Be Real, Have Fun: Advice From 30 Years In HR

My name is Tim Collins, and I’m delighted to be a new TalentCulture contributor. I’ve been a business guy doing HR work for more than 30 years, including 19 years at Procter & Gamble and 11 years at IBM, two great companies (clearly, I love blue logos); I retired from the latter at the end of 2014. During my career, I worked long hours, did some cool stuff, had a bunch of fun, worked with some great people, and got paid for it. Ka-ching!

I could bore you with the things I’ve done, places I’ve been, and buzzwords I’ve heard, but as I begin my relationship with the TalentCulture audience, I thought it would be more fun to share the advice I offered to IBMers in a farewell blog post.

  • Work hard, produce results, but have fun too. Smile, laugh and celebrate more. Be less serious.
  • Be authentically who you are. Bring your whole self to work. Help and encourage others to do the same.
  • Think less about yourself and more about your colleagues and teammates. Succeed through and serve others.
  • Reverse the corporate pyramid. Support, enable and “manage up” to your team and colleagues.
  • Listen more, talk less. Stop listening to respond, and listen to listen.
  • Pause, reflect and be thoughtful.
  • Change your default instant message greeting to something other than “I am available.” For years, mine has been “How can I help?” and I meant it.
  • Make the decision to be optimistic and happy. You won’t succeed every day, but keep trying.
  • Buck the conventional. When you’re in the office, pick your head up, smile, wave and talk to people. Do the same when you are working virtually.
  • Push yourself to try something new. Social, for example. Stop talking about social, start being social.
  • According to Vala Afshar, CMO at Extreme Networks, Social stands for Sincere, Open, Collaborative, Interested, Authentic, and Likable. No mention of technology. It’s about culture change and a better and more productive way to work. HR claims to own culture and organization change management. Get busy.
  • Fewer words are ALWAYS better. Write and speak more clearly and simply. Root out corporate speak.
  • Be passionate about what you are doing, or do something else. Believe in the possibility of what can be achieved.
  • Be more vulnerable. Admit when you’re wrong, privately and publicly. It means you’re human.
  • Life is too short. Tell the truth. Stand up for what you know is right and true.

I subscribe to the view that experience is the best teacher, and mine suggests that this is good advice. If you follow it, you will 1) get more done, 2) have a bigger impact, 3) set a great example for others, 4) have more fun, 5) get noticed more, 6) develop deeper and more meaningful relationships and 6) be more real, more authentic to who you are and were meant to be. Try it, and let me know how it goes.

I plan to share more with you in this blog from time to time, on HR, work culture, social business, travel, connections between people and cultures. Please share my post, and let me know what you’d like to hear from me in the future. I’ll see you on #TChat!

About the Author: Tim Collins is an international Human Resources executive, with more than 30 years of business and international experience at Procter & Gamble and IBM. Tim thinks that hard work, great results and having fun go together.

photo credit: Takeoff via photopin (license)

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