Reader Question: Can I negotiate my offer during the COVID Pandemic?

So, we like to think that no one is hiring right now, or the only people hiring are Amazon, Grubhub, hospitals, etc. The reality is, even in the worse economy, a lot of stuff still needs to happen.

Many organizations are finding out they can still get a bunch of their work done with folks at home, and collaborating in new ways, and the learning curve is steep, but everyone is working together to figure it out.

I had a call this past week from a soon to be college graduate, dual major, Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering from a great school, so it makes sense he already has an offer. He had some questions for me. He was excited, of course, and understood that he was the exception right now, not the rule. With historic unemployment, companies are still going to want him!

One of the questions he had was where and how do you negotiate during a crisis situation like this. The company that offered him the job, was also laying employees off! Not the best environment to play hardball negotiator! Plus, his school had stopped all career fairs, etc. So, he didn’t have a traditional route many college students would have in normal times to connect with some other employers.

Can I, and should I, negotiate my offer during this COVID crisis? 

My answer:

You can negotiate anytime you feel you need to, but having the political savviness to understand the situation and current timing might work for you best long term if you don’t right now.

That being said, here’s how I would negotiate right now! First, you have to play this very coy. You, and the person making the offer, both know the dire straights going on right now, especially when employees are being laid off, but they’re making you an offer.

There are two things I might try if you feel like you can play this very soft. First, you still have a semester left of school, you could politely ask if they have any kind of tuition assistance and would they be willing to help you out during this last semester? The other ask could be for a signing bonus, to be paid upon start, which is later in the year, but good to negotiate now.

There is little risk they will pull the offer because you are trying to negotiate, and if you play it right you will come out looking fine, no matter the outcome. The other option is to just wait until your actual start date in December and then ask for a sign-on bonus at that point, or as you get close to starting, make the call and say something like, “Hey, I’ve got some friends who have accepted at other companies and they are all getting some sort of sign-on bonus, is this something I can get as well?”

You will learn a few things in this process:

  1. You don’t get what you don’t ask for, but timing can be everything in terms of when you ask.
  2. You are the only person managing your career. If you wait for a company to do it, you’ll miss out on a lot. Manage your own career.
  3. The job offer is contingent on them actually needing you when it comes time for you to start. It’s not a guarantee the employer will need you, so you don’t need to act like you’re signing a guaranteed contract. Things can and will happen between now and December.
  4. Know your value. Just because it sucks for everyone else, doesn’t mean it sucks for you.

What do you think? Should you negotiate in trying times?

 

What’s Wrong with Virtual Conferences? #Covid19 #Coronavirus

My Spring is usually filled with travel. This year because of the “Great Outbreak’ (I used this on Twitter before everyone, once you start to see it everywhere, just know, you and I, will know where it truly came from!) I’m not traveling at all, but I’m still doing a few conferences, virtually.

Virtual conferences have been around for a long time. Almost every organization I know has tried them at least once. Most of these were free events and while most have fairly high numbers organizations go back to the “real’ thing. Most of us tend to not like virtual conferences over the in-person conferences. Why?

I have an opinion that most virtual conferences fail to prosper is because we try and take the in-person experience and we just transfer it to online. Here’s everything we did at the in-person show, now it’s online and just via video. The thing is, an in-person presentation is quite different from an online presentation. It’s one reason so many people hate webinars! It’s just some person talking at you through your speakers with a deck in place of their actual face.

The reality is, these two experiences, in-person vs. virtual are truly two extremely different experiences. Just throwing content up online doesn’t make it the same. In fact, it kind of sucks for most attendees!

So, how could we make virtual conferences better? Big question! One no one has really figured out. We just keep throwing the same garbage up thinking it’s the future of conferences. It’s not, in its current format. Here are some things I think we should be doing to make virtual conferences something people will want to attend and pay for:

Live interaction with the community attending. One way to make this something people will remember is to get them more involved. I once did a “live” virtual event, which wasn’t really live. My presentation was recorded and then ran at a specific time and date, but I actually went into the chat while I was presenting and started asking questions and responding, etc. The chat blew up and everyone was interacting.

Live video feed of the presenter, not just the slides. We know people are more likely to watch a live person speak versus just watch a static slide for two minutes while you tell some story or make your point. Virtual conferences need to find out how to put the real person on screen.

Full professional production. You know what we love, all of us? Watching a well-produced TV show. If I’m running a virtual conference I’m not renting out a hotel ballroom and stage, I’m renting out a production studio and I’m going to make sure I’ve got great sound and lighting, etc. If you want someone to pay $1,000 or $2,000 to attend a virtual event, I better be entertained and it better look and sounds amazing. In the middle of the presentations give me live “anchors” talking about what we just saw and what we are about to see. Bring on a guest to talk shop, etc.

This will cost some money. It will cost way less money than an actual in-person conference, but if you want to make money doing virtual events, you need to up the production value a million times more than it is right now. No one is going to pay you big money to jump on a pseudo-Zoom conference call!

Should the US Women Soccer Team be Paid the Same as Men? No!

How’s that for a clickbait headline! “I knew it the SOB Tim Sackett is a Sexist!” Slow down, read the post, you might be surprised on my take…

The US Women’s Soccer team should not be paid the same as the US Men’s Soccer team. They should be paid more!

Okay, let’s dig into this issue.

The media coverage on this issue is rightly pro-US Women’s Soccer. The US Soccer’s legal team continues to make ridiculous statements in an attempt to fight for their client. That’s what you pay lawyers to do, win your case. The men have more responsibility!? What is this, 1935!?! I’m not even sure how the US Soccer’s in house council even allowed that language to be released!

Here’s the full read of the US Soccer Federation’s legal argument. It’s worth a read if you truly care about this issue.

My first reaction to this case when it first got hot last year was this entire thing is ridiculous. If the women want the same as the men, why not just do straight revenue share that is equal. Both men and women get the exact same percentage of revenue they bring and can split it up in whatever way they deem appropriate for their teams. Seem fair? I thought so.

You bring in more money, you get more money. You bring in less, you get less, but don’t bitch, you brought in less.

My thought process on this issue has changed considerably since my first reaction. I love the logic behind revenue share because the Capitalist in me seems like that is equitable and fair. You make more, you get more. But the reality is, the women, in this case, have not had the same advantages of the men for decades, maybe a century, when it comes to this issue.

Let me break down some points:

– You don’t want to hear this but if the US Women’s Soccer team had the same contract as the US Men’s soccer team, they would actually make less money than their current contract. The US Men would argue and are currently renegotiating, they would make more if they had the women’s contract! From US Soccer, the women actually make more than the men, but the men make more overall because of professional money and non-US Soccer tournaments.

– Men’s soccer has been funded and supported at such a different level for so long, it has given them a giant, one could argue, an unsurpassable advantage in player development, infrastructure, marketing, etc. This is why the US Men don’t require have compensation to play on the national team because they make exponentially more than the women playing professional soccer.

– If we pay the US Women equally to the US Men, the women will actually make less overall, because they don’t have this advantage of time and resources the men have gotten for so long. I don’t think pay equality is what is needed, it’s pay fairness. By the way, if you take a few minutes and actually read the legal documents, this also what the US Women are saying. But, in the media, it wouldn’t play well to say “we want more”! But, what they are actually trying to get, would, in fact, pay them more than the men, when it comes to US Soccer compensation, but not total overall compensation.

– Carli Lloyd, the famous US Soccer women’s player, admitted in her testimony that the US Men actually do have more “skill” when it comes to speed and strength. The use of the word “skill” is really what the media pulled out. The actually tactical and strategic soccer skills, ballhandling, passing, etc. Is way too subjective to argue that men have more skill than women.

– “Women’s Soccer and Men’s Soccer are not the same game.” This was a statement from my wife, a former D1 college athlete and a national team invitee. The name is the same, but we have to get over this fact that men and women playing a similar game is the same. It’s different! I love to watch women’s volleyball. Men’s volleyball is boring. I would rather watch men’s basketball over women’s basketball. If I love “basketball” why don’t I love watching both? Because I actually love watching “Men’s basketball”. Different games.

– The legal argument that US men soccer team members have more responsibility is just an ignorant statement. Again, based on history, awareness, resources, etc. US citizens get super pissed if US “men” lose at anything to other countries because we’ve been conditioned by mostly media, that this is how we should react. If the women lose, we tend to not be as upset. “Oh, they played their butts off! Next time!”  Again, we’ve been conditioned to this response. If we would have been conditioned that losing, men or women in a national team competition, is awful and unacceptable for decades, we would all truly believe this responsibility is equal, which it is, but we tend to think differently about, because of how we’ve been conditioned.

– These are all union bargained terms. This is why the US women have taken their argument public because legally this win will be hard. They bargained fairly and agreed to these terms. Courts love to uphold bargained agreements. You signed the contract and now you think it sucks. Okay, go back to the bargaining table. Isn’t that why you joined a union?

I hear your argument right now. “Tim, more people want to watch men over women, the TV viewership, ticket sales, etc., show this!” The reason women don’t have the same resources is because it’s not the entertainment people want. Well, for decades, men were the only entertainment option we’ve been given! “Tim, men’s football and men’s basketball pay for all those Title 9 scholarships for women!” And every other men’s sport as well. Again, historically we didn’t support women’s athletics even close to men’s. So, if we did, from the beginning, would we even need Title 9? We won’t know, we are where we are right now.

Also, I don’t give a crap that one team was more successful than another. In the world of national teams, that doesn’t really matter. In the US, our best male athletes usually gravitate to the sport that pays them the most money (basketball, American football, baseball, even hockey). Women, again, don’t have those same avenues. The highest NBA player salary in 2019 was $34,000,000 per season. The highest WNBA player salary was $127,000.

The US Women’s Soccer team should not be paid equal to the US Men’s team. They should be paid more. Paying them the same would just be another injustice to female soccer players. We have systematically put women athletes at a disadvantage for so long in the US. Not pay equity, pay fairness.

4 Great Things About Your 401K Taking a Dump!

The stock market is in the crapper and everyone’s 401K took a hit that will take years to recover, so how can any of this be great!?!

Oh, just give me a minute to explain…

Yeah, it sucks! I mean panic in the streets sucks, I just lost my retirement condo in Boca sucks! I’m trying to make light of a bad financial situation. Oh wait, I kind of am.

The reality is we all put ourselves in this situation. We gambled. We put our money into mutual funds and 401Ks and other investment vehicles and we loved watching them gain money for the last ten years! Since the great recession, the S&P 500 has tripled! If you got in early, you’ve seen your entire retirement increase substantially from where it was.

Good news, bad news. It sucks we are all taking this hit, but we’ve had a great ride up! Plus, it will ride up again, for those who have a few years. For those who don’t, I’m very sorry, truly. It’s a great lesson for us all that as we get close to retirement, get the vast majority of your money out of the market and into much more conservative investments.

So, what about this nightmare do I think is great?

1. GenX lives! It’s too late for the Baby Boomers, they’re out. The Millennials thought they were on the cusp of taking over, well sorry, kids, Daddy isn’t leaving just yet! Thanks to the market fall, Gen X is here to stay for another decade and the Millennials looking to take over as leaders are just going to have to sit back and relax.

2. Retirement is Boring! I know you wanted to retire. It seems so great sitting around Florida watching your friends get older, sicker, and eventually die. Look, you get one run around this rock, why just stop, let’s keep this thing going! There isn’t one part of me that is looking forward to retirement. What am I going to do, sit home and watch crappy CBS cop shows? Nope, apparently, I’ll be getting a second job to help pay for the food bill with all my Gen Z kids at home that can’t find jobs.

3. Being Poor is a Great Diet Plan. Do you know no one has ever written a diet book about not having money and how it reduces your caloric intake? It seems like someone would have ‘scientifically’ picked up on that. Ugh, I lost most of my retirement in the stock market, now I have to stop going out for the nice 3,000 calorie dinners at the Applebee’s! America is way fat! LIKE WAAAAYYY FAT! We all need a diet. To feel a bit hungry again. We’ll all be tougher for it!

4. I’m buying great companies at a super discount! I’m a conservative gambler. I only like winning! Do you know how you win? Buy great, profitable companies, at 50% off and double your money in a shorter period of time! Now is not the time to be gun shy. This will be one of the top 2 or 3 buying opportunities in the history of the market!

I know, there is a portion of folks who will read this and think, “Tim’s an asshole!” How can he say this!?! He has no empathy! (Editor’s Note: Tim is an asshole.)

We all choose to react to tragedy in different ways. This sucks. This sucks for me and my family. This sucks for my business. This sucks for you. We can all agree on that. I also need to move on. To move forward. We did that after the great recession and we were stronger for it. We’ll do that again.

Also, Gen X Lives!

3 Immediate #Coronavirus Rules for Every Workplace!

I’m not an alarmist, but this Coronavirus thing is getting serious!

While this isn’t a big deal in the U.S. I respect the fact that the CDC and WHO are telling us all we need to get prepared. That Covid-19 is going to have an impact on our daily lives. In HR, we tend to be the ones who are responsible for the preparation of stuff like this in our organizations.

So, what should you be doing at your company to ensure your employees are safe and you stay Covid-19 free!?! (Editor’s Note: Tim is not a doctor or a medical professional, his advice might actually kill you. Continue reading at your own risk.) 

#1 – The Fist Bump! 

The what, what!?! Shaking hands in the U.S. is still a thing. You know I like hugging, but holy crap, a really good hug could kill a person nowadays! That being said, I’ll still be hugging, even if it kills me. I’ll die happy. There’s actually research, from the American Journal of Infection Control, showing that a better greeting to limit virus exposure is a Fist Bump! By the way, a wet handshake or sloppy cheek kiss is definitely going to give you the virus!

That’s right, just a quick fist bump if you must have physical contact with the person you are coming into contact with. Also, stop wearing the masks, there are also studies that have shown those don’t actually work at all and you just creep everyone out!

#2 – If you are sick, don’t be a hero! 

Cue Enrique Iglesias Hero song…Tim whispering “Let me be your hero…” Was there anyone sexier when that song came out and he’s in that stocking cap!? And that accent! Stop it. I’m straight and I’m fairly sure I thew my boxers on stage.

Look if you’re sick, DO NOT come to work. But my boss thinks I’m faking!?! Look, if your boss thinks that, you’ve probably given them a reason and you should be worried. Still don’t come to work and kill our entire company, you moron!

#3 – Cancel your travel to the hot zones! 

No, that’s not the Cayman Islands! Yes, it’s quite temperate there, but we’re talking about traveling to places where they have known outbreaks. Next week isn’t the time to “get back into” China! “Hey Billy, buy a ticket! We’re heading to Wuhan!” Traveling on an airplane is one step away from patient-zero on your best days. I’m fairly certain I’ve had patient-zero sitting behind on three flights already this year!

If you do have to fly to the non-hot zone, be smart. Dudes! Yes, I’m talking specifically to you. I see you in the airport bathrooms taking a leak and then walking out without washing your hands! That is beyond gross! It could kill you! Two words – Antibacterial Gel! Use it. Wear it. Gargle with it! (Editor’s note: Do not gargle antibacterial gel, Tim is an idiot!). 

I’m going on record right now that this entire Covid-19 thing got started by dumb dudes who don’t wash their hands after using the restroom.

So, what have we learned today?

– Fisting good.

– Enrique sexy.

– Dudes are gross.

Stay safe out there my friends and get prepared! This is not a warning! 

 

What I’ve Learned in a Half Century of Living on this Planet

2-20-2020

Seems like the number people feel like this is some special birthday for me. It’s my 50th. Ugh, that’s hard to type. 50 seems so fucking old! When I was in college, 50 seemed like a lifetime away and now that I’m here, I don’t feel 50.

I actually wasn’t going to write this. I’m in a world where being old is a career death sentence, especially in today’s world! “Wait, you’re a fifty-year-old, white dude!? Yeah, next…” I get it, most middle-aged white dudes are beyond lame. Also, fifty really isn’t middle-aged, unless I plan on living to 100!

…And with my high level of income, there’s no reason I can’t live to be 245, maybe 300! – Ricky Bobby

Mentally, I feel like I’m a young 30-ish. Humor-wise, maybe young 20’s. Physically, maybe 67, which also makes no sense because I work harder now at being physically fit than I have in twenty years! So, this entire birthday makes absolutely no sense to me.

What have I learned in my fifty years on this rock? 

– Don’t love or give expecting to be loved or given something in return. If you love to love, then love. If you love to give, then give. If you expect something in return, you’re going to be let down frequently.

– The best seats are almost always worth it.

– Find someone who makes you better and never let them go. Too often we find people who want to make us the best version of ourselves and we push them away, “why can’t you just accept me for me!” Because “you” suck, but you can be so much better! Let’s try!

– Once you drink four of anything, the quality and cost no longer matter. The person who says it does is most likely someone you don’t want to hang with, just from an annoyance standpoint. Yeah, I’m sure you can really tell the level of gin you’re drinking after the fifth one…

– It doesn’t matter how smart you are. If you bore the crap out of people they won’t hear what you have to say. If you try to impress the smartest person in the room, you’ll usually fail. Try to impress the rest.

– Never underestimate how great new shoes can make you feel.

– People in high-level jobs (CEOs, etc.), making millions of dollars are much more similar to you than you think. They just had better timing and networks.

– When someone tells you they have tried their hardest, most haven’t even given you 50%. That’s really hard for someone to hear, but it’s true. What they are really saying is “I’ve tried the hardest I’m going to for what I’m going to get out of this”. There’s a study that shows most people’s bodies will tell them they are done when they’ve only really used up 15% of their ability to keep going.

– Your value has little to do with your actual value and everything to do with how much someone is willing to pay you.

– A pizza and a six-pack in a hotel lobby with great friends always beats a 5-star restaurant when dining with idiots.

– Most people need a hug. A real, genuine hug. Linger a bit. Tell them you missed them. Tell them everything is going to be alright. Tell them you are there for them. Don’t linger too long, that’s creepy. Hug for real.

– People who tell you they aren’t the “Ritz Carlton” type, most likely haven’t stayed at a Ritz Carlton. Because that sh*t is dope! “It’s so choice…If you have the means…” – Ferris

– A great massage will leave you drooling like you had a stroke. Tip that person well.

– If you see someone who does something awesome, find a way to tell them, privately. A quick call, text, email, written note, pull them aside. That one-on-one interaction is the most valuable thing you can ever give them.

– “Call them again” is the most powerful recruiting strategy of all time. “I already called them and they weren’t interested.” So, call them again! That next call really makes you work. What are you going to say? What are you going to ask for? How will you get some kind of value out of this call? “Call them again!” 99.9% of people won’t make that second call.

–  It’s way better to know what you suck at than what you’re good at.

– No one on the planet works harder than a single mom. No one. Give these women a break. Help them. Admire them. Build environments that help them thrive.

– I’m simultaneously more woke and less woke as I hit the half-century. Part of me is so much more knowledgeable and understanding now as this age by a mile compared to younger me, and also older me just wants to know whey we all can’t just get along.

– Deadpool should have won an Oscar for Best Picture. Don’t @ me, Trolls! You can’t come up with a funnier movie, don’t even try. Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby is close.

– Don’t take financial advice from someone who’s car cost more than their house. They fail to understand the simple depreciation and appreciation of assets.

– Have an opinion. Hang with folks who don’t share your opinion, and value that fact you don’t share their opinion. It won’t get you promoted, but it will let you sleep at night, and lead to the best conversations you’ll ever have in your life.

– The only thing you’ll ever get everyone to agree on is puppies. 100% of everyone on the planet is in on puppies. Buy all the puppy stock you can.

– Don’t ever feel guilty about not spending ‘enough’ time with those you love, if the time you are spending away from them is for their benefit. But, when you do spend the time, really spend the time.

– Seeing other cultures and spending time around the world with people from other cultures is the best D&I training you’ll ever receive. Just go. The world continues to shrink. People will help you. I’ve made friends all over the world and it’s enriched my life beyond anything I could ever imagine.

– Hater’s gonna hate.

Thanks for letting me indulge myself today. I started blogging because I found it to be therapy. I write what I’m thinking. Sometimes you like it, sometimes you hate it, sometimes you forget about it the moment it’s read. Me too.

Compromise Kills Innovation!

The most innovative leaders of our time were mostly assholes. Why? They refused to budge on their idea. Everything in their body told them what needed to be done to make their idea happen, and they refused to compromise on even the smallest details. This is how greatness happens.

True change only happens when someone is unwilling to listen to their critics.

This is also the exact way more careers are killed than any others. It’s all or nothing. Greatness happens at the edges, not in the middle.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t fit well in most corporate environments. Most MBA programs don’t teach you to be a tyrant. Leadership development, in today’s corporate world, is about bringing everyone to the middle. Finding ways that we can all get along. Even suppressing those who push the envelope too far.

We want everyone to line up nice and pretty. To play the role they were hired to play. To be the poster children for compromise.

It’s important for leaders to understand this concept if your job as a leader is to drive innovation and change. You don’t drive this through compromise and you need some renegades on your team, that quite frankly you might not even enjoy being around.

It took me so long to learn this because I was a renegade as an employee. I couldn’t understand why my leaders kept pushing me to compromise when I knew the right way to do something, the better way to do something, the new way to do something.

Once I became a leader I acted the exact same way towards those who were like me. Get back in line. Run the play. Do what the others do. That was the leadership I was taught. I didn’t value those who seemed to be fighting me, just as I use to fight. New leaders struggle with this because we take it personally.

We feel like those renegade employees are actually fighting us. When in reality they’re fighting everything. It’s our job as leaders to understand that the fight they have is super valuable if directed at the right target! To get them to understand they don’t need to fight everyone and everything but pick some fights that help us all and then support that fight.

This isn’t everyone you lead. It’s actually a really tiny number, but it seems bigger because they take up a lot of time and cause a lot of commotion amongst the drones who want to stay in their box. But, this is how change and innovation are born. By one person who is unwilling to compromise because they know a better way and they’re willing to fight to make it a reality.

This isn’t to say it will always work. Most ideas fail, but those who are willing to make an uncompromising stand for their idea, stand a better chance of seeing that idea succeed.

Here’s where I struggle. If we believe the above premise is true, it seems exclusionary. So, can we be innovative and inclusive of thought all at the same time? I’m arguing above that you can’t. What do you think? Hit me in the comments.

The Top 5 Gifts to Get that Special Someone at the Office for Valentine’s Day!

Let’s get creepy today!

Remember back when you were in elementary school and your mom or dad would take you to the store and you would pick out your box of Valentine’s to give out at school? You had to make one of those little ‘mailboxes’ out of shoebox so everyone in your class could drop off one, and then you would go home after school and analyze each one like the Zapruder film!

Did Amber make me her ‘special’ Valentine or did she use a generic message card on me!?! Why did Jill put a ‘heart’ on top of her “i” to me? Why did Billy give me the card with kittens? Oh, the humanity of trying to figure out who loved you through the meaning of store-bought valentine cards!

Talk about stress! I’m not sure a kid goes through something more stressful than getting down to those last two or three cards and having to decide which crappy card you have left to give to the school bully so you don’t get beat up!

Thankfully, we are now all adults! Now we just have some weird or creepy person at work who believes they are in love with us and also believing that Valentine’s Day is the day they should profess this love! I’m going to make it easy for you, weird, creepy peeps! I’ve been there. I’ve been in love and struggled for the right gift! No worries, I got your back:

1. Their favorite work-appropriate drink. That special someone likes Starbucks double-shot, low-fat caramel mocha whatever, get them one! If you don’t know their drink order, you aren’t even trying to be a proper crush! This says, hey, I like you, but I’m not a completely insane stalker. Drop it off and be casual, and just say, “I got you your drink, wanted you to have a good start to your valentine’s day”, then walk away, don’t make it awkward!

2. Something sweet. Candy, cookie, cupcake. It’s traditional. It’s thoughtful. It doesn’t have to be consumed immediately. You can drop it off when they are at their work station or when they aren’t with a little note. Don’t be weird and make some creepy note (“I got you something sweet because I bet you taste sweet!” Vomit!)

3. Flowers from Anonymous. If you really want to win the day. Send that special someone flowers, but make it anonymous, and keep it anonymous! The great thing about the anonymous flowers is that person will talk about it all day, if not longer. The downfall is they might assume they came from the person they are really attracted to and that person might not be you! This doesn’t work if you’re already “kind of talking” to this person.

4. Jewelry! Kidding, don’t ever give jewelry to a co-worker that you are not romantically involved with! This is super creepy! Plus, it’s poor taste to do that level of gift at work. Only give jewelry to that special someone when you’re alone. Those idiots who propose to their special someone in a public place should be shot.

5. An invitation. You don’t know until you know…The reality is we all want to be wanted, but they might not want you, or they might. An email that says, Happy Valentine’s Day! I would love to take you out for a drink or dinner or a coffee. Let me know. Big risk, big payoff or big rejection. But, it allows the person in their own space to make a decision. If you don’t push the issue, you can survive this in the workplace. Pro tip: if you get rejected on this attempt, never do it again with this person and never mention it, ever, to anyone. Lock it away! The most creepy people in the world will turn this into a public thing at the office. Don’t do that!

So, you’ve got your one-week warning! Next Friday is Valentine’s Day. Valentine’s Day on a Friday is like the holy grail of Valentine’s Day. Crazy stuff happens because you have the weekend to fall in love or recover from your heartbreak! Are you ready!?!

The 1 Factor You Must Have to be an F500 CEO!

It’s not what you think.

Right now you’re sitting there reading this thinking, “I need to know what this is so I can see if I have it or can get it because it’s in my life plan to be an F500 CEO!” You probably are thinking it must something like grit, determination, maybe smarts, attractive looks, or maybe it’s Tim talking about this it’s probably height because he’s a short motherf@cker!

Something truly, statistically interesting has happened over the last 14 years to CEOs of the Fortune 500. It really defies logic.

In 2005 the average age of an F500 CEO was 46 years old. Feels about right. 46 feels like young enough but also old enough all at the same time. The perfect combination of youth and wisdom.

In 2019, do you know what the average age of an F500 CEO was? You would think in 14 years that line would probably stay about the same. Maybe because of all the Baby Boomers leaving the workforce we would see it fall, but probably not too much. If a few Boomers were hanging on, we might see it rise a little, but again, it’s hard to move the average all that much.

In 2019 the average age of an F500 CEO was 59! Basically, over 14 years, the average age went up one year every year! It’s hard to even imagine that could be the case!

So, what’ the one factor you need to be an F500 CEO? 

You need to be a Baby Boomer!

That’s right. Stop going to that Ivy league college and working on your MBA. Don’t worry if you’re ugly or short or fat or female or black or white or a dude. The only thing you really need to be is OLD!

Turns out, big giant companies like Old folks running their company!

Why?

If you are running a multi-billion dollar company, maybe even closing in on a trillion (Trillion is the new Billion!) you don’t want some kid at the wheel. You want someone with seasoning who will tend to be less reactive to major events. They’ll be a bit slower in how they move the company, a bit more conservative in how they manage the assets and resources.

Also, think about what’s happened over the past 15 years. We came out of the great recession. We had this young 45-ish CEO taking the lead in turning us around and putting us back on top. It actually worked! We’ve had this great decade of prosperity! Do you know what companies do when things are going really well? They don’t change anything! Including their CEO!

In fact, many times if the CEO wants to retire, and they trade that CEO in for a younger one, and 12 months in the company is slightly underperforming to expectations, they’ll fire that CEO quickly and bring back the old one to right the ship!

So, 37-year-old Millennial who is chomping at the bit to take over. Calm down and wait until you’re old! You really only have about twenty more years to wait until it’s ‘your time’. That isn’t that long, just 25% or so of your life. You’ll get there, be patient!

6 Ways Not to Treat a Speaker at Your Event!

I’m just getting ready to kick off the spring conference season and I’ve already had a handful of reminders of how not to treat someone who you are trusting to come to speak to your audience! It always amazes me how some conference organizers get this completely right and some fail massively!

Here are a few things you shouldn’t do:

1. Limit the conference pass to one day the speaker will be speaking. 

Really, you are asking me to come to speak at your conference, but then you are only going to give me access to your conference the one day you actually have me speaking? I think you’re missing the boat on what I might bring to the other days by having me there, plus you look super cheap and petty.

2. Only paying for one night of lodging. 

So, I’m coming from a snowy climate and you are now asking me to gamble that I’ll actually make it to your event. I can come the day before to ensure I’ll be there, but then you have me speak at 4 pm so I can’t possibly get a fight out, and now I have to pay for a room for an extra night on my own? Again, if you can’t afford two nights lodging for a speaker, you probably can’t afford to put on a conference!

3. Put limits on expenses that are so under market you are now turning me into a spendthrift to attend your event. 

It’s at minimum a $50 Uber ride from the airport to your venue, but you put in the contract a maximum of $35 for transportation from the airport. Or the only restaurant within walking distance is the hotel restaurant where the cheapest meal will be $40, but your limit is $25. Look, I don’t want to kill you on big expenses, but I also don’t want to pack my own lunch to make this work!

4. Give me a gift that is almost impossible to bring onto a plane. 

Okay, this sounds like I’m a pompous ass, right! Tim is complaining about a gift!?! But, if you give me a cutting board the size of Texas to bring home, I totally love the thought, but know that thing is never coming home with me! It’s not that I don’t love you did this, and it’s not generous, it’s that logistically it’s just a pain.

5. Don’t have diet Mt. Dew. 

Okay, this one is a bit personal but I don’t drink coffee and you want me coming in hot with the audience. Fully caffeinated, and shot out of a cannon!  “Would you like a bottle of water?” Nope! I’d like an IV drip of diet Dew!

6. Put them in a room that isn’t commensurate with the size of their audience.

Hey, we are so thankful for you to come to speak at our conference. To show you we put you in a room that holds 1,000 people, but we know only 50 will show up to see your session. Ugh! This is the worst ever for a speaker. To see hundreds of empty seats is defeating. It’s best to make the rooms smaller, have it standing room only, and the size of the room is a third the size. I don’t care about the size of the room, I care about how full the room is!

I’m a speaker and I hold events, and I understand the struggle of running an event and trying to make everyone happy. It’s next to impossible, but sometimes I think many of us aren’t even trying, or we care so much about the profitability of the event we start to treat people poorly.

The best events treat their speakers like a valuable commodity they want to return. How do we leave you with such a positive impression that you want to come back and you’ll tell your friends they should attend? That’s really the key. It doesn’t have to be about spending a bunch more money, but just making sure the speakers aren’t being put out of their way to perform their best at your event!