Can HR be a route to the top?

Balaji Hari Rao asked whether an HR person can rise to the top of a business that is not in the HR field. Apparently this is a question that crops up pretty regularly on LinkedIn; perhaps because there are over 335,000 members of one LinkedIn HR group alone!

A number of respondents linked to discussions which listed CEO’s with HR somewhere in their background. There were thoughtful comments on what can be developed through experience in HR, and how HR executives can increase their value and potential by sticking close to the business and delivering real value. 

Mounir Al Shaltony gave the most thoughtful response, which expanded on the opportunities HR executives have to impact important strategic priorities. 

Given that MAKING money is the essential measure of success in the top job, I’d advise HR professionals with aspirations for top job to get themselves into the operational side of the business early in their career. Manage a machine, a store, a profit center or a business line.

Here’s the original conversation.

What have been the most valuable experiences YOU’VE either had or observed outside HR? 

Please join the discussion by leaving a comment below. Thanks.

About Mick Verran

I consult, coach, facilitate and train, supporting companies as they execute growth strategies and leaders as they improve their personal effectiveness.
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