Always Plan to Be a Winner

Posted September 22, 2016 in Awards, Latest News & Insights


img_2666Last week, our team won a wonderful award. We were named ‘Best External Consultancy/Advisory of the Year’ by the Canadian HR Awards. It was an incredible honour to both be nominated and a huge surprise to win. If you’ve ever watched an awards show and seen a stunned nominee head to the stage and blabber like a fool, you’ll get an accurate picture of me last Thursday night which leads me to this lesson: even if you don’t think you’re going to win, write down something to say in case you do.

Here’s the thing… you never know when you’ll have a chance to make a first impression, so it’s important that you do whatever is in your control to be prepared.

When it comes to positive things – like winning an award – it can feel egotistical or even unlucky to plan an acceptance speech. Where do these beliefs come from? Well, let’s start with my mother whose finger wagging voice emerges as she quotes from the Bible: “Pride cometh before a fall!” If I think I’m good enough to win, then surely that means I’m going to lose.

And then there’s my father, who coached the Canadian Rugby team. He had rituals that he followed before critical games… putting his clothes on in a certain order, following specific routes to the match… he was also incredibly superstitious. The fastest way to set that man off would be to open an umbrella in the house. I guess the idea that if I created an acceptance speech would jinx our chances of winning stopped me from dwelling on it.

These tapes we have can be insidious.

So now, I keep replaying our win and thinking about what I wish I’d said when we hit the podium. So, here is what I would have said if I’d had the wherewithal to draft:
img_1202Thank you all so much for this incredible honour! To all of our clients who nominated us and particularly to Anna Petosa of Pelmorex Media who encouraged us to put our names forward, your support and confidence in our work is truly humbling.

At the Roundtable, we have the deep privilege of working with exceptional leaders every single day. Our group coaching programs have given us a window into the realities of leading in an incredibly complex and demanding time.

So, as I stand in front of a group of HR and Talent professionals, I want to say thank you. Thank you to each and everyone of you who is striving to make workplaces better. Thank you for being the voice of your people at the executive table. Please keep pushing the conversations that balance profit with people. Keep advocating. Keep challenging the status quo. Keep bringing forward the strategic reasons why the people agenda is the most important agenda. Too many individuals are drowning. Mental health issues in the workplace are on the rise and the voice of the HR leader needs to be strong in order to be heard. I look forward to the day when the HR function is seen as an equal candidate in CEO succession conversations and I commend each person in this room who is fighting to make a difference.

Thank you again for this honour and we will continue to support you in the work you all do to make workplaces better places.


Thanks for reading. I feel better.

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