David Russell, Leadership Activist, Author & Consultant
David Russell is an accomplished Senior Executive and Thought Leader with more than 45 years of success across the professional training & development, IT, events, food manufacturing, stock brokerage, and channel distribution industries. Leveraging extensive experience in training and coaching new leaders, he is a valuable advisor for an organization seeking to develop and sustain a thriving company culture. His broad areas of expertise include recruitment, business development, people management, communications, growth, and partnerships.
Throughout his executive career, David has held leadership positions with Manage 2 Win, Inc., Success With People, Inc., and Recruitmax Software.
AUTOMATED EPISODE TRANSCRIPT
[00:00:01] You're listening to Scaling Up Services where we speak with entrepreneurs authors business experts and thought leaders to give you the knowledge and insights you need to scale your service based business faster and easier. And now here is your host Business Coach Bruce Eckfeldt.
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[00:00:57] Welcome, everyone. This is Scaling Up Services. I'm Bruce Eckfeldt. I'm your host. And our guest today is David Russell. And David is a consultant and an author. We're going to talk about his background as being an expert in the category of hiring and helping companies find good talent, recruit new talent, retain good talent. We're gonna talk a little bit about his books and we're talking about his podcasts managed to win. So a whole bunch of things in here. I'm excited for this for service based companies. Talent is a huge issue. It's a huge issue for any company. But specifically, talent and service companies is a critical factor. So the granola a lot. I'm excited for the conversation. David, welcome to the program. Thanks, Bruce. I'm really honored to be here. It's great. Yeah. So let's kind of go back and get a sense of your professional background. How did you get into the talent space? What inspired you? Give us a sense of your trajectory and and kind of professional experience.
[00:01:47] Well, I have maybe like yourself. I had been working from a young age since 16 years old, so I got 46 years business experience. But as far as getting into the talent, I think what happened was, you know, I had leadership aptitude, but I didn't really have any skills. And unfortunately, it took me an extremely long time to figure that out into my mid 40s.
[00:02:10] So basically, at the tail end of the dot.com craze, I went to and convinced the guy at HP, Carly Fiorina, had given this guy, you know. It worked out to be about six hundred and fifty million dollars to go through it. Dot coms at the wrong time at the end of the craft.
[00:02:28] And I got a 10 million dollar commitment from him, started this business. Then a year later, they yanked the funding. They didn't tell us, but they closing the fund. And then I wanted to keep it going, which was very foolish. And I had a guy walk through the door who said, hey, I can solve all your problems. I can make this work. And because he said what I wanted him to say, you know, I hired him and he came in as my partner. And we went down this road. And a year and a half later, we went from dot com to dot bomb and that left me out of work. And the only job I could find in the tail end of 2002, which was a tough job market, was become a V.P. of sales at a company called Knowledge Point. That was one of the early pioneers of doing online employee performance reviews and setting and tracking goals. Now I remember it. Yeah. And within about 30 days, I realized this thing about aptitude versus skill when it came to leadership. And literally, I was on a business trip, you know. Had I had a moment there where I felt, hey, what kind of a mess is that? You got to help people avoid your mistakes.
[00:03:42] Let's let's let's not have other people have the same problem.
[00:03:45] Yeah, that's right. It wasn't. Hey, you're so brilliant. Go help people, you know, go help people avoid your mistakes. Literally, it was a clear message. That's how I started investigating.
[00:03:57] You know, what are the systems out there for leadership? I mean, a true system, not an idea for this particular piece of that piece. Yeah. And that was, you know, early 2003. And since that time now about 16 years later, that's what I've really devoted my life to, is focusing on leadership systems and systems to reinforce a strong company culture.
[00:04:18] So let's talk a little bit about that aptitude versus skills kind of difference. I mean, I guess why do you think I guess why do you think that is?
[00:04:25] What do you what do you think people fail to kind of see the difference, you know, the things or get caught into a sense of, oh, I think I'm a great leader or I must be a great leader because I know all these things.
[00:04:35] Why does this happen? Like, what is the dynamics there?
[00:04:38] Well, I think I think part of it is you have skills in a certain area. And so you you gain some confidence in that area. I could be technical. It can be sales, can be operations, finance, whatever it is, you know. And then the other thing is you have a certain amount of drive. So, you know, you see this often in in sports where someone will rise to the top on a sports team. Someone will be the captain of a sports team, but they're not necessarily, you know, a leader. And they really haven't been trained in that. But going back to the entrepreneurial area, you have a skill, you have some drive. And so, you know, quite frankly, you're the person that drives things. I mean, as a kid, if I didn't make the call on Sundays to. Organized my buddies to go play football, we didn't play football. And so you have some leadership attributes. But one of the major problems is we don't and I think you and I talked about this on or maybe that was what David Sherman recently last. This week, two days ago, I talked with them. It's not taught. It's not taught in school. Yeah. You think about the what I call the four management disciplines, how you hire, manage, develop and retain people. You can transfer that into life, whether you're on an athletic team, in a band, in the chess club, whether you're in a relationship, you have a family. These leadership skills transfer totally across your entire life. They're not just work skills.
[00:06:04] No, no. And they're not taught that. Yeah, exactly.
[00:06:06] And yeah, I don't remember a course in college around, you know, how to recruit, how to recruit talent into your into your team or your organization.
[00:06:15] And you don't need to be a business owner. I mean, this is basically any any business endeavor initiative where, you know, it's more than just you grinding away on a computer is gonna be about how do you assemble the right team, how do you recruit the right people onto your project? And those are skills and they're not taught.
[00:06:30] Well, that's right. And you think about that, that piece of recruiting or hiring, if you really learn how to do that well and you taught people how to do that well in high school, reinforced it in college. And you also taught them how to work together as a team, know effectively how to manage conflict, how to set expectations. You know, all these different things. I don't know. You might see the divorce rate. I'm going to say we're putting marriage counseling out of business. I mean, you think about it, if we actually understood this hiring piece of when we were out, you know, seeking that that spouse that we want to live with the rest of our lives would probably make some at least some of us would make different choices.
[00:07:09] Yeah, yeah. That's an interesting one in terms of the kind of recruiting process are finding talent. Selecting talent. I guess, how do you how do you figure out what talent you want or you need? Because I think that's always or at least that's part of the problem, which is knowing what to look for.
[00:07:25] So how do you recommend or how do you advise folks on kind of assessing their talent needs and what talent strategy they should be using?
[00:07:33] You know, it's a big question and it's a good one. And we're actually updating our whole hire the best system right now. I do a lot of hiring every week.
[00:07:39] I do interviews of people for clients and defining what you need. We use a tool that we call an employee strategic plan.
[00:07:48] I like it. It's basically a business plan for an employee's success. It's like a job description on steroids. And it's a good starting point because you have the job description type stuff of skills and qualifications and duties and responsibilities and the formal work related competencies for the role. They're really a great tool because the what we do is in the in the duties and responsibilities. We don't just put a laundry list, which is what you typically see in a job description. Right. I see everything anywhere from five things to 40. Yeah, right. Just a bullet hit list. Let's talk about bullet number 33. So we put those in three categories typically so that, you know, and we make them scandal because people don't want to read these things. They want to scan. The work related competencies are limited to six to 10. So we don't get carried away on those. I think clients go, oh, these are great.
[00:08:45] I want to put 20 of these and then I it prior to us.
[00:08:49] But keep in mind, that's the traditional job description. Stop and it's static. It's basically dead. So people look at that stuff once and it goes in a file and they never look at it again. So we have it in the plan. The living, breathing pieces of the plan are first of all, we have what we call targets. EOD calls them rocks. You know, you can call them whenever you want their goals. So we have three three sets of goals. We have everybody in the organization, starting with the organization itself, has financial objectives, client experience objectives and professional development objectives. And we have a method to write those you. You don't have more than five for the year in each category, because if you get the high level ones done, it will carry the rest of the stuff. Yeah. Yeah.
[00:09:39] Written in a clear, measurable format. That's our the target format we use actually an acronym. The first T is preposition to the A is action verb. The R G is relevant. Goal. The E is effective measurement and the T is time bound. I don't know about your experience Bruce, but I'm amazed at how many people don't set deadlines on UN goals.
[00:10:02] Yeah, well certainly you know, a date is what drives action. Right. So without a date, there's really no sense of what what is my urgency around this? What I need to do for a second. How quickly do I need it? So, yeah, I would agree. I like, you know, sort of that term measurable and time bound are kind of my. I'd like you can set smart goals, but I really just want empty goals and all the other things are, you know, they're nice and they should be in there somewhere.
[00:10:29] But at the end of the day, I don't see it M.A. and then we can't really go much farther. So I would agree.
[00:10:33] Yeah. And it's funny. I mean, even very skilled people. I was hired by the Microsoft Dynamics Group to work with their presidents club members for two years. They had about 100 members each year. And a member of the group call me or email me one day, said, hey, we just put together a new goal for our team. We're really excited about what do you think? And it was something like we are going to provide our resellers with the most incredible experience ever alone.
[00:10:59] And, you know, it sounds great, right? Yeah, but it doesn't have your M.A.. Exactly. It's just not there.
[00:11:07] So she didn't like my response anyway. So. So the plan the most living, breathing part of the plan are those goals. Yeah. So we actually recommend you got the plan. And by the way, when someone is in the role we recommend, they write the goals.
[00:11:23] Yeah, exactly. I love it.
[00:11:25] Yeah, right. And you know why? It's you know, they're going to own it more if they don't least draft it commitment.
[00:11:31] So to me.
[00:11:32] But so I think I love the idea that you start with sort of the tool that you're going to use, the man you're gonna use to manage the role when you go out to actually do the recruiting process. I mean, I think that you touched on the one thing which I see a lot, which is, you know, you list, you know, eighty seven different things you want this person to be able to do or, you know, skills or capabilities. Right. So you're so extensive that either you're looking for a unicorn or you're you're you're spending so much time trying to get into specific kind of capabilities that you're not really focusing on the bigger picture or you're knocking a bunch of people out. How do you deal with the difference between kind of capabilities vs. experience or a certification or education? So the difference between, you know, the ability, the demonstrated ability to do something versus, you know, years of experience or, you know, having a certain certification in a certain area or with a certain program or technology or something. How do how what's your take on how how you what do you use and what do you suggest people include in terms of their recruiting criteria for that?
[00:12:34] Well, it's a really good question, by the way. The employee strategic plan also has two other living, breathing parts that are important. One is behavioral expectations that are individualized between the manager and the the employee. What's an example of the employee says, here's what I want from you, manager, to be the best manager I've ever had.
[00:12:51] Ok, interesting. And then back to where does the same with the employee? So a two a two way agreement in terms of this is how I'd like to be managed. And this is this is how I'd like you to perform.
[00:13:00] Exactly. And it's it's really an important tool because it removes assumptions. Yeah. And so you avoid some conflict by having that discussion upfront. And then the last piece is we asked the employee to define what do you want to learn next year and the year after? Because I never want to lose an employee because they felt they didn't have an opportunity to grow in India. So, by the way, in the strategic plans are great to use as part of the interview process at the. But, you know, that can be a separate discussion. So your your question, basically what you're saying is, do you look for somebody with experience or do you look with someone with the aptitude? Yeah. Okay. And I. My answer is it depends.
[00:13:42] And it depends on what? So my reply depends on what?
[00:13:46] It depends on you and your systems. So if you had the ability to hire less experienced people, but they are not actually superstars and you know, by their aptitude, this is somebody I want on my team and their learners. Then hire the young people to develop. Don't have that capability. Then you have to hire the more experienced people and you know, that's more expensive. And those people come with their own baggage. We all have our own baggage. But the you know, the habits, the good habits and the bad habits of the more experienced people are more ingrained and they're more difficult to change. Yeah. So you have to be very careful in the interview process to make certain that the person is not a great actor, but there actually can do what you want to do and behave the way you want them to behave.
[00:14:38] So how do you figure that out in an interview? I mean, I think that's always the kind of flipping saying I have around this is, you know, that the only thing interviewing does is tell you how all someone can interview. So how do you get beyond just that surface layer? You know, I spent an hour or two hours with somebody, you know, had some up questions. They give me canned responses. I got to a break through that.
[00:14:57] Ok, so anybody that listens to this podcast, I'm going to give them a million dollars right now. OK, I'm going to give you a million dollars right now, because I'm gonna answer your question. There are a lot of pieces to the puzzle. In interviewing and we go through that in our system. But I'll give you the one, make it or break it thing that will will save you a million dollars over the next 10 to 20 years. You can do a reasonable amount of. All right. And that is you never hire anyone. Well, actually, I'll say two of them. I'll do the quick one first. You never hire anyone without a background check. Know, in my opinion, one of the things you check is civil court, which some background check companies will say, well, you can't make a hiring decision on that. Well, maybe you can't legally. But, you know, if they're suing their neighbor or their past employer or vice versa. Wouldn't you like to know that before you hired this person? The person I hired that cost cost one point five million dollars. If I had just done a background check on him, I would have found he was had three or four lawsuits against him for incompetence. Yeah. Anyway. Yeah. So but the main thing I want to point out as far as the million dollar savings here, you never hire anyone unless you give them a test drive.
[00:16:06] Interesting. And what does that look like? I mean, how how do you do that effectively?
[00:16:10] It can vary. It can vary. I have people that do something for an hour or two. So if you have it, if you have a technical person, you give real technical work.
[00:16:18] If you have a marketing person, they help you write some marketing copy or, you know, if you have a salesperson, you you run them through actually selling, you know, and you could do a short one initially and then do an extended one. So one of my great clients who has a great, great company is WHCA technology in Manhattan. And Peter Fiedler, who runs that company, I mean, they've been around 30 plus years. They do a great job. What they have developed is they'll go through the interview process and then literally they will pay a candidate as a contractor to come in and work a full day. Yeah. And in that full day, they throw real tickets at them and they work with them. And the person. It's a wonderful thing for the candidate. Yeah. I mean, keep in mind this qualification thing, we get caught up as leaders that, you know, we don't want to get the wrong person on our team or really doing someone a disservice if we hire them and then let them go a month or three months later. Yeah. If they weren't a fit and we didn't do the right qualification job.
[00:17:22] The interesting thing there too, is it it kinda it gives the candidate like a real sense of what it's like to work here and lets them filter out if they need to, because I think a lot of times people end up overselling or kind of so focused on just trying to get the job and, you know, aced the interview and got their offer letter and then they take it and then they get there and they realize they made a huge mistake.
[00:17:42] You know, that they got this is you know, and unfortunately, no employer can be like, sorry. You know, we're just gonna hire somebody else. Whereas an employee, it's like like, what are you do you go back to your old job with your tail between your legs? Are you back on on the street?
[00:17:53] I mean, like it's it's much more a bad hire. I think is much more impactful on the the employee on the candidate than it is on the company.
[00:18:01] I agree. So so the test drive is really important. I mean, it's important because you're going to do real work. It's important because they're interacting with your team. And some of my clients will throw a few tickets or throw a few scenarios at the person that are pretty much impossible, if not totally impossible, to see how they handle an impossible thing. Put them on a phone with a client who's going to scream at him and cuss at him when they didn't do anything wrong. You know, how do they handle that? And I have come to believe that in every single role, the test drive is the absolute most important criteria of the the decision making process.
[00:18:41] Yeah, it's similar. Like I've heard people say that they use a kind of unsettling phase of the interview process or, you know, once they've decided they want to hire somebody, that they they actually it's take some time to try to convince the person not to take the job. That's kind of. Well, you know, they we work really long hours or it can be we know at the end of the month can be really brutal here.
[00:19:01] Like they they make a point of making sure they're covering all the, you know, all the hard parts and all the the words of the role in the company speak because of that.
[00:19:10] If if the person still takes the job, it's kind of, you know, caveat emptor, you know, that the buyer beware. You know, they may we told them about this stuff so they can't complain about it and we get into that situation.
[00:19:22] Well, I think I think you're right. But my my advice would be that you don't say that to the end. You actually front load that and do that more in the beginning. And the reason is that if you were to guess, Bruce, what what do you think I would say is the most important objective when you're hiring the most important director, when you're hiring, not hiring the wrong, wrong people.
[00:19:44] That's a good advice. A false positive, I think is much worse than a false negative.
[00:19:49] Yeah. That's a good one. But it's not my number one. OK. What's your number one? My number one is your your number one objective is to protect your time. OK. Yep. So. So that's why I would front load the negatives, because you're gonna filter out basically you want to filter out people quickly. Exactly. Yeah. So. So it doesn't mean I'm going to handle it. I mean, like going to be a total downer on the first cause.
[00:20:12] You're like an abused verbally abused that I'm not a screener.
[00:20:17] So it's like my first phone interview and I. I teach how to read a resume. I teach how to look, you know, look up somebody online, what to look for. I teach in the phone interview. I have certain questions that for me are mandatory. SIMON ask. Yeah, give me one. You know, what's your commute? That's pretty easy. I'm going to ask, what are your compensation requirements? You know, legally in most states, we can't ask what do you make? But I do need to know what are your compensation requirements? If they want to make a hundred twenty thousand and my budget is sixty, I'm wasting my time. Yeah, it's just not going to work. And and I'm also going to add some of these questions are uncomfortable. I'm going to ask, are you interviewing with other companies and at what stage are you with them? And a lot of people don't want to ask that. But I had a client a year or two ago and they were trying to hire an admin role. And this this gal looked really good on paper. They talked to her and they're like, oh, she's incredible. They asked the questions. Well, actually, I'm supposed to get an offer today and I'm supposed to respond in two days. And they say, well, come on, and we'd love to talk to you if you're willing to consider she, so I'll consider you. But I do have to respond to this other offering today. Well, they couldn't move that fast.
[00:21:23] And so just being real is a superstar. And she proved it.
[00:21:26] Yeah. And she proved it by responding in two days. Yeah. You know, having integrity. Yeah. So I think you got to watch your time. And so you got a balance like your negatives that you're bringing up in the phone screen. I want to ask some tough questions, but I want to connect and I want to confirm some things. I may bring up a few of those negatives, maybe not all of them, but I may bring up a few. Just like, you know, are you aware of this? Is this going to be a problem? You sound like you're really a good match. You know, I'm going to sell him a little bit if I'm sincerely, but I'm going to end it if you know, if it's not a match. Yeah.
[00:22:01] I think being realistic about that is the important part.
[00:22:04] Yeah. You got you got to say, you got to protect your time. None of us have enough time.
[00:22:09] Yeah. So that's the recruiting side. So let's talk about I found a good candidate. We've gone through the process. I've negotiated the employment agreement. They've agreed to an offer. They're coming on board. What do I need to do to be successful with folks? Once, once I've kind of signed a deal. Once I've I've I've found some someone and there we've put together agreement.
[00:22:29] Haven't come on Mike into the company, on my team. What do I need to focus on then?
[00:22:32] Isn't it amazing? In a I suspect you're asking this question because, you know, so many people do this poorly.
[00:22:40] But I don't people that that I've heard stories of, people that trump on their first day at work and other people in the company didn't know that they were starting. So they don't know they don't have a computer. They don't ever, ever does it like, oh, that's a great first impression.
[00:22:53] It's funny. I like to tell the story of Dana and Dan. So. So Dan gets goes in, does his interview process. And just like you said, he gets his offer. And a couple of days later in the mail, he gets a package that's a welcome package welcoming him to the company. And it's got some brochures on a company and it's got some keys. And, you know, quite frankly, when we do it, we send out one hundred dollar gift card. And we just say, welcome to the team, you know, really glad to have you, by the way. What do you think the purpose of sending a welcome kit is? What's the primary objective?
[00:23:25] You want a good reputation with the family. That's my guess.
[00:23:27] Exactly. Exactly. It's not to sell a candidate. We're pretty close. The candidate. Yeah. We want to sell the people who live with the candidate to reinforce the decision because this is a big decision. It's going to be like Sudan. Yeah. So this idea gets a while yet. And, you know, he's got some communication. And about a week before he starts, he gets some of his. A few of his new business cards in the mail saying, hey, we've got your business cards. Looking forward to it a couple days before he starts. He gets photos e-mailed to them. Hey, cubicles all set up, computers ready to go. Boom, we're ready for you. Dan shows up his first day. The receptionist says, Hey, Dad, it's good to see you again. Come on in. And by the way, he had already been invited to come in and fill out all the H.R. paperwork in advance, which he did. And the hiring managers ready for him immediately gives him a quick tour to remind them, says, hey, here's your cubicle, we're all set to go. Brings him into the office, says, OK, here's your onboarding plan. We've got an onboarding plan for 30, 60, 90 days. Whatever it is, you can see it's documented. Let's walk through today and we can adjust it as we go to meet your needs. Really excited to have you here. I've got this schedule for you. Anything I mention, anything you want to change? Any other thoughts you've had? Totally prepared. Ready to go. Dan goes through the day, goes home at the end of day, walks through the door. What question do they ask him?
[00:24:48] I'm not sure. How did it go today? How did it go? And Diane says it went incredible. I don't know. I should have gone to work with these people five years ago. I'm going to call Susie and sat back at my old place telling Bill apply. Yeah, this place is incredible.
[00:25:03] Then I tell the story of Dana. So Dana gets her job offer and she goes in and hears nothing from the company for two weeks, goes in and goes, somebody services say, hi, I'm Dana. I'm supposed to here to see my boss starting and reception, says Dana. Who?
[00:25:21] And calls back and then says, I'm sorry, he's busy, but he said it. Fill out this H.R. paperwork.
[00:25:28] You can sit right over there in the lobby and fill that out and he'll be down in about 20 minutes. Thirty five minutes goes by and the boss comes down. Say, sorry, I was really busy. He'd take care of this. Look here. Why don't you look at these company brochures. You can see in the conference room, Mosher, a conference room sits there for about 15, 20 minutes and he shows up again. Then he walks over to a cubicle, says, sorry. You know, we got your we got your computer kind of set up. I think there's a broken key on the keyboard. But we'll get, you know, the keyboard and we need to get you a chair. But it'll work out.
[00:25:57] Don't worry. I got it right. During the off his office. They a really glad to have you on the team. What questions you have for me. And that's it. Man, it's a holiday. Where do you want to work? Yeah, that's right. That's right.
[00:26:12] She goes home at the end of the day. She gets the question. How did it go? Well, she has a really different answer. She says, I think I made a mistake. I found a job, a short term job instead of a career. I think I got to keep looking. These guys are not what what they told me they were going to be.
[00:26:29] Now it's too bad. I mean, I think there is. And I'm going to pull two things out of that.
[00:26:33] I mean, one is the you know, have a plan, like have a process, you know, make sure that you've got, you know, obviously like equipment and infrastructure and they've got the passwords they need and their accounts are set up.
[00:26:43] And I have an email like all that kind of kind of productivity, logistical stuff. But I think the other thing that that you kind of alluded to are you brought into that example was this idea of hope. What else? What is the challenge or the stress that a new employee is going to be going through? And how can we help? How can we help with that? So the whole idea of sending a package to the House, you know, giving a gift card to take the family out to dinner so that, you know, you can kind of celebrate anything. Just thinking through, well, what is the employee going through in part as part of this transition and taking a new job is a huge stressor. How can I make this easier for them? In fact, how can I delight them by doing things, you know, very unexpected to make me an exceptional employer? I think that's a huge opportunity there.
[00:27:26] Well, that's right. I mean, when it comes down to it, you know, the studies, Bruce, I'm sure that people the primary reason people leave their jobs is because they don't like their boss or their co-workers. And so this is all about relationships and particularly in this connected economy, this this online social network type of thing. We don't want to go out and create a bad relationship and have them promote maybe some mistakes we made and, you know, talk bad about us. There's too much competition out there. Yeah. So now and when it does go ahead.
[00:27:59] Well, nowadays with things like glass door and stuff like that. I mean you can create a reputational nightmare for yourself.
[00:28:05] Yeah. Yeah. I mean we really want even when it doesn't work out, we want to make certain that we set expectations really clear for how it's supposed to work when it's not working out. We want to communicate that give people an opportunity to work it out. Have a good performance improvement process in place that can be followed. And when it's not working out, we're respectful, we're empathetic and we're wishing him the best and we're parting company. So what happened? That's the other thing. People don't like to pull the trigger and fire people and talk to me about that.
[00:28:38] I would agree. What's your kind of assessment of why that's difficult? What gets in people's way is how they overcome that.
[00:28:44] Well, it's conflict now and it's personal. No matter what way you handle it.
[00:28:50] And usually the person, the leader knows that to a certain extent they messed up. Yeah. It's an admission of failure. Yeah. And they know it.
[00:29:02] It hurts this person. And so, I mean, whether you're firing somebody who's embezzling from you or someone who's just a nice person and they're messing up and they can't get their act together. As far as as well as what you need might be find somewhere else. It's still it's no fun. I've seen several surveys where that was the number one thing leaders hated the most was firing someone. Yeah, but you got to the faster you do it, the better it is.
[00:29:29] Well so so speed, you know, kind of not letting it linger. Any other suggestions or tips that you you've given leaders in terms of how to do this and an appropriate, respectful, empathetic but effective way?
[00:29:41] Well, so the best way to do it is that you have good communication. One of the big failures of leaders is they're so busy, they don't communicate enough.
[00:29:50] And so if you're communicating with the person, so if I have an employee strategic plan, it's very clear what they're supposed to be doing. If I'm meeting with them every week to review their goals and giving them feedback and early on, I might be reviewing their expectations with them every week where, you know, I'm not only saying here, let me give you feedback on how well you're meeting my expectations, but I'm asking how am I doing as far as meeting your expectation?
[00:30:14] And what's going to happen pretty quickly is when they're not when they're not working out. It's going to be clear. And you're going to have that dialogue and you're going to say, OK, well, here's what we need to do to get this on track. This is important for you to, you know, meet the needs of this role. And then you're going to move to a write up and then you're going to move to a performance improvement plan. A performance improvement plan might be 90 days. But if they're not working out in two weeks into it, then you need to cut it short. Yeah. But as long as you have that communication, it's a much better process because it's clear you're giving them every opportunity you can to succeed.
[00:30:50] And preparing them. I mean, it's not it's not a big surprise. It's they there's been incremental discussion and then kind of movement of movement and discussion through through that process. So let's talk about if you've got a rock star, if you've got someone who is as proven to be an amazing hire, they're performing exceptionally. You know, you see huge potential. They're excited. Like, what do I do to make sure that I'm retaining them, engaging them? What are some things you can do with your with you're really kind of star talent that's really going to boost that relationship, boost the performance that you're getting?
[00:31:21] Well, I mean, we do talent assessments to look at behaviors and driving forces or motivators and then also soft skills. So we we understand what motivates a person, how to engage them and what their natural behaviors are that they like to do. I think you did it with us years ago. Yeah. The that's that's a complex question. So if I were to narrow it down, usually superstars find out the direction they want to go and then support them in that direction. That's where once again, the employee strategic plan is critical because they're writing it, they're driving it. And they often want to learn more skills. They want to grow. They want to get more authority. If they're if they're a superstar talent, that actually could move on. You know, you need to think of ways to pay them based on performance. And so they have kind of unlimited pay and limited opportunity. Did you ever see Customers for Life, a book by Carl Sewell s w e l l. No, I didn't. Tell me about it. It was written a long time ago. And then he did an update.
[00:32:24] I mean, literally like 30 years ago. And he didn't update like in 2012 or 2014, but he tells a story that I'll never forget. You know, he took over his dad's Cadillac dealership, and when he did, the service department was losing money. He didn't know how to run a service department. So he called in the service manager and he said, look, he said, I don't know how to do this. If you turn around the service department, I'll give you 10 percent of the profit from the service department every year in addition to your salary. Service manager says, OK, so with that incentive, all of a sudden things changed and the service manager started making money. And then a lot of money. And it got to be about the eighth year this program was in place. And every year Carl would do a salary review, compensation review. And it really started to bug the service manager like your six year, seven year, eight. I think it was the eighth year, if I'm remembering correctly, they go through their compensation review meeting. Carl says, OK, everything sounds good. Let's go.
[00:33:18] And the service manager says, I'm sorry, Carl, I just got to ask, when are you going to change my comp plan? Carl looks kind of funny. He goes, well, why? What are you talking about? He goes, Carl, you and I both know, you know, here in Dallas, you can get service managers for a fraction of what you're paying me with this incentive. And Carl burst out laughing and he goes, Are you kidding me? He said, when you took that over, it was losing money.
[00:33:44] And now I get 90 cents out of every dollar that you create. I'll do that deal all day long. Yeah. Yeah. And yet. And yet how many, Bruce, think about it. How many leaders, you know, including ourselves. I mean, I actually I can say a hundred percent confidence. I do that. Yeah, but how many leaders do we know that they'd say, oh no, that person can't make more than, you know, X. That just wouldn't be right.
[00:34:11] Well it's it's kind of yes. It's limited thinking kind of macro, you know, micro thinking around around those issues. But yeah, I like that idea that you have essentially that in a funny way, it's becoming business partners. I mean, like you need to figure out how you're going to partner with them and not only on your the company's success, but on their success. Like how do you become an advocate and a resource for them in terms of them being more successful?
[00:34:30] I'd like that. Yeah. Exactly. And also, notice you don't have the complication of equity. Yeah. You know that if if he if the guy or the woman leaves at some point you have to deal with that. Yeah. It's all still there. So you're given this huge opportunity and a lot of people will rise to that. They'll love that. My right.
[00:34:50] When I was doing that Microsoft Dynamics thing, there was a partner down in Atlanta and they did this type of program for their salespeople where they would paint. They had a young guy who in his mid 20s who made four hundred thousand dollars in one year. And I said, so how do you feel about. He shrugged his shoulders. That I thought was great.
[00:35:13] He made the company for a million dollars. Yeah.
[00:35:15] Yeah. You know, they structured it. They made their profit. They didn't care. I said, how is he going to do the. So while I would probably make a little over one hundred. But, yeah, you know, I don't care. I hope he does it again.
[00:35:24] Yeah. Exactly. Exactly. Good. David, this has been a pleasure. If people want to find out more about you, about manage to win, what's the best way to get that information?
[00:35:32]Just go to our Web site, manage2win.com, manage the number two win .com. We've got all the information there on our different services or our blog. Our podcast. By the way, I was talking with some somebody this week. Yeah. They said, oh yes, love your podcast. Had that guy who does this stuff with the cannabis company.
[00:35:56] Yes. Good. Good.
[00:35:59] Yeah. A good conversation. You should check out more of his stuff.
[00:36:02] Yeah. So for her people listening here, I was on David's podcast a couple of weeks ago, maybe not even maybe two weeks ago. And we talked I talk about my other podcast thinking outside the but which I've mentioned a couple of times here. But yeah, it's fascinating. I mean, I think it's, you know, how it affects and just employment in general. It's certainly an interesting topic. But the cannabis industry is as fascinating in terms of its dynamics. But does it all encourage people to go over and listen to them, listen to manage to win podcast and obviously check out our episode? We had a good conversation. This was fun. Thank you so much for reciprocating and being here on this one. Well, I really appreciate. I think we covered a lot of great ground.
[00:36:37] Oh, thanks so much. I really appreciate being here. It was great. Thanks, David.
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