Kim Seymour, Vice President of Human Resources, Fortune 500

Tuesday, October 27, 2009




Succeeding in Corporate America requires you to manage 4 things:  your performance, image, exposure and perceptions.


-Good performance is your ticket.  Better opportunities will come only if this is a given.

-If you are a minority or woman, your performance must be stellar, above reproach, and generally better than everyone else’s.  It’s not fair, but it is the reality.

-Get clear with your leader on what the difference is between good and great performance…then strive to be great.


-Image can mean everything from ‘what you say’ to ‘how you say it’ to ‘how you look when you’re saying it’. 

-Before you open your mouth, you are answering questions about your competence and capability.  Again, it may not be fair, but it is the truth.

-You’ve heard it before and here’s one more time:  Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.


-At every opportunity, be appropriately visible and vocal.

-Get a mentor - someone who has been where you’re trying to go and is generous and honest enough to give you feedback.

-You need a sponsor.  A sponsor is usually someone in a position to influence the discussion about you.  This is not something you can directly control, but you can make sure people are willing to advocate for you by being good at what you do,


-People can and do take one single instance or data point, and create a whole picture of you that they are convinced is complete and true.

-All you can do is make each interaction a positive one.




Kim Seymour joined recently joined a Fortune 500 company as Vice President, Human Resources and Relationship Leader in March of 2008.  She is responsible for directing a stellar global human resources team covering 3,000+ employees serving the business.  This position plays a critical role in the development and delivery of human capital strategies in support of an ambitious set of business goals that include accelerating sales momentum, delivering world class relationship management to its partners, and driving global improvements in both innovation and organizational effectiveness.  Her leadership extends to acquisitions, talent assessment, organizational design, performance management, compensation strategy, and coaching/counseling.  In each of these areas she utilizes her legal training to limit corporate exposure through compliant design, execution and resolution.

Prior to joining this Fortune 500 company, Kim spent 2 years with Home Depot and 9 years with General Electric in Appliances, Capital and Energy in positions of increasing responsibility.  At Home Depot, she was VP-Human Resources for a $4 billion division.  At GE, she joined the Human Resources Leadership Program with GE Appliances and had assignments as a generalist, in labor relations, and as a Black Belt.  Off-program, she was promoted into a Field HR Manager role supporting 500 employees across 17 states.  Kim then joined GE Commercial Finance-Healthcare Financial Services, where she held progressive HR roles focused on managing all human resources aspects of a high-growth business.  At GE Energy, she had HR responsibility for thousands of people globally, with international offices in Europe, Asia, UAE, and Latin America, as well as many satellite locations.  Throughout her career, her focus has been on building world-class teams and ensuring that development, structure, compensation, staffing and processes enable the teams’ growth plans.

Kim holds a law degree from Vanderbilt University and an MBA from Indiana University.  She has delivered workshops on career-pathing, leadership development and HR legalities nationally and internationally. Kim also teaches Human Resources at NYU.

For questions and comments please email Kim Seymour at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).