They are the spider in the web of almost every (medium) large company and manage the strength of the organization: people!
A good HR manager goes much further than keeping track of absenteeism or days off: they know how to keep the organization in top condition by keeping an eye on all employees at all layers of the organization and the insight and courage to focus on progressive developments, training and guidance. And it turns out, happy staff is also better staff, resulting in less absenteeism and higher turnover.
A top HR manager is also shaped by life, dyed through the wool, has developed resilience and has earned his or her spurs in practice. A centipede that maneuvers through wind and weather, and without bending or cracking lets it whine against itself like a piss pole.
In the end we all do it together, but the HR manager deserves a pat on the back more often!