The #1 Rap Lyric that Shaped My Leadership Style

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

All right kiddos we’ve reach the mountain top! 

As Casey Kasem would say –

That just makes me laugh – I remember getting up at 7am on a Sunday morning to tape Casey’s Top 40 just so I could hear the songs they never played on the radio -#30 thru #40!  I was cool that way – I knew all the “songs” that were going to be popular before the other kids.

The #1 Rap Lyric that Shaped My Leadership Style is from Notorious B.I.G. and from his album Life After Death that was posthumously released after he was gunned downed.  The song – Mo Money Mo Problems and the actual Lyric:

“It’s like the more money we come across
The more problems we see “

Check out the video of Biggie when he first said the quote:

I’m not sure what’s more amazing Biggie getting shot, or that someone was able to shoot him before he died from a heart-attack!

Here’s the actual song:

Here’s the deal – why is this one #1 – because in HR all of our problems can stem directly back to money.  It’s really that simple.  If you pay properly – if you make pay  a non-factor to your employees – you will have very few “employee” problems.   Unfortunately, most of us don’t have the ability to do this – pay is an issue – markets are an issue.  We go out and pay our developers $125/hr and now we have managers of these folks making $30-40K less.  We dig into our compensation and we realize we actually do pay our female employees 15-20% less than males in the same position – but we don’t “have” the money to make it right. So we try to justify it.  More money – more problems – that’s HR in a nutshell.

Think about your turnover and retention – if you had money this wouldn’t be an issue.  Succession planning – money takes care of this.  The best talent? Yep, money again.  Performance Management?  You would be amazed what people will change for the right price.  What about Ethics? You would be amazed at how ethical folks are that get paid well! (Ok, don’t give me all the bad executive stories out there! There’s always outliers. Plus “paid well” is relative to your position in the world.) Engagement? It’s not about money – it’s about “Leadership” – Bull shit – it’s only about leadership if pay is being taken care of.  Ask any HR Pro who is trying to raise their engagement while trailing market compensation – it’s an uphill battle!

So why do we (HR) keep telling everyone it’s not about pay?  Because we have to.  We don’t have the money. Our organizations can’t run in the red (for long). Profit runs decisions.  Mo money, Mo problems…

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