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Thursday, March 18, 2010

HR Leadership

There's always somebody responsible for inspiring and motivating people to go to work everyday and give their utmost in delivering result. There seems to be no one in charge of doing the same for HR, hence the need for HR management professionals to demonstrate personal leadership, to be self driven and highly determined professionals. Let me substantiate my point.

In my years of consulting work, I most often see HR facing an uphill climb convincing people about what needs to be done. From the management side, hr proposals are viewed with much wariness and decided upon so slowly because of the cost they imply. They often forget the long term value of these initiatives and the short and long term effect of  HR's inaction. Just recently a company suffered some attrition because they decided to cut cost on their HR management-related activities.

From the employees' end, a poorly communicated HR initiative could be viewed with suspicion. HR seem to easily diminish its credibility much faster than say finance or IT.

In order to be effective, HR has to be "leaderly", show communication savvy, hungry for learning, with integrity and highly creative. There is almost always no one in the organization to teach them all these so HR must depend on themselves to imbibe all these qualities.

It might sound to you like I'm painting a grim picture of  HR work, i am not. I am in this work and in this business because I find it exciting. To be able to lead an organization from the middle, to be a source of knowledge, inspiration and motivation to me is an unequaled opportunity. Rejections, frustrations and failure are all part of the game. A true blue HR knows and appreciates all these. When faced by a debacle, a good HR  professional is seldom depleted. He dusts off and then looks at how to better face a problem.

I believe it takes a certain kind of person to enjoy and succeed in the work of HR. These are people who have passion for leadership and for seeing things get better. A great HR person is a perpetual learner, strategic-minded, and mindful of others. There is no better way to succeed as an HR professional than to manifest all these. HR to me is a Leadership position that requires the qualities I mentioned in this post.  If you are a young practitioner, I encourage you to know more and desire more to make a difference in the life of others and in your company' performance.


  1. Hear hear, Sir Ed!

    Management and the rest of the workforce just can't seem to understand how taxing being in HR really is. They think its all policy making and interviews, a walk in the park nga compared to their "jobs". What they really do not realize is the hard work (physical and emotional) that HR tasks entail.

    Thank you again for the article. =)

  2. Except for few companies such as San Miguel Corp, not all companies today have full functioning HR. Most of them are only transactional and concentrating only on training and recruitment. It's because of the oursourcing (BPO) and the high turn over of employees.

    Kaya it's difficult for us now to select HR professionals who are well versed to all facets of HR. So more often than not, we select South Asian candidates, although we have preference for Pinoys.


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