We often think that in order to be successful, we need to be exceedingly good at our craft. That is not wrong, of course. We certainly need to be the best at what we do.
But one thing that we don’t hear quite often is the art of getting better at our craft by learning from our other hobbies and endeavors.
For example, can an HR professional learn from professional wrestling? Are there any similarities between these 2 fields whatsoever?
Similarly, it’s crazy to think that HR can learn from other fields, say... theatre and basketball, right?
Well, not for Brad.
I am usually a little anxious before I conduct these interviews. But before I spoke to Brad, I was even more anxious than usual.
Well, because talking to Brad felt a little intimidating.
Brad has achieved a tremendous amount of success at such an early age. He has been named in the “Top 25 HR Executives under 40” article by Workforce Magazine and an “HR Rising Star” by Atl Biz Chronicle. He is currently working as a Chief People Officer at Altisource.
Well, don’t be.
Because as soon as you start talking to Brad, you realize that despite his tremendous success, he is open, honest, warm, and grounded. One of the key ingredients to his success is his love for his job and the people around him. He loves helping others and making their life better.
Right at the start of the conversation, I realized Brad’s ability to recognize patterns.
Before getting into the HR function, Brad tried his hand at professional wrestling and acting.
According to Brad, professional wrestling teaches you a lot in terms of “trying to make others look good.” For example, when the opponent makes a move on you during a wrestling match, you have to sell it. If you don’t do that, they might not sell your move!
Brad feels that the foundation of a successful professional career is helping others and making them look good.
When Brad worked at the theatre department, he was learning more than he learned in business school.
All the departments - costume designing, acting, sound engineering, etc. - need to work in unison for a theatrical play to work well. They need to work towards a common goal.
The theatrical experience profoundly impacted Brad. He realized that if an organization has different departments, it is vital for all the departments to work together to achieve its goals. Another takeaway from this experience was that “It is okay to fail.”
When you audition for a play or a musical, there is no guarantee of success. If you are not ready to fail, you will not make any progress.
“These experiences inculcate a sort of fearlessness,” he said.
Brad is also a basketball referee.
A basketball referee needs to make thousands of decisions. You are trying to become perfect at something. And that is impossible. Similarly, it is impossible to become perfect in HR.
Food for thought.