Tag Archives: RecruitFest!

A Tale of Two Conferences

How lucky can a gal get?  I’m speaking at RecruitFest! on Thursday (October 7) in Boston and attending HR Southwest in Fort Worth the following week (October 10-13).  Two great conferences, two great organizations, two great cities  – all focused on providing up to the minute content for the development of HR professionals.  That’s  5 conference days in 7.  Whew!

First up, RecruitFest! put on my the good folks at Recruiter.com (formerly RecruitingBlogs.com) and Monster.  And they’re cooking up something really new and special.  Here’s the deal:  they’ve collected a group of thought leaders in the Recruiting space to engage in important discussions for the benefit of the attendees.  Stars like

 And here’s the really interesting part:  there will be audience participation – questions from the live audience, questions from those watching the live stream, and questions from those listening in and participating in the Twitter back channel.  Pretty exciting stuff!  If you haven’t signed up, click here to attend in person or virtually.

Next up is HR Southwest, the largest SHRM state conference.  The organizing team is expecting nearly 2,000 live participants at the Fort Worth Convention Center!  That’s big!  That also makes HR Southwest second only to the SHRM Annual Conference in the world of SHRM conferences. 

 I remember in the early ‘90s, when I lived in Dallas and managed the southwest region of a global HR consulting firm, the cornerstone of our marketing plan every year was supporting HR Southwest.  I still have pictures (somewhere) of our booth and the team that staffed it.  We connected with our customers and showed our support for our friends in the HR profession by supporting this important event.  I wouldn’t have dropped this important event from our budget – ever!

 The keynote speakers this year look outstanding:  Ambassador Nancy G. Brinker, founder of Susan G. Komen for the Cure®; Chad Hymas, world-class wheelchair athlete; and Jon Wee and Owen Morse, otherwise known as The Passing Zone.  With more than 110 concurrent sessions and the ability to earn as many as 20.75 recertification credits from the HR Certification Institute, this conference is going to set a new standard for HR conferences.

 I’ll be tweeting at HR Southwest, so be sure to follow the #HRSWC10 hashtag and to follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/ChinaGorman.  See you at the conferences!


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Filed under China Gorman, HR, HR Conferences, Social Media, Uncategorized

What’s an unconference like, anyway?


I’m really getting jazzed about RecruitFest! in Boston on October 7th and 8th.  RecruitingBlogs.com has put together a track leader line-up that looks outstanding, Monster is the big sponsor, and it’s Beantown!  How much better could it possibly get?

I have a sense of what an unconference is like and I’m eager to experience it for the first time.  I’m expecting lots of smart recruiting and talent management professionals to roll up their sleeves and dig in to some really important topics with energy and passion.  The power of focused, collective experience to generate new ideas can be awesome.  Hope we get some of that going.

 Here’s what I hope we don’t do:  have the same endless and pointless discussions about whether HR is ever going to get a seat at the table (man, I hate that phrase), or whether recruiting should be part of HR. 

 I hope we focus more positively…more hopefully…more meaningfully on what we actually can do differently to impact the performance of our organizations.  I hope we focus on what is in our power to control:  our intentions, our behavior, our risk taking.  Because if all we’re going to do is lament our lack of power and our inability to catch the eye or ear of the CEO we’ll have wasted precious time and energy. 

 I’m interested in having conversations that change behavior, that improve performance and that make us (whoever we are) more powerful.  That will be a great investment of time and energy.  That will be a great unconference. 

 Are you with me?  If so, then you should click here and register right this minute!  Because if you register before the end of the week, you’ll get a discount (use the code “chinagorman”) and you also might win the Monster VIP hotel package!  What a deal. 

I hope you’ll join us, roll up your sleeves and contribute to two days that really could change HR.  Who wouldn’t want to do that?


Filed under Business Success, China Gorman, Culture, Engagement, HR, HR Conferences, Uncategorized

Don’t believe your own press!

I’ve spent the last few days trying to make sense of a couple of things that happened within the same 24 hour period. 

First was my response to the PR announcement about my role as a track leader at RecruitFest! in Boston in October.  It made me really uncomfortable.  The announcement made me sound like the leader of the free world of HR – which I’m not.  I know we’re trying to drive attendance, and I know there are some folks who think I have important things to say (and I’m grateful for that), but I was uncomfortable being lauded at such great lengths. 

Not that I haven’t accomplished some pretty terrific things in my leadership career.  I have.  But.  I didn’t accomplish any of them in a vacuum.  I always had a team of exceptional colleagues who worked with me and alongside me to accomplish great things.  It’s called being a leader.  And I think that – especially today – successful leaders need equal doses of healthy egos and equally healthy humility.  The healthy ego part is the part that makes us think we can be leaders.  That we do know where to go and how to get there.  The healthy humility part is the part that makes us human; that makes us authentic; that enables us to engage our teams in the work and vision for the future.  And keeps us grounded in the knowledge that we’re not terribly unique and can be replaced at any time.

So when I read with sadness about Mark Hurd’s dismissal from HP I thought to myself, “here’s another leader who got the humility part of leadership wrong.”  Because it’s the lack of humility that tells leaders the rules don’t apply to them.  It’s the lack of humility that leads them to believe the stuff their PR departments publish. 

By all accounts Mark Hurd was thought to be a good guy.  Fudging expense reports isn’t on the same level as Charlie Rangel’s alleged improprieties, or Ken Lay and Jeffrey Skilling’s criminal looting of Enron, or Eliot Spitzer’s total moral collapse – or is it?  I think the case could be made that fudging expense reports is the conscious choosing of ego over humility that says:  I’m more important than anyone else; what I want is more important than anything else.  More important than being honest; more important than my integrity; more important than the the organization I lead.  Even if he hadn’t been caught, wasn’t this the first step to a total disregard of the humility required to be an authentic leader?  

It seems to me that too many leaders (in business as well as politics) start to believe their own press and then start to believe that they’re so special/so effective/so beloved/so famous that the rules don’t apply to them.  Humility is subsumed by ego and the ability to lead evaporates. 

So the question remains:  why do so many powerful and effective leaders start to believe their own press when the consequences are so clear? 

The learning for me as I look for my next leadership job is this:  I don’t believe my own press today and I won’t believe it tomorrow.  I promise. 

(But still come to RecruitFest!.  It will be awesome!)


Filed under Business Success, China Gorman, Leadership, Uncategorized