THE GREAT HR EXECUTIVE PROGRAM2021-07-27T23:59:34-04:00

Here’s a video with the formula for reigniting your HR career!

Watch this 18 minute video Reigniting Your HR Career. You will benefit from it whether you are 25 or 55, a novice or pro.

If ever any questions, comments, suggestions or insights please send them directly to me I look forward to your feedback!

Now that you’ve watched this video learn about the Great HR Executive Program and get the first lesson free!

[Watch this video to get an idea of Don’s approach to training for GreatHR]

I know there are days where you feel overwhelmed, and stressed. I know there are days with little appreciation, acknowledgement or reward.

It doesn’t have to feel this way. You can love going to work to every day. You can be healthy and balanced while providing yourself the financial stability of job security. You can get and deserve recognition for doing Great HR. I know this to be true because I know HR executives who have that life. They are the fortunate 1 in 10.

If you want that career, that life, then you have to draw the line. You can move past frustration, anxiety, stress, overwhelm, and underappreciation to be coming “anti-fragile”. You can become in charge of your career.

“They” don’t hold your career in the palm of their hands…you do!

I had a draw the line experience years ago in my career. I felt stressed, overwhelmed and burnout in my litigation career and chose to reinvent myself. I faced a couple years of struggle before I found my way. Over the last 20 years I have been highly satisfied with my career and paid well for my work.

Now I rarely feel overwhelmed, stressed or fragile.

Life is good. This can be your outcome too and in this program I will show you how to get there.

The Great HR Executive Program is an outgrowth from the HR That Works Black Belt Program I ran three years ago. That was an intense year-long online and webinar based program limited to eighteen HR executives spread throughout the country. I cost plenty and was worth every penny.

While not all who signed up completed the program, a dozen of them completed it in its entirety and on time. We celebrated their graduation with a great event here in San Diego.

Here’s what graduates had to say about that program. They all want you to understand the value of The Great HR Executive Program.

To any HR Executive thinking about joining The Great HR Executive Program,

I looked at the outline of this program and I am blown away. It is so Don Phin. So many wonderful adjectives come to mind when I think of Don. He is a consummate professional, adeptly skilled in employment litigation, is on time, on topic, and on the cutting edge of industry trends. Don has a breadth of Human Resources knowledge not often found in those with decades of experience at the HR Director level. He brings a wealth of information to the table, whether it is on the topic of law, employee relations, Human Resources, employer compliance, as well as creative ways to truly leverage human capital. 

Don creates energy and buy-in wherever he goes, and brings this energy to public speaking and executive level briefings. A skilled presenter, Don has a no nonsense teaching style, and as an attendee of his Human Resources Black Belt program, I can truly say that my approach to HR was forever changed for the better. I consider knowing Don, both personally and professionally, to be an honor and means having authoritative power behind my professional decisions. No matter how busy his workload, Don cares about his colleagues and promptly returns calls and emails.

He has made a difference in my career, the HR profession, pioneered the best delivery system for Human Resources tools and platforms, and is sought after by many wishing to replicate what he builds. You will serve yourself well by signing up for his new program.

Jenny Foster, CIC, HR and Benefits Consultant

I am a seasoned HR professional and had my SPHR-CA certification when I took Don’s Black Belt HR course.  A review of the syllabus convinced me to sign up and I am very glad I did.

The course included modules covering subjects that prepare HR professionals to be HR leaders.  By the end of the course I had a better understanding of what makes a great HR professional and had developed my own strategic plan which took me to the next level of my career.

Don is an accomplished presenter.  He made this program interesting and something to look forward to!  He openly shared his knowledge, challenged us to share with each other and engaged us in exercises that resulted in not only a better understanding of the full scope of human resources, but more importantly, in matters of HR strategic leadership.

If you are looking for a program that provides you with the opportunity to put into practice what you learn in theory, The Great HR Executive program fits the bill!

Sande Rugg, SPHR

Before I get into the details of the program let me tell you a story about Sarah.

A few months ago I was in her office talking about my HR coaching program. She was super excited about the possibility of working with me.

I am a strong observer and started asking her some questions. First I noticed how blank the walls were. When I asked how long the company had been in these offices she told me five years. “Not big on culture here… are they” Sarah replied, “no, the CEO is absent and CFO that runs this office isn’t much of a culture guy.”

Upon further questioning I learned that her company was VC financed and rapidly growing. They grew from under 300 employees when she joined to now over 800 three years later. I asked if it was the largest company she had ever worked at and she said “yes”. I asked if the CFO or anyone else expressed concern she did not have experience running a larger HR organization and she said they had not.

I also learned through my interview she was a single mom and maintaining job security was a major concern.

I then asked Sarah if she realized how “fragile” she was in her current circumstances. When she asked what I meant, I told her I thought she was in a vulnerable spot. I suggested she start taking her resume for a spin. If I knew her better I would’ve asked if she had 4 to 6 months of savings available in case she ever lost her job. I hope she did.

We left the meeting agreeing that she would talk to the CFO about coaching with me. That was on a Friday.

The following Monday after returning from lunch I noticed Sarah sent me an email. Here’s what she wrote:

Don, I don’t know if you are prophetic or scary. I can’t believe what happened to me this morning. The CFO came to my office and said I was going to be replaced by a younger HR executive with experience working at a startup firm that had grown rapidly and is now a larger firm than ours. He also told  me he didn’t know how to coach me well and he needed somebody that was a self-starter (Whatever that means!).

Needless to say I am floored. He wants me to help train my replacement. What can I do? Can I talk to you?

Sorry to have to bother you with this, Sarah.

That’s what I call being fragile.

Sara thought she had job security… until the day she did not. She didn’t see it coming…and she was a bright dedicated professional. I know this: Sarah never properly expressed her value to the company. She was unprepared and fragile in her circumstances and didn’t even know it!

My belief is this – if you do what I suggest in this program and your company doesn’t acknowledge your awesomeness- then you take that opportunity to somebody who will.

You owe it to yourself, and your career, and your family.

Here is the outline of The Great HR Executive Program

How clear are you about your desire to become a strategic HR partner? Are you on the right path? How motivated are you? Do you know how others view you? It’s time to get clear about your future opportunities.

You will learn:

  • Understanding the HR journey.
  • What great HR means to your company.
  • What being great at HR means for your career.
  • Discovering your personal “why” and making a commitment.
  • What kind of HR executive do you want to be? We discuss money, self-worth, job and income security, learning, having more fun, recognition.
  • Understanding it’s an inside-out job.
  • Eliminate blockages/excuses.

Assignment: Complete the Assessing Your Human Relations Quotient.


  • Assessing Your HRQ
  • Great Podcasts for HR Executives
  • Vision, Mission, Values, and Goals Worksheet
  • Ten Reasons Why I Want To Be Great At HR
  • Great HR is…
  • Ten Things That Make Me Anxious, Stressed or Overwhelmed
  • Great HR Poster
  • 10 “Whys” Worksheet

How well do you know your HR numbers? How well can you define the bottom-line impacts of your HR efforts? Do know what management needs from you?

You will learn:

  • The importance of understanding HR metrics
  • How to calculate your HR metrics
  • How to communicate them to the executive team
  • How to conduct audits and surveys

Assignment: Complete the HR Cost Calculator, distribute the HR Department Survey to the management team and meet with ownership with your plan.


  • HR Dept. Survey
  • HR Compliance Audit (ThinkHR)
  • HR Cost Calculator (ThinkHR)
  • Knowing the Numbers- HR Metrics

Hiring is the “tipping point” of the HR function. Most performance, retention, and legal problems are solved in the hiring process.

You will learn:

  • How to use technology in the recruitment process.
  • How to test for skills and assess for character.
  • Powerful interviewing techniques.
  • How to create an employee referral program that works.
  • The emotional reasons why companies don’t hire the right employees, even though we know we should. What to do about it.
  • Great programs you should use in the hiring process.
  • Working with recruiters.
  • Working with RPO’s

Assignment: Create or update the Hiring Checklist for your company. Tweak the example if you don’t already have one. Provide these tools to anyone doing hiring. Take advantage of the offers from our partners.


  • Hiring Checklist
  • Don’s Favorite Interview Questions
  • Co-employee Applicant Appraisal Form (ThinkHR?)
  • Our Hiring Process FAQ
  • Interview Preparation
  • Entrance Interview
  • Ten Great Hiring Ideas

If we can help our employees become just 5%-10% more productive we can generate a significant bottom line impact.

You will learn:

  • The most important questions to ask when designing an employee performance system.
  • How to develop standard operating procedures and conduct best practice meetings.
  • Importance of time management skills.
  • Managing poor performance.
  • How to fire someone without ending up in court.
  • Using HR Technology- Halogen, Basecamp, etc.

Homework: Create a 90 Day Game Plan for HR and a weekly plan for you.


  • Managers Monthly Checklist
  • Employees Monthly Checklist
  • Going the Extra Mile Reward Form
  • Successful Time Management
  • Ten Ideas for Improving Performance
  • Time Management Forms

The cost of turnover is enormous and one of the main concerns of CEOs nationwide.

You will learn:

  1. How to measure the total cost of turnover.
  2. The most common reasons for turnover and what you can do about them.
  3. How Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs applies to employee retention.
  4. The most important factor when it comes to designing an employee retention program.
  5. How to analyze the cost/benefit efficiency of a retention program.

Assignment: Complete the Turnover Cost Calculator for your most common turnover positions and complete the Retention Program Possibilities Spreadsheet inputting your programs.


  • Orientation Checklist (ThinkHR)
  • 60 Day New Employee Survey (ThinkHR?)
  • Employee Turnover Cost Calculator
  • Reasons Why People Leave Checklist
  • Retention Program Possibilities Worksheet
  • Ten Ideas For Improving Employee Retention

So, just how out of the box are ya? Are you reacting to the competition or creating the standard to follow? In this session we learn the importance of:

You will learn:

  1. Generating Standard Operating Procedures (It’s really not that hard!)
  2. How to get out of the box and generate creativity.
  3. How to build a learning organization.
  4. Managing change.
  5. The only suggestion system that works.


  • Read Orbiting the Giant Hairball
  • Distribute the Creativity Checklist, and Employee Suggestion Form
  • Then do one creative thing and let me know what it is!


  • Creativity Checklist
  • Employee Suggestion Form
  • Response to Employee Suggestion Form
  • Creating a Fun Workplace
  • Ten Ideas for Generating Creativity and Innovation

While it’s great to brand to your clients and customers, how well are you doing with your employees? Internal branding helps identify our culture and employee experience.

You will learn:

  1. How to apply marketing techniques to internal branding.
  2. How to bring your employee handbook to life.
  3. How to make your environment an empowering one.
  4. How to show the difference you make.
  5. Telling your stories on the web.


  • Work with your marketing department and printer to “brand” internally.


  • Branding to Your Employees Checklist
  • The Great Employee Poster
  • The HR Sherpas Poster
  • How My Work Makes a Difference Form
  • Ten Ideas for Branding the Employee Experience
  • Ten Ideas for Improving the Work Environment

Change is happening at an accelerated rate and will affect the workforce- more than most people realize. Many HR executives will be caught unprepared. Don’t let that be you!

You will learn:

  1. The impact of robotics.
  2. The impact of artificial algorithms.
  3. Whose jobs will be at risk and the HR career will be affected.
  4. What you can do today to prepare for tomorrow.


  • Identify the jobs most “at risk” due to AI and robotics at your company
  • Consider how you can automate processes and mine data
  • Go through the exercise of imaging your job in five years from now (Revisit the Vision Worksheet)


  • HR and the Future of Work
  • Ten Ideas About How the Future Will Affect My Workplace

Have you ever fantasized about going to work where there were no people to deal with that day? HR is stuck in a never-ending drama between management and the rank and file. Helping navigate the inevitable emotional challenges goes a long way to improving your culture…and bottom line.

You will learn:

  1. Why so many employees like playing with the victim mentality.
  2. How to make sure people don’t play victim with you.
  3. Why all bosses find themselves villainized.
  4. How to be a true hero without burning yourself out.


  • Share the VVH book PDF and video with your management team.


  • Victims Villains and Heroes
  • The Plot Vocabulary
  • Managing Emotions in the Workplace
  • VVH Cards

If you have come this far then I salute you…one of the few willing to push your growth to the next level. Give yourself a hand. You have what it takes to be a Great HR Executive!

There is no substitute for having a plan. In this final lesson you will learn how to create a strategic plan that will get the attention of your CEO and executive team.

  • Identify your top three goals for the year.
  • Identify the steps you need to accomplish them.
  • Plan on taking one big step per month, including the strategy, tools, budget, and support required.
  • Get it all in a written plan.
  • Present the plan to management and the workforce.
  • How to publicize your results and share what you have learned.
  • How to ask for a raise…when you add more value.

Assignment: Create a draft one year plan for the department and review with your boss, owner, executive team, etc. Prepare your personal monthly scorecard and publicize your success!


  • HR Strategic Plan Template
  • Why I Deserve a Raise Form
  • My Kick Ass Take No Prisoners HR Plan for 2017

Bonuses – in addition to the above we offer these additional tools and support:

Strategies to Master Compliance

I’ve been an employment lawyer for more than 30 years. Fact is, many times HR messes things up! Employee lawsuits are an expensive, time consuming, emotionally draining reality of today’s workplace. In this two part series I will focus on the 20% of claim categories that produce 80% of claims.

You will learn:

  1. How to avoid sexual harassment and discrimination claims.
  2. How to avoid wage and hour violations.
  3. Managing the “Bermuda Triangle” of WorkComp, FMLA, and ADA.
  4. How to investigate claims and work with attorneys.
  5. The importance of having Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI)


  • Take the 50 Question Compliance Quiz and see how good you really are!.
  • Conduct a Compliance Audit.
  • Distribute the Employee Compliance Survey every six months.
  • Sign up for ThinkHR.

Special Report 66 Powerful Strategies for Becoming a Great HR Executive

Free Zero Risk HR Hiring Profile – a great way to get to know your strengths and weaknesses. I will discuss the profile during the hiring training.

Monthly Coaching Call – join other program participants for a free monthly coaching call with program author Don Phin.

This program will dramatically improve your value to your company and help grow your career. As a result, you will have more fun making more money!

Community Page

One more thing – you don’t go on the journey through this program alone. You will be accompanied by other HR executives equally interested in reigniting their HR career. There’s a very strong community component to the program as well as my constant presence.

How much does The Great HR Executive Program cost?

Right now we are in the launch phase of the program. My intent is to eventually sell this program for $497 and have thousands of HR executives benefit from it. But I want to start with 100 awesome HR pioneers first. Only 100. To understand how we can best support you and how we can continually improve the program. If you are interested in being one of the first 100 participants then you can have full access for only $197. That’s less than $20 per training module. So do it today!

A final note from one of the first online program participants:


I am beyond ecstatic about your program and am enjoying it immensely! As a one person department, I tend to question myself even more when met with resistance, but your program has helped me to regain self-assurance and learn how to effectively articulate HR as a Business Partner. In fact, I received my performance review today, which went very well, and I took that as an opportunity to establish strategic goals for HR and to continue a partnership with my GM to relaunch my role to the team.

Today is a new beginning, and I grateful for your efforts in helping to develop and create a program that affords a HR Executive the opportunity not only from a person development standpoint, but also from a value-added department standpoint. After completing a Master of Science and exploring a PhD, I have not experienced a program that is as extensive as yours in helping to provide tools to support change and HR as essential partner.

You’ve certainly have been through so much career wise, but I’m the biggest fan of you and how you know how to create systems and support for HR Executives. I can’t even put into words how you helped my career develop. You’re truly a walking angel, and I wish you all of life’s blessings always.

With gratitude & appreciation,

Susan Gorlach, Director of Human Resources & Strategic Engagement | Annandale Golf Club

My no-nonsense 100% money back guarantee:

You will have up to 30 days to request a full refund. I know many of you will be using your own dollars to purchase this program and I want to make sure you are extremely satisfied!


1.Does the value of The Great HR Executive Program only apply in the US?2017-04-14T14:14:16-04:00

It applies anywhere people go to work. I have purposely excluded the conversation on compliance in this program. If you are a US executive I’ll send you a link to The Lawsuit Free Training I did.

There are plenty of great US compliance resources. I recommend If you’re interested in that program let me know.

2.How long do I get access for?2017-12-11T10:14:25-05:00

For as long as the site remains active.

3.I love the program but I am feeling overwhelmed right now. What should I do?2017-12-11T10:16:07-05:00

I get it. Part of my goal with this program is to reduce your overwhelm and make you more valuable in the process. You will need to find at least two to three hours a week to implement this program for the 12 weeks. If you do that I promise it will improve your value as a human resource executive and reduce your overwhelm.

Remember you will have access for a full year. While you may not watch the weekly webinars in real time all will be recorded. You can go at your own pace…if you have to.

4.How many people can watch this training?2017-12-11T10:17:24-05:00

It is the understanding that anyone who goes through this program will pay a fee to do so. If you’re interested in multi-user discounts please let us know and we’ll arrange something.

5.What if I start the program and decide that it’s really not for me?2017-12-11T10:18:00-05:00

This program is not for everyone. You have to be committed to success. For those who have a “life event” or simply get weak knees, there is an unconditional 30-day guarantee. This will allow you to view the intro and the first three training modules. If you don’t think the program is for you at that point you can request a refund, no questions asked. After 30 days I will release all the remaining video lessons and give somebody refund but only if they can show me they got hit by a Mack Truck (metaphorically speaking). Or that they were under duress while making the purchase.

6.What support will you offer?2017-12-11T10:18:30-05:00

You will have customer support available for technical issues that may come up with the program. If you have subjective questions those will be directed to me. One reason we’re starting with only 100 participants so I can fully understand and respond to your concerns. I will also do a quick Q&A webinar with every module to support your efforts.

7. What if I have any other questions?2017-12-11T10:19:32-05:00

Email them directly to me at and I’ll get right back to you.

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