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‘IF IT WERE’NT FOR THE PEOPLE’

Tulane University - Master of Jurisprudence – Labor & Employment Law

Written by Christopher A. Pizzi, CFM, MSFM, MJ-LEL Capstonian



You don’t need to be an HR professional to find value in this degree. I was not a human resource professional and had never even considered entering the HR field.


However, in any organization or business, management is a skill that involves a proper incorporation of a multitude of disciplines to ensure the ongoing successful function of the business operation. Furthermore, leadership is a skill that requires an individual to influence a group of individuals to achieve common goals.


This is ultimately achieved through the integration of people, processes, technologies as well as knowledge specific to that business. The processes, technologies, and business knowledge are specific to your field.

What is the key word? What is the wildcard?

People.


‘If it weren’t for the people’

- Management would be easy

- we wouldn’t necessarily need leadership skills

- organizational development would be irrelevant

- organizational culture would be irrelevant

- Diversity, Equity & Inclusion would be just words without meaning

- union contracts wouldn’t be necessary

- labor and employment laws wouldn’t matter.

But they do matter, they are relevant, and we do need leaders who understand and empathize with these labor & employment concepts.


I have a background in Architecture & Environmental Design, as well as both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Facilities Management & Planning. A large focus of the work we do in facilities management and most other professions revolves around building relationships and dealing with people.


Facilities managers are typically ‘nuts and bolts’ type thinkers, uneducated in labor and employment ideologies, strategies and legalities. Over the course of my many years in this profession, it has been quite apparent that the biggest downfall of facilities management professionals and managers in most industries, is the inability to understand the integration of people and overall human factors into the business strategies and ideologies.


Human resources, employee rights, and contractual obligations play an important role in the success of any leader – now, more than ever.


As a leader, you are only as good as the people around you, the relationships that support you, and the overall understanding of the legalities relating to these relationships, especially with your employees.


With only 15 weeks left to finish my Master of Jurisprudence – Labor & Employment Law degree from Tulane University, I have realized, as a leader it is important to understand the role ‘people’ play within the organization, and why it is important for leaders to understand the concepts of labor and employment laws governing our workplace and our workforce.


If you pretend these labor laws and employment concepts do not exist or try and work around these laws because they do not fit your agenda operationally, your effectiveness as a manager or as a leader will be negatively impacted.

As a manager or leader in your organization, people matter and the law matters.


In 15 weeks, I can officially say that I have become an HR professional. But much more than that. I will be like a unicorn within my field and context of my company, understanding so much more than most others in my company, and so much more regarding people and the law, than I did before. I highly recommend this program and learning these precious skills as a leader.


"If it weren't for the people" © 2022 by Christopher A. Pizzi is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

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