- Positive Polarity Podcast
Are YOU Indispensable? How to Find, Position & Project Your Areas of Professional Genius
As the founder of WarHorse Talent, Mark Boeder has been professionally leveraging LinkedIn for networking and recruiting for 12 years, since 2004. Mark realized the power of his LinkedIn Profile very early on; he leveraged his profile to attract the right people and businesses and acquired every consecutive job he held through LinkedIn until he launched his own recruiting business. He understands what to put out there to be found by the people you want to work with.
Now, Mark applies his expertise, skills, and perspective as a Social Recruiter and LinkedIn expert to help people tell their brand stories. Mark and his team at WarHorse offer LinkedIn Profile Optimization, Executive Summary writing services, and interview coaching.
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warhorsetalent.com (Company Website)
I've got to ask right away about the War Horse piece. Where did that come from?
Well, it goes back to 2014, maybe a couple of years before, but I was in the process of moving into working as an independent out on my own. And I met up with a gentleman who used to be a competitor of mine. We had lunch together, and I was doing recruiting. He was also an independent guy. He was doing sales. So, we were looking for ways to work together, and we hadn't mapped or talked for a number of years. I remember very clearly it was a May day, sunny out, but pretty cold. And we were walking across the parking lot after lunch, and the gentleman's name was Bob Berger. And I looked at him as we walk across, and I said, so just look at us, Bob, a couple of old warhorses, still doing it in this business in a big way. Right? And it was like a flash of insight because I had been casting about, for a name.
And so that name, my logo, is part of everything that I do now. So, we're Warhorse Talent, my branding and company where I coach people in job search and networking. And then Warhorse executive search wares company that I do executive recruiting. At the beginning, there were a few people said, Oh, that's not a good logo. People will think you're old and everything else. And that's not what a warhorse is. A warhorse actually is not old, and a warhorse keeps on bringing it to the table. One of the things that a lot of people have liked that imagery and thinking about themselves because a lot of people I work with are 45 years of age or older. And they like that strong imagery that comes with it because a lot of it, for people who are out there in a job search or other things, a lot of the success will become, or is going to come from the way they think about themselves. And so, I've used that very strong logo and a strong notion of Warhorse as a person with real live business skills and expertise, and people buy into that. So that's where it came from.
That's awesome. So, before we jump into that, I kind of want to you, you passed over something really quick that I want to talk about. We like to talk about the intersection of personal growth and business growth here each week. One of the things that I like to get people's feedback on was that transition that you said you were in corporate America, and then you transitioned into your own business. Many people listen that want to do that, Mark, but they struggle with thinking, Oh, I can't do it. I don't know what I'm doing. My idea's not good enough whatever head trash that people have walked us through that. If you wouldn't mind what your transition looked like from corporate America to some, whether it was an instant, oh my gosh, I have to do this on my own. Or it progressed over time. How did that work for you?
Well, it's interesting because, and I am going to, I'm going to tell a little bit bigger story here. So, when I talk about what I do, the type of recruiting is finding indispensable key talent for companies to help them grow. And in many cases, to help a company grow exponentially, what I have found, and this is the reason that I'm going to talk about this and about myself, but also a lot of the people that I, that I talk with all the time and are working with me, helping grow my business. There's a certain kind of person out there who they're really good at what they do. They have really the, what they do the way they think about the world, the way they think about business, it's deeply embedded, kind of in their DNA.
They say young kids, and they don't go online. Young kids live in an online world all the time. Well, it's in a way it's, it's similar. When you develop really good skill sets and become a part of your makeup, you don't have to think about it. You just do things, so what happened to me a number of years ago is I went through it. I worked for a couple of different companies, and I was always a little bit feeling like I was in a straitjacket because, because of company structure and rules, they wouldn't allow me to do some of the things that I wanted to do that, by the way, all those companies are doing today. But I was kind of in at the front end of that. And they weren't ready to make those kinds of changes that sometimes are hard.
So, I worked for a number of recruiting companies and staffing companies. And finally, it just came to me to do what I do, and I need to step out there on my own. And I'll tell ya, and it's scary. It's scary. Sure. one of the interesting things was on a Thursday afternoon, I left the company that I was at, or I should say on a Wednesday afternoon, I left the company we left on good terms. Cause it was like you guys, aren't wanting to, in the beginning, we talked about what I wanted to do coming on board, and you're just not comfortable doing it. I have to leave to do that myself. So, I did. And I went out to my networks, and I put out a message, Hey, as of tomorrow morning, 6:00 AM, here's my company.
It was called Mark Boeder recruitment by 11 o'clock that morning, and I had two clients. One of those clients, they called me one of those clients. It was on a retained basis, which means that they were paying me hourly for 20 hours per week devoted to them. And so that really helped me get going. When you talk about what goes through your head, I think part of it is that conviction that not only are you really good at this stuff but that you have something that is a value to other people or other companies. The only way you're going to be able to present it in the way you are really capable of and want to do it, you have to go out and do it on your own. One of the things that I found during this pandemic is that for a number of reasons, I connected with a whole lot of new people in a different area of the community where I am. I live in the Milwaukee area.
And a lot of those people were small business people who had their own businesses. And one of the seed changes for me, as I was thinking about growing my businesses, was that I always wanted to grow the business and think that I had to hire people. And I never felt comfortable that gee, if I hire Bob or Mary this month, am I going to be able to pay them next month? Because I know I'd have enough money to pay for the first month. But bringing somebody else on, you have to spend time training them. You're less productive for a while; you train them to do the things. And usually, you're training them to do the things that you don't do well. Well, where the seat change came for me, and part of it was working with a coach, I was also just realizing that I had relationships with all the kind of people that I needed to help me grow my business.
I started working on a sales platform called cultivating sales. I have a person; her name is Susie Mulan. She's absolutely great. She set up all the workflows and everything else that would have taken me months and months and months to do, but she's an expert at it. There's a point to the story, by the way. So, Orson who's my, my virtual assistants, same thing. The people who did my website, so I've got all these people, and I've outsourced all these things where I don't need, I don't need a person to come in 40 hours a week. I need some really good skills, probably on an ongoing basis, but I might only need them on average over a year of five or 10 hours in a week at the most. And that's mostly at the beginning as I get things set up.
So, and where I'm going with that. When I said that there's a point to this story, I started realizing that all of those people who are really good at what they do have their own business and are running, whether it's a small business or sole proprietorship, those are all people that I call that kind of candidate that I'm always looking for that key talent, that indispensable key talent. Every one of them, if you ask them a story, they will tell you that I left that company because there were so many things that I felt capable of doing, but I wasn't able to do there. And the only way that I could really fulfill myself was to go out on my own. So, now I have done what I have done as a recruiter, I look for people who are that indispensable key talent and trying to find them three to four years before they decide to leave and go out on their own.
And in that period of time, when I'm working for a company to find those people, that company will benefit from three or four years of that, person's absolute best stuff. Sure. Their secret sauce, but they have to realize that that person will probably leave in three or four years. So, when you ask about this the mind thing that you go through, the first thing is, yeah. Particularly if you have any years of experience working, you have to recognize that every professional has some areas of genius. They're not geniuses necessarily in everything, but in some areas professionally, they are geniuses. So, you think about that, okay. How can I take that to the market? How do I characterize that?
The difficulty is for people to take that leap because it is a little bit of a blind leap. And they almost always, particularly, if they're old enough, we're not holding up. But if they're in a relationship of some kind, their spouse or significant other will have a lot of doubts because they're going to be worried about money. They're going to be worried about their business and everything. One of the things you have to do is spend time helping your spouse or significant other. Also, all the people that are closest to you, including family members, in-laws siblings, people who are your social network, not just your business network but those people to help understand what you really do rather than just saying, Oh yeah, I know Bob, he's an accountant rather. Yeah. I know Bob. He's actually a really smart CPA guy. And what he's done is developed this business. And now he provides those kinds of bookkeeping and CPA services to companies that don't need to hire a CPA but do occasionally need them. That's what you want the people to know is actually what you're really, really good at what you bring to the table of an organization, either as a service provider or as an employee,
You brought up a great point about I mean, I think about what you said about you're an outside the box thinker, and you're in an inside the box kind of world. And so, part of that is you got to decide how painful that is because we all have things in our life, in our work life we'll call it that isn't our ideal. Maybe like for me, I make sure that somebody else does my invoicing. Somebody else does my social media. I mean, the things that I'm not good at, like you said, the accounting they'd take care of all that. But you know, some people think, Hey, I can do this all myself. I don't think there's a right or wrong way to this. Starting that business piece, you get to a point where it's like, why am I doing this when somebody else can do this better and faster and quite frankly cheaper. Right? I mean, it's, just easier to do it that way.
The other, the other thing is if, if you're hiring somebody who is really smart at what they do, they find all the shortcuts, they find all the things that, Hey, you could be doing this or, Hey, we can, we can connect this into your website. We can do this. We and that's that other part where not only do you and I, there are some things that we don't do well, but we don't have enough imagination to figure out how to really rock it when doing those things. Whereas somebody who's really good at it. They do.
Yeah. And on your LinkedIn site, I love these four words. Are your key talent? I mean, that was really like when I was prepping and spending time on this before our time together today, I'm like, boy, that those are really like, those hit you smack in the face. And you know, my next I'm working on is about business blind spots. And I think about what, what if somebody asks you, are your key talent? I mean, I'm assuming Mark that the vast majority of people are going to go, Oh yeah, well, absolutely. And maybe they are, maybe it's a blind spot. Maybe it's ego; what is key talent? You know, whether you're in the talent side of the executive search side, Mark, what is key talent when you think about that? What are some things that you're looking for in that?
Well, okay. And so, first of all, this is part of it finding those kinds of people in the approach, right? Because a lot of what most companies do is they have a budget or a person leaves, but on October 1st, they have money in the budget to hire somebody or in September, somebody leaves unexpectedly, and they give you a two-week notice. And now companies don't tell HR, or whoever is, that we want the best person out there in this marketplace to do whatever it is.
That's the fallacy of the whole thing that the only people you might find, actually, somebody who is pretty good, but they only happened to be available now. In other words, they're out of a job themselves, or something happened that they're interested in looking for. And my whole thing about this approach is that this is a never-ending approach. Now, large companies, some large companies, and, you know, the very large ones will have a talent group, And talent if they're doing it. They're generally not part of HR. But you have to devote, be proactive, and have a planned approach to finding people like this and starting to communicate with them maybe two or three years before you ever want to hire them. It's not adjusting time recruiting approach, which is what most companies have been doing for years,
It's actually getting out there and where all of this has come from. I've been on LinkedIn for 18 years. I'm a networker. I always say I've got a large network. All, almost all of my candidates and all of my business opportunities come through my network. And I realized that that is the same approach. That's the approach I've been using for years is I curate my network. In other words, the only people that are that I allow in my network these days, I started doing six, seven years ago. I find good people who are really good at what they do because good people who are really good at what they do have connections which are good at what they do. They generally aren't going to hang out with people who are nutcases or bad attitudes or whatever.
So, I always looked at people say, how can I help you, Mark? And I said, well, all I want are introductions to great people who are great at what they do. And so, I've been doing this for a long time. These in the last four years, most of the time when a company has come to me and asked me to go find somebody, I've already met that person in my network; it's somebody I've talked to. I'm not starting a discreet search today. I met that person four years ago, and I started contact with, so, and that's what when I talk about what does a company needs to do, they need to have an understanding, and it takes time is this is a marriage.
And it's what we need from a skill standpoint, but more importantly, what do we need from a personality, collaboration type perspective? Are they a team player? Are they generous with what they know that they will share that information with others? It's all of that kind of, well, you can't find that out by giving somebody some sort of personality tests and interviewing them. And like you said, collapsing all that into two or three weeks and expecting that you're going to have a really good answer on that.
So, I think this is really solid for the business owners that are listening. You know, I wrote down two weeks is too late. So, if your plan, I'm going to take time and take it. It's interesting because if you wait until the day somebody says, Hey, Mark, if you're the owner of the company and I go in there, and I say, Mark, Hey, thanks for everything. I was, I got a better offer, whatever. It doesn't matter why, but I'm giving you my two weeks' notice. So, I'll be available for transition. I'll be available for whatever you need. I mean, that's like a really tough day if I'm any good. And if I'm not good, then you're all up and running. You shouldn't, I shouldn't be there anyway. But, I mean, I think that you're two weeks too late because now you're limited to that spot. As you said, at that moment in time, you have to take a flash of your network and say, okay, right now, who is best suited for this. So, it sounds like you're really settling. When I owned a business, we always were recruiting. We were always looking for good talent.
And that's that thing when you asked before about somebody going out on their own, and it's that courage to do good, make good business decisions. That isn't necessarily the norm. Exactly what you said, hiring somebody because there is a great person. And it would be a great addition to your company. Even if you didn't have that position budgeted for it, trying to figure, because again, these people don't come up along very often. And in most companies aside from somebody like a Google or a Facebook or something like that, Almost most small to mid-sized companies only have one or two people like that. If you have one or two people like that, you can build a business around their capabilities.
Yeah. And that's, but again, so for the entrepreneur business owner, that's listening, the hard part is looking ahead, right? We're always just in time, and we're always working in the business rather than on the business. And this really is a wakeup call about the amount of talent out there, whether you're in a pandemic or not. I mean, a lot of people for the right opportunity are open to movement. And so if our is a business owner, we're looking down all the time and not looking up and seeing who's in our network and what opportunities there are out there. I think we missed the boat a lot in making those connections. So, the companies that you work with Mark, are they, are you training them to be more proactive?
Well, so I have, I have two ways of working, right? So, first of all, it's something many companies will come to me, and they want me to recruit, right? So, I'm going to do that recruiting. And they're going to pay me for that either on a retained basis or on a commission type basis. I actually do a combination called contained. But and generally speaking, when I'm doing that, I am the exclusive recruiter for that company so that I can use the company's name. And I'm, I'm essentially completely representing them the other way. The other thing that I've just started doing, and I've got a couple of clients I'm working with to start right now, is helping companies develop this whole apparatus for themselves. But they have to be thinking, and this is going to be a different way of doing business. You should have either you hire a person or somebody who's already in the company, and this becomes their role.
You're you don't take somebody in HR and have them try to become this person who is a talent, whatever title it is that somebody uses, but that, that person that's their sole job. And particularly at the beginning, it's going to look like they're doing nothing because what they're doing is they're just networking all the time and connecting with people and talking to people. But, but a lot of what you get out of it is that person is also doing a lot of indirect marketing for your company. Hey, here's who we are. Here's the kind of people that we have here. The people that we're looking to make relationships with. And remember again, so maybe you target Dave, Melinda, somebody you may like to hire someday, but the timing doesn't work out. Dave Melinda probably has other people who are similar to him in capabilities, skills, mindset, and everything. And so, it is ongoing networking, connecting, and community exercise.
And it's crazy to me, Mark, how many times I've connected somebody with somebody else who needed a job in my career. When we used to do our better business Bureau monthly events, one month there was a guy there, and the next month he came back, and he said, Hey, just so you guys know, I sat next to my boss. You know, I was unemployed at the time I met with the guy, and we are now, I'm now employed there. I mean, I love connecting those dots like that. And so, you know, what an Admiral thing, that admirable thing that you do for people, because it's got to be scary, especially now, if you got downsized, if you got whatever they're calling it closed until further notice, whatever it is, laid off, whatever, it's got to be really difficult to have faced that uncertainties. Do you help, so you help the company, you also flip around and help an individual like me, if I said, Hey, Mark, I got downsized?
Yeah. And I, and I actually do several things with regard to that. So, I have a Warhorse executive search. Here's the company that's primarily focused on recruitment. Warhorse talent is primarily focused on candidates. What I do there is I do job search coaching. I do group coaching, where a couple of times per week. And then I'll, I'll do individual breakout calls with people. I do coaching and those groups to help them with their storytelling to help them also what many people are missing right now, particularly if they lose a job because they don't have that every day. You know, you go, you don't think necessarily of your coworkers as your closest friends, but you see them every day for eight hours. Well, so now, if you lose your job, you don't have that built-in community.
So part of what I do, I always talked about networking as just a means to an end. And what you're actually looking for are connections, connections who care about you and you care about them, and you help one another. And then, if that's done right, eventually that develops into the community. And that's one of the things that I've had throughout this pandemic people on my calls that in the last several weeks, a lot of people recently have gotten hired and they are attributing it to the stuff that they've learned on those calls, but also, and, and every one of them, every, every, every one of them got their jobs through networking. Most of these people are also 45 years of age or older. They already have experienced the black hole of the applicant tracking system they apply to somebody whose company has a website.
And so what I do is I spend a lot of time in that coaching about here's how you have to go about it. Now it's different than it was even three years ago but far different than it was 20 years ago when I started working at whatever company it was. So, and I do that. I do individual coaching for interview coaching as well as job search coaching. Also, I do the written work, although I'm trying to move away from that and moving much more to a webinar and video-based model, and then helping people develop these skills for themselves so that they don't have to necessarily look to someone like me. I can help with the buffing, but you know, I'm looking for other people. And part of that is just from a scaling perspective, and I've got to be for an after the event.
So, four years ago, I ran my recruiting business and my branding business under different names that weren't standing with existed. But and I was going through that period of time trying to figure out how to grow, but never feeling like the right time to hire somebody. Well, for six months after the car crash, who was unable to drive, I was unable to keyboard. I didn't have the use of my arms. I was immediately out of business, but they found me a job because of my network, and they didn't even know I was injured. I was hurt a number of weeks after the car crash. Actually, 10 days after the car crash, I had surgery 10 days after the surgery, a guy from a company called me, and he was referred by people in my network,
They were looking for a recruiter, and I saw just so you know, I can't we didn't, we weren't using a zoom, but I said, my arms, I cannot use them. I can't do any keyboarding. I am using voice to text. And at first, they weren't interested. And then the CEO got back to me and said, Hey, we'd like to meet with you, can we come out to your house? So, the next day they came out to the house, we spent about four hours just talking, and a long story short, I became an employee. But then that moment, I started thinking about, okay, at some point, I'm going to go back and relaunch my businesses, and how am I going to do that? Because I just learned something that if I'm doing a, a job that is first of all, one-to-one and a job that is very, very dependent on me being able to keyboard.
If I lose the capability to do that, I'm all of a sudden out of business. So, a lot of what I've been doing, which goes back, particularly into that job search, coaching, and network coaching, is thinking about how I can do this one to manage? So, group coaching can part of that. How can I do this to help people with fine-tuning? So that's where videos and webinars came in. I haven't started those yet, but by January, I'll have those up and running. But that business is to me is actually the most satisfying in a lot of ways, because as you said earlier, people lose their job. Particularly if they're in their fifties, they're scared. They don't know what the next thing is, that's going to happen now with the pandemic, that's just exacerbated by all kinds of issues.
And so, and the last thing that that person was told either directly, indirectly, or they inferred, is that they weren't good at what they did because they lost their job. Even if they were good. And even if they tried to make it soft for them and say, Hey, the pandemic and everything, the fact is other people cut their jobs, and that person lost her. So, there's a period of time where the people go through some warning, and they've, they've lost their job. They've lost the relationships that they've had. And so, there's, I never consider myself a therapist, but to some extent, there's a little bit of that. People, people need to be told that, Hey, you're good at what you do, but you know what, your skills, maybe that a job doesn't exist anymore. That for what you did at you named the company, whether it was Harley or a war on or Johnson controls or whatever.
Now, let's go back and talk about the skills you could bring to the table. All the company let's talk about value. And what companies do is they buy the way that you think. And that's really what any independent business person, it's kind of the same thing. There's a lot of different businesses out there because people think differently. And I think about what tools do I have? What expertise do I have? What skills do I have that a business owner, if they've got me and there were a needs or problems, can I solve for them? I can't solve everything. And this is where I go back to that whole notion. I mentioned earlier and everybody has some areas of genius. That's a lot of what I do because it's just talking with people and helping pull that out of them.
And you need to talk, and people need to practice. And it's kind of amazing where I've seen some of these people on these coaching calls, the person they were a month or two months ago, versus the person they are today, completely different, completely different in the way that they present themselves. Talk about themselves. It's really interesting. In fact, what I say to people these days is that you're the product in the market, but you're also the product manager, and this was the same for small businesses and small business, the same thing. You know, sometimes somebody's got a great idea, but it's how do I characterize it? How do I make a part of my conversations or the part of things that somebody will ask me about? So, I get people to ask me, what does key talent GPS mean? What does indispensable key talent? That's part of it is coming up with those ideas that are all about you. That either you get a chance to talk about what people are going to ask you about.
So, I want to home in on that scary interview day. I can say I haven't probably interviewed in 25, 30 years. I don't even know what it was. But I've interviewed people on a pretty regular basis. And so, I'm curious on your end. What are some tips that you share with the people that are going in for the interview? Let's say I use Harley as your example. I have an interest there. They have an interest in me. So, we set up this interview. What are some tips for me that you could give me that you feel comfortable sharing for that day of the interview?
Okay. So, the first string is particularly if it's upper-level type positions, whether that's a VP or whether it's a director or a lead or a product manager or sales or marketing if you were the hiring manager, what is the first question you might ask me if you don't know much about me?
Tell me about yourself.
And the problem with that question is from a candidate standpoint, it's so nebulous, right? And so, what I coach the first thing with candidates, I always say to people, it's all about the questions, not your answers, right? Because I can tell a lot more about a person, their intellect, and their level of knowledge by the questions that they ask about whatever it is. And so, one of the things that I recommend to people, and this is kind of this, and I got this working as a sales guy for years. It's a variation of the same question I say, Hey what? I'll tell you everything that you would ever want to know about me professionally, personally, probably more than you'd want to know, but I'll try, but I'll tell you what date you could tell me in your own words, I've read this job description. It's a great one. But could you tell me in your own words, what are the four things that you need me to do to knock out of the park, right from day one through the first six months that I'm hired here? And the reason I'm asking you to tell me that in your own words is because then I will answer that question of telling me yourself, but in context to your needs.
Wow. That's great. And I could imagine right there, Mark, where the average hiring manager, because they're probably, this is more like an interruption in their day. No offense to anybody that does it. I mean, it's, it's just, it's just part of your day. Right? And so when somebody asks a question that is like pattern interrupt, I call it where you're not actually on a script where somebody says, Hey, I'll be happy to answer that. But you know, I got a question back for you. You know, that's got to be like, I wouldn't even I could see people not even understanding how to answer those. What four things do you need from me, boy? I don't know. I'm the one answering, asking the questions here,
But see, that's the problem that so many times a job description is spat out by the software program that HR uses that mostly gets a template. Here's another thing about job descriptions. They are obsolete. The moment they're written, because you know, let's say that the job has been open for a month. They're looking for people. Well, every person that they talk to that is not a fit. They realize, oh, we should've asked this, or we should've had this, but they never changed your job description. So, they're still operating off of that same job description, and their needs might have changed. And so that's why I'm always saying, what you want to do is the hiring manager is like a, like a customer or, or, or whatever. They, they have to have a need. They have to have a budget and authority.
HR never has either of those three things hiring their own people. And so that's why it's so important to try to get this direct contact; from the get, go to the hiring manager because that's where you find out what are the problems that need that they have that need to be solved because you know what, sir, I know that you have, I know that you have a bunch of problems sitting on your desk. You probably have counted. I'm here. I want to take responsibility and responsibility and accountability for one or two of those piles. So tell me what those problems are that I can help address. And that's, that's really that. And again, what you're doing is you are getting off-script.
And I've coached people just for fun on helping them with their interviewing skills. Just purely based on the fact that I've probably interviewed hundreds of people in my time. And I've always tried to get them to get off-script. I've tried to get them to realize that this they're interviewing you, but you also are interviewing that person.
You're interviewing that company you're interviewing. And this is, again, comes back to that whole thing. I talked about conviction earlier in someone's skills and capabilities. Today, my belief is that really good talent, really good talent out there who are going to remember many times they don't need a job they're working. And so, and I tell them is that you need to be interviewing this company. And the company has to you are the one who holds the bar. You have to reach the bar. Right, It's not just you are hoping and praying that they might hire you, but you have to look at it, as this is a business prospect. If I go there and I'm there for three or four years, I want to make sure that it's a good fit. They get something out of it. I get something out of it. But it's, but that's, that's the thing. It's more than just that job, particularly for the people who are that indispensable key talent.
As a person who's hired people and still do hire people for my clients now, it's pretty easy to smell desperation. It's pretty easy to smell when things are going in a positive direction versus when they're not. So I mean, authenticity has got to be a real key component of an interview. And I would rather hear the wrong answer than the right answer. That ends up being wrong. Because I mean, I've had it where I hire interview a guy named Joel, whatever and then all of a sudden six weeks into it, I'm like, Joe, where did you interview? Or was that your brother, John? Because you know what you told me at the interview is nowhere close to what's actually going on here.
I call that John's representative. Representative is just a little shiny or a little nicer smell. They dress a little bit nicer. They're more polite. And this is again one reason you either use somebody like me, who does this connecting full-time basis and develops relationships with people over the long-term or your company. You have someone doing that because exactly that because you don't want to find out 90 days later that the person's a jerk or that the person really doesn't have the capabilities because they had practiced all the answers they thought they were getting. That's why I say you can talk more about a candidate by the questions that they ask. Because first of all, if I ask you a question and then you say something now, our conversation was going to take a different direction that I can't, I can't have a rope answer for somebody can do all that practice. That's not what I do when I prep candidates for interviews. I'm not holding the ladder for them. You know, I'm letting them know, Hey, here's the company. Here's, what's going to be important. Here's the kind of conversation you want to have, but I don't give them the answers. No, because that's not what I do. That would be a conflict of interest.
So, let's flip it around really quick, Mark, as we start to come in for a landing I look at, so the interview questions from the person doing the interview, we'll call it the business owner or whatever the business person that's doing, that, what are, what are some solid interview questions that you suggest your clients ask? Because obviously tell me about yourself is, is a no-no. What are some better things?
Here's a series of three questions, tell me about a time professionally when you lost or failed. And then and here's the field question. How did that make you feel? Sure. Yep. And then how did you respond in both the short-term and in the long-term? Gotcha. And I think kind of what happens at that point is if you ask that kind of question for a few moments, you're going to lose contact with that candidate because that candidate is going to go back into their memory. And they're going to be thinking of a painful time because they lost or failed. Now they could, and they could take that. However, they want to do that could be losing a job. It could be losing out on a promotion. It could be losing out on something else or that they failed in some attempt to work.
But they're going to look inward for a few moments to think about that. And you will really see some emotion, and the answers there will be emotion behind them. Well, the big thing about inspiration versus simply somebody who can make you do something because their boss inspiring somebody is different. That's a different kind of emotion you want to do if you want to find out how these people react emotionally? So, this kind of situation, but also how would they react right now? Because it might go back, and suddenly there's a little bit of monster that comes out. You're getting that answer because you got them to go inside. And again, that's not necessarily bad, but I just said it, it allows you to get at something that's deeper than simply that surface question gee, have you ever lost?
And that's a great, and so I look, I try and talk to people about the iceberg and that the piece above the waters, the little piece, the bigger piece is down below. And that's really what we want to get to be that bigger piece to your point, how'd that make you feel those are emotional questions. And so, my suggestion always, when you ask that type of question, be prepared for some silence, be prepared to not rescue, and be prepared to not restate the question but do it in multiple-choice. And I know in my listening skills training and in my questioning techniques, we talk a lot about that because I can say, Hey or how'd that make you feel? And if you don't say anything right away, I'd be like, Hey, Mark, how'd that make you feel? Did you feel, and then I kind of fill in these blanks. So, I really try to encourage people in their listening skills. If you're interviewing somebody, 10 seconds of silence is like painful, but people, but oddly enough, 10 seconds of silence between you and your spouse or you and your best friend, you and your kid, it's nothing. So, I encourage people in that and coach them along and say that silence is okay.
The other part of it, we always talk about the high emotional IQ that hiring managers are looking for them. But the hiring manager also has to exhibit them. And one of the things that they have to do the best bosses is people who allow the people who work to be vulnerable. And I only had in all my work experience, and I had only two bosses like that. I felt like I could be vulnerable so often I was in sales or recruiting positions or whatever, where I felt that I did not feel comfortable sharing that. And that's that thing where you have to help the people and not try to put you on the spot, but I'm wondering how you feel about this? Did you feel with that? Whatever helped them. You want them to also understand that one of the things that if they come to work for you, that you can be vulnerable, it's okay to make mistakes because we all do. We're not going to fire you because again depends on the type of mistake, but generally speaking, speaking we're not going to fire somebody, some companies would,
Well, and if you don't feel safe in that interview, you're not going to say anything. And that's the problem without that safety, and then we're creating fictitious answers. We're not really getting to that point. And to your point that EEQ the emotional quotient. I mean the, our emotional intelligence we do a ton of work with disc and ETQ on, on assessments because I've learned over the years to combat the fact of you, tell me anything you want Mark. I got to believe it. If I got 50 pages in front of me on an assessment, it's pretty hard to skate on that system. But the higher, the emotional intelligence, the more you make, the more you can advance your career. I mean, there are so many upsides to that. But people kind of hear the word emotion, and they get kind of nervous. It's like, Oh, we're going to start a fire and pull out a guitar and start singing kumbaya. And obviously derails some people. So, I appreciate that that safety is what we're going for. And so in those questions you can't ask, it's hard. I would think it would be hard to ask those questions right away without a little bit of trust and safety built up.
And those three questions you've got that can't be the right out of the shoe. And that also, that also is not, those are not questions for a phone interview. Sure. Okay. Now, granted, some interviews are not going to take place face to face, but you could do it in a zoom, in a virtual interview where you're looking at the person. But yeah. I mean, that's the thing, there are the appropriateness and appropriate time. And many times, they say, well, tell me about a time when this, that, or the other thing and I just say, Hey, tell me about when you lost, tell me about because that sucks. It sucks for everybody, where if you fail, how did you, how did you process that? How did you deal with it short-Term? How did you deal with it and long-term where you set up to fail or, or did you feel like you were and that's, that's the thing? I mean, sometimes companies or bosses do that. If they feel like somebody might be a threat to their position, they set them up to fail. You've got to be careful about how they talk about that. Cause they don't want to be pointing fingers at the other person, but you want to get that, that idea of how did that make you feel? I mean, it sucks. I know that.
And it's always funny when you ask somebody one of their weaknesses or one of their shortcomings or whatever I care too much. I work with practice dancers. Yeah. I mean, for me, it was I, I'll never forget trying to I just realize that I'm really good at the front end of something I'm really good at selling something I'm not so good at delivering it on the backend. So, what I've had to do is build a people, build people around me that works, and I'll never forget, Linnea Katz did it. It was awesome. She said I'm involved in the front 10%. And then the back 10% as a business owner in that middle 80%, I delegate to other people. I'm like, man, that's brilliant. I wish I would've known that years ago because I always wanted to kind of run it all the way through myself.
And then you can see where people's weaknesses are. So, from an interview perspective, just be authentic again. If you're not good at something, it's going to get found out. I mean, you might as well be proactive, be professional about it and share it upfront so that it's, it's out there. It's kind of like a date, right? And then as it goes, it's like it kind of changes. So, I want to plug a couple of things before we go for you. So, congratulations on brilliant breakthroughs for small businesses. You are a #1 Amazon bestselling author. So I haven't seen you at the meetings yet, so hopefully, we'll see you there shortly, but you just released in October and in November. So just a week ago, veterans' day. So, congratulations on that. And what, what's your chapter about?
Well, my chapter is about exactly what we're talking about here at some level in your business with indispensable key talent, rather than those people that you've always come to think of as irreplaceable workers, as many times, you're replaceable workers are fine if you're a company of a $2 million company, but if you want to become a twenty-five million dollar company, maybe some of those people are, are replaceable because you have to have people where it's not too big for them. The stage is not too big. So, and a lot of it, I talk about this approach, and as I said, this chapter is essentially going to be the first chapter in a book about the same subject area of finding indispensable key talent building an apparatus Ford within your company or finding those people, utilizing somebody like me. But it's a different approach. It's completely different than most companies use for doing your hiring or anything. I've been doing it for a number of years. As I said, a number of things all kind of coalesced in the last three or four years after the car crash, but then also since January about the direction of my business and how it was going to go about it. And I decided to just, hey what, what I've been doing has been working really, really well. Why don't I just train companies on how to do that?
Yeah. Perfect. And then you're going to parlay that into a podcast as well.
It will start in December called Warhorse executives, and that's going to be part of it is talking about talent where you find them and how you find them. Part of it is I'm going to invite you on because you have you also happen to be here in a slightly different area than I am, but it's that whole thing of how you assess talent and how do you do it with tools, but how do you also assess using street-smarts talking to people and conversation. And so that's a lot of where this is going to go is a podcast and helping professionals, whether they be candidates or hiring managers or HR.