Where are you going?

Posted on August 13, 2018

road to where

Brandi Leos,  Senior HR Business Partner at City of Tigard, Oregon (LinkedIn, Twitter)

What I’m watching: Philadelphia (interesting to watch this move as an HR professional 25 years after its release)

What I’m listening to: Apple Music’s Run NYC playlist (started running again this weekend and what a great list!)

I recently attended a leadership training with a wellness focus.  I admit that I wasn’t sure what to expect and was a little apprehensive… were we going to learn how to lead through a step challenge  (ask me about step challenges at work later). Lucky for me, this was not the case at all.  The training was focused on leading with an eye toward self-care – you know, put on your own oxygen mask before helping others.  This analogy played well throughout the training.

Before I  review my favorite parts of the training, I have to shout out Cheryl Cepelak, our trainer.  Cheryl had flight issues getting to Las Vegas from the East Coast and she was not able to catch a plane for the training at all. She delivered a FULL.DAY AND A HALF. TRAINING. TO A ROWDY GROUP OF 50+.  VIA WEBCAM.  Holy cow; talk about perseverance!  Cheryl was amazing (and if you are a member of IPMA-HR, she is running for president elect and you should vote for her).  The training had several interesting aspects, but I am going to focus on my favorite session which involved a new way of looking at goal setting.

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Where do you want to be (goal setting)?

Take a few minutes to think about where you want to be.  What to you want to accomplish in the next year?  The next five years?  Consider writing down 4-5 goals to focus on during the next several months.  Remember, these can be work related, related to you volunteer work, or personal.

Now, consider the forces working for and against your goals.  Who are your biggest champions and nay-sayers?  What is standing in your way?  What are your key motivators?  For example, if you want to be an HR Director someday, the forces working for me include: my current boss, who is lifts me up and challenges me, my big-picture outlook, and my ability to foster good working relationships.  My forces against me includ:e my sometimes negative self-talk, the fact that people have to retire to open up these positions, and my selective geography requirements.

Next, consider what the next steps are.  If this were a group exercise, consider who is responsible for making certain things happen; if it’s a personal exercise, this is YOU!  Write down what needs to be done, who is the responsible party, when things should happen, and leave room for notes.  Back to my example above.  I might consider getting my MBA (all on me!).  I need to experience being the lead negotiator at the bargaining table, and I need to prove I can develop positive work relationships, even when it’s not so easy.  I also need to continue learning about the business of my internal clients (one of the best perks of ELGL is this organic learning process).  Viola!  I have a to-do list to accomplishing my goals!  Yes!

Lastly, measuring success is key to any goal-setting process. Success can be measuring in a variety of ways, but this recent learning focused on three areas: 1. Not doing the wrong things  2. Doing the right things  3. Doing new or different things.  I absolutely love this!  HR people can rejoice!  We have always wondered about a good way to measure our success of lawsuit avoidance… not doing the wrong things!


Wellness was sprinkled throughout the training session including stretching, standing, and breathing (and maybe my lunchtime visit to the pool in 107-degree heat to warm up).  The most impactful part related to wellness was a series of questions that I encourage everyone to consider.  I encourage you to talk to others about these questions; for me, they shed some very good light on how I am taking care of myself:

Q1: How do you feel when you leave work on a Friday?

Q2: How do you feel getting ready for work on Sunday night?

Q3: What do you do to take care of yourself?

Q4: How do you support your colleagues or team?

My answers:

A1: Friday?  Did you mean Thriday?  If I were leaving work on a Friday, that means I worked on Friday and I wouldn’t be very happy.  But Thriday?  I’m usually pretty exhausted and ready to leave; I like to reflect on what I did that week and make a list for the following week.

A2: Sundays are hectic for me, but not really related to work (except when I’m writing a #morningbuzz post for #ELGL).  I’m a mom first and on this particular Sunday night, I’m gathering all of the stuff my daughter needs before leaving for college in five days.  Five days y’all.

A3: I get out into the woods and breathe in the clean forest air.  I forget about everything else and enjoy the nature, the animals, old-growth forests, and waterfalls.

A4: I encourage them to go home at going-home time.  For us, that’s 6:00 p.m. (note that Thriday with no Friday thing).  We wait for each other and walk out together to make sure everyone is going home.  This is not always successful, but it works and it’s a great way to support one another.

ELGL’ers:  What do you do to take care of yourself and others?

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