Is there a (Tom) BRADY in your BUNCH?

Tom Brady, NFL Quarterback

As the NFL season draws to a close, once again Tom Brady has turned in another MVP caliber season and is the likely frontrunner for that award.   With each year, the legend of Tom Brady grows as does his resume (three Super Bowls, countless records and more) — and his hair.   When we take a moment to reflect on his rise from low draft pick to superstar and team leader, there are lessons that we as HR professionals can learn about leadership cultivation and talent development.

The Tom Brady story in the NFL begins with The New England Patriots selecting him in the sixth round of the NFL draft (198 other players were chosen ahead of him).

In his first year,  the coaching staff worked with Brady (who was the third string QB at the time) teaching him the system (which in football equates to the corporate culture or method of operations) with the thought that with the proper cultivation he might be able to take the reigns should the need arise.    The mentoring and time that the coaches spent with the young rookie paid off as he rose from third string to backup by the end of his first year, with the thought that he could eventually lead the team in the future.

Well…as fate would have it…the future came in his second year, when the starting QB was injured early in the season.   When it was time for him to step up, Tom Brady was  ready, leading the team to a Super Bowl victory which was the start of a stellar career which most predict will lead to the Hall of  Fame.

Looking at this from an HR perspective, The New England Patriots identified an “employee” within their organization with potential (Brady) and provided the training, mentoring and professional development needed to prepare him to take a leadership role.    When the time came,  he was prepared to take on a leadership role which led to continued success for the organization as a whole.    So in essence, the Patriots plucked a “Brady” from their “bunch” with great results.

Is there a BRADY in your bunch?  Is there  one person or a group of people within your company/organization who, with the proper professional development and training can become a future leader?

If the answer is YES, does your company/organization have a system in place that encourages professional development and growth among your employees that can assist in their ascension to leadership roles?

If the answer is NO, it is important to evaluate your organization’s talent recruitment processes to determine how effective it  is in  identifying talented people who meet immediate needs while also possessing skills that can equip them to meet future needs as well.  When the Patriots drafted Tom Brady he filled an immediate need for a back up quarterback but was selected with a thought that he had potential to fill the need for a starting quarterback in the future.

So in 2011 ask yourself is there a Brady in your bunch?  You just never know where you may find your organization’s next MVP.

— by Curtis Midkiff,  (follow me on twitter @shrmsocmedguy)

January 4, 2011 at 8:25 pm 3 comments

On the Road with SHRM

SHRM’s Chief Global Membership Officer Janet Parker recently led a forty person delegation of HR leaders from 20 states as well as from Singapore and Qatar who have dedicated a week to experience China.  Some of the delegates, a majority of whom are senior HR leaders, are currently doing business in China and others are in the process of setting up business here.  In this installment of “On the Road with SHRM” Janet shares a few highlights from the first days of the trip.


On Monday we met with China International Intellectech Corporation, the leading HR Outsource Provider. They provided us with an overview of the work environment in China including a briefing on China laws. Their primary HR challenge is lack of seasoned leaders and attracting and retaining talent.  They specifically addressed their challenges with retaining younger professionals.

One of the presenters, Susie Bates, VP Recruitment, United Family Healthcare, has been a long-standing member of SHRM.  She advised us that she could not have been as successful in her career without the resources provided by SHRM.

On Monday afternoon, we met with professors and students at Peking University.  The delegation thoroughly enjoyed interacting with the students.  The students were so enthusiastic about their career in Human Resources and were very eager to get our perspective on key HR topics including leadership, culture and retention. Many of the students were members of SHRM and so proud to be affiliated with the Society.

The city is amazing!  It is a unique mixture of old and new.  It is evident from our meetings that strategic HR leadership is critical to the success of businesses in China.

The overall reaction to the visit is that it has exceeded everyone’s expectation.  Looking forward to what’s next over the coming days.


December 6, 2010 at 6:14 pm Leave a comment

NEW VIDEO: The Twilight Tweetup (SHRM 2010 Leadership Conference)

 The Urban Dictionary defines a tweetup as 

An organized or impromptu gathering of people that use Twitter. (A meet up of people that ‘tweet’ using Twitter.)”

The recent TWILIGHT TWEETUP at the Leadership Conference was that and SO MUCH MORE…check out the video below for the highlights!

[VIMEO 17139950]


November 24, 2010 at 3:05 pm 2 comments

SHRM10TV Live @ Leadership — A Conversation With Ryan Estis

At the SHRM10 Leadership Conference, we spoke with Ryan Estis, noted speaker and business performance expert at the SHRM Social Media Studio.    Ryan discussed the concept of “employer branding”, social media, and “what’s next in HR”

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November 19, 2010 at 8:55 pm Leave a comment

On the Road with SHRM — “Live” from SHRMAtlanta!

Over the past few months, the SHRM Leadership Team has been on the road meeting with SHRM members to discuss “what’s next” in HR and to answer questions regarding “what’s next” for SHRM.

In this installment of “On The Road with SHRM” we feature highlights of a Q&A session SHRM’s Chief Global Membership Officer Janet Parker recently conducted with volunteer leaders at the 2010 SHRM Atlanta Conference.   Stay tuned for future installments  and we welcome your feedback on future locations and conversation topics!

November 18, 2010 at 6:20 am Leave a comment

SHRM10TV @ Diversity — A Conversation with Howard Ross

At the 2010 SHRM Diversity and Inclusion Conference, we had an opportunity to chat with keynote speaker Howard Ross, one of the nation’s leading experts on diversity, leadership, and organizational change.    He shared his thoughs on “Diversity, Inclusion and the Concealed Mind”. 

[VIMEO 16332842]

November 1, 2010 at 6:30 pm Leave a comment

SHRM10TV @ Diversity — A Conversation with Ted Childs

At the SHRM 2010 Diversity and Inclusion Conference, we spoke with Ted Childs, diversity thought leader on global diversity and other topics.   Fast Company cited Mr. Childs as “the most effective diversity executive on the planet”, as a result of the innovations he introduced in the areas of diversity at IBM.  

October 12, 2010 at 11:56 am Leave a comment

SHRM10TV @ SHRM Foundation Thought Leaders Retreat —- A Conversation with David Rock

We had a chance to talk with David Rock, founder and CEO of Results Coaching Systems, which helps Fortune 500 clients transform thinking and performance. He is widely considered to be a thought leader in the area of human performance coaching. He shared his insights on the SHRM Foundation Thought Leaders Retreat and SHRM.

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October 8, 2010 at 2:06 pm 1 comment

SHRM10TV @ Strategy — A Conversation with Kris Dunn, social media strategist

Kris Dunn, social media strategist and HR blogger presented a session at this year’s conference entitled, “You Don’t Need A Corporate Facebook or Twitter Page, You Need Assasins”. Kris stopped by the Social Media Studio to share his insights on the topic of social media strategy for organizations and the role of SHRM in assisting HR professionals in the area of social media.

[VIMEO 15659877]

October 8, 2010 at 1:17 pm 1 comment

SHRM10TV @ SHRM Foundation Thought Leaders Retreat — Dr. Karen Stephenson, Corporate Anthropologist

At the SHRM Foundation Thought Leaders Retreat, we had a chance to talk with Dr. Karen Stephenson, noted corporate anthropologist to get her thoughts on the event and the role of SHRM.

[VIMEO 15600941]

October 7, 2010 at 5:11 pm Leave a comment

SHRM10 TV @ SHRM Foundation Thought Leaders Retreat — A Conversation with Shannon Deegan Google’s Director of People Operations

We spoke with Shannon Deegan, Director of People Operations at Google on a range of topics including HR innovations, and the SHRM Foundation Thought Leaders Retreat. Mr. Deegan is responsible for Google’s Strategy & Operations, M&A, Mobility, Central Staffing, and Global Talent & Outreach Programs. Here are a few highlights of our conversation.

[Vimeo 15600478]

October 6, 2010 at 7:53 pm Leave a comment

SHRM10 TV @ SHRM Foundation Thought Leaders Retreat– WD-40 CEO Garry Ridge

As a part of the 2010 SHRM Foundation Thought Leaders Retreat and Strategy Conference we invited some of the top thought leaders in HR to join us in the Social Media Studio to share their thoughts on the conference and other innovations.     First up,  WD-40 CEO Garry Ridge, recognized as an innovator in the areas of talent management and executive leadership.   In addition to his duties at WD-40 Mr. Ridge, is the Founder of the and the co-author of Helping People Win at Work.

[Vimeo 15597987]

October 6, 2010 at 5:35 pm Leave a comment

The Road to Strategy Blog — “Is HR a Strategic Partner?”

By Rich Horwath,
Keynote Speaker at the SHRM 2010 Strategy Conference

Rich Horwath

During a trip to England to lead a strategy program for executives from Europe, the Middle East and Africa, an interesting topic came up. Several of the European business leaders wanted to know what role HR plays in strategy in the United States. They were surprised to hear that over the past five years, HR executives’ own assessment that they play a solid role in strategy development dropped from 41% to 32%.

Why is that? Is it because their colleagues from marketing, sales, finance, and operations have greater strategic insights than HR managers?

No. I believe it’s because HR executives haven’t had the tools and frameworks as readily available as the other disciplines to communicate their strategic insights with the rest of the organization. If you’re an HR manager, what tools are you using to generate and communicate strategic insights to your colleagues?

The answer can determine whether you’re sitting at the big table during the meeting or setting up the big table prior to the meeting.

Share your thoughts on the Strategy Conference group on SHRM Connect.  For more information on Mr. Horwath and other speakers at this year’s Strategy Conference,   click here.

About the Author

Rich Horwath works with Fortune 500 companies located in the U.S., Europe and Asia-Pacific. He guides executive management teams through the strategy development process and has helped world-class organizations such as Abbott, Adidas and Pfizer increase their organizational competency in strategic thinking.

September 22, 2010 at 6:38 pm Leave a comment

The Road to Strategy 2010 — Preparing for Change

By Steve Miranda, SHRM Chief Human Resource and Strategic Planning Officer

Here in North America, October is a month that’s all about change. Leaves on trees begin to change colors. Temperatures begin to drop, and there’s a crisp chill in the air. In the business world, October signifies the final fiscal quarter for many organizations as they balance the competing priorities of successfully wrapping up the year against the changes required to implement new strategies and business plans for the following year.

The SHRM Strategy Conference, October 6-8 in San Antonio, Texas is also all about change. It’s about learning new skills and best practices that will prepare you and your organization to successfully flex and bend as you lead the teams you support to even greater successes in an increasingly complicated world. As many of the world’s countries slowly emerge from the recession, many organizations are preparing for even greater changes ahead and discovering new ways to be successful in a new workforce frontier. HR leaders, like you, are the ones that will be blazing these new trails.

No one knows about change better than Anne Mulcahy. She was the former chairwoman and CEO of Xerox. She led Xerox through an incredible change that turned the organization around. Before her role as chair and CEO one of the roles she held during her career at Xerox was VP for human resources. She has walked in many of your shoes and understands what it is like to not just support change but to actually lead it from her role within HR. We are excited that Mulcahy will be speaking at the SHRM Strategy Conference this October.

As many of us know, one of the best ways to learn is by listening to stories. I’d therefore like to invite you to tell us your story. I want to hear how you are preparing your organization and yourself for change. What changes are you personally as well as your HR departments working on to help your organization be successful in the years to come? Tell me your experiences and challenges on SHRMConnect at

 About the Author


Steve Miranda is the Chief Human Resource and Strategic Planning Officer for the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). In this role, Steve is responsible for the development of world-class HR programs for SHRM, as well as globalization and planning strategies focused on serving existing and future members.

September 7, 2010 at 5:34 pm Leave a comment

SHRM10TV @ Diversity — A Conversation with Lois Backon

At the SHRM 2010 Diversity and Inclusion Conference we had the opportunity to speak with Lois Backon, Sr. Vice President of the Families and Work Institute.  In this capacity, she plays a key role in the organization’s efforts  increasing awareness of the need for effective and flexible workplaces throughout the nation and recognizing employers that have programs, policies and a culture of supporting flexible and effective workplaces.

[VIMEO 16333094]

November 1, 2010 at 11:00 pm Leave a comment

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