help think how these instructions correlate very much with HR.

Some assembly required – We never have a “typical” day in HR despite our best efforts to follow a set pattern or schedule. Distractions are really our norm which causes us to alter our days.

We all need direction – This is more true than we care to admit. We tend to think in terms that leaders and managers direct people. That may be the case, but employees at all levels need directions !! In the IKEA instructions they break it down as to even which way something should be turned in order for the piece to be tightened. The key is that the directions are simplified and given step by step. This is something we should emulate !!

Every step is necessary – Too often in today’s business climate, expediency is valued much more than being thorough. It’s assumed that being thorough will slow down things to a screeching halt. This just isn’t the case. When you’re working with people, you need to make sure that you take time with them and not just rush to the next item that grabs your attention.

HR is heavy !! – Have you ever lifted a box from IKEA? They are crazy heavy when you take on the whole piece and it’s unassembled. You even can get discouraged because when you experience the weight you can’t imagine the final product will every come together. Practicing HR is like this as well. We can get swallowed by the weight of what we do. However, we need to be encouraged and realize that the work that we put in will bring forth a great, completed solution.

You need tools – You can’t assemble any piece of IKEA furniture with instructions alone. You need tools. It’s a solid reminder for HR pros as well. We need to develop and equip others, not just list instructions. When people have context, they know what to do and they can perform even better. Spend more time equipping others !!

The project came together after a mere five hours. We ended up with a great bed and a dresser !! Every item was used and ended up in it’s rightful place. His apartment is going to be great.

This week step back and look at how you’re practicing HR and make sure that you give instructions that are simple, equip others with tools and take the time and patience it needs to “assemble” the people you work beside !!

 

Wonderful, Always

This past week I woke up earlier than normal because I need to do some last minute shopping and prep for a day of development for our managers. As most people tend to do, I had a list in my head of what I needed to purchase. I wanted to get into the store and avoid contact if possible so I could “get things done.”

As I was hurriedly walking to the aisle for the supplies I was seeking, a cashier caught my eyes and greeted me. “How’s your morning going so far?”

“Great !!” I replied. “How about yours?”

She said, “Wonderful, always !!”

I stopped walking. I was struck by her response. This was not your normal greeting. I smiled and made a note to remember her reply. I gathered my supplies and couldn’t wait to get to her checkout aisle. I just had to talk to her more. As I checked out, we chatted for a few minutes about the day ahead and how it was sure to be great. I thanked her and I went off to set-up my meeting . . . but my attitude had completely shifted.

Did I mention that this interaction happened at Wal-Mart at 7:00am in the morning? Yes, Wal-Mart. There was something else that occurred as I was shopping. Every employee warmly greeted each other. Every. One. And, they didn’t do they typical “drive-by” greeting with the obligatory non-engaged response of “I’m fine” or “I’m good.” It was so refreshing to see and experience !!

Let’s put things into context. The employees I was observing worked in a retail environment that gets more criticism than other retail outlets. People judge folks who shop at Wal-Mart and make offhanded, look down your nose remarks about them. However, the employees seemed more authentic and engaged than most employees I’ve seen in any workplace !!

Now, I understand that all of us have “life” going on in varying degrees of challenges and/or success. That won’t change because life moves in waves. I wish we were always on the crest of those waves, but there will always be the inevitable troughs that come as well.

I admire Carol (that is the Wal-Mart cashier I met) because regardless of what is happening in her life, she chooses to genuinely see things as “wonderful, always !!” I love that a front-line team member is positively authentic. It’s a posture that I try to take and would love to see be the truth of anyone who works in Human Resources.

This isn’t about being naive or utopian in your approach to the day. It’s proven that if you start your day, and then continue through it, with a positive mindset that most of your interactions will go well. This is true even during the most emotional and/or dark circumstances you encounter during your day.

This week be intentional and determine that you will start each day positively. Don’t just make this a resolution. Work on making it your norm.

You have to trust me that when you do this things will improve. Your work will become manageable regardless of the obstacles that will occur. When you are out with your employees, you’ll brighten their day first before they have a chance to dump another load of crud at your feet. When you’re consistently positive on purpose, you eventually shape the culture of your company and the relationships you have with others.

I hope that from now on you’re  wonderful . . . always !!

Be Upfront !!

Have you ever had to buy anything? Of course you have. It’s interesting that the process of the sale often determines whether you make a purchase or not. A great connection and interaction may land a sale, and the opposite experience will most assuredly stop it.

Over my career, I’ve had various experiences in working with vendors. I’m sure that vendors will say the same thing. We all utilize vendors in business. We wouldn’t be able to be successful on our own. I’m thankful for the people who I currently work with because their products and services add value to our company and our employees.

Recently, I’ve noticed some rather disturbing trends when it comes to the HR/vendor connection.

I’m a HUGE proponent of Linked In !! I think it’s an incredible forum to reach out and connect with people around the globe. My network includes tons of HR pros, resource partners, students, people in transition and other business professionals.

Now, more than ever, vendors are using Linked In to reach out and connect for a potential introduction and sale. This method has replaced phone calls or in person visits, and I understand that. Everything is done through technology. This isn’t the concern. The concern I have is that if I choose to connect with you on Linked In, then that assumes I instantly will consider and buy your product, platform or service. That’s a pretty big jump if you ask me !!

Along with this movement on Linked In, there’s been another effort that is equally as disturbing. We all still get far too many emails every day. Interspersed between ones that are directly work related are subscriptions to blogs, various newsletter updates and information from vendors. The disturbing difference from many potential vendors is that the emails get more and more aggressive if you choose not to respond. On top of this, I’ve also had people use language to shame me asking why I’ve missed an opportunity that is sure to improve my situation.

One person even wrote me an email with the subject line “Concern” listed. As an HR practitioner, I thought it was a possible employee issue or something with a guest. The email was from a vendor who wanted to express his “concern that I hadn’t responded yet.” I responded. It wasn’t pleasant. He apologized and stated he didn’t realize that his tone would have raised any alarms.

This has to change. We rely on each other, and we can interact positively, but we need to retain the approaches that work.

First, be upfront and honest with each other. It seems simple enough, but it isn’t happening. I understand that you are tasked with landing a sale. What I’d like you to understand is that I want to have systems that help my company and my employees on an on-going basis. This means that not everything that is being offered will be a match. It doesn’t mean that your product is poor. It just may not fit.

Second, allow me to say “No.” Again, it seems simple. It just isn’t happening. Don’t think that if I turn down your service that it’s not successful. I would encourage you to develop a networking connection and relationship regardless if a sale occurs.

Finally, build on that relationship. What vendors fail to understand is that the HR community is very close and tight knit. We know each other and reach out to discuss practices and services. So, that connection you make with one HR person may lead to a sale in a company you never considered.

I realize that not all HR people are open to meeting vendors for the sake of meeting them. There are those of us who are willing to meet. But, please note that I want to meet you as a person as well as learn what you do. You may have something that could benefit a peer I know. Many of my closest friendships are with vendors that aren’t working directly with me or my company.

I’d love to see the HR/vendor connection improve. Let’s stop all of the “throw paint against the wall” methods. Reach out to me as a person. It’s always worked, and it still will. Keep it simple and be upfront.

Leave the Cupboard !!

This weekend I’ve been binging Harry Potter movies . . . once again. It’s hard for me to turn away when they come on. This weekend the SyFy channel picked them up and it’s been great !!

If you’re not familiar with the stories, Harry originally stayed with his aunt and uncle who didn’t want him there. In fact, he live in a “cupboard under the stairs.” They didn’t like him being in their house and they didn’t like that he was “different.” When he was young, he was at his relative’s bidding and wasn’t able to get out. After Harry finds out he’s a young wizard, the series takes off and he is no longer held captive.

This information is readily available in the books, the movies, online and fan clubs I’m sure. I know this is rather nerdy, and I’m good with that. You see, I also tend to see HR applications in almost everything.

For far too long HR has remained in the cupboard under the stairs organizationally. We continue to practice as a fringe support function that is accessed when, and only if, needed. It leads to a lonely, frustrating existence. And yet, we do little to push against the way we’re treated. It’s as if we’re being held back just like Harry because what we offer our companies is seen as different.

I love that my peers are empathetic, caring people towards others in the company. By stepping out and leaving our normal surroundings, we don’t forsake this. It’s an attribute that should define us as humans overall and especially within the workplace. It shouldn’t, however, mean that we cower in the shadows only to step out at certain times. We are overdue in standing up, being confident and being seen, heard and valued.

I understand that this can be a daunting undertaking for most. It can be so challenging that it may force people to stay in place because that is more comfortable. There is an easy step that you can take which will start to broaden your perspective and give you the courage to move forward.

When you ask people what consumes the majority of their time during the day, they’d immediately respond “their work.” This isn’t really the case. Our reality is that our days are consumed with people. Conversations with people. Interactions with people. Issues with people. And so on . . .

So, the first step is something that I make sure to practice every day. Leave your desk and be out among others. It seems so simple, but very few willingly do it. We tend to talk to others in our company using our HR face and HR voice. I mean that we feel we “have” to talk to others in order to get some transaction completed. I understand that we have deadlines, tasks and administration that needs to be current. It shouldn’t be the main reason we meet with others. The main reason for interaction is . . . because they showed up !!

Your days will be so much more fulfilling when your out among others. You’ll learn more about the conversations that are happening, the feelings that are being shared and also the pulse of the organization. You cannot do this behind your desk or computer screen. It’s not possible !!

This week, step away from whatever’s holding you back from having intentional and meaningful encounters with other people. I encourage you not only to do this with co-workers, but HR peers as well. Don’t stay under the stairs. You have too much to offer your organization and your profession !!

Allow Grace

Have you ever made a mistake at work? Have you ever talked poorly about someone else you work with, or that you know, without that person knowing about it? Have you ever disappointed someone else because you didn’t follow through on what you said you’d do? Have you ever said something that you thought was harmless, but it hurt someone deeply?

The answer for me is a resounding “Yes” to all of the questions listed above. I’m not proud of that, but it’s a reality. I’m human. I’m sure to fall and fail others. Hopefully that’s not intentional, but it could be. I could have filled this entire post with more questions which feature how people fall short of positive and/or ideal behavior.

The challenge in today’s workplace, and in society overall, is that when we fail each other that there is no room for grace. We demand an instant response along with a staunch stance to be taken that has little room for a right/wrong position. We usually want others to hear our opinion and then we make arguments for others to come to our side. In the midst of this type of reaction, we completely run over our humanity.

Now, please understand that I’m talking about when someone makes a mistake and is insensitive or thoughtless about others and their feelings and/or diverse viewpoint. I’m not talking about overt actions and/or poor behavior. That is at a much deeper, and more concerning, level. Poor behavior should always be addressed. Even then though, I would offer that you can allow grace when entering into these difficult situations.

As HR professionals, we are daily in the midst of people. (At least I hope you are !!) People are messy and will fail each other. It’s unavoidable. When it occurs we have a choice. We can either rely on a system of unrealistic policies and procedures as a list of do’s/don’ts as our response, or we can be humans ourselves.

I would recommend that you try a new approach and allow grace to occur.

This may be foreign to you, and I can almost guarantee that it’s foreign to how employees have been approached in the past. We don’t feel that we have the latitude in our roles to show grace to others when they mess up. I just don’t think it’s true. We have more latitude and ownership in how we approach others because it’s our own personal style.

I know that when others have shown me grace when I’ve stumbled, I’ve been thankful. It allowed both of us to breathe, calm down and look at the situation in a fresh and open way. More often than not, it led to a productive outcome and a stronger relationship. Trust me when I say that allowing grace in our interactions with others will be positive most of the time.

This week buck the trend of others who tend to be reactive and destructive when people fail them. Instead of talking ABOUT others, talk TO them with an attitude of grace first so that you seek to understand them, the situation they’re facing and how to potentially move forward. If you try this, I think you’ll see the people aren’t as bad as you think. Also, it will make HR, and your life, more balanced and fulfilled. It works.

You Never Know

I’m still recovering from SHRM18. There were so many memorable experiences that it’s hard to capture them all. I had the chance to see old friends, meet some folks who’ve I’ve only known through social media and also meet a ton of new people. If you haven’t gathered my focus yet, the SHRM Annual Conference, and any HR event for that matter, is about the people.

I was in a very unique position this year in that I spoke at two Mega Sessions during the conference. They’re called “mega” because the room you are in is usually vast. I mean it. Vast !! I scoped out the room for my first presentation the day before people arrived for the conference and it took my breath away. No one was even in the room yet. As the time arrived for me to speak, the room filled up. The entire room and there were folks outside the hall in an overflow section. I was geeked by the turnout and a bit anxious to be honest.

I don’t normally like to talk about when I present because I consider it an honor any time I get an opportunity to do it. There’s no greater thrill than to speak to my peers. That’s a fact.

After the first presentation, I was overwhelmed by the response. I couldn’t leave the room for many minutes. I was floored by the people who came up for a hug and some reassurance. There were many laughs and tears shared. I was surprised by how many people stated that they were considering leaving HR, but they were reinvigorated and said they’d stay in the field after I spoke. That is humbling beyond measure. You have no idea.

You never know how you’ll be received if you have the opportunity to speak at an event. I never take it for granted. I heard several people say they just were glad to hear something positive for a change about the work they did. It seems so simple, but it is unfortunately missing in our profession. Instead of lifting each other up, we spend more time criticizing and tearing down our circumstances and the people we work with. It still floors me that there are so many HR peers who spend so much time being discouraged.

The second day was even more overwhelming than the first. I spoke after the final keynote and it’s when many attendees head home. The next room was overflowing once again. It was hard to hold back tears just looking out over the crowd. Once I was finished, I had to do my best to get back to the SHRM Store to do the other surreal thing I get to do now – sign books. However, I needed to make sure to get back. As I was leaving, the most amazing encounter happened.

A young man asked to talk with me and he saw I was in a rush. He introduced himself as Usman from Pakistan and he just wanted a few moments of my time. I asked him to walk with me, and he was kind enough to oblige. He told me how exciting it was to hear about having HR be people-centric, and it’s something he wanted to see happen where he worked. He told me he was going to buy copies of my book for his entire staff. I was crushed by this. Others had done this (also amazing), but he was going to buy 38 copies and take them home to Pakistan from Chicago !!

He was kind enough to stand in line with others and I asked him to wait to be the last person because of so many purchases. He agreed and then he called a member of his team in Pakistan to get the names of his staff. She worked to get the names and asked for ten minutes to get him the names. It was 11:00pm at night where she was !! She sent a list and I sat with Usman and personalized each book.

Then . . .

We ran out of names and he had six copies remaining. He said that one was for him and the other five were for people that he was planning to hire in the future. They weren’t even on his team yet. He said that he wanted them to have the same positive message to work from as the people they would be joining.

You see, you never know . . .

This week make sure you encourage the people who come into your life at work, at home, at school or out in public. They long to be like the people I met. They want someone to believe in them and they want to belong. You can make that happen. You may be the one connection that makes a difference.

You never know !!