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HR From The Heart: Inspiring Stories and Strategies for Building the People Side of Great Business Hardcover – 1 Apr 2003

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Amacom; 3rd edition (1 April 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814407560
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814407561
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 16.5 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 286,155 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

About the Author

Sartain is senior vice president of human resourcesat Yahoo! and was previously vice president of peopleat Southwest Airlines.Finney is author of In the Face of Uncertainty (AMACOM:0-8144-7161-7) and Bodacious (AMACOM: 0-8144-7131-5).

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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
With Martha Finney, Libby Sartain has written a book that is, in her opinion (as of 2003), the first one written "by an HR practitioner for HR practitioners about managing your own unique career as well as dealing with the special challenges of daily life in the world of human resources." As she explains, most of the stories she shares are taken from her 13-year tenure as Vice President, People at Southwest Airlines. Since 2001, she has served as Senior Vice President of Human Resources and Chief People Yahoo at Yahoo! Inc. This book was published in 2003.

She is a staunch advocate of what she characterizes as a "fully empowered" HR career, viewing it as a "calling" and asserting that it can - and should -- provide a competitive advantage to any organization, especially now when competition for human talent is almost ferocious. Those equal to the challenges of such a career in HR possess both highly-developed business acumen and what Daniel Goleman defines as emotional intelligence. Sartain insists (and I wholly agree) that a corporate culture "based on respectful treatment of all the company's employees is essential to the company's long-term success...The most successful companies are the ones that make it their business to help their employees achieve their highest potential and use their gifts and talents most fully." It is no coincidence that on Fortune magazine's annual lists of those companies that are most highly admired, most valuable, and best to work for, several of the same names appear on those lists year after year after year. Presumably each of exemplary company has "fully empowered" HR resources and capabilities.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jack Feeney-Author / Analyst on 8 May 2004
Format: Hardcover
This book should be re-titled 'Chicken Soup for the soul for people working in Human Resouce Management'. It's Extreme touchy, feely management, the very worst of soft HRM and American sentimentality offering advice such as 'think of HRM as a sacred trust' and 'start a belly laugh gang'. Any organisation heeding this krud either has too much time on its hands or is a Circus. It's an indication of the absurdity management has reached in some parts of the world - Let's hope its not contagious!
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Format: Hardcover
Its a lot of the soft, touchy/feely American HRM philosophy where Employees are called Human Resources and are treated like four year old kids. None of it is really appropriate outside the USA - I quit reading half way through. Theres only so much of this you can take before throwing up.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Willy Ryan on 31 Aug. 2004
Format: Hardcover
This book should not be available outside of the USA and I'm not sure it would be such a good read even in the US. Its full of waffle, jargon, buzzwords and the references to Human resources (people) are like references to dogs. People are percieved as legal minefields (not doubt the attorney input). Legal issues are important, but they should be secondary and people should be treated like....people, like human beings NOT resources and certainly not like dogs or chimps.
I have grave reservations about the practical implications of using this book in any environment where human beings are present - AVOID.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 41 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
HR Professionals Get No Respect 6 Oct. 2004
By John P Bernat - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I write this on the day Rodney Dangerfield died. Fitting.

I've worked in the HR field for 25 years, and never once read a book that so correctly summarized the true purpose of HR work.

I've seen people enter this field because "they like people," or because they cannot get a church to appoint them as a minister, or because they don't like math. I've also seen many HR practitioners sink into a morass of self-absorption, cynicism, despair or xenophobia. How can a reasonable person spend their life's work "fighting with management" with no consciousness of that proposition's essential irony: if you are in HR, you ARE in management.

Dave Ulrich told us ten years ago that HR had to add value by delivering business results. OK, we get that part. Libby Sartain tells us practical, down-to-earth things we need to know to get those results, retain our self-respect, and experience the sheer joy of seeing our work result in wonderful customer service.

To see what Libby has accomplished, watch the cable series on airlines. Watch what the front-line Southwest Airlines people do habitually, casually: show compassion, empathy and humor to people whom you would swear were the last to deserve it. She correctly credits Herb Kelleher with creating a customer service company which happens to fly people around.

See the power of excellent HR brought to life. Read this book. We get the respect we deserve; Libby tells us how to earn it.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Relevant for Non-HR Executives too 30 July 2004
By Desmond Chow - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This book is relevant for non-HR executives as well. First, Ms. Libby Sartain shared critical decision making in her personal career development path (e.g. changing employers). Second, she didn¡¦t talk about HR in isolation. It was about HR in the big picture of business (e.g. how HR can create values for subjects that top management cares about).

There were experiences of Southwest Airlines, and Yahoo ! ¡K not consultants¡¦ high-sounding but unproven concepts. The book covered different HR-related situations; for example, emergency, performance review, firing people. There were sharing of HR-best practices, as well as interesting topics like internal brand promises.

Ms. Libby Sartain looks like the enlightened style HR professionals, not the bureaucratic type. This leads to more relaxing reading. She was outspoken, e.g. towards consultants, lawyers. Besides she is not the preacher type: she believes HR is important, but it is not the single driver of the company.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Excellent and inspiring 14 Nov. 2003
By Book Queen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Libby and Martha have written an excellent book reflecting the learnings of many years of HR Experience. For those with lots of experience and a caring heart, you will reflect on your HR career and say "hey, that's what I've learned in 20 years." There are good ideas on how to be a strategic and caring leader that will help you be more successful.
For those newer to HR, the book will provide insights that may prevent you from making the same mistakes that us older folks have made. There are also insights on managing your HR career.
I would also recommend the book to CEO and other high-level Execs that 1) want more from their HR department or 2) don't know what they want or what HR can be.
The book is well written and inspirational. Thanks to the authors.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Educational, Inspiring, Reinforcing 13 Jun. 2003
By Roger E. Herman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
If you're employed in the human resources field, you'll get a lot out of this book. You'll enjoy a conversation about a wide range of relevant topics with someone who's become a sort of legend in the human resources (HR) field. If you're not in HR, thinking about going into HR, or related to someone in HR, this book will have less value for you.
That said, we must appreciate that a book written in one specialty field may also have value for professionals in another field. While many of the stories and perspectives won't be germane for marketing people, financial folks, or sales professionals, there are some cross-functional lessons to be learned. Although the book is obviously intended for an HR audience, it will have value for people in other professions in the corporate world.
Over the course of 44 chapters, Sartain, who gained fame as Vice President of People for Southwest Airlines, shares her experiences-and some advice-with readers. She shows how valuable HR can be to an organization and how meaningful a career HR can be. This volume will be powerfully reinforcing for people in the field, describing some of the ups and downs and lessons of the author's experience. Anyone contemplating entering the field-or debating about staying in HR-should read these pages.
Readers will gain a better understanding of what Sartain did to build her career, as well as where things didn't go so well. This is not a touchy-feely gushy book as the title might imply, but a realistic report that confronts a wide range of issues in the profession head-on. The chapters are full of advice, some presented directly and some inferred by the lessons learned by the author.
HR from the Heart is the kind of book that will be read thoughtfully by a senior or mid-level professional in the HR field, then passed around to colleagues. Thought-provoking, its reading will stimulate conversations that will raise sensitivities, intensify reality, offer balance, and probably hold some people in the profession that have given some thought to leaving. HR is a field in transition, in search of its rightful place in the corporate design. The contents of Sartain's book, assembled with the able assistance of the insightful professional writer, Martha Finney, comfortably address issues in a way that will aid in the growth of respect for HR and its influence on the corporate world.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
The Right Book at the Right Time! 29 May 2003
By David W. Cox - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I discovered "HR from the Heart" while searching for ideas and a fresh perspective that would hopefully trigger a professional renewal within me. I own many excellent books on HR issues and competencies, but this one offered some of the best career counseling I could have found anywhere.

Libby Sartain spoke to me as a long-time friend (I have also been criticized for laughing too loud and enjoying my work too much). She shares a vision and perspective for her work. She also speaks with knowledge, professionalism, care and passion for her role in HR and the people she serves. Furthermore, she cares enough to straighten out a fellow professional who might have spent the remainder of his career gaining competence, but never knowing a sense of joy, enthusiasm or mission in his work.

"HR from the Heart" has moved me from "doing a good job" to a professional career that embodies the only work I want to do. Whether you love your career in HR or seek purpose beyond the next paycheck--I enthusiastically recommend this book to HR professionals.
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