Most HR managers and leaders want to become “Inspirational”, develop “Charisma”, have ardent and engaged followers, and help take their people and their organizations to new heights. How many people are able to do it? What are the secrets?
Note the following 9 jewels of wisdom that you can go through, assimilate, practice and see the magic happening within and around you:
- Know how to “sell” their HR vision- The best HR Leaders are often great storytellers, and in turn, great at selling their visions. They help people identify the right HR priorities and understand the linkage between the organization’s strategic objectives and the HR vision. Through their “clarity” of purpose and communicating powerfully, they get people on board and help them succeed by leveraging their potential.
- “Believe in stretch goals” – Inspiration HR leaders are never satisfied with the “status quo” or routine achievements. They challenge their subordinates by setting difficult yet realistic goals to enable them to go beyond the current level of performance and achieve their potential. Besides helping them grow, this approach communicates that leader has faith in the team member’s abilities to handle higher-order responsibilities and attain challenging objectives. Most often than not, the subordinates internalize such good feelings, begin to believe in themselves and rise to the occasion. Once projects and initiatives get underway, leaders try to guard against complacency, “we know best” attitude, and always strive to be a “learning organization”.
- “Being collaborative” – Inspirational leaders institutionalize ‘high performance culture’ through ‘engaged teams’ and by “dismantling silos”. They prefer energy, engagement and innovation within their teams to the hierarchal structures with fixed expectations from each slot. Thereby, teams become the “basic building blocks” that themselves evolve mechanisms to reduce unproductive competition among employees and prosper together.
- Believe in the capability of themselves and their people– They are continuous learners and promote innovative ways to make learning and sharing closer to the heart and minds of their people. They don’t fear taking calculated risks and relentlessly keep driving their people and the organization to the next level. They keep accepting or ‘discovering’ challenging projects and assignments that help themselves and their teams expand professionally. People stay with them, as they are able to promote their careers, learn, challenge themselves, explore their potential and get multiple opportunities to express themselves uniquely.
- Extend their focus from ‘HR services’ to the organization’s ‘decisions’ that HR supports– For the inspirational HR Leaders, mission of HR is not just in “helping the company achieve its goals through outstanding services that manage people”, but rather “to increase the success of the organization by improving the organizational decisions that depend on or impact people”. This brings in a subtle change in their approach to HR and drives focus on real outcomes or value that HR drives to make the people and the business more successful.
- “Foster innovation” – They always challenge the status quo and try to find new ways to do things better, especially the routine and transactional work that HR typically handles. They are receptive to new ideas, no matter where they originate from or how deeply the existing idea is entrenched. They don’t fear bringing about change even if they have to confront the “power centers” within the organization or unruffle certain feathers.
- Respect Diversity– They understand and leverage the uniqueness that each person in their team brings to the table. For them, diversity does not just mean having team members from different sex, nationality or background etc., but diversity of thoughts, ideas and perspectives. They create a culture of acceptance and sensitivity towards others, which promotes camaraderie in the team and encourages innovation.
- Practice Tough empathy– While ordinary leaders would like to take care of their people by giving them what they ‘want’, an inspirational leader will give people what they ‘need’ to deliver on the job and develop them further in their current and future roles. They not just care about the work and their people, but practice it with detachment. They don’t shy away from taking tough stands, do those things with aplomb that others not like to do, demonstrate ability to “show the mirror” to the perceived favourites, and bring in an element of objectivity in whatever they do.
- Demonstrate authenticity and integrity at all times– Employees love those HR leaders who are honest, transparent, fair, and who earn their trust through demonstration of consistency between actions and words. Authentic HR leaders have following four key traits:
- They know what they do, why they do, and have a strong sense of purpose.
- They have strong values, and keep themselves disciplined
- They lead with and from the heart.
- They build relationships that connect them with others
Such HR pros truly believe that “character of a leader is not what he/she does in public, but when no one is watching”.