Renee Conklin’s commitment to delivering on her promises has enhanced her reputation and widened her client base.
What’s your story?
I’m an independent Coach and HR Consultant with more than 15 years’ experience. I coach individuals through successful career transformations, and consult with small-to-medium sized businesses to optimize their HR practices. Originally from the U.S., I’ve been based in Hong Kong since 2007 and have worked with individuals and organizations across Asia Pacific.
What excites you most about your industry?
As a Career and Executive Coach, I love seeing my clients grow, change and achieve their goals in their life and careers. As an HR Consultant, it’s fun partnering with founders and senior leaders to help them find people-focused solutions to their business challenges.
What drives you in business to push beyond what other people consider normal?
My clients often cite my tenacity when it comes to getting things done. In fact, one of my mentors once described me as “like a dog with a bone” when it comes to solving complex problems. I think my dependability is one of the things that comes through most frequently in client testimonials. People want to work with people who are reliable, trustworthy and deliver what they say they will deliver. That’s me!
What have been the most useful skills you have learnt and applied in your journey?
I’ve learned that if you are not an expert in something, either outsource it (if you can afford to) or find someone who is and try to pick their brain. As an entrepreneur, there is a huge amount of information that you don’t know, particularly when you are launching your business. You are suddenly responsible for your social media strategy, business development pipeline, product development and so much more. It’s impossible to know it all. Don’t waste time spinning your wheels. Ask for help. Invest in getting some support. It pays off in the long term.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
“You can’t find yourself if you don’t look.” One of my mentors said this when I first started RC HR Consulting. She was right of course. I had many fits and starts before I finally settled into a good rhythm. There are still things to learn and every day brings new challenges. Yet, I have a consistent group of clients that I enjoy partnering with and new opportunities to explore. None of that would have happened if I hadn’t examined what was important. I looked at my corporate career and I decided that it was time to pursue my dreams.
Who inspires you?
My grandmother, Beryl Conklin. When I was younger, she was heavily involved in the teacher’s union and was often interviewed in local news media. Wherever we went, she would run into her old students and parents. She had a whole closet full of matching high heels and suits. She instilled in me a love of education and working hard. She is also a bit of a rebel and taught me how to protest against injustice and fight for what is right; mindsets that I bring into my work today.
What have you learnt recently that blew you away?
I’m really interested in all of the ways that the world of work will change and is changing post the pandemic. From WFH and flexible working arrangements to how talent is sourced, hired and onboarded, there are a number of things that will change the way we work and live forever. Will more companies transition to a hybrid working model (3 days in the office, 2 days at home, for example) or recruit for talent internationally, since being physically in an office is no longer as important? And how will that impact managers and employees? It’s fascinating.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
Worry less. Laugh more.
How do you unwind?
Hiking. Yoga. Giving speeches at Toastmasters. Drinking good whiskey or wine (but not whilst hiking or doing yoga!). I completed my part-time MBA program at HKUST in the middle of 2020 and suddenly found myself with more free time. I’m looking for a new hobby!
What is a major mindset change, belief shift or ‘ah ha’ moment that you’ve experienced in relation to your business?
The power of reputation and personal brand. The common phrase is that your reputation is what people say about you when you are not in the room. I’ve spent a lot of time building up my personal brand on platforms like LinkedIn and my reputation by doing good, customized work for my clients. Over the past 6-9 months, that work has paid off in the form of more and more client referrals coming to me. Many potential clients say that they were referred to me by someone in their network or they heard my name a few times. That’s amazing.
Everyone in business should read this book:
I read a lot of books related to leadership and professional development to continue building my coaching toolkit. I recently finished “What Got You Here Won’t Get You There” by leadership guru Marshall Goldsmith. He talks about behavioral change, the things that hold us back from becoming who we want to be professionally and steps to take to get there. His methods are simple, but not easy. If they were easy, everyone would do them and all coaches would be out of a job! Change starts small and with the help of a coach to hold you accountable.
Shameless plug for your business:
I transform careers and empower businesses by producing high-quality work that delivers results and is always customized for clients’ goals. Specializing in Career and Executive coaching, I help individuals optimize their workplace performance and maximize their professional potential. As an HR Consultant, I work on a project, retainer or interim basis, offering training and strategic HR consulting for your small or medium sized business.
How can people connect with you?
Social Media Links?
This interview is part of the CallumConnects series.