It's about the stuff you learn when you've worked for a boss you'd swear jumped out of a Dilbert cartoon; worked in a business whose performance careened up and down like a runaway clown car; faced legal or ethical problems that needed the wisdom of Solomon to sort out while they roiled your guts at night; and sat on the stand across from some third-rate Perry Mason or tried to be one yourself. It's about what you learn when you've knocked yourself out to put measurable six-figure savings back on the company's bottom line; or when an employee pleads for her job with tears in her eyes as she lies through her teeth to your face; or when you've faced down an employee who was spoiling for any chance he could get to sue your organization crippled; or maybe when you've dealt with the employee who told his supervisor he's going to shoot himself.
Like most everyone else, whenever I've cleaned up some HR mess - or made one of my own - I would learn something that I tucked in my back pocket, to pull out as needed when something similar popped up. Some people call this their bag of tricks, or wisdom. I've always thought of it as my little black book.