Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., SHRM-SCP, is President and Chief Executive Officer of SHRM, the Society for Human Resource Management. With over 300,000 members in 165 countries, SHRM is the largest HR professional association in the world, impacting the lives of 115 million workers every day.
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- “Crisis come and go, but our chance to demonstrate leadership skills is constant. In times such as these, Johnny abides by three key principles:
- Culture comes first
- Data is your greatest friends
- Be “extra”
- Mistakes made by Chief Human Resource Officers:
- RULES: CHROs who fail emphasize rules over solutions.
- ROLES: CHROs who fail develop an instinctual approach to solidifying their role, necessitating constant validation
- RELATIONSHIPS: CHROs who fail prioritize relationships (when hiring) above results or data.
- RIGHTEOUSNESS: CHROs who fail need to be right at all times without accounting for other perspectives
- “Culture is the cure amid chaos” — At SHRM, they’ve defined themselves by their guiding principles:
- Bold Purpose
- Excellence & Accountability
- Flexibility & Agility
- Smart & Curious
- Collaborative Openness
- How Johnny earned the CEO role?
- He’s had a wide range of jobs: Lawyer, a business leader in ‘for-profit,’ business leader in non-profit, understands being responsible for his own Profit and Loss of a business
- Since Johnny was seven years old, he knew he wanted to be a lawyer
- Why leaders need to become excellent writers and speakers:
- Inspiring employees has become table stakes to be an excellent leader
- How to work on this? READ. Johnny regularly reads with his 11-year-old daughter to help her work on this.
- “Grammar matters. Typos matter. We judge people on those things.”
- Hiring: What does Johnny look for in a candidate to hire:
- Technical competencies – They have to know how to do the job
- Cultural alignment – We do not hire brilliant jerks
- Curiosity is key: “Tell me something you’ve been thinking about that would surprise me…”
- Self-awareness: Tell me about situations where you’ve been wrong or failed…
- Their motivation: “Why do you work?
- What has changed most over the years?
- “Culture is everything now. Diversity, equity, and inclusion are getting better.”
- How can leaders create a healthy culture that acknowledges and prevents racism, sexism, and bias?
- “We have to talk about it.”
- Acknowledge it
- Commonalities of people who sustained excellence:
- Curiosity – receptive to change
- Fiercely competitive – They want to win
- Exist for a bigger purpose
- The RESET – The opinion and perspective of Human Resources is changing… “They can’t be the department of NO anymore.”
- “The job of the HR professional is to help their leaders get a good return on their hiring investment.”
- Life/Career Advice:
- Become really good at something. Become an expert
- Build relationships
- Build empathy – “When I was a young ‘hot-shot’ attorney, I would run through people.” You need to build empathy for others.”
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- Read: RESET
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