I spend a lot of my time around human resource professionals. I am not speaking this year (yet) but if I was, here is what I'd say to as many human resources professionals as I could about leadership and respect.
I remember walking up a narrow staircase to the second floor of the building I worked in as a young HR manager. The customer service manager was walking down and, because it the staircase was that narrow, we each shifted to our right. As we passed, he stopped, turned and said something to me. No, it wasn't "Suck it in, Rosendahl." It was something totally unexpected.
What do you think it was?
He said, "Thank you." "For what?," I asked. "For everything you do for my staff. I don't expect that you hear that enough." We chatted, I thanked him and continued on my way as the voice in my head began a familiar rant.
"Wow," I thought, "I don't hear it at all." It continued, "He's right! No one appreciates me or all the work my department does." "We're the only ones with spines in this place." "They're not my damn policies, enforce them yourself." There's more, "No one tells me anything. HR is always an after thought." "I get no respect."
It can be very easy to fall down that rabbit hole. Many human resource professionals do fall (rather easily) without looking first or thinking about the impact on themselves, their relationships with others and their ability to earn the oh-so-elusive respect they seek.
Many fall, but not all. There are those who RSVP, "No" to the pity party. They feel stronger, sit up straighter and discover a real strength of character and conviction within. They are not part of the problem, instead, they are the ones to shut that party down.
They are the ones who lead.
Which one are you?
Stop looking to the profession for respect. SHRM is not going to be able to help you with this. This one is all you and if you are struggling with respect, I am hear to tell you that you've set your expectations for yourself much too low.
You are too good to be limited by uncertainty or self-doubt. You are too good to be lessened by the criticisms of a profession. You are too good to be an after-thought or to hide in the shadows.
Leadership is not passive. Today we are going to talk about leaders (yes, that's you) and being brave. Forget about respect for now. The bigger question is this: You are being called to lead. Will you heed the call or hide from it?
Ladies and gentlemen, it's time to grow up and lead.
Leadership: Get Your HR Head out of the Rabbit Hole by Lisa Rosendahl first appeared on lisarosendahl.com