Archives for July 2015

Talent Selection: Skills or Values?

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My world view around phenomenal business success is clearly centered around the “soft” issues of business.

As Tom Peters brilliantly put it: “Soft is hard.  Hard is soft!”

Culture.  Team Work.  Service.  > Strategy.  Planning.  Analysis.

All are important yes.  But if we all hand endless resources we could apply equal pressure to all of them.  But we do not.

Lately I’ve spent an enormous amount of time trying to get the people area right, particularly in the area of NEW talent coming into the business.  And like any area where new energy is applied, you should start to see results emerge, which was the case in this area.

Since putting new pressure on ramping up the hunt for new, great talent, it’s clear that I’ll need a governing principle for selecting among a pool of qualified people.  How to pick among multiple highly qualified candidates?

  • Greatest skill set?
  • Greatest GBE?
  • Greatest personal story?
  • Best match to the job description?
  • Consensus pick among the interview team?  The “vote”?
  • Highest scores among a combination of key criteria?

All are important.  But I came down to one clear acid test:

The person that most closely matches the CORE VALUES of what the company is built around will be the candidate that comes in the door.  Period. 

Skills and job descriptions will always matter.  But the match to core values will be the difference maker.

The challenge for leaders will always be defining core values.  Living them daily.  Creating vivid pictures and stories about why they matter. Who lives them.

Every company is different.  All companies define Core Values differently.  Some seem generic, wordy and could apply to any company on earth.

At my company, LM Foods, our core values are 2 Simple Words:



Subject to interpretation?  Yes.  Crystal clear to everyone inside of the organization?  A work in progress, but getting closer everyday.

For talent selection, be crystal clear that the candidate selected is the superior match on Core Values.  Let this be your #1 difference maker, not the easily measured hard skills. 

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Hustle Case Study: Pitbull

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Education is not only about IF and where you have a degree from, it’s about lifelong learning, and more learning happens OUTSIDE the classroom than inside of it.   

You also don’t need a semester to gain great inspiration and new knowledge, 10 minutes can do the trick. 

Here are 2 Great Talents:  Ryan Seacrest and Pitbull.  A 7 minute interview, and great lessons.

Para-phrasing (Of Course)

  • “Where does the energy come from?”  It’s all about motivation!
  • My mom raised me off Anthony Robins.  I would sit in the car and listen to his lessons.
  • There’s no success without failure.  No success without losing.
  • Does your Hustle and your ability to outwork help?  ABSOLUTELY.  It’s 90% business, 10% talent.
  • On Jennifer Lopez:  She’s a pro.  She show’s up on time, gets the job done and moves on to the next thing.
  • Who makes your suits?  It doesn’t matter what you wear, it’s how you wear it!
  • The only real thing in my life, is real people, so I’m very protective of them.
  • Ryan:  I like to meet friends, greet friends and KEEP friends!
  • What are your other priorities?  Vodka, schools, slam (sports, leadership, management), branding the city with Pit Bull, finding a way to grow and put the puzzle together!
  • I love the Hustle.  Fall.  Get right back up.   

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The Hidden Secret to Rocky’s Success? Relationships

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Spike TV ran a Rocky Marathon on 4th of July, and of course I got sucked in for what had to be the 100th+ time of my life watching the great American Classic.  Like all great movies that get watched over and over, you tend to pick up new lines each time through.  This time was no different.

What struck me more than ever, was the phenomenal impact that Rocky’s managers and friends had on his great life story.

From Mickey, Paulie, Apollo and Tony, Rocky had interesting and deep relationships that shaped his life.  Below are a handful of clips, they also make great conversation starters for team meetings.


Wasted Talent:  Confronting Brutal Realities.  

Woman Weaken Legs:  It’s not just the job at hand, it’s the whole picture.  Throw in a little chicken ass and you have a great moment.  

Mickey:  Church Scene.

Sometimes you just need to say your piece, regardless of what is appropriate.  Than sit back, and be with your guy.  Until the Moment Strikes to get back at it.


“What Are We Waiting For?”

Great managers tell people the truth, even if it isn’t pleasant.  

The most cringe-worthy training scene of the entire series.  Rocky looses his Old School Fundamentals, despite Mickey’s urging to get back to the old gym.  

Friends Owe, or Don’t Owe?  

How can you talk about the success of Rocky without recognizing enemies turned best of friends?  

Apollo creed was in a unique position to train/mentor/support like no other before or after him, but it required a dose of humility.

Rocky & Appolo’s last talk.  They were both right.  Fighting or real life, a talk everyone can relate too.  If you can have a talk like this with one or two friends, consider yourself lucky.  

Rocky 4, Tony.  The New School version of Mickey.  

Even the when the odds seem insurmountable, there is always an angle to find.  

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