Sharing Leadership Lessons in an interview with Bruce Waller…
10 Answers from HR Leaders that make a difference!
I once heard Sara Blakely, (CEO Spanx) say, “The more you experience in life, the more you have to offer others.” Today, I want for you to experience more by learning from some Super Stars serving in HR! 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.
In this HR Super Stars interview series, I want to introduce you to some of the best of the best in HR! These leaders make impact and will share challenges, successes, and perspectives on their journey as a business leader and in their personal lives. My hope is each person will inspire you and challenge you to become more for others on your journey. So, let’s get started and meet our HR Superstar!
Today, we are going to hear from this week’s HR Superstar, Pamela Bratton, Vice President of Contracts & Compliance for Meador Staffing Services, Inc. and Co-Director Government Affairs/Advocacy for Texas SHRM. Texas SHRM supports 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 Pam!
- Where did you grow up? Brazosport, Texas (lived in Velasco, Clute, and Lake Jackson)
- How did you get started in business/career? I started working at a surfboard stand on Surfside when I was just 12 or 13 and worked there until I graduated, also working for 3 years every other night and weekends at the Surf Drive-In Theater. After business school, I worked for the Clute Police Department, then Memorial Hospital (Houston), then I was hired by Fluor Engineers & Constructors as a junior clerk typist in the HR department. I was a terrible typist, so they taught me to interview and the rest is history.
- Do you remember a challenge or life lesson that you had to overcome early in your career which made you a better leader? I had to overcome the lack of a 4-year degree. I always worked hard and made it a priority to educate myself on every topic relative to my job. I read everything I could get my hands on about any subject and paid my own way to many seminars and workshops.
- What was that moment when you knew that you had found your lane, your purpose? When the President of the company I worked for told me that if I wanted to join the industry association that I would have to become an advocate. I knew absolutely nothing about advocacy, but I had great teachers and fell in love with telling my story about why a particular piece of legislation was good or bad for our industry.
- What is your most valued achievement, and why? I set goals and as I reached them, I always set more. My greatest achievement is when a former employee told me that I was the best boss she ever had. That let me know that I was doing the right thing to help someone grow and develop their own path. I have a room full of accolades, but the words of someone you helped along the way mean the most
- Is there any one person who inspired or mentored you along the way? Very early in my career in temporary staffing, a man named John Dunlap was our VP of operations and he taught me so much about the business world. He polished my writing skills, helped me develop excellent budgeting and forecasting techniques and most of all, he taught me to forgive people who slighted me along the way. Greatest lesson in business and life is forgiveness.
- Do you have a saying or creed that you live by? God is good all the time!
- What book(s) are you reading or audio to help grow your leadership right now? Corporate Ovations by Kevin Karschnik & Russ Peterson. Kevin is a friend, and founder of iSpeak. I’m just starting his book on creating an effective corporate communication plan. I highly recommend him as a speaker if you need one.
- Can you share any of your daily disciplines that help you stay focused as a leader? Prioritize constantly. I know my priorities for the day, but sometimes one of our branches needs something ASAP and I re-prioritize. It is important to stay on task, but also remain flexible and nimble.
- What advice would you give others to help them on their leadership journey? Be a good communicator and develop strong relationships.
- Communication of your thoughts, ideas, or just telling your story is important. Part of that communication is listening – remember God gave us 2 ears and only 1 mouth for a reason.
- Relationships with everyone in your circle of life takes work and it is your responsibility to do your part to keep it active. Take time to show your interest in the other person – you’ll be amazed how important that is.
Thank you for sharing your wisdom and insights, Pam. This interview has been very inspiring!
Some of my takeaways include… No matter how winding the road is on our journey, there is something to learn at each stop along the way… Working hard and investing in yourself with continuous education is key to growth, Great bosses are great teachers and make impact on people, Gratitude from others can be the greatest achievement in your career, The greatest lesson in life and business is forgiveness – I just love this! “Corporate Ovations” sounds like a great book to check out as well the author when you need a speaker, prioritizing is important each day, but we need to stay flexible and nimble along the way, and lastly, be a good communicator while developing great relationships – it will be a difference maker!
If you would like to learn more about Texas SHRM, visit www.texasshrm.org
Join your Texas SHRM colleagues in Austin on Thursday, April 4th for Advocacy Day. This is your opportunity to have your voice heard at the State level and to learn about important legislation that impacts the HR industry in the State of Texas. Register at TexasSHRM Advocacy Day
Congratulations to our HR Superstar, Pam Bratton! You are making a difference for the HR Community.
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. You can also sign up for Bruce’s blog “A Relocation Minute” on Leadership, HR, and Mobility and receive each week at www.brucewaller.com