Pansy Fail | HR Fishbowl

My fellow Trench HR blogger, Chris Ferdinandi, is one of the first people I followed on Twitter and his blog (Renegade HR) is one of the first I subscribed to. He’s one of those (young) guys who is experienced and wise beyond his years and he’s worth getting to know. This year he published his second annual “Do Amazing Things in 2011” – a free e-book. He asked me to contribute. I did so gladly. And here’s what I submitted. Make sure you download the book to get even better wisdom from a bunch of even smarter HR pros out there. Enjoy…

Just today I actually heard a senior leader refer to the HR Department as “a bunch of pansies.” While he did so in jest, we all know what fuels jest…reality. We were discussing who we might invite to be part of a multi-dimensional contingent dedicated to setting priorities and instilling accountability around practice building initiatives. The over-arching qualifications for candidacy to this contingent was the ability to challenge the status quo, speak with candor, and hold their own with authority. In his mind, HR is just one big FAIL when it comes to these qualities. And I can’t say I disagree.

So if you want to do great things in 2011 – and this will be uncomfortable for most of you – get an edge, thicken that skin, stop slouching, and cause just a little bit of discomfort for others around you. Discomfort breeds reaction, reaction leads to action, and – positive or negative – action sure beats the alternative.

• Take a position and hold it • Disagree in public • Challenge authority • Raise your voice, lose your temper • Don’t just nod your head, shake it too • Spark a debate and take the least popular side • Spot an injustice and then eradicate it • Go on the offensive • Start some banter • Fight fire with fire • Risk embarrassment • Ask “why”? • Step on a few toes, cross the line, disregard territorial claim • Hold people accountable

• Have zero tolerance for uber jerks

Like all good things in life, moderation should be observed. But stretching (or allowing) yourself to be this way will be good exercise for your mind, spirit, and soul…and the aura you impart on others. It will give them pause. It will force them to reconsider your place in the organization. They might even ask you to join in their fun and games. But if nothing else, they will see you as human. And that’s really the only reason we’re here to begin with.

Image Credit: spitfirelas (Flickr)

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ef·fem·i·nate    [adj. ih-fem-uh-nit; v. ih-fem-uh-neyt] Show IPA adjective, verb, -nat·ed, -nat·ing. –adjective 2.characterized by excessive softness, delicacy, self-indulgence, etc.: effeminate luxury.

Charlie´s last [type] ..And Along Came Watson…

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