Today we officially announce the relaunch of Leadership Arts Associates as The HRart Center. We pronounce HRart as “heart”. This center is a restorative and growth community for HR Practitioners, where we are driven to create clarity so that HR practitioners are empowered. This evolutionary change to our business was inevitable since day one and I’d like to take this opportunity to share that story with you now.
One of the key defining moments in my personal journey occurred around a single word, “disgusting”. It took a completely ridiculous and outlandish scenario for me to finally recognize the word that had been brewing for about a year prior to the infamous outburst. If you’re curious about this encounter, you can read me reliving it in my first book in the chapter where I discover my power. The lesson being delivered at the time was pouring from this word of disgust.
According to the dictionary, disgust is a feeling of revulsion or strong disapproval aroused by something unpleasant or offensive. In the key defining moment I previously mentioned, the source of disgust was myself. Which made a whole lot of sense as I look back because I needed a personal self love intervention badly. I was desperately seeking guidance to why my existence mattered. Safe to say, it was not the brightest of times for me.
Today, I see myself in a much different light, so therefore I was extremely taken back when I noticed the word nudging me once again. This time, it was while I was editing a podcast episode, I was saying the word over and over again. I’m disgusted – I kept proclaiming. You will also have the pleasure of hearing my disgusted proclamations next week when this episode I was editing launches. Despite the return of the word, there was one major shift in the message being shared. The source of disgust was no longer directed at myself but rather a system of thoughts, a framework of beliefs.
My curiosity was once again piqued by the word and I found myself again gazing at the definition in an online dictionary, looking for any clue as to why it had resurged. I also noticed several links in my internet findings to the animated Disgust personality portrayed in the Pixar film, Inside Out. It is in one of these links that I found an “official bio” for Disgust, where she is described as the following:
“Disgust is highly opinionated, extremely honest and prevents Riley from getting poisoned – both physically and socially. She keeps a careful eye on the people, places and things that Riley comes into contact with – whether that’s broccoli or last year’s fashion trend. Disgust always has the best intentions and refuses to lower her standards.”
It was this playful bio that turned a word into a person that allowed me to begin to connect the dots, of the next evolutionary lesson being delivered by disgust that had been brewing long before the initial lesson made its appearance.
My profession as an HR practitioner, means more to me then I typically show. When HR came into my life it was a gift, a gift of belonging and potential. At the time, I was struggling to find a path to adulthood that felt right and when HR showed up, I knew it was it. So it should be no surprise that I immersed myself in the work. However, what began to build along with my passion for HR is disgust. I was disgusted with the stereotypes and shallow expectations for the profession. I was disgusted with having to be coached on how to navigate being placed in a position that almost instantly lacks credibility by association to the term of HR. I was disgusted by the jokes and horrible portrayals of HR in Hollywood, that made our profession look embarrassing. I said yes to HR to be an advocate for people within an organization, only to find that I would spend years having to prove myself before ever truly being in a position to make a difference.
This disgust has never gone away and merely has grown. If anything I severely underestimated its growth rate as I stepped out on my own to create Leadership Arts Associates in 2014. Since then I have only worked with more leaders, who complain of HR’s incompetence and dismiss the necessity for organizational people strategies. I have spoken at conferences, taught in classrooms, where attendees and students echo the same main takeaway that they never had a clue what HR actually does or should be doing. I’ve also had the privilege to connect and work alongside more HR professionals, seeing and hearing their struggles first hand. It is the cumulation of these events that has led to what I can only describe as an elevated disgust that is better suited to be identified by one of its synonyms, revolt.
To revolt is to rise.
To revolt is to refuse to continue to conform.
To revolt is to put an end to the authority of a body.
Perhaps what I have been seeking all along is an HR revolution, a dramatic and wide-reaching change in the way we do our work. Shifting our approach so drastically that our why for our work is evident to everyone in its presence.
It has taken me 6 years, but now I see it so clearly. This is my work, to advocate for that HR revolution, to empower HR practitioners to be able to rise up and fill the need that so many of our workplaces desperately need. The healing and growth of people matter, we know this at our core now more than ever.
So – today I share with you a clear commitment to this work, as I officially relaunch Leadership Arts Associates as what it was always intended to be, The HRart Center (pronounced heart). This center is a restorative and growth community for HR Practitioners, where we are driven to create clarity so that HR practitioners are empowered.
I look forward to being of service and helping my HR tribe thrive!
P.S. This blog post was adapted from the From the HRart fortnightly newsletter. I invite you to subscribe!
P.P.S. Save your seat this Friday!
To celebrate the relaunch of the HRart Center, we are hosting a FREE VIRTUAL Energy Feeling Workshop this Friday, April 23, 2021 at 7 PM EDT – 8 PM EDT.
Come learn how to feel the energy within yourself and your organization. This 1-hour virtual workshop will be led by Samm Smeltzer, Director and CEO of the HRart Center. This workshop is free and, though it’s designed for leaders and HR practitioners, it is also open to anyone who is curious! Pre-register and save your seat now!