“I’m Available For Hire and…As an HR Leader, I Can Improve Your Metrics, KPIs & EBITA Within Two Quarters.”

By Alan Collins

Grab your favorite beverage and get comfortable…

Because this is a MUST READ!

According to his LinkedIn profile, Doug Billings (pictured left) is an HR leader who got into HR “to stop leaders from being jackasses.  He teaches them how to lead & inspire…whilst having fun.”

Recently, Doug posted the article below on LinkedIn as he’s embarking on the next chapter of his HR career.

And it just absolutely blew me away!

It is so outstanding and reflects so much of my own personal philosophy of what super-successful HR leaders should believe and do, that I couldn’t resist getting Doug’s okay to share it.

I’m thrilled that he did.  There’s much for all of us to learn here.


Dear Colleagues:

Act quickly. I’m on the market.

I’ve decided to make a purposeful change and enter the job market so that I can help other organizations, other HR and leadership teams become world-class companies filled with Servant Leaders who really “get it” with regards to the importance of people.

I’ll be quick here and get right to the point. If you’re not happy with metrics, KPIs and EBITA, here’s a way to begin to fix it…

The problem with employees in your company who have titles of leadership is that they are not leaders, they are magistrates… Ordering behavior rather than inspiring success. They don’t lead with collaboration or empathy.

They default to the negative. They order rather than inspire to action.

They aim to END careers rather than to SAVE them.

They don’t know their employee’s definitions of success. They don’t know their employees… Period.

Do you want to know how to improve metrics, KPIs and EBITA so quickly as I promise in this article’s headline?

Here are (some of) the ways:

#1 — Don’t talk about metrics, KPIs or EBITA to the general population of employees.

Until you’ve successfully completed the following steps.


Because the common employee doesn’t give a flying monkey about your metrics, KPIs or EBITA… Because they don’t know you and they don’t care about numbers. Yet.

#2 — Begin with relationships.

Build them and maintain them.

When you park your car in the morning – DON’T go immediately to your office. Rather, walk the floor!

Shake hands, meet people. Talk about ANYTHING other than work. Get to know your employees.

For example: You should know if one of your employees has a spouse who is suffering from cancer.  And you should visit with that employee outside of work to offer moral support.

Write that employee (and the spouse!) a hand-written letter of prayerful support and that any time off will be excused to tend to this important personal matter.

#3 — Don’t issue orders.

Inspire by rolling up your sleeves and getting to know the WORK your employees do.

Remember, you’re not a leader hired to build parts, tend to patients or ship product… You were hired to lead other people who do those jobs.

Work a shift (or part of one) with your employees on the shop floor, in the patient care floor, in the distribution center… Wherever the work is being done.

Have you ever seen an episode of “Undercover Boss”? The reason it often brings tears to our eyes is because it depicts a leader who is getting to know his/her employees and getting to know the work they perform…as the leader works along side of the employee.

Relationships are born and it’s wonderful to see.

#4 — Be collaborative and demonstrate empathy.

You are often times not the expert.

You are, however, surrounded by them.

Listen to your employee-experts and initiate their suggestions. Collaborate with them to find solutions before you order solutions from on high.

Understand that few people walk through your doors to come to work because they feel called by God to do so. (*Note: Many people in healthcare, education and such do, in fact, feel their careers are a “calling” and this is awesome).

When I was in the seminary studying to be a priest, I decided that whatever I did in life, I wanted it to be a calling from God.

To this day, I feel this way about human resources and that I’m called to enter into people’s lives to make differences for the better.

This, for me, is the definition of “The Meaning of Life.” So have empathy for people. Live in (and be comfortable with) the gray area when it comes to policy.

Make decisions on a case-by-case basis. Realize that the private lives of your employees mingle with their work lives.   And understand this: Their personal lives trump anything going on at work.   Let them tend to their personal lives when they need to without question.

#5 — Don’t default to the negative.

The truth isn’t always obvious and we have to look below the surface to find it. Give the benefit of the doubt.

Trust… But verify.

Make your default response a positive one. See all as a gift and coach your employees to do the same. The good things, the challenges and the failures should all be seen as a gift. This will create gratitude. And grateful people are morel likely able to discover Wonder, Joy & Meaning in their work and in their personal lives.

Leading employees to this is something that far too many leaders fail to do.

#6 — Stop aiming to end careers and begin saving them.

I’m reminded of certain “leaders” who use the Progressive Discipline policy as a mechanism to terminate employees rather than to save their careers.

Shame on them!

Progressive Discipline is not simply to check steps and relish in the fact that “Finally! Mr. Employee is at Step 4 of the progressive discipline policy! I can fire him!”

We’ve all seen this and it’s tragic.

Progressive Discipline, when properly applied, is intended to save careers, not end them.

This, when done correctly, builds up your culture, holds leaders accountable to coach employees and instills trust.

#7 — Know your employee’s individual definition of success.

Don’t project your definition of success upon them.

Learn what makes them tick, what inspires them.

Then, set about to make those dreams of success come true. One of the most ‘sacred’ duties of a leader is to develop his/her direct reports to their own definition of success.

And, by the way, you should be helping them achieve their definitions of success they hold for their careers AND in their personal lives.

There are many more examples, but these are the biggies.

Let me know if I can help your organization become one filled with Servant Leaders and inspired employees.

All the best to all of you,


Thank you again Doug for sharing your wisdom.  Readers: Feel free to share your own thoughts in the comments below by clicking HERE.


Want more ideas for moving your HR career forward successfully, then check out:  WINNING BIG IN HR: 100+ Powerful Strategies For Accomplishing Great Results Faster & Getting Your Clients To Rave About You As A Human Resources Professional!   For more detailed information about this book, go HERE.


Or if you’re a new HR leader who wants to tap into some brilliant ideas for accelerating your success in your new role,then check out:  THE NEW HR LEADER’S FIRST 100 DAYS: How To Start Strong, Hit The Ground Running & ACHIEVE SUCCESS FASTER As A New Human Resources Manager, Director and VP.  You can get more details HERE.

About the author: Alan Collins is Founder of Success in HR, Inc. and the author of a variety of best selling books for HR professionals including WINNING BIG IN HR and THE NEW HR LEADER’S FIRST 100 DAYS. He was formerly Vice President – Human Resources at PepsiCo where he led HR initiatives for their Quaker Oats, Gatorade and Tropicana businesses.

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4 Responses to ““I’m Available For Hire and…As an HR Leader, I Can Improve Your Metrics, KPIs & EBITA Within Two Quarters.””

  1. JC Says:

    Hello Mr. Collins. This is very eye catching and unique headline. It works for someone with extensive HR knowledge–even though Mr. Billings said he’s making a change (the hire me part) and how he helps HR leaders.

    Not sure how that would work for someone that’s not in and trying to break in. It’s an attention grabber indeed and makes you read the entire profile. Thanks so much for posting as always!

  2. susan musumeci Says:

    Interesting article, as always. But, I’m not sure there are too many “servant leaders” in corporate America, though it would be a nice idea.

  3. A M Walker Says:


    This is a very good and timely article.

    Thank you for sharing. I truly appreciate the information shared.

    A M Walker

  4. Michael Brisciana Says:

    Best HR / Leadership article that I’ve read in a long time. Thanks for sharing!