If you're like me, 2020 and 2021 has felt rough in a lot of ways. But I'm incredibly blessed – I had a job, my company survived and my family is healthy. Check, check and check.
But in a world with so much political and social unrest, it's easy for all of us to feel disrupted in some way. For me, all the change going on around us made me less confident to speak to many of the hard business+talent truths I have learned in my career. Example – I was hesitant to put my thoughts down on the recent Union Vote at the Amazon Distribution Center (Bessemer, Alabama) because pro-business thoughts aren't super welcome in the cancel culture we live in.
I wrote the post (you can find it here), but I expressed my reservations of being cancelled, shamed or—God forbid—being called a Republican.
The hesitation that so many people feel toward having real conversations got me thinking – what I really needed to do was to create a mission statement of how I view HR/Recruiting/Talent that addresses the times and communicates what I believe. I needed to do that more for me than anyone else. So I did it. I kept it short and note this is a living breathing document I'll update and fine tune moving forward.
Here's my personal mission statement for who I am and what I believe HR/Recruiting/Talent should be about in 2021:
I believe every employee deserves an opportunity to earn a great living based on their performance. They deserve a safe environment that respects all people and provides maximum opportunity to all, regardless of race, gender, orientation and any other identifier.
Of course, I'll get emails that say this isn't good enough on a variety of levels in 2021. That's OK. I'm not writing war and peace here, or even a 35-page document similar to the one that got Jerry Maquire fired (read the whole thing from Jerry here). What's needed for me is a lightweight mission statement to keep me grounded and focused on what the most important things are in the world of HR/Recruiting/Talent in 2021 and beyond, which also allows me to call BS on things that make no sense (spoiler, there's a lot of that these days).
Let's break that simple statement shown above (in green) down a bit so I can tell you what's in my heart:
1–It all starts with performance wherever you are in life. The world is a hard place, and different people have different talents, different work ethic, etc. Someone less talented needs to work harder, and many do and absolutely crush it. Some are naturally talented and skate by without putting in the hours. Put on your helmet and get ready to compete, because this world is tough. Effort, focus and not being a victim matters.
2–There are crazy talented people from every walk of life – every race, gender, orientation, country and any other identifier you want to name. I know this because I've worked for them and been fortunate enough to have them on my teams during my career – from all walks of life. I want to recruit them all BTW, not because of any identifier, but because they are great at what they do. High performer and achiever is a segment that is not limited by tag, identifier, identity politics, employment law, etc. It is a DNA strand that elevates above the conversations we're having today.
3–The world works hard to try and lure high performers back to the pack. There's a bunch of quotes I could give you here. Whether it's a political conversation about how the business community mistreats labor, a co-worker pissed at you because you're killing it and they can't/wont, or Ricky Bobby's dad in Talledega Nights encouraging students to go fast, it's noted that the world around you wants you to be average. See #1 and #2.
4–Safety in the world – inside and outside of work – should be a given. You should be safe in the workplace and not have to deal with bullshit, whether it's dealing with COVID, personal safety or just not getting tied up with non-work related conversations that make you feel at-risk because you're not in the cool clique, etc. I want people to feel safe outside of work as well, but that's a complicated post that transcends the scope of this work mission statement. Let's just say I'm open to all conversations and feel there's a clear path forward for safety for all – but I'm not drinking anyone's kool-aid. The path is complicated.
5 – Every employee and candidate deserves an environment/experience that provides maximum opportunity to all, regardless of race, gender, orientation and any other identifier. Couple of things here – I'm no expert in what's required to put all on equal footing as they grow up and matriculate in our imperfect world (yes, that means outside the USA as well), so I'll leave that to the experts – I'm open to a lot of things. But when it comes to the workplace/workforce, I'm open and engaged to force conversations that need to happen to provide maximum opportunity to all. I believe a proactive approach is needed to get to where we need to be, but note I'll never be a proponent of messaging that seeks to divide us instead of bringing us together. To accomplish both is part art and part science, and we need everyone in the tent to get to where we need to be.
That's it. Note I'll be updating this and I'll try to show a log below on what I add or take out in the future.
First Created: 4.29.21
No Edits to date.