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Take Your Seat at The Table

Take Your Seat at The Table

As Human Resources (HR) professionals, we’ve all heard the phrase ‘seat at the table’; this notion that we must manage our careers in such a way to be included in senior-level business decisions in order to be considered successful. Many of us are over it.

Amy Lein, who is the Director of Human Resources at Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida, and currently serving a two-year term as President of the Greater Orlando Society for Human Resource Management (GOSHRM), is taking a much more meaningful approach to the phrase.

Encouraged by her faith, and her collaborative effort through The Gotham Fellowship, an intensive training program offered by The Collaborative Orlando, Lein is working to blend her personal beliefs with her professional life. “Using the parable of people being invited to a banquet table – a lesson about choosing where to sit, serves as a great analogy for HR’s desire to gain a seat at the table in the business world,” said Lein.

Lein is creating an environment to encourage HR professionals to pursue excellence, power and influence so that others might flourish. Do everything we can to get that seat at the table, not for our own benefit, but for the benefit of others. Practically speaking, this might include introducing policies and practices that improve the workplace for all, or promoting a company culture so desirable so that employees don’t want to leave.

“We must care so much about our employees that we not rest until we’ve done everything we could to help both the employees and the business succeed,” said Lein. “Imagine the ripple effect on the communities in which we live.”

Lein said she can relate to the over-pursuit of being recognized for her contributions, but admits that isn’t the problem. It’s when that desire dominates your work and your motives, that you run the risk of losing the very thing you desire.

“My vision is to invite young, aspiring HR professionals to examine their work, their goals, and their opportunities as they progress in a career path,” said Lein. “In a variety of learning environments, we will dive into questions about the professional’s inspiration to pursue HR and how they might approach a leadership role with the passion of a servant’s heart.”

Lastly, Lein added that this approach isn’t just for HR pros, but admits the first audience is up-and-coming HR pros, especially members of GOSHRM where she continues to hear of the desire for a mentorship program to help navigate their careers.

“This is a perfect opportunity to offer a deeper examination of one’s motives and desires in this profession. As we refine the project, it will translate well to other professions,” said Lein.

To learn more, please contact Amy Lein at or

Nate Shannon is Founder/Sr. Human Resource Consultant at On The VERG, and can be reached at (407) 754-5108 or


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