I’m a Human Resources Director and I have a seat at the table.
What do you expect me to say next? That it’s awesome and you all should strive to join me? Or that it’s nothing like what you think and it’s awful? Like almost everything in life, the reality lies somewhere in between the two. I landed there because I’ve served many roles in the company as it has grown and I understand how the business works.
The most honest thing I can say about it is this: I feel a huge responsibility. Every word I say at that table represents more than just me. I have an obligation to our shareholders, employees, customers, and community. The job has made me laugh, cry, sigh, and yell in frustration. Yet, I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
It is important for me to remember one thing: first priority is the team sitting at the table. Every person serves a different role in the company, but when we’re together in that room our focus is the overall health of the company. We all have to pull the oars together – and in sync.
What this means is we have to bring our differing points of view into the room, express them, argue, and come to a consensus. Once that’s done we have to leave that room and support the decisions we’ve made, whether we completely agree with them or not. The atmosphere of the company, the overall performance, comes from the top down. When there’s dysfunction in the C-suite, there’s dysfunction throughout the ranks.
I’m thankful I can represent the female perspective. I’m glad I can represent the human resource point of view. I have a degree in business administration and I have to say it comes in handy, but not as much as the experience I’ve gained over the years. I’ve worked in a large corporate environment, retail, non-profit, and now for a small private employer. My background helps me understand the importance of paying attention to your customers and how small changes can affect the bottom line. Make no mistake – you have to pay attention to profit and loss.
If you really want a seat at the table, make sure you know the business, inside and out. Be prepared to discuss difficult topics, stretch your mind, and make decisions that you may question later. The job isn’t for everyone.
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