Courtney Templin

"Taking HR to the Next Level"

What was this rookie assignment (the role, task or event)? 

Building something from scratch is where my inner Rookie really comes out and excels - even in volunteer positions. I was asked to attract, recruit, and retain Emerging HR Leaders to the association Chicago SHRM - Society for Human Resources Management. This was a new board position, and the Executive Board empowered me to shape and create the position and our initiatives. As a brand new board member in a brand new role, I was ready to go - Game time!

When was it? Set the scene of the time you were in.

It was the summer of 2011 - a bright, sunny day in Chicago - and I was looking for that next stretch opportunity. In prior roles, I had excelled by being a "doer", and to be successful in this role, I would have to be more - I would need to lead and empower. During a rocky time when membership in professional associations was decreasing, I would need to motivate and engage HR professionals to join, get involved, and volunteer.

What were nervous or worried about?

I was nervous about my experience level, my ability to lead volunteers, and my skills at managing key stakeholders - all as a volunteer with a demanding full-time job. However, it was this excited yet nervous energy that really fueled me.

What were you hopeful about?

I was passionate about this entrepreneurial role, and of course, my rookie self was hopeful that our efforts would be a smashing success. For the organization, I hoped our initiative would fuel a new energy and engagement in the group, fill our leadership pipeline, and boost the bottom line by increasing membership. Personally, I hoped to build new, strong relationships, to further develop my leadership skills, and set and communicate a powerful strategy for the role.

What was the outcome?

We boosted membership, we delivered top-notch educational programs to advance careers, and we created successful networking opportunities to boost engagement and retention of our young professionals. The initiative is still going strong and gaining even more momentum under my successor.

What would be possible in your current job if you could re-invigorate this same rookie self?

Endless opportunity, creativity, energy, focus, inspiration, and impact! It's when I'm at my best - hungry to learn and eager to make a big business impact.

What else would you like to tell us about your rookie story?

As a rookie, I have more hopes than fears, more big plans than safe ideas, and more input, collaboration and perspective than a narrow view. I'm at my best when I'm deep diving into a rookie experience and pointing my bat towards the fences.

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