What HR Leaders and World Leaders Have in Common

Tim Sackett by Tim Sackett   April 26 2016


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With all of the focus on elections, more and more we continue to get an inside view of the great leaders around the world.  It used to be that great leaders only had to be great leaders.  Just be a great leader of people and get them to engage with a vision, and you to can be President!

In the past few decades, the role of world leader, President, etc. has evolved into CEO of a country. It really never used to be viewed in that way!

francois-hollande-using-peopledoc.jpgNEW YORK, NY - April 22, 2016 - The President of France, François Hollande (left), using PeopleDoc on an iPad
to e-sign an HR document with PeopleDoc COO and Co-Founder Clement Buyse (right).

Because of this evolution, the role HR takes has become more and more important to these world leaders. How so?  Oh, let me tell you the ways HR and world leaders are similar:

  1. The only job a president truly has is selecting talent to do everything that a president is responsible. Think about how any president of a country builds their team around them. It's all just one big talent acquisition process!

  2. Organizational communication and citizen communication are basically the same thing! You have to be able to speak to everyone at a level where you're speaking specifically to them, but also speaking to everyone at the same time! That's tough! But, in HR, that's what we do every day.

  3. Presidents and HR both have to get everyone to believe in the brand/vision of where we are going! We like to think this is the CEO job in a company, but in most organizations the heavy lifting of this falls on HR in the form of onboarding, training and development, rewards and recognition, etc. It's HR's job to make sure the vision happens!

  4. We both have our finger on the button! (Well, kind of!) World leaders have the power to make some major decisions, like going to war. HR, many times, has to make some very difficult decisions of ending someone's employment. Okay, war v. termination might be on different levels, but both can be incredibly difficult decisions!

  5. Presidents and HR are about everyone. All people, all employees. Being in these roles are about ensuring we are doing what is best for the whole.  Presidents and HR by nature are inclusive.

Great CEOs of today know that creating a great team is key to their success, and to the organization's success. That's HR! World Leaders know the same thing. That's why I believe Presidents of countries are more HR-focused than business-focused. Their success is dependent on a great team around them.

Think about this the next time you see a world leader, or potential leader, address a group of people. Would they make a great HR Leader?  If so, they'll probably also make a great world leader!

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Tim Sackett
Tim Sackett

I’m a 20 year HR/Recruiting Talent Pro with a Master’s in HR and SPHR certification, currently residing in Lansing, MI. Currently the President at HRU Technical Resources – a $40M IT and Engineering contract staffing firm and RPO. Prior to joining HRU, I was the Director of Employment at Sparrow Health System, Regional HR and Staffing Director with Applebee’s Intl., Retail Health Recruiting Manager and Regional HR Mgr. with ShopKo Stores and Pamida respectively. I’ve split my career half between recruiting and half between HR generalist roles – also split half between the HR vendor community and Corporate America – So, I think I get it from both sides of the desk.