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Ready, Aim, Inspire

Excerpt from the 2013 interview with Vicki Winterton, Publisher of the Ready, Aim, series including the International Best-seller Ready, Aim, Inspire, featuring Joe Vitale, Bert Martinez, Morgana Ray, Jackie Lapin, and yours truly.

VW: Tell us how you hope to inspire others through the work that you’re doing within companies.

CW: I want to help employers see the benefit of embracing all aspects of human resources. It’s more than just the rules, the regulations, and the policies; it’s bringing people together and helping managers to really embrace what their employees can bring to the organization and what it can mean to the growth of an organization.

Organizations are about the people. If you can inspire your management to focus on their employees’ strengths and to teach them how to effectively communicate with each other, companies will absolutely soar. I’ve seen it over and over again

VW: What’s the biggest idea that’s come from your inspiration in this arena?

CW: One of the things I learned since I started is that a lot of business owners and a lot of managers really want to do better. Small to midsize business owners wanted to be better, but affordable tools were lacking. They couldn’t afford a senior level HR expert but wanted the guidance. I looked around and said, “How do I help them? How do I give the small and mid-size business what I know without being there? How do I make it easy and affordable and let the smaller businesses look and feel global without breaking their budget?” 

To bridge the gap, to give ownership and management of small and mid-size businesses what they needed, I launched, which is a downloadable version of what I do as an HR consultant. I filled the site with downloadable, customized documents, policies, and templates. It’s got “how-to” eBooks that are quick and easy to read. And we’re adding videos of our monthly webinars that are chock-full with straightforward examples to help managers effectively and safely communicate with their employees.

That’s really what my biggest inspiration has been — the ability to say to more people globally. “I can only be sliced in so many pieces, but with products you can take a piece of my knowledge and use it, and use it again.  If you get stumped, then call me.  We’re here to help.  I’m excited about it. In the spirit in which it was offered, it’s been well received. That’s what builds a nice little inner glow for me – the ability to share my knowledge and my expertise.”

I’ve also been mentoring junior “up-and-coming” HR people. Over the years, I have had just the absolute humbling pleasure of watching these individuals evolve as HR dynamos. It’s been very inspirational for me to be able to provide that level of support and knowledge to those who are passionate about the profession. It’s a wonderful thing to see their knowledge and confidence blossoming.

VW: With HR and with life, there is the right and left-side of the brain.

CW: HR is most often viewed as a left-brain activity. It involves interpreting policies, procedures, and applying the rules and the laws, but mostly not getting sued. HR decisions can be very financially driven to the point of forgetting the human factor, and in order to reach some business owners or managers, as HR professional you have to speak from a left-brain perspective.  It’s not always pleasant or easy.

However, in order to achieve balance for them –and for me, I try to very clearly impart what the human impact of those left brain decisions may be. I spend a lot of my time in that space because sometimes an owner or manager becomes emotionally vested and loses sight of what the real value or the cost may be, especially during a downsizing or an emotionally driven termination.

For example, a business owner will approach me with a problem and my role is to listen and analyze the situation. I give them a variety of solutions that are within the parameters of the laws, their own policies, and within their levels of risk tolerance.  My goal is to provide options by imparting both the financial and human costs. The owners’ and managers’ job is to determine which solution is best for them. I also help them to understand the potential impact of their decision will have on current and future employees and what it means to the organization’s productivity as they move forward.

VW: How would you like your contribution to leave a legacy for you?

CW: I think the legacy that my contribution will leave is that human resources are not only about rules and regulations but it’s about the people who help shape the organization.  It’s about looking beyond the scope of the rule, law, or policy and to realize the overall effect that it has on everyone.

My hope is that owners and managers and just plain people will begin to look at each other and their decisions and say, “What bearing will my decision have on others and how can I make the decision that will better serve my co-workers, myself, and my company?  It’s all about balance.

If I can inspire owners and managers to look at their business from a practical compliance and financial perspective as well as to look at the human factors staying within the parameters of the laws and sound business decisions, I will feel as though I’ve done my job and I’ll be happy. As more businesses embrace the concept emotional intelligence being equally important as IQ, then the organization and their employees will have a better opportunity to be successful, to be happy, and to grow profitably.

VW: Who and what inspires you, Carol?

CW: I have to say, my mother. She has always been my inspiration. She was a high school dropout who grew up in the slums of New York; and in spite of long odds, rose to a level of expertise in her occupation. She was brave, smart, kind and caring, and a woman of high integrity and passion. She gave me the courage to step out and to be who I wanted to be without being afraid to show I cared.  It things didn’t go as planned, she would always say – “No matter what, don’t let it stop you.  Give it your best and keep moving forward.”  She was quietly independent but tremendously courageous. She inspires me. She always has…