Anticipate and act, Jeb Bush tells HR pros

Chicago SHRM conference draws record-breaking crowd

Posted June 19, 2018

Being ready for problems and acting quickly to resolve them are the secret skills of a human resources professional, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush told a crowd of HR pros during the opening session of the annual Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) conference on June 17.

“In a chaotic world, you need to learn to anticipate the challenges before they happen and mitigate the mess before it gets too big,” Bush told attendees.

He spoke on “Leading in an Environment of Disruptive Change” at the Chicago conference, which drew a record crowd of 20,000.

Bush, who served as governor of Florida from 1999 to 2007, said he quickly realized one of the most important facets of his job was talent management. Bringing in a diverse team provided a variety of perspectives, and because he accepted responsibility for decisions team members were less risk averse and more loyal.

“It’s important to take responsibility as a leader so you have the back of your team,” he said. “There’s no ‘My dog ate my homework.’”

Crisis management begins with getting all the facts and acting quickly to rectify the situation. “Communicate aggressively and clearly about challenges and how you’re going to fix it,” he said.

This article was written by Terri Dougherty, SHRM-CP, PHR, of J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc.


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