Are You Really “All In”?



It’s been a week since I’ve returned home from SHRM17 and I’ve been contemplating what I learned this time around. I certainly gained a lot from the sessions and the experts who presented them, from the exhibitors who took the time to educate, and from my colleagues I see but once per year.

And then there are the takeaways from observing the folks who attended the conference. I’m an expert eavesdropper and rarely miss conversations in the elevator, on the escalator, in the line for coffee, etc. This year, I was inspired but what I was hearing as well as a bit concerned. I know there are optimists as well as cynics so I try to balance my observations accordingly but in any event, here is my takeaway.

I think it’s time we all take a closer look in the mirror. Are we are committed to our profession?

Are we really “all in”?

Please note, I’ve been in Human Resources since 1994…that’s a long time. I haven’t always been a good HR professional and at times, I wondered if this was the career for me. But somewhere along the way, I realized I was “all in.” I loved what I did and I was excited about doing more of it. I felt confident HR and Organizational Improvement was integral to my purpose in life and I felt equally confident that my performance, behavior and attitude reflected my commitment.

You see, being “all in” means something specific to me.

Being ALL IN means I am supportive.

  • I don’t tear people down,
  • I don’t gossip,
  • I don’t stir the pot, and
  • I don’t create camps or otherwise divide the troops.

Being ALL IN means I hold myself to a high standard.

  • I try my best,
  • I work with a purpose,
  • I follow through, and
  • I hold myself accountable.

Being ALL IN means I am decent…to everyone.

  • I am courteous and professional,
  • I remain objective,
  • I offer the benefit of the doubt, and
  • I take the high road.

Being ALL IN means I commit to solving problems.

  • I don’t whine,
  • I don’t complain unless I have a solution,
  • I don’t play the victim, and
  • I don’t give up.

Being ALL IN means I refuse mediocrity.

  • I build my expertise and knowledge,
  • I perfect my craft, and
  • I strive to improve my effectiveness and efficiency.

Being ALL IN means I commit to leadership.

  • I accept that people are watching and behave accordingly,
  • I am an ambassador for my profession and my employer, and
  • I hold firm to my principles and values.

Many, many professionals I met during SHRM17 seem to be “all in” by my definition, and I feel privileged to have sat alongside them during the week in New Orleans. But I also think that many seem to have lost their way, and have perhaps lost sight of their purpose or their commitment to this honorable profession. I have been there too – more times than I’d like to admit! But thankfully, colleagues or friends have helped me out of these ruts by giving me a gentle nudge. Perhaps this simple, albeit a bit preachy, post can serve as a little nudge to those who need it.

“You will be great! Commit to what it means to be a strong HR professional and get ALL IN.”



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