Back in November, I started having splitting headaches.  Migraines, I was told.  Through my left eye and right out the back.  Always in the same spot.  Sometimes when I stood, they would be so sharp I needed a minute or two before I could function again.

Modern medicine came to the rescue.  MRI, MRA, CAT scan. Nothing out of place.  Medication that did little to help.  Neurology took a shot, too.  Different meds, some success.  The problem was that I’m not great about taking meds, so I’d miss them.  And the headaches came back.  For months this went on.  The whole time, there was this quiet, nagging thought about the cause, but I trusted medicine.  Finally, I did what I kinda knew from the beginning I should have done.  I got rid of my new pillow that I loved dearly.  All better.

That’s right.  I knew, deep down, what the problem was from the beginning, but I really liked the pillow.  Really, really liked it.  So I ignored my instincts and went looking for another answer.  I didn’t find it.  Go figure.

Every day, HR professionals go through their days looking for answers to problems that, deep down, we already have.  We want to find a new way to handle that problem employee, when the truth is we should be managing them out.  We try to build up people with training and development around their jobs, when what we should probably help with is decision making skills so we can rely on their judgement.  We work hours on employee engagement plans, when we know the real answer lies in management being able to say “thank you.”  And mean it.

Why? I suppose it is easier to look for an answer other than the one we don’t want to acknowledge.  There is a certain comfort in the unknown.  But real power comes from harnessing the answers we already have and using them.  Making good decisions, even the scary ones, quickly and efficiently.  Admitting what we already know as truth, and using it to change the world.

You have that power.  You have that knowledge.  You have the answers.

Use them.


  1. Very empowering article! Thanks!

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