Last month Moviefone took it upon themselves to rank every single character created by Pixar Studios. Woody, of Toy Story fame, took the #1 spot.
This didn’t surprise me in the slightest because I have always been a big fan of all of the Toy Story movies. The actor who voices Woody, Tom Hanks, is also one of my favorites.
But it wasn’t until I read Moviefone’s blog post that I started thinking seriously about why I liked Woody as much as I do. And here’s where those thoughts took me – I like Woody because he is the best HR pro I have ever seen in the movies. Here’s why:
Experienced – Woody is a wooden toy with a pull ring coming from his back, but he is the undisputed leader of his company, which I call Andy Development Services, Inc. Andy is the human who owns all of the toys, and their mission is to teach Andy to be a loving, creative, and thoughtful adult. Being an older toy, it is sometimes tough for Woody to accept competition and change. But he ultimately overcomes his fears, using his knowledge and experience to adapt and lead.
Business Leadership – Woody is the undisputed leader of his company, and his actions are always consistent with its mission. No one told him to become a business leader, and he didn’t wait around for someone to invite him or create the role for him. He used his skills and abilities and just did it.
Strategic Employee Development – This is where Woody really shines as an HR pro. He has an incredibly diverse workforce with huge differences in talent, skills and abilities. He recognizes all of the differences and what each toy can do in their unique way to further the company mission, without judgment of their faults or failings. He mentors Buzz Lightyear after first thinking of him as a rival, so that Buzz will also fit into the team and put the company mission in the fore front. Woody has a gun on his hip (perhaps to enforce company policy), but he never needs to use it. When trouble arises – as it inevitably does – Woody makes sure that everyone in the company works to solve the problem and return the company mission to its misson.
Woody gets my vote as best HR pro in the movies, even though the movie isn’t actually about business. Who is your favorite example of a movie character who is a great HR pro?