Author motivates local HR representatives

Published 10:28 am Thursday, March 16, 2017


A motivational speaker and best-selling author was the highlight of the annual West Georgia Society of Human Resource Management conference in LaGrange on Wednesday.


Jon Gordon, author of “The Energy Bus” and several other books, has been in the motivational speaking business sine 2005.


“It’s not just about motivation,” he said. “It’s the principles of great leadership and positive leadership.”


He addressed adversity and negativity with the group of local human resource professionals, which included students from LaGrange College and Thinc Academy.


“These are things folks in human resources deal with all the time,” he said.


Mostly, he encourages them to think positive.


“If you don’t have it, you can’t share it,” he said.


His next book, The Power of Positive Leadership, comes out in a month.


“A lot of it is how you approach the problem,” he said. “Is it a challenge or an opportunity? The cycle feeds itself. You have to look for ways to bring out the best in others – whatever we look for, we find.”


He assures those he speaks to it’s not the “rose-colored glasses” approach.


“We’re positive because life is hard,” Gordon said. “There are challenges, but they can all be met in a positive way.”


Dawn Coker, a board member of the local SHRM, said the annual spring conference was started seven years ago. The membership has grown and that has allowed the group to bring in speakers like Gordon. People from Savannah, Macon and Augusta attended Wednesday’s event and many local industries from healthcare to manufacturing were represented.


The local group recently won the Pinnacle Award, a point of pride since it is one of the two smallest societies in the country.


Other talks Wednesday focused on employment labor laws and occupational safety and health updates.


“It’s educational for business leaders and it promotes the values of the SHRM,” said Tami Poe, board member and organizer of the conference. “There’s a lot of networking, and we can be a partner in the community for smaller businesses to give them human resource representation and guidance.”