Would You Pay A Referral Bonus Specifically For A Black Employee?

I know a ton of HR Pros right now who have been charged by their organizations to go out and “Diversify” their workforce.  By “Diversify”, I’m not talking about diversity of thought, but recruiting a more diverse workforce in terms of ethnic, gender, and racial diversity.

Clearly, by bringing in more individuals from underrepresented groups in your workforce, you’ll expand the “thought diversification”, but for those HR Pros in the trenches and sitting in conference rooms with executives behind closed doors, diversification of thought isn’t the issue being discussed.

So, I have some assumptions I want to put forth before I go any further:

1. Referred employees make the best hires. (Workforce studies frequently list employee referrals as the highest quality hires across all industries and positions)

2. ERPs (Employee Referral Programs) are the major tool used to get employee referrals by HR Pros.

3. A diverse workforce will perform better in most circumstances than I homogeneous workforce will.

4. Diversity departments, if you’re lucky enough, or big enough, to have one in your organization, traditionally tend to do a weak job at “recruiting” diversity candidates (there more concerned about getting the Cinco De Mayo Taco Bar scheduled, etc.)

Now, keeping in mind the above assumptions, what do you think is the best way to recruit diverse candidates to your organization?

I’ve yet to find a company willing to go as far as to “Pay More” for a black engineer referral vs. a white engineer referral. Can you imagine how that would play out in your organization!?  But behind the scenes in the HR Departments across the world, this exact thing is happening in a number of ways.

First, what is your cost of hiring diverse candidates versus non-diverse candidates? Do you even measure that? Why not?  I’ll tell you why, is very hard to justify why you are paying two, three, and even four times more for a diverse candidate, with the same skill sets, versus a non-diverse candidate in most technical and medical recruiting environments.  Second, how many diversity recruitment events do you go to versus non-specific diversity recruitment events?  In organizations that are really pushing diversification of the workforce, I find that this figure is usually 2 to 1.

So, you will easily spend more resources for your organization to become more diversified, but you won’t reward your employees for helping you to reach your goals?  I find this somewhat ironic. You will pay Joe, one of your best engineers, $2000 for any referral, but you are unwilling to pay him $4000 for referring his black engineer friends from his former company.

Yet, you’ll go out and spend $50,000 attending diversity recruiting job fairs and events all over the country trying to get the same person.  When you know the best investment of your resources would be to put up a poster in your hallways saying “Wanted Black Engineers $4000 Reward!”.

Here’s why you don’t do this.

Most organizations do a terrible job at communicating the importance of having a diverse workforce, and that to get to an ideal state, sometimes it means the organization might have to hire a female, an Asian, an African American, or a Hispanic, over a similarly qualified white male to ensure the organization is reaching their highest potential.

Workgroup performance by diversity is easily measured and reported to employees, to demonstrate diversity successes, but we rarely do it, to help us explain why we do what we are doing in talent selection.  What do we need to do? Stop treating our employees like they won’t get it, start educating them beyond the politically correct version of Diversity and start educating them on the performance increases we get with diversity.  Then it might not seem so unheard of to pay more to an employee for referring a diverse candidate!

So, you take pride in your diversity hiring efforts, but you’re just unwilling to properly reward for it…

Is Hiring a Privilege?

Have you seen the cracks? Most haven’t. The number of jobs open continues to climb, the unemployment numbers continue to drop, and it seems like, from a business perspective, we are in good times!

Ford laid off 500 designers. Netflix, Carvana, Peloton, Wells Fargo, and Meta all announced layoffs in 2022, so far, as well as many more tech companies. Some of this, are tech companies getting right with their financials. They have been fat and happy for a long time and spending money like drunken sailors.

Uber’s CEO came out this past week and said that they should be treating hiring like a privilege.

What does that mean? It means, we aren’t going to freeze hiring or do a layoff, but only if you get your shit together and stop hiring anyone who can walk and chew gum at the same time. It means, that if you hire someone, you better make damn sure they are performing and adding value.

It means the soft, nice, cuddly leadership teams of the pandemic are starting to feel and see the cracks in the economy and they are getting ready. They are getting ready for some tough times ahead if some things don’t change fairly quickly. Like lower inflation. Wage growth slows. War stops. Pandemic supply chain issues ease up.

Turns out, eventually, all that VC money that is getting burned like a giant pile of leaves in your front yard in the fall is sustainable in a down economy! Some folks have been writing checks their asses can’t cash!

Is hiring, really, a privilege?

Coming from a white guy, finally, a concept I know more than anyone else about, PRIVILEGE! YES! It was only a matter of time until this came full circle and I could use my expertise on this subject! Let me tell you about some hiring privilege!

Hiring is a privilege and if you don’t treat it as such, someone will take it away from you.

The most expensive resource for most organizations is human capital. If you are talented enough to be tabbed to be a leader that gets to hire by your organization, there will be no more important part of your job, ever, for you to do well on. That doesn’t mean you can’t make hiring misses, everyone does, but you have to take this responsibility at the highest level professionally.

I believe that your number one responsibility as a leader, in any function or capacity, is to increase the talent in your organization. You do that through hiring and developing the talent that reports to you. You do that by retaining your talent and increasing your employee’s lifetime value.

Hiring is a privilege at the highest level within all organizations. There are no throw-away hires. Each one counts, each one makes a difference, either positively or negatively, there is no middle ground in hiring.

Do Recruiters Still Need To Make Phone Calls?

Recently, I was on a webinar, and in my presentation, I harped on the talent acquisition pros and leaders on the webcast on why 100% of us are not using texting as a primary first form of contact with candidates. The data is in. Texting works! It works better than email by a mile, but still, less than 50% in the room are texting candidates.

After I was done a great TA pro contacted me and said, “Tim, shouldn’t recruiters be calling candidates!” I fell in love! Why, yes, fine, sir they should always be calling candidates! But, let’s not forsake other tools that are working at a high level. We know people, in general, respond to texts at a much higher rate than email and phone calls.

You see a text and within seconds you read it, and you respond to it at more than double the rate of email or voicemail. In talent acquisition, we are in LOVE with email, even when it doesn’t work.

In 2011, I wrote this post below – funny enough, it’s still relevant today (except now I think we need to add in more texting with those phone calls!)

Do we (recruiters) still need to make telephone calls?

I mean really it’s 2011 – we have text messaging, emails, Facebook, Twitter, etc. – hasn’t the telephone just become obsolete?  Does anyone actually use their cell phones to make actual phone calls anymore?

The New York Times had an article: Don’t Call Me, I Won’t Call You, in which they delve into the concept of whether the act of making a phone call has jumped the shark or not.  From the article:

“I remember when I was growing up, the rule was, ‘Don’t call anyone after 10 p.m.,’ ” Mr. Adler said. “Now the rule is, ‘Don’t call anyone. Ever.’ ”

Phone calls are rude. Intrusive. Awkward. “Thank you for noticing something that millions of people have failed to notice since the invention of the telephone until just now,” Judith Martin, a k a Miss Manners, said by way of opening our phone conversation. “I’ve been hammering away at this for decades. The telephone has a very rude propensity to interrupt people…

Even at work, where people once managed to look busy by wearing a headset or constantly parrying calls back and forth via a harried assistant, the offices are silent. The reasons are multifold. Nobody has assistants anymore to handle telecommunications. And in today’s nearly door-free workplaces, unless everyone is on the phone, calls are disruptive and, in a tight warren of cubicles, distressingly public. Does anyone want to hear me detail to the dentist the havoc six-year molars have wreaked on my daughter?

“When I walk around the office, nobody is on the phone,” said Jonathan Burnham, senior vice president, and publisher at HarperCollins. The nature of the rare business call has also changed. “Phone calls used to be everything: serious, light, heavy, funny,” Mr. Burnham said. “But now they tend to be things that are very focused. And almost everyone e-mails first and asks, ‘Is it O.K. if I call?’ ”

Sound Familiar?

Now I could easily turn this into a generational issue because for one it’s easy to do, but this isn’t a GenX vs. GenY issue.  This is a basic communication issue.  An understanding of what we do in our industry issue.  Whether your third party or corporate recruitment, we do the same thing, we search and find talent.  There are two basic ways to screen potential talent for fit for your organization: 1. Meet them in Person (no one would argue that this is the best way, but boy it’s expensive if you are using it as your first-line screen); 2. Meet them over the phone (done in some form or another by 99.9% of recruiters).

There really isn’t any way around this issue, we recruit, we make telephone calls.  If you don’t like to make telephone calls, if you believe what the New York Times article believes, you shouldn’t recruit.  It’s not an indictment on you, this just isn’t your gig.

Recruiters like to talk to people, to question people, to find out more about people, not a career, best done by email and text messaging. We need to talk live to others. That’s how we go to work. Doesn’t matter if you’re 21 or 6. It’s how to deliver great talent to our hiring managers.

So, here’s a tip, if you’re in recruitment and you don’t like making phone calls get, out of recruitment, you will not be successful.  If your first choice of contacting someone isn’t picking up the phone and calling them, instead of sending them an email, when you have their phone number, get out of recruitment. If you’re thinking you want to recruit, and you don’t like making phone calls take another path.

Recruiters make phone calls, that’s what we do.

You Don’t Have a Recruiting Problem!

I met with a CEO of a tech startup company last week. He had a very familiar story. “Forever (or at least what’s seemed like forever for him) we have never had a problem recruiting talent to our company, but now we can’t hire anyone”, he said to me. Seems like I have this exact same conversation with an executive at least weekly these days.

So, I put on my consultant hat to try and figure out what the real problem is. It’s rarely a recruiting problem and it’s always a recruiting problem. Let me explain.

When you have a recognizable positive brand, a fun place to work, lead the market in pay, and work in a cool industry, everyone wants to come work for you. Your top of the funnel is filled with candidates. You believe you must be super awesome at recruiting. You actually might be super awesome at recruiting, but you also could suck super bad as well.

You see in the history of the world it’s actually never been easier to find talent. Yes, you read that correctly. In the history of the world! Today, it is also one of the most difficult times in the history of the world to get that talent you found to accept your job. Both of these things are true simultaneously.

You can find them, you just can’t close them.

This has almost nothing to do with the pandemic. People in recruiting love to blame the pandemic, but this is simple economics at play. You have twice as many jobs open, in the US, as unemployed people, and most of those unemployed people do not have the skills needed for the open jobs. So, if you have 6 million unemployed people and 12 million jobs, you really still have almost 12 million jobs to fill.

In 2018 and 2019, before most of us even knew what a pandemic was or became vaccine experts, economists were ringing alarm bells over the lack of workers currently and in the future. But we ignored them because that’s what we do in organizations. We fight today’s fire, not tomorrow’s fire. And, honestly, even if we did decide to do something about it in 2019, what would we have done? Lobby for better immigration policy? Pay our employees to start having sex and create more babies? Truly, what would you have done?

The long-term vision strategy problem.

My startup CEO friend does have a recruiting problem. Because they made most of their hires through referrals, they never built the recruiting machine. No tech. No team. No strategy. No budget. Dead in the water, because we love to believe what’s working today will always work forever. Until it doesn’t.

His problem now is he’s playing catchup. Hire the recruiting talent. Build the recruiting stack. Create an employer brand. Do the recruitment marketing. Etc. The plan is actually pretty straightforward. But painful when you’ve only posted and prayed for your entire existence. All he wants to know is why can’t we just keep posting and praying, or when will post and praying start working again.

Posting and praying isn’t working right now, but it will work the next time that unemployment shoots up to 7%+, and that might happen again. We can always hope for a major recession to make hiring easy again. Most likely we won’t see high unemployment for a long time because of our current state of demographics, but a major recession, war, and pandemics are always our best hope!

Let’s just say we actually might have known this hiring problem was coming. Let’s just say. I mean because of millions of baby boomers leaving the workforce, a birthrate that is under replacement rate for years, closing our borders to skilled and unskilled workers, etc. Let’s just say we might have known this was coming, what could we have done?

We could have started growing our own talent by lessening formal education for jobs that didn’t education but we’re lazy as recruiters so we add in education to limit our candidate pool. We could have looked at candidate pools that have historically been deemed less desirable by executives: older workers, workers with records, workers with disabilities, etc. We could have automated more quickly and deeper into our processes. We could have added in more benefits and work environment options that retained and attracted more workers.

So, yes, you have a recruiting problem, but it’s not because you don’t know how to recruit, it is most likely because you don’t know how to plan and strategize. It is because we didn’t view recruiting like we do other business problems we have. We viewed it as an administrative function that you can just muscle through. You have a recruiting problem, but it’s not really a recruiting problem, it’s a business problem.

Ugh! Being an inclusive employer is a lot of work!

It seems like being an ‘inclusive’ employer would be super easy! You just accept everyone! Can’t we all just get along!?

The reality is, that being an inclusive employer is hard because being inclusive isn’t about accepting everyone. What!? Oh, great, Tim has finally lost his mind, buckle up!

I wrote a post about Jeff Bezos’s annual letter and how he lays out a great framework for how organizations and leaders should manage performance. Many people liked the post, but there was also a strong reaction from a lot of people who hate Amazon’s culture.

They hear and read media accounts of Amazon being a bad place to work. About Amazon’s hard-charging, work a ton of hours, you don’t have a great work-life balance, etc. Some people go to work for Amazon and tell themselves during the interview process that “yeah, I’ve heard the stories, but I’m different, I want this, I want to be a part of a giant brand like Amazon, I can handle it because it’s a great step in my career.”

That’s when they find out they actually lack self-insight and they should never listen to their inner voice because it lies to them!

So, what does this have to do with ‘inclusion’?

If you truly believe in inclusion, you then believe that Amazon is a great place to work, for those who desire that type of culture. It might not be a culture you would ever choose to work in. Amazon actually likes the people that self-select out! It makes their job easier because they don’t want you anyway!

If you stand up and shout Amazon is an awful employer, you don’t understand inclusion. No one forces you to go to work at Amazon, and Amazon does not hide who they are. In fact, Amazon might actually be the best company on the planet to show exactly who they are as an employer and what you’re signing up for if you decide to go to work there.

Amazon is giant and the vast majority of its employees love working for them. Those employees thrive in that environment. It’s what they were looking for. It’s how they are wired. If you put them into another what you might consider, an ’employee-friendly’ environment, they would hate it and fail.

Inclusion is hard because it forces you to think in a way that theoretically every environment is potentially a good fit for the right person. We struggle because in our minds something that is opposite of what we want must be bad. Because it’s so hard for us to even consider someone else might actually love an environment we hate.

Being an ‘inclusive’ employer is about accepting all types of people (race, gender, religion, etc.), but it’s also about only accepting all of those people who actually fit the culture you have established. That’s the hard part! Amazon accepts everyone, but you better be ready to go a thousand miles an hour and never stop.

Being an inclusive employer is hard because if it’s done right, it’s not just about being an accepting employer of all, it’s about being accepting and then only picking those candidates who actually fit your culture. The outcome can be awesome. The work to get there can be overwhelming. And if done incorrectly you go from being inclusive to exclusive.

Here is the Average Time to Fill a job for most employers in the U.S.!

I gathered data from around 13,000 sources to get the most accurate Days to Fill metric that I could. It is one of the most asked questions I get from the audience!

So, what’s the number? 37*.

Cool, now can we stop asking? Did that just solve all of your hiring problems?

No, it didn’t. Why?

Because Time to Fill is a worthless recruiting metric for the most part. There is zero correlation between how fast you fill a job to how well your talent acquisition function is performing.

37 days is meaningless out of context, as a comparison, every job is different, every organization is different, and every market is different.

So, if you are currently at 37 days time to fill a job, and in 2022 you magically get to 36.2 days to fill, are you better at recruiting? Are you? Maybe you hired too fast and now your turnover is increased. Maybe the economy went south for a bit and increased the labor pool and now you have more candidates applying. Zero. Correlation. To. Talent. Acquisition. Success.

So, why do we use it? Frankly, and this hurts because you know I love talent acquisition and the pros that work in it every single day, we’re lazy. We’re too lazy to measure what really matters. That hurts. That should make you mad. We are better than this.

Can your Time to Fill matter at all? Yes, as a health metric of your TA function. If your industry average is 37 days, and you’re at 54, your function might have cancer! That being said, you have to support that with other stuff. Your 54-day hiring process might have reduced your turnover to 15% in an industry that has 50%, then your 54 days is understandable. But, what I usually find in most industries and jobs are fairly close to the mean on time to fill. So, it can be used as a universal health TA metric.

But, once you start trying to reduce by .4 days or .3 days, you’ve lost your way.

*For those wanting to now use “37” days as the average time to fill in the world, I totally made that metric up! Stop it! Be Better!

The Human Resource Executive 2022 Top HR Tech Influencers! Do Lists Matter?

A big list got released yesterday and I wouldn’t be writing about it unless I’m on it, right?! Well, I might write about it if I wasn’t on it. I mean, it feels great to be recognized for something you have passion for and enjoy. Recognition at any level tends to feel good, which is why it’s so powerful.

There are so many people on the 2022 Top HR Tech Influencers that I admire and call friends including my two HR Famous podcast partners – Jessica Lee and Madeline Laurano! They both made the list. Also friends like: Steve Boese, Sarah White, Laurie Ruettimann, Jeanne Achille, Stacy Zapar, Jackye Clayton, Torin Ellis, Kyle Lagunas, George LaRocque, Trish McFarlane, Erin Spencer, Joey Price, Jason Averbook, and so many others.

What the heck is an HR Tech Influencer?

I know, personally, probably 65% of the Top 100 list. So, I can only speak about those individuals, but I’m guessing the rest of the list is fairly similar. First, they are super passionate about HR technology. We are all super nerds for this stuff and when we get together the talk gets deep into nerdy. Second, they all care about making technology and the function of HR, and all the sub-functions of HR, better.

Some do this through working as an actual practitioner in the weeds of day-to-day HR. Some do it by working on the vendor side to improve and create the next generation of technology we will come to rely on. And others work in the analyst space building a bridge between the vendor and practitioner improving the knowledge base about what we buy and why.

Every single one of these folks is a 1%er when it comes to HR Tech knowledge. Meaning, on average, they would know more about HR Tech than 99% of the other folks working in HR. They are the definition of Gladwell’s 10,000 hours. They made themselves into experts and that by itself is a pretty amazing accomplishment. Not many folks in the world could call themselves an expert at anything!

Who has the “real” juice?

Damn! That’s the million-dollar question! And I literally mean, a million dollars! Because vendors and conferences are trying to figure out who has the juice! What’s the juice? It’s that something special that a person has, through a combination of a lot of factors, where they command a large audience of potential buyers. It’s a combination of expertise, personality, access, charisma, honesty, giving back, etc. No two folks have the same factors or create the same juice.

In the HR Tech World, there is one person who has more juice than anyone at the moment. That guy is Josh Bersin. Josh is like the gallon-size bottle of juice and most of the rest of us are like the 6 oz glass of juice in comparison! That’s just a fact. I’m lucky that Josh invited me to be a faculty member in his academy, but I’m not saying this because of that. The reality is he moves the market like no one else in our space.

Vendors are always trying to figure out who has the juice. Who is going to bring buyers into the tent? Honestly, if you can’t afford Josh, it’s probably a combination of a lot of folks on that list, as well as a bunch of folks who aren’t on the list but still have juice (William Tincup, Matt Charney, Kris Dunn, Deb McGrath, Rob Kelly, Hung Lee, Guillermo Gorea, Chris Hoyt, Gerry Crispin, Erica Young, Chris Harvilla, etc.).

Juice has little to do with the social footprint, but you can’t ignore a large audience. Some folks might have a ton of juice on Twitter, but nothing on LinkedIn, or IG. No presence on Twitter, but a great following on Facebook. The key is interaction on whatever platform they are on. Like, are you really on Twitter if you tweet and no one engages?

TL;DR – There’s Josh Bersin, then there is a cliff, and then there are the rest of us at the bottom of that cliff. Also, no one wants to see their real “juice” number, it’s humbling.

Do these lists matter?

So many people will say, No. I get that. But, for the millions of HR pros out in the world, this is a great start if you are trying to educate yourself about technology within HR. So, in that vein, these lists do matter. I got into HR Tech because of a conversation I had with William Tincup seven years ago! I met him through my interactions with other influencers on the list. I became an expert in this space because of that interaction.

Because of lists, like the Top 100 HR Tech Influencers, I have people reach out to me daily with questions they have about the technology in our space. A list like this gives people an avenue to pursue and access expert opinions.

Are these lists inclusive of every voice that should be heard? Of course not, that would be impossible. It’s also super hard to get minority and young voices on these lists, based on the demographic of HR Tech nerds in general. But this list does an exceptional job at adding these voices, especially around female voices (which make up the majority of HR pros!). It’s a snapshot of a moment, and the list is ever-evolving. Also, vendors rarely make it on because of conflict of interest with selling, but some of the best minds in HR Tech are working at vendors. But they do matter to a great number of people who are trying to better their HR Tech knowledge.

Shout out to the HR Exec team, including, Elizabeth Clarke and Rebecca McKenna for putting in the work to create and edit this list. It’s a thankless task usually that only comes with criticism.

You can check out the full list right here.

Things That Should Require You To Take An IQ Test!

I was sitting in an airport last week just doing some people-watching. Airports are a good place to do this. I was watching a mom drag her kid down the hall on one of those kid leashes. Now, the kid was being an idiot and not wanting to walk, but the parent was the bigger idiot just dragging them across a gross airport hallway!

You hear this all the time, “People should have to take an IQ test before having kids”. But of course, this would make too much sense for society!

It got me thinking about when we should give someone an IQ test and when we shouldn’t. I came up with some ideas:

Things that should require you to take an IQ test:

  1. Having children
  2. Having the ability to post on a social media platform
  3. Operating any type of vehicle that goes over 12 miles per hour
  4. Being allowed to “reply all” to a work email
  5. Ordering at Starbucks
  6. Investing in Crypto, stocks, real estate, basically any investment you can’t tell me specifically how it works
  7. Getting through TSA and loading onto a plane
  8. Joining an organized religion
  9. Running for political office
  10. Buying a gun

Things you shouldn’t need an IQ test for:

  1. Most jobs
  2. Filling out taxes in America. We know how much you owe, but we’re going to force you to tell us how much you owe!
  3. Attending college
  4. Being nice to others
  5. Demonstrating civility in normal societal interactions
  6. Setting up email on your new smartphone
  7. Streaming TV shows and movies
  8. Logging onto WIFI
  9. Understanding extended warranties
  10. Understanding how a vaccine works

Turns out, you can’t fix stupid.

What did I miss? Add your comment below with the thing you believe needs an IQ test attached!

The Big Regret! How’s that new job treating you?

When 4-5 million people per month change jobs, mostly for more money, there are going to be some consequences! Turns out, the grass isn’t always greener when you get more green!

A Muse survey, reported in the WSJ, recently found out that nearly 75% of workers who’ve changed jobs recently have regretted it, and 50% of those would try and get their old job back! That’s a lot! But it’s not surprising.

The biggest stressors we have in life are having kids, buying a house, and changing jobs. We tend to make bad decisions when stressed, and when you have 4-5 million people per month making that decision, well, that’s a lot of bad decisions!

What will we learn from the Big Regret?!

1. Money isn’t everything, but once you get more of it, it’s hard to go back to the old money level.

2. The old job and the old boss didn’t really suck, and the stuff we thought sucked at the old job, suck at the new job as well. It’s called “work” for a reason.

3. The power of someone paying attention to us and making us feel pretty is the most powerful force on the planet. Never underestimate it.

4. You can go back to your old job, but it will be different. It’s like going back to your ex. You are both a bit smarter and a bit more cautious now. There are some scars. Same people, same company, same job, but it’s not the same. Doesn’t make it bad, but you can’t expect it to be the same.

5. You can’t really judge a job until a couple of things happen: 1. You actually know how to do the job fully; 2. Co-workers stop seeing you as the newbie. In every case, that timeline is different. Be patient and do the job before you judge it.

6. If you find that you have an asshole boss at every job you work, the asshole might be you, not the boss.

7. In the future, when we have more jobs than available workers, let’s not act surprised when people start changing jobs. It’s happened in every similar economic cycle in the modern world. It’s called oppotunity. Don’t confuse that with the world has changed.

What should you do if you hate your new Great Resignation Job?

  • Take some time to really determine what you hate. Was that different from the old job? Was it the same? Will it be that way at the next job? Too many folks don’t know what they hate and they just keep selecting the same jobs they hate time and time again, but with a new pay rate and new address.
  • Some of us immediately want to return back to our old job. That might work, it might not. A psychological thing happens to so many managers once you leave them. It’s like you broke up with them and now you want to run back to that comfort. You’ll find many have no interest, and it has nothing to do with your value and performance, and everything to do with them feeling like you’ll hurt them again.
  • Try and find something you like to do, but call it “work”. This is different than the B.S. you’re told about work doing something you love and you’ll never work another day in your life! I’m no life coach, but that crap doesn’t work. You call it “work” even if you love it, because one day you’ll show up to do what you thought you loved and find out its work, and you’ll be depressed and broken. You don’t love work. You love your family and your God and puppies. You work to put yourself in a position to be able to do what you love. If you’re super lucky, every once in a while those two things will overlap.

My Favorite Random Leadership Rules!

Leadershipping is hard. You try as you might to do and say the right thing, to the right person, at the right time, and sometimes it works, and sometimes it fails miserably. That’s life. Mostly we try to be the best version of ourselves, and not f*ck up to bad!

We love rules. Rules are safe. If you follow them, mostly things work out. If you break them, mostly things don’t work out as well, but every so often, you’ll be just fine. I think the trick to breaking a rule and having things work out is if you still follow your moral compass when determining which rules you’ll break and which ones you won’t.

As a leader, we are both rule-maker and rule-follower.

Rules of leadership that I try to follow:

– Never expect an employee to care as much about the department/function/company and the job as you do, but if they do, show that respect.

– Starting a new project is awesome and the feeling is great, but surround yourself with finishers because that’s what really matters.

– No one wants to hear what’s wrong, they want to hear what’s your plan to fix it. Any idiot can tell you what’s wrong.

– Always be prepared for your largest customer to kick you to the curb. It likely won’t happen, but when it does you won’t panic and your team needs that more than anything at that moment.

– You’ll never fully get the full truth from someone who relies on you to get their check. It will be washed and wrapped, and that feedback will be as kind as possible. Unless they already have one foot out the door.

– Keep your expenses low. I don’t need a fourth kind of Kabucha in the office, but I do need that extra salesperson.

– You never have to talk every person in the room into your idea, just the person with the most influence. Before you open your mouth, understand who that person is.

– If “average” is the ceiling of someone working for you, you can live without them on your team.

– Don’t be concerned with overpaying for expert advice that you trust and count on.

– Ship it. You will never really perfect an idea or a project. Put it out in the wild and see what happens, then adjust. Too often we hold stuff until it’s too late because we don’t think it’s ready.

– It’s not your job to make someone who works for you happy. It is your job to help them make a happiness decision. Either they are mostly happy working in the job they have, or they need to go find out where they can be happy.

– Your job isn’t to be the best at whatever function to lead, it’s to put the best team together that will be the best at that function. Great leaders do two things exceptionally well. They recruit great talent onto their teams, and they knock down roadblocks to great performance.

Okay, share your favorite leadership rule in the comments below!