Leadership & Setting the Human Resource Example

Practices of a Good HR Leader

Five years ago I moved to Oklahoma City and desperately needed a mentor and senior leader to help set a human resource example.  I recognized the fact that I needed a seasoned human resource and business professional to bounce ideas off of, further develop me, and grow from.  I wanted to learn and take my career to what I thought was the next level.  That next level five years ago, meant HR Director and Vice President of HR which at the time was what I desired and aspired to.   I turned down job offers for HR Director positions that I felt like didn’t provide the right growth opportunities and eventually settled on a Senior Human Resource Generalist position.

Leadership & Setting the Human Resource Example

It was a position I was overqualified for. In fact, it was a position that I had not even applied for.  I had applied, interviewed, and was not selected for an HR Director position.  This new position, the Senior HR Generalist reported directly to the HR Director.  The job I had wanted, wasn’t offered, and I would be reporting to the very person who did.

Almost four years ago, I accepted that position not because of the money but the opportunity to learn from someone who had more experience and was willing to share her knowledge, wisdom, and insights with me.  Before accepting the position, I wanted to meet this mystery person who effectively stole my position.  Was she qualified for position?  Was she a person who I could learn and grow from?  The answer was yes.

Four years prior, Rebecca had also interviewed for the same job she was now offered.  She is and was creative, strategic, and strong at holding her ground.  Forcing her managers to look at situations and circumstances from a different point of view.  The beauty of it was the manager’s didn’t even know it.

For me an HR Leader like Rebecca does the following:

  • Develops talent not because they need to but want to. Mentors are priceless.  Rebecca set the Human Resource example providing me with the autonomy to present ideas, manage projects and campaigns.  She helped me realize my potential and supported my blog, Blogging4Jobs.
  • Leaders attract potential leaders. This is key in leadership and developing our future talent.  Leaders should want and seek out opportunities to shape our future organizational and business leaders.  Executives who do not are not leaders at all just managers who manage daily tasks, oversee divisions, and project facilitators.
  • Leaders must be environment change agents. Leaders must be risk takers who educate themselves and be open to new, different, and sometimes unorthodox points of view.  Rebecca’s willingness to be open to my ideas surrounding social recruiting lead me down a completely different path.  And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
  • Leaders share their secrets.Leaders bring you into the fold giving you their point of view and providing you insights, perspectives, and suggestions just because.  They allow for freedom, remove constraints, while helping to guide you in the best direction.  Managers on the other hand, control, manipulate, and manager with their own best personal interests in mind.
  • Leaders care enough to confront. It’s not all roses when you are a leader, and sometimes you have to deliver the bad news.  True leaders aren’t afraid of putting their ass on the line.  They also don’t subscribe to office politics and cover your ass tactics.  You know what I’m talking about.  That manager who copies everyone in God’s green Earth on their email firmly placing you under the bus for a project, program, or deliverable.

Leaders are special.  And it’s managers like Rebecca who I am forever grateful for knowing and working with.  How are you leading and setting the human resource example?  How are you working to develop our future leaders both inside and outside of the human resource profession?  Better yet, how are you developing your employee training development programs with leadership and mentorship in mind?  Or are you leaving your workforce wanting more?

I’d love for you to share your leadership success story and recognize that leader like Rebecca who influenced (and continues to) in the comment section below.

And yes, I know Rebeeca will read this blog.  In fact, she was one of my first feedburner subscribers. . .

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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Learn more about Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource, and the host of the Workology Podcast. More of her blogs can be found here.

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