of having fun.) L is for Living with integrity; Y for “Yes, I can”; E is for E
x-cellence in everything; and R means
we are Responsible for success.
KNOW YOUR PEOPLE
Each person is diferent, and everyone
deserves to have their unique complexity matched with a management
style that brings out their best. I look
to deeply understand the people who
work with me so that I can serve them
GREAT (AND CLEAR)
It is essential to be specifc about what
you expect of others and to ask people
to share their expectations of you as
their leader. My team can expect that
I will push them to the capacity that I
see in them—and maybe beyond what
they think they can achieve. And they
can expect me to listen, collaborate
and be accountable.
WHAT SHE LOVES
ABOUT HER JOB
Working for an organization that brings
smiles to kids of all
ages and creates memories that last a lifetime.
It is an honor to be part
USE YOUR POWER
of something that stands
for good in the world. I
also love collaborating
with executives who are
HR-minded and deeply committed to
Remember that infuencing leaders
is an important way for HR to have
a positive impact on their organizations. Have the courage to help people
see their blind spots and break silence
on uncomfortable topics. In order to
gain credibility, you’ll also need to be
comfortable gathering and using data
to support your recommendations and
focus on solutions instead of problems.
For new HR professionals, my advice is
simple: Know HR, know your business,
and know yourself. Having self-insight
will enable you to use your strengths to
navigate around your weaknesses—
before they become roadblocks.
HOW SHE STAYS RELEVANT
I do monthly benchmarking with a
peer group and read current articles
and books. Lately, I’ve been inspired by
Chicago DisruptHR events and videos.
They’ve been very helpful at this stage
in my career. The fve-minute format
is a fun way to explore a topic, and the
talks challenge me to think diferently
and be more fexible.
HER FAVORITE RADIO FLYER
It’s hard to pick just one. The classic
HER FAVORITE BUSINESS
red dual-deck tricycle is one of my fa-
vorites. I loved watching my own kids
ride it around, and it reminds me of my
summers growing up with my little sis-
ter. My family also loves our three-in-
one folding wagon, which we fll with
The frst is The Fifth Discipline: The
Art and Practice of the Learning Organization (Doubleday, 2006) by
Peter Senge, which introduced me to
the concept of a learning organization.
The principles are still vital in today’s
business climate: shared vision, systems thinking, personal mastery,
mental models and team learning.
Learning at a Higher Level (FT
Press, 2006) by Ken Blanchard is
another important read. Blanchard
defines leadership as “the capacity to infuence others by unleashing
their power and potential to impact
the greater good.” The last chapter is
about writing your own leadership
point of view. It is a very grounding exercise that starts with understanding
the factors that have shaped you and
how they impact how you lead. When
I lead, I’m trying to align my actions
with my purpose. Developing my personal point of view was one of the most
powerful leadership experiences I’ve
had because that perspective drives my
daily actions and pushes me to lead at
a higher level.
HER FAVORITE THINGS ABOUT
Portillo’s hot dogs, tamales and beef
sandwiches are a Christmas tradition
at my house—highly recommended.
Also sightseeing on the Chicago River.
One of my favorite memories is taking
my son on the Shoreline Sightseeing
Architecture River Tour from Michigan Ave. The view is captivating and a
great way to get energized for talking
all things people at the #SHRM18 conference. And if you arrive early and
have time for some Sunday baseball,
let’s go White Sox!
Danielle Braff is a freelance writer
based in the Chicago area.