TALES FROM A TRUMP STAFFER: How to Make a Narcissist Do What You Need Them to Do...

How many of you have worked for a narcissist?  Let's start with a definition of what that is to level set the rest of this post:

Narcissist (närsəsəst) - a person who has an excessive interest in or admiration of themselves. Egostuff

I think smart professionals go through stages related to how they deal with narcissists as their manager:

1--They're shocked at the selfish behavior and general pathology of the individual.

2--They get sad about it and disengage a bit.

3--They get smart and start using with drives the narcissist to get #### done.

Know any narcissists in the news these days?  Regardless of your politics, you have to admit that Donald Trump is a bit of a narcissist.  Note that this isn't a political post, so both sides shouldn't blast me via email.

The recent summit with North Korea gives us a perfect glimpse of how to deal with your manager - if he or she is a narcissist.   More from the Chicago Tribune:

"Some of the most intense drama surrounding President Donald Trump's summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un came not across the negotiating table, but in the days and hours leading up to Tuesday's historic meeting - a behind-the-scenes flurry of commotion prompted by Trump himself.

After arriving in Singapore on Sunday, an antsy and bored Trump urged his aides to demand that the meeting with Kim be pushed up by a day - to Monday - and had to be talked out of altering the long-planned and carefully negotiated summit date on the fly, according to two people familiar with preparations for the event.

Ultimately, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders persuaded Trump to stick with the original plan, arguing that the president and his team could use the time to prepare, people familiar with the talks said. They also warned him that he might sacrifice wall-to-wall television coverage of his summit if he abruptly moved the long-planned date to Monday in Singapore, which would be Sunday night in the United States."

You can hate Trump and his team if you want to.  I'm going to zig while others zag and try to learn something from his staff.  Pompeo and Sanders wrote a playbook for you related to how to deal with a narcissist as your manager. 

TL:DR - The best way to deal with a narcissist with an unreasonable demand is to tell him/her they won't get enough credit or attention if they don't follow your advice.

More notes on the best way to use this strategy with a Narcissist:

1--Everything should be presented as if you are their agent.  Make it about their needs, not yours.  

2--Focus on the Narcissist getting credit for the decision, even if you will share in those accolades.  Don't tell the narcissist anything about how you benefit.

3--Focus on the Narcissist getting greater amounts of attention.  Similar to #2, but it's not credit.  It's attention, which is subjective, but the narcissist loves it.  ("Don - let's make sure you get a bit of face time with Kim, because he's going to love you and once he meets you, things will just be better for us.")

4--When in doubt, go to the senior level of this play - Frame everything as if you are preventing them from taking reputational damage.  ("Rick, people are going to blame you for this instead of loving you, and I've got a better plan that gets us what we need and makes people love you for it.")

When dealing with a narcissist, the smart professional goes through the stages I outlined, then sucks it up and plays the game to get what they- and the organization - needs from the narcissist.

Good luck dealing with your narcissist.  Take on the role of being their agent and it will go as well as it can.  Try not to vomit in your mouth as you do what's required.


Join Us for a New Hangout Series - HR Mind Games (Episode #1 - Hiring Sales Pros)

HR Mind Games is a quick hitting, 20-30 minute hangout hosted by me (KD), Kris Dunn, founder of FOT and the HR Capitalist and sponsored by Caliper, the leading provider of Assessments for Selection, Talent Management, and Leadership Development.
 
In each episode of HR Mind Games, we’ll cover how general behavioral assessment geekiness/expertise helps HR and Recruiting Pros make better hires as well as maximize performance once that talent is in the door!
 
Episode #1 is going to be a doozyHow to Hire Sales Pros Who Are “Hunters”, not “Farmers”.  I got a LOT of opinions on this people, and the scars (and behavioral science) to prove it

If you love to geek out on the assessment side - CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR THIS EPISODE OF HR MIND GAMES!!!

In our first episode, we’re going long on how to use assessments to figure out who the true “hunters” are across sales candidates.  Join us and we’ll share what we’ve learned and what to focus on from a behavioral perspective to ensure sales hires are “optimized” to bring home the bacon!!  We’ll even give you a great template to compare sales candidates to as you hit the recruiting trail!

Even if you're unsure if you can make it or not, sign up to make sure you get the templates for future sales searches!
 
Future episodes: How to spot and deal with Narcissistic Managers, How to Use Assessments for Good, Not Evil…. good times in this series...

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR THIS EPISODE OF HR MIND GAMES!!!!


Amazon Flexes Muscles, Eliminates Occupational Tax in Seattle in One Month....

Here's what power looks like in an employer, my friends...

Less than a month after unanimously passing a contentious tax on big business, Seattle’s city council has voted to repeal the so-called “head tax.” Against the fervent protestations of residents and local coalitions—which were extended to a full hour of testimony—council members voted 7-2 to pulled the plug on what would have been a vital source of support for city’s growing homeless population. 

Let me break that down for you: The city council unanimously passed the tax, then one month later repealed it.  What happened?  The city's biggest employer, Amazon, said "what up", flexed it's muscles and reversed the whole thing in a month. Drevil

Before breaking down what Amazon did and being awestruck by the raw power, let's learn more about the "head tax" that was proposed from Gizmodo:

In the form it was passed last month, the “head tax” would shave off $275 per full-time employee at companies generating over $20 million in revenue, totaling an estimated $47 million per year for five years. Those funds would then be earmarked for homeless services and affordable housing. Seattle declared its homelessness a state of emergency in 2015, with soaring costs of living and congestion of public services considered the foremost catalysts for the rising homeless rate.

The repeal comes a day after the No Tax on Jobs campaign—a coalition which large businesses which would be affected by the “head tax,” like Amazon and Starbucks, pledged significant financial support to—announced it had gotten over 45,000 signatures, more than enough to generate a referendum to overturn the tax in November. Speakers on behalf of No Tax on Jobs at the City Council chambers repeatedly described the coalition as “grassroots,” however the Public Disclosure Commission of Washington reveals it gave over $246,000 to a firm called Morning in America for “signature gathering and verification” and an additional $20,000 to Cre8tive Empowerment for “campaign/volunteer/social media management.”

Mayor Jenny Durkan described the quick legislative retreat as a means to avoid “a prolonged, expensive political fight over the next five months that will do nothing to tackle our urgent housing and homelessness crisis.” Critics saw the repeal as a backroom deal to appease Amazon.
 
Put another way, the city council of Seattle forgot who is really in charge in Seattle.  Cliff notes - it's Amazon!

Among other things, Amazon reacted to the head tax by halting construction of office towers in downtown Seattle (click link to read more), which caused some freak outs about Amazon potentially leaving Seattle, a prospect that is surely strengthened by the fact that the giant online retailer has 20 cities on a list of finalists for a second headquarters.

"Hell, we'll just pick two places instead of one" is the clear message.

My city, the ATL, is in the running for the second HQ, and the Seattle head tax teaches us one thing pretty clearly - Be careful what you ask for when Amazon comes to town.


Stuff the Capitalist (aka KD) Likes: Epic Musical Intros

Capitalist Note: Who am I?  Who cares?  Good questions.  It's my site, so I'm going to tap into road days once in awhile by telling you more about who I am - via a "Stuff I Like" series.  Nothing too serious, just exploring the micro-niche that resides at the base of all of our lives.  Potshots encouraged in the comments.

-------------

Freak out
And give in
Doesn't matter what you believe in
Stay cool
And be somebody's fool this year
'Cause they know
Who is righteous, what is bold
So I'm told

 
---Cherub Rock, Smashing Pumpkins
 
If you looked closely at my YouTube Music account (nice service, you should give it a shot), you'd see the following behavior:
 
1--Hate the song, automatic skip.
 
2--Like the song, listen to it for awhile, then skip.
 
3--Song has a killer intro, listen for awhile and then replay the intro 4-5 times.
 
Music can alter your mood at work or on the road.  Both places are acceptable locales to have earbuds in, so I'm listening to music a good bit.
 
But let's focus on the impact of #3 above.  Some songs are notable for having killer intros.  It's those songs that have the biggest chance to alter your mood.
 
If you're having a bad day, find a song with an intro that gives you energy, then replay that ###### until you mood changes.
 
Nobody likes a victim. Music can pull you out of victim mode.  For me this week, it's Cherub Rock from the Smashing Pumpkins.  Some light guitar, then drums, then a rock and roll finish to the intro.  
 
What did you listen to this week that got you out of victim mode or allowed to you dominate?  Hit me in the comments.  Cherub Rock video appears below (email subscribers click through for video):


People Who Create Find New Ways To Thrive. People Who Manage Process Top Out. That's Life.

To say that I was a little late watching "The Wolf of Wall Street" is an understatement.  Released in 2013, I didn't see it until last week and then suffered through a 4-hour FX version that had 5 minute commercial breaks.  Thankfully, it was DVR time.

I was underwhelmed by the movie.  I get it- Jordan Belfort is a pathological criminal who we're supposed to go back and forth between hating and admiring - "Look! Jordan's great at pumping the troops up!! I just wish he didn't need a half pound of blow to do it, don't you????"

So the movie was a wash for me - right up until the end.  That's when two scenes that underscore a couple of big lessons on talent play out that saved it in my eyes.

To understand and put the final scenes in context, you have to remember that there's a boat scene a little past halfway in the movie when Belfort invites a FBI agent on the boat to try and bribe him.  The FBI agent is played by Kyle Chandler (the coach from Friday Night Lights).  In the scene, Belfort lets the FBI agent know that he has information on the agent's background - that he started out as a stockbroker, but got out early.  He then asks the FBI agent if he ever looks around the subway car when he's on his way home and wonders what might have been - a straight up call to the agent's relative poverty.  The scene ends with Belfort unsuccessful in his bribery attempt.

Flash forward to the end of the movie.  Belfort goes to trial and is convicted and taken into custody.  Two scenes happen after that that underscore the following reality:

People Who Create Find New Ways To Thrive. People Who Manage Process Top Out. That's Life.

Here are your scenes:

-The FBI Agent (Chandler) is riding home on the subway - either that night or the next day - and reads the paper with the headline about Belfort's conviction and sentence.  With Mrs. Robinson from Simon and Garfunkel playing in the background, he looks up from the paper, looks around the car at all the people grinding it out and obviously remembers Belfort's question to him about "what might have been."

-The end of the movie features Belmont's supposed career reinvention after he's released from prison - guess what?  He's now embarked on a speaking career as a sales trainer for people willing to pay 1K to hear him speak - so he can help them unlock the sales tiger within.  Classic.

My take is pretty simple.  It goes to show how unfair the world can be when a criminal can reinvent themselves and have a successful career taking money from people AFTER he's released from prison for the same thing.

But life's not fair. In the talent game, those who have the ability to create within their field will always find new ways to perform and earn.  Those who can't?  Well, they run the risk of topping out in what they do.  

As I get older, I'm no longer willing to applaud the Belforts of the world.  But it underscores a pretty important point to what the market values most - creation of value, OR the perception of creation of value.  I'm not celebrating it, but in the end of this movie, that's your payoff for suffering through a bunch of drug usage and the celebration of ripping people off.

The end of the movie appears below (email subscribers click through for video).  Push the dial ahead to :31 if you're in a hurry, 3 to 4 minutes of video for the perspective - worth your time.


The New Blackberry Is Out - Here's What It Tells Us About Change...

Hey Gen Z!

You love your smart phones. Did you realize the boomers and a good part of your Gen X brethren grew up in corporate America with a device called the "Blackberry?"  It had an actual physical keyboard on it that the old people swore by, and at one time in corporate America, IT departments refused to deploy iPhones and Androids to their workforces, citing reasons like, "not designed for business" and "not secure".

Here's the market share this relic used to have:  (See graph below, click through if you don't see)

Chartoftheday_8180_blackberry_s_smartphone_market_share_n

I shit kid you not. BlackBerry got swallowed up by the iPhone and Android.  Guess when the first iPhone was announced?

2007.  Market share was in the high 40's and had already dropped to the low 20's by the time the chart above picks up the action.

I'm compelled to share this story, kids, because BlackBerry used to rule.  Ask your parents who used to ride or die in corporate America.  I'm also sharing it because Blackberry reacted to the iPhone/Android/touchscreen/smartphone threat poorly.  That's obvious, right?

But Blackberry just announced a new phone, and they're dancing with the girl (actually probably a guy) that brought them to the dance.  The double pleats crowd that appreciates a QWERTY keyboard.  More from TechRadar:

BlackBerry’s new BlackBerry Key2 is the successor to last year’s KeyOne. Yes, BlackBerry is still making phones, but these days they’re running on Android and pulling in a handful of BlackBerry’s security features.

A quick look at both phones, and it’s clear they’re BlackBerry handsets. Full QWERTY keyboards leave little room for doubt. But, as BlackBerry aims to please faithful users who want a secure smartphone with a physical keyboard, its ability to compete with the likes of the Galaxy S9 or iPhone 8 is diminished. The result: the best phone to compare the new BlackBerry Key2 to is last year’s BlackBerry KeyOne.

Here's a pic of what the new Blackberry looks like:

Bb

Other than making fun of Blackberry users, I'm writing this to talk a bit about change:

1.  At one time, iPhone and Android users couldn't make it past the IT dudes approving devices for the network.

2. Back in the day, corporations really were ringing their hands about allowing access to email through someone's personal phone.

3.  Back in 2009, IT people thought they actually had control over networks.

Today, the following is true:

1.  IT and hardware management is not longer has the power they once did.

2.  We're amazed when companies don't allow access to email everywhere.

3.  If anyone really cared, the new Blackberry would have the same problems getting approved by IT that the iPhone did back in the day.  Fortunately, RIM (makers of Blackberry) gave up on their own platform and are running on Android.

The lesson? You think the world the way it is now is destined to continue forever.  It's not.  It's going to change. Disruption is the only certainty.  

Google will end up fading.  Apple will cease to be design and market share darling they are now.

I'd bet on voice to overtake it all as the next big shift.

Laugh at the dinosaurs and their Blackberries, Gen Z.  Soon, you're going to look up and have a mortgage, two kids and be living ITP (in ATL, that means outside the perimeter).

We'll be smiling from the nursing home.

 


Does Your Company Have an "Unconscious Bias" Problem?

Do you believe that "Unconscious Bias" exists?  Let's start with some definitions:

Psychologists tell us that our unconscious biases are simply our natural people preferences. Biologically we are hard-wired to prefer people who look like us, sound like us and share our interests. Social psychologists call this phenomenon "social categorization‟ whereby we routinely and rapidly sort people into groups. 

This preference bypasses our normal, rational and logical thinking. We use these processes very effectively (we call it intuition) but the categories we use to sort people are not logical, modern or perhaps even legal. Put simply, our neurology takes us to the very brink of bias and poor decision making.

Neuropsychologists tell us unconscious bias is built into the very structure of the brain's neurons. Our unconscious brain processes and sifts vast amounts of information looking for patterns (200,000 times more information than the conscious mind).  Bias

The problem with unconscious bias is it happens in the background.  You don't get to choose, it's part of who you are.

Most modern companies have done a decent job of talking about what's legal as well as "right" when it comes to bias vs all types of people.  The problem is that people can still have unconscious bias and make decisions without being aware.

That's why a company called TalVista is attempting to provide tools to help control the power of unconscious bias inside your company.  Here's more about the product that TalVista created when it comes to controlling for unconscious bias:

TalVista focuses on mitigating unconscious bias through the use of automated and sophisticated algorithms to ensure job descriptions are appealing to all candidates rather than having them self-select out of a less inviting job description. According to Scot Sessions, CEO, TalVista, the core of its offering is helping hiring managers stay focused on key job skills and core competencies needed to perform the job without regard for race, gender, nationality, or sexual orientation. “As humans we have inherent bias,” said Sessions. “While we can see bias in others, we have a difficult time seeing it in ourselves, which is known as ‘unconscious bias.’ With the right tools, recruiters and hiring managers will excel at their hiring duties while staying focused on the experience and traits each candidate may possess and is required to do the job.”

TalVista will continue to expand on the development of the platform, including enhancements to:
1- Job Description Analysis with further optimization
2 - Blind Resume Review with additional redactions
3 - Structured Interviews with interview scripts

I think most of us agree that unconscious bias is real.  When I look at the solution that TalVista has created, here's my reaction:

1- Job Description Analysis with further optimization - It's interesting to note that the team at TalVista fully believes (supported by research) that your job postings are full of things that turn diverse candidates away - they see your job description and even though they're a fit, they don't apply based on some discrete problems with the language and wording of the posting.  TalVista believes it can identify those problems and give you guidance on how to improve them.  I think this is very interesting.

2 - Blind Resume Review with additional redactions - This is what you would expect.  TalVista can connect with your ATS and redact parts of resumes that cause unconscious bias to activate, leading to more qualified, diverse candidates to make it deeper in the recruiting funnel process.  If you're going to attack unconscious bias at your company, this is a tool that is a must.

3 - Structured Interviews with interview scripts - TalVista can provide interview guides for managers designed to mute unconscious bias from the interview experience.

TalVista describes itself as hosted in the Cloud as a SaaS offering with an unlimited annual subscription best suited for Fortune 1000 companies.

My take on this product is pretty simple - reasonable people agree that unconscious bias is a real thing, so if your company is looking to address it as part of your talent plan, Talvista is a great place to start.

I expected the resume review redaction with integration to your ATS, and was pleasantly surprised by the job posting analysis and improvement tool.  The interview guides are a nice touch, but let's be honest - adoption to get your managers to use those is more difficult that getting the full impact of the first two features.

I suspect we will hear more and more about unconscious bias in the future.  Take a look at a post I did awhile back related to bias in AI and machine learning by clicking here.

 


SIMPLE HACKS: Your Initial Call to a Passive Candidate (One Who Didn't Apply)...

I'm not going to lie - I had a couple of rough "first" calls earlier in my career as a young professional.

The first one was doing customer service as a youngster for a wireless company while I was going back to get my MBA.  I went through three weeks of professional training and then the first live call came to me when I was on the floor on my own. Phone

I froze like a deer in headlights.  Couldn't even say my intro.  I disconnected them and gathered myself.  I'm guessing that didn't help the NPS scores, right?

I was young and relatively dumb.  But still, c'mon.  I froze.

Flash forward to my first call working as a recruiter for a contingency firm.  Still remember the call.  I cold-called a candidate from the database and proceeding to blather way too long to some type of IT Administrator, back in the day when that position had a form of market power.

I went on and on.  The candidate - a female - was way too nice and allowed me to do it.  It was as bad as just hanging up, maybe worse.  

Which brings me to the point of today's post.  What's a simple call strategy in a seller's market to connect with a passive candidate in the first 30 seconds of a cold-call to them?  After all, if you get them to pick up the phone, you're likely a nuisance in the course of their day.  You've got to say something in the first 30 seconds that makes them want to talk to you.

For me, it's simple - here's what I would do to hook a passive candidate in the first 35 seconds (I gave you an extra 5):

1.  Tell them why you are calling - 10 seconds.  Who you are, who you work for and what the your company does.

2.  Tell them about the job - 15 seconds.  Name of position, location and some company details - even if you can't give them the company name (for my recruiting agency friends).

3.  Tell them one thing you see on their resume or LinkedIn profile that makes them different from other candidates you've talked to - 10 seconds.

The key, of course, is blazing through #1 and #2 and getting to #3.  Vanity is the key, my friends.

Nobody wants to talk to a robot.

Nobody wants to talk to a transaction.

Everyone is willing to spend a little bit of time with someone who understands that something in their background is unique. 

To tell them who you are and about the job in 25 seconds requires a script, rehearsal and discipline.  But it's required.

Imagine getting through that in one breath and then saying, "I saw your resume and absolutely loved the fact you worked at <_______>.  My experience is that people who spend 2+ years at <________> end up doing some great things in their career."

Lead with that, then stop talking.  But it can't be bullshit - you actually have to have a take.

Try it on your next passive candidate call, and if you don't call anyone who doesn't apply for you job - how about trying to sell your job to someone who doesn't apply?

KD out. 

 

 


The Top 100 Movie Quotes for HR Pros: #68 is Tyler Durden: "How's That Working Out For You?"...

New series at the Capitalist: The Top 100 Movie Quotes of all time for HR Pros.  In no special order, I break down the 100 movie quotes that resonate most for me as a career HR pro.  Some will be funny, some will be serious... Some will tug at your heart like when the Fox voice-over guy said, "Tonight - a very special episode of 90210"... You get the vibe... I'll do it countdown-style like they're ranked, but let's face it - they're ALL special..

#68: "How's that working out for you?...Being Clever"...

Clever

The corporate world is full of characters, right?  You're trying to make it through the day and all the sudden someone's filling your ear in a self important way, telling you about their approach, how it has worked wonders, etc.

You know, there trying to tell you they're special.  They're looking for validation from you.

It could be a way they're handling a client, the way they like to interview or anything else.  But they're telling you because they want you to react in a positive way.

You're not feeling it.  You can always channel a little Tyler Durden, who famously reacted to the Narrator's plane monolog on "Single Serving Friends" in Fight Club by asking, "How's that working out for you?"

It acknowledges the person is talking to you.  It asks a probing question.  If "keep it up then" is added to the end, it's snarky without being positioning you as a total #ss.

Like the approach?

Keep it up, then.  (email subscribers click through for video below)


Uber Is Now Run By Your Dad and He's Misusing Slang Like A Dad Would....

Most of you are aware of the leadership challenges and changes at Uber, the company some of us love or hate.

It all started with founder Travis Kalanick, who rose with the company as its first CEO and really defined the hard knock culture that ultimately took him down.  Things got too crazy and Kalanick was out, replaced by the Uber board by former Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi - primary to bring grown up leadership to the company that defined an entirely new business segment (ridesharing). Uber

And for the most part, Khosrowshahi has done that.  If you've watched any TV recently, you've seen him featured in Uber commercials saying that the company is rebuilding itself in a responsible way.  

Khosrowshahi is the equivalent of a dad in this rebuild.  And sometimes Dads try to be hip and it all goes to hell.  Such was the case recently at Uber, when Khosrowshahi penned a memo asking "WHO HAS THE D", which immediately sent everyone with Snapchat (and perhaps even Instagram) loaded on their smartphone snickering.  More on this memo from Gizmodo:

"When he took over the company in August of last year, Dara Khosrowshahi was tasked with rehabilitating the fratboy image of Uber—a company where harassment was rampant, and internal memos had to advise employees how not to have sex with their coworkers. But based on a leaked memo, less than a year into the new CEO’s tenure, Khosrowshahi has been giving “the D” to staffers in meetings.

Fortunately we’re not talking about any sort of sexual impropriety (to the best of our knowledge). The memo, obtained by Business Insider, outlines a method to avoid bureaucratic bloat, where Khosrowshahi writes:

You may hear me say in meetings ‘[insert name] has the D here’. This is about being clear on who is the decision maker; I’d encourage you to do the same."

 You know—the D. As in, “you can stay and observe if you want to, but for the duration of this organizational planning meeting, I’m giving Brad the D.”
 
Oh boy, here we go.  More from the same article:
 
Dara's confusion seems based on a single Harvard Business Review article from January of 2006 titled, “Who Has the D?: How Clear Decision Roles Enhance Organizational Performance.” Here are some quotes from that turgid, 4,500-word piece that was certainly helpful to a businessperson somewhere:

“they must [...] elevate the issue to the person with the D.”

“the person with the D needs good business judgment”

“The buyers were given the D”

“there may be good reasons to locate the D”

“the D resided with headquarters”

“who is responsible for providing valuable input and who has the D”

“The theme here is a lack of clarity about who has the D”

Urban Dictionary cites “the D” as a synonym for penis—and by synecdoche, a form of sex—going back to 2004. Uber’s worst days may be behind it, but perhaps this is a sign the company is entering a golden age of public gaffes that are fun instead of deeply upsetting.

Yes. Uber is run by your dad.  And when Dads act cool and trendy, bad things can happen.

When Dads are CEOs and their communications leaders/PR/HR people are older Dads and Moms, memos like this happen.

Somewhere in the last month, Dara brought up "the D" in a leadership meeting.  He was frustrated by decision speed and the amount of meetings he saw in the company.  He thought they had grown to0 bloated in their concerns not to make mistakes.

He remembered the HBR article, and informed everyone on the leadership team that somebody "had to have the D".  He said he was going to send a memo the entire company.

No one stopped him, or said that aloud to themselves later and googled it.  Hilarious.

If this isn't a theme in the next season of HBO's Silicon Valley next year, I'm canceling my subscription.  

 


The Old/New Rules of LinkedIn Invites...

If you're like me, you realize someone changed the informal rules on LinkedIn.  Here's a primer on what the old rules were and the new rules ARE:

OLD RULES:

--You only connected with people you knew or were interested in their background.

--You knew if you connected with them and tried to sell them something immediately, you ran the risk of complaints and might lose access to new invites, etc.

--You had some class. You understood that relationships take time, and an invite to someone you didn't know was a hat tip that you respect and value their background, and hoped to develop a professional relationship down the road.

NEW RULES: Linkedin

--You get 2 to 3X the invites. The increase is generally business development folks or people who own their own "company" or consulting business.

--For every 2 invites you accept from people you don't know, you get one (1) direct solicitation asking you to book some time for a consult/needs exploration/other BS term for an initial sales call.

--The direct solicitation generally happens within 12 hours of you accepting the connect.  It's generally as subtle as a hard butt slap.

--There's a LOT of entrepreneurs in India.  Shout out to the global business community.

--You used to accept invites just to be kind, now you look at profiles and click "ignore" more than you ever have.

BACK IN THE DAY:

--Hell, I used to get shut down for people saying they didn't know me and had to beg LinkedIn to allow me to connect again.  And I was selling NOTHING.

Those days seem like the good old days now.  Do we really believe that LinkedIn is the same place?  Could LinkedIn not use AI and MFL (machine freaking learning) to stop access from anyone who sends 50 invites, got 20 accepts and sent a sales message shortly thereafter?

Maybe still allow the connects but discourage the harassment?  That's right I said it - harassment.  Someone is making me uncomfortable! 

If you're wondering what the product is or how someone makes money - look in the mirror.  It's you.

 


WEBINAR: Building the Perfect HR Function and Team!

Paycor-hr-coe-logo

Is your HR department the best in the biz? If you answered “yes” you’re probably stretching it – but we know a few HR experts who can actually help you get there! The FOT team is made up of industry pros from multiple top-notch HR shops (with the awards to prove it), and now they want to tell YOU how to be awesome at HR too during our upcoming webinar.

Join us on June 7th at 1 PM ET for our webinar, The FOT Guide to Building an HR Center of Excellence sponsored by Paycor where we will reveal our trade secrets to making your HR shop the best by sharing:

– How to build a solid HR team from the ground up that will put you on track to become a Center of Excellence...

– The 6 pillars necessary to any HR team’s success, and how you can use each one to propel your organization towards greatness...

– 3 key insights that will allow you to move past the foundational HR and put you on a clear path to HR excellence...

– A FREE tool that will allow you to pinpoint where your team is at on the journey to becoming an HR Center of Excellence...

Tim Sackett and I will lead you through how the FOT team would build out your HR COE from scratch, or from where you are right now no matter how bad you think you might be broken!

FOT believes that every HR shop can be a COE. It’s not easy, but it’s also not like we are trying to launch the Space Shuttle! What you need is the knowledge and the plan, which we will give you!

It all goes down on June 7th at 1 PM ET (Noon CT, and 10 AM PT).

REGISTER TODAY FOR THIS FREE WEBINAR BY CLICKING THIS LINK!!!


My Starbucks and Homeless People...

By now, you know the Starbucks story, right?  

In April, a video showing two black men being arrested at a Philadelphia Starbucks, when they had done nothing but sit inside one of the coffee shops without buying anything, triggered outrage and boycotts across the country. The company, known for espousing progressive, inclusive principles, reacted swiftly, announcing plans to close its US shops for an afternoon and supply all of its US employees with racial-bias training.

That training happened earlier this week.  By all accounts, it was well received - but the company is smart in pointing out that the training is only a small step in a longer journey.

The four-hour sessions, involving 175,000 workers at 8,000 locations, had employees and managers reportedly working in small groups to discuss their experience of race, and studying issues like implicit bias.  One training item used was this video by Stanley Nelson (email subscribers, click through to see the video): 

The seven-minute video features moving monologues from black Americans who describe the emotional toll of having to live their lives aware that others see them as a threat, and the effort it takes to put store managers or security guards at ease, whether through nonverbal signals or their physical appearance.

If you're in retail and that video doesn't make you more aware of you reactions to your changing environment, I'm not sure what will.  It's well worth the time to watch - make sure you do.

But embedded somewhere in the training had to be a policy change to make the stores more stupid - and yes, racist - proof.   It's a strong show to close stores for a half day and do training - think about that revenue hit - but you still have hundreds of thousands of employees, and when it comes to the risk to the business about more of these events happening, autonomy and increased awareness probably doesn't cut it.

Did Starbucks change the rules of engagement on who has the right to throw someone out of the stores or call the cops?  I hope so.

My Starbucks in Atlanta is an interesting ecosystem.  Rather than throwing people out, they're actually allowing people to stay that make patrons initially uncomfortable based on a segmentation that transcends race - homelessness.  They let homeless people come inside the store (and have way before the Philly incident) - sometimes they buy things, sometimes they don't.  I've never seen the homeless folks ask other patrons for anything - including handouts.

The first time I experienced that, it kind of shocked me.  Then I realized it as the new normal.  Now I don't think about it.

My point is that the autonomy that goes along with empowering employees to eject people for a store is a danger point for every retailer.  I'm sure that Starbucks changed the rules of engagement for that behind the scenes.  Stupid people do stupid things.

And what's the best way to stop stupid people from doing stupid things that can erase a billion dollars off your market cap?

You make them ask a wiser person who's judgment is trusted for approval - before they do the stupid thing.

Does this mean your Starbucks will soon feature homeless people of every Title 7 protected class?

No - but it should mean that the stupid people don't have the autonomy to make the decision.

 


4 Ways to Determine If a Candidate Has Ambition...

“I’m tough, ambitious and I know exactly what I want. If that makes me a bitch, okay.” 

— Madonna

Ambition. As much as many of us are uncomfortable saying publicly that it’s a value/feeling/potential factor we want in our organization, ambition is needed in your company to get great results.

You know your high-ambition employees. They are the ones that often do great things and occasionally put tire tracks across the back of some teammates in the process. Are you better with or without these people? And if everyone is happy with their current status, who moves the company forward?

I'm up over at Workforce Magazine giving you 4 Ways To Determine if a Candidate has Ambition... Get that whole article by clicking here...


Are Mormons Naturally Trained to Be Great Salespeople?

This is where the politically correct unload on me, right?  "What do you mean that Mormons could be better salespeople that other segments of the population?"  I could be called a lot of things I don't desire to be called in today's world.

But allow me to explain. I happened upon a documentary this weekend and watched some missionary work within the Mormon faith and uttered what has to be a business truth - "those kids look like they're going through the greatest sales training in the world."  Mormon

Missionaries in the Mormon faith get dropped into a part of the world they're unfamiliar with for 1-2 years and proceed to knock on doors for that entire time period to evangelize the faith.  They get paired up with one partner they ride or die with for that time period, and as I understand it, they are limited in the communication devices they have access to (no smartphones) and only can make limited/periodic calls back home.

The lessons and growth - as well as the entertainment - wait for them in 1-2 years of door knocking with limited distractions.

Sounds like sales training to me. 

A quick web search shows that some companies have attempted to build a salesforce using former Mormon missionaries.  More form the New York Times:

Six days a week, in fair weather and foul, two-dozen door-to-door salesmen, all of whom live clustered together in an apartment complex in this suburb west ofChicago, pile into S.U.V.’s and cars and head into the big city, bent on sales of home security systems.  And on Sunday, their one day off, they drive together to the nearest house of worship of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The salesmen are mostly former Mormon missionaries from Utah who cut their teeth — and learned their people-skill chops — cold-calling for their faith. In Chicago and in its suburbs where their employer, Pinnacle Security of Orem, Utah, has shipped them for the summer sales season, they are doing much the same thing, but as a job.

Managers at Pinnacle Security, founded in 2001 by a student at Brigham Young University, the Mormon Church-owned school, say missionaries simply have the right stuff. Many speak foreign languages learned in the mission field. All have thick skins from dealing with the negative responses that a missionary armed with a Book of Mormon and a smile can receive.

Mormon men are expected to serve a two-year mission in their early 20s, and about two-thirds of Pinnacle Security’s 1,800 sales representatives this summer have been through the experience. Former missionaries work for other direct-sales companies, too, though Pinnacle seems to be in a class by itself: It has deployed them in 75 cities nationwide.

“They’re used to knocking on doors, and they’re used to rejection,” said Scott Warner, Pinnacle’s manager of the Chicago sales team

Yes, that example is door to door sales.  But if missionary candidates can survive - and thrive - in the task they undertake in a foreign country, they're probably good enough to deserve a shot on your inside sales team as well, right?

A big part of recruiting is attempting to unlock pools of candidates that are undervalued.  I suspect many companies already use the Mormon missionary pool as a source of early career sales talent, but if you haven't, and you're struggling to fill any type of entry-level sales role, this segment is worth a look.

Note to the haters - I'm not suggesting that we build a salesforce of white guys who love white shirts, black ties and Joseph Smith, Jr.  I am saying that the hit rate recruiting leaders get out of this segment for early careers sales roles should be higher than average.  Your EEOC mix, as always, is your responsibility.

Mormon missionaries have done a sales job that's harder than the one you have peddling software, service contracts or widgets.  There were often angry dogs and heads of the household with guns involved.

There might even be a sales manager out there that was responsible for keeping these missionary flocks engaged and on the straight and narrow in the field. 

I'd give it a look.