Seth Godin just wrote an article about the importance of being well known in your industry. The piece is called Famous to the Family, and it shamelessly steals from concepts around market share, minimum viable segment strategies and micro-niche targeting.
But because he’s Seth Godin, he gives a hat-tip to himself and says, “I wrote something about this three and a half years ago, but I forgot, and so did most people I talk about this with.”
It’s still a good post to read. There are probably six people in your industry who impact your life and shape the future of your career. You may or may not know them — and they may not be practitioners — but people with money in your market know them.
In my industry, we call those people “HR Famous.” I’ll wait for Seth Godin to give me a hat-tip because I first wrote about this phenomenon back in 2010, which is something I stole from a guy who was making fun of me. The term “HR Famous” has gone viral among my friends. And what’s even weirder is that an ecosystem of influencers has emerged to lay claim to the rightful throne of being HR famous.
But the truth is that being HR famous — or any-industry-famous — takes time and energy being deliberate, focused and helpful. Not many people I know really fit that bill. It’s too bad because I know a lot of great people who are on the cusp of that fame.
So who is best known for HR in America and beyond? Who is called to offer valuable insight and guidance on HR trends and strategy, including things like talent management, talent acquisition, HR technology, compensation and benefits?
Hell if I know off the top of my head. If I played 20 questions, as Seth Godin suggests, I could give you the man. And it’s probably a paunchy white guy. Wait, no, I take that back. Could be an older chick with a crabby attitude who’s constantly being shitty to younger women in her industry. But I don’t have time for this game.
If you want to be famous to the family, or even HR famous, you have to give somebody a reason to know your name in the first place. Want to be the foremost thinker on HR trends in America? Want to bridge the gap between HR technology and human resources professionals who are in the line of fire? Want to help companies formulate winning talent strategies?
You better bring it.
Someone else is out there who is already HR famous. And she’s not budging without a fight.