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Guys On HGTV's House Hunters: Just Like Your Over-Educated New Manager Who's Never Managed...

How many of you have watched House Hunters on HGTV?  That's what I thought, nearly everyone.  As a guy, I can guess that if you're married to a gal that you own real estate with, the TV stops on House Hunters often.  Or your wife is DVR-ing House Hunters - because let's face it, seeing what that first time home buyer with 200K in Toronto is going to do is pretty important in the big scheme of things, right?

But I digress - I gladly play along with Ms. Dunn when the remote stops on House Hunters.  It's all good.  There's just this one little thing that is driving me crazy about the show. HouseHunters2

Here's the profile that's driving me insane.  Couple is a first time homebuyer, and the GUY proceeds to whine about what he can't get for his money in EVERY home they go in.  They've got 200K to spend in Toronto, and he's bitching about the fact that he can't have a completely renovated kitchen with stainless steel applicances.  He doesn't like the "flow" from the kitchen to the living room.  You get the drift.  His wife is the practical one, wearing the... wait for it... big boy pants in the family.  He's a first time homebuyer and everything he learned, he learned from....wait for it again - House Hunters.

Dude, you've got 200K to spend in Toronto.  You're lucky you're not living in a trailer on the lake.

Here's your connection to human capital.  That House Hunter guy is exactly like the overeducated, over-read new manager at your company.  Maybe that person is part of a manager training program, maybe they were a high performer in an individual contributor role and you just promoted them to be a manager of people.

Now they're complaining about the tools you have in place to manage people.  They don't think you're doing enough from a training investment perspective for them or the people they manage.  They just forwarded you that article from the Harvard Business Review about developing competency maps for the organization as part of the human capital strategy.  They're vocal about what they need, and more to the point, what you don't provide.

Meanwhile, they've managed people for about 2 months.  They are the organizational equivalent of the whiny first time home buyer with 200K in Toronto.  Like Jed Clampett used to say, they've got a lot of "book learnin".  Unfortunately, they're focused on what's not present related to what they've learned in theoretical environments rather than being intent to learn everything they can by engaging their team on a day to day basis.

The best way to deal with the House Hunter guy and that new manager?  Hand the House Hunter guy a hammer and a map to Home Depot.  Redirect the new manager to what he's doing with his team with the tools and resources he has rather that worrying about macro-strategies.

And for the love of Jeremy Lin, please stop talking out loud about the "flow" of the second floor of a house, House Hunter guy.  Compare and contrast.  Make a decision and shut up about what you can't have for your money.

Man up.


Steve Gifford

So this makes Sandra Rinomato an HR manager, then? It actually makes sense; the realtor is the person who has to get expectations back down to, well, reality.

Steve Boese

I liked the piece, but I am really waiting for KD's 'Real Housewives' re-set. I have a feeling he is watching. It is not too far a fall from HGTV down to the Bravo network.

And don't ask me how I know the Real Housewives are on Bravo...


Real Housewives is the HR equivalent of succession planning. The "wealthy it couples" strategizing on who to let in to the "click" and who to backstab.

As in business, this dude probably won't get the point until his wife threatens to divorce him...

Karen Kerr

OMG I had to quit watching that show. They are sooooo whiny and entitled.

Now I'm watching arrogant chefs on Chopped. Metaphor for HR.... Topgrading?


I don't watch it "but my wife does" - my FacePalm goes primarily to the man or woman who nixes a house because of the paint color. My TV analog to the HM who nixes (or hires) on "a gut feeling". Sigh.


Dealing with House Hunter guy when you are in HR at work is a nightmare! Too often we are forced to play the practical wife wearing the pants in the family when what we really want to do is give him a Real Housewives smackdown.

Thanks, KD, for the analogy and the advice.


I like A&E's "Sell That House!" Tough love via hidden camera for the sellers, getting them to clear out the clutter and fix up the eyesore so that potential buyers can be swayed into making an offer.

Is it a metaphor for recruiting? Hmm. Thanks for the thought-provoking post this morning!

Steam Shower

Some people are so caught up in finding the perfect house to buy that they over the opportunity of buying real estate that fits their needs. With a few minor alterations the perfect home may be right under a buyers nose and they do not see it. When buying a house be open to the suggestions of the realtor and be willing to accept a 95 percent perfect house.

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