Author Eric Herrenkohl joins me for a wide-ranging discussion on building a team of A-Players based on his book "How to Hire A-Players". We discuss the role of Recruiter in Chief, References in our litigious world, and Managing your own career if you are an A-Player. Hope you enjoy.
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Welcome to this Week in Health It where we discuss the news information and emerging thought with leaders from across the healthcare industry. I. My name is Bill Russell, recovering healthcare, c i o and creator of this week in Health. It a set of podcasts and videos dedicated to training and developing the next generation of health IT leaders.
Uh, today I have a special guest, uh, a friend of mine and an author and an expert in the area of, uh, developing, finding and, uh, attracting a players and developing great teams, uh, Eric Al and, uh, . And we're gonna have a little discussion by the pool. Hopefully, hopefully you guys will enjoy it. I'm really focused in right now on this whole topic of, uh, of identifying the best talent, developing them, training them, mentoring them, bringing them along.
And I found a handful of people that I really respect and, uh, wanna share their thoughts with you. So I, I really hope you enjoy it. Uh, this podcast is brought to you by Health Lyrics. Um, wanna start your health IT projects on the right track, or want to turn around a failing project? Let's talk. Visit health lyrics.com to schedule your free consultation.
And now here's the show. So today's guest is one of the, uh, foremost famous people to graduate from Freeman High School and, uh, and, uh, and a friend of mine, the author of How to Hire A Players Eric Herron call, uh, joins us today and, uh, I'm, I'm glad you're here. I've, I've, I've really been, uh, focusing again on hiring, uh, top talent and building out great teams.
And it's just great that you're able to join me. Uh, Join me this week. Oh, this is awesome. So, uh, top four, uh, who are the top three most famous people you might ask? Well, Dwayne Rock Johnson has gotta be number one. Well, he, so, so he's far and away. So who's number two? I asked you? Well, number two has to be Danny Cam.
Daniel Daniel. Day Cam. That's true. Yes, that's true. Right. So he was on lost, he was on Hawaii five. Oh right. Number three has to be Todd Johnson, who of course you don't know. I don't have no idea who that is. He was about three years younger than us, was in the band, but he was the founder of Health Loop and he's been on the show and he was the number one, uh, quote from last year's, uh, show.
Well, there, well, there you go. Congratulations to Todd . Yes, Todd was, uh, I asked Todd, you know, what's, what's the most important thing. For, uh, project success in a health system. And he said, uh, conviction around a thesis. And he said, A lot of health systems lack that conviction around a thesis and, and therefore the projects end up, uh, meandering.
And I thought, well, there's a freedom high school education. That actually, that's good. That's good. That's good stuff. That was really good. So, uh, So Eric, as a little bit of introduction, obviously you wrote this book, how to Hire A Players Available on Amazon. Sure. Uh, out, out there for a while. You've been a, uh, have been an r a an executive recruiter as well.
Yep. Um, not necessarily within healthcare, but um, and, uh, which, which I kinda like, 'cause we can talk, you know, more openly. More openly. That's, that's probably the best way of saying it. And then, uh, And now you've sort of, you're, you're sort of doing the other side of it as well. You're, and much more so of your, uh, coming alongside a players and helping them to find great organizations.
I am right. And working on career strategy and career coaching. And, uh, I, I'm really enjoying that piece of the business as well. Well, that's great. So let's, uh, I mean, let's just start with the open-ended question, which is, uh, . , you know, uh, John Wooden once said, you're only the, the team with the best players usually wins.
Yep. We all know that. I mean, that's just fundamentally, we know if we've ever been on a team or if we've ever managed a great team, we have great success. Um, you know, what, what differentiates the, the leaders that are able to build great teams versus maybe leaders that struggle to build great teams? Yeah.
Well, you know, one of the things, so I, I wrote this book, how to Hire A Players because . Every leader recognizes what you just said. You, you gotta surround yourself with the best talent and the best talent wins. I'll tell you what's really interesting that you find doing executive search is, um, that there are not that many places for an A player to work.
And I've got a great story about this. I was early in my recruiting, uh, career, and I, I had, uh, I was recruiting accountants like out of the big five accounting firms. And I, uh, presented a candidate to a number of different employers and, and one of these, uh, . Employers was like a VP of finance. And I said, listen, you, you, you gotta talk to this woman.
She's like, you know, pastor c p a exam on the first sitting, she skyrocketed through pwc, you know, she's, I mean, she's amazing. And he said, Eric, listen, I, I'll talk to her. But you and I both know there are not that many places for an A player to work . And it was my job at that point to argue with him that that wasn't true.
But I hung up the phone, I thought to myself, You know what, this guy's exactly right. And so one of the things I think that I would say as an outsider, an executive search consultant looking in is most, most organizations are average. Uh, and most leaders are average at best. So if you have, um, a scintilla or two of true leadership ability recognize you have a tremendous competitive advantage, uh, and do the things that you do, I mean, set a vision, you know, uh, hire really good people, don't micromanage 'em.
We, we all know that. I mean, we've all read the books, right? This is, it's not, this is not like this is top secret about what good leadership looks like. I'm just saying. It doesn't happen that much out there. And if you do that among other things, you're creating an environment. You have two or three A players on your team, guess what?
The fourth A player who sees, who sees those two or three is like, I wanna be a part of that team. That's what people want. So it's a big advantage. Yeah. That's interesting. Uh, Toby Cosgrove, uh, former c e o of . Um, Cleveland Clinic essentially said something similar to that. Essentially, he was asked about career advice and he said, find the best organization to be a part of and just go join that organization.
And I, I think part of that is you surrounded as a, let's assume we're all A players as an A player and everyone listening to this as an A player. Uh, as an A player, you wanna surround yourself with other A players. They help you to be better, they help you to think better. And eventually it ends up being a
A great network of people that you can sort of fall back on and have conversations with. No, I, I totally agree with that. I'll tell you the other thing. By and large people do what they see done. Yeah, it's true of kids and it's true of people in the workforce. So you tell me where somebody grew up professionally, and I'll tell you by and large the kind of leader that they are and the lessons that they learned, uh, and the people that they emulated.
So if you can figure out how to get yourself into an organization around people who are worth emulating, uh, even in ways you're not gonna even appreciate, that's gonna pay off. Well, it's interesting. Healthcare. We're, uh, we're becoming a consumer organization, uh, type of organization. And we're starting to hire people from outside.
Mm-hmm. . So if I were to hire somebody from Disney, what would that tell you about that person? Well, I mean, you know what it would tell me about, I mean, Disney obviously has an amazing reputation. I, I will say the converse is also true, right? I mean, one of the lessons I learned. Um, and was taught in executive search is, um, you really want to try to stay away from being cynical, but you have to be highly skeptical.
So, so one of the first things if I was hiring somebody outta Disney was to make sure that the halo effect wasn't in place. Right. Right. I'm not hiring Walt. Right, right. I'm hiring Jim Jones, who has Disney on his resume. Maybe this guy's a total knucklehead, right? I think you do have to be very careful about that.
But obviously there's a whole level of kind of, uh, guest orientation and customer service and all the other things that go along with Disney that you would expect that they would still, 'cause they've been, they've been in that culture and hopefully they've absorbed some of that, right? Same thing with like, say a Southwest Airlines has a great reputation, and you would think that somebody who's come through Southwest Airlines sort of has picked up some of the culture that's there.
Y you, you, you would again, but again, and, you know, without going into too many details, . I think partly Southwest has an amazing reputation from the c e o it used to have. So you just have to make sure that you understand what's going on in an organization today. Again, this is where the skeptical, not cynical kind of comes into play.
Right? So that's interesting. The, uh, Okay, so let's assume, I think it's the, the first, we've talked about this before. I mean, the first thing is make sure you're the best leader you could possibly be. Right? You're, you're, you, you, you know, there's sort of a layer that you are as a leader, and rarely do you hire somebody that's a better leader than you agree.
So that's, that's the sort of the cap on what you're gonna hire. So anytime you can increase that, that's gonna be better. Um, but let's assume that you are a strong leader and you wanna hire some great leaders. Um, how do you, how do you go about doing it? Well, one of the things that I always talk about is the importance of being recruiter in chief and, um, to me recruiter in chief.
Uh, so here's the story that goes along with that. I was given a talk a number of years ago, um, at the Engineers Club, St. Louis, Missouri, um, up on stage and, um, There are, I'd say in the, in the room probably about 99 engineers, aged 24 to 35, kind of seasoned youth and, uh, and, and they're doing yard work next door.
And they're doing yard work next to that's, sorry, which, which would be, uh, which would be par for the course. Last week I was on a golf course and planes were flying overhead and stuff, so, uh, I'm sorry. So Engineers Club? Yeah, so Engineers Club St. Louis, Missouri, uh, ages maybe 24 to 35. I've got 99 engineers that fit that bill.
And then one guy over here to my left. Probably 55 polished, professional, quietly holding cord at his table of eight. And, um, I'm nothing if not curious, so I made sure to make my way over to this guy afterward. And, uh, it introduced myself and, and I kind of was hinted around, but I wanted to figure out why he was there.
And, uh, he said, Eric, that's very simple. I'm recruiter in chief of my business. Yes. And, um, listen, there are a lot of things that going in that, that go into being able to acquire top talent, but one of the things that I would say is to understand . In that if you're the c e o, uh, or the leader of a business unit, on the one hand you're unbelievably busy.
You don't have time to do all the recruiting. I mean that you have a team of people that does that, right? But you cannot delegate the responsibility to be kind of the, the face of your business. And I do think you have a responsibility to be out and about in the communities where talent is hanging out, just meeting people, being available, shaking hands, knowing and being known.
Because among other things we talked about, modeling the importance of modeling. You're modeling that to the leaders who work for you. You got a whole organization that does that, and I think you have the ability to attract a lot more talent. Yeah. So it's interesting. Recruiter in chief, that's, um, that's a, that's a great concept and I, I really took that to heart as a c i o for an organization of getting out there, maintaining my network.
Uh, when I was at conferences, I was always looking for people that just gave a, a phenomenal presentation. Right? Make sure to make the introduction, make sure to know them. One of the things I did for my staff was . Um, each one of them, I sort of gave a part of their review every year and part of their, uh, sort of their score for the year was on their ability to expand their network and to, um, and I mean, no offense against the executive recruiters, but, um, my first, my first bent would be to have my staff go, Hey, I've got five people available for the next job that's coming available.
Absolutely. Um, you know, it saves that money, but it also . Uh, uh, you know, generally speaking, they're partially vetted. I mean, you've listened to them speak, you've talked to some of their peers, you've sat down with them, you've met with them at, you know, three or four conferences, and you sort of have a feel for who they are and, and how they're gonna plug into the organization.
So, I mean, that, that concept. Um, that concept becomes key. What do you, what are you looking for? I mean, one of the phrases you gave me a long time ago, and I've used it a thousand times, which is, uh, you know, past performance is the best indicator of future results, right. I. Um, and so, you know, is it, is it generally just a resume walk where you sort of get it?
Or how do you get deeper into what their past performance is to make sure that you're getting what you think you're getting? Yeah, I mean, you know, I don't, I don't think there's any, um, silver bullet. First of all, answer. One of the things that I will say is that, um, I always ask this question when I'm speaking.
I'll say, uh, so it's, uh, 2019 the United States of America in the litigious society in which we work and live. How many of you believe that references and the the value of a reference check is essentially dead? Dead? And, and I give people a lot of them, and, uh, and half the room at least, will raise their hand.
I totally disagree. the, the well, because if you are in a large organization, you're coached that when you get that phone call, if you ev even if you get that phone call, 'cause now there's higher. Right? Right. A couple other things, but if you get that phone call, the answer is, uh, you know, here's our HR department name, rank, and serial number.
Yeah. Right. I we won't, we don't have to run down the whole reference thing. 'cause your, your question was more about if you have your own staff engaged. Yeah. Here's the point. , this person has worked for somebody, right? Yeah. This person that you're gonna, thinking about interviewing, thinking about hiring, they've worked in an organization probably at this level, probably.
They've worked their . 20 years outta 15 years, I don't know. So somebody knows. Some buddies know whether they're a rock star or a knucklehead, right? It's, it's a known, it's just a question of whether you can tap into that. So the, the number one thing we, that we all look for, again, this is not surprise, is what do people say about this person?
Now, you can't go on one person. Right. Maybe one person may have an a vendet, you know, we know how this works. Yeah. 1, 1, 1 person is, is, is an opinion. Right? Right. And two person is interesting, but three people is, is start to be a trend. And five people is, it's, you know, I mean it's a done deal. So I'm always looking for what people have to say.
And by the way, It's another point of the reason from a networking perspective that we wanna know people because I may not actually be interested in hiring you. I may be interested in hiring Jim, but you know, Jim, so what do you have to say about Jim? That's, that's helpful feedback for me to know. Yeah.
There, there, there are other components of it. Um, I can talk about some of the, what I have found to be some of the kind of core characteristics of across a players, across industries, if that's of interest. Yeah. No, that'll be so, I mean, but just closing that theory out. Yeah. One of the things you challenged me, I think almost a decade ago, you said, you know, ask for six, six references.
And I thought, 'cause at the time everyone was asking for three references. Right. And it was interesting, after I started asking for six references, a couple things happened. One is the number of people I was networked to became bigger . Right. Just outta the shoe. Exactly. Yeah. Um, and invariably when you talk to those six people, you find some good candidates, which is also true.
Very interesting. Yep. Um, but the other thing that happened is it's hard for some people to put six. Isn't that interesting? People together. Isn't that, isn't that fascinating? Yeah. My, my analogy there is that some people are like clear mountain streams and other people are like the Everglades. Wow. Clear Mountain Stream.
I can see right down to the bottom of you. What you see is what you get. Everything I hear from you is what your references say. Everybody's like, oh, bill Russell, awesome guy. Tremendous, absolutely love Bill, love Bill, love Bill, love Bill, love other people. It's like I'm interviewing you. I cannot really get a feel like you've obviously done some good things.
You've been a part of some good organizations. I can't really get a feel for you. And then your references are kind of like, oh, squarely and squishy there. It's you're opaque. That makes me very nervous. Yeah. And so I think it, I think you're absolutely onto something. And the references, by the way, the references end up being a great source of candidates.
That's recruiting 1 0 1. Uh, the first search firm you go to work for. That's one of the things they church you. So, yeah. Well, and if you're gonna be the recruiter in chief, this is the kind of stuff you have to, you have to know and have to, you, you do. And again, I, I really wanna emphasize, I understand that people who have c in their title, right, you're not hired to be a recruiter.
Right. You got 150 other things to do and, you know, but as a strategic advantage to really understand this, If nothing else, if you and your people really understand this process well enough to really be able to partner up with internal recruiting, right? And say, listen, here's the, this is what I'm looking for.
Let's have, let's sit down and have a conversation. Internal recruiting has 35, 35 open job specs per person. Right? And you're basically, you're become a great client. Figure out how to work with them, figure out how to make them work for you, and so that they, you become the person that they give the great candidates to.
And then all the other role, all the other . Departments are the ones they don't pay attention to. This is what happens on this podcast. It sort of gets my mind going at, so talk to me about the job description, because it's interesting to me. You know, I've, I've seen a lot of, um, you know, the executive search, uh, bios and or not bios, executive search.
What are the, what do you call it? The job spec? Yeah, the job spec form. And, uh, and I read some of 'em and I'm, I'm going, that's not what you want. I understand how they got there. It was like, it was like job speced by committee. Right. And everybody sort of just put their thing in and I'm like, If it, if you hire that person, you're not gonna be happy.
It's my first thought. Interesting. Yeah. And it, but the other challenging thing is you get the phone call and they say, Hey, um, yeah, they'd like to talk to you. Your, your resume's really interesting to them and whatever. Mm-hmm. , who do you show up as? I mean, you, it's like, okay, you're trying to hire a tactical c i o who's strategic, who's, and you're looking at it going, alright, so if I'm too strategic, the tactical people are gonna go.
Well, you know, he, he really doesn't understand the blocking tackling of the job, and if you're too tactical, the strategic people are gonna go well, he doesn't understand the trends that are going on in the industry where it's going. Right. Yeah, no, absolutely. Well, one of the things that's happening in that situation is you've got, you know, uh, one hiring manager, but you have three or four at least really significant influencers in the decision, and they all wanna hire different people.
No, no, that's, that's literally what's happening there. You know, a, one of the things I will say about a really good executive search, uh, you know, outside executive search consultant is coming in upfront, upstream and getting everybody on the same page as much as they're is able to say, listen, you, you know, you can't, you, this person doesn't exist.
Right. You're, you're hiring a healthcare, c i o and you want all these things and the, you know, the base comp is whatever it is. First of all, this person doesn't exist, and if you could find them, you, you know, they wouldn't work for you, you'd work for them. , . So, so that, I mean, that's partly when you see a job spec like that, it's reflecting the fact that the organ, the decision makers within the organization have not really gotten on the same page.
And, and the role of the, um, executive search firm . Even though I understand this would be hard, I just thinking the organizations, I've been a part of this, this would be hard. But it's really almost to get everybody in the same room and go, okay, here's what you've described. Let me, let me tell you what you've described in terms of the person and have them sort of Right, fine tune it and prioritization.
Right? I mean, really it's prioritization. Would you take all these things? Yeah. But, but let's, let's stack rank them and figure out what are the things that you absolutely, positively must have. , that's very, I mean, you know, again, kind of pull the curtain a little bit on executive search. That's very important in terms of getting deals closed, right?
Because if you can't get people up front to agree on what the priorities are, then when you get downstream and everybody's like, well I don't know, you know, 'cause this guy you know, eats granola on Thursday mornings and I'm not in favor of that. You're like, Hey listen, we agree the priorities were not the granola, it was these other things.
And so, you know, that's how we're going to actually get the deal done. So I, it's in working with the executive search and then we're gonna flip the page here in a minute. 'cause I. I wanna talk about the a players in the audience who are saying, okay, how do I manage my career? And I wanna come back to that.
Um, but I, I think one of the important things to remember is executive search firms don't work for the candidate. They work for the firm. And we hear this all the time and people go, what? Just remember they. You know, they really work for them. That's who pays them. That's right. But what does that, what does that mean to the candidate?
I mean that they, um, they're really more focused on the, the, the client. They should be focused on the client. Sure. You know, and you and I were talking about this offline. I think it's really important to understand. I. I believe that you can take any job position, any position, and, and, uh, draw it in a pyramid.
At the foundation of the pyramid is the fundamental requirements of the job. Like, you better be able to do this, otherwise you're gonna get fired and fired quick. And then the top of the pyramid are the differentiators, the thing that really make you stand out as an a player. So if you're an executive search consultant, the foundation of the pyramid, you're a broker.
You're brokering stocks, you're brokering pork bellies, you're brokering people. It doesn't matter. You're a broker, you're a deal maker. That's what the job is. There's nothing wrong with it. So executive search consultants are not, you know, they're not, um, nurses, , they're not social workers. They're not, and I'm not, I'm not, I'm not
Glorifying this, I'm just stating the fact they're not really interested by and large in helping people. They're interested in doing deals, so by and large executive search consultants are like, Hey listen, don't call me. I'll call you. You know, I figure I get a particular position open and uh, I'm gonna start, you know, working my target list and calling the people that I think can help me.
And then the only caveat to that is if you're a c, if you're a C-level person or a vp, E v P level person, and I think you've can or will generate business for me down the road, you'll hire me to run searches, then I may put you at the top of my list. I mean, it is what it's, well, that's, that's why I appreciate having you on and not necessarily somebody who's working healthcare right now,
'cause they might be, they'd be concerned about saying that. But that there, there, there's a certain sense of which I, I've experienced that you, you can see it in the industry of people really do the, uh, the search firms . When you call them and they don't have a job per se, they'll essentially say, Hey, it's great talking to you.
Those kind of things. Great. Catching up. Um, but it is almost a we'll call you when Yeah. Something pops up. And by the way, the person that you're calling, the, the, the senior level person at that firm has 40, 50 open jobs at any one time. Really? Oh, yeah. Yeah. They, they, they're, they are, you know, they're the, the, the front people of their own organization.
Right. And they got incredible amount of stuff going on. And by the way, they know you're, when they decide if they decide to call you, are you gonna take their call? . Yeah, because they, yeah, you're gonna take their call because they have a job. Alright, there we go. . That is how it works. So let's, let's talk to, you said how to hire A players.
I guess your next book will be, uh, what to do if you are an A player. , like yeah, you've, you've just found out you're an A player. Now what? Um, because, you know, for, for a players, it's, it is hard to find those, those right companies to work for and more specifically the right leaders to work for. Agreed. Um, so how, I mean, where do you start with 'em?
Yeah. Well one of the things I think is very interesting about interviewing is, uh, it's a skill. Like any other skill, you get better at it, the more you practice. I. So the people who are out looking every three to three and a half years, right? Moving organization and ju you know, hopping, hopping, hopping. I mean, they actually, if they're fairly astute, can get pretty good at interviewing.
What you'll often find with really top people is they're kind of heads down. You know, they're not playing a lot, they're not playing games, they're moving the ball forward. They're having a lot of wins at work. They're getting recognized, getting promoted. But the thing we all have to recognize is sooner or later,
We're all getting fired. , you're getting fired. I'm getting fired. We're all getting fired. Yeah, and well, that's not, and and there's a lot of reasons to get fired. There are a lot of reasons why I am not saying it's gonna be a performance issue, but you're gonna get fired. And the higher you climb up that, uh, organizational chart, guess what?
The closer you're to getting fired. So listen, that's very unpleasant. Nobody likes to live with that kind of reality. If you live with that, you, you let that sink in for a moment and take some time and reflect upon it. It should change your behavior. And that's what I'm talking about in terms of how the, the starting point I think of how a players need to go about thinking about taking control of their own careers.
Um, Should change behaviors but not change behaviors in the way of I need to hold onto this job I, for dear life. No. It changes your behavior in terms of understanding, I probably will interview a, a couple times before I retire and, and be moving jobs. Maybe not every three years, but every Right, six years, every eight years or something to that effect.
You, you wanna know one, here's one very tangible thing. It can change on your monthly calendar. There's some meeting that you didn't take or some association or group. That you didn't attend or some talk that you didn't give, that if you really owned the fact that you're gonna get fired, you would've taken it, right?
'cause you need to keep your, 'cause, you gotta stay out there. You know, um, listen, the vast majority of the population does not like to sell, right? Yeah. And isn't good at it. And that's what we're talking about. It's a sales process. Well, people are, you know, they have an aversion to that, but that's what we're talking about.
You gotta be out there not selling, selling. You just gotta be out there, . And it's senior level people. I think this is the other thing too, please do not tell me that some like, and I'm gonna be blunt here, some out of work group of executives is having a networking group and that you're attending that and that checks the box that no, it doesn't.
Networking with a bunch of people who don't have a job does not count as networking. Networking with people who run organizations, who run businesses, who sit on boards, that counts as networking. And again, just don't fool yourself because I'd rather have you spend, figure out how to spend some time with one organization like that than 10 organizations of mid-level people, uh, or people who aren't employed.
It's a lot more valuable. So, uh, speaking, networking. Um, are we, so you're coaching now these A players on how to, right? I mean, what, what are some other things you've talked about? Yeah. Speaking, networking, sitting on boards. Oh, it's all this stuff. Again, it's not, it's not, it's not rocket science. It's, it's more, to me, and it's not a secret.
It's not a secret, but it's more, but you know, it's one of those things, like, it's fine that it's not a secret, it's just that nobody does it. Not nobody, but, you know, there are a lot of people, the vast majority of people don't do this stuff and don't really know how, how, what's the, how, like how would you go about.
Sitting on a, a board, how would you go about getting that kind of access? But, but if you're a C I O or even an executive within an IT organization within healthcare, there are people who want you to speak. Yeah. And I mean, it's just a matter of, uh, you know, tapping into those groups, uh, writing a, uh, proposal for Chime or for HIMSS or some of that effect.
They'll have you speak. and, and at that point, for most people, the thing to keep a focus on, just make a contribution. I'm not asking you to be a used car salesman, right? Just make a contribution. Like what do you have to contribute to this group, to these leaders, right? Um, do that. Do that on a regular basis.
You wanna do it once a quarter, do it once a quarter. I don't really care. But if you're doing that kind of stuff, you are really differentiating yourself from the vast majority of people who are just inside the box of their current job. Right? Yeah. It's amazing. When we started this podcast, there was like nobody around and then we had the yard guy.
Now we have some other work going on. All I can tell you right now is you've done 90 of these, but I think we found the third one. You're gonna edit
Probably. Um, all right, so we're talking about a players and a players getting out there. Um, so it, it really is nurturing your own career. I mean, you have to, right? You have, you have to own it and understand it. Get out there and, and you're not even talking about, you're definitely not talking about selling because most of these places,
All you're doing is getting out and talking about the good work that you've already done. Right? It's like, you know, I, I, I could talk about cloud computing for the next, right. You know, three hours and, uh, and it would be of value to someone and it would connect me with some people and, and I'm giving back to the industry, right?
As I sort of do that. Can I toss, lemme toss out one other thing that I, just as I'm thinking about the, the executives that I coach right now on career strategy and . We'll do a resume review, um, you know, which I'll do for free and walk people through. Here's another thing to really keep in mind that very few people are really good at, which is, uh, dollarizing your accomplishments.
Dollarizing dollarizing, your accomplishments, meaning this is what you've done. What was the financial impact to the business of doing it? What were the, uh, revenues generated? What were the costs saved? How do you quantify what you did? And the p when you, uh, when you can do that? You have the in ingredients to tell an amazing story.
You have those call me, I'll help you tell a great story. You don't have those. It's, you gotta do a lot of work until you have a great story to tell. Um, if you talk to a great chef, it doesn't matter what the cuisine and say what's the key to an amazing meal, they'll all say the exact same thing, just the best ingredients.
Right? Right. The best ingredients of a phenomenal resume are quantified accomplishments. . And if you are thinking about that now in light of the fact that you're gonna get fired, you know, keeping track of it somehow taking notes to, you know, keeping your own resume updated. I mean, it may sound like a little bit of a morbid effort, but there's gonna come a day when you're gonna be really glad you did So.
Um, So monetizing your accomplishments as you're doing a resume walk. What are resume killers? What are resume, I don't know, like, just things that make 'em stand out? Well, there are fundamental things. I mean, when people, when people are job hopping, hop, hop, hop, and there's no rationale for why. I mean, again, this is, this is this top secret.
This is not top secret, but there there is a question. If you see people do a decline in title and there's no good reason why, Um, or I can't help you to explain why, then that is, uh, you know, a potential issue. Um, but those would be the biggest things I think. I think there are also a lot of reasons why good people end up having almost everybody has some kind of anomaly on their resume.
Some kind of move that looks you just like, I don't really get that, that's not necessarily a killer. Um, but we just had, we have to be able to understand the story, right? And, and you have got to be able to tell the story. Your resume basically is meant to represent you or your LinkedIn profile when you're not in the room.
But as soon as you're in the room, literally or figuratively, as soon as soon as I got you on the phone or a Skype interview or in person, then you gotta take over and you've gotta know how to tell that story in a way that's persuasive. The, uh, we had a executive coach on a couple weeks ago. . And how important is, is having, I don't know, sort of a, a career board of directors or some people that you could sort of bounce things off of.
Like, I'm thinking of going in this direction. I mean, does that become important for people depending on the level they're at? I think, I think definitely. I think there's a lot, a lot of value that, first of all, it makes life better. I mean, 'cause we also call those people Friends. Friends, exactly. , . But, but, you know, so, I mean, one, it makes life better.
But I do think, um, it's hard, you know, when it's you, when you're on the hot seat or, or Korn Ferry's calling you, you know, the, the emotions and the, you know, you need objective people who are not actually kind of, they're not in the line of fire and they're the ones who are able to kind of give you some perspective.
Yeah. I mean, what do you say to the person you just said, you know, that . That job title. Um, when you take a step down, I mean, what you're coaching to somebody who's, who's looking at that right now? I mean, there, there's clearly some instances where people look at it and go, look, my kid's in college. I gotta make the, you know.
Yeah. I've gotta, I mean, there's stories around this that sort of make sense. Um, Okay. But you also understand that this could have ramifications going forward. I mean, what, what do you, how do you coach those people? Well, first of all, in, in that kind of situation, if there truly is a family, uh, issue, there's a, and listen, that whole thing, like my daughter is a sophomore in high school, I cannot reload for three years.
If you're an executive search consultant, you hear that 20 times a day. It's very, very common. Things have really changed in, in the US at least. Where, you know, 40 years ago, 50 years ago, people were just popping their families up and just going anywhere. That's, that has changed. So I think that that in and of itself could be a very reasonable, uh, thing.
Yeah. Um, and then I think it's a question around saying, um, you know, are you still moving the ball forward? And are you still really making an impact and having a difference? And are you maintaining your net, your network? I mean, you're doing all the things to understand that you may not, you're probably not gonna stay there forever.
So what's gonna be next? Beyond that, I mean, do you see people at a certain age within their career start to really shift their priorities and think about things a little differently? I. I mean, let's, so you know, 30 to 30 to 40, you're, you're still driving, you're driving pretty hard, 40 to 50. You might still be driving hard, 50 to 60, maybe not driving as hard and you know, 60 on maybe looking
For something that's a little less. Yeah. I mean, is that, yeah. I mean, by and large. Now again, I will say that I think people who are, uh, you know, if somebody wants to be, you know, is a C-level person and they wanna maintain that, some of those folks are just driving, driving, driving, right. Until they're, that's what it's gonna take till they're 80.
Um, but yeah, I mean, generally I would, I would generally agree with that. I think one of the things that we're really just starting to see now is the fact that, you know, this whole picture of retiring at even 65. I, I think the baby boom is gonna be the first generation that's gonna be as usual, say, uh, I'm not doing that
And, and you know, with, uh, we're talking to healthcare executives here. I mean, if, if healthcare continues to get better and better and people's lives continue to extend, I think we're, we're looking in some, some uncharted territory in terms of what people are gonna do in their work lives in their seventies, uh, in their eighties.
I don't know, you know, so, yeah, that's kind of interesting. I mean, my, uh, my father retired when he was 58, and my father-in-law retired when he was 59. And what I. I can't, Ima Right. I mean, I can't, I just can't even imagine that. Exactly. All right, let's go to the other spectrum. Let's talk about millennials.
Mm-hmm. I wanna hire some, you know, potential A players. They're not ap, I mean they're, they just graduated from college, right? They have have pretty decent resume. They're, uh, you know, they've done some neat internships and that kind of stuff, but how do you identify the millennial, a player? . Well, one of the things that, I don't pretend to be the demography expert, but I think millennial is now technically, you know, no younger than like 26, 25, something like that.
Oh, really? Yeah. Oh, yeah. Yeah. So if you, you know, you, you start looking at, and it changes. I mean, anybody who has kids knows, right? I mean, it, it changes genera year by year, generation by generation. The one thing that I will say, and I say think, I think about this as a parent, is like, listen, . I if you could raise a kid with any level of work ethic, somebody who has had to like actually pay their own bills and make their own way to any degree or extent, you were giving that kid an unbelievable advantage, , because no, nobody's doing it.
At least in the circles that likely, you know, your listeners are moving in. I mean, there's just not, um, so I'm sorry. It was, it was a question about how do you hire those people? Well, how, how do you, how do you identify 'em? So I want to, I mean, it's, it's interesting the way you describe it. It's like, if I know their parents, that's.
Maybe a, a good indicator of, of, uh, you know, of who they, not always , I mean, but I, I don't know what the indicator is when you, you know, you sort of look at, i, I, I guess you could look at it the same way. You look at the normal resume, you say, oh, they had an internship at, you know, at Eminem, Mars. They had an internship at, you know, these are all progressing.
Uh, they took a, a role right outta college. That's, you know, that's pretty challenging. They seem to have gotten promotion. It, it, we're still looking at it the same way. Right. Well, it's a good question. Let me, let me flip it around a little bit and, and say this, let's come back to the initial premise of what we were talking about.
If you're actually a leader, and you know what that means, You know how not only to select people, but to invest in them and develop them. One of the things that I would say that is a principle that it cuts across age groups is a, players are attracted by high standards. My que my story on this is a friend of mine, you know, my friend Mark, um, from Michigan who's gone to be a really, uh, highly effective executive, and he was getting recruited from one big job to an even bigger job at another company and this new company, Uh, wanted him to go through two days of offsite testing with like an iOS psychology firm, which is not fairly standard at those kind of levels, but it must've been new to this company because the HR person at the new company apologized to my friend Mark.
She's like, Hey, I'm really sorry that we're asking you to take all this time. And Mark is like, are you kidding me? Don't apologize. I think it's awesome. Why? Because he literally said, he said to me, it shows that you're serious about hiring a players. And he, you know, in his, in his, he's, he's wonderful. But you know, he, he's, he's not, he's not the most humble person I know.
He, nor should he be, he's good. He's like, Hey, listen, 'cause I'm good and I wanna work with other good people. And so, um, those kind of high standards are really important. Here's my point relative to you're hiring somebody a year or two outta college, don't back down on your standards. Be willing to care about people, invest in them, mentor them, guide them, because there are very few people who are willing to do that.
But say right up front, this is the job, it's, it's this, it's this, it's this, it's this, it's this. If you're not up, no problem. I'm glad to help you make some connections to some other organizations where you might be a better fit because the rock stars are like, I'm coming right at you, man. I mean, I can do that.
They're not, you know, that's, that's part of what we're looking for. Right. But I don't think, I actually don't think that that is, you know, defined to just one age group so we don't have to lower the bar. In fact, that would be, don't lower . Don't lower the bar. Don't lower the bar. You think about yourself.
Yeah. You don't wanna work for any organizations Lowering the bar . You're like, dude, why you're hiring me to help raise the bar? You know, that's what we're doing here. So let's talk about investing and mentoring. So this is a topic that comes up a fair amount and, uh, it, it still strikes me when I hear people talk about succession planning that, uh, C I, CIOs are starting to gray out.
It's our new, um, I, I don't know why it took us so long to recognize this, but if you look around the room of CIOs, you see a lot of gray, uh, gray hair. Not only gray hair, but gray hair who is close to retirement, right? Um, and then invariably I'll ask 'em about succession planning and they go, well, that's not really my job.
I'm like, I, I'm not sure. First of all, I'm not sure I agree with that, and I tell them I'm, I'm not sure I agree with that. It would be, I think your organization would appreciate if they liked the work that you were doing. They'd appreciate the fact that for the last three or four years you have been investing in mentoring and training in the next.
Right. I. Person who's gonna step in there. Um, so that was a big lead up to just asking the same question I asked before, which is, what's, what's the best way to invest and mentor, uh, somebody when you identify the, the talent to maybe go to the next level? Yeah. Well let's, let's ask the question before the question, which is, why are people not doing succession planning?
Because I think we both know there's no lack of articles out there on the importance of it. Yeah. You wanna know why? Because people are afraid to deal with the fact that they're gonna get fired, meaning age is gonna fire 'em. You know, in these big organizations, you, I mean, you know, you know better than I, these big organizations are very political.
They're very tough. You have a C in your title that's not by accident. You worked your butt off to get there. And guess what? You know, there are 10 people who want your title. You want your job. Yeah. You don't, you're not going to, you're not. It says Game of Thrones. You know, , you're, you're not looking to develop the next.
I'm not sure it's that cutthroat, but, uh, yeah, fair enough. Fair enough. It can be Sure. all I'm, all I'm saying is that people at this level, yeah. For those of us who lived through the GE succession planning thing, that was, that was literally Game of Thrones. That was crazy. Or, or any other, I mean, you know, we all have, we both, we all have, we all have stories about early on in our, in our careers, when you kind of first reign into that, you're like, holy, are you kidding me?
Here's my point. People don't do it because they don't want successors. . They're like, I don't want, why would I, if I, I don't know, maybe I'm not ready to retire in a year. Maybe I want to hold on for three to five, you know, may maybe I, uh, maybe I took a second mortgage out on the house and I need, I'm just saying , and, and as a result, you don't wanna make it easy for them to fire you.
Is that what you're saying? That's exactly right. Because you know what all I'm saying? I'm not saying it's the only factor, but here's my point. The, the leaders who will genuinely do that, those are, those people actually are few and far between. So if you're that guy, if you're that gal, who is that person?
Then be that person. Because if you have that confidence of being like, listen. If you wanna fire me, fire me. 'cause I'm doing a great job here and I'm gonna continue to do a great job here, but you fire me. I'll go do a great job for the company down the road. I mean, that's what the best people have that confidence.
If you have that confidence, then you can turn that into your organization and develop great people. And guess what those people want? They want to be developed. They want to be mentored and coached. Yeah. And I think the thing that goes along with that is when that kind of leader goes to the competitor down the street, a whole bunch of people go, Hey, remember me?
When you get there. Well that's, it's one of the things that I always look for in executive search when I'm talking to potential candidates. And I always try to get a feel for that. Who's followed you? Who's, and, and it, again, it doesn't happen all that much, but when I find somebody who's humble, I mean, it has the other characteristics I'm looking for.
And I find somebody who's like, well, yeah, you know, this guy worked for me here and she worked for me there. And I'm always like, that doesn't, it's not definitive, but it's really helpful. . Yeah. And we had, uh, our friend Bob Perkinson a couple weeks ago, and one of the things he likes to say is, the definition of a leader is you have followers, someone who has followers, and he's right.
Uh, followers, they will follow 'em and they'll follow 'em to another organization. Yep. And they will follow them, uh, you know, wherever they end up, even if that's in a different geography. So, and then let me just, let me, let's just . Take a a, a riff off of that for a moment because I have seen this, uh, firsthand in, in executive search.
That person has to be very, very careful about where they go to work next. Because most organizations can't handle them. They can't, and re recruiting is a seduction process. It is. You're testing my editing. No, I don't, don't worry. I'm not gonna cross the line here, man. I'm gonna walk up to the line. I'm not gonna, no.
Recruiting is a seduction process and anybody who's done it knows people love to close the deal. They love to get people bought in, but then, you know, it's like marriage. You're gonna, you know, you're married a long time. What, what's actually, what's it actually gonna be like to be in a relationship if somebody is able to really, uh,
Bring followers, bring people. Th that there's, that, that, that tells you something about who they are. They better be working for somebody who is confident enough and secure enough to have that around. And I have been in situations, unfortunate situations as a search consultant where I brought somebody in who was, who was that?
And the organization just couldn't handle 'em. Now they wouldn't tell this, they wouldn't admit that, and nobody will ever admit it, but they really couldn't handle 'em. And so that person particularly has to be very careful about where they go next. And then the . Organization rejects them as sort of a foreign or organism, it's an organ rejection.
Yeah. And, and makes up a thousand reasons why it didn't work out. Yeah. And, and none of which are about the organization, by the way, , it's all about that guy. Wasn't, didn't, wasn't a good fit. Wasn't this, wasn't that. I'm like, wasn't anything about you guys, right? No, no, no. Couldn't do that. You don't really get to have that conversation, do you?
Well, yeah. I mean, you know, they're the client. , they get to make the decisions. Yeah. But I'm just saying, you know. Yeah. That's interesting. Well, Eric, is, uh, is there a way for people to follow you? I, you're not a huge social media fan, but I mean, yeah. You know what, uh, I mean, . Uh, I'm on out on LinkedIn. That's actually a good way, uh, to find me.
It's, uh, h e r r e n k o h l. Um, that's, that's one good way to find me. Yeah. And the other easy way to follow you or find you is, uh, uh, how to hire a players on Amazon. Uh, finding the top people for your team, even if you don't have a recruiting department. So, uh, I appreciate you coming on the show. Yeah.
As always a good time. Awesome. Appreciate it. Great seeing you. I always appreciate my time with Eric. He's so insightful and has, um, such a great perspective and I, I appreciate him even pulling back the curtain a little bit and showing us what's going on, uh, behind the scenes. Of the, uh, of the process. So, um, hope you enjoyed this show's production of this week in health It.
For more great content, you can check out the website at this week in health it.com or the YouTube channel at this week in health it.com/videos. Easiest way to get there. Thanks for listening. That's all for now.