Monthly Archives: May 2012

HR the real role: to be a Rag-picker of people’s dreams!

Thanks to a colleague of mine who gave me a fascinating book to read. Og Mandino calls it “The Greatest Miracle in the world”.

It struck me how far away the HR function has removed itself from being the developmental  “heart and soul” champion and leader of an organization.

I am tough on my profession, rightly so when all I continue to get is: hire-fire-policies and procedures.

This is so much CRAP: Communities Resist Administrative Procrastination.

In my recent article The Rubber Band Theory of Leadership ™ HRMexplorer Blogs | URL:

I made the point that when there are no boxes and the rubber band has stretched beyond return the human mind has an infinite capacity to unchain itself from being the “prisoner of sameness”.

On reading this book the message is so clear. “There is a miracle in all of us”. The role of HR and indeed all leaders is to release the minds of those we interact with. In business off course they are our employees, but it goes for everything we do.

We all become prisoners of who we are and not who we can be and that provides a life of “Stuckness”.

We give off the impression “of rooms we have lived in and not doors that we can open”.

We give of the aura that what we have done is all that there is to us.

The book so eloquently speaks to our sometimes feeling like playing God but the author quickly sweeps us to the fact that God plays man and all that God has achieved by way of miracles is through the words and work of man. So we need to use the gift!

When I was reading the enlightened words of Mandino it struck me as it often does that if bringing people back from the “dead”  – those mentally exhausted with little or no hope is not what WE do as Hr professionals’ nay all leaders of people then all is for naught!

We need to be rag-pickers of human souls!

There are too many instances of disciplinary or corrective action plans. Lets get rid of that thinking because what we need to do is got those who are in “trouble’ to help us solve what all to often is a “system problem!” The mindset that goes with traditional thinking is that we look to “fix people” WRONG!

As James Allen states in his book “As a man thinkith!” we are and behave”… Negative thoughts beget negative actions. GIGO (garbage in garbage out).

Think about when planting your garden: we nurture and fertilize that soil. Harvest minds and we will reap empowered people.

“Many people have become what they think.” And in Allen’s words as a man makeith in his heart so does he do and is known”.

Much of the work we need to do as leaders of people is to unbridle the cobwebs of uncertainty and allow people the courage to be what they can dream to be and beyond.

Thanks Lou for passing on a miracle to me.

The definition of a Rag-picker :


The rubber band theory of Leadership™

I start my leadership classes by giving everyone a rubber band and ask them to “play” with it!

There are many ways they can do that!

Stretch it, make different patterns, wrap it around their fingers’, and flick it (even then they mimic only), put it round their wrist. Many creative ways they find!

AND yet….It is rare that anyone has EVER broken or snapped it!

Why is that I ask?

I have come to the conclusion that that rubber band signifies the “comfort zone” we all have.

Just like our comfort zone and what we do in life we can stretch that band or ourselves, to a point we see the grimaces’ and the contorted faces and then going that extra little millimeter brings out the fear of what will happen. So like that rubber band we go back to our original space.

That rubber band signifies the mental constraints we put on our ambitions, our visions, our loves, our daily lives, our decisions and what stops us being the best we could never imagine ourselves to be.

You see that rubber band is like the “box” we often hear about “let’s think outside the box.” The rubber band is just the same kind of constraint. When people say to us let’s think outside the box what are they implying? You got it. THERE IS A BOX!

Let us imagine there never was a box……what would our constraints be? What stresses would suddenly disappear. What fears would be lifted? What decisions would be made?

My point is when we stretch it should not to be determined by our fear but by how far we can push that stretch when there is nothing to stop it….

When we think there is no box or there is no fear of breaking that rubber band we give ourselves permission to deliver renewal and creative insights. We do whatever our imagination allows us to deliver. We no longer put fear to the forefront but rather the art of the imaginable.

When we think. “What would we do if we were not scared” Who Moved my Cheese. Dr. Spencer Johnson

Or “walk naked into the land of uncertainty.”   – Deep Change” Robert E. Quinn

When we snap that rubber band we are truly entering parts of our experiences and inner resolution we have never tapped into before because WE HAVE NEVER BEEN THERE BEFORE there is no comfort zone and there is no way back and no trodden path before us.

So we develop an open mindedness that has no limits and a courage that changes everything and a faith that overcomes fear and the leader within that has created a comfort zone that is truly without limits.



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