Recently Erika had the opportunity to be a part of Agency Balance’s Podcast titled Leading with Love: How to Foster a Culture of Growth, Balance, and Success in the Workplace. In this podcast Erika joins Lisa Zwikl, CSO of SmartAcre in discussion on various aspects of leadership, team management, work-life balance, and the integration of family into professional life.
HIHR’s collaboration with SmartAcre on projects, including their Amazing Employee Handbook, speaks volumes about the quality of work and the positive culture they’ve cultivated. A well-crafted handbook can indeed serve as a solid foundation for an organization, guiding employees and reinforcing the values that drive success.
Fostering a culture of growth, balance, and success is indeed an ongoing journey. It necessitates consistent effort and a steadfast commitment to leading with love.
How many times do we say “what if…” followed with fear or negative thought?
It seems easy to allow the thought to linger and deter the positive next steps.
Instead, what if we ask: What if it succeeds? What if it’s possible? What's the worst that can happen?
All it takes is reaching out for the next rung, the next “hard” thing on the monkey bars of life.
If I can do that, I can do this…if I can do this…I can do that…and so on and so forth.
It’s true that the monkey bar rung misses and soar arms (that are bound to come along) do hurt along the way.
However, they pale in comparison to the flying, soaring sensation! The moment we experience and open our eyes to what is actually possible in this world of opportunities! The joy that comes from seeing real lives improved in tangible ways and playing a part.
In our experience, it’s not that cliff jump (though it may feel that way at times/could be the rare exception). It’s the calculated movements that slowly and surely move the needle forward.
For fun - My workday Friday ended on a high! I had the chance to meet with the leader of an awesome organization preventing homelessness in the Lehigh Valley (PA), getting families back on their feet.
HIHR Team Members have volunteered and offered training, time and career development services for this organization over the last year or so. We love them and plan to collaborate even further.
The leader generally asked me…’’How did you hire this team? Each one I've met are the most positive and amazing people to work with!’’ (paraphrased, but something along these lines).
I couldn’t stop smiling from ear to ear, as I’m doing right now. 😊 These gems of human beings have much intrinsic motivation, high-integrity intentions, spur each other on, and are a force to be reckoned with!
The “Go Higher” motto applied to life is different for everyone that joins in and will EVOLVE throughout various life seasons. It can be applied to family life, health, leadership, finances, and the list goes on!
For real-life encouragement, a journey where more is possible, interacting with passionate people who know how to “Go Higher!” (as we love to say), feel free to join along with us. We enjoy inviting new people along in many various ways.
This is a big year for us. There are several more bright announcements to come. If this resonates with you, you are welcome to join along in the excitement and energy!
#Leadership #Consulting #Impact #Development #Energy #BusinessConsulting #HR
I've learned there are two powerful and UNIQUE things about me that impact and propel my life. These are my communication style and my personal faith.
I believe in the concept of bringing your whole self to work. I desire every person we work with to have the joy and opportunity to do this.
This is living your life as fully YOU, whether at work or home.
No matter your background, personal preferences, faith beliefs, color, personality, gender, communication style, etc.....and every other thing that makes you, you; We all have unique gifts to bring to the table. We all will thrive and help others thrive when we live life in this way.... with kindness, honesty, understanding, support and love.
Recently I've had the opportunity to be a guest on podcasts with some incredible leaders I respect. We are talking about topics I absolutely love and care deeply about...and I can't help but bring the energy 1000%! This is me being authentic, free, engaged, etc.
About the Podcast:
This most recent podcast, Elevate I.T. Podcast, is with Christian and Lyneesha Johnson, amazing authors/business leaders/coaches/etc.
I have worked with Christian closely as one of the senior leaders for an important HIHR LLC client for almost 2 years now. I think we spur each other on with our passion and energy. It just works! He is a very dynamic and talented leader whom we can learn a lot from. He lives and leads with wisdom and a genuine love for people. When he speaks, people listen. I'm so happy to see Lyneesha and Christian continuing to share and make an impact!
This episode exists to support emerging leaders in attracting their DREAM Team! This is one of most important things we will ever do as leaders. I hope and pray it will be a blessing to those seeking to do this.
The last few years, I have really enjoyed letting my energy and faith fly high. I enjoyed creating a space where I believe others can do the same with their unique traits.
I know when we show our authentic selves and real beliefs it can be scary. We open ourselves up for more criticism, discrimination, misunderstanding, being lumped with groups we may not agree with just from assumptions/association...and the list goes on. However, I have found - it is absolutely worth it!
My hope is that for myself and those in our community and beyond, we grow in love and not hate...healing and not pain, peace and not war...grow in understanding and not assumptions. There is so much on my heart these days that I'm excited to share/connect with others about. There will be much more coming this year.
I know it's possible for a few people to make a big impact and improve many lives...even living as our authentic, imperfect selves. Here's to 2024!
For more awesome development content - follow along with my friends Christian and Lyneesha - I definitely will be!
Author: Erika Butler, CEO
I’ve always loved learning about history. I’m sure that is one of the reasons I’ve enjoyed our time in Europe so much…the never-ending museums, castles, and cultural experiences.
Since we moved, we decided I'd get away a few days each year for a personal retreat to reflect, pray, plan and do some of my best thinking.
I just got back from my time in Warsaw, Poland and I am full of energy, ideas, creativity, and inspiration (why I find these times so valuable).
Warsaw is a city that includes history of great destruction and pain. This destruction is to the tune of 85% of the city being completely demolished during WWII.
However, they did not sit in that defeat, but came back even stronger. Poland rebuilt their city (which is absolutely beautiful) with the exact replicas of former day, down to specific colors and other notable factors.
This city has been given the nickname “The Pheonix”, as they literally have risen from the ashes. You can visit now and enjoy a stunning, clean, and high-tech city, with all of the charm from the good times in the past.
My biggest take away from this special visit was – no matter how hard, how hopeless, how devastating a situation may be…. we all have a choice to make. We can rise like a Phoenix or give up in defeat.
As I toured the Warsaw castle, former Jewish Getto, the Christmas markets, the lovely Old Town, and the list goes on…I felt a sense of pride and excitement from the people. I even had the chance to speak with an older man from Warsaw who went on about the beautiful surroundings. He told me that I had to come back with the family to continue the adventure!
I took this experience to heart. Though it is very exciting, rewarding, and skill-building to move your family to a new country…these moves still come with challenges. Especially early on, at times it is easy to feel out of sorts and like you are skidding by on an icy slope!
I will never forget my experience in Warsaw and the impact these resilient people had on me. If we ever feel stuck (or on an icy slope)…I’ve learned the best thing to do is don't stay there in destruction. Instead, choose to put one foot in front of the other and keep taking those baby steps. If we do, there is no doubt that amazing things will happen!
Five Years ago, I did not know if starting a company would be possible! Here we are 5 years later, and we feel the sky is the limit. Based on the amazing examples I’ve seen of what it looks like to overcome; I feel more resilient/courageous/hopeful than ever!
Here’s to our motto – "Go Higher"! In all hardships – keep going – be resilient – the goals on our heart are possible!
Author: Erika Butler, CEO
I truly love our Team - each one of them. They are the ones that make the magic happen.
We don't always talk about 'love' in business but there is no doubt in my mind that it is an important part of everything we do. Showing people genuine love and kindness builds trusting relationships which enables amazing results and impact.
When we visited the US this Summer, several people have asked us, '"how do you run a mostly US company from Europe". My answer is always the same - it's having the best team and the deep trust and respect we share. We are for sure not perfect, but I am very certain we do have each other's best interest at heart ALWAYS (including our trusted partners and clients)!
On several occasions I have heard some of our team members say, 'I work for Erika'. I always make a correction and say we work together (they can attest to this). The reason is, I absolutely could not do this on my own. For example, I report into several of our team members on projects AND client accounts. They are better than me at many things and we win as a team.
In this ''back-to-school'" season, I wanted to take a moment and reflect on one of the best highlights of our Summer!
It has become a tradition to get our amazing HIHR Team together for what we call our annual 'Go Higher Retreat'! Most of us are coming from the Lehigh Valley, PA...but also from Scranton, Philadelphia, Canada, South Carolina and our family was able to host this in between our move from Switzerland to Latvia.
Our time together was packed with the following:
To me the MOST important thing was to catch-up on a more personal level, have fun...and celebrate together! 🙂
There was a bunch of learning, problem solving and planning going on...but it was also so important to just laugh and enjoy the special time of being together and that's exactly what we did!
Many of us have worked together in different capacities for over 10 years and have deep relationships/history. Though we visit clients and travel for trainings...we do MOST of our work remotely, so it is important we stay connected as a team.
Author: Erika Butler, CEO
#teambuilding #teamdevelopment #bestteam #hrcommunity #hr #retreats #traininganddevelopment #teamwork #teamengagement
I've found navigating change can feel like running through a big cloud of fog...or completing a challenging maze, not knowing which way to turn next (like this crazy maze my son made in the sand!).
This is a topic we feel is so important to spend time learning about and proactively developing in ourselves and those around us. Change continues to be a steady constant in our lives. If not managed carefully, it can lead us unnecessarily to ‘Change Fatigue'.
I must give a big thank you to Nikki Carter for writing this awesome Indeed article on 'Combating Change Fatigue'. It was awesome to be part of the process and have the opportunity to share our insight with the hope of helping more people navigate this in a healthy and productive way. Though it is not necessarily easy, it is possible!
Change fatigue refers to the feeling of being exhausted by the constant changes going on in a workplace. An interesting thing about change fatigue is that it doesn't matter if the changes are seen as positive; they still contribute to employees' fatigue. Some symptoms of change fatigue include:
I remember the first time I went through this myself and felt like the floor was crumbling from underneath me. It felt much harder to move the needle and make an impact. There was so much organizational change all around me. This included a lot of leadership transition- real partners/mentors/supporters I had come to trust were moving on. It felt impossible to succeed and learn the 'new way' of operating without the same trusted support system. Living through this multiple times, I now understand with the uncertainty, change also brings MUCH creativity, new opportunities, new talent, even new friendships and CAN lead to much success and growth on the other side.
This is a real thing many of us deal with but there are tried and true ways we can better manage this when leading ourselves and others through change.
Feel free to check out the Indeed article which shares recommendations from our HIHR strategies as well as other experienced change agents on combating this real challenge. As humans, we can only handle so much change at a time. In seasons that may feel like non-stop change professionally, personally, etc., it is important to be kind to ourselves, prioritize health, have honest conversations with our leaders/teams and be open to new possibilities!
We offer in-depth training and coaching on this very thing. We love to support and walk closely with those navigating these big and impactful seasons of change with the goal of making the most of the opportunities that change always seems to promote!
#changeleadership #changemanagement #hrcommunity #hr #indeed #traininganddevelopment
Author: Erika Butler, CEO
I've always lived in a country that governed itself freely for hundreds of years, until now. I'm now living in my 4th country (3rd Continent) and it has been an amazing experience. Latvia was again made an independent nation in 1991, after 50+ years of occupation by the Nazi's and the Soviet Union. We're finding that this nation is full of such lovely people and we already feel welcomed.
It is hard to explain how much I've learned in just one month trying to grasp the Latvian history/culture/etc. and it has intensified my drive to make a meaningful impact through our organization/etc. I see how much more is possible in freedom and the incredible gift it is; not to be taken for granted.
To share one insightful personal experience: This picture represents about 2 million people that held hands & sang from the capital of Estonia, through Riga, Latvia and down to Lithuania (Baltic Countries). This is now known as the 'Baltic Chain of Freedom'. You can see these pictures in several of the museums celebrating the special & powerful moment.
We were invited for a meal by a Latvian family we met, and it turns out the incredible woman was right there along with the millions standing, holding hands in this ''chain'' when she was young in 1989. It was inspiring to hear her story.
''On 8/23/89, approx. two million people from Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania joined hands to form a human chain spanning 690 kilometers (430 miles) across the three Baltic states. This peaceful political demonstration became known as the Baltic Way or the Baltic Chain of Freedom''. (Source: https://lnkd.in/e-jWSvfD)
Coincidently, I'm starting a certification this week (Finally! I've been excited!) in relation to seeking further understanding of people/teamwork in a global world. Once completed, it will be offered in the form of training as a HIHR LLC service and will definitely benefit me as a new resident of Latvia.
The program is called Inter-Cultural Intelligence. This goes much deeper than my current/previous experiences. KnowledgeWorkx, the certifying group, provides tools/programs in over 70 countries with organizations large & small around the world! They have become a dear partner to us whom we trust and deeply appreciate. I have come to realize, especially as of late, how little I really understand about cultures different than my own upbringing/life experience.
I'll be looking for individuals who would like to learn more about this as well. To become a certified practitioner, I'll successfully execute the training/coaching with a group of participants (free of charge).
This is beneficial for those working in international organizations to support collaboration, problem solving and success for global teams (though you don't have to leave home these days to find an international team, am I right?).
If you also have interest in growing in this area, please message me/email us at email@example.com.
#teamwork #international #culture
Author: Erika Butler, CEO