I Met 2 Idols in 1 Day & 11 Other Amazing Moments from SHRM

Hey everyone!
I did it! I am so glad it is over AND I am so glad I did it. It was scary, as you can see from the video I took during set up at 6:30 a.m. Wanting to do something doesn’t mean it isn’t hard. Sometimes it is overcoming that challenge that makes it feel so good when it is done.
I delivered my talk, The Relationship Driven Leader on Tuesday morning and afterward, I got to be an attendee and soak up the expertise offered in abundance. It was an incredible experience speaking at the largest conference I have every been to.
Here are my Top 11 Takeaways…

11. It is great to meet your idols. At the conference, I got to meet two of mine! (Still waiting to meet Derek Hough to round out my top three. Anybody have an in?)
When I was little and people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up my answer was, “Jack Hannah!” Actually — it still is.  I couldn’t believe it when I found out he (and a few furry friends) would be at the SHRM Conference. It was so awesome to meet him in person. I told him that my son watches his shows and he signed a picture for him.

10Amy Cuddy, my other idol, exudes a quiet confidence that compels. She taught us that presence = being attuned to and able to access and express your boldest self.  If you haven’t gotten a chance to listen to her TED Talk, Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are, then now is the time – do it.


99. I have a new idol in Sal Khan. What a powerful mission: a world class education for everyone, for free forever. I immediately came home and “enrolled” my kids in the academy. Check it out HERE.




8. You guys rock! Have I said, “Thank you?” I was so appreciative of the many responses I received to my questions and your answers influenced my presentation.

7. Small gestures have a big impact. I emailed with a woman named Karen about her responses to my questions and asked her to come introduce herself to me. She did, which brought a huge smile to my face and energized me right before I went on. She also presented me with a pair of beautiful handmade earrings! She said she looked at what I wore and made something just for me. WOW! Really, wow! She said she was touched that I took the time to email back. We don’t always realize how the little things have impact. I love the earrings Karen – thank you!7


6.Authentic Leadership must be defined by the person. As a participant in a session I did a great exercise that helped define our authentic leadership style through stories. Here is what I came up with: I lead authentically when…

– I am taking action and  trusting my gut
– Building relationships and connecting from the heart
– Working toward a vision with optimistic reality

5. Popcorn for breakfast works. Don’t judge!

4. Train knows how to cater to their audience. It is a great reminder that we all need to adjust how we do things depending on who we are doing them for. I was impressed with the different approach the band took with the corporate crowd.


3. It is not a bad thing to have a distinctive characteristic. I was in an extremely crowded exhibit hall when I heard a voice from behind me say, “I didn’t know they let cousins in here.” I whirled around to see my first cousin Lisa! Thrilled and surprised I blurted, “How did you spot me with my back to you?” She said, “That hair!”
I have had a love-hate relationship with my curls. Loved them in the 80’s and hated them most other decades. Instead of focusing on the flaws in my frock, I am going to appreciate that it gave me the chance to see family I don’t get to see enough. A second lesson – focus on what works rather than what doesn’t.

2. I have work to do.  I have become comfortable saying that I am good at what I do. That doesn’t mean I can’t get better. Watching other speakers reminds me to keep pushing myself because damn, those speakers were great!

1. I want to do it again! So I came home and applied. If you want something, go after it… you never know!


Were you at #SHRM16? Did you get a chance to listen to my Mega Session?
I would love to hear about your experience and any feedback you have from my talk or any others! Comment to share your takeaways.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *