• Columnists

Sharon Armstrong, Owner, Sharon Armstrong and Associates

COLUMN = HUMAN RESOURCES

Sharon Armstrong has more than 20 years of experience as the owner of Sharon Armstrong and Associates. She is a human resources consultant, trainer, and career counselor who consults with many large corporations and small businesses. She has facilitated training, completed HR projects, and provided career transition services for a wide variety of clients in the profit and nonprofit sectors. She is also the co-author of the The Essential HR Handbook.

Sharon received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern Maine and her master’s degree in Counseling from The George Washington University. She is a certified Professional in Human Resources (PHR).

Sharon is the co-author of a humor book, published by Random House entitled “Heeling the Canine Within: The Dog’s Self-Help Companion” in 1998. Career Press published her first business book, “Stress-Free Performance Appraisals: Turn Your Most Painful Management Duty Into a Powerful Motivational Tool” in July 2003. “The Essential HR Handbook: A Quick and Handy Resource for Any Manager or HR Professional” was published in August 2008. Her latest book is “The Essential Performance Review Handbook,” which was published in the spring of 2010.

ABOUT THE ESSENTIAL HR HANDBOOK

This 250-page reference guide, published in the fall of 2008 by Career Press, is a must-have for everyone who deals with employees on a daily basis, believe Barbara Mitchell and Armstrong, who wrote the book to shed light on the issues that keep managers up at night.

With this easy-to-read paperback, you’ll learn how to effectively and efficiently:
• Individually manage each employee, starting on his or her first day.
• Manage a multi-generational workforce.
• Appraise job performance.
• Coach and counsel.
• Provide equitable pay, benefits, and total-rewards strategies.
• Minimize legal risk.

WHAT CRITICS ARE SAYING

“Finally, a complete, clear, and concise book that covers every essential element of that mix of art and science we call HR. It’s 100% applicable to the real-world challenges faced by today’s HR manager or business owner.” — Joe Calloway, author of Work Like You’re Showing Off.

“This should be required reading for all owners of growing businesses and new managers launching their careers. Seasoned HR professionals will also find value in this quick guide to the essentials of managing people.” — Stephen J. O’Connor, senior director of staffing, ESPN Inc.

“This book is easy to use, and full of solid advice and information from diversity to interviews to legal issues. If you are an HR professional, you should have this book at the ready every day.” — Chester Elton, co-author of The Carrot Principle.

Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”

– Seneca

Treat the attainment of happiness in the same way an entrepreneur would approach building a business — with a vision, plan, goals, and a systematic approach.”

– Ted Leonsis

How do you stay resilient? It’s about momentum. Like riding a bicycle. If you stop you fall over. So I keep pedaling.”

– Diane Lane

The only dream worth having is to live while you’re alive and die only when you’re dead.”

– Arundhati Roy

Success is about finding a livelihood that brings joy, self-sufficiency, and a sense of contributing.”

– Anita Roddick

Don’t follow your dreams. Chase them.”

– Richard Dumb

Instead of loving your enemies, treat your friends a little better.”

– Edgar W. Howe

Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly. Hold fast to dreams, for when dreams go, life is a barren field frozen with snow.”

– Langston Hughes

Spend the afternoon. You can’t take it with you.”

– Annie Dillard

Try not to become a man of success but rather to become a man of value.”

– Albert Einstein

We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”

– Joseph Campbell

Change is a math formula. Change happens when the cost of the status quo is greater than the risk of change.”

– Alan Webber, author, "Rules of Thumb"

A diamond is a lump of coal that stuck with it.”

– Norwegian proverb

Do not say, ‘why were the former days better than these,’ for it is not from wisdom that you ask this.”

– Ecclesiastes, 7:10

Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”

– Christopher Robin to Pooh

A man who strikes first admits that his ideas have given out.”

– Chinese Proverb

We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations.”

– Charles R. Swindoll

Think of yourself as on the threshold of unparalleled success. A whole, clear, glorious life lies before you. Achieve! Achieve!”

– Andrew Carnegie

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.”

– Mark Twain

You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.”

– Winston Churchill

Nurture your mind with great thoughts; to believe in the heroic makes heroes.”

– Benjamin Disraeli

If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. 
Now put foundations under them.”

– Henry David Thoreau

When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.”

– Jimi Hendrix

You don’t go into a field that requires cracking people’s heads open or operating on something as delicate as the spinal cord unless you are comfortable with taking risks.”

– Dr. Ben Carson

Remember that it’s okay to ask for help when you’re stumped, because sometimes you really can’t be expected to handle everything alone.”

– Martha Beck

A warrior cannot complain or regret anything. His life is an endless challenge, and challenges cannot possibly be good or bad. Challenges are simply challenges.”

– Carlos Castaneda

A great secret of success is to go through life as a man who never gets used up.”

– Albert Schweitzer

Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant.”

– Robert Louis Stevenson

It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”

– Charles Darwin

He who wants to tear down a house must be prepared to rebuild it.”

– African Proverb

There are risks and costs to a program of action. But they are far less than the long-range risks and costs of comfortable inaction.”

– JFK

You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead, pursue the things you love doing.”

– Maya Angelou

Everyone is a mirror image of yourself—your own thinking coming back at you.”

– Byron Katie

It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves.”

– William Shakespeare

I find out what the world needs, then I proceed to invent.”

– Thomas Edison

There are risks and costs to a program of action. But they are far less than the long-range risks and costs of comfortable inaction.”

– JFK

The great use of life is to spend it on something that will outlast it.”

– William James

Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

– Mary Oliver

If you want to be busy, keep trying to be perfect. If you want to be happy, focus on making a difference.”

– Lisa Earle McLeod

Don’t follow, lead. Don’t copy, create. Don’t start, finish. Don’t sit still, move. Don’t fit in, stand out. Don’t sit quietly, speak up. (Not all the time, sure, but more often.)”

– Seth Godin

Whatever you do may seem insignificant, but it is most important that you do it.”

– Gandi

The journey is the reward.”

– Greg Norman

My task is really not to change myself but to become familiar with who I am.”

– Maureen Cook

Don’t wait for someone else to lead you to your right life; that privilege—and responsibility—is yours alone.”

– Martha Beck

A man without a smiling face
 should not open a shop.”

– Chinese Proverb

The only way to compel men to speak good of us is to do it.”

– Voltaire

This is the age when magical technologies make more and more radically fun ideas plausible, even easy. You’re only limited by your creativity.”

– Martha Beck

If you think you are too small to make a difference, try going to sleep with a mosquito in your room.”

– A wisdomism

You must learn to be still in the midst of activity 
and to be vibrantly alive in repose.”

– Indira Ghandi

Never never never never give up.”

– Winston Churchill