An HR thought leader is someone who has innovative ideas and concepts – someone who, despite what is going on around them, defies convention and tries something new and succeeds. It is a term that was coined over fifteen years ago and has a lot of new dynamics in the current age. I have recently written to you about resources for those who desire to be on the track to HR thought leadership but there is more to sharing innovative ideas than just outlets. There are common traits that can be found in those who are HR thought leaders in this day and age and my goal is to share some of those with you today so that you may hone such traits in yourself and your work.
1. Fearlessness. If you want your voice to be heard and your idea to be listened to, it is very likely that you will have to put yourself in multiple situations that could very well be outside the realm of your comfort zone. It’s okay! Do it! Talk to people you don’t know, ask questions that you need answers to, go to meetings and conferences and forums and you will begin to be recognized as long as you are not afraid to put yourself out there. No harm in trying, no matter what.
2. Passion. One thing that can make a lot of ideas fall flat is a lack of passion. You may have an idea that you know could be very marketable but for some reason it just doesn’t inspire you or fire you up like other things do. People can sense this. People can tell when what you are pitching to them is something that comes from deep down inside. People respond well to “belly fire” more so than they do to most other things. If you want to be a thought leader, you have to believe in what you are doing. Don’t do anything halfway.
3. Humility. Even if you’re positive that your idea is the best idea in the entire history of ideas, there is always room for growth. Remember this and stay humble because any help is useful help and you never know when some advice may make all the difference. People don’t want to help someone who believes they will never need it. Sometimes you do.
4. Drive. Never! Give! Up! That’s the most important lesson here – drive. If you want to fly higher than anyone else, you have to continue to practice your craft, hone your work. You have to put in extra hours, get up early, write it all down, and keep on growing and working and believing. If you really believe you can do it, you have to keep doing it until you reach your goal. Once you reach your goal, keep climbing.
In the end, being an HR thought leader comes down to you. It comes down to your confidence and your drive. It comes down to your desire to really share your ideas with the world. If you believe you can change it, there’s no reason not to try. To stay at the edge of issues on HR and staffing, be sure to subscribe to the Human Capital Supply Chain Blog.