The Mindset HR Leaders Need To Excel as Strategic Co-Pilots

HR LEADERS HR leaders love and need their development tools to make the difference that is expected of them. They often include psychometric assessments, 360 evaluations to performance management processes and more. But the most important tool HR leaders need is having the right mindset to excel.

Every human resource leader I have ever had the privilege of working with had their eye on one question:

How can I best build a high performing culture? A culture in which our people possess the right skills, capabilities and level of engagement that unleashes our organization’s highest potential to create and sustain profitable growth?”

However to really accomplish this, the central challenge for most HR leaders is this:

To get a seat at the leadership table, and to continuously be a critical strategic partner and co-pilot to business leaders and the leadership teams throughout the enterprise.

They can only do this by building credibility and influence within the leadership culture.

Why is this so critical that HR Leaders have the right mindset?

Because as much as business leaders may not want to believe this, business success does not lie in how great their products and services are – though great products and services do count. What is more important is how great their people are!

You know this and I know this. So then, why is it so difficult to gain a seat at the leadership table? Or even after you have one, why is so hard to influence business leaders to see what you see? Perhaps its because they think you are just HR!

The best way for Human Resource leaders to build credibility and influence is to develop their business acumen and truly understand the business and how it operates. Then you must also understand how team culture determines what kind of business models can be built and sustained – how team culture drives performance and revenues. How? By truly understanding:

  • How to map all the roles needed to create competitive advantage in the marketplace – from R&D, to marketing, to sales, to  supply chain, to finance.
  • And how to map the unique demands and needs of each role.
  • And how to map the critical interdependencies between each role.

Knowing how to map this will allow you to anticipate the developmental needs, capabilities, skills and incentives that are necessary for business leaders and their teams to flourish and produce the best results.

Knowing how to map this will enable you to be a welcome challenge to business leaders. They will want and even seek your insights, both strategic and tactical to help them build a high performance team and culture.

More broadly, knowing how to map this will give you a clear and holistic understanding of the entire enterprise. Then you can then accurately assess organizational and human capital strengths and gaps. This will allow you to anticipate and courageously get out in front of challenges facing the executive leadership team and to develop the best talent and teams as possible.

Know your business, grow your people, grow your profits!


Here are some links to other resources that highlight the challenges of leading and creating high performing cultures:

Here is one article and here is another  and here is a really valuable tool for HR Leaders to guide strategy development within a team!