“If 5 of your role models aren’t women, you’re part of the problem,” the article stated so matter-of-factly. I started to think: role models for what – for business? For fitness? I’m always a little too introspective in this way, asking clarifying questions before I can answer a broad question to the annoyance of the poor sap who asked me the question in the first place. That comes from a good place. I don’t feel like there are a lot of absolutes in life. Life itself has no guarantees. I’ve had my mind changed a thousand times and I’ve been grateful for that; the willingness to change my mind being more ingrained in me than the persistence of philosophies and insistence that others buy into my belief system.
As I read the rest of the article and pondered it more, I made the conclusion that those “for what’s” all roll into the most important one of all – how you want to live your life. So often we pick our role models based on achievements and recognition and I think that’s missing a lot of fundamentals to help you evolve. Rather, we need models for balance, persistence, inspiration and failure. Yes, failure. The most honest moments with other people frequently reveal themselves when we’re sitting in the gutter, not at the podium.
However, you very rarely get to see those moments from people who are leaders of the free world or even digital “thought leaders” – a phrase that makes most of them gag (myself included). We don’t get the insights into the worst weeks when everything has gone to shit, payments don’t come in and 2 flights were cancelled. We get the highlights and happy.
Often, that translates into the stories they tell, too. In our industry, most of these people talk about recruiting and HR like it’s a clean and functional business center that produces profit and works at 100% efficiency when we all know that’s bullshit. They don’t talk about failure or feelings, frustration and forced change or anything else that really matters when you’re not tweeting a sponsored link. It’s lists and tweets taken out of context, all in an effort to get more attention.
When it comes to role models for me, I think it rolls down to real respect for someone who lives an honest, open life (without embarrassing everyone and crossing a weird, invisible “oversharing” line). I’ve struggled with that balance a lot – trying to be the person my company or someone else wanted me to be and telling the stories I thought people wanted to hear versus my own. And one of my inspirations is my guest for RecruitingLive next week.
The Big Reveal: Laurie Ruettimann
I realize at this point in my weekly post, I’ve typically made some weird metaphor to recruiting and (hopefully) delivering an ah-ha moment for at least the 50% of people who even make it this far in a RecruitingDaily post but I don’t have one this week. I hope you’ll attend RecruitingLive because I have someone on that I admire and I know we can all learn a lot from about life and work.
Laurie is the person that encouraged me to share my real stories and write. She was the person who told me to write every day. To stop being so scared of putting my ideas out there. To be honest. I seek out her blog, unlike so many others I come across in a day because she has shown me through her own posts and path that you can be something – someone – who doesn’t sit back and nod or take someone’s word for it. That you should stand up for what you believe in.
In fact, I’ve been looking up to this woman since I started at Monster.com in 2009. I’ve admired her no-bullshit approach to a segment of business operations that is basically littered with bullshit and overdue for a clean-up initiative. She has accepted failure and learned to coach other people on what to do next. She has embraced it so well she’s building a company on it.
You see, it’s pretty obvious that recruiters and HR professionals don’t have good role models. Laurie has tried to be a role model for people and it’s hard to be positive when the job of an HR and recruiting professional sucks.
So let’s talk about it. Bring your questions for Laurie, I’ll bring mine, and let’s talk. About failure, life and whatever else you want to talk about Friday at 1 pm EST.