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I’m on a lot of lists in real life, not just in my head.

Most important lady in HR.
Most influential human being in human resources.
The top best greatest HR blog in the history of blogging.
Top people who make stuff happen.

I made it! Me! I’m number one!

If there was ever any doubt that I should be on influence lists, let it be put to rest by John Sumser who said that I should be at the top of all lists everywhere. I also have an inbox full of people telling me that I’m amazing and influential. There are a few other individuals in HR who are okay, but I’m the best.

My influence is so yuge that I’ve told people to stop putting me on lists. First of all, duh. Of course, I’m on your list. Second of all, don’t use my face and likeness to sell your stuff unless I’m getting a finder’s fee. The purpose of a list is to make your company seem like it knows stuff with the express intent of gaining buyer confidence and selling more of your shit.

It’s not an honor to be on a list as much as it’s someone benefiting from my brand and ideas. Thanks but no thanks. Keep me off. Nevertheless, marketers persist and add me to lists. I don’t blame them. What’s the risk? It’s not like I’m lawyered up like Taylor Swift. Not yet, anyway.

Every once in awhile, some blogger will get mad that another list has come out. Aren’t lists dumb?! Aren’t they stupid?! Who are these people on the list, anyway?! They’re just poseurs!

I’m like, right? But, also, don’t be jealous. It’s how Tim Sackett Day started, by the way. Tim was never recognized for his contributions in the recruiting field, and we got so sick of his whining that we made him a day. Now we honor other unsung HR and recruiting heroes who don’t make any of the lists.

Just recently, Mary Faulkner published a helpful piece to assist HR professionals who want to get on lists but don’t make it. I wrote her, and I’m like — Why don’t you just write about how you feel? You got missed for another list, and you’re mad about it.

Mary was diplomatic about it and nicely told me not to tell her how she feels, which is fair. But a lot of the angst in our HR community behind “lists” stems from the fact that people who work hard and have smart things to say are often overlooked and excluded.

Being ignored sucks. Never cracking a Top 10 list — even when those lists are for marketing purposes — still hurts. I wish more people would write about that. I want a blogger to tell me how it feels to get on the internet, read another list of the top 10 people who are awesome, and know that you’re better than those people.

What do you do with that anger? How do you stay motivated? How do you deal with feelings of discomfort? How can I apply your lessons to my life?

It’s great to rage against the multi-level marketing machine that creates internet lists. It’s interesting to learn how to crack one of those lists, too. But I want to know what to do with my very human and natural feelings of rejection when someone tells me that my work isn’t good enough and doesn’t include me in the mix of thought leaders.

Because one day shortly imma be off these HR lists, and it will probably hurt my feelings. I’d like to know how to process my emotions. Lessons about rejection and self-worth are necessary for popular bloggers like me, too.

3 Responses to The Trouble with Lists
  1. Rick

    Am I a bad person for having no desire to be on any list of any sort?

  2. Recruiting Animal

    I looked at Mary’s Twitter bio. She calls herself a Talent Strategist. If she adds the word recruiter and posts a lot about work, she will soon see happiness come her way.