Category: Accountability

Always Lead HR with Patience and Kindness: Tara

Always Lead HR with Patience and Kindness: Tara

In this True Stories at Work episode, you get to meet Tara, who started her career as a behavioral specialist and found the skills and knowledge transferred nicely into HR. She worked in many industries (financial, tech, and higher ed) and understands that “the work that we do in HR is ultimately about people. The industries are definitely different. The types of people that work in them are different. But, overall there’s a similar thread to humanity.”

We connect around the virtue of patience, except in disciplinary situations “We would go through a corrective action process and it would be first, final written warning, second final written warning, and third final written warning. And I would have managers say, what does the word “final mean if you’re going this far?”

Tara’s early career aspirations were to be an archeologist. However, uncovering a revealing photo of an employee was not a treasure she was seeking when he was terminated after his 3rd “final” warning. “It confirmed was they knew this was coming… but it will indelibly be in my mind.”

We discuss entitlement, and how it shows up in unusual ways across senior leadership “You know, sometimes people aren’t grateful and sometimes people don’t act so well… use their, their trash cans as toilets”.

Tara understands that demonstrating kindness is the most important aspect of her legacy, even in challenging employment situations. After a company closure, she reflects on feedback she received from an impacted employee “If that is the legacy of my career, if that I handled something where somebody came away from a very negative experience and felt that there was kindness in that experience, then you know, then I’ve accomplished everything I need to accomplish.”

We wrap up curious about why “HR people on TV tend to be represented as dull when we actually are amazing, have a lot of fun doing what we’re doing while ensuring that there’s heart in our work?” There are no answers to why our smart, talented peers are projected in media as Catbert (Dilbert’s evil director of human resources) and Cody (the buzzkill in The Office).

In the end, you’ll hear the final workplace confession from my BFF. This one is a childish prank, gone, terribly wrong. A puddle splashing that got her banned from the work site.

This episode is sponsored by Physics at Work: If you’re looking for ways to create momentum and boost performance to achieve your organization’s goals faster…. Physics at Work can help you to define and refine your people strategy. Just reach out to me at or connect on LinkedIn. Because the same laws of physics that drive our universe also drive your workforce.

Stories are what we remember and how we connect, so please share yours with me.

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Tara’s background as a Behavior Specialist helped her as we work to stabilize our workforce: It’s a New Era for Mental Health at Work (

Simon Sinek: Leaders Eat Last book, and a short video describing the concept What “Leaders Eat Last” means – YouTube,

Dilbert + Catbert and the best of Toby from The Office


Haiku for Tara

Dig deeply to find,

the kindness that we deserve,

as humans who work.

What Kind of Person Do You Want Working at Your Company: Bruce Part 1

What Kind of Person Do You Want Working at Your Company: Bruce Part 1

Today you get to meet Bruce who directed employee relations for a credit card company with over 15,000 employees. Employee relations is where cultures are made. You will hear how Bruce kept the human in human resources and the very high price he paid. “I spent 36 years in HR, which is, you know, people can’t see, but I don’t have any hair.”

Bruce had so many great stories to share that I broke his interview into 2 episodes.

On this episode, he highlights the invisible things that create cultures like telling the truth, and listening to each other. You’ll learn Bruce’s biggest pet peeve “Let’s just start with the word meetings”, and how he would improve meetings to build a better workplace.

Bruce shares stories about the impact of COVID on his company culture and how it quickly shifted things from face-to-face (interpersonal) to online via social media. You’ll learn how his company made daily decisions to protect their company culture by clearly defining the kind of people they wanted to be working at their company. “Yes, we had a social media policy, but we often didn’t have issues of people posting things that were very questionable and where we had to decide whether or not it was appropriate or not violated policy actions should be taken.”

At the end, you will get to hear a workplace confession, something that didn’t make it through the doors of HR. Once again, this is my best friend at her worst. While I give her coworkers credit for retaliating, it is pretty disgusting, so decide if you really want to know what she fed her colleagues at the potluck…

Tune into the 2nd part of Bruce’s interview where he shares stories on how to truly become a memorable leader “That was literally 20, maybe like 22 years, I remember it was like yesterday. I remember being in the larger meeting room. And the impact that those, those messages had.”

Curious about creating a better culture or improve meetings, check out the resources below:

Build a Culture That Aligns with People’s Values, Harvard Business Review

Today’s Agenda, Cutting Down on Meetings, CBS News

Visit my website to:

Tell a story!

Make a Workplace Confession

Ask a question+ make a suggestion

Join the email list

Connect on Linked In

Haiku summary of Bruce Part 1

COVID impacts work…

by posting face to face chats,

Out for all to read.

HR is Such a World of Psychology and Intention: Amy

HR is Such a World of Psychology and Intention: Amy

Have you ever wondered how having bed bugs could cost you your job and what Mr. Rogers can teach you about leadership? Could you benefit from a new approach to setting clear expectations and high levels of accountability?

Tune into this episode of True Stories at Work to meet Amy, an experienced HR leader with who will answer these questions and share great (and not-so-great) leadership stories!

Visit my website to:

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Record your Workplace Confession

Ask a question?

Join the True Stories at Work Linked In group to share your stories and connect with other listeners.


Amy wants leaders

to be accountable, and

always own mistakes!