Greetings. My name is Heather Hollick. Welcome to my little corner of the internet. This is the place where I ponder, muse, and rant on things that interest, intrigue, and inspire me. I strive for self-awareness and try my darnedest to live deliberately and with intent. I’m on a mission to make the world a better place to work, but that’s for another website. As America — my adopted country — heads into a new political era, I have never been more certain that all of us must make our voices heard to sculpt the lives, careers, organizations, and countries, that we want. I sometimes feel like I have been silent too long.
I have been influenced and shaped by a lot of things. I move around a lot — as of January 2020, I have moved 29 times since heading off to college. This makes me very much a child of geography. I started this journey surrounded by ponds and trees, farms and fields, along the meandering Grand River in Southern Ontario, Canada. The nomadic bug bit me when my parents moved our family to Lake Havasu City, Arizona the summer before my junior year in high school. Since then I have also lived, worked, studied, and/or taught in Indiana, Colorado, New Mexico, California, the UK, New Jersey, North Carolina, Canada (again), North Carolina (again), and Michigan.
Place matters. The places where we live infuse us with their essence in the same way that a fine wine is infused with the terroir of the climate and the soil. Most recently I have planted myself amidst the trees and small towns of Northern Michigan. After living for so long in more southern climes, I am delighted to discover anew the deeper rhythms of the northern seasons. There is nothing like the sting of a cold, brisk wind on your face to remind you that you are alive.
As an INTJ, my interests are broad, quite often revolving around my fascination with complex systems. When I headed off to college my intention was to study physics. In the ensuing years I switched to mathematics; taught high school; got a Masters in Applied Mathematics (go Boilermakers); taught college; started another masters, this time in philosophy; switched to a masters in counseling; dropped out to get a real job; worked my way up the corporate IT ladder; got a masters in business administration (go Bears); moved to London; served as a Senior Civil Servant; ran some pretty big projects; and moved back.
Upon my return to the US in 2006 I looked long and hard for a way to leverage the years of knowledge and experience that I had absorbed. This is not easy. It turns out that one of the challenges we have in the second half of our careers is that no single company can use all of the potential value that we have to offer. My solution was to go independent and offer my talents as a coach to aspiring leaders and a consultant to teams and organizations. I have long been a student of culture, team dynamics, and what I call ‘the personality of groups.’ I hung out my shingle at heatherhollick.com and have been striving to make the world a better place to work ever since.
As you peruse the posts and pages on this site, here are a few of the beliefs and values that I hold to be true:
- I am unapologetically progressive. I believe that humanity and culture evolve in much the same way that biology does. And while cultural evolution progresses at a faster rate than biological evolution, it is still slow. I think we should look at cultural progress in terms of decades and centuries, not years.
- I believe in the collective unconscious — that we are all interconnected. We feel a sense of purpose when we are tuned into what the universe needs us to be doing.
- One of the keys to happiness is to provide more value than you take in return. This makes us feel important and valued by the communities in which we serve. In general, if you take more than you give — or put back — you are a parasite. I hate parasites.
- The purpose of a company is, fundamentally, to create jobs. Capitalism has distracted us into thinking that the purpose of a company is to enrich its shareholders. This is a recent phenomenon. There are more than 7 billion people on the planet. We all need to eat and have a warm place to sleep. Most of us will earn our livelihoods by joining companies.
- The purpose of an economy is to attend to the wants and needs of its members. That is, the purpose of an economy is to create the atmosphere, framework, and safeguards, that make it possible for companies to flourish.
- Every organization will tell you how it wants to be led, if we only but listen. The job of the leader is to tune into the personality of the group and lead the group the way that it wants to be led. Dysfunction occurs when leaders chose to lead their own way, rather than leading the way that the group wants to be lead. America in the 21st century is exponentially dysfunctional.
Thank you for stopping by. Check out my Links page for a few other places where you might find me on the web. Feel free to leave a comment on the site or drop me a note via the contact form. Know that I place a high value on cognitive diversity, or ‘diversity of thought,’ as I’ve come to call it. Intelligent debate, counter notions, and contrasting opinions are a gift that allow both of us to sharpen our thinking and clarify our thoughts. All I ask is for cogent, rational arguments and well-thought-out opinions along with a willingness to expand or change your mind. I will strive to bring the same. Your input is not only welcome, it is expected!