Vacation Archives: “Hey, CEO, Stop Being Such a Baby!”

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I’m taking a break this week.  In observance of this well deserved rest, however, I won’t be writing anything new for the next few days.  You’ll live…believe me.  I will, however, treat you to a post from the archives now and then.  So check back and enjoy them! The first one was written and posted back in November of 2009.

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I was talking with a CFO buddy of mine last night – he’s with a large telecommunications organization – 5,000+ employees.  Anyway, he was complaining about their HR Leader and his inability to integrate successfully with the rest of the leadership team.  He expanded by suggesting the HR Leader was always one step behind everyone else: has trouble seeing the bigger picture, thinking beyond programmatic responses to issues, rarely adding anything creative.  I asked him how long the guy had been there, and he said 5 years.  I said, “no way.”  He said, “yes way.”  Shame on you, CFO buddy.  And shame on your peers.

Would you allow a CEO, COO or CFO, who wasn’t making the grade on this level, to stick around that long?  Why does there seem to be more tolerance for mediocre HR performance than there is for other roles?  The longer C-Suite Leaders put up with mediocre performance from HR, the longer they’ll get it.  It’s up to that group to demand the most from us.  Stop crying about your HR Leader not being strategic enough and go out and find one who is.  It’s not like they don’t exist.  If, Mr. CEO, you’ve tried – really tried - to give your HR leader the opportunity to add value to your organization through strategic contributions, innovations, forward thinking, thought leadership, and they haven’t responded, then get rid of the clown.  You’re doing the organization a disservice.  But more importantly, you’re doing the HR profession a disservice.  Stop sweeping HR under the rug…keeping them hidden in some back corner because ”they just don’t get it.”  Man(Woman) Up and deal with it.  Make tough decisions, be highly demanding, and hold us accountable.  And if all else fails, fire us for goodness sake.

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