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April 2016

The Most Insensitive/Yet Accurate Statement You'll Read This Week on Recruiting Software Developers...

One of the lauded myths of Silicon Valley culture is that anyone can be a tech superstar if they have the talent. That if you just work hard enough, you too can grow up to be a lauded developer.

Take game publisher and former Microsoft developer Alex St. John, who in many ways is a typical example of the kind of talent that thrived in the coding frenzy of the Stjohnmainlate '90s. Largely self-educated and self-taught, he created a Microsoft technology called DirectX (which ultimately lent its name to the Xbox) and now trains Fortune 500 companies on how to recruit the most sought-after men in the field.

That's right - he's now training companies on how to recruit developers.  Here's some gems from a recent presentation. Buckle your seatbelt (see the link to Reddit if you're a sadist):

"You don’t recruit and retain male engineers you recruit and retain Wives and Girlfriends ... The paycheck goes to HER."

"Coding is NEVER work, it’s a calling. People who think it is... aren’t real software engineer. Real engineers want a team and a mission that requires long hours and sacrifice."

"Real engineers don’t value money."

"Long hours and overcoming hardship together binds teams."

"The Young the Old and the Useless. Nothing beats youth for speed and innovation."

"Be on the look out for the holy grail... the undiscovered Asperger's engineer. (usually found on open source forums). They have no social skills. They generally marry the first girl they date"

"Seasoned veteran's, married, 9 kids, severely battle scarred, seen and done it all... need balance in their dotage."

"Sandwiched between the young and untainted and the grizzled war veterans is a vast sea of The MEDIOCRE. 'Balance' is their priority in life... they see their job as WORK."

"The NOT male engineers. Better communication skills often make them better architects, technical writers, QA, or technical support people."

So, that's a lot right? There's a lot of opinions in there that will rattle some people - and St. John is taking a lot of guff from multiple people, including his own daughter.

But you know which statement is incredibly accurate as well as borderline offensive?  This one:

"Be on the look out for the holy grail... the undiscovered Asperger's engineer. (usually found on open source forums). They have no social skills. They generally marry the first girl they date"

 That statement transcends recruitment of developers.  Asperger's aside, the job of any recruiter is to find hidden gems.  People with skills and aptitudes that are undervalued in the marketplace.  They can be undervalued for a variety of reasons, but undervalued is good.

High skill that the market hasn't recognized IS the holy grail - in any industry.  That's why one of my favorite things to do as a recruiter is look for candidates that are undervalued, then give them the next step in their career - effectively giving them a big promotion to join another company.

It's not show friends, it's show business.  And remember I didn't say "Old and Useless" - that was St. John...

WAIT, WE'RE WINNERS? Here's What Bad Engagement Looks Like, In One Simple Picture....

If you're at a company with mixed engagement from employees, you know the reality.  You're trying to do some positive things, but you've got people on the bus that don't care if you succeed or not.  Can they be saved?  I'm not sure.  I've kind of always subscribed to the reality you've got people that are for you, fence-sitters you can convert with some effort and people who are disgruntled to the point they probably can't be saved.

This post is about the disgruntled. Last week, the Houston Rockets (professional basketball) were down 2-0 in a playoff series.  Their star, James Harden, came down the court for a last shot to win a game and make it 2-1.  He made a move, stepped back and hit the game winning shot.  Nice, right?

Here's what the bench looked like just after he hit the game winner (email subscribers click through on the title of the post for pictures and video).


The kids in color rather than black and white?  Those are actually key players for the Rockets.  Let's just say they weren't fully engaged in the positive outcome. #wow

Team chemistry - at your company as well in professional sports - is a fragile thing.  There are many contributing factors to chemistry and the resulting engagement you get from the team. Some you control, some are a mix of interactions across the talent you bring in, and some are the responsibility of the employee.  I'd tell you if you see reactions like this after your company gets a big win, you might not need to get rid of all three of the employees in red above, but someone probably needs to go.

What about the guy jumping to the right in celebration mode?  Silly rookie/new hire.  Always with the rah/rah..  He'll learn.

If you need context to the image, the video appears below. (click through if you don't see it)  My favorite part?  The headband guy catches himself and starts giving a slow clap.  To the trained eye, that means while he might be part of the problem now, he could be part of the solution.  But only if you get rid of the guy to his left/our right.

Worried About Your Best Employees Starting Their Own Businesses? Trap Them With An Internal Incubator...

If you're like a lot of companies, one of the biggest threats to losing your top talent - the best of the best - is those individuals leaving to start their own companies.

It's a 1% problem.  Only the most talented people have the means and the courage to leave to do this.  The problem is that often times that 1% creates a lot of value - much more than the 1% that shows up on the FTE report.  

What do you do with that?  One problem a lot of us have is that these folks try to have their cake and eat it to - starting side businesses while they are still working for your company.  That doesn't feel good to a lot of companies or bosses.  If you get wind that's happening, you basically have 3 choices:

--You can suck it up and hope their business fails and they stay with you, 

--You can become a hard-ass and put out strong policies against moonlighting in similar jobs/industries, 


--You can be like Google and get ahead of it and start your own incubator to let them work through their ideas while they still work for you.

More on Google's Incubator plan from a source called The Information: Sergeybrin

"Sundar Pichai has a new plan to stop Google employees from jumping ship to start companies: Create a startup incubator within Google.

Dubbed “Area 120,” the incubator will be overseen by long-time Google executives Don Harrison and Bradley Horowitz, according to people familiar with the project. The two discussed the new group at a recent all-hands meeting.

Google teams will apply to join the incubator full-time for several months, submitting a particular business plan. After that, they’ll get the chance to pitch Google for term sheets for further funding and to establish a new company with Google as an investor.

Area 120—sometimes called just 120—will have a space inside one of Google’s newest San Francisco office buildings. Executives are hoping that it both keeps entrepreneurial employees at Google longer and also stokes big new ideas the company should be working on.

In recent years, Google has watched many fast growing startups slip into rivals’ hands, notably Instagram, founded by a former Googler, and WhatsApp, which Google had its eye on.

And the company remains paranoid about missing the next crop. The creation of Alphabet itself—which is designed to house entrepreneurs like Nest’s Tony Fadell who don’t want to work inside of Google corporate—is trying to do something similar."

If you watch Silicon Valley on HBO, you know that the culture of tech at the top levels of talent is often working for a big, seemingly progressive company but always keeping an eye on the next big thing.

The cynic in me feels like the plan is perfect for Google.  If we like your idea, submit for inclusion in the incubator. If we like it enough, we'll let you work on it for a couple of months after which time you can submit for more funding, etc.  But you've tipped your hand to our company.  We now know your idea, have had a chance to evaluate whether there's enough of a kernel there to invest - basically let you work on your thing rather than your day job.

And lord knows what you signed away related to future rights to your idea when you sought initial inclusion in the incubator - whether you are allowed to continue or not.

Remember Google's 20% rule?  The one where you spent 20% of your time working on what you wanted?  I'm guessing the best ideas never got worked in that time, and word on the street is that a lot of managers are ignoring the 20% rule and they seek to execute business plans in a tougher environment for Google.

Me? I love the play for Google. Smart.

But I hate it for the employee with the big idea. Reminds me of this scene from Silicon Valley.  Keep your idea or get paid?  Tough choice.


Curt Schilling, Gender-Free Bathrooms and Free Speech For Employees...

Here's your latest dispatch from the world to remind your employees and the ones you love that while they have the right to free speech, it doesn't guarantee they can't be fired...

Curt Schilling, attention hound and baseball commentator on ESPN, was fired last week for comments perceived to be derogatory to transgender people.  I'll let the New York Times break it down for you:

"Schilling, who had worked for the network since 2010 and most recently offered analysis on “Monday Night Baseball,” was dismissed after sharing a Facebook post this week that appeared to respond to the North Carolina law that bars transgender people from using bathrooms and locker rooms that do not correspond with their birth genders.

The post showed an overweight man wearing a wig and women’s clothing with parts of the T-shirt cut out to expose his breasts. It says: “LET HIM IN! to the restroom with your daughter or else you’re a narrow-minded, judgmental, unloving racist bigot who needs to die.”

To that, Schilling added: “A man is a man no matter what they call themselves. I don’t care what they are, who they sleep with, men’s room was designed for the penis, women’s not so much. Now you need laws telling us differently? Pathetic.”

It didn't take long for ESPN to respond:

ESPN is an inclusive company,” ESPN said in a statement. “Curt Schilling has been advised that his conduct was unacceptable and his employment with ESPN has been terminated.” Schilling

At issue here is the disconnect between employment and free speech. A lot of people think that free speech in America means they ought to be able to say anything they want - and as long as their performance is good, their employment should have nothing to do with ideas they share as an individual.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Your broad professional conduct policy likely give you the right to fire anyone you want-if they make statements that make others around them at work uncomfortable.

It's a good reminder to talk openly and honestly during your onboarding or orientation process about what your policies could mean related to free speech.  It probably goes something like this:

"We believe in free speech and will support you exercising those rights as an individual. However, please note that just because you have that right doesn't mean we won't fire you for something you say. Want to know where the line is? Sorry - we can't tell you.  That's where your judgement comes in."

On a personal note, I don't have any transgender friends that I'm aware of.  I find myself in the middle ground of a lot of these issues.  As a pragmatic, practical sort, I can want everyone to feel comfortable with who they are. Then the world gets in the way.  On this single issue, you need look no further than the YMCA locker room.

The average men's YMCA locker room is a freak show. Dudes walking around without towels. Shaving naked.  The type of stuff where most Americans aware of the state of this locker room ponder whether they want a young kid to go in by himself.

And it's this circumstance that makes things complicated in America.   Here's some other thoughts of similar nature from Linda Chavez at the New York Post:

"When I go to the gym, do I have the right to expect I’ll only see other female bodies showering and dressing and that only other biological females will see me doing those things?

If a man is standing at a public urinal, does he have the right to expect that everyone who enters has the same biology?

At my local YMCA, a sign outside the women’s dressing room cautions that boys older than 6 are excluded, and I’ve never seen an adult male take a female child of any age into the men’s dressing room.

A family dressing room is available, which presumably offers privacy for those who can’t meet the parameters. A similar accommodation could be made for transgender individuals, but the LGBT community has rejected this compromise."

Good luck on there on the bathroom issue from an HR standpoint.  I suspect like with many things, we'll allow state laws to guide us on what's acceptable.  This one is complicated.

Repetition and Your Recruiting Brand: Maybe You SHOULD Put On The Red Light...

Roxanne, you don't have to put on the red light
Roxanne, you don't have to put on the red light
Roxanne, (you don't have to put on the red light)
Roxanne... (put on the red light)
Roxanne... (put on the red light)
Roxanne... (put on the red light)
Roxanne... (put on the red light)

-The Police

I'm in LA early next week to speak at a CareerBuilder conference.  Here's three slides from that deck (email subscribers click through for images if you don't see them).  Take a look and let's talk after the jump:

Screen Shot 2016-04-22 at 11.39.16 AM

Screen Shot 2016-04-22 at 11.39.27 AM

Screen Shot 2016-04-22 at 11.39.37 AM

The point - and there is one - is that you and me live our employment/recruiting brands every day.  As a result of that daily fixation, we get tired of the brand and it's features.  But as we grow tired, we forget a couple of important things:

1. We're exposed to the brand every day and almost every hour.

2. No one we're interested in recruiting sees our brand that much. We're lucky to get them interested enough in an open position to take a look at our company, and for most candidates, that's the only time this year they'll engage with our brand.

Agree? Good. The next thing you have to think about it repetition of your employment brand in the marketplace. Because as we get tired of our brand, we're afraid to share some of our marketing materials in the marketplace on a repetitive basis.  We're wrong - we should be doubling down.  Things to consider:

1. If your employment brand elements are good, it doesn't matter how many times you share them. You think people of influence are seeing them every time you share them on social - they're not.

2. Simple works. The Police song reference in the images above is iconic, and it's primary features are singing "Roxanne" 100 times and telling the aforementioned gal that she "doesn't have to put on the red light" in a few different ways.

The lesson - other than Sting being a stand up guy - is that you should spend a lot of time on your brand and hone it down to simple elements. So much so that stupid people will tell you it seems like the brand took 5 minutes for you to create. Don't worry about those people - if your messaging is good, it's supposed to be simple.  They're morons.

Then pump that brand in a repetitive way without apology.  Side note - if you're going to pump it in that repetitive way - it needs to not suck.

Up Next Week - How "Message in a Bottle" made me a better recruiter.

Entrepreneurial Life in the USA is Complicated - Here's a Snapshot of Why....

I've got a saying that goes something like this:

"The best thing about America is that anyone with a good idea can start a company. The worst thing about America is a lot of them do..."

Let me explain that comment a bit.  You have entrepreneurial people in your company and your life.  Some of you best people think Silicon valleythey are destined to start their own business, even if their Behavioral profiles tell them (and you) that would result in the life equivalent of a dumpster fire.

Not everyone is cut out to do their own thing.  In fact, most aren't.

Combine that reality with the fact that entrepreneurial life in American is uber-competitive, and you've got the prospect of wrecked lives and retirement accounts.

How competitive is it in America?  Consider the study Ongig released a couple of weeks ago – The Top 70 Applicant Tracking Systems of 2016. I found this study via the aptly-named Tim Sackett Project and here's what Tim had to say to set up the study:

This study is based on around 3300 employers around the world, most in the U.S.  To put that into perspective, there are over 200,000 employers in the U.S. alone with over 100 employees.

I use 100 employees, because once you get to that magic 100 employee number, usually at that point we see companies begin to purchase their first real HR technology – HR System of Record and an ATS. So, it’s a pretty limited sample, but better than anything else you’ll find, plus, it’s a good list of a possible 70 ATSs to take a look at. Also, realize, and I don’t have an exact number, but I would be there are well over 500 ATS systems on the market right now.

A lot of your best employees think they need to go start a company.  This study shows the freak show of competition that exists in America.  Here's the market share of the top companies that represent the tip of the spear when it comes to 500+ ATS providers:

ATS 2015 Share
Taleo 36.43%
Homegrown 11.10%
Jobvite 8.58%
Kenexa – Brassring 7.56%
iCims 6.39%
ADP 4.79%
SAP-SuccessFactors 3.72%
PeopleFluent (Formerly PeopleClick) 2.52%
Silkroad 2.27%
iRecruitment/PeopleSoft 1.74%
Ultipro 1.67%
Greenhouse 1.67%
HRDepartment 1.28%
Newton Software 0.78%
Jobscore 0.50%
Lumesse 0.50%
WorkDay 0.46%
Lever 0.46%
PeopleAnswers 0.46%
Kronos 0.39%
Jazz.co 0.39%
HRSmart 0.39%
MyStaffingPro 0.35%
ContactHR 0.32%
Ceridian 0.32%
HireBridge 0.28%
PCRecruiter.com 0.28%
Force.com 0.25%
HealthCareResource 0.25%
ApplicantPro 0.21%
ATS OnDemand 0.21%
ApplicantStack 0.21%
HRMDirect 0.21%
eRecruiting 0.18%
Cornertone OnDemand 0.18%
Smartrecruiter 0.18%
CATS ATS 0.14%
SmartSearch 0.14%
Luceo 0.14%
Pereless 0.14%
Bird Dog 0.11%
GlobalSuccessor 0.11%
Hiredesk 0.11%
iApplicants 0.11%
TrueBlue 0.11%
Hyrell 0.11%
Bullhorn 0.11%
JobScience 0.11%
Vitae 0.11%
ResumeWare 0.11%
Navicus 0.07%
RecruiterBox 0.07%
Workable 0.07%
Recruiting.com 0.07%
Snaphire 0.07%
Tribepad 0.07%
ClearCompany 0.04%
Jobstreet 0.04%
Konetic 0.04%
Njoyn 0.04%
Selctrak 0.04%
SpeediARMS 0.04%
HireRabbit 0.04%
JJ Keller 0.04%
netMedia 0.04%
NovaHire 0.04%
PracticeMatch 0.04%
TeamWorkOnline 0.04%
PeopleAdmin 0.04%

The point here is that unless your employees have a truly novel idea which they can combine with access to capital, they basically have a very limited shot at being successful in starting a business.  True, this is one snapshot, but capital flows to areas of existing and potential need via the efficiency of the marketplace.  Most segments any high potential employee is looking at to start a business will look like this.

If the segment doesn't look like this, you have to question whether theres' a market for the product/service in question.

So let's do some math.  Let's say you're HireRabbit with .04% market share.  Most of the players downstream in this market are going to be SasS companies with limited barriers for customers to get started.  Let's be generous and say HireRabbit is going to get 5K in revenue per customer.  Do the math based on Tim's numbers (200,000 companies) X .04% and you get a customer list of 800 clients.  Do the math and that's annual revenue of $4M.

Then remember this is a company that is well into the top quartile of 500 ATS companies.  Your employee has a great idea to start an ATS - a better way to do applicant tracking.  Is the dream this level?  Probably not.  What's market share look like in quartile 2?  Quartile 3?

Most other ideas enter into similar markets related to competition.  They have to, or the idea is generally not viable.

If you're coaching your star on the math related to starting their own company, you might want to share this.

Of course, it's America.  They can do their own thing.   #AmericaHeckYeah

Letting Others Win Is The Best Change Management Strategy...

Let's face it.  Where you work is an absolute freak show.  If it's not a freak show, you ought to look around - because your company is milking a legacy position in your industry that feels comfortable today - but there's likely a nimble shop who isn't afraid of change that's getting ready to rip you up in the next 1-3 years.

Back to the freak show.  It's not a freak show at your company because you don't have good people. It's a freak show because that's the way business - and humanity - operates.  Your business can't invest in front of the need.  People are hopelessly flawed, gossipy and fully of flaws that make them human.

As a result of that, there's bad stuff that you have to deal with in your business. The point of this post is how you deal with that freak show goes a long way in determining what type of manager of people you are.

Here's the choices you have when dealing with change at your company:

1. Ignore it.  Always dangerous.  The default choice for a lot of people. The flaws of humanity will come for you on a daily basis.  The situation will decay.  It's like a zombie movie if you choose to hide - they more you ignore the problem, the more people (or zombies) are coming after you.

2. Deal with the change "Iron-Fist" style. This is better than ignoring the negatives of the chaos you see around you.  You see chaos and you know what can be done to deal with it, but it might mean bad outcomes for some of the people around you. Too bad - you've got a job to do and you know what needs to happen - so you tell people what the decision is and if they don't like the taste, they can leave.

3. Spend time having meaningful conversations with team members and let them find wins as you guide them to what the answers are related to making the freak show better.  This is the best choice.

When you look at that breakdown, it actually identifies personas for managers of people helping their teams deal with change.

The best managers take the time to listen and try to find ways for people impacted by change to win.  Sometimes it's a tangible win.  Sometimes the win for the people around them is that the manager actually took the time to listen and ask for recommendations related to what might work to make things better.

Letting the people you manage win related to all the change around you is hard.  You probably know the answers. It takes time to have conversations that make them feel like they win related to organizational change.

But taking the time to find those wins is really the only way you can make people feel good about change.  No one likes change. 

But change is the only constant related to that freak show that is your company.  The best managers understand that reality and spend the time - even if they know the answers.

Authoritarians: Why They Suck As Managers...

"There is an essential cowardice in all authoritarians, which becomes more obvious as they tighten their grip."

-Charles Pierce on David Stern at Grantland

I love this quote I picked up, because there are so many levels you can explore.  And also because Authjority it's true.

Authoritarians suck as managers.  Let me more specific -  Authoritarians suck as developers of people, or as the PhDs say, "human capital".

There's still a market for authoritarians as managers.  In any business that has a low need for innovation and a high need for compliance/rule-following, authoritarians can still thrive - even in 2016.

But if your business has any need at all for innovation, change management or any other need besides compliance, authoritarians suck as managers.  Let's explore why:

1. Authoritarians don't care about the development of people.  They might say they do, but they don't.  Did you follow the rules?  Cool.  You didn't?  I'm going to beat that wrist of yours with this stick.

2. Authoritarians can't handle moderate risk-taking, no matter how much the people that work for them might learn. See the above notes for why.

3. Career conversations don't compute with authoritarians.  All they care about is the aforementioned grip on your organization.  They're never going to be confused as a mentor.  

4. Cowardice is a great word to describe authoritarians.  They can't allow or handle different paths to a similar outcome and all the learning that goes with it.  They're scared because of the way they are wired to allow any type of experimentation.

Don't hire authoritarians if you want an agile, nimble company that can innovate and change as needed.  

Or if you want people mentored and developed.

I'm out.

Should Professionalism Of LinkedIn Photos Matter?

Only if you're concerned about being judged on a daily basis.

I kid - but then again, I don't.

There's an interesting thread going on on LinkedIn now - click here to see the entire conversation.  Basically, it goes like this - female makes it through the probationary period and is hired full time by the company in question.  Company takes a photo and congratulates employee on "making it".  

Of course, at issue is the photo of the female employee.  There's some exposure in the chest area, a pose that seems more model than professional recruiter, etc.  And if you click back and dig into the comments, the boo birds came out.

Take a look - what do you think?  Here's what I think:

1. LinkedIn is increasingly becoming more like Facebook.  If you expect a high degree of professionalism, you're likely to be disappointed.  If you're OK with LinkedIn looking a lot like life, you'll never be disappointed.

2. I'm OK with the pretty people showing they're pretty. Welcome to the world we live in.  More attractive professionals have some advantages that average looking people don't have.

3. If you choose to use the fact you're attractive and use a profile picture that's less than 100% professional, you just have to accept that there will be some haters of that approach.

4. Any time you polarize people with your LinkedIn profile picture, there's pros and cons to the approach. Some people are going to be more interested in you due to your looks.  Others are going to judge you ruthlessly and be critical. Is that good or bad? Depends who your audience is. 

5. There's always going to be more criticism of women rather than men related to how appearance is used to benefit someone professionally. 

Of course, I'm the victim of people hating me just because I have a high level of attractiveness.

I kid. When people hate me, it's usually because they think I'm a jerk. No one's ever been critical of me for my good looks.  But it could happen - and I just need to be prepared for that day.

MAMBA OUT: When Leaving Your Company, You Should Go Out Doing What Made You Special...

In case you missed it, professional basketball's Kobe Bryant played his last game this week (April 13, 2016).  Kobe's been in decline from a skill perspective for a couple of years - and it was time for him to go.

One of the things that made Kobe unique was the fact that he was an unapologetic "gunner".  He never met a Kobe shot he didn't like or would take and he was often portrayed as an over-aggressive individual and consistently bad teammate.

But if there's one thing that Kobe always did well, it was staying true to who he was - without remorse or apology.  He was a shooter/scorer first and foremost.  That's why what happened in his last game is interesting from a talent perspective.  More on Kobe's last game and him not giving a #### from Rolling Stone:

Sports superstars are image conscious almost to a fault, and basketball players perhaps most of all, because they're completely exposed on the court. Unlike other athletes, they can't hide behind pads or helmets.  

So they carefully cultivate a public persona, create a character for the cameras. This can take the form of a scrubbed spotlessness, a kind of high-sheen Dudley Do-Righteousness (Michael Jordan, Steph Curry), or it can angle toward darker anti-heroism (Allen Iverson, Russell Westbrook), but either way it is manifestly – and sometimes exhaustively – conscious.

These labels are subject to change, especially once a player's career is over, but we've rarely seen a star's image evolve as steadily and surely as Kobe Bryant's. At this point, one of Kobe's most appealing qualities is that he simply doesn't give a f**k, but the truth is, he never has, and it's always been this way, no matter how it's been packaged.

Bryant's game hasn't so much lost focus as it's been twisted into something worn but nevertheless deadly. And nothing embodies that quite like as his final game against the Utah Jazz.

Like a notched and dented broadsword, a record played so often you know where every skip and scratch is, an action figure with joints so worn he can no longer really stand, Kobe's all-shooting, all-clutch finale was familiar and everyone at Staples Center loved it. He attempted 50 shots and scored 60 points, the most this NBA season, making him the oldest player to score 60, the most by any player in their final game. And oh yeah, he pulled the Lakers back into it and got the win.

It's a striking ending for a medium where we're accustomed to winning, but it's true to life, and it's true to the end Kobe wrote for himself. The Lakers won, but it doesn't extend the season, doesn't give Kobe another chapter. The most any of us should wish for is to go down gunning and that's precisely what Kobe did. And he gave zero f**ks whilst doing so. Well done, Master Mamba.

Here's what this means for you and I.  When the end comes at your company - whether you're voluntarily leaving or you've impacted by a reorganization that allows you to stay in your role for a month or two - WE SHOULD GO DOWN SHOOTING AND SWINGING.  That doesn't have to be negative.  

Your role in your final days - if you want to be remembered as a talented person - is to go down shooting like Kobe.  Whatever your special skills are, you should use them as much as possible in your final days.  Good at pressuring people to do things they don't want to do?  Do more of that.  Good at blowing people up so the greater good in your organization is served?  More please.  Good at making your team feel good about themselves and full of positive self-esteem?  Don't stop. Do more of it.

It's easy to coast and mail it in when you're leaving your company. But all that does is remind people that you're average - even when you're not.

Kobe - long in the tooth and without much physical skill to speak of - decided to go out in a Blaze of Glory with what he does best - taking shots that people who care what others think wouldn't take in a million years.  As a result, we'll remember him forever as someone who was special.  The final exclamation point in his career carries with it a good bit of recency effect - wiping out the impact of an awful performance year for Bryant.

So the next time you're leaving a company - remember Kobe. Go out doing more of what made you special of times in your final days.

Depending on what that skill is, people might not be happy - but they'll be forced to give you your due for what made you unique.

Just like Kobe.