What is common between Leena Nair, Arundhati Bhattacharya, and Marry Barra? They all were CHROs or HR professionals who became CEOs of giant multinationals. Does it surprise you to see people who are responsible for hiring and firing, planning organizational events, seminars, and welfare activities going up the ladder to the top? If yes, then it is high time we dissolve the myth and accept the fact that CHROs are strong contenders to becoming great CEOs.
There is this common notion that CEOs come from finance, marketing, or operations background. You need technical skills, industry knowledge and not people skills to become the captain of the ship. Gone are those days! The way business dynamics are evolving each day, it is very critical to understand and manage your human resources. People skills are as important as industry knowledge. In this VUCA world, the new normal, businesses are focusing on their human capital more than their profits. Emotional quotient and people skills are climbing the ladder, becoming top requirements to become CEO in the modern times.
Having said all this, it is also equally important for HR professionals to come out of their comfort zone. They need to set their aspiration high and then groom themselves accordingly. The world is changing and the new normal is here to stay where employee engagement and corporate culture are at the center of organizational priorities. CHROs are definitely in the race to become the CEOs of the modern world.