VIDEO>HR On The Run: Sexism & Preventing “Weinstein’s”

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This edition of HR On The Run…

Harvey Weinstein, media mogul, founder of Mirimax, producer of incredible movies is now another cliche’ loser.  Not shockingly, he’s admitted to perpetrating rampant sexual abuse towards several actresses, assistants, or other women in the Mirimax organization.  This is really, really awful.  More shameful, people didn’t talk about this for years.  I call bull-shit that the board, parters, and bother didn’t know — but that’s another post.

Here are my 4 Tips/Takes on how HR pros can help prevent this occurring in your organization.  Check out the video for more! 

  1. Sexism / Harassment is about Power
  2. If your CEO misbehaves — ALL know.
  3. Create a safe space for employees
  4. Remember your legacy as an HR pro


Keep Your Conference From Being a S**t Show! My Tips, even a NEW one.

I’ll be attending the HR Technology Conference and will be speaking at the Fall ERE Recruiting Conference over the next few weeks.  As a speaker for ERE I participated in a virtual QA for all attendees.  Of course many were interested in how to prep for this great conference.  I am here to serve YOU, so I’m happy to share a handful of the tip we all had. Some I’ve never thought of.

  1. Download the conference app. If you don’t, you must love winging it.  Winging it can be exciting, and it can be a shit-show.  You’ve paid money > Time is money > don’t waist time.  If you don’t prep a little with the app, or during the conference refer to it often — you’ll end up sitting on a bench on the 2nd floor of the conference, behind a plant trying to figure out what to do next.  By the time your figure it out the session is over.  Tell that to your boss when she asks you what you learned.
  2. Bring your phone charger. When your phone dies, it is like you’ve entered some world that is dark and scary.  And you can’t use your app (See bullet point one).
  3. BEST NEW ONE >> Be sure you don’t accidentally give out someone else’s business card when you are networking.  This one made me laugh out loud.  If you are gathering lots of cards, separate them from YOUR cards.  This can happen a lot at recruiting conferences. Who knew?!
  4. Have LinkedIn up on your phone at all times.  This is the best way to gather contact info from folks you’ve spoken to or heard drop some knowledge in a session.  This actually keeps you from even having to bring cards.
  5. Determine the ONE pain point you are trying to solve in your organization.  Then be sure you come up with 2-4 solves for that pain point from the conference. To me the operative word is ONE, because you then have a fighting chance of implementing that ONE thing at the office.

And don’t wear heals (unless they are sexy aerosols, life stride, naturalizer, bjorns, sketchers….).  And when I say sexy, I mean not-sexy.  Didn’t you know not-sexy is the new sexy.

And bring a jacket.

And have a cocktail at the end of the evening.

And go see one thing in the city you are traveling to outside of the conference.  #getcultured ; #wonderlust is a great thing.

And have fun.





VIDEO: #HR On The Run > 4 Tips To Execute Your Emergency Prep Plan

In this Episode of Hr On The Run:

In light of the terrible events in Las Vegas this past week, I thought it appropriate to share 4 simple tips to help HR pros execute emergence preparedness plans.  Stay Safe —


#Hamilton files: Good HR Recruiters should hire a Theatre Major


“Great theatre is about challenging how we think and encouraging us to fantasize about a world we aspire to.”  — Willem Dafoe

Sounds like how high-performance teams must work now.  Let me tell you why.

I finally saw Hamilton in Chicago.  OMG.  My theatre nerd came out of me in all directions.

I got tickets as a Christmas present, so have been anticipating the greatness that is Hamilton for 8 months.  It was worth the wait.  I’ve had  the soundtrack for months, I know the lyrics and obviously knows how it ends.  With that in mind, I felt certain there wouldn’t be tears as I watched.  Wrong — at the end I was holding back a semi-ugly cry and at one point I started welling up because the production quality was just so good.

As I watched, I thought, if these guys didn’t make it in Theatre, what would their profession be?  I for one would hire them.  Why?  Let me tell you why… most were theatre majors, or in the very least learned professionalism through working in the theatre.

We often hear managers make leadership and teamwork references to sports.  My God! Enough already.  Expand your horizons and think differently.  Frankly, the same analogies can be made for those in Theatre.  Traits for those lucky enough to be in Theatre include:

Commitment: Theatre folks of all disciplines, from actor to director to lighting technician have to dedicate large amounts of time to rehearsing, auditioning, and keeping relevant.  If they flake, a show could be jeopardized.  I mean, there is no “not showing up” or “I’m feeling sick today”, or “my throat hurts”… you show up or someone will take your place.

A quest to be the best:  Theatre professionals have no choice.  The market is too full, competition is fierce and yes, there is no-cap on personal ambition.  No one can tolerate a bad production.  Or a patronizing clap.  Anathema.  Hubris.

Ability to take rejection:  A part of the quest to be great in the theatre means getting OK with rejection.  A lot of it.  This translates well in the professional world as well.  I mean, have you worked in the corporate world?  Jesus, enough said.

Teamwork:  Putting on a class-A production requires many separate teams to collaborate daily, through the entire rehearsal process and production.  This can be 3 months to many years. If the costumes don’t match the vision of the director, if the lights don’t actually follow the actors or enhance the mood of the play, if the sound technician forgets his cues and mics the wrong actor, if the guy who pulls the curtain up and down at the right time jacks it up, if actors forget anything, especially when not to stand in front of pyrotechnics, not only is it dangerous, but the production is screwed.

Ability to have each other’s back:  If a light cue does go wrong or an actor forgets their lines, the show must go on.  Other members must seamlessly “have their back”  and just like sports teams, all must trust the others have their back.

Ability to give away the spotlight to others:  Scenes only work when performers know when it is time to “give” the scene to their partner.  This means, it is appropriate for the actor to step back, focus attention on the other, and listen.  Sounds like a high-performance team, right?


Have passion and purpose:  Folks in the theatre have passion for what they do.  If they did not, theatre would not be worth it.  The life is too hard.  Also, sorry, without passion an actor just isn’t an actor (or a good actor). And passion and purpose are big motivators to the modern workforce.  Win.

What does an actor in the workplace need from leaders: 

  • Continuous feedback
  • Praise when deserved 
  • To be heard

So, if you are one who love to hire athletes, you should flip your script and hire those in the fine arts.  Not only will you have folks that work well in high-performance teams, but you also may have someone who can entertain you daily, which in today’s workforce certainly can’t hurt.


My Toughest Leave of Absence Situations, A Lesson In Action

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My following piece, originally posted on ALEX by JellyVision, is part two in a three part series titled:  My Toughest Leave Of Absence Situations.

DB –

I’m so glad to be writing my second post for ALEX’s “My Toughest Leave Of Absence Situations” series. As I stated in part one of the series (My Toughest Leave Of Absence Situations: A Lesson In Generosity), there are some exceptional benefits-related experiences we aren’t quite prepared for. However, these situations usually teach us the biggest lessons about patience, empathy and grace.

Here is another one of my toughest LoA situations and the lessons I learned from it.

A Lesson In Action

During a particularly busy day, an employee dropped by and told me he needed to talk with me right away. I asked if it was possible to meet later in the afternoon, but the pause in his response gave me the clue he needed help now. After I found a private room he let me know his child had tried to commit suicide the day before. Naturally this statement sucked the air out of the room…

Hey Gang:  Read the rest of my post (and lots of other great stuff) at MEET Alex by Jellyvision

Want Affordable, Effective Workers Fast: Hire “Brandless” Employees.

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Companies and agencies are continuously trying to find the “holy grail” of talent:  New hires who can do the job well and come at an affordable salary. As an HR pro, I don’t know how many times I’ve been told by hiring managers to find the best talent for the cheapest price possible.  Unfortunately, there have been a few problems with this equation, namely:

  • Managers aren’t sure what “doing the job well” is.
  • Managers believe candidates are worth less than they are told.
  • Candidates believe they are worth more than they really are.
  • Candidates who do know what they are worth try to negotiate for much higher.
  • There are too many candidates to choose from, primarily due to electronic means of advertising jobs and applying for jobs.

The outcome can be a lengthy, expensive recruiting process due to too many interviews, too many decision makers, and salary ranges that are based on a negotiation game.

The Potential Solve:  Go “Brandless”.

Hey Gang:  Read the rest of my post (and lots of other great stuff) at Fistful Of Talent



Fad or Fundamental: Millennials Are The Most Demanding Generation?

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Special Note:  Scroll down to the bottom to receive the Dawn Magic Discount Code for this fall’s ClearCompany Talent Success Conference… and now, on to the blog post! 


For those of you who want to throw a tomato at my head (gently please) because I’m writing an article about Millennials… slow your roll!  Cause I’m gonna drop some knowledge on you that may rock your world just a little bit.  Ready?

Turns out Millennials aren’t the most “demanding generation” anymore.  Arguably they aren’t the most entitled.  Want to know why?  Turns out, in the modern workforce, all generations want the same things of our employers.  The generational “wants” in the workforce are no longer so broad or stereotypical.  

So, to answer the question, is considering millennials the most demanding generation an HR fad or an HR fundamental? …

Hey Gang:  Read the rest of my post (and lots of other great stuff) at The ClearCompany Blog


Also:  Here’s How To Register for the ClearCompany Talent Success Conference using the Dawn Magic Discount Code :

Come see me speak, along with wonderful speakers such as Kris Dunn, Libby Sartain, and many others at this year’s ClearCompany Talent Success Conference.  Dates:  September 13 – 14th in the great city of Boston.  And guess what — if you use the “Dawn Magic Conference Code” you’ll get 25% off the registration fee.  

The code is simple to remember:  Just typeDAWN” as the promo code during registration..  

See you there! 





Keep Your Culture From Becoming The Cult Of Personality

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This is likely a no brainer to most, but it can be tricky, so worth exploring.  I am a big, big advocate for the concept of culture in the workplace.  What does cultural advocacy mean?  It means I believe:

  • The way people work around a place is indeed a culture
  • Culture is the appropriate word to describe that phenomenon
  • Organizations (and their leaders) who understand their culture have a higher chance of achieving corporate goals

I have been fortunate enough to work in HR Leadership roles for companies who have embraced the notion that creating an employee-friendly culture has increased the likelihood of corporate success. I have been very lucky in that regard for any alternative culture probably would not have been a fit for me.

But cultural excellence (for lack of a better word) is hard to navigate.  Very quickly a culture can indeed tiptoe into a cult. So, what is the definition of a cult?

Cult:  a misplaced or excessive admiration for a particular person or thing.

 Some examples:  Steve Jobs, Starbucks coffee, Apple products, Spanx, Micro-brews, Vinyl records, Ben Platt (look him up), organic vegetables, Scientology/Tom Cruise!

All agree the connotations of the word “cult” is bad.  HR Pros, here are some tips to help ensure your culture remains out of the cult category….


Hey Gang:  Read the rest of my post (and lots of other great stuff) at Fistful Of Talent


Job Transition > Enjoy Limbo While You Wait For Your “McRib”

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I am currently in a job transition.  However, this time, before I jump back into the fold, I’ve decided to take a breather from corporate HR.  It’s been a new and enlightening experience for me.  This is the first time since 1996 I’ve had the opportunity to take time between full-time jobs.  That’s a mighty, mighty long time.

Interestingly, although I’ve chosen to take some time, I typically don’t do “limbo” well.  I’m a creature of habit in many regards.  For example, I was at my last job for 7 years.  The job before that 10 years. Other examples? When a McDonald’s employee who served me coffee every day for 2 years was no longer there – it stunk!  Who else knew I was “small coffee, two Splendas”?  When my past company ran out of Coke Zero for a week…the horror.

My point is, even silly transitions can throw you into limbo.

My definition of limbo is

Read the rest of my post (and lots of other great stuff) at Fistful Of Talent


#Leadership Lesson Fm Gregg Allman – Faking It Doesn’t Fly


This week Greg Allman died.  Founding member and keyboardist/guitarist/vocalist for The Allman Brothers, Greg lived a full-life.  Perhaps too full at times, for his cup did overflow many times, but no one would accuse Greg Allman of being boring.

Frankly, growing up I wasn’t an Allman brothers fan.  Later in my life, my husband, a huge fan, re-introduced them to me.  I had no choice but to listen to the Allman Brothers, and no shocker– they grew on me…a lot.  Let’s say they are the perfect band to drink a cocktail on the porch to.  Also, they were the “founders” of Southern Rock – so…enough said.

But regarding Greg Allman, his music didn’t influence me as much as a recent interview I saw on AXS TV’s, The Big Interview with Dan Rather.  He told a story that reaffirmed a fundamental leadership belief I’ve had for sometime:  You can fake it till you make it, but you better get”real”-real-quick if you want to be a transformative leader with staying power.  

Allman’s story below is a lesson in understanding and accepting who you are.  This is extremely important if you want to lead, support, or influence anyone (HR Leaders I am looking at you).

Allman was many, many things:  musician, brother, father, pioneer.  Unfortunately, Allman was also a raging alcoholic most of his life.  Junkie too.  Rehab 14 times.  Couldn’t kick it.  In this clip (starting at time stamp 4:30, but watch the whole thing), he tells a story about the night The Allman Brothers were inducted into the Rock Hall.  Despite his best efforts to drink just enough to stave of the shakes but not enough to get drunk, he indeed got wasted.  During his acceptance speech he couldn’t fake being OK – not possible.  The abuse had caught up to him in a very personal yet public way.  It crushed his spirit.

Sad thing — the more he tried to hide it, the more everyone knew his game.  His pretending effected no one but himself, and it almost broke him.  A man who wore his authenticity on his sleeve in every way, thought he could hide a part of himself that was perhaps most visibly and mentally (at the time) prevalent.  This was not good and effected his ability to work, create and lead.

Real leaders are not pretenders.  Real leaders do not pretend to be experts in areas they are not. Real leaders do not pretend to have “made-it”.  Real leaders do not pretend they are always in control.  Real leaders do not pretend to be flawless, scarred or troubled.  Rather, they understand their flaws make them relate-able, unique and trustworthy.  They understand their flaws are what make them the most “follow-able” and the most willing to ask for help when necessary.

Since Allman was so much more than just an “alcoholic”, I encourage you to check out this GREAT CBS interview (did you know he was going to go to med school?).

Also check out this groovy (quite literally) video of Gregg singing The Whipping Post…. 

RIP Gregg Allman — thank goodness you found your path and could share you story with all of us.