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Impact Makers Podcast with Jennifer McClure

Jul 5, 2018

When it comes to changing hearts and minds in the workplace, nothing will bring people to your podium like a powerful personal story. Today, Jennifer talks with her good friend and old colleague Mary Faulkner, the author of the widely read blog Surviving Leadership. She is currently the Director of Human Resources, Talent and Total Rewards at Denver Water.

  • Can you guess what Mary wanted to be as a young woman? Mary tells us a little bit about her educational and business history and how she found herself in the world of HR.
  • The two met in 2013 while Jennifer was working a consulting contract at the company Mary was a part of. Mary talks about the details of her career since 2013, Jennifer’s influence on her development, and her blog HR-focused blog called Surviving Leadership.
  • The focus of Mary’s blog isn’t just about the view from the top down; she also consistently approaches HR from an employee position and touches on a broad range of topics within the corporate landscape.
  • One of the themes that Mary has been writing about is fear-based leadership in the workplace. For example, fears of innovation failure, fears of internal politics, or fear of speaking one’s mind. She uses the example of the #MeToo movement and the cultures of fear that prevent people from speaking out.
  • What can those in leadership roles do to make space for people to speak out? Mary offers some specific suggestions for those at the top.
  • A deep understanding of the many idiosyncrasies of corporate leadership culture is bound to change the way one sees the workplace. Jennifer asks Mary about how her work and writing has changed her own leadership style and work relationships.
  • Like thousands of other impact makers, Twitter changed the game for Mary Faulkner. Jennifer asks Mary about how being connected to a globally diverse range of people has impacted her perspective and working style.
  • Through her social media coverage of HR conferences, Mary has been invited to cover, speak at and organize a range of events. Jennifer asks Mary about how these experiences have helped her grow her career and enhance her practice.
  • When it comes to laying it out for the top brass, HR departments are often on the back foot when justifying their programs. So being an HR practitioner and a consistently travelling speaker isn’t so common. Mary talks about how she balances these two parts of her career and offers some advice for conference organizers on how to get more HR practitioners on the stage.
  • Stage fright is no joke but there are even greater challenges to building a quality conference presentation. Mary provides some pointers on how to work your way up to the podium and the value of presenting your story.
  • Who are some the biggest impact makers in Mary Faulkner’s life? Mary talks about some of her leadership mentors and about the future of career.


Resources & Links:

Mary Faulkner website

Mary Faulkner LinkedIn

Mary Faulkner Twitter

Mary Faulkner Instagram


DisruptHR Denver

Carla Shull

Laurie Ruettimann

Paul Hebert

Matthew Stollak

Steve Browne


Are you struggling with developing your personal brand?

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Check out another trailblazing HR powerhouse!

HR expert Laurie Ruettiman hosts a podcast called Let’s Fix Work where she speaks with a diverse array of people about how to change the way we think and work for the better.


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