FAKE IT: Acting Interested in Corporate America Is a Succession Factor

Who's to know if your soul will fade at all
The one you sold to fool the world
You lost your self-esteem along the way
Yeah

--"Fake it" by Seether

One of the biggest things that separates contenders from pretenders in Corporate America - across all functional areas - is the ability to fake interest and attention.

You're in a 7-hour training class.  Next week you're in a 3 hour ops review.  Boredom happens.

 If Darwin were a noted OD thought leader in business, he would write that an adaptation that allows some to survive and thrive is the ability to fake interest and attention with body language, eye contact and just enough participation to make it seem like they're engaged.

Does it matter?  Competition is fierce. Only if you want to get further than you are now.  The real players in corporate America look engaged - at all times - even when they aren't.  

Look around at your next meeting.  You'll know what I'm talking about.  Some people have this type of opposable thumb, some don't.

Of course, faking it leads to learning because you're dialed in juuuuuust enough not to miss important shit. 

Seether video below, people.  Worth your time but a little NSFW. Happy Friday... (email subscribers click through for video)


CAPITALIST WEBINAR: 5 Signs Your Performance Problem is Actually a Manager Problem...

By now you’ve heard the news.  Performance Management is dead and we’re told SMART companies are killing the performance review altogether.

There’s just one little problem with that popular theme – a recent CEB study shows that across companies Image001that have eliminated the performance review, manager/employee conversation quality declined 14%. Managers actually spent LESS time on informal review conversations and employee engagement dropped 6%.

My take? You don’t have a review problem – you’ve got a manager/feedback problem.  That's why I'm doing a webinar entitled "5 Signs Your Performance Problem is Actually a Manager Problem".  What could go wrong, right?

Join Halogen and me (KD) on March 28 at 2pm EDT and we’ll explore the disconnect, including the following goodies:

· Why the managers you support fail to coach and provide feedback, formally or informally – even though they’ll tell you to your face they consider it to be critical.

· How you can make your performance management process more meaningful and lightweight by introducing agile coaching methodologies into your organization.

· How to link a coaching/feedback strategy to more formal items like goal setting and performance management.

·  A roadmap for how to make your managers more focused on the career advancement of their direct reports – the surest way to get the attention of employees on all things performance-related.

Your managers are the most important link to performance.  Join us and we’ll show you how to make them better coaches, whether they love or hate the performance review. 

REGISTER BY CLICKING THIS LINK


The Uber Thing: Now Is Your Chance to Get Funding for Leadership Training...

By now you've heard the news coming out of Uber. We always knew that this startup darling had a rough and tumble culture, and let's face it - sometimes that's needed to spark innovation. But reasonable people know you can have a performance-based culture without creating an environment full of bad stuff - including harassment.  

If you've always wanted to get budget for manager/leadership training, now is the right time to ask. Share this recent quote from Uber founder and CEO Travis Kalanick in the next week with the right person: India-uber

"My job as your leader is to lead…and that starts with behaving in a way that makes us all proud," he wrote. "That is not what I did, and it cannot be explained away. This is the first time I've been willing to admit that I need leadership help and I intend to get it."

 Sound like any talented manager/leader in your organization? Of course it does.  Kalanick sounds like Jimmy Swaggert admitting his sins back in the day.  Look it up Gen Z, that's even before my time.

So share the Uber news and quotes with your boss and have a recommendation for what you can do to get your managers trained up.  Be sure to make my passion project a part of those conversations - the Boss Leadership Training Series from Kinetix.  It's pretty good and you can laugh with your managers as they get to watch clips like Vince Vaughn from Dodgeball talking about goal setting. Our series is a nice alternative to other capable solutions you'll see from people like DDI - we like to have a little more fun than the traditional approach.

Need more fodder to have that conversation about funding than just the harassment stories at Uber and the above quote from the CEO? Watch this video, which is a conversation between Kalanick and an Uber employee that started out OK and went horribly wrong.  Caught on camera - ugh.  The best manager training should give your managers/leaders a simple roadmap to following without resorting to closing in a way that places blame on the employee.  

Go get that budget and get something done.  Even if the Boss series I shared with you above is too much for the man.


Can Coding Camps/Schools Get You a Job? The Real Answer Applies to All Career Changers...

In a post-Trump world where AI is increasingly eliminating jobs that aren't coming back to the states - or to earth for that matter - it's a good exercise to think about workforce development/retraining alternatives that are out there. 

Let's look at one of those alternatives that has been especially hot. Coding bootcamps, which are Code camp 12- or 14-week programs that teach software engineering - are increasingly seen as failures by those who hire software developers here in the states.  Here's the backdrop from a Bloomberg article:

"When they first became prevalent a few years ago, coding schools were heralded as the answer to the technology industry’s prayers. “We can’t get enough engineers because the field is growing so rapidly,” said Tony Fadell, the former head of Google’s Nest smart thermostat company, in a recent promotional video for a nonprofit coding school, 42. Companies complained they couldn’t hire programmers fast enough, and meanwhile, many jobseekers said they couldn’t find employment. Just give those people an engineering crash course, the reasoning went, and voila, problem solved. 

But the great promise of these schools training a new generation of skilled engineers has largely fallen flat. Coding House’s spectacular fall is an extreme case, but interviews with more than a dozen coding school graduates reveal that when they do land a job, often their engineering education doesn’t cut it. Many admit they lack the big-picture skills that employers say they want. Training them often requires hours of hand-holding by more experienced staff, employers say. The same holds true for graduates holding computer science degrees, but those employees generally have a better grasp of broader concepts and algorithms, recruiters said.

Mark Dinan, a recruiter who works with Bay Area technology companies like Salesforce, said many companies have told him they automatically disqualify coding school grads. “These tech bootcamps are a freaking joke,” he said. “My clients are looking for a solid CS [computer science] degree from a reputable university or relevant work experience.” Startups can be more flexible than established companies, he said."

The article goes on to report that 91 full-time coding bootcamps exist in the U.S. and Canada, with almost 18,000 people set to graduate from them this year. That’s up from 43 schools two years ago, and about 6,000 graduates. Tuition averages over $11,000 at non-degree granting programs that generally last around three months, but it can go as high as $21,000. Some schools take a cut of future salary instead of tuition.  

So let's say you're a former production line worker in Michigan with the right makeup for software development.  You voted for Obama in 2012 and went Trump in 2016, but you're not waiting around for anyone to save you.  You financed your tuition, took on debt and learned lots from a coding camp.  But now you can't get a job.

You've got reason to be pissed, right?

Well, no you don't.  The rise and fall of coding camps is just another chapter in book about career change.  Career changers who have had success pivoting in how they provide for themselves and their families are all similar in one important way:

Career changers never believe education will deliver a new career to them. They understand that passion and the display of work in the new field of choice - often for free - are required to get employers to take a chance on them and provide the additional investment needed to complete their transition.

Think about what I wrote above.  If you or someone you love wants/needs a career change, I'm here to tell you - don't plan on that happening if you aren't willing to do free work.  The work doesn't have to be extensive, and it doesn't have to be particularly excellent - it just needs to show that you've got some passion about making the transition you indicatied you're serious about.  You know - the transition you indicated when you applied for a job that you're not qualified to do in any way.

I mean, damn - wake up.  The world doesn't care that you got 3 months worth of education - or 4 years for that matter.

It needs to understand that you're serious about the transition you want to make and you're not some old dude that's going to crush everyone's mellow from the first day you hit the cube farm.

If you or someone you love is retraining themselves, try to help them understand that they need a simple portfolio of work they've done in their transition field of interest in addition to a coding bootcamp certificate. See my posts on portfolios here.

BONUS - listen to my friend Tim Sackett's interview of Nate Ollestad (director of recruiting at Duo Security) as they dig into coding camps and the types of candidates they produce compared to top-name schools. The question, they find, is less about what type of degree a candidate has, and more about what they're doing with it.  Click the link above to hear that interview or just use the player that appears below.

Word.


How to Develop Training For Recruiters with Tim Sackett...

Most companies have a Talent Acquisition function. Guess what they don’t have? Effective training for recruiters. 

I jumped on a Google hangout with the good folks at Meridian Knowledge Solutions and Tim Sackett to talk about best practices in developing training for recruiters. Tim's got great experience at this and among the things we talked about were the following:

—How your training strategy depends on what type of recruiter you’re hiring and the specialization of your recruiting function.

—The most important components of a training platform for recruiters

—How to link training to ongoing coaching and performance management efforts

—Why the right training approach can be viewed as an investment in career development by your recruiters

 Check out the video below for more (email subscribers click through for video!)...


Is Your LinkedIn Game Weak? Here's My Gift To You To Help Fix It...

Some of you have beefing up your LinkedIn profile on your to do list.  This one's for you.

At Kinetix we're givers, and we'd like to hit you with some simple steps you can take to give your LinkedIn Linkedin benchwarmer
profile a facelift. By doing this, you can start taking care of your career by connecting and promoting who you are before you really need a strong professional network. 

Like athletes, not all LinkedIn profiles are created equal and some users end up on the sidelines while other professionals reap real the full benefits of the site. 

Download "Are you a LinkedIn Benchwarmer? 12 Steps to Improve Your LinkedIn Profile Today" and I'll hit you with the following from my marketing team at Kinetix:

1. A breakdown of the three most common types of LinkedIn profiles including "The Franchise" and "The Scrub" as a baseline for you to determine where your profile falls in the LI game.

2. Our 12-Step Playbook for updating and enhancing your LinkedIn profile, packed with screenshots, insider tips from Kinetix recruiters and navigation cues for you to update your profile on the fly. We'll give you all you need to dramatically improve your LinkedIn profile with 20 minutes of work.

3. A checklist we're calling the LinkedIn Leaderboard for you to use when updating your LinkedIn profile, complete with coach's notes and a scorecard to track your progress. Got a team that needs work on LinkedIn? Use this whitepaper and checklist to make it simple related to what they need to do. It's a perfect companion tool for your next meeting focused on individual development.

Download "Are you a LinkedIn Benchwarmer?" and take your LinkedIn profile from benchwarmer to MVP today. 

No registration required.  You click the link and get the paper.  I'll never know you downloaded it unless you look me up and tell me it's awesome.

KD out.


WEBINAR: Your How-To Guide to Weaving Assessment Data into Onboarding and 1-on-1 Coaching Sessions...

If you’re the HR Pro I know you are, you’ve seen the same thing I have. You buy access to a great behavioral assessment platform to be more scientific with your hiring process and selection, then your company forgets about the tool once you make your decision on who to hire.

Sound familiar? Of course it does. That’s why RJ Morris and my FOT crew are back with our latest version of the FOT Webinar, brought to you by our friends at OutMatch. Join us on September 29th at 2pm EDT (1pm FOT-webinar

Central,11am Pacific) for Free Agent Nation - Using Talent Assessments to Build Your Superteam
 and we’ll give you the following goodies:

—Better Onboarding – We’ll serve up a template you can give your managers to cover the results of their behavioral assessment with each new hire, making them feel great about their strengths and aware of some the weaknesses they need to minimize to maximize their success in your organization.  

—Improved 1-on-1 Sessions - We’ll also provide some great talking tracks your manager can use to incorporate each employee’s behavioral strengths and weaknesses into ongoing coaching sessions. If you are trying to make your performance management system stronger through the use of more frequent 1-on–1’s, you won’t want to miss this.

In addition to these great resources, RJ and my team at FOT will also cover how to research/implement assessments (and avoid getting sued) and sell the concept of leveraging external assessments to the company bigwigs if you're thinking about bringing an assessment into your company.  

Join us on September 29th at 2pm EDT (1pm Central, 11am Pacific) for Free Agent Nation - Using Talent Assessments to Build Your Superteam and we’ll give you the plan to get started or do more with the assessments you already have!

REGISTER HERE


Dallas Police Department "De-Escalation Training" Looks a Lot Like Great Training for Managers of People...

It's ironic in the aftermath of the Dallas Police Officer shootings/assassinations that given all the violence, the Dallas Police Department is actually a leader in trying to figure out a better way to de-escalate situations that have historically resulted in shootings.

Let that soak in a bit.

I have to say, I'm digging what they are doing in Dallas with this training.  Work with me through this piece that describes what the DPD's initiative to drop shootings looks like (Italics are from this USA Today Opinion piece, bold with green background represents my comments):

Thanks to deliberate changes in tactics, such as officers training in de-escalation techniques and using less-than-lethal force in situations where they’d previously be instructed to fire weapons, complaints DPD
about overly aggressive policing in Dallas had dropped from more than 150 in 2009 to fewer than 20 last year. And most dramatically, police shootings dropped too.

The root of the change, according to the Dallas Morning News, was aggressive and consistent re-training. Officers did not learn to de-escalate in classrooms. They practiced on the streets. Supervisors used footage from real-events — at least half of all department cars have dash cams, and many officers now have body video cameras— and came up with a set of de-escalation protocols that give officers more time (and more tools) to make judgments about whether to use force.

What's interesting about this is how true it rings for the talent pro in all of us.  More training.  More role play.  Practicing skills as close to live as you can get.  Watching others have success, fail and everything in between.  The incorporation of video.  This is all straight from the 2016 talent pro's notebook.

Time seems to be the key factor; no officer wants to get to the point where he or she has to decide in a split second whether the guy who is fishing through his pockets is reaching for a gun. The department wisely assumed that there will be moments during these confrontations when de-escalation techniques truly can work.

Something as basic as noise levels can affect the environment of a given situation. If officers all shout at the same time, that makes a suspect — hell, it makes anyone — really nervous. If an officer approaches that same suspect with open palms and a calm voice, the suspect will usually reciprocate.

Not always, of course. Officers need to have back-up here, and they will still face those horrible moments when only their guts can be their guide.  But in Dallas, and increasingly in other cities, officers have a goal: unless the suspect is armed with a gun, don’t try to end the situation quickly; try to prolong it. Don’t rush the suspect. Give him space and give him time. The more time the police have to de-escalate, the better the odds that the situation will end without anyone hurt or dying.

Hey! Instead of shouting, let's take our time. Let's let that person be heard. Don't be in a rush when you're dealing with someone in front of you.  Sounds like a best practice in manager of people training, right?  Like cops, managers in Corporate America have become too used to simply using authority as the reason someone should do what they want.  You know the answer - as a cop or a manager of people, but you're going to get a better result if you let the person in front of you participate.

If implicit racial bias still makes the lives of black men, women and children more threatened, then we owe their lives sustained attention. New police techniques and mindfulness help officers see suspects — or perhaps, confused people caught up in chaotic situations — as individuals. And although the evidence is tentative and still needs years of field-testing, it seems to work.

I don't claim to understand what's going on at the heart of all the police shootings, and I'm not here to throw in the cursory, "All Lives Matter" comment to the Black Lives Matter movement.  

What I do know is quality training when I see it - that focuses on participation by all parties in any conversation. I'm sad that those police officers lost their lives. But I'm proud as hell of the Dallas Police Department for being the leader in de-escalation training in response to the trend of too many shootings. 

The leadership in that organization must be smart as hell.


CAPITALIST DEFINITIONS: "Renegade Demo"

From a meeting with a client last week:

Renegade Demo (ˈrenəˌɡād/ˈdemō) - The time when you walk by an office or your cube as a leader in your company and realized your growth has outpaced your ability to properly train new hires at your company, especially those charged with evangelizing your product.

In use: "Damn, it happened again.  I popped into a call the new guy Bill was having with a prospect and his positioning of what we do was all ####ed up. It was another renegade demo. He has no clue and it's probably not his fault. We've got to get our arms around this quick."

There are worse things than growth - like going out of business.  But most companies who go through a growth spurt experience an inflection point when renegade demos are alive and well.  It doesn't have to be a sales position - it can be anyone who interfaces with the customer or prospects. What you used to communicate through small office conversations and personal onboarding is now left unsaid/undone.  You've reached the point in your growth where you can no longer do things the way you did when you were a team of <insert FTE count here> people, and as a result, there's a gap in knowledge and ability to pitch.

Enter the Renegade Demo.

The solution? Stop what you're doing and figure out how you're going to institutionalize the knowledge in your head via an increased commitment to positioning, documentation and yes, training.  You probably need to block out a couple of days this week and get your game together.

You know - like the grown up companies and leaders do. 

 


CAPITALIST WEBINAR: What Game of Thrones Can Teach HR About Coaching Styles and Building Teams!!!

Oh yeah - you've been thinking it was coming, right?  Well, it's here.  

A FOT webinar mashing HR stuff with Game of Thrones.  Curious what we can learn from Jon Snow about coaching malcontents in Halogen Webinar Badge, GTW your organization? Wondering how you can build a great team like the mother of dragons when you started with no FTE's?

“Winter is Coming.” “You Win or You Die.” “You Know Nothing, Jon Snow.”

If you’re a Game of Thrones fan, you know these quotes as parts of iconic conversations from your favorite series. If you’re not a fan of the series (TV or book), you still likely recognize these quotes as fodder from a series that’s made a friend a bit too obsessive.

The team at Fistful of Talent? We view these quotes as coaching conversations. That’s why we’ve built our next webinar around Game of Thrones.  

Join us on May 19th at 2pm Eastern for “RAISING DRAGONS: What Game of Thrones Teaches Us About Performance Coaching and Building Teams,” (click any of the links on this post to register) and we’ll use Castle Black and King’s Landing to explore best practices in performance coaching by giving you the following goodies:

— A quick rundown of the history of Game of Thrones from a leadership perspective. Have a favorite character who’s dead? Whether it’s Ned Stark or Khal Drago, we’ll go rapid fire and tell you what they did well from a coaching perspective, then tell you what dysfunction caused them to be… well… cancelled.

— We’ll feature the 5 most notorious leaders currently alive on the show and break down their coaching style—where they’re strong and where they struggle—with the help of the performance management experts at Halogen Software. Odds are you’ll find a mother of dragons, a short fellow and dire wolf owner in this breakdown. 

— We’ll breakdown the five most common coaching conversations in corporate America today and tell you which Game of Thrones leader your managers should emulate to nail the conversation—so they can maximize their team member’s performance.

We’ll wrap up the webinar by telling you what the coaching styles of the 5 characters featured means for their future—and the future of the teams they lead.

You’ve signed up for enough boring webinars, right? Break the pattern and register for our Game of Thrones webinar, and we’ll deliver the performance management/coaching science with a layer of pop culture you’ve grown to expect from Fistful of Talent.

REGISTER TODAY!