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13000 Oceanside Blvd | Hermosa Beach, CA 09254
H: 213-555-1212 | C: 213-515-8156 | jhart@msn.com

September 29, 20—

To Whom It May Concern:

It gives me great pleasure to provide a most outstanding reference for Ms. Nancy Becker. Nancy and I worked together for a year and a half (20— to 20—) during her tenure as Vice President for Human Resources at California Healthcare. During that time, Nancy reported directly to me in my role as CEO.

Over the last 20 years, I have had the privilege to work with some outstanding HR professionals. Without a doubt, Nancy was the very finest. I make this judgment because of the unique way that she blends three critical elements:
  1. Broad technical knowledge of Human Resources
  2. Outstanding people skills, and
  3. A sophisticated appreciation for the flexibility and innovation required in today's business world. I'll expand on all three areas.

With regard to her technical skills, one of the attractions for me about California Healthcare was the way in which HR systems and programs worked to support the staff so that we could focus on our core business. Between the systems that were in place and the people that she had in place to run them, both the staff and I always knew things would work well. Her judgment about the handling of myriad personnel issues was always right on, and I had explicit trust in her counsel. She knows HR as well as anyone I've met.

In any interview with Nancy, you will come away with a sense of her energy and commitment to people. This is not an interview facade, but the way I experienced her every day that I worked with her. At times she can overwhelm you with her enthusiasm and make you crazy with her dogged pursuit of what she believes is right for the organization. However, all the staff, both management and line, recognized and respected her commitment to doing the right thing in the right way to keep the organization moving forward. Her strong values and genuine respect for people are all too rare.

Finally, what helps Nancy stand out as an HR professional is her knowledge of what it takes to run a business. She always made great contributions in the development of our business strategies and then had the creativity, flexibility, and energy to make sure that all of the HR issues were handled in a way that would support our business objectives without compromising our strong commitment to our people. This set of skills made Nancy a critical member of the Executive team in every phase of our work.

It is rare to have the opportunity to provide such an outstanding recommendation for an individual. In Nancy's case I do it without reservation. I would be happy to provide any additional information that you need. Should you need to contact me, I will be available though August 5, and then will be leaving on an extended trip abroad.


James T. Hart

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William S. Frank, M.A.,
25 Reasons I love consulting.
by William S. Frank
  1. Brand. You are your own brand, and you can define it any way you want. For many years, I provided outplacement to the ex-employees of Schlumberger, the world's largest oilfield service corporation. When departing employees left the company, they didn't request outplacement in their severance package. They said, "I want Bill Frank."
  2. Demand. The world will always be full of terrible problems that need solving.
  3. White Hat. I can be a helper and get paid for it.
  4. Pay. I can be paid to do things I'd gladly do for nothing.
  5. Variety. Every day is different.
  6. Happiness. At this stage of my career, I only work for people I respect and care about. If a client micromanages me or is otherwise no fun, I complete the assignment and replace them.
  7. Talent. I'm using 110% of my talents and stretching myself to the max.
  8. Change. I can change my focus any day I want. If you're a McDonald's franchisee, you don't say, "Hey, I've got this great idea for a meatball sandwich—let's try it out today." In consulting you can adjust your focus hour-by-hour, as long as your clients still understand and appreciate what you do.
  9. Income. No one else would pay me as much as I pay myself.
  10. FUN. I can't think of anything I'd rather be doing.
  11. Retirement. I can write and consult as long as I am physically and mentally capable. Peter Drucker worked into his 90s, and when asked which book was his best, he said: "My next one."
  12. Job Security. Although clients come and go, no one can come into my office and say, "Pack up your stuff . . . You don't work here anymore." In 29 years, I've only had one employer: ME.
  13. Travel. I don't have to travel unless I decide to. I travel if it's both FUN and profitable—or at least FUN.
  14. Commute. I live five minutes from my office, a corner office in an upscale six-story tower. In winter, I leave a heated garage at home and drive to an underground heated garage at work. There's seldom time to hear even one song on the radio.
  15. Vacation. Consulting is more fun than vacation (except on Wailea Beach in Maui).
  16. Friends. I have developed hundreds of close acquaintances and several lifetime friends.
  17. Time. I can work as much or as little as I like: four-hour days or 18-hour days. (Of course, my income will reflect that.)
  18. Employees. I can work with employees, subcontractors, partners, or alone—I've done it all.
  19. Passive Income. I've developed several products that provide "mailbox money." I earn while I'm sleeping.
  20. Ethics. I've never had to violate my values or personal code of ethics. I've never had to lie, purposely deceive or harm others, or promise things I can't deliver. I go to bed with a clear conscience. That doesn't mean there's never any conflict. But the conflict is conducted according to generally accepted business practices.
  21. Virtual. My career is fairly portable. With the Internet, e-mail, cell phone, and FedEx, I can work nationally, even internationally from my office—or anywhere in the world.
  22. Purpose. I make a difference in peoples' lives every day. I see it in their faces, hear it in their voices, and read it in their thank-yous.
  23. Experience. Every painful or joyful life experience makes me a better consultant. So does every person I meet or book I read. Grey hair can be good in consulting.
  24. Structure. I have to work very hard, and the clients expect superb results—but I get to structure my days, weeks, months, and years.
  25. Boss. Most of the time, I love my boss.
As I was posting these letters online, I realized I want to communicate my love for consulting. It's just a great business. The single letters, taken together, may create a picture of enjoyment, but in a burst of creativity I listed some of the reasons consulting is such a good fit for me—and perhaps for you, too. They are not prioritized; this is just how they came out.