1. I overdid it a bit the other day.Quick post today. 1
So I’ve talked before about how talent is more about nurture than nature, and how most elite talent becomes elite through “deliberate practice“. An expert in a given craft masters his art by breaking the skill down into its components, then mastering those components.
An important lesson here is that masters of their craft are masters of their craft not necessarily because they work harder than anyone else (though hard work is a key component of success), but because they work smarter than everyone else.
This got me thinking specifically about what deliberate practice looks like in my own life.
Here are the four components of HR that I view as crucial to its mastery at an executive level:
A. Communication – You have to be able to communicate with many different audiences across a variety of cultures, social classes and environments. In this respect I push myself to become a better communicator every day by constantly looking for opportunities to be a public speaker, always being conscious of body language etc.
B. Personal Brand – People have to trust you and associate you with quality. This is something that I try to develop via both the way I treat others and via things I intentionally communicate about myself to the public.
C. Thought Leadership – You have to constantly be looking at the HR space in a new way. The world is changing, and with it the workforce. An HR leader that isn’t attuned to this won’t be one for long… To this point, I am not a thought leader yet, but by continuing to write and think about my craft every day I would like to think I will become one in the future.
D. Technical Knowledge – Be it labor and employment law, financial analysis, enterprise resource planning, deep diving into benefits costs (401k/DC and DB plans etc.), understanding what factors qualify as compensable etc., knowing the technical (and strategic) stuff that makes HR value added as function is imperative to doing the job at high levels of leadership. There’s no easy way to learn all of this. You just read everything you can and look for opportunities to put things into practice at both a technical and strategic level at work.
What constitutes deliberate practice for you?
Please share your thoughts below.
If you have questions about something you’ve read here (or simply want to connect) you can reach me at any of the following addresses:
SomethingDifferentHR@gmail.com OR firstname.lastname@example.org