Practical Strategies On How To Hire Employees For Cultural Fit & Why It’s So Successful
Jay D. Rosencrantz is Managing Director at Pappas DeLaney and brings over 20 years of diverse business experience and insights to his consultative role.
Jay possesses proven ability in helping organizations achieve business results through powerful and productive relationships that span diverse industries, disciplines, cultures, and geographies. This business acumen was forged through challenging roles in different industries, including domestic and international, corporate and field, in both public and privately held companies. This enables him to quickly understand how the competing interests and goals of the stakeholders are creating roadblocks to desired outcomes. He can take this understanding and help clients address and remove the roadblocks through creative problem-solving and collaboration. He has a unique ability to connect within all levels of organizations and is able to seamlessly position himself as a trusted resource by relating shared experiences and displaying knowledge and understanding of the competitive and political challenges organizations face.
Jay uses a practical approach in listening to and understanding the unique challenges faced by each client and can take complex situations and ideas, assess the information and present solutions with clarity and simplicity. He has experience in leadership development, business process improvement, consultative sales, workforce restructuring and M&A.
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pappasdelaney.com (Company Website)
Hey, Dave, Melinda here, positive polarity, podcast, hope things are going awesome for you. As I scour the world to find the best of the best, I had the goal to go back to high school for this one. This is going to be an honor to actually reconnect with somebody that we fell out of connection with for a while. Jay Rosencrantz, how are you today?
I am great. I've been looking forward to this all weekday.
Awesome. We'll get into where we how things connected this way, but I wanted to introduce you managing director of paperless and Delaney. Tell us what does that cause that's well, first of all, managing director, congratulations, but what's going on over there?
Well, we're an executive search firm and coaching, and we really focus on small and mid-sized companies. We do a lot of work in manufacturing, food and beverage distribution, professional services. And then that w that area of our business privately held, we do a lot in private equity. We do family offices, Aesop's we do a lot of work there. And so that's really our business. And from our coaching standpoint, we, we, get much bigger in scope and the companies we work for. Still, as a company, we firmly believe that you only have two different things that differentiate you between your competitors in the marketplace, as your employee value proposition and the unique culture of what it takes to thrive in your business. And so we help people define that hire to and develop to we've been in business a little over 20 years. So tell me the first one, again, employee value proposition.
What does that, because I've never heard of that before.
Really. There's a lot of ways to define it, but what happens is there are different things that when you come to work, it's, it's the way we treat you. As an employee, the way we treat other people, our openness can be our benefits package, things like that. We're all unique. There's no one, there's no one organization, one footprint for that, or one, one organizational org chart for it. It just happens that we're all different.
I want to go back to what I found that it, what I liked about this originally, which I wanted to understand better as an executive search firm is in my mind, one thing you had executive development in there. So how do you mix those? If I'm an executive looking for my next career, I'm sure we have somebody listening now that's thinking, Oh my gosh, there's something better out there. There's something different how does this start us on that path? What does that look like for somebody, an entrepreneur may be business owners sold their business, and they're just looking to get back in the business world. How does that start? Us at beginning at the search piece and then carry us through, into the development part.
While I network with people looking to do different jobs, organizations hire us when they need an executive. So just to be clear on that, okay. From stepping back to your original question, the biggest thing people need to realize is that once you get over a certain age and it keeps dropping, by the way, maybe we're down to 30 years old or so forth now, but it's really the vast majority of jobs are falling through networking. You really need to network with people and not just people that you think may have a job, those are great, but it's really everybody and, and the people that that know the ones that you'd say, Oh, he or she, they know everybody finds a way to have a cup of coffee or right now, a zoom with them.
If you're looking for a job and need to start your network, you started too late. And my advice to anyone is even if you're happier than a clam right now doing what you're doing, there's a good chance. If you're working for someone else, you may not be working for them forever. To build that network, it's really powerful. And it's very helpful down the line. And you can count on that, that, that there's going to be probably a time or two where you're going to need that network. And
Oddly, you say that because I was at a conference in Arizona in January, and they said the average person now changes jobs 15 times in their career. And I was like, thinking about this. And I'm like, my gosh. I'm the opposite. I started a company that lasted 28 years, and then I sold it. I'm on my second career, a second job in my 30, some 40 years, whatever it is of doing this. It's odd that when someone says every three years, roughly they're changing careers and stuff, that used to be a real red flag to me when I was looking at a resume. But now I have to look at that differently. Are you seeing the same every three years turnover, movement type of thing? Or what do you see that the executive,
In some ways, we see that in some ways there's still a red flag with that. And I think people need to be careful of that. Now, if you're in a job where you're contract work or doing different things, totally understandable and expected, but if you've been in management positions and you've worked your way up, and you keep doing that, that continues to be a red flag. So I don't think you want to do it in my business. When I look at executives, one of the things I look for is, did you, did you go through and complete something? Do you leave every time the stuff's about to hit the fan, or you leave right before all we realized we're not going to complete this? And so those are the red flags I look for. And I'm not saying people can't move around it.
That's not at all. One of the big things I'd look for a reason for leaving a statement. Why are you really leaving? I would, except in order to put them into other jobs, is the company you're working for unethical? Are they making you move? And you can't because of family commitments, or are there nowhere else for you to go after that? The list gets really short because you realize that you start talking to people every three years that why'd you leave. I wasn't making enough money. And then you quickly discover that that wasn't a not making enough money. That's in someone's head that they're never making enough money. Or my boss is a jerk. That's, that's more a personality. Quirk. I'm guessing your boss is always a jerk. It's funny. Move on.
No. And I think that's funny. I've interviewed hundreds and hundreds of people for my clients for my own business. And when I asked the question, like you said, Jay, why'd you leave? And it's like, Oh my gosh. Everyone, every answer is like deflecting and someone else's fault. That's where I started to get nervous and think that. If you're listening and you're on the job hunt, why just fall on the sword a little bit, be real. Say it wasn't a good fit. Part of it was my fault. That's a whole lot easier to work with than somebody saying, like you said, Jay, my boss was a jerk. I didn't make enough money. Oh my gosh, the team I was on was a mass. The company's a mess. It's so easy to blame everybody else. I appreciate that, that information. So once you work on the search piece, if you are searching for somebody for a company and you're successful in finding that person, how does the development piece pop into playing them?
Well, it can be a separate thing, or it can be a continuation. I think one of the things that are really starting to change in our world. And I think for the better is that people go through a timeframe and they, they invest in finding a new executive and then they just throw that person into a role and say, Hey, it's sink or swim. We paid a lot of money for you. Hopefully, you swim, but there's more onboarding that takes place. And we do a lot of onboard coaching. So that, so that, that can be a continuation of it. In fact, more and more of the assignments that we build in the beginning to say we all want this to really work, making sense. And if you think about it, you go through a process, and every company puts their best foot forward and so to land the best people, and once you get there, you want to continue that instead of throwing on the walls in our world.
As a search guy, I act as an intermediary because it's easy to find people. By the way, it's harder to get them on, get them on board, and it gets them to thrive within their organization. So that's the trick of what we do. It's not finding people, but it's, it's interesting in the sense that you go through this process and I act as an intermediary, I tell a candidate, Hey, look, you can tell me anything. Within reason, but you can tell me anything. I can soften the edges, and I can deliver that message back to the company. So we're not hurting any feelings and say, I take the blame. I started doing this. I was six foot eight now shrunk quite a bit over time. And I tell the company, you can tell me anything.
You can tell me anything, and I can couch it in what it's like. I'm like a counselor in between. And so that helps get the deal was done, and no one frustrates anyone along the way. And we get that field done a little bit of onboard coaching as some of the same things. The executive may come back to me and say, well, I didn't expect this to happen, and you don't want, and we've all been through that before. It's like, it's just a purpose. And a little bit of that is the intermediary stuff doing that. But then if there's a lot of other things, helping them figure out blind spots and so forth, but it's in a sense, a little bit of a continuation of a honeymoon onboarding for other employers should be too.
You bring up a good point, and I want to understand this because the fit is really important in an organization. You have a pretty good understanding of your client, the company, looking for somebody. You have an idea of their culture, and you're ingrained in what they're looking for. How do you then understand the person coming in? If I'm coming in for an interview for a VP of sales role for one of your manufacturers, how do I, how do you what do you use? What tools do you use? How do you really unpack me to understand if I'm going to be that fit or not?
Well, it's a little more complicated than that because if someone comes to me and says, I want you to find a new VP of sales or a new VP of HR or a new president of the company, I say, that's great. That's fantastic. We look forward to that. And then, I tell them what else I need besides the deal we're trying to strike. And I say, you know what? I need, I need eight to 12 of your thriving people in a room, different levels, different areas. I want them to help define what it takes to thrive within your organization. And then we help you craft the right questions and the hiring process around that. When they ask questions in their interviewing process, it's actually a very great process laid out, and it's consistent. So when their interviews are asking, they're interviewing and asking a question, they know the answer to the typical thriving employee in their organization.
So that's how that piece goes. And so it takes out a lot of bias. It's a form of blind interviewing. I can't argue with that. If you're answering the question, that the way we are thriving employees to find it, I can't say you're not a fit. So that takes out the bias standpoint. So that's how we help our clients do that. If you don't put them through the thriving part or better known sometimes as the cultural part, don't waste time doing the skill stuff, because people fall in love with pedigree and background. And those people always let you down because if they don't fit, you're not going to invest in them. They're not investing in you. They're not going to stay the ones that actually fit you get it right away. And they're going to. They're going to invest in it, work hard, and want to be around, which we think alleviates the jumping in three years saying that I don't fit here.
Well, you do. And but that part, but going back to, when I, in my team, we interview executives, my thing is very different. I ask them, in a sense, tell me your life story. I don't care where you were born. Tell me why you pick the college you went to and tell me why you picked a major, and talk me through your career at a pretty high level. There's, there's no science to this, except for I'm looking at decision. Make people tell you about their life story. You've seen this. If you want to hear my story, I'll tell you, and that's an interview. And then at least the things for me going an hour and a half, two hours, and they tell you pretty much everything you need to know, they tell you about their decision-making. You know why it did something.
Why I didn't, they'll get into failures usually. And we all have them play me. I'm good at that too. And so by the time we get done, I certainly know the job description and what's expected. And I have a pretty good idea that they would fit. But from a fit standpoint, I really leave it to the organization because as I've been working in some form of cultural and cultural assessments for 25, 30 years, I'm not arrogant enough to say, I know each one of my clients knows it better than them. The real brainpower, the real knowledge base is embedded in every organization you and I work in. So I trust them in that way.
And I wrote this down, and I want to make sure that you agree with this—culture before skills. And you're what you're saying. That comment really comes first. Then, then if it's a fit, we look at their skills.
I do look at the fit part as if you have 90% of fit, a really high-level fit within your organization. And you only have 60% of the skills in most jobs. I'd say, hire that person immediately. If you flip that again, it falls into the category of what I have all the skills you need, but if I don't feel like a fit, I'm moving on. And so don't hire based just on the skills.
Can you tell in an interview, Jay, when people are desperate, and they're telling you whatever you need to, whatever you want to hear to get that job? I feel like there's I've had it where I ask a question, and they're like, oh, I can do that. And I ask a question. It's like there's nothing they can do. And then you hire them, and then your kind look back, and it's like, did you have a twin brother? Because it's crazy, nothing that you told me that you could do is actually happening. Do you identify with that much? Or how do you,
Yeah, I absolutely, it's funny when you just said that, but I had a friend a long time ago say we hired this guy named Bob and a guy named Joe obviously showed up because it was very different and people do it all the time. It's you fall in love with this resume. You fall in love with this background. And, and so you miss so many things, and all of a sudden, they show up, and it's like, who is and so that does happen. But going back to the desperation, I don't know if anybody can tell me what form of life being desperate looks good. It's a sad thing. But yeah, desperation has its own smell and its own look to it. When you're talking to people, it does come up, and that's more than a red flag. That's like the checkered flag. And you're out with me because it doesn't, I've never had a client that said in the job description, I need a four-year degree in engineering and maybe an MBA and then, and a certain amount of desperation. So I, I try and stay away.
When you're talking to leaders, or what are you looking for? What leadership qualities are your clients looking for? Do you see some consistencies there, or are there a wide variety of things a corporation would be looking for in that VP of sales role? Let's use that or the VP of marketing? If they're looking for that, what, what, what leadership skills are people really looking for? What seems to rise to the top every time you have a discussion, do you see any?
Yeah, I think it's, I think it's changed a little bit and there there are some consistencies through it, but, but again, I think I see some changes because they hire me. No, one ever hires an executive search person to fit a round person in a square hole. They're not paying me to do that. So as far as my being creative and say, try this person that does, that never happens. But I think that we talked about it earlier, you and I in different conversations, but creativity is coming up more that, how do we do that? But having led teams successfully earlier is such a big thing, more and more good communication skills. And the other thing is it's turned into my new hot button is something I'm hearing that I didn't hear it two years ago, except for like the kumbaya and, and force like that is empathy is a leader in, in understanding. And in those types of awareness, it's a traditional thing. Who's led teams before, and who's worked through prices. There are some commonalities, but there are also where organizations are at a particular time.
So how deep do you get into somebody's past to talk about that success? If I come to you or if I'm a candidate, are you digging pretty deep into my past successes and or failures?
And not unfairly or disrespectfully, but as the thing that I want to happen, and it hasn't thank goodness, is that we bring in somebody Bob, and then and then they say, no, I think this is John. Cause this is not what we looked for. So we do big, pretty deeply. For anyone out there that's listening, that does a lot of interviewing; I say always be comfortable with silence and not moving on. And so when I interview folks, I'll ask tough questions, and they say, well, I know I can come back to that. Or I don't have an after that. My thing is, well, I can wait. and I grabbed, I grabbed my coffee, or I grab a bottle of water. I can wait. I'm saying no, I think we're in an area that we need to talk about.
And I think that's important for people and people interviewed so many times, it's if I stay my sense that you're uncomfortable, I'll move on. No one ever hires me to make other people feel comfortable. My job is to find out everything I can that is appropriate. And I also tell people early on. We do a really thorough process at the end, the vet things that you've said, and we do a very thorough process of talking to former folks that you, that they give us the okay to talk to. And that's really important that there's a lot of there's a lot out there. This is the most transparent time in the history of humankind. I'm pretty honored to say early on we need to be truthful and open things like that because it's all there we can't.
Well, and I think that the empathy thing that you talk about, I've been hearing that more and more with the leaders that I talk to on my podcast, because not only because of COVID but also because there's this human aspect that's coming in. I think back to when my parents were working. At our age, whatever, 30, 40 years ago, whatever that was they were, it's completely different, how it was then corner office, Boston, the corner office, you're afraid of the guy to keep your head down at least that's what the some of the stories that I heard from my parents and so obviously that's changed. I hear that empathy more and more. I appreciate that.
I'll tell you what it's, it's changed remarkably it's even in our careers, it certainly has w one of the funny things that I share with my kids is when my twin daughters were born 26 years ago, it's hard to believe, but they were born on a Tuesday morning, and I call my boss and say, I won't be in today, we had the babies. And he says, Oh, that's okay. You can be in tomorrow. Cause we have the meeting at such-and-such. I think if you did that in today's workforce, who would be fired. And I feel terrible saying this because my kids look at me like, are you serious about going to the meeting, dad? I said, I went to the meeting and only got on a plane on Friday to go somewhere else. My mother-in-law was there to help with the kids.
And she's wonderful, but that seems like 300 years ago. And in a lot of ways, I really resented that. I still do to this day, thinking that was time I wanted to be there. He had no empathy and the empathy thing for whatever reason. And I put almost everything in a business context. So it's not, I don't get much into feel-good stuff, but this is a must-have if from a leadership standpoint because the workforce not only expects it but demands it. And really, at the end of the day, it's the right thing to do too. So if you want people to hang around, be engaged, be there when you need them, you have to understand what they're going through what, what their lives are about. You don't have to pry into it, and you shouldn't pry into it, but there's an empathetic component to this that people really need to understand and get their arms around.
That's a great point. The flip side, though, you talked about it before, and I want to dig into it a little bit is, I hear so many different things about the cost of a poor hire, So what, what do you see? If I'm a CEO of a company because I'm sure people look at you and go, oh my gosh, here's an expense that I don't want. I can just have my HR department hire, or I know somebody that will help or whatever. What do you see right now, Jay is the cost of a poor hire? What does that look like to you?
I'll give you a pretty recent one. And just so everybody knows Dave, didn't, I didn't tee this up with Dave, but it, but it really falls into what you, what you're talking about. I know a medical private equity firm. That's got a big medical device company, in Colorado. And so they've made a leadership change at the top, and they told me later, we knew someone. We knew someone, another portfolio company, a great degree, great pedigree, and great experience with a customer base. Could you bring some customers along? And they quite frankly didn't feel like being a search firm, which is okay. I think a lot of times you don't, shouldn't be using search firms too much. You should have a lot of that down, but what they did was they hired somebody off in the sense of resume or what they had done before, without figuring do they fit into the organization.
About 18 months later, as they fired, this person helped them out of the door. We're working on legal bills, severance packages, trying to replace the VP of sales. They thought they were into this about two and a half billion bucks. And I really wish my fee would be two and a half million dollars after Sally. They saved anything there, but he said during the conversation, I said, if they don't fit, never hire them. And I had no idea about the story. And then he relayed that story, and he said, that's the lesson I learned was I had 200 people in this organization that was thriving and doing things I bought, brought one person in that made at least twice the highest, second, highest-paid person that compensated twice that amount. But he said he destroyed all these people. And one person did that and had people quitting, and all these other things and losing customers didn't fit. Don't hire anyone that can't thrive in your organization because the elite body counts. They don't stay around. It's just in. And if you want to get rid of them, people are hard to get rid of. And so even for the right reason, they're hard to get rid of, make sure they can thrive in your organization because you're bringing on something that it's really going to be a person
Well, so interesting, though. If I look at two and a half million, and even if I'm a super, super skeptic, and I say, you know what, I'm going to take 10% of that. It's still a quarter of a million dollars, And so I'm assuming that you're, you don't charge a quarter of a million. So that's at least the cool part; you can see an ROI in this. And that's what you're trying to really educate people on is, is either way why take the chance of it not working out, because like you said, I look at body count to your point. I also look at the cost of lost opportunity, which how in the world, when you're in a director of sales position, how do you even begin to determine that dollar amount?
I, it gets tough. The one thing about people having been, in a sense people side of business for 30 years is that we're horrible at quantifying our ROI on people, and I'm not blaming anybody for what is the reality. When we work with private equity, and they go in, and they buy a company and the MNA work that I used to do a lot of from the human standpoint, we knew inventory turns. To the millisecond, we knew to the penny, how much you're paying for medical what comp costs, he knew everything, but we had no idea of our people's cost, as far as if we got in and we lost good ones. What was the cost of that? We just didn't do a good job with that. And people really miss that. And if it's true, find good people that really fit is rare. That's something we need to look at
Well. And I think, but it's, it's easy to look at a stock. You buy for a dollar and sell it for two. And your ROI is a dollar. That's really easy math. It's not easy when you have a $200,000 employee, and they've been taking other people down with them. You have no clue what that costs. You have no clue what the lost opportunity costs are, potential loss customer. so there are some complexities to trying to figure that out—none of its cheap. I guess it's not like paying for your services or helping to have you help somebody get the right fit. It's minuscule in comparison to the downside,
Dave, I would say too, the thing that people should take into consideration in a lot of business owners and business folks that are watching this will say the 80, 20 rule, 80 20 rule it's, it's all people can talk about a firm believer in it, by the way, I can't it is uncanny which areas it fits into almost all of them. We don't do that with people. And I think we have to understand right now, and as we move forward, one of the trends that it's hard to argue with me on is that people are the same darn way. You got about 20% of your people doing 80% of the work coming up with 80% of the ideas. Some smarter people would argue that maybe it's 10% doing 90% of that work. And so, if you don't define it, figure out who those people are. And they leave. You've got a real problem. Cause you just didn't lose one guy or one woman. You lost X percent of what it takes to run.
They basically say pretty darn close to one in three people. I think it's 29% Show up every day, engaged in their job. For simple math, let's say you have a group of 10 people. Three people are the ones that show up every day, J trying to further themselves, the company, the customer, the other seven are sitting there not rolling that, moving the company forward. They're saying it's not my job. They're saying they're trying to get as little done as possible. They're trying to just hide from work. That's like a national statistic that doesn't even, that's not open for debate. It is hard to actually admit that out loud because when I had 22 people on my team, that meant like six or seven people were really moving the company forward.
And that's hard as a business owner, Jay, to say out loud because I did, I screw up in hiring, did I not? Am I not effective in my leadership? It really is an ugly thing to look at. If I was to do it right, the first time you engage somebody like you to be able to help me along with that, then I think those numbers probably start to go in the positive direction where instead of one out of three, maybe two out of three show up every day to being.
And I think it's important that people realize that because the world's reality is no, it's common to find your bottom third of your workforce. They just don't. I and so the ones that are at risk and again, the most transparent time in the history of humankind, they're coming after the top third. And you know what, those are the ones with your options, the other ones, bottom third, you said, they're just happy to be there and have so that they're not going anywhere. And so you better define who those people are. As I say, put a fence around them and find a way, and that's how we help people all the time to find who those people are and hire other people like it. And that's really, that's really the magic. If there is such a thing, is that fight other people like, Oh yeah,
Exactly. Why aren't they looking for my bottom third? You're going to have a here.
Here's a secret since I'm not in corporate America anymore. Just so people know that this does go on, I would get calls from people saying, Hey, do you know a good person for this or that there were different things. Our people in our organization that made sure that they got their name and number that maybe they could help us move them out every once in a while would happen. He would say, man, I can't believe they took the bait, but it does happen.
And that's the, Oh my gosh. That's funny. Thinking about this situation where we're in, like you said, where we've shifted to a lot more of a virtual world, how do you, how do you, how does a company build culture while this virtual existence is going on, if you, and you found any ways to continue to build that culture through zoom or go to a meeting or whatever platform if you see anything that works.
Can we, can we pass on this question? Cause that's a hard one. If I really knew the answer, I'd be writing a book and charging millions. You know what, I think everybody struggles with Dave, and I do have some ideas, but I think their people have been working virtually for a long time in the sales world. So there are some things to learn there but don't learn too much there because as we all know, you're a sales guy. I'm a sales guy. We're different. We're weird. And so salespeople can do that because they are so different. There are some learnings there, but don't take too much from there. I think it really is communication with folks and making sure the old adage you need to communicate, communicate, communicate, and communicate. Once you think you've done enough, do it five more times.
But I think it's, that is consistent communication, but here's something else I throw into the equation with people. And I think it's, it's really important and that we've missed the most important that's ever happened in my career was getting a really good mentor. The mentor really guides you and cuts through a lot of the nonsense and make sure that you're engaged in, in a sense in and interprets things out there for you that you may not see. So when you talk about the virtual world, have someone that's been around a bit that is actually committed to being a mentor, and it's good at and positive for the company being assigned to people like that. And again, I see fewer and fewer mentors. I know you, and I do coaching, and that's important. That's really important, but that's from an outside standpoint from the inside, what we've lost as mentorship. And now is the time to bring that back because a good mentor like I had, and he was assigned to me 30 years ago. But up until a couple of years ago, we'd still have dinner once a year in Chicago and chat. And it was wonderful. And you know what? I think people need that from a virtual world to be linked back in by someone who's respected that gets it, and this is from a totally different discipline. And that person said so mentorship is the way forward, and people should be using it.
Awesome. And that's whether you call it a coach, a consultant, a mentor, whatever, it's an outside person that's helping you with the blind spots that you referred to before because we don't know what we don't know. Absolutely. I think it's odd that two of my favorite athletes, Michael Jordan and tiger woods, these guys were at the top of their game, and they had coaches all over them. I mean a swing coach, fitness coach strength, coach, mind, coach. There are just coaches all over the place. And when someone says, why do I need a coach? I go, I don't really know the answer to that. I do know that the best of the best-needed coaches. They needed somebody to hold them accountable. They needed somebody to look after them. I love that mentor thing that you're talking about, Jay.
They've the other adage, what's the other adage they're called blind spots for a reason they're blind to us. And if somebody that you don't trust is important out, it's it? And it's, it's so important.
You don't know what you don't know. And it's hard for me to hold anybody accountable for something that they truly don't know. As we start to come in for a landing, I want to touch on this communication thing, Jay, because I hear it like everywhere. And I think that people feel like it's a get out of jail free card, and they say, Hey, just let's work on our communication. I don't even know what that means. And I focus on communication a lot with people. Walk us through; if you have any tips for improving communication because I know for me, I've 10 tips to better communicate trainings that I do all over the place. And people come up to me, Jay, and say, you know what? I didn't learn a thing. And I'm like, you know what the reality is, it's not about learning something. It's how many of these are you actually putting into practice in your life? What tips would you have for somebody to improve their communication? Whether it's during the job search, whether it's part of a team, or quite frankly, at home at the dinner table. anything that you've seen that you feel comfortable sharing,
something I used to use, and it's, it's very simple, but I think when it comes to people, and it comes to organizations, if you can make it simple, it's more powerful. The one thing I learned in human resources was, the more complicated we made things. The fewer people did it. And the more people lied about it or lied about doing it. I've got that. But when I had a large team, I would find a way to do one of the things, and again, we were all on the same, except for a few people were all in the same place. I would find once a week, walkthrough, and find them. And we'd be talking to other times. But in a sense, here was my template. I would say, what have you learned since the last time we talked, what's bugging you, who's bugging you, what do you want to learn?
And how can I help? I used to call it like a five-minute manager thing. And at first, when you start doing that with people, people don't want to talk. And like I find I, what have I learned since last time I learned not to park there because I got a ticket in, what do I want to learn? I want to learn that other way when you're calming, but you don't know what, when you start having a template in your head with people my whole thing, there was one surprise. I wanted to build up an organization and a staff of people who wanted to learn and were learners. And I also wanted them to know that I was there for them. So you ask them, what have you learned since the last time we talked? What do you want to learn?
Who's bugging you, what's bugging you. And how can I help? It became really good that way. And we make a great conversation. And so many different people in the organization, I had started using that and the people who work for me, that other people underneath them, working for them, I had them do similar things. It really opens a line of communication. It goes back to communicate, communicate, communicate once you do five more times. But I sometimes think what you need to do is just understand people aren't communicating. What's the answer? Just at least start, unless you communicate for a while, you have no trust built up. So if I don't trust you, why don't I communicate with you? It would be very surface things. How's the weather today. Deck sunny and thanks. Let's get colder tomorrow. Hey, have a good weekend. That's the communication you get. You need to delve into. What's important to you as an organization, but just start by doing.
That's awesome. And I think the simpler, as you said, Jay, the simpler, the better, if there are 10 tips, 20 tips, 42 steps, whatever. No one's going to do it. And then their frustration shows up because we've tried this initiative, and it didn't work. Even when we're working on mission statements or vision statements, they got to be so succinct and simple because if it's a paragraph and you don't memorize it, that doesn't do any good. Nike's got three words; just do it. How simple is that? And you can build off of whatever that means to you, but they kept it pretty darn simple for a multi-billion-dollar corporation.
You know what? I have fun sometimes with clients. Although I sometimes make a map, they'll talk about their mission statement, vision values. How are they afraid? I would say without looking, tell me what it is exactly. And I see no offense. You know what? Back when I was in corporate America, there were times I was helping write them. And I couldn't tell you what they were because they got too complicated. And so I didn't know. And I helped put them together. No one else knew, but you know what? Make it short; define it. Because if you're good at it, we talk about things like cultural awareness. We're talking about empathy and all these things. They really start. When you start talking about your values and your mission, that's where it all starts; make them simple. So people understand them when they understand it, they live it out. And when they don't live it all, you hold them accountable. But if they don't understand you, how do you hold anyone accountable?