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Hosted by Chris Dyer, the CEO of PeopleG2 – TalentTalk Radio features engaging conversation with CEOs, thought leaders and HR executives. TalentTalk connects professionals who care about talent-related issues and are concerned about leadership and moving their companies forward.                              

Today’s guests are Dean Manzoori, VP of Global Cloud Communications for Masergy; and Dr. Karen Pence, HR Director for Employers Resource and Founder/CEO of The HR Doc, both successful leaders in their industries. To hear the entire show, click here.

DR. KAREN PENCE leadership

A 20-year industry veteran, Dr. Pence now serves as Human Resource Director for Employers Resource. She holds a Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership and is currently a first-year law student. Today, Employers Resource has more than 400 customers to whom they provide specialized personnel to handle payroll and HR needs. 

Dr. Pence also launched in 2014 to reach businesses nationwide with relevant HR solutions, and plans to move to online training and teaching HR certifications in the near future. 

Take the Temperature

She has worked with great leaders who get to know their employees and thus is able to play to their employees’ strengths, creating empowerment. But there have also been companies with poor leadership, those leaders who never leave their office and don’t interact with staff. They don’t “take the temperature” of the organization. Pence asserts that those companies often go out of business due mostly to ineffective leadership that look more at paychecks instead of at employees. 

Pence comments, “You spend a great deal of money getting employees in the door; you should at least look at it as an investment, and not just another number on the line.”

Compensation & Consideration

Pence believes the feeling you get when you arrive at a company’s front desk tells a lot.  If you are greeted by someone who won’t make eye contact or isn’t happy, that speaks volumes about the culture. 

“I think every employee that goes to work wants to feel valued and wants to be respected in their work,” says Pence. Employees do care about compensation but “they want to know that their opinions will actually be asked for and listened to without risk of losing their job or being painted as a rebel rouser.” Pence suspects that this desire holds true across age groups and generations, as all employees want to feel they have done a great job and get recognized for it.  Quality leadership recognizes this and takes time to recognize their employees.

See in the Hall vs. See on the Wall

Extending the idea of culture, Pence comments that employees will follow what they “see in the hall” versus what they “see on the wall.” In other words, if the leadership has no connection the people there, there will be no loyalty. People are looking at more than money; they are looking at the value of the job.

Earlier in her career, Pence had a very caring and charismatic manager who knew everyone’s family, their names, their kids and even their birthdays.  This was the type of leadership that she learned from.  “From him I learned the art of getting in tune with an employee, knowing them well, asking the right questions.”

What are You Reading?

As a lover of history, Pence is now reading “Killing Jesus.” “It’s fascinating to see what was playing out in the environment in which Jesus lived, and all the politics and the self-preservation of leaders of that time.” Her next read will be “Killing Patton: The Strange Death of World War II’s Most Audacious General,” also penned by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard. 

How Can I Connect with You? The HR Doc website is Employers Resource is  Or via LinkedIn.

DEAN MANZOORI leadership

A 20-year telecommunications industry veteran, Manzoori is currently Vice President of Global Cloud Communications at Masergy, Inc. Previously he co-founded Broadcore, a telecommunications company that Masergy acquired in 2012. Masergy’s managed cloud networking solutions come with fully-integrated, real-time analytics for their clients, which tend to be mid-market enterprise companies. He stressed that customers turn to his company’s services for three reasons:

  • To increase revenue,
  • To reduce costs, or
  • To comply with policy or regulation.

Manzoori says he enjoys all aspects of the business, especially “building the strategy, developing the business and executing on the plans.”  And, he stresses, that it’s “important to have the right strategy, but it’s also important to make sure that you can execute on that strategy.”

In a past position, one of his leadership methods was to develop and implement methods to motivate employees during the onset of cloud communications. The company felt it best to empower the front line to make decisions when it comes to customer service. Importantly, management was willing to support all front line decisions, with the agreement that the decisions made must be well supported and justified. This autonomy made everyone more responsible, more inquisitive and more valuable.

Current challenges for Manzoori include both documentation and gathering information on new services.

What are You Reading?

Manzoori is reading The Startup Owner’s Manual, by Steve Blank and Bob Dorf, which is aimed at highlighting missteps entrepreneurs make along the way.

How Can I Connect with You? Via or via LinkedIn.

Remember, do what you love….and show the world how talented you can be, today.

Date: August 26, 2014