A CONTINUATION OF ‘TEN STEPS UP THE C-SUITE LADDER TO EFFECTIVELY SMASH OPEN THE DOORS’
Rung 1: Master the essentials of your chosen industry. If HR, then become technically proficient in culture, comp, compliance, hiring, on boarding etc.
Shrewd Executive leadership wants and seeks business partners who will add significance to the bottom line. Human Resources has been invited but must deliver value, moving from administrative to a strategic partnership in alignment with leadership’s 30,000 foot view of the people side of the business. We live in a global economy and HR must be able to create a culture of high performance to compete in today’s market. A key question leadership demands to know the answer to is, “how well is our workforce performing and how are we helping them to improve”. It is more than having top talent; it is about performance that gets their attention.
Feedback to the executive level must not be inflated or exaggerated. “Just the facts “Ma’am”, cut the fluff or you find yourself outside the table. Leadership understands value and sees the results and is not interested in a scramble of activities that are waste of time and of no benefit to the overall vision of the company.
HR is comprised of many areas of discipline including benefits, comp, performance management, employee relations, recruiting and learning and development. None of these areas are a silo unto itself but of great importance in your role as the HR professional at the table. It is a part of the big picture of what leadership wants from its strategic partner. Until HR and the leadership team jointly ask “how well is our workforce performing and how are we helping our employees improve” nothing will happen to secure a seat at the table for the partner.
I deal with HR professionals all the time and ask about success dealing with the executive leadership team. A few years ago I was talking to a lady who told me of her success at the table. She always says yes to the requests she gets from the C-Suite at the first opportunity. You might be asking yourself, leadership is not looking for “yes men” and you are right. Her response moves quickly to asking what their vision is for this request she has said yes to. She then focuses on the why and not the what or how as this will come when we all understand why we do what we do. Once she knows the vision of the C-Suite and the why, she follows with a discussion about what it will look like when it is completed. It is your job as an HR professional to then provide the knowledge as a contributor to the vision to accomplish the goals clearly understood by all parties. Your executive team values your input at this point. You are known as a person that will not lead them down the wrong path but the best path to reach the vision of the request. You are a master of your profession and you know how to manage the C-Suite with the best interest of the entire company. You are now on the rung of influence you desire and deserve.
Contact me for a one-on-one meeting to discuss your ladder climbing techniques!
TRAVIS JONES CEO
Travis has been an entrepreneur and business owner in Tulsa for over 30 years. He is a well-known community servant and is dedicated to providing world-class service for everyone we encounter.Travis is a certified Life Options Retirement Coach and is certified to facilitate and deliver the Manager As Coach Learning Series (MACLS) through CPI. He serves on the board of Career Partners International (CPI) and is an equity partner in CPI, offering a global reach with over 220 offices. Travis serves on the Elder Board at Tulsa Bible Church, on the board of New Life Ranch and is a proud member of Tulsa Executives Association (TEA) and is active with several other organizations serving the community and beyond.