People + Strategy Journal

Winter 2022

Member Profile

​Jeff Lindeman, SHRM-SCP, CHRO; Vice-President, Global Organizational Development, WD-40 Company, shares his journey as an HR leader.

Jeff Lindeman’s career started as a team lead in a department store. Under his leadership, the team increased revenue, retention, attendance and productivity, and Lindeman realized he enjoyed driving business results by aligning and leading people. 

In his spare time, he enjoys traveling. “I truly believe that there is only one type of person: human. I have only ever met people who want their kids to enjoy a better life than they themselves had.”

What is your leadership philosophy? 

I believe people matter; they are not disposable and should be treated as the organizational asset that they are. People are not cost centers to be controlled, reduced or minimized. Great organizations unleash their talent. The most important relationship in any workplace is the one between an individual and their leader. If that relationship is nurtured and maintained, everything else is easier.

What obstacles have you overcome to get where you are today?

I once was made redundant through a downsizing and, for the first time in decades, I had to look for work. I failed to build my network outside of my employer and during the job search, I was too much of one thing or too little of another. In time, I learned how to market myself, which is a skillset I hadn’t been taught.

It also took me a while to realize that I did not want to work anywhere that would not accept me for all that I am. Being a gay man is a part of who I am. I am not aware of having been discriminated against because of my sexual orientation, yet I have worked in organizations where actions by others discouraged me from being authentic, which prompted me to decide that I only wanted to work in places where I experienced a sense of belonging. 

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

My dad says, “no one puts statues in parks commemorating committees.” It is important to listen to everyone while being hyperaware about the internal and external environments. Then, it is my responsibility as a leader to sift through all the available data and discern the helpful insights from the noise. Ultimately, I need to make informed decisions based on all available data.