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Jan 12, 2022

Are the Heads of People Today the CEOs of Tomorrow? with Anthony Vaughan

The Head of People role is often confused with that of an HR position, and today on Talk Talent to Me, we find out why the roles shouldn’t simply be lumped together out of convenience. In this episode, we are joined by entrepreneur turned Head of People, writer, speaker, and podcaster Anthony (AJ) Vaughan. In our conversation with AJ, we learn about his employee-first approach and everything there is to know about the widely misunderstood Head of People role in a company. We discover the events that turned him onto his ideologies and what he considers the true role of a Head of People to be-- AJ openly shares his successes and pitfalls and explains the ways in which Heads of People are often exploited and expected to stray from their skill set. We discuss how the role can be likened to that of a CEO and AJ explains why he believes that the Heads of People today are the perfect candidates for the CEOs of tomorrow. Join us for this eye-opening conversation on what to expect from a Head of People, what to demand as a Head of People, and the undeniable significance of the role!


Key Points From This Episode:

  • AJ shares his mission to change the world of work by putting employees first.
  • The greatest mistake he made working with Under Armour, what he learned from it, and the new trajectory it set him on.
  • The attitude that got him into hot water at the beginning of his trajectory change.
  • Why AJ took on a Head of People role under a boss after working as an entrepreneur.
  • AJ defines the Head of People’s role and explains why he doesn’t consider himself an HR person.
  • What AJ considers to be the best use for the Head of People in a company.
  • What to consider when looking to take on a Head of People role.
  • The training and resources AJ believes Heads of People should be provided with.
  • AJ likens the role of the Head of People to that of the CEO and explains why he thinks HoP veterans would make great CEOs.
  • AJ uses Angela R. Howard as an example of what Heads of People should assert when joining a company.
  • What is expected of Heads of People that shouldn’t be and why it’s important not to send them “down a rabbit hole.”
  • AJ shares three tips for Heads of People to avoid being bogged down with procedural tasks that are beneath their skillset.
  • The work he’s doing with Beyond Brand and who he’s looking to partner with.



“Everything that I do and everything that I am is I put employees at the center of everything that I’m trying to create.” — @E1B210 [0:01:42]


“The Head of People role should really be used strategically. The Head of People role should be a partnership juggernaut.” — @E1B210 [0:18:22]


“The Head of People should be the CEO of the people.” — @E1B210 [0:19:59]


Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:


Talk Talent to Me

Anthony Vaughan on LinkedIn

Anthony Vaughan on Twitter

Email Anthony Vaughan

The E1B2 Collective

The E1B2 Collective on Instagram

Angela R. Howard