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  • Writer's picturePaul LaLonde

Street Level Influencer: Get to Know Kirk Hamsher

“Yes, in all my research, the greatest leaders looked inward and were able to tell a good story with authenticity and passion.” – Deepak Chopra


Kirk Hamsher: A Street Level Influencer, Guitar Hero, and all around genuine teacher!

In my last blog post, I wrote about the power of the Street Level Influencer. I argue that some of the most impactful people in our lives are right in front of us! We just need to remember to tap into those around us for their wisdom and influence.

So, I wanted to put the spotlight on some HR pros in my network who have provided me with life giving energy recently! My next few blog posts will be a series where I get to share stories of some amazing individuals that you should connect with!

I begin this series by introducing you to Kirk Hamsher. I first met Kirk around 2016. I was working with Kishwaukee College on providing my workforce a training on customer service. The Kishwaukee College rep gave me Kirk’s info. I could not have been more impressed with Kirk’s training, and neither could my staff! His reviews were out of control GREAT! He was engaging, entertaining, impactful, and most of all, his training left a lasting impression. My staff still talk about Kirk and his class three years later!

Fortunately, Kirk and I have stayed in touch, and we’ve had several other opportunities to work together since. Most recently, Kirk provided another training at my agency and he spoke to the Kishwaukee Association of Human Resources (KAHR). The thing I like most about Kirk is how genuine he is! He oozes kindness, and you can tell he genuinely cares about providing his clients with life changing, meaningful training. He wants each individual to leave a training a better person, and I can say that knowing Kirk has helped me become a better person! I just wish he could teach me to play guitar! He’s not only a genuine person, but a genuine guitar hero – Stevie Ray Vaughan type of skills!

Without further adieu, I asked Kirk some questions, and this is what he had to say!

  1. Where do you currently work and what is your role?

I currently own and operate a training & consulting company (KJSH Training & Consulting LLC).  We deliver an array of training programs from our menu, facilitate and moderate organizational sessions, create organizational business solutions and offer keynotes for special events.  I’m also Co-founder of Citizen University, an organization dedicated to helping kids become life-ready.  We do this by providing rich, life-skills curricula for mentoring organizations.  We also deliver workshops to enhance mentoring skills and offer an array of mentoring-related instruments and tools.

  1. What do you like about HR that keeps you in the profession?

I have passion around helping individuals, groups, and organizations grow in ways that are meaningful to them.  Helping to develop people is exciting when you see how it helps them blossom in both professional and personal pursuits.  You can enhance effectiveness and day-to-day satisfaction as individuals pursue work and life.  I also learn a great deal from the people and organizations I work with.  As a life-long learner, I really value this aspect of my work.

  1. What was your biggest HR success? Why was it important to you?

My greatest HR success was each time an individual, group, or organization shared how I was genuinely helping them become more effective or satisfied in their work/life experiences.  This is always very gratifying as it indicates I provoked something within them that compelled them to apply what I had shared.  My main goal is provocation – moving people in such a way that they will use new or modified approaches to work or life.

  1. What was your greatest HR failure? What did it teach you?

My greatest failure was staying – for too long – in situations after I knew they were not healthy or right for me.  Whether the delay was a result of fear of change, lack of self-confidence or feeling ‘trapped’ in the situation, delaying worked against my best interests.  I’m also sure I was not serving others as effectively as I should have been by remaining in these situations.  When not satisfied, I learned to find a better fit more quickly, to pursue habits and practices that establish and sustain my self-confidence, to become more comfortable with risk and to give greater credence to my instincts or gut responses.  I have become more successful and satisfied – in both my professional and personal life – based on this learning.

  1. Who’s one person in your network that readers should know about?

Andy Kaufman.  He is an extremely gifted consultant – who offers development programs in an array of areas such as leadership and project management.  He has helped me in meaningful, kind and life-giving ways since I started my consulting business sixteen years ago.  As fabulous as Andy is as a consultant, author and speaker, he’s an even better human being.  He is one of the kindest and most compassionate people I’ve ever met.  Andy can be reached at: (email); (website); (twitter) @Andy_Kaufman.

  1. How can people contact you?

I can be contacted by: (email) or (cell phone) 815-245-6540.

  1. What’s one thing the world should know about you – personal or professional? Have fun with this one!

One of my favorite hobbies in life is sports.  At this stage of my life, it’s watching sports.  I especially enjoy taking in football, basketball and baseball games.  When I was twelve years old, my dad and I attended Super Bowl III.  All week long, as seventeen-point underdogs, Joe Namath was predicting (and guaranteeing) a win for his team (New York Jets).  It turns out that Namath was right and they beat the Baltimore Colts.  Some experts say this was the biggest, most important Super Bowl ever.  What a thrill to be there!  I also played air hockey with Dick Butkus (Hall of Fame Chicago Bear), one block from my house, and have pictures of it.  That day, my dad took Butkus for a motor scooter ride around our block and our town of Fox Lake.  For a sports nut, these are cherished, life-long memories!

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