I was recently at SHRM13 swimming in a sea of people. The majority of the 15,000+ were moving like a constant stream rushing to sessions, the exhibition hall, the SHRM Store, the Hive, etc. Rarely were you in a space where people weren’t coursing around you. However, in the midst of all of these bodies, people seemed to be focusing on the task in front of them vs. the people around them.
This continues to be the bane of HR and it kills me. In a field that can truly leverage the power of connections, we continue to move alone. There is a solution that is within reach for every HR practitioner !! It’s not a silver bullet solution, but it is something that is tangible and will only benefit you – should you choose to do it.
Surround yourself with leaders !!
This concept was introduced at SHRM13 during Jennifer McClure’s session – The Future of HR. She noted that HR practitioners should surround themselves with people who are leaders in the field. This may seem out of reach or something that would be incredibly uncomfortable. It really isn’t because the example of folks she listed are practitioners as well. They aren’t enamored with some sort of perceived notoriety. The fact is that the people Jen listed are givers in all sense of the word. People know them because of their actions and their passion for HR.
So, who are they ?? Not telling. Why ?? – because the people Jennifer listed are those that she identified. There are leaders in HR all over the place. This isn’t a “quick fix” post. You may see the people she noted and not get a true connection with them.
I want to challenge you to stop in the stream of people rushing around you. Look around. Identify folks in the profession who are leaders in areas that apply to you. Reach out and make connections. This isn’t just making sure you’re connected to them on Linked In either. Call them. Write them an e-mail. Tell them that you’d like to really get to know them.
They won’t freak out and think you’re a creeper. Here’s an example . . . This week a friend of mine who has been in HR longer than I have asked if they could have 10 minutes to chat. She just started a new role and she was considering some vendors and wanted some feedback. She called and said, “Steve, I know you’re connected in the field and I wanted to see if you knew about these providers.” It was a great conversation and she had some information to support the direction she was already considering.
Not earth shattering is it. However, it is radical because most HR people won’t reach out to make that call. They continue to try and gut it out on their own.
Make a decision today to stop being the person rushing to the next task and be the HR person who rushes to a person who is a leader and a resource. Being intentional in this will allow you to be passionate about what you do and grounded yourself. Then, one day someone’s going to seek you out as that leader for them !!