NDSHRM: ReInventing Leadership

This past spring, my friend John Friend (yes really) invited me to apply to speak at the ND SHRM conference. So I did. I decided to expand my DisruptHR networking talks, building on why it’s important to network & build a tribe and how to use social media (& specifically Twitter) to build that tribe. We even had a little Twitter Chat to show how easy it is And for a first go, it wasn’t too bad. (I do need to practice more!!) but the best part of this trip has been the rest of the sessions! [Check out my Tweets on my Wakelet Story]


I only saw one keynote while I was there: Neen James. Her keynote on Attention Pays was, to quote Neen, Fabulous. She told a story about a conversation she had with a 5 year old who was asking her questions. The child stopped her at one point and said, with her face in his hands “Neen, listen with your eyes.” Wow. Hit home. Because recently my 8 year old called me out for not listening to her by asking “Mom, do you just sometimes say ‘yeah’ when you aren’t listening to me?” Ouch. And what behavior am I modeling for my girls? If I want my girls to pay attention to me, I need to pay attention to them. Which means putting down my phone when I get home and putting the focus on them (and my husband).

We need to look at the ROA – the return on Attention. Attention will always pay off and it’s not about managing our time (which we cannot manage) we can only manage our attention and where our priorities are. We need to be responsible to control the distractions (especially the distractions we create by being attached to our phones/social media). We also let our email inbox be a distraction and allow our priorities to be taken over by others when we don’t say No when we need or even want to. We allow guilt to control what we give our attention to.

Neen also shared that we can find the key to productivity in 15 minute increments: taking 15 minutes (only) to review email, flyby on social media, prioritize the day (pick the 3 things that need to get done and put it on a post-it note so it’s short & portable), clean your desk (or purse or car), to connect with someone. Why 15 minutes? 15 minutes is doable. It’s easy to give someone 15 minutes, easy to focus for those 15 minutes before moving on to the next task.

I also listened to my friend Kate Bischoff give her #metoo presentation, which is always thought provoking. This movement is so important but the solution is so simple. It’s what we learned in Kindergarten: be kind and keep your hands to yourself!

Thanks to the North Dakota SHRM team for a fantastic conference!


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