A Short, Open Letter To All Abusive & Toxic HR Leaders

From: Alan Collins

To: All abusive and toxic HR leaders

Hello! Time is running out on your career.

-You are treating people like dirt.
-You bully and shame.
-You exclude, divide and disrespect others.
-You throw people under the bus when blamed.
-You engage in corrosive office politics.
-You regularly steal credit for other’s ideas.

Excuse me for being so blunt, but consider this a heads up.

Right now, the organization may be applauding the great HR results you’re getting.

Right now, some higher ups may not even be aware of your behavior.

Right now, there are some key leaders that DO know, but they’re hesitant to confront you and are choosing to look the other way.

That’s right now.

*     *     *

However, things can go south in a heartbeat.

Today, as we emerge from the pandemic, patience is in short supply and tempers flare easily. People will NOT put up with your crap for long, without lashing out in your direction.

Some will do it overtly. Others will do it covertly and quietly behind the scenes.

So don’t be surprised to hear that you’ve been named prominently in:

-Anonymous letters to your boss.
-Negative office rumors.
-Harassment complaints.
-Unexpected resignations.
-Lawsuits and litigation.

These kinds of distractions and potential risks to the business will not be tolerated by those same higher ups, who may be singing your praises now.

Worse yet, if this reaches the news media, it will soon be lights out for you.

No organization wants this kind of embarassing publicity that can sabatoge their brand.

Frankly, should any of this happen:

-Your HR track record won’t matter.
-Your HR credentials and certifications won’t matter.
-Your ability to sell HR ideas won’t matter.
-Your self-confidence won’t matter.
-Your great presentation skills won’t matter either.

You will be soon be forced to seek opportunities elsewhere.

Why? Because at some point, how you continue to treat people trumps what you’ve accomplish.

So consider this just a warning.

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Now, allow me to be helpful.

Here are a couple of suggestions:

#1: Clean up your act.
#2: Clear out your desk.

Pick one.

Obviously, it’s your choice.

But decide now before it’s too late.

Again, your clock is ticking.

Don’t wait for your time to run out.

So what’s your decision going to be?

Decide quickly because the rest of your career depends on it.


*     *     *

I’d welcome your comments. 

Post them below by clicking HERE.


If you’re a brand new HR leader and you want more brutal truths for getting off to a fast start, 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.  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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2 Responses to “A Short, Open Letter To All Abusive & Toxic HR Leaders”

  1. Howard m. Pardue, PHD, SPHR Says:

    Your comments, coaching suggestions, and telling it like it is, is totally great advice and insight, and accurate. I have devoted my life’s work to the Human Resource Development profession and very proudly did so reaching as did you the highest levels in c-suite positions on 5 instances.I proudly wore the HR badge for many many years.We do have slippage in the performance of our HR leaders and director level staff. Personal example, my daughter has created a national reputation in executive search with The Lucas Group and The Bachrack Group based in NYC with over 22 offices nationwide. She of course knows how I provided for her and her brother in formative years…..net, net, she makes strong efforts to avoid working with the HR Departments including the VP. She views the profession, as slow, unresponsive and not so up to speed. She is a Managing Director of Accounting/Finance for all Western states.I’m biased but a hard charging professional…..I’ve given up on encouraging her to work thru the HR functions. She is at the point of dealing with CEOs and CFOs. Take care, God Speed!!

  2. Alan Says:

    Howard, congratulations on all that you’ve achieved in HR. Your career and your comments are very inspirational on a variety of different levels. Thanks for sharing them. You’ve put your finger on some great points regarding our profession that we need to continually work on…especially those leaders that are not living up to our standards. I wish your daughter much success in her endeavors — it looks like she’s off to a fantastic start in making her mark in dealing with the C-suite. Be well, my friend. -Alan