Sharing Leadership Lessons in an interview with Bruce Waller
10 Answers from HR Superstars making a difference!
I once heard Sara Blakely, (CEO Spanx) say, “The more you experience in life, the more you have to offer others.” In this HR Superstars Series, I want you to experience more by learning from some of the most amazing leaders serving in the HR community! I am inspired by people every day who model great leadership for others through their daily actions in human resources. These leaders have common threads that include empathy, love and care for people. They value people and the importance of relationship building. These HR Superstars make impact and will share challenges, successes, and perspectives on their journey as a business leader and in their personal lives that will inspire us and challenge us to become more on our journey. So, let’s get started and meet this week’s HR Superstar!
Our HR Superstar this week is Kathy Hardcastle, SHRM-CP, PHR, Human Resources Officer, Texas Health Denton. Kathy also serves as our 2019 Texas SHRM State Director. Texas SHRM support 33 SHRM chapters and over 19,000 SHRM members in Texas to ultimately enhance and promote the HR professional and HR profession. Texas SHRM is mission driven… Connecting and Supporting SHRM chapter leaders to elevate the HR profession through education, advocacy, and leadership development!
Now, let’s meet Kathy…
- Where did you grow up?
I was born and raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan
- How did you get started in business/career?
I started in the Human Resources field after years in Management, Operations and Training Development. My career evolved through various leadership positons in four different industries (Wellness, Aviation, and Telecommunications to Healthcare) with each one paving the path to my current position as a hospital Human Resources Officer. It’s been an interesting journey where I’ve been able to take my skills and experiences from one organization and bring it to the next one, continuing my professional growth and contributions to the organization.
- Do you remember a challenge or life lesson that you had to overcome early in your career which made you a better leader?
I’ve been through a lot of challenges and life lessons over the years, each one providing personal and professional growth. One that comes to mind was early in my career where I was a national training director at the age of 25. While I was up to the challenge, the franchise owner wanted someone “more seasoned” to lead the organization so hired someone above me. I was hurt and admittedly angry at first but became very fond of my new leader who offered constructive feedback and development opportunities that I have applied throughout my career. It’s hard to be humble, but it’s growth!
- What was that moment when you knew that you had found your lane, your purpose?
I’ve always gravitated towards Leadership positions where I can use my knowledge and skills to enhance and improve the organization. At one point in my career, I was asked if I preferred a direction in HR Operations or HR Specialist. I think that was an AHA moment where the lightbulb went off. While I love both, the HR Operations utilizes my strengths as a Leader.
- What is your most valued achievement, and why?
I’ve been blessed with many achievements in my personal life and professional career so it’s hard to label one as the most valued. I value and treasure my education and professional certifications and the time and energy it took to achieve them over the years. I’m honored to be the TXSHRM State Director- to represent and lead our state councils to advance the HR Profession. I feel that my most valued achievement came when I became a wife, mother and grandmother. I’ve been blessed!
- Is there any one person who inspired or mentored you along the way?
I’ve had various mentors or people who inspired me: As a child (my 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Caulkins who taught me to believe in myself) ; As a teen – one of my first managers who helped me understand that I couldn’t please everyone all the time (I was 16); to my first director (Donna McClure) who took me under her wing, sharing her perspective on leadership through words and actions.. Learning is growing- and we should never stop learning. There are so many opportunities today to be mentored and to mentor others.
- Do you have a saying or creed that you live by?
I hold fast to Jeremiah 29:11. I have a plaque in my office that I can refer to when having a challenging day or situation. I rely on his plans for me….
- What book(s) are you reading or audio to help grow your leadership right now?
I read and have provided my new leaders “The Way of the Shepherd” by Dr. Kevin Leman and Bill Pentak. Much like Ken Blanchard and Tony Bridwell, I enjoy leadership books that tell a story-one that I can apply to my life. In addition, I have read and refer to the various Business books by Dianna Booker, like “Communicate like a Leader” or Creating your Personal Presence” or “Your Signature Work” and of course-“Find Your Lane” by Bruce Waller!
- Can you share any of your daily disciplines that help you stay focused as a leader?
I plan, prepare and remain flexible to change. I keep in mind that as a leader, I need to walk the talk and do what I say that I am going to do. I admit when I’ve made a mistake and try to always thank others for their contributions. I can’t expect more than I’m willing to give.
- What advice would you give others to help them on their leadership journey?
Remember that it’s a journey’ that there are many different roads. Be open to change and flexibility. Sometimes you may need to take a step back in title or pay to take two steps forward. Leadership doesn’t happen overnight, it’s a continual work in progress. Enjoy the journey!
Thank you for sharing your wisdom and insights, Kathy. This was so inspiring!
Some of my takeaways include… Being humble when things don’t go your way, being self-aware about your strengths and what ignites your passion, the importance of mentoring as a leader, as well as being mentored too, being true to our values, and remembering there are many different roads and being open to change will help us navigate as a leader.
We appreciate you letting us get to know you better as a leader in the workplace and as our State Director for Texas SHRM. You are an HR Superstar and inspiration to many because of the way you model leadership for others in the HR community!
What are your takeaways? Please share in comments and visit Texas SHRM https://texasshrm.org/ to learn more about this wonderful organization representing HR professionals in the great state of Texas!
Congratulations to our HR Superstar, Kathy Hardcastle! You are making a difference!
This interview was submitted by Bruce Waller, CRP, PHR, SHRM-CP, Vice President of Armstrong Relocation and Companies in Dallas, Texas. If you have questions, or would like to recommend someone to be featured in Bruce Waller’s HR Superstars Series, call 972-389-5673 or email firstname.lastname@example.org