Geoff McCuen
Geoff McCuen
My life experiences have allowed me to experience both the “numbers side” and the “people side” of business. After four years of financial experience in the US Navy, I earned my Bachelors in Accounting. After three more years in accounting, I made the switch to Human Resources and earned an MBA. My HR experiences range from being the lone HR practitioner for a 50 employee machine shop, to 500 employees in the hospitality industry, to being the Employee Relations and Recruiting manager for 2,500 employees in the healthcare industry. Since 2014 I have narrowed my focus to Training and Development.
I have been blessed to serve on the Boards for the State YMCA of Michigan Camps, the Michiana SHRM Chapter and Elkhart Civic Theatre. All of these outstanding groups have given me invaluable experience with strategic planning in both for-profit and not-for-profit environments, while giving me the opportunity to help serve the needs of thousands of people who benefit from these groups.
In 2011 I wrote, produced, filmed and edited a full-length documentary film that was shown to a public audience. And in 2013 I became an award-winning writer for my submission to an international competition. In 2019 I became a Certified John C. Maxwell Coach, Trainer and Speaker.
As for goals - continue to grow and develop in all areas of my life, focusing on the work that God puts in front of me, currently I'm beginning to gather information for a book on HR stories.
Specialties: Training, Human Resource Consulting, HR Information System planning, Safety Management, Strategic Planning, Executive Coaching, Public Speaking, Squash instruction. 

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Articles
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Wed 5 August 2020
This week I had my second meeting with my Peer Mentor and it was another good one.   Each time we meet Garrett has a recommended agenda that ensures each meeting will be productive and avoids the “So, what do you want to talk about today” condition that can be stifling.  However, he always gives us permission to deviate from “the script” and go wherever the moment takes us. The topic was “Collaboration” and this time we stuck to the agenda.  We were asked to share the biggest challenge facing us currently, but that wasn’t all.  We were supposed to ask our mentor to assist us with the challenge – not just give advice on how to deal with it.  

When I first read that I thought, “Since my biggest challenge is something I need to do at/for work and Mike can’t work on that, I better pick some other challenge that he can help with.”   Then, when I shared this thought with Garrett he pushed back.  “Why limit Mike and possibly miss a great opportunity for him to collaborate with you?”   That’s when I realized that this sort of pre-qualifying others for their help is something that I do a lot.   How many times at work, at home, at church, or elsewhere have I faced a situation that I could use some help but I tell myself, “(that person) can’t help you with that”, so I never ask.   Even when that person is there to help!   

I don’t know if this is function of pride (I don’t really need the help), or trying to save the other person from having to say, “Sorry, I can’t help with that”, or being afraid that they may reject me and refuse to help.   Whatever it is, I’m sure that it has cost me many many hours and dollars trying to struggle on my own.  Further, how many people have I denied the opportunity to be helpful to me.  When I do that it is truly lose-lose. 

After this session, I’ve decided that I would be more open with those around me who may have abilities that I’m unaware of that would be perfect for my present challenge.   Who is in your circle that would be happy to help you in ways that you didn’t even know they could?

Wed 17 June 2020
One of the most exciting things that I did in the Navy was to get our ship “underway”.   That’s when we “cast off all lines” and push (or get pulled) away from the pier.   Whether we were headed across the globe or just out for a day or two of exercises, it marked the beginning of a journey, of an adventure.  Last week we got “underway” with our new HR Mentoring adventure when Garrett introduced us to our mentors, our “shipmates”. 

I was very pleased to meet my mentor, Mike Johnson, and learn about his background and his current role. We were both a little surprised by the results of our Work Orientation, and not totally sure of the methodology that paired us up (yes, he does provide a written explanation).  However, the more we’ve shared with each other, the more excited about where our relationship may take us.

It took us very little time to warm up and open up.  After the first official meeting we already started to peel back the onion and share a few things about our plans and dreams for the future.  It was sort of freeing to share some of my thoughts that I had not shared with anyone before.   Having Mike listen and then respond without negativity or judgement was really encouraging.  It already made me more excited to see where our path would lead us.

I’ve also been impressed with the materials that Garrett has put together.   The website is clean and easy to navigate.  He has well organized materials and provided a nice meeting guide to help us get started. 

We were asked what was something that we learned from our mentor this month and I think the thing I learned from Mike this week is that when you have a sense of your purpose, or your calling, it is very exciting and energizing.  Hearing him tell his story and talk about his “why”, it’s clear that he is in his sweet spot.   I can’t wait to see what next month brings.




Building Mentor Connections Through Work Orientation

Kickstarting Mentorships For Fulfilling Careers