The initial 24 hours of the annual SHRM conference have reminded me of the importance of telling stories. Although a very good session was at 7:00 this morning that revolved around the purpose and methods of telling stories, this story revolves around the keynote sessions heard so far.
The #SHRM18 conference officially kicked off Sunday afternoon with a dual keynote featuring the new SHRM CEO Johnny Taylor Jr. and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush. They provided a contrast in styles. Johnny, who some of us remember as previous Board chair of SHRM, is very dynamic speaker and shows his personality on stage. While he did follow his remarks from the teleprompter, he also ventured a few times into personal stories that gave some insight into who he is as a person and what has influenced his journey so far. Many of the attendees I spoke to after were quite enamored with him and the line of people in exhibit hall later that wanted their picture was quite long.
Johnny was followed to the stage on Sunday by former Governor Bush. While the Governor did not use the teleprompter, his delivery was not as dynamic. The strongest part of his address was when he ventured into the personal elements with his Father’s Day tribute to his dad, George HW Bush, and when first celebrating the Mexico win in the World Cup over Germany!
I was not sure what to expect of the Governor’s talk but thought he hit on a couple of key points that bring agreement no matter what side of the political spectrum you may fall.
My favorite line from him was this – “You don’t have to push someone else down to make yourself feel better.” While in the current environment this has numerous meanings, it should always be advice that we follow in our organizations.