Meeting at table with laptops and binders

The Leader’s Voice: Hacking It

The age of the internet and rapidly evolving technology have changed the human capital industry and the way successful companies retain talent.  More than a tool, technology has inspired a new cultural wave dedicated to the hacker. The common perception of a hacker is an introverted computer criminal utilizing tools to penetrate the security of a system.

For the purpose of this article, I would like to focus on the positive attributes of hacking ethos. Relevant to a dojo, our company’s learning center based culture; a hacker is the urban explorer who allows curiosity to guide his or her quest for truth and knowledge. Stated different, a hacker can also be known as a creative processer who seeks to inspire and innovate, often breaking tradition. A hacker’s mindset is one of continuous improvement in order to get things done. To be successful in our industry, I believe there needs to be a little hacker in all of us.

The modern hacker embodies attributes that are prevalent in everyday life.  Some of which include:

  • Done is better than perfect
  • Positive momentum
  • Beta testing
  • Being a doer!

Done is better than perfect

For this article, I drafted countless ideas; changing each sentence a few times fearing the final product would be entirely underwhelming. It’s far from perfect, however, there is no competing with the level of satisfaction I have because it’s done. This is a key principle that drives the hacker culture and happens to be a common poster around the Facebook campus.  This phrase highlights the individuals and teams who are results driven. Not to be confused with a lesser quality, hackers crave a finished product. They believe one should banish procrastination and perfection as they inhibit progress. Why does this matter? Research shows that a strong company culture is a product of employee engagement.  Employees are motivated by meaningful work and a sense of purpose more than anything else. By holding on to our work, email or presentation until it is “perfect,” we run the risk of clouding the initial purpose.

Positive momentum

Have you ever walked out of a meeting energized, oozing takeaways and ideas of brilliance? Subsequently, the day-to-day grind takes hold.  No action happens immediately, and those ideas become distant memories. I encourage you to use the momentum from the meeting to turn information into action. It’s contagious, so take advantage and find reward in reaching your goal.

Beta Testing

Never doubt the unique perspective and knowledge you add to any situation. There will come a time where it is critical to leverage someone in your network for perspective. Send your work into beta phase. Take advantage of another unique perspective.  The feedback will certainly enhance your iteration and hopefully you will have an opportunity to return the favor in the future.

Being a DOER!

It takes intrinsic motivation to be proactive instead or reactive. It’s easy to find a reason not to send an email; make that phone call; or waver from action.

Do not hesitate. In our industry, the burden is on us to stay relevant to our stakeholders, so embrace each day and decide…what will you hack today?

About the Author:

Kelly09- Headshot

Kelly Shea is a Director with Russell Tobin & Associates. She plays a vital role in coaching candidates, as well as handling all client interactions. Her success has been a result of her proven ability to identify both contract-to hire and direct hire candidates with a wide range of experience. During the summer of 2013, Kelly temporarily relocated to California to assist in expanding Russell Tobin’s presence on the west coast. As Director, Kelly will continue to drive the growth of the San Mateo office, in addition to expanding strategic client relationships nationally.

Kelly plays an integral part in building and maintaining relationships, not only with our clients but also with our candidates. Her expertise makes her a key point of contact for employee relations issues. Kelly has several years of Human Resources experience prior to joining Russell Tobin & Associates. She worked as a Recruiting Coordinator onsite at a premier investment services firm, where she was responsible for contingent and direct hire Administrative Assistant recruiting. To deepen her Human Resources experience, she joined one of the generalist teams in Sales and Trading at a competitive financial services firm. After gaining exposure to compensation planning and talent development, she decided to concentrate solely on recruitment, which brought her to Russell Tobin. Kelly graduated from Siena College, where she received her BA in Psychology with a minor in Writing. She is based out of the firm’s New York headquarters.