I have been attending SHRM conferences since 2015, and each year I seem to find a speaker that speaks to me. During the SHRM 2017 conference in New Orleans, the speaker was Steve Gilliland. I had attended the Super Sunday Session for Students and Young Professionals, and Steve was one of our “keynotes.” Later during that same conference, a friend suggested we go to his “Hide Your Goat session.” Between both of these sessions, I was hooked. Steve speaks at SHRM every year, so I always make it a point to attend at least one of his Mega Sessions. As we return to New Orleans this year, Steve will speak twice, but I am most excited to attend his “Hide Your Goat” session again. It may seem silly to attend the same session more than once, but a person’s perspective can change over time, as I have learned. I look forward to learning something new this year and hearing some of the same stories I’ve grown to love over the years.
Since Steve is one of my favorite speakers and I was granted the opportunity to be a SHRM22 Influencer, I wanted to take a moment to chat with him as we prepare for SHRM 2022 in New Orleans. My goal is for you, the reader, and hopefully, SHRM22 conference attendees, to be so excited for Steve’s session that you have to be there in person to see it for yourself. Without further ado, please enjoy my conversation with Steve Gilliland.
Amanda: What inspired you to write “Hide Your Goat?”
Steve: When I was working in corporate America 30 years ago, I had a secretary, Margaret, who would always tell me to stop letting people get my goat, or she’d ask, “why do you always let people get your goat?” One day she said, “you need to hide your goat!” Years later, when the negativity kept swirling as people talked about culture and morale, I had to find a way to deal with the difficult people. I asked myself, “How would Margaret deal with this?” She would say, “you need to hide your goat!” So – I wrote a book on strategies for dealing with negativity.
Amanda: What is your ideal audience for your session?
Steve: My ideal audience for ‘Hide Your Goat’ is entry-level HR professionals to the C-suite. When you think of HR, you think of culture, human capital, people, recruitment, training, retention, etc. All of these things are essential to creating a positive working culture. So, the SHRM conference is my ideal conference with my perfect audience because this session has an appeal across all parts of the HR world.
Amanda: How does it feel to know that you make a significant impact on hundreds of thousands of people each year?
Steve: It is a responsibility and a privilege. I don’t take what I do for granted. This is a privilege and an honor to have this platform in front of people. I know that I cannot change anyone, but I can influence them. The power of influence is incredible; we all have a responsibility to impact positively.
Amanda: I love how you use real-life examples to share life lessons. What is one thing you hope your audience will take away from your session?
Steve: I have always believed that if you are laughing, you are listening, and if you are listening, then you are learning. You have to make that connection with people. Plus, I love to entertain.
I would love for people to take this away: stop giving people and circumstances permission to ruin their day. We allow too many things to distract us from what we should be focused on.
Thank you for taking the time to read my interview with Steve Gilliland. As I mentioned, Steve is an incredible speaker. His sessions make 60 minutes feel like 6 minutes. You will get great information, and you will be entertained. If you like to laugh and learn, this is your session. Please don’t take my word for it, however! Attend one of Steve’s sessions at #SHRM22 and find out yourself. And if you still need some convincing, look Steve up on YouTube. I promise you will not be disappointed.
Are you interested in connecting with Steve? Email him at email@example.com. He is one of those rare ducks that will happily email you back if you reach out. Also, if you are planning to attend SHRM22, he will be signing his books, and he will also be in the expo hall. He will be giving away “Hide Your Goat Totes” at his booth, so please stop by and say hello!
I encourage you to attend the Expo in New Orleans from June 12 – 15. SHRM22 will be the largest and most popular HR conference in 2022; you do not want to miss out! Still need to register?
About Steve Gilliland (copied from Steve’s LinkedIn Profile):
A member of the Speaker Hall of Fame, Steve Gilliland is one of the world’s most in-demand and top-rated speakers. Recognized as a master storyteller and brilliant comedian, he can be heard on SiriusXM Radio’s Laugh USA and Blue Collar Radio. With an appeal that transcends barriers of age, culture, and occupation— plus an interactive and entertaining style—Steve shows audiences how to open doors to success in their careers, relationships, and lives. Presenting to over 250,000 people a year, more than two million have now heard him speak, with audiences encompassing over dozen industries. eSpeakers named him one of the Top 10 Motivational Speakers globally from over 9,000 candidates.
In addition to his speaking career, Steve is a prolific, accomplished author, evidenced by six of his books—Enjoy the Ride, Making a Difference, Hide Your Goat, Detour, The Cherry on Top, and Turn the Page— perennially making the publisher’s bestseller list and his being named Author of the Year. His thought-provoking writing style makes his articles a favorite with nationally prominent magazines. He influences the lives of millions through his presentations, books, audiobooks, and videos. These products have been utilized by small businesses, Fortune 500 companies, U.S. and Canadian government agencies, churches, school districts, and nonprofit organizations. Speaking the language of active business leaders, his books and videos identify practical lessons that grow people and businesses.
Steve built a multimillion-dollar company based on the same philosophy he expounds to his audiences. If you continually learn more about your company, industry, customer, and yourself, you will always be a leader. You will be purpose-driven rather than process-driven, and you will make a difference. His motto is straightforward: “If you take care of people, the business will follow.” He has been recognized by Who’s Who for Speakers and Business Professionals. The Pittsburgh Business Times named his company one of the fastest-growing privately held companies in the region.