3 Traits That Will Make You an Impactful HR Business Leader




  • June 8, 2016

    In the last couple of weeks I have taken you through my recipe for becoming an incredibly successful HR Business Leader which can be viewed as:


    “Building on an impeccable reputation a successful HR Business leader combines business and people fore-sights/insights to effectively implement innovative talent, structure, processes, culture and leadership practices to support line managers in maximizing performance and building capabilities to achieve the aspirations of individuals, teams the organization and its stakeholders at large.”


    Two weeks ago I shared with you how you can build your personal reputation and credibility and last week I emphasized on the need for you to combine business and people insight and foresights.


    Today it’s all about your HR experience and expertise. I assume you know your stuff, otherwise, you wouldn’t work in HR. But that’s not enough. It’s not just your knowledge about HR but also your ability to act as a change champion. To be an internal consultant. And most importantly, your ability to influence others.


    HR Business Leader


    1. Driving Change


    HR are the custodian of change in the organization. If you aren’t comfortable with change you can’t expect to be seen as the person driving change. You have to



    • understand why we need to and how we will change
    • have a clear perspective of the end goal and help people understand what is expected of them
    • explain why it’s important for them to change and help them gain skills needed to succeed in the future

    One of the best models I have seen on how to help people change their behavior is called ‘The Influencer Model’ by one of my favorite authors Kerry Patterson.


    2. Consulting Skills


    HR Business Leaders don’t run businesses. They support line managers to maximize performance of their teams and the organization. As a result it’s all about your ability to influence and advise others. And, as any consultant would tell you, the key to do that is in your ability to scope and diagnose issues. Scoping is important to ensure you keep focus and on track while not getting distracted with myriad other issues that pop up.


    Making the proper diagnosis is of course even more important. My experience however is that most HR business leaders base their analysis primarily on opinions, hear-say and less so on facts. Laszlo Bock in his “Insights from Google: Work Rules” explains how Google uses data based information to make decisions. To highlight his point he’s quoted James Barksdale, CEO of Netscape, to have stated that ‘if you have facts, present them and we will use them. But if you have opinions, we’re gonna use mine’.


    3. Influencing Stakeholders


    In my view the most important skill an Impactful HR Business Leader should have in their arsenal is the ability to influence others. It’s not about getting your way, but it’s about providing insights to business leaders upon which they want to act. Sometimes of course you don’t have the ear of the person you want to influence. In other instances the person thinks they know it all and are not interested in views from others. A while ago I wrote a blog on 40 different ways to influence people. Check them out and pick one or two that you think might work with the person you want to influence. Try it out and see whether you can make some inroads.


    So with your knowledge of HR and your ability to drive change, use data to diagnose problems and the toolkit to influence people I think you have taken another step to become an impactful HR Business Leader. Speak to you next week on your ability to come up with innovative HR solutions.

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