Thoughts about hr and management in the real world – extra information I couldn't fit in my books!.

Are you Curtis Stone or the Chipotle guy?

One of the short lived reality TV series I enjoyed was where teams competed to launch a restaurant chain. The hosts of the show were Curtis Stone, an Aussie chef who runs restaurants and writes cookbooks; the other host was the guy who came up with Chipotle – a chain of restaurants in the USA.

Every time they introduced themselves the Chipotle guy would say “Hi I’m x and I created Chipotle”. Curtis Stone on the other hand would just say “I’m Curtis Stone”.

He didn’t explain who he was or what he’d done – he just completely owned being there (and as you can see I don’t actually remember the Chipotles guy’s name). James Bond is another. Imagine him introducing himself “Hello I’m James Bond – I’m a British M15 agent”. Not quite the same impact.

It made me realise that a lot of the time in HR, we desperately try and explain what we do and it just makes senior leaders feel like we must not deserve to be there. Instead we need to own being there.

Being a Curtis Stone takes confidence, something which seems to be lacking in many HR people I’ve met. But here’s the thing:

If you don’t believe in yourself why would others believe in you?

I know imposter syndrome is one of the issues that can stop you believing you deserve to be there. I used to have this – about not having a finished a formal qualification. So I enrolled in a postgraduate diploma in HR and found that the lecturer constantly referred to myself and the other HR people doing the paper to answer questions from students. I realised having a qualification just means you’re good at studying – it doesn’t mean you’re a good HR person and I got over my imposter syndrome and never finished any of my degrees.

If you need some help getting over your imposter syndrome and believing in yourself – one of the sessions at the HR Advisors Conference 2018 is on Kick Ass Confidence – where you learn some methods to kick the impostor syndrome and get your Curtis Stone on!! For more about that just click here.

Don’t explain what you do.

Just own it.


Angela Atkins is People and Learning Director for Elephant Group NZ and Elephant Group UK – and also developed the Management Bites training programme. She is best-selling author of the bites series of books and is passionate about helping HR and managers create better businesses. If you’d like, you can follow her on Facebook. Angela is currently based in Hawaii launching Elephant there.


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This entry was posted on November 15, 2017 by in human resources, Leadership and tagged , , .
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