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What Would an HR Capitalist Do? She Would Not Talk About Fight Club...

Who are the HR Capitalists? They're a group of HR Pros who like free markets, pop culture, high performing talent and a business plan with upside. They look for the big win in every organization they serve, and if a big win isn't available or tolerated, they'll be gone in the next 180 days - even in a crappy economy.  They represent 9.2% of the entire HR population, and this series is designed to answer the question every HR Pro should ask when faced with a scenario that sucks and might threaten their career - what would an HR Capitalist do?

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"Three can keep a secret if two are dead".  Benjamin Franklin

"I am Jack's complete lack of surprise".  Narrator from Fight Club

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Secrets.  They're everywhere inside organizations, and let's just say that some people are better than others at keeping them.  To get you warmed up, let's run down a list of folks who are good at keeping secrets, then contrast it with thoseYou do not talk about fight club who can't keep a secret, otherwise known as the finks/tortured souls/mouth-runners:

Good at keeping secrets: Dick Cheney, Bruce Wayne's butler, Tony Soprano, anyone who worked for Dick Cheney.

Bad at keeping secrets: Tiger Woods (texting - really?), the mistresses of Tiger Woods, terrorists interrogated by Jack Bauer, Anakin Skywalker.

If you're working a gig as an HR Manager, chances are that you're exposed to a lot of confidential information, otherwise known in the business as "secrets".  If you've evolved to the Director or VP level, chances are you've learned the following lesson from Tyler Durden:

You do not talk about Fight Club confidential information.

Until you need to, or course.  Then it's your street smarts that tells you the Vinnie Barbarino (who, what, when, why and how) of sharing confidential information that keeps you alive in your organization. Of course, if you decide to share confidential information at any point in time, you do it for one reason and one reason alone: Leverage that results in a kick-ass outcome for your organization.  And you mask that information in way that protects the identity of the innocent, gives nothing of true value, but maintains the power/threat/plea that the disclosure creates.

Confused? You're an HR Pro that needs to read this series 4 times.  Nodding your head in agreement? You're part of the elite corp. Play on, player. 

PS: Your access to confidential information over the course of a decade will leave you jaded and sans the ability to ever be surprised by human nature.  Kind of like Tiger's limo driver.

I'm just sayin'...

Comments

Michelle

So true. Sometimes it seems like HR is made up of two types of people. Those who want to know all of the secrets and can't keep them secrets and those of us who have to know secrets in order to do our jobs.

I'm always surprised by those who are in search of the secrets. Me, I know too many already. And they have frankly left me very jaded. It is a rare day when I am surprised by anything.
- Crazy employee? Check.
- Bad manager? Check.
- Poor decisions? Check.
- Weird personal life that impacts work? Triple check.

Those HR folks that want to know where all the bodies are buried and the latest funny employee relations issue that does not involve them will never make it to the big game 'cause the only reason they want to know is so that they have a story to share with their buddies. I need people in my organization who can deal with the crazy stuff with discretion and use this information to make this place better - not as a punch line.

Bam! (me throwing the mic down)

Leah

Wow. Well said both of you! I have long held the 'two types of HR professionals' theory myself, and this issue of motivations and discretion seems to be where the rubber meets the road for me. So glad I work with a Director who thinks like this as well.

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