The Top 100 Movie Quotes for HR Pros: #77 is Danny Ocean ("How Did You Get By The Laser Field?")..

"How did you get by the laser field in the Great Hall?"

-George Clooney as Danny Ocean in "Ocean's 12"

There's a great scene in Ocean's 12 where Danny Ocean is talking with "The Night Fox", his European competition in the high end theft game.  He's going through things the Fox has accomplished that seem beyond the realm of possibility to him.  At one point, he says, "How did you get by the laser field in the Great Hall?", at which point the footage breaks away to show the Fox working on his strength and flexibility, which made beating the lasers possilbe through what I'll call interpretive dance.

After the breakaway clip, the footage comes back to Ocean, who simply says "oh".

He just realized that someone on his team isn't good enough for "the show", which means the highest level of competition.

On Ocean's team, the guy who handles breaking safe and secruity systems is Don Cheadle as Basher Tarr, but the when Ocean asks the question about hte laser field and says "oh" in response, he realizes he's limited.  He's probably also wondering if the Amazing Yen, the acrobat on his team, can come close to handling that as well.

Tarr blows things up and tunnels into them.  He doesn't dance.  Ocean has figured out what he has isn't good enough.  It's called a talent upgrade in the HR game.  

The next time I'm talking to someone about the need to upgrade, I'm going to say "how are you going to get by the laser field in the Great Hall?" 

They'll be confused, but I'll be entertained.  (email subscribers click through for videos below) 


The Top 100 Movie Quotes for HR Pros: #78 is Vince Vaughn on Goal Setting...

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..

“I found that if you have a goal, that you might not reach it. But if you don't have one, then you are never disappointed. And I gotta tell ya, it feels phenomenal.

--Vince Vaughn as Peter La Fleur in Dodgeball

And that, my friends, is why goal setting is such a freaking mess in your organizations.  It's human nature to avoid goals because they create that nasty little thing called accountability.

Your managers avoid them for the same reason.  Plus, they don't like looking like hacks who are simply building lists of things to do.

So we avoid goals and just kind of slink along, right?

We all deserve better.  Figure out a way to make goal setting real in your company - you know, the type of process that actually feels like humans run it.

(email subscribers, click through to see video of Vince Vaughn in Dodgeball below)


The Top 100 Movie Quotes for HR Pros: #79 is Crash Davis: "Strikeouts are Fascist" (Bull Durham)

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..

"Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic..."

--Crash Davis, Bull Durham

It's baseball season, and that means it's time to get Bull Durham back in your talent vocabulary.  We've all had young stars around that wanted to do it all by themselves, take all the credit and generally alienate the team around them.  

Enter the legend of Crash Davis in Bull Durham.  The next time you have a young star who just doesn't understand that getting the rest of the team is important, channel Crash Davis and tell them strikeouts (or any solo performance activity) are boring and borderline fascist (look it up here).  

They should throw some ground balls - it's more democratic and lets others participate.

Crash Davis - mentor and coach.  Clip below...(click here if you can't see it)


The Top 100 Movie Quotes for HR Pros: #82 is "If You Ain't First, You're Last..." (Talladega Nights)

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..

"If you ain't First, You're Last.."

--Reese Bobby, Talladega Nights

I like my HR pros confident and unapologetic for wanting to win.

So what other clip would I choose but Reese Bobby, father of Ricky Bobby, from Talladega Nights - saying "If you ain't first, you're last".

Words to live by.  Later in the movie he says he was high when he wrote that, but that's a post for another day.

Stop apologizing for being amazing, great HR pros out there.  You're different.  It's OK.

You piss excellence.  That's just you being you.


The Top 100 Movie Quotes for HR Pros: #83 is "What The Heck Have You Done Lately?" (Wanted)

Continuing 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..

#84: "What the $#$* Have You Done Lately?""...

--Wesley Gibson, Former Office Drone, now Assassin at Large from the Movie "Wanted"

Haven't seen the movie "Wanted"?  Check it out my friends.  Office drone gets recruited to be an assassin.  Cuts through a bunch of BS to get to what's real.  Morgan Freeman.  Angelina Jolie.  A bunch of organizational-related culture stuff.  Sound like you?  That's what I thought.

One of the best quotes from Wanted is the last line of the film.  At the end of Wanted, Wesley lists off everything he accomplished and then turns to the camera and delivers the quote listed above.  Having Wesley break the fourth wall by directly asking the audience is a perfect ending to the movie.  

Here's the entire quote at the end, video appears below that (email subscribers click through for the video).  It's a great line to come back to when you're feeling sorry for yourself and in a bit of a rut.  And let's face it, we've all been there.  Most of us will be there sometime this month.  PS - stop reading and don't watch the video if language bothers you.

"This is not me following my destiny. This is not me following in my father's footsteps. This is definitely not me saving the world. ...This is not me. This is just a mother-#$#ing decoy.

This is me taking control — from Sloan, from the Fraternity, from Janice, from billing reports, from ergonomic keyboards, from cheating girlfriends and sack-of-shit best-friends. This is me taking back control — of my life. [Breaks the fourth wall, turning to gaze at the audience] What the #$#% have you done lately?"


The Top 100 Movie Quotes for HR Pros: #84 is "Next Question" (Drew Rosenhaus)...

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..

#84: "Next Question""...

--Drew Rosenhaus, uber-agent and Terrell Owens apologist

OK - it's not a movie quote, but as quotes on video go, it's one to remember for sure.  Drew Rosenhaus is a sports agent.  His clients do dumb things.  He knows that it is better that he serve as the spokesperson for them rather than let them talk, even when they're standing behind him.

You - the HR pro - also have to speak on behalf of those who can't be trusted with the microphone.  One key thing to remember is that sometimes you don't want to answer the questions you hear.  While you can't be as direct as Drew, "next question" is a good thing to remember.

Kris, how did you feel about your manager running through all the training you provided, the legal issues and doing what they wanted anyway?

KD - "Next question"...

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The Top 100 Movie Quotes for HR Pros: #85 is "You Know What The Best Part of My Day Is?" (Good Will Hunting)...

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..

#85: "But you know what the best part of my day is? The ten seconds before I knock on your door, 'cause I let myself think I might get there, and you'd be gone. I'd knock on the door and you wouldn't be there. You just left. Now I don't know much, but I know that.""...

--Chuckie Sullivan in Good Will Hunting

In HR, you feel responsible for talent getting treated the right way.  But, humanity is messed up. Sometimes great talent gets trampled on by economics, horrible bosses or other things out of their control - and yours.  Yet they stay.  Maybe they've come to rely on you as a sounding board, so much so that you've told them the best thing they could do is leave.

This conversation pretty much sums that situation up.  The best part of my day?  When I think maybe you finally had enough of the bad situation and freed yourself by becoming a volutary turnover statistic.

Sometimes it's the only way.  Start listening at 2:10 if you don't want to listen to the whole thing (but it's all pretty good).  NSFW with lots of F-bombs, so volume low or earpieces... Email subscribers click through for the video....


The Top 100 Movie Quotes for HR Pros: #86 is "Fight Club's Moved Out of the Basement, It's Now Called Project Mayhem"...

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..

#86: ""Fight Club was the beginning, now it's moved out of the basement, it's called Project Mayhem"...

--Tyler Durden from Fight Club

When do you use this quote as an HR Pro? When someone, who thought you were going to check with them before you did anything, is suddenly suprised that you've moved forward without keeping them in the loop.  

They wanted control.  They wanted you to check in.  You moved forward anyway.  

"That was what we were doing, but we've improved it.  It's called Project Mayhem now."

Using the term "Project Mayhem" adds a little twist to it.  First, it's topical due to the Fight Club reference, and more importantly, it underscores the loss of control the person challenging you feels.

You're a professional.  You know what to do.  You don't need no stinking badges.

Them: "I thought we were going to talk before you started bringing in candidates".

You: "I know we talked about that, but I thought I'd mix some candidates around the team to get started.  Turns out they love Jim and Trudy.  They've probably talked to you about them, right?"

Them: "Yeah, that's why I'm saying I thought we were going to wait until I gave you the green light."

You: "You still control when to hire.  The good news is that your team has a couple of candidates they love."

You're proactive.  You're not simply taking orders on a piece of paper.  Are you?

Order taking was the beginning, now it's moved out of the basement, it's called Project Mayhem.


The Top 100 Movie Quotes for HR Pros: #87 is "These Aren't the Droids You're Looking For"...

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..

#87: "These aren't the Droids you're looking for"...

--Obi-Wan Kenobi from the Star Wars

Jedi mind tricks.  Sometimes you need them as an HR Pro.  You're never in greater need than when someone you know and trust asks you for a reference on someone for whom you can say nothing positive.

You're in a tight spot.  Liability and hurt feelings all around you.  The need to be truthful with someone who's made the request you know and respect.

What should you do?  Don't talk about the person, talk about the role.  What's the job again?  What are you looking for?

Suddenly, an opening appears.  It has nothing to do with the candidate in question, or how they're awful.  You begin speaking in Jedi HR code about "fit" for the position and things that are required that just aren't present in the candidate in question.  Your spin isn't candidate centric, it's position specific.

You need an Account Manager who's going to show up every day and deal with bombs from customers and not get frustrated?

"This isn't the droid you're looking for"... The candidate you asked me about is more of a hunter than a farmer.  Sure, I didn't tell you that he once took a swing at a co-worker in an after hours drink-off and had affairs with two clerks who were married.  You didn't need to know that.

All you needed to know?  This isn't the droid you're looking for.  Move along, Sparky.  I just helped you and maintained my dignity.  Boom.


The Top 100 Movie Quotes for HR Pros: #88 is The Bourne Supremacy: "Get Some Rest, Pam, You Look Tired"..

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..

#88: "Get Some Rest, Pam, You Look Tired"...

--Jason Bourne from the The Bourne Supremacy

You know Bourne... In this scene, he's talking on the phone with CIA op Pam Landy (Joan Allen) who believes he is still somewhere globetrotting. She tells him his real name "David Webb" and asks him to come in from the cold so she can give him more information. He declines, remarking instead on her tired appearance. That's when Landy realizes Bourne has been talking to her the whole time from an adjoining rooftop watching her through a scope.

Why is that a quote for HR pros?  It's really a quote for any professional in the workplace who needs to influence others.  You can be world-class from a technical perspective, know your stuff cold... But at the end of the day, you need to have the ability to influence others.

Ways this quote can influence others when used by HR pros:

1.  To show you care.  A good person you know looks and sounds tired.  You show you care by making that statement.

2.  To be empathetic.  Different than caring.  Use when you know someone is not really cutting it.  Maybe it's not their fault, maybe it is.  Still, you can show empathy by offering up the Bourne statement.

3.  To manipulate.  You're locked in with someone who's done everything in their power to undermine and hurt you professionally.  You tell them to get some rest and make the judgment that they look tired at the end of a standoff that you appear to have won.

        Is there a harsher way to plant doubt in someone than to have a meaningful conversation with         them, but at the end, give them advice that they look and act like they need to get some rest?  

But I digress.  Use the Bourne statement often to those who look like they need to know someone cares or need some empathy in any way.  Pull it out of your pocket every once in awhile if you've locked horns with a borderline enemy, and you're up for a little psychological warfare that says "don't mess with me again".

Clip below.  Remember, use your powers for good, not evil.