#16 Rap Lyric That Shaped My Leadership Style

For the background of this list – see my original post from 2-10-12.

The #16 Rap Lyric That Shaped my Leadership Style comes from Coolio off the 1995 Dangerous Minds soundtrack, from his song Gangsta’s Paradise.  This might be the one song every 40 year old white guy can still sing word-for-word at the local Holiday Inn bar karaoke night – but that still doesn’t take away how great of a song this is.  Ranked #38 in VH1’s 100 all time Hip Hop songs, it was by far Coolio’s biggest hit.  They Lyric:

“They say I need to learn, but nobody’s here to teach me. If they don’t understand, how can they reach me?”

I guess they can’t; I guess they won’t. I guess they front.  That’s why I know my life is outta luck – Fool! (see 42 – still got it!)

I’ll give you some extra time with this one, because I know you all had to listen to the full version – besides Eminem’s Lose Yourself – is there a better song associated with a movie? You know a song is good when it’s better than the movie!

This lyric reminds of how we onboard in our organizations.  In HR, this is something I think we can always get better at, and we tend to just try and process this down so that onboarding takes as little time as possible.  When in truth – onboarding should be an ongoing process that takes weeks or months, and HR ensures the great talent we bring into our organizations actually gets everything – I mean EVERYTHING – they need to be successful.  We owe it to them – and to often we throw them a set of keys, a laptop and a phone and say “Go!”

Somehow we feel like – “hey, we’re paying you a salary – you should know what to do”, but they don’t  – we need to teach them.  Raw talent doesn’t mean you’ll be successful in our unique organizational dynamics and culture.  I’ve seen way to much great talent leave organizations – where the organization feels like the person was a failure – even though they came in as a Rock Star, and they go on to their next position and they are a Rock Star.  You didn’t reach them – in fact, you probably didn’t even put in the effort to reach them.

Remember – we don’t hire idiot, worthless people.  Every person we hire – comes in with the highest expectations. They have good experience, good energy, good background – we ensured that.  If they fail – it’s on us – not them (mostly).

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