The CHRO Perspective: How the Best Make it Happen! #SHRM18



Pre-conference, Paula Harvey wrote a blog about the Sunday, June 17th session.  On the way to the session, Paula grabbed fellow blogger, Anthony Paradiso, so they could write this article together, incorporating two interesting perspectives.

As the onsite guide indicated, this session provided the unique opportunity to hear from influential and forward-thinking HR leaders.  The moderator and panel discussed the impact of the organization they worked with during their journey to becoming strategic HR leaders.  The panelists did a phenomenal job sharing their personal highs and lows from their careers and what they have done to drive business success through HR in their organizations. 

The session strongly articulated the importance of the SHRM Body of Competency and Knowledge Model and how it impacts strategic HR.  All of the panelists agreed on the following: successful HR professionals take a seat at the table and help drive business success, build a strong positive culture, and overcome personal and professional challenges in the workplace.

Lyle Hanna, SHRM-SCP, President & CEO with Hanna Resource Group, was the moderator and did a phenomenal job.  The only critique is that we would have liked to see a more visibly diverse group, but this is a well-documented issue in corporate America that is hopefully changing with time. The panel consisted of: Susan Suver, Jim Link, Mary Cheddie, & Brad Patrick.

Susan Suver, Senior Vice President & CHRO with Aptiv PLC:

            Susan, at the beginning of her career, went through a journey of discovery and exploration.  She spent a number of years in communications, global organizations, public relations, leadership, & talent management.  Susan pointed out that acknowledging others comes a long way.  She also mentioned the following:

“When we are in control, we have a better chance of success.”

“When someone is terminated, make sure that they are ok.”

“Get a mentor!” Her mentor is Dave Ulrich of the RBL Group.

“Do not be afraid to take a calculated risk with your career.”

“Know that you will make mistakes and that’s ok.”

“Smile.  Smiles are free!”

“It is possible to do a lot of things, just not at the same time.”

Jim Link, SHRM-SCP, CHRO with Randstad North America:

            Jim is shaping the work world through human capital strategy and believes that hard work = delivered outcomes.  He has performed lots of M&A (mergers and acquisition) work which he says are the most challenging for a CHRO. Critical evaluation and communication, in the SHRM Competency Model, are essential for HR Professionals.  As a stress reliever, he plays the piano.  He mentioned the following:

“Biggest pain or biggest sorrow can be in running the HR function in an organization,” he said this jokingly but there must be a kernel of truth.

“We all make mistakes; it is a part of life.  We learn most from our mistakes.“

“Acknowledging others is important.  Acknowledge someone once a day.” 

“Reverse mentoring is essential.” Learn from your mentees.

“HR Leaders need agility.”

“Find a moment every day to give a human being something that they need.”

Mary Cheddie, SHRM-SCP, Senior Vice President of HR with Internal Leisure Group:

            Mary is an “Iowa farm girl.”  When her father unexpectedly passed away at 49, she was told as a young girl that she could not run the farm.  Mary is very athletic and was on the men’s basketball league.  She indicated that SHRM certification is extremely important and that it helped her career.  One of her greatest joys in her career is turning around companies.  In just six months, she had a 300% return on an investment for a company that she worked with in the past. She said that HR Professionals ought to use the SHRM Body of Competency & Knowledge. She mentioned the following:

“There is a time to step up and a time to step down.”

 “Dare to be the best and give away smiles. Smile a lot every day.”

“Make sure to schedule meetings with other leaders to mash the minds together.“

“Be brutally honest with yourself and with others.”

“Learn like you are going to live forever. Live like it is your last day.”

“When you have to fire someone, treat them like you are firing your mom.”

Brad Patrick, Chief People & Communications Officer with Valvoline, Inc.:

            Brad believes highly in leading people, developing relationships, solving problems, and creating solutions.  He pointed out, as the other panelists did, that the SHRM Body of Knowledge is an excellent tool for HR professionals to follow.  It is imperative to have clarity and he pointed out that there is a right time to leave a company.  He also felt having a unique perspective is ideal.  He prides himself in helping people to make better business decisions. He mentioned the following:

“Remove managing with emotion.”

“Lots of stress is self-inflicted. Quit beating yourself up.”

“Do the right thing!”

“Most respectful thing you can do is give employees a choice.”

“If you cannot give them a choice, at least treat them with respect.”

This session was a perfect way to start off the #SHRM18 conference, as it discussed each panelist’s journey to becoming a respected HR leader. For less tenured HR professionals, it was an inspiring session to encourage them to make the journey to a potential CHRO.  For the senior HR professional, it was a good way to have affirmation that they are taking the right course of action.

As attendees, we were able to learn from the best CHRO’s and correlate their personal stories with our own journey.  The CHRO Perspective: How the Best Make it Happen was an excellent session and enjoyed by all.


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