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We are starting our #HRevolution early this year
We are starting our #HRevolution early this year 150 150 Jason Lauritsen

HRevolution 2011 is about a month away.  For those of you who have been keeping tabs on me for longer than a year now, you know that I attended the last HRevolution and was blown away by the experience.  When the announcement for this year’s event landed in my Twitter stream, I didn’t even have to think about it–I was in.  

Being “in” meant more than just buying a ticket.  HRevolution represents a movement, a transition that is taking place inside of our profession.  The HRevolution experience is a democratic one in that it is by the people, for the people.  But it’s also only as good as the people decide to make it through their participation and commitment to it. 
When I left HRevolution 2010, I knew that I had been a part of something really amazing.  But, I also left with a feeling that we hadn’t gone far enough and that there was still so much to do.  Thankfully, that sense of unfinished business prompted me to come back home and undertake the creation of The HR Reinvention Experiment, but that’s a post for another day.  HRevolution 2010 left me feeling that there wasn’t enough discussion about where our gaps where in HR and what WE were going to do about it after we left.  This feeling never left me, so when HRevolution 2011 rolled around, I knew that I needed to try to be at least part of the solution for this year’s event.  
The Steve Browne Connection
As I pondered what to pitch to the HRevolution 2011 committee for consideration through the request for presentations process, I wanted to do something really cool and perhaps unexpected.  So, I shot a note off to Steve Browne to see if he would be interested in potentially leading a session with me at the event. This may not seem like an idea that is all that radical until you consider that Steve and I had never met.  At the point that I sent the email to him, we’d had about 30 minutes of conversation on the phone to get acquainted, but that was it.  
Here’s what I knew about Steve:
  • He ran HR for a pizza company in Ohio
  • He had a ton of passion for HR
  • He was investing a lot of his own time in growing the profession through HRNet, his HR Roundtable, and through extensive involvement in the state SHRM organization in Ohio.  He walks the talk.  
  • He seemed like a guy who likes to mix it up a little bit.  
  • He seemed intrigued by me, an HR executive at a bank who calls himself a Talent Anarchist.  
That was good enough for me, so I sent an email to Steve to do a little fishing.  And he bit.  Not only did he like the idea, he loved the idea.  Fortunately, the HRevolution 2011 planning team was kind enough to put us on the agenda.
If HR is so bad, what are you DOING about it?  
This is the title of our session at this year’s event.  Steve and I share in common a passion for HR.  We also share in common a belief that HR can only live up to its calling if HR leaders from across the world step up their game and make it their responsibility to lead this charge.  We must BE the solution.  
We aren’t naive enough to think that our session is going to change the world over night, but we hope that through this conversation, that we may throw a few sparks.  And that these sparks may light a few fires. We hope that our session will reveal to those who join us that we are all struggling with the same issues and that we must move beyond thinking and writing about our issues and instead start taking definitive action to become a part of the solution.  
So, let’s start the conversation.
Since HRevolution is a democratic process and it is dependent on those who attend to co-create the experience, it seems perfectly reasonable that we start the conversation before we ever get to Atlanta.  To this end, Steve and I have decided to start some conversation back and forth between my blog and his blog.  We hope you will join in the conversation and add your thoughts and questions.  In this way, we can start the discussion ahead of time and hit Atlanta having already done some work collectively as a community.  
So, Steve, here are a few questions I have for you?
  • Why is it that you agreed to do a session at HRevolution with a guy you’ve never met?
  • What are you hoping we can accomplish in our short session?
  • Most importantly, why do you invest so much of your time trying to impact HR pros?  
Let the games begin.
What Does Great HR Look Like? It Depends.
What Does Great HR Look Like? It Depends. 150 150 Jason Lauritsen

During the course of a panel interview for my current job, I was asked a question about dress code by one of the interviewers.  The question sounded something like this, “Many departments throughout the organization enforce different dress codes.  Do you feel that dress code should be uniform throughout the organization and how would you address that issue?”  

My response: “It depends.”  
Generally, when I give an answer like that, particularly as the HR guy, I’m greeted with some kind of joke about sounding like a consultant.  And, that’s probably why consultants make so much money in the HR space.  They see the gray in places where we try only to see black and white.  
The problem with questions like the one posed above is that they don’t have a single right answer.  The real question is one I’ve written about before: “What problem are you trying to solve?”  Until we know what problem we are working on, it’s almost impossible to create an optimal solution.  In my case, the question being posed wasn’t really about dress code, it was about my belief related to the consistency and enforcement of policy.  Although the question seemed to imply there was a problem to be solved, there might not be one at all once I knew more about the situation.  Either way, I can’t answer the question with a conclusion without a lot more information.  
Be wary of those who claim to have THE answer to your problems.  Human resources is a relative and contextual practice where the right answer to any give question depends on the circumstances in your environment surrounding the problem you are trying to solve. 
What is the best way to find talent?  It depends.
What is the right way to approach wellness?  It depends.
What should be in an employee handbook?  It depends.
How do you create a success plan?  It depends.
To practice great HR, it’s important for us to realize that each situation and the circumstances surrounding it are unique and require some inquiry first, before we rush to a conclusion.  Be curious first.  Then, go solve the problem.   
performance appraisals must die
Performance Appraisals Must Die
Performance Appraisals Must Die 1080 846 Jason Lauritsen

As every other HR department has done before and will likely do again, my team is working on answering the question, “What should we do about our performance appraisals?” So, I’ve been thinking a lot about the topic lately.

As a result, I’ve had my radar up for information and solutions about performance management.

It seems to me that the performance appraisal is a perfect example of how Paul Hebert once explained that HR is caught in the monkey trap. Letting go would set us free, but we just can’t seem to do it.

I think failing to let go is a mistake. And here’s why:

  1. Managers hate writing them. Even the best managers hate them, regardless of the form you use. They’re too much work for what managers get out of them.
  2. Employees hate receiving them.  Regardless of how great of a manager you have, the process of the once-a-year sit-down is riddled with anxiety and angst.
  3. HR hates administering them.  It’s an enormous black hole of time and energy, and no one loves you for doing it.
  4. There’s no evidence that traditional performance appraisals have any impact on performance, good or bad.
  5. Despite what some HR folks may argue, having annual performance appraisals usually makes it harder to terminate a low performer, because most managers generally resist addressing performance issues within the appraisal itself.

If these five things are true, it would seem that the solution would be to stop the insanity and pull the plug on performance appraisals.

Here’s what should happen if you do: managers and employees will both love you more. Your HR team will get back some time that can be invested in work that matters. Organizational performance won’t change and you’ll be better able to swiftly address employee performance issues.

Where’s the downside?

 

 

Simple but Hard
Simple but Hard 150 150 Jason Lauritsen

I had the privilege last night of having dinner with one of my mentors.  I always leave these conversations with new perspectives and a lot to think about.  Last night’s conversation was not different.

We spend a lot of time in HR yearning for credibility and relevance within our organization.  Often, that leads us to over reach and sometimes to make things more complex than they need to be.  In my experience, elevating HR within your organization is about knowing the answer to two questions for everything you do:

  • What problem are you trying to solve?
  • How does the way you are solving that problem add value to the business?  
It’s as simple as answering two questions?  Simple yes, easy no.  These questions are important and you will be surprised by how many times you find that you don’t have the answer for much of what you do today.  Getting to the answers to these questions is more challenging than what you expect.  But it’s worth the effort.  
Okay, I lied a little.  It’s not just knowing the answer to these questions.  There’s one more step.  If you can’t come to an answer for the second question that the CEO would care about, you need to do something different to solve that particular problem.  Alternatively, it could be that the problem you’ve identified isn’t worth solving.  
Keep it simple.  
Loyalty or Engagement?
Loyalty or Engagement? 150 150 Jason Lauritsen

When we think about what an ideal employee population would look like within an organization, the words loyal and engaged would probably be amongst the adjectives you’d chose to describe them.  But, what if you had to chose just one of the two?  Which is most important?

I suspect that if you surveyed many business leaders and CEO’s, they might say that loyalty is most important.  Afterall, we invest a lot in people and we want them to stick around.  A loyal employee probably won’t even flirt with another opportunity or dream about leaving.  You can count on them because they never plan on leaving.  Loyalty is comforting when you are the leader.  
Engagement on the other hand means that the employees probably love what they are doing and they are excited to do it.  They are giving the company more than asked for because they are all in with the work they are doing.  Engaged employees are fun to work with because they create energy through their relationship with their work.  But, there is engaging work to do in many places so they may be open to other opportunities from the first day they joined your organization.  
Which is better?  Engagement might out perform loyalty in the short-run, but that employee might leave you at any time if a better, more engaging opportunity comes along.  Loyalty buys you effort over the long haul, but might that loyalty turn into complacency over time?  Could loyalty mean staying longer than is healthy? 
Of course, the ideal answer is both.  But, that may not be practical.  Which will it be for you?  
Barriers to Innovation (Guest Post)
Barriers to Innovation (Guest Post) 150 150 Jason Lauritsen
Today’s post is a guest post written by Kevin Eikenberry.  I’m posting it for a couple of reasons.  First, I like the topic of innovation and I enjoyed Kevin’s take on it.  Second, Kevin is launching a new book today titled From Bud to Boss and I’m posting this as part of their launch “buzz” to make people aware of their new book.  The book is designed as an all in one resource for newly promoted managers to give them a solid foundation of management and leadership skills. I like the book and will likely use it within my own organization.  To celebrate the launch, they have gathered some terrific gifts from partners. To find out about the gifts, please visit http://www.frombudtoboss.com.
***

This has happened to you.

You (or your team) have identified a problem and generated some great ideas to solve it. Or perhaps there isn’t a “problem” but a great idea arrives for a new product, service or approach.

Either way the idea, no matter how exciting, is nearly worthless unless action is taken to turn it into reality.

This process of moving something from idea to reality is usually called innovation. And if you have ever been down this road you know that barriers, resistance, excuses and whining can occur on the innovation journey.

That resistance and whining can stall progress and sap the energy that the initial idea created; leaving the innovation lifeless, powerless and all too often incomplete.

Before going any further, understand the underlying principle at play here – innovation is another word for change.

This fact implies there will be reluctance and resistance by some, simply because when you innovate you are, by definition, doing something new. Therefore, things will change.

Now that you know you’re dealing with change, it hopefully will be easier to recognize the common barriers that act as the brakes to any idea implementation process (i.e. innovation or change).

What are some of the barriers? I’m glad you asked.

Here are five in the form of the comments, complaints and whining you might hear.

What’s the big deal, what we have works! Comments like this show you that people don’t see a compelling reason to change. In this case you may be so caught up in the idea itself, or have been working on it so long, that the reasons for the innovation seem obvious to you. When you hear comments like this, it is time to back up and help people see why the innovation (change) is necessary or valuable.

Customers aren’t complaining – they love us! There are (at least) two problems with this logic. First, Customers often don’t complain, they just leave. And second, sometimes they don’t know to ask for something better, until it appears. I mean, did customers know they wanted a laptop, a DVD player or an automobile before that innovation arrived? Your innovation may not be a game-changer like those examples, but the fact remains. If you wait solely for signals from your Customers, it may be too late.

What if this idea fails? The truth is it might. And it is best to acknowledge that fact right up front. However, you want to enlist people’s help immediately in doing all that can be done to assure that the new idea doesn’t fail. As a leader help people focus on the positive result while realistically dealing with every possible option for reducing the chances of failure.

Maybe we need to do something, but not that! Comments like this can be clues to two possible thoughts. First, the one that is actually being stated – this is the wrong approach. If this is the real concern, engage them in the process. If it is early in the implementation, perhaps their ideas can be re-considered and/or integrated. If the process is further along, you can still listen to their concerns. At some point (early or late in the process) you may have to “agree to disagree” on the approach, but ask them to focus on the reasons for the change and ask for their overall support. Second, of course, comments like this could also be meant to camouflage the real feeling that there is nothing wrong with status quo.

It isn’t worth the effort. On a bad day, you might think this is a lazy comment; on a good day, just assume someone is stuck in a routine. Either way, this is a clue that someone just doesn’t want to put forth the effort required to change or innovate. If this is the case, you must help them see the bigger picture, the why or justification for the innovation. At a minimum, help them understand what is really expected of them in the change (which is probably less than they assume it to be).

There clearly are other potential barriers or sources of resistance to any change or innovation. And while the solutions may be longer and more complex than offered here, what is here is a great start.

It’s important to note that when you are working through an innovation you have initiated, the situation may be even more frustrating. Remember to not take these comments or barriers personally. And recognize that being overwhelmed by these forces will work against the excitement, promise and positive energy that you (and others) feel about the innovation.

Finally, remember that these statements (and those like them) contain at least as much emotion as fact. You have the opportunity to use that emotion in a positive way to turn those barriers into acceptance; those whines into winning innovation.

Potential Pointer: Since innovation is a form of change, barriers and resistance will predictably surface when ideas are being transformed into action. Remarkable leaders recognize the inevitability of these barriers and work to proactively reduce them

Twitter and HR Leadership
Twitter and HR Leadership 150 150 Jason Lauritsen

Last Friday, I helped to facilitate a social media “boot camp” for HR leaders in our area.  When we hosted the HR Reinvention Experiment last fall, one topic that seemed to be of paramount interest to that crowd was social media.  It seemed that most HR leaders are getting the message that they should know about and be leveraging social media, but they weren’t sure where to start.  That’s where Friday’s session came in.

I wanted to share a few observations from the session and then a few thoughts about how to start if you are an HR leader (or likely know one) who needs to get caught up with the times in regards to social media.  The first thing that jumped out from the group we had on Friday is at nearly everyone seemed to have some sort of awareness of and was using LinkedIn and Facebook.  Where this group seemed to be stuck was with Twitter and anything else beyond that.  We didn’t spend much time on LinkedIn or Facebook, but I’m guessing that while many said they were users, there is a difference between having a basic profile without a picture or much info versus actually leveraging these sites for the powers of good.  But, that’s just an assumption.

As for Twitter, everyone seemed sort of captivated by it but not many had done too much with it.  We heard all of the usual comments and resistance (“I don’t care what you  had for breakfast this morning, so why would I want to read about it on Twitter?”)  I think by the end of the time we spent together, most of the attendees were much more informed about Twitter and why they might want to get involved.  I think that some of them might even go out and get started.  We’ll wait and see.  For now, I want to share a few of the key things that were discussed or observed in the session.

  1. Twitter (and all other social media tools) isn’t something you do, it is something you use to accomplish things.  They are tools.  If you are trying to get on Twitter just to be on Twitter, you will probably not get much from the experience.  You have to know why you are using these tools to reap the benefits.
  2. Twitter is hard for HR because there aren’t really any rules and the rules change often.  You have to let go of needing to understand the rules before you start or you’ll never start.  If you are new to Twitter, google the phrase “How to Twitter” and you’ll get all the info you need to get started.  Then, just jump in.  (It was amazing to me how many people were stuck by not knowing how to “do” Twitter when there is so many free guides out there to help you make sense of it).  
  3. You have to use social media to understand it.  Our organizations are trying to make sense of social media and what we should be doing with it.  If you, as an HR leader, aren’t leading that discussion, shame on you.   To do that requires that you understand what social media is and why people us it.  To understand that, you have to use it.  Period.  There is no short cut.  
  4. Twitter is like a radio station.  The people you follow are like the artists who create music for radio.  You add people who create the stuff you like and not those who don’t.  Once you have a nice station created with enough good artists, you can listen when you want to.  You can drop in and out of Twitter whenever it works for you.  Just like the radio, if you follow enough people (probably need at least 300) there will always be something interesting on when you tune in.
  5. Be a little selfish at first.  Start out using social media for your own good.  There is no better and more interactive personal development tool out there than social media.  You have access to world class content and experts any time you need them.  You can build a vibrant network of brilliant colleagues around the globe.  All from the cozy seat right in front of your computer.
  6. As for the organization, don’t start by trying to solve social media for everyone.  Instead, get social media access opened up for your HR team and then experiment with it.  Once you have a few good stories to tell of how you used social media to create some value, use that to make progress organizationally. 
  7. When you are getting started on Twitter as an HR pro, here’s the first quick steps to follow:
    • Create your profile (use your full name for your username (i.e. JasonLauritsen vs. HRInstigator) and upload a picture. Using your full name and picture helps you build relationships more easily, lets people recognize you more quickly, and it builds your personal brand.  In your description in your profile, write something about being in HR, Training, etc.  That helps people know what kind of Twitterer you might be.  
    • Unprotect your tweets.  Social media is a wide open enterprise.  You have to be willing to let go of who sees your stuff to be taken seriously and embraced.  You want people you don’t know to see your stuff and follow you.  That’s how Twitter works.
    • Create a few tweets.  Examples might be “Okay Twitter, I signed up.  Now what?”  or “Hey, I’m new here.  Where’s the cafeteria?”  Your first tweets should tell the world that you are new and that you are going to try to learn on the fly as you go. 
    • Now, go find some people to follow.  Assuming you are using Twitter for mainly professional reasons (most of my comments here are geared that way), you can easily find a good list of people to follow.  Simply google the phrase “human resources twitter list.”  This will produce a series of lists that others have created of some of the best HR folks to follow on twitter.  If you don’t know how to follow someone, refer back to item 1 above.  
    • Finally, try to create a tweet or two per day for a while.  That will help you build up your twitter stream.  At first, the easiest way to accomplish this will be to retweet the content that you like.  If you devote 10-20 minutes per day to Twitter for a month, by the end of the month you will be hooked.  

Twitter is only a mystery until you start using it.  Good luck out there.  Let me know if I can help.

Rules of Thumb
Rules of Thumb 150 150 Jason Lauritsen

As my thirteen-year-old son prepared for his basketball game this past weekend, I asked if he was ready to play.  He said, “I’m going to take my anger out on the game.”  You see, he has become a die hard Duke basketball fan like I am and our beloved Blue Devils had just been taken behind the woodshed by a very determined St. John’s team.  It was a brutal loss and my son was mad about it.  I looked at him and said something to the effect, “If you go out there angry, you’ll make stupid mistakes.  Getting angry means getting stupid.  What part of that do you have control over?”  Her replied, “I shouldn’t get angry.”  Bingo.  We proceeded to have a chat about how letting our emotions get the best of us prevents us from being our best.  He was able to calm himself and play a good game.  

As I thought about this exchange, it reminded me of the power and wonder of these “rules of thumb” that we use to remember some of the most important lessons of our lives.  
Here is my list of my top Rules of Thumb:
  1. Get angry, get stupid. 
  2. You can’t control what happens to you.  You can’t control how others respond to what happens.  The only think we really control is how we react to what happens to us.
  3. You teach people how to treat you.  
  4. When Momma’s happy, everybody’s happy.  (And the corollary: Happy wife, happy life.)  
  5. Better to be lucky than smart most days.  
  6. If it hasn’t been done yet, that’s probably just because no one has had the guts to try.  
  7. One person with an idea is a dreamer.  Two people sharing an idea is a movement.  
  8. Leadership isn’t about you, it’s about them. 
  9. Persistence is a virtue.
Some of these might only make sense to me, but they all hold pretty powerful lessons.  
What are your best “Rules of Thumb?”
The Challenge of Proving ROI in HR
The Challenge of Proving ROI in HR 150 150 Jason Lauritsen

A few weeks ago, my friend William Tincup contacted me to ask if I would be a part of a series on the DriveThruHR show called “Convenient Conversations.”  Essentially, they are inviting HR pros to come on for a 30 minute discussion about a topic that is on our mind relative to the work of trench HR.  Thirty minutes to talk about what’s on my mind?  Where do I sign up?  It wasn’t hard to convince me to sign up.  I am thankful for the invite and my session is scheduled for tomorrow at 12 noon.  

What I’m planning to bring to the table for discussion is the challenge we face with proving the ROI for HR initiatives and projects.  Any one who’s spent any time in HR or selling into HR understands how challenging it can be to prove the ROI for people initiatives to gain the support of the CEO and other executives.  I think that there may be an argument to be made that HR is held to a different standard in this regard than other functional areas within organizations, but that discussion is going to have to wait for another day.  There’s a lot of reasons that proving ROI in HR is challenging.  Here are a few of the big ones.
1.  Isolating and measuring the impact of a single variable in human systems is really hard.  People are really complex animals and we almost never change one thing at a time.  When we go on a diet, we may eat differently, exercise more, think about different things, etc.  If we lose weight, it’s hard to know what had the biggest effect.  It could be that your ate was what did the trick, but you really can’t say because you changed multiple variables.  In the work environment, it is equally as challenging if not more so to isolate what really makes the difference in human behavior change.
2.  ROI is an art, not a science.  For any given initiative, there might be a dozen different ways you could prove a return on the investment.  Consider an engagement survey.  Employee engagement can be linked to customer service, absenteeism, productivity, retention, innovation, etc.  The trick is choosing the outcome that matters to the people who have to say yes within your organization.  I have built eloquent, even brilliant, ROI analyses in my career that have failed miserably to secure buy in because the CEO who needed to say yes to the project didn’t care about the particular outcomes I chose as most important.  When I worked in the call center world, every ROI ultimately came back to employee retention and productivity.  In other places, the same project instead was supported by the “happy employees=happy customers” analysis.  It all depends on your audience.  It doesn’t matter what you think is most important, it’s what they think is most important that will get you the buy in.  
3.  If your executives have mentally dismissed HR or they don’t care about people, the best ROI in the world isn’t going to fix that.  I can build you a dozen different ROI’s for investing in improving employee engagement.  But, if you don’t grasp the idea that treating people better will make them want to work harder for you, it’s probably not going to happen regardless of ROI.  On the other hand, if your executives already embrace employee engagement, don’t talk them out of it by beating them over the head with numbers.  Give them as much as they need, and then focus on delivering some killer, measurable results. 
These are a just a few thoughts on the subject.  If you agree or disagree, I’d love to hear from you and learn from your experiences.  I’m looking forward to chatting more about it tomorrow with you and the guys from DriveThruHR.  
New Year, New Look
New Year, New Look 150 150 Jason Lauritsen
I’ve given my blog a face lift.  Nothing major, just needed to make some tweaks so that it felt more like me. I’ve also dropped “Practicing HR” from the title.  That title seemed like a great idea when I originally created the blog, but it never quite fit.  Why the changes?  That bears a little explanation.  

One thing that has always been amazing to me is how easy it is to help others through your expertise, but how challenging it can be to use the same expertise on yourself.  As a sales recruiter, I was continually shocked by how inept successful, professional sales people were at selling themselves when it came time to look for another job.  Give them a product to sell, they can go make it happen.  But when it came time to sell themselves, they lost their mojo.

In the same way, I advise others on personal branding and communicating their value clearly, but haven’t been doing a great job applying that same advice to my own personal brand.  This isn’t to say that my brand was a complete mess, but it clearly needed some work. 
If you are reading this post, you probably know that I have a multi-faceted career.  I am an HR executive leader for a Midwestern bank where I do the good work of corporate human resources with my team on a daily basis.  I’m also a blogger (but you clearly already knew that).  I am a professional speaker and writer with my partner in crime Joe Gerstandt over at TalentAnarchy.com.  And, I am an advocate and crusader for the transformation of human resources as a profession (note HRReinvention.com as an example of this work).  All of these pursuits share something in common: me and my passion for understanding and unleashing talent to transform people and organizations.  I do a lot of stuff, but it’s still the same guy pursuing the same purpose.  
So, what caused me to realize that I needed to do some work on my brand?  First, I met and became friends with Jason Seiden.  For those of you who don’t know him, he does a lot of great work helping people live better stories.  He is a coach and an entrepreneur.  He does a lot of stuff including having written a couple of great books (which I have read and encourage you do the same).  Jason is awesome and he has a knack for asking the questions that matter.  At one point this year, I was sitting with Jason in a hotel bar in Chicago having a drink and he asked me a simple question, “What do you stand for?”  I game him an answer.  He looked me in the eye and asked, “Do you actually believe that is b*llsh*t?”  He was absolutely right.  I didn’t really know the answer.  How could it be that I wasn’t clear on what I stood for?  So, I started working on getting clear.
Later in the year, I was introduced to Carol Ross.  In our introductory phone conversation, Carol and I got to talking about social media and LinkedIn.  We also somehow ended up talking about the power of storytelling.    Ultimately, Carol told me about a process that she and a colleague had developed to help people create a compelling LinkedIn profile.  I was interested to hear about the process, but didn’t think I personally needed it.  But when I gave it a deeper look, I decided I needed to give it a shot.  It ended up being about an 8-10 hour investment of time over several weeks, but by the end of the process, I felt like I could finally tell a story both in my new LinkedIn profile, but also just in general about what I stand for and what I am here to do.  (If you are so inclined, I’d love your feedback on my new profile.  If you like the end product, I encourage you to buy the kit from Carol’s website here–it’s worth every penny.).
Carol’s process wasn’t just about my LinkedIn profile, it was really a way to define my brand in a way that I couldn’t before.  Once completed, it led me to make changes to my blog and elsewhere in my social media footprint.  
So, what did I learn through this process?  
  • Personal brand is about knowing and telling your story.  Sounds easy, it’s not.  But, it’s worth the time to get it right.
  • Even if you think you can write your own story, get some help.  It’s really hard to be both clear and concise when telling your own story.  Use tools and others to help you refine it.  
  • Naming my blog anything other than with my own name was a mistake.  People reference my posts by my name, so why not use that as a title?  
  • Getting your story clear is really rewarding and empowering.  
  • It’s great to know really smart people like Jason Seiden and Carol Ross who will challenge you to get better, to be better and to do better.  (Thank you to you both.).
Probably a lot more explanation than you wanted or needed.  My hope is that something in my journey might be helpful to you as well.
Happy New Year! 
Jason Lauritsen