Do You Have a Shadow at Work?

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The first mystery books I ever got “hooked” on were the Bobbsey Twins series. My mother introduced them to me when I was about eight years old, and she told me that she had loved them when she was a little girl too.

Once I got through that series, I graduated to Nancy Drew mysteries and then moved on to the queen of the murder mystery genre, Agatha Christie. Unbelievably, all of these series were written in the 1930s and ’40s and are still in school libraries today!

What is it that makes a good mystery so compelling?


All the sneaking around, looking for clues, watching other people’s movements and listening to their conversations… it feeds our curiosity and satisfies the need to understand what’s really going on behind the scenes.


Left unchecked, of course, that curiosity can just turn someone into a busybody. But maybe there’s a way to leverage that curiosity with integrity, in a way that strengthens individual relationships and organizational culture overall.


Think about events like “bring-your-kid-to-work day”: the idea is that giving children a chance to shadow a parent at work can serve as future career inspiration, as well as to help parents and children grow closer.


What if that same opportunity were provided to peers and colleagues instead of children?


The impact of that arrangement is just one of the powerful insights shared  by Katie Bussing, Chief Human Resources Officer of Springfield Clinicthis week on the Speaking to Influence podcast.


It’s incredible how we can be working in a company with so many other people and still have absolutely no idea what any of those other people are doing from day to day, or how our respective duties and responsibilities influence each other.


Their work just seems like a mystery.


That’s why Katie described a time when she asked one of her colleagues for permission to shadow her at work, and then reciprocated the invitation: to solve the mystery of someone else’s respective value to the company, as well as the challenges they encounter each day.


And boy, does that give a whole new appreciation for what they deal with, how important they are, and how glad you are that they do what they do (so you don’t have to!)


It’s a chance to gain empathy and first-hand understanding of what otherwise would remain a mystery.



Katie also shared insights on:

  • How she got everyone on board – even the most reluctant team members – when it was time to restructure and centralize HR functions
  • How she worked to change the perception of HR, including demonstrating the value and strategic role of the HR function within the organization.
  • How to “pulse-check” a room
  • How she uses “Coffee with Katie” moments to build relationships and trust among her team


and more.

Oh – did I mention that Katie also had an opportunity to re-enact a real-life mystery on the television show Unsolved Mysteries? Yes, really. All the more reason for you to tune in!


Listen more to the conversation here or watch the video on YouTube here.


Something else that also seems like a mystery to many people is how to share your personal passions and industry expertise with others.


I get asked all the time how I get invited to be a guest speaker on so many other podcasts, conference stages and more.


The truth is, after doing it for the last 15 years, I’ve distilled it down to eight simple keys to unlock your potential and become that go-to thought leader who everyone actually wants to hear speak!


Join me this Thursday, February 22nd at 4:30pm ET for a FREE live webinar: 8 Keys to Establishing Your Brand as a Go- To Thought Leader



If you’re curious to solve the mystery for yourself, RSVP here.


Here’s to your success,



PS: What’s NOT a mystery? How amazing you’ll feel if you also join my team, “Laura’s Love,” for the final week of “Hearts in Motion,” the virtual 5K you can walk, jog or run any time in the month of February, in support of the Adoption Center, whose mission is to help older children in the foster care system find their “forever families.” Let’s make a difference together!

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