The Art of Human Resources: An Insider’s Guide to Influencing Your Culture


My book, The Art of Human Resources, an Insider’s Guide to Influencing Your Culture,  is finally done, it was probably one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done.  Keep an eye on it early 2017, pre-order available in January 2017 and let me know what you think.



Liza Sichon presents Leading Effectively with Emotional IntelligenceAuthor Liza Sichon is on a mission to empower HR Professionals to stay true to their strengths and achieve career fulfillment. She further challenges HR Professionals to own and embrace shaping the culture of their company to promote greater connection to their customers and achieve success for any organization. Having lived and worked in three different continents, Liza Sichon has over 25 years of global HR experience in healthcare, financial services and high tech industries. After 17 moves, empty nesters Liza and her husband Danny, call Silicon Valley, California their home.





Book Summary


Considering a career in HR or in search of a fresh way to re-energize your current professional life? Whether you are early in your career, in the middle of it, or at the top of your respective industry, The Art of Human Resources will provide you with a customized roadmap to find career satisfaction in the HR industry. Everyone’s journey is unique and special, and this book will help you enjoy a customized meaningful career plan for you, develop your team and influence your company culture.


Written in an engaging and thoughtful manner, with real life case studies, The Art of Human Resources defines an Inside Out HR Development Model to help you discover your core talents, build your team, and influence your company’s culture, which eventually trickles down to impact your customer promise. This book is packed with thought provoking questions, insights, and personal discovery to help you better understand your motivations, natural abilities and personal style. From there, you will learn which of the Nine HR Profiles and their corresponding roles are best suited for your natural talents. Liza then provides a compelling argument and a proven formula for developing your company culture.


An easy read, and written from the heart, ­­­­­­The Art of Human Resources is meant to used as a workbook and constant reference tool. Keep it in your active book shelf. You can follow the steps outlined in the Inside Out Model, or choose relevant areas that you need to develop and explore. The Art of Human Resources will help you develop your strengths, your team and your company culture.

Define Your Non-negotiables, Align Your Priorities Part 1

woman working w familyWe create priorities all the time, shift and reorder them as needed.  Non-negotiables are those that are the top of your priorities, you fight for and keep them no matter what.

As you schedule your day and make decisions and choices, observe if your priorities are aligned with your non-negotiables.

My friend Lynda developed a very successful executive global career in Finance without the need to relocate out of the Toronto area.  It was important for her to be close to her family, keep her children in the same school while she took red-eye flights and worked all hours to accommodate multiple time zones.  Her non-negotiable is not relocating out of Toronto.

Georgia chose to live in Southern California and declined promotional roles that required relocation.  She instead chose to change careers.  She had a role in field sales with flexible time while her son was younger and moved to human resources with less travel when he got older.

As I look back at our family life & career, we have moved 17 times, across 3 continents over the course of our 30+ years marriage.  We relocated for promotional job opportunities, with a supportive husband, 3 children and my in-laws.  I love my career and chose to stay with it.  My marriage is my non-negotiable.

Aligning priorities with non-negotiables are important for work life success.  They are not easy to hold up and adhere to all the time, but they strengthen over time.

Are your non-negotiables clearly defined? Are your priorities aligned with what you say they are and how you choose to spend your time?


4 Ways to Overcome the Fear of Failure by Gracie Gordon

When taking on a new challenge, agree with Gracie, it is normal to experience fear. In my experience, it is the internal dialogue that you can handle this fear that is most powerful in helping you overcome it.  Good sharing.  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/gracie-gordon/


You are the Driver of your Career. 4 Ways to Improve Your Driving

driver red top down

I remember recurring dreams about driving whenever work stress got too much for me. I would dream that I was driving a car and would fall asleep at the wheel; or I’d be driving a car with my children at the back, fall asleep only to wake up in a sweat; or driving a car and get lost in the dark unable to find my way. Eventually I looked up the meaning of driving dreams and found one interpretation that made sense to me — driving dreams are about driving careers. I am driving my own career and feel the responsibilities of decisions that impact my family directly.  Work anxiety and fear of failure are strong emotions which I accepted as natural consequences of being an executive.

I had a great corporate career and am very grateful for it.  If I could coach my younger self about this very topic right now, I’d ask her what is the price that I am willing to pay to be an executive?  What is it about the work that is causing me stress?  How can I diffuse and handle this?  Am I fully aware of what I am doing and feeling? I was fortunate that during my formative years, my bosses provided me with a success coach. Some of my most successful and productive years were when I had a coach or mentoring relationship with a more senior and experienced supportive person. In addition to having great coaches, I could have improved driving my career more consciously.  I would coach my younger self to be more self-aware, more reflective and more purposeful in planning career and personal success.  I would pause more to regularly ask for directions and ask more feedback about my driving.

As the driver of our career and personal life, are we driving too fast or too slow? Are we distracted when driving? I usually started my drive to the office dialing into my voice messages — this was when cell phones were allowed on the road. I’m grateful that I did not hurt anyone, what was I thinking then? I thought that cleaning up my voicemail would improve my efficiency and productivity. I know now that calling my staff early in the morning added unnecessary stress to them. I guess I was obsessed to get voicemail checked.  I would coach my younger self to enjoy the drive, downtime and some silence.

As the driver of our careers, do we know where we are headed? Wouldn’t it be great if a GPS career apps with a soothing voice could be attached to our cars and order us to “recalculate” when we take the wrong turn in our careers or “make a right turn” at the exact time?  Are we driving above the speed limit of our career growth, making other drivers upset with our speed? Or are we too slow in the fast lane or too fast in the slow lane?

Here are 4 simple proven ways to be a better driver of your career:

1. Know your destination. What is your ultimate career goal? Where do you see yourself 10, 20 years from now? Is it to be a CEO, a VP, a Manager? It is important that you are clear about your end game. As you think through this question, keep in mind that while there are varied, diverse & untraditional careers, most are built with 4 similar structures: Early Career – usually an individual contributor, Mid Career – either professional or manager track, Executive Career – Director ,VP or C suite executive and Second Act – usually pursuing your unique passion or giving back.

2. Choose your lane. How fast do you want to drive your career? Do you want to be known as a Fast Tracker, high potential who gets promoted every couple of months? Or are you perfectly happy to be in the middle lane at certain times of your life?  What are you consciously giving up by staying in your chosen lane?  Are you accelerating or decelerating to get off ramp?

3. Keep your engine tuned up. As you move up the career ladder, ensure that your skills and knowledge are constantly enhanced. Keep an eye on your career dashboard, know when you are running out of gas, when you need to recharge your batteries or perhaps change your car?  This includes taking extreme care of yourself and what is important to you. There is no joy in reaching your destination only to find out that no one is there to share your success with you.

4. Lastly, don’t be a road rage, follow proper driving etiquette and don’t monopolize the road.  There are several roads to take you to your destination. Keep a positive attitude, build lasting relationships and help others along the way. The latter is the most gratifying career act that you can embrace. It is guaranteed to come back to you multiple fold in ways that you have not expected.

How are you driving your career?

8 Items that need to be on your plate. If you add more, you need to remove some.



One of the fantastic women I interviewed for my book on work life success, Kimberly Foss, told me that a professional woman’s life is similar to a buffet plate.  Everything looks good and as you go through the buffet table you keep on piling up food.  The problem is our plate size is limited, so some things need to be removed from our plate before we can add-on more.

How many of us are living our day-to-day life with overflowing plates?  It is not only unhealthy, it is also difficult to digest.  We have work commitments, care for our spouses & children, do countless household chores, travel, manage our finances & try to keep ourselves healthy.  For women, it’s mostly our downtime and eventually our health that suffers, while we desperately try to do all things and have it all.

Are you feeling overwhelmed by trying to have it all?  Instead of living life with an overflowing and unhealthy plate, perhaps it would be good to take some time out and visualize what’s on your plate.  It is never too late to take things off your plate.  This can be done once you are clear on your priorities.  Priorities change, so it is totally fine to coach yourself to reorder them periodically as needed.

I like to visualize my full life as a full plate with the following categories which I prioritize depending on my situation.

  1. Spiritual Life or centeredness
  2. Health & Fitness
  3. Financial Management
  4. Family & Relationships
  5. Child &/or Elder Care
  6. Career or Business
  7. Fun and recreational activities
  8. Housework or maintenance work

I like to regularly assess where I am on each of these areas and adjust accordingly.  During my corporate life, most of my time was committed to work, with very little time left for fun and recreational activities.  The awareness of how unbalanced my plate looked was enough for me to make some simple changes like walking regularly.  Eventually walking was not enough and I took on a more intense cardio and flexibility workout, I discovered and eventually got hooked to hot yoga.  It was not only a healthy workout; I enjoyed what it did to my health and overall wellbeing.

When I needed to add something to my plate, something needed to be given up.  It either goes off the list, gets outsourced or delegated.   Several years ago, as my career took off and travel increased, my husband picked up managing our day-to-day budget.  It was not easy for me to give this up, but I noticed my stress levels decreased as he ramped up managing our finances.  Years later, I am glad we made this shift; he became so good at managing our budget & investments that I was able to retire from my corporate life as soon as our youngest daughter graduated from college.  As my career took an even bigger portion of my plate, finances, gardening and cooking moved over to my husband’s plate.  He’s a much better cook anyway and loves to garden.

What’s on your plate?  What can you move out?


The Balance Myth by Teresa Taylor

Just finished reading this book, it is honest, real, vulnerable, love it!  This is how women in the workplace with families can succeed, allowing themselves to be who they really are so they can use their intellect and talents in all aspects of their lives.  Congratulations Teresa!  http://www.thebalancemythbook.com

Cut the Crap, Get a Job! A New Job Search Process for a New Era by Dana Manciagli

“As an HR professional, I’ve interviewed and hired hundreds of people throughout my career.  It is in the best interest of hiring managers to fill their openings with the best person as soon as possible.  If you want to be taken seriously by hiring managers and HR recruiters, Dana’s book is a must read.
This book will transform the serious job seeker to an ideal candidate. It is written in Dana’s direct style and is full of practical content and action steps.  If you want to be accountable, manage your job search professionally, and most importantly achieve results in today’s competitive world, I highly recommend reading and implementing Dana’s best practices.”
For more information, visit Dana’s website at http://www.danamanciagli.com.  It is loaded with practical tips and videos.


The Reality of What Makes Silicon Valley Tick

Couldnt agree more with this article.  After 17 moves, across 3 continents, we found our home.  We love the vibrancy of the place, the innovative culture, the gorgeous weather that makes people smile, and most especially the diversity.  Each one can be unique and celebrated doing their own thing.

The Reality of What Makes Silicon Valley Tick – @HarvardBizhttp://t.co/BY6F2Uth0p



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