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What Makes a Good HR Leader?

What Makes a Good HR Leader?

Source: HR Focus

June 19, 2009

Leading Now, Leading the Future: What Senior HR Leaders Need to Know, from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), identifies the following eight leadership skills essential for HR business leaders:

(1) knowledge of business, HR, and organizational operations;

(2) strategic thinking and critical/analytical thinking;

(3) leading change;

(4) effective communication;

(5) credibility;

(6) results orientation/drive for performance;

(7) ethical behavior; and

(8) persuasiveness/influencing others.

Senior HR professionals employed in global organizations need both a global mindset and the ability to be flexible in order to adapt to changing global business needs, according to the report.

Ethical behavior also was an important leadership quality for the human resources profession, which HR leaders can demonstrate through their actions, decisions, and leadership within their organizations.

This mirrors findings from a previous SHRM survey on ethics where 76 percent of HR professionals reported that they felt “well prepared” to “very well prepared” to handle situations with the potential to result in violations to the organization’s ethics policies or even a violation of the law.

“Successful senior HR leaders consistently show executives in the C-suite that they understand the broad operations and processes driving business,” said SHRM president and CEO Laurence G. O’Neil. “Equally important is the ability to explain the role of human capital issues and solutions in the context of broader business operations linking finance, operations, and marketing.”

The report is available at

Copyright Institute of Management & Administration May 2009

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