Tell Me A Story...

Tell me a story...Whose steps do you  follow? Tell me who you admire and I'll tell you who you are...True?

There was a time when I worked in organizations where I practically liked everybody around me. In fact, it was reciprocal. It didn't matter in what department they were: we were just a group of people working together toward a common goal. We shared our successes, big and small, we talked about our frustrations and laughed at each others' jokes.
In one particular organization, and in some functions there was literally so little line between personal and professional life because we lived our work: we brainstormed so often, lived in meeting and receptions, and through projects. We WORKED TOGETHER . Was it demanding? Yes. Did we feel that we ought to complain about it? No. We loved working together. We loved what we were doing. It was fun. That lasted until our CEO made our lives miserable.

There was a big shift in policy so the CEO adjusted to it. We all had to, agreeing with it or not. It came like a bomb. Change was drastic. Employees split into groups and nothing was to be the same ever. But our team of executives had built such strong strategic relationships that it translated into a very supportive fishnet to employees. I learned so much from that environment.

When I started in another organization the senior HR who first came in contact with me made a strong impression on me. In all fairness and retrospective I have to say that she shaped and facilitated my integration into the company, and was a good mentor. She was knowledgeable in her field, had a great sense of how to handle people and situations. She was excellent in employee relations and compliance and knew how to make things happen. She was in control of HR. In fact, she made sure she was in control of people. That does not always make you the most popular HR on earth. But above all, she was a great business partner. Result? She made it to the C suite and lost support from veteran employees.

I had the privilege of working closely with her. That is always tricky: when you get close to somebody, you either like the person even better or that person falls off his/her pedestal. I have to admit that neither of that occurred. But what happened is that it made me a more emotionally intelligent professional. It is like a wake up call: things are not always rosy, people are not perfect, and although you might disagree with their means of reaching their goals, you could get to the level that you understand the why of the behaviors. Not that you condone the behaviors. You just understand better..but for that to happen, you need to have the ability and willingness to understand. If you consult to that type of leader, it can make your task difficult: they often forget the details of what led them to their new seat. They brush off technicalities and compliance mazes.
This entry was posted on Friday, January 25th, 2013 at 9:58 AM and is filed under Sodexo Commentary. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site. Tweet This

Did I say the word ethics

The translation or transposition of  HR ethical challenges that James O'Toole raises can take many faces, on the field.  Make a twist and you can use the example of some leaders as a learning tool: you know that you will never do "this" or "that'. And it comes to a point when you know that you have to, and can make your choice. Professional strength is not persisting in doing some things no matter the consequences, no matter the related, apparent glory. As agility is for businesses, transformational leadership qualities is for individuals when we address professional strength. It comes from the ability to learn from others and observe behaviors and situations, adjust, step back as needed, regroup oneself and stay true to oneself. Being authentic. Staying authentic.

Tell me your story...


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