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This is JoCo podcast number two forty four with Echo, Charles and me, Jocke Willink. Good evening. Good evening.
And also joining me tonight is Mike Sahraoui and George Randall. And if you haven't listened to when Mike came on the podcast for the first time, go listen to that. It was number one. Thirty four. Mike was in Tasmania, Bruiser in the battle of Ramadi. And after that he did another. Nine combat deployments and he is part of our leadership consultancy, Echelon Front, where he also heads up our talent acquisition firm, which is called F Overwatch.
Mike, welcome back.
And also George Randol is an Army vet, came up through the ranks from enlisted to officer, which I guess we all have that in common, and then left the army for the corporate world where he eventually became a talent acquisition executive. That sounds impressive. Always keeping a focus on recruiting veterans and coaching them through the transition to civilian life. Now, there's all kinds of things we could talk about, but today we're going to focus on. Well, it's been one of the focuses that we've had for several years at Echelon Front, and it's a focus that you guys have taken and absolutely run with.
And that is talent it is finding. Recruiting, acquiring and retaining the best people. Obviously, all those things are a subset of leadership, but it's a subset that both of you have been focused on and. It's a subset that gets. Left out a lot and people ignore it.
And Mike, you you started D.F. Overwatch and you guys got so possessed by this that you guys have just written a book.
And the book is called The Talent War. And you've done a great job of. Covering this topic in the book, and I want to jump into it and really do something right now that might be considered lame.
I don't know, I'm not 100 percent sure, but I'm going to start with a quote from the book, but the quote that I'm going to start with from the book is a quote from me because I wrote the foreword.
So maybe that's lame. But here it is.
Leadership is the most important thing on the battlefield and the most important thing in business and in life. It is leadership that sets the example. It is leadership that makes decisions. It is leadership that unifies a team around a common goal. And it is leadership that takes care of the team and gets the mission done. But one of the most important roles of the leader is often overlooked. The responsibility of building the team in the first place. The leader is responsible for training, equipping and directing a team, but before any of that is possible, the leader must recruit, screen and acquire the right people for the team.
And that's a little bit from the forward, and then it jumps into this book that you guys wrote before we jump into it, at what point did you start thinking that the that we need to write about this, that we need to do something about this?
Were you thinking about this as as you stood up f overwatch as you guys started banging your heads together and moving forward with this? Mike, at what point did you start looking at?
Hey, we need to start telling people about talent and how they need to handle it as leaders.
You know, I love how you just said it's a subset of leadership. It absolutely is. And you just said it's one of the most overlooked parts is before you even step out on a venture, you've got to formulate the team. And that's hard. And really, you know, George and I nerd out on this where other people are talking about, you know, jiujitsu we're talking about Tom aquisition.
And if anyone calls me a nerd, I'll gladly provide my address. You can come have a conversation with me. No, I'm joking.
So the amount of companies we run into that reach out to us and say, hey, we need help and we're very genuine. We want to see our clients succeed, that's that's our primary goal. We also want to see our candidates prosper in those positions that we placemen.
But they are at a loss for what the correct steps are.
And as we looked at it, sort of out of frustration, of wanting to help them and them, not always following our guidance, we during our conversations, we talked about a lot about the special operations community and how it's taking them decades to create a world class talent acquisition process. Do they call it something different? It's not hiring. We call it assessment and selection.
And so one day I you know, usually how I carry out my ideas. I was probably watching TV and something in my head. I picked up the phone, called George and said, hey, we should write a book on this. And he said, OK. And then we started researching it. You know, we didn't think all the way through it. Most my ideas are half baked in. You know, Wollar, we found somebody to assist us through the process because neither of us had written a book.
I knew two guys that wrote a book. I didn't reach out to him, which was probably the biggest mistake. And we're learning a lot of that the hard way.
But this journey has been awesome and it's actually solidified and changed some of the views we have on going through this process and all the interviews. So, George, how did you two link up? What was funny?
I was actually listening to podcast one thirty four and so I'm listening to this.
And then you all mentioned if overwatching Austin, I'm like, you got to be kidding me. So I reached out to Mike on LinkedIn and I said, hey, you know what? We need some world class leaders where I work, you know? And he wrote back within minutes. And the next thing you know, we're at breakfast at Kirby Lane in Austin. And, you know, it was like, wow, I found my counterpart. I got somebody who thinks about talent like I do.
And it rapidly took off from there, you know, ultimately leading to the wedding, which at some point we might talk about.
I didn't marry George Litigiousness. There was no wedding. OK, I'll let it continue. He asked. I was already spoken for. So but yeah.
And and we just really started to think, OK, how do we pair up my twenty years and talent acquisition in his twenty years in Special Operations? And there was just so much synergy there in an instant and we were fortunate to see it and take off with it. Yeah.
You know, from when Mike originally started talking to me and laugh about, you know, doing something with talent acquisition for people, it was such a no brainer because all these companies we work with, we got to work with a company. We spend two days with them. And at the end, you know what they say?
They say, we would really love to have a couple of people with your backgrounds or, you know, do you know where we can find people? We were getting we heard that for years and years and years. Where can we get people that have this mindset, this leadership skill set where we find them? And, you know, they and I would kind of shrug your shoulders, well, you can try and hire vets or whatever. And then when Mike got on board and, you know, it just said, hey, we can actually do this because your background with vetted and it was it was just such an obvious answer to help the clients that we have a national front be able to get good people.
And on top of that, take veterans that are coming out that have been institutionalized because I don't know of a better way to describe it, because I know I was damn sure institutionalized. You know, I spent my entire adult life in the SEAL. Teams had no idea.
I thought, I'll tell people, people be like, you know, when you started teaching leadership, like, how did you know it was going to work in the civilian world?
I didn't. I didn't.
The first time I sat down with the CEO and was talking to him, I had no idea that almost never mind almost that that line for line, the leadership that we talked to. Seale's was the exact same leadership that was needed in a company or in a team, and as soon as I realized that, I said, oh, we've got something very special here because we had distilled it down and it made so much sense and had been tested soon as got out in the civilian sector.
Same thing. So when Mike started saying, hey, we could actually help the military folks and help the civilian companies, I mean, this is a just a win win across the board.
You know, you've got to you've got both sides of the equation that absolutely benefit from doing this math. And it doesn't get any better than that.
So so to actually now jump into the book a little bit, kicks on, kicks this off in chapter one you can't see with a Navy SEAL instructor told Dr Josh Codon.
Tell me about Josh Scott before I can tell you.
So Josh is our our counterpart helped write the book. Josh and I connected through multiple, multiple contacts. Josh's story is interesting. You know, you think we're nerds. Josh is the ultimate nerd nugget crap that he loves data. He's an industrial organizational psychologist. Well, when he was finishing his doctorate, he worked with the Navy out of Millington and eventually a contract came along which was offered to him to work with the Navy SEALs to assess how they assess and select talent into their community.
So he also worked a little bit with the MARSOC community, the Army Special Operations or Special Forces community, and he gained experience that most doctors, a clinical psychologist, don't receive. And then he took what he found based off assessing high performers, which arguably the special operations community is a bunch of high performers. And how do you apply that to a business setting? And it resonated extremely well. So as he stepped out of that contract, he stepped into the Fortune 500.
Right now, you know, he's the director of talent assessments for a major Fortune 500 company throughout the organization. And so he's you know, he's looking at all this data at performers, at different levels of the organization. And that's where he came into the book.
You know what that reminds me of?
So at some point I was talking to one of the guys that worked at Buddz as a civilian contractor, as what's what's the real word for an athletic trainer or is it just called an athletic trainer? Is that what it is? Is that the job, especially someone that looks at your sprained ankle or whatever it is? Ecotrust trainer, trainer.
So it's talking to one of those guys and he was talking about patella for moral syndrome. So patella femoral syndrome is this thing that you can get. And it's where your your your patella somehow rubs against your your femur or your patella tendon rubs against your femur and it get sore and swollen. Right. And he said, you know, in the civilian world, at a football team, at a baseball team, at a college football team, whatever he says, you might see a case of patella femoral syndrome.
You might see three in a season. He said, I see seven cases of patella femoral syndrome a day at Buddz.
So what I'm saying is you take this doctor that's used to looking at whatever the assessment of some civilian organization. We're going to assess some candidates and see what see where they're at and see where that mentally and see where that psychologically. And you have to wait for months and months to see how they actually perform.
When do they get put under pressure at Buddz? It's like, oh, here you go. Here's here's one hundred and eighty people that are about to get the biggest mental stress of their life in the next four weeks. And you get to look at that's that's that's an amazing way to get serious. And that's what would happen with these guys that would wear athletic trainers. And it was a couple of different approaches that guys would have.
Some guys would they would leave like a pro sports team and and come to Buddz.
And they would never want to leave because they were so, so much help or they'd come and get all that experience and then they'd go to a team because, you know, after you've seen hundreds of cases of patella femoral syndrome and ETB issues and whatever, all those little injuries that they deal with all the time, they show up at a baseball team, they can identify things so much easier than anybody else could. And so that's what it sounds like this this Dr.
Cotton is in to take it one step further.
Following that experience, he created something completely based off special operations and how we classify high performers. It's called the Elite Performance Indicator, the EPI. And he developed that personal assessment tool, which is now used by businesses. And what we're going to be using sort of is our index. That's just one of many assessments of our candidates for the overwatch candidates that come to us from the military budget. Yeah. All right.
So now that we've got Dr Josh Carson, we know about him. And so I'll take it from the top. You can't see talent, a Navy SEAL instructor told told Dr Josh Cotton it's not the biggest guy or the strongest or the fastest. You have to trust the process. The process will reveal who has the potential to become a seal. Dr. Cotton was working with the Navy SEAL community to improve their assessment and selection process. To that end, he'd been asking all the instructors, what do you look for in recruits?
He had received a lot of insightful answers. People who don't quit, team players who step up and lead resiliency, people who are calm under pressure, problem solvers.
This was the first instructor who had taken the question literally, but it was a good answer because you can't inherently see talent, not in somebody's physical appearance and especially not on their resume. Now we go into this little case study, which is interesting about this is people ask me, you know, like who's going to be you think that guy is going to make it?
I've said, I have no idea because you can't tell.
In fact, there was a guy who was a captain and a great guy and he had never signed anyone off and said, this guy is going to make it.
And and he eventually he got this candidate through whatever relationships he had. This candidate came out. This guy was like a multi linguist, really diverse background. Seemed like he had a bunch of bunch of experience, highly educated, and he signed off on the guy. And this the one guy he signed off on to be an officer in the SEAL teams. And the guy quit and he said, I'll never sign off. And he interviewed him the whole nine yards.
I was a captain in the SEAL. Teams signed off on the guy. He quit. He said, I'll never sign off on anyone again.
Now, let's be honest, it doesn't start that way. When when it was twenty five year old JoCo, you're like, hey, that guy, as you watch all that blood candidate lines up, he played football in a D1 school. He's going to make it or that kid that did speech and debate, he's going to be gone within the first two weeks. And like you say, life humbles you. You start to learn. You don't know.
You don't even have to go to twenty five year old your jock or you can go to nineteen years old. As I'm watching guys that were infinitely better qualified and athletically more talented than me and I'm watching them quit. And I was like, OK, I guess there's no telling who's going to get through this program.
And speaking of which is where you get to going back to the book, Mike embarrassedly learned this lesson firsthand when he was a student going through Naval Special Warfare Underwater Demolition SEAL training. But Mike was a prior enlisted recon Marine.
And by the way, I'm talking about Mike Rowe earlier sitting right here. Mike was a prior enlisted recon Marine, one of the Marine Corps Special Operations Capable Forces, which later became an official part of the special operations community in two thousand six and scout sniper in May of 2003. He was discharged, discharged as a sergeant and commissioned as a naval officer and issued immediate orders to Buddz. The Marines had taught him how to lead a team, and he foolishly and arrogantly believe that is natural, that this naturally led to the ability to determine which candidates would make great seals in which candidates didn't deserve to be there.
His six months in buds would be a brutal lesson in humility on how wrong he was and his ideas about evaluating candidates. How could he be in a position to determine who would make great special operations soldier when he was competing for the very honor the other students were striving for in this class? Mike made the same classic mistake that every business leader or H.R. manager makes when they toss a resume into the trash because the candidate doesn't have the exact education or industry experience required.
Like most hiring managers today, he judged a book by its cover. That book was Ryan Job. Ryan didn't look like a CEO. He was on the heavier side for a SEAL at least, and nobody knew how he'd make it through the initial how he'd made it through the initial physical standards to even get into Bud's. Mike looked at Ryan and he made a snap judgment. This guy's not going to make it. He thought Mike wasn't the only one who thought so.
The rest of the class and the SEAL instructors all thought Ryan didn't fit the mold of a seal.
Since everybody expected Ryan to quit, the instructors decided to speed the process along. They threw everything they could at Ryan with within ethical and legal means, of course.
Interesting note you made there, of course, interesting. Of course, it was within ethical and legal means. Budd's is already among the most intensive physical and mental training a person can endure. And it was even harder for the instructors made him run extra miles and do more pushups. They forced to be cold, wet and sandy longer than the rest of the students. By the end of hell week, approximately two months in training, the class had gone from two hundred and fifty students down to thirty five.
Recruit after recruit rang the bell three times, signifying a doaa drop on request. Or in layman's term, they quit. Only thirty five guys were left and Mike was one of them. He felt he was truly part of an elite organization, a brotherhood. As he looked down the line of the physical be standing alongside him, he was astonished. A few candidates to his left stood none other than Ryan Jobe, who was smiling.
Mike and Ryan both reported to SEAL Team three. They eventually deployed to Ramadi, Iraq, where they fought the battle of Ramadi in two thousand six, one of the fiercest battles of the global war on terror. Ryan performed as an automatic weapons machine gunner during his days in Ramadi after months of fierce fighting. Ryan was critically wounded during a major operation in south central Ramadi, a contested area held by al-Qaida forces. He was shot in the face by a sniper while laying down machine gun fire to cover a squad of SEALs closing on the enemy days after Ryan was wounded.
Doctors declared he would never recover his sight. Insult to injury, he also lost his sense of smell and taste. But it didn't slow him down. After his injury, Ryan displayed the same drive and resiliency he demonstrated during his days at BUDS. He refused to quit or feel sorry for himself. Despite all the setbacks, he finished his bachelor's in business with a 4.0 GPA. He ascended to fourteen thousand four hundred eleven feet of Mount Rainier and even shot and killed a trophy bull elk.
All this without his sight, smell or taste. Ryan underwent countless surgeries and rehabilitation and years after Ramadi in 2009, only a few weeks after he found out he and his wife, his high school sweetheart, would be having a baby, he aspirated and died during his 20 second surgery for his injuries. He became what SEALs call the last fatality of the battle of Ramadi. He was the third seal from his task unit to die. Fellow SEAL Mark Lee was the first and the second Michael Monsoor, who was awarded the Medal of Honor for jumping on a grenade to save two seals, one of which was Micarelli.
It's hard for me to believe now that he ever doubted Ryan, he was always waiting for a time to apologize and he found that time while they were in Ramadi while they were in Ramadi. After Mike apologized, Ryan said, it's OK, everyone's been misreading me all my life. So I don't know if there's a better example of why we can't judge a book by its cover than Riot and. You know, he ended up rolling into Charlie Platoon and tasking the Bruiser, and then he got some he got some personal love and encouragement from his platoon mates to make sure that he was going to be an awesome seal.
And he was.
But this is a metaphor for what? For what you guys see in the in the civilian sector with people looking at resumes and judge a book by its cover. Same thing every day, every day, thousands upon thousands of resumes coming in, managers like this guy has been at our competitor. This person has done A, B and C, they have all these experience. Yeah, got to hire. Got to hire them right away. No process. I just know it.
Gut call when I whenever talking to companies and all that. A common question is what you know what what questions should you ask during an interview.
It's a pretty common question or what assessment or what, what should we do. How should we screen? And you know, I'm always saying, hey, look, try and put the person in in a position or a situation that's assemblers they're going to be working in because that's the best way to assess if they're going to be able to do it or not. It's a similar thing that they're doing now. You know, for years they trying to figure out who is going to make it through seal training.
And now what they do is they send them to what is I think in Chicago, they send him Chicago and they go through a pre training situation where what they do is basically freaking train really, really hard. And a bunch of people don't make it through that. But then they find that, oh, yeah, more people that made it through that are going to make it through actual Buddz. Well, it's like. Is that not true? Sure.
I've got to look at the numbers.
I don't think it was a substantial increase in the number that actually made it through buds. But again, we've got to go back and look there. But it's the same thing with Dr. Cotton. And we see this with people who build assessments. Even 20 brought up trainers for the screening for J. SOC. There were physical trainers that believed they could give you an 80 percent, you know, sort of answer on whether somebody was going to make it through the training or not.
Everyone claims, oh, well, my my personal assessment test will give you 80 percent probability of whether the person will make it through the training.
And it's all wrong. That's what's the perfect question we need to answer in interview. We hear that all the time. There is no one perfect there's no one perfect personal assessment. You know, some people like the Hogan, other people like the desk. And what you're not going to find in this book is it's not prescriptive. It's not gonna be like, OK, step one, this is what you do. Step two, these are the questions that you need to ask.
These are the personal assessments that you use. It's different for every company. What it is, you've got to identify your process. What's the process that works for you that results in statistically the most quality hires. And that is a as you know, that is a decade long pursuit. State and special operations. There's still there's still constantly evolving process. Fifty decades and they're still involved in that process. So, yeah, you know, we hear it all the time and somebody says this is the number one question I ask that determines whether somebody is going to work at the company or not.
And and if that works, well, you know, we're not here to judge. That's great.
You know, we get people coming to us all the time saying, what are those questions? And I kind of cut them off. Like, do you know what success looks like in your company? Yeah, they're already starting down the interview path before they determine what success looks like, what they're even looking for, exactly what gaps do we have?
What are we trying to do here? You know, and, you know, when I was coaching veterans and, you know, Mike and I do this webinar and I said, can any of you tell me a time where you've left the wire and didn't clearly know what success looked like? But you watch people walk into the hiring process all the time and they're like, OK, here's a list of objective requirements. I want them to come from these companies.
OK, let's figure out the interview questions. They're like, you have it literally backwards.
Yeah. So I guess this is going back to what I was originally starting to say that I got sidetracked on. So when I asked companies or people ask me what's the question you ask, I always I always asked the group a question.
I'll say, who here has ever hired someone that did the best interview? It was outstanding. You thought this guy was a was a rock star. You bring him on board in total disaster and one hundred percent of time every single person will raise their hand because everyone has done that with this guy interviewed great supercold. She was terrific in the interview, all charismatic. They do a great job in the interview and their duds when they show up to work.
And then I asked the opposing question, which is, who here has look, you needed to fill a seat. You took a risk on somebody. You weren't really sure it would work out. They got in there and they crushed it. And the same thing, everyone raises their hand.
So it's a it's a common problem and it's a common problem that we all have where we we think we know better than life.
Yeah. And I got to tell you, you know, I've been doing this twenty plus years and, you know, I work for a Fortune 50 company. One year my team hired the team that I led, hired twenty three thousand people in one year. So I can say from a scale perspective that I probably hired more people than most on the planet. And I promise you, I've got to trust the process. There's no part of me that goes, oh, yeah, I got that down.
I know that person. Yeah, they're going to run. Now, that process, if you don't have a process and if you haven't defined success, hiring will humble you, you know, and you've got to approach it. And, you know, one of the things that Mike and I went to great lengths about in this book was no process is perfect. And it it's it you know, and, you know, one of the big things when you're talking with Josh was, you know, how do you know when you're doing it wrong?
How do you get a feedback loop and people just do hiring is something mechanical and they don't think about this. So we've got to go do this. So it's outsourced. And your H.R. is just OK, they're turning the crank and they're they're bringing people in the door. They're funneling through resumes. Yeah, but even with my years of experience, you know, you know, I'm always questioning myself. What am I missing? What am I missing?
Did I get this right? Did I evaluate all the right traits for success in this role? And, you know, I'm still going to miss and I'll get humbled by it real quick every time I think I'm confident Murphy's Law comes around and humbles me.
Click It's an art and it's an art. There is a science behind it. But ultimately, much like you can study war in the United States and train for for a decade, but until you step into the arena of war, you really don't hone that art. And so you're going to make mistakes if you have a process. When we see the bad hydra's happen is when people deviate from that process and they put a time limit on it and we're not taking it, we're not telling anyone that you're going to take six months to interview somebody to hire for the job.
No, we understand that it has to be within a reasonable time line. But, you know, I know we're probably going to get to this. You can have the greatest, you know, world's best talent acquisition process. You can have a great process. But if you don't have your leadership foundation, if it's not solid within the organization, you're going to become a revolving door for talent. You're going to get great people in the company. And once they recognize that there's bad leadership, they're going to leave.
So funny enough, this book and you know, it's a subset, it's an important part of leadership. You actually have to start with your leadership foundation before you even start to build a good hiring process. And that's where a lot of people get it wrong. What we're lacking talent. Let's just get good common good talent. Come in. And again, if you're working for a bad leader, that that person is going to leave. What do we always say?
You you know, you select a boss, not a job. You select a great boss. Yeah.
You say something in here, too. It's the same it's the same thing that you're saying. And we'll get to it later. But good, if you're hiring good people, they don't put up with knuckleheads. You know, they don't they don't want to work for a knucklehead. So if you if you go out, you hire someone that's awesome and you're a knucklehead or your leadership is a bunch of knuckleheads, they're not going to stay there. That's just the way it works.
And the other thing is, you know, you're not just like combat.
You're not going to eliminate all risk when you make a hire. I mean, there's always going to be some level of risk there. But what you can do if you set up the right process is mitigate that risk as much as humanly possible and then you end up in a much better situation.
Getting back to the book, because, damn, apparently we can all get sidetracked pretty quick. I guess I can nerd out on talento, huh? A little bit. You go to this section of what is talent. At the most basic level, talent equals high potential candidates, the people most likely to become high performers. Talent is people like Ryan Jope. It is the individual who never gives up, who performs in high pressure situations and who will win.
When others say it's impossible, talent drives the team forward and talent wins.
And I'm skipping forward, which, by the way, if this book, when I read it seems a little bit fragmented, it's because I'm not reading the whole thing. You have to buy the book to get all the information. But I'm going to skip ahead here. Based on our research and interviews, we have identified nine core characteristics that mark an individual as having high potential drive, the unrelenting need for achievement and constant self-improvement, resiliency, the ability to persevere in the face of challenge and bounce back from setbacks, adaptability, the ability to adjust according to the situation, learn new things, innovate and try new methods, humility, self-confidence in one's ability, while understanding that there's always room for improvement and that others experiences and knowledge are valuable integrity and edit and adherence to not only what is legal, but also what is right.
Effective intelligence, the ability to apply one's knowledge to real world scenarios, team ability, the ability to function as part of a team, placing the success of the whole above, the needs of the self curiosity, a desire to explore the unknown and question the status quo in pursuit of better, more effective solutions. And the last one is emotional strength, a positive attitude, high empathy and control over one's own emotions, especially in chaotic and stressful situations.
These traits are heavily emphasized in special operations and explain why many veterans go on to accomplish. Incredible things in the business world after their military service, for instance, many companies, including Johnson and Johnson with Alex Gorsky, FedEx with Fred Smith, Bridgewater, David McCormick and Seven-Eleven Joe Depinto, to name a few, are run by veterans. These nine attributes are foundational to success no matter the industry. So when you say, based on our research and interviews, is this stuff that Dr.
Cotton kind of put forward or where'd you guys come up with this?
So it's a combination of what Dr. Cotton sort of his discovery. And then we also went in, we interviewed people that ran the assessment selection for these different communities, MARSOC, the Navy SEALs, the Green Berets. We worked with a amazing individual. His name is Brian Decker. He was a lieutenant colonel. He was in charge of the Special Forces assessment and selection process and actually sort of revolutionized it really around the concept of the whole man concept. And so each of these communities have a set of core attributes they're looking for.
And it goes back really quickly. You did make a point about, you know, you hire somebody who interviews extremely well and they end up not working out. And that's what we call personality versus character. What you did was you hired based off personality and likability and what is personality. That's really your external sort of show to the world where characters, the inner attributes that drive your behaviors. And we've all fallen for that.
It's like if you're your customer facing self versus your internal self. Exactly. And, you know, one of the things we talk about in the book is like the last thing you want to hire for people. Get this, you know, this culture fit are their culture fit. And it sort of becomes this just ad hoc term they throw out, but they don't really understand. And when people say culture fit, a lot of times what they mean is, do I like this person?
And what we talk about in the book is that some of the most high performing schools that I served with and you serve with I didn't like we were professionals and worked well together. But when the job was done, he went and hung out with his inner circle and I went and hung with mine. But likeability for professionals is not a requirement. Now, if you guys just conflict and it creates a toxic culture, that's a different thing. But the least important thing to me was likability.
If the individual performs and he can actually put his self needs aside or her self needs aside for the common good of the team, that somebody that can be part of the culture as long as their values align with our culture, their ethical.
Yeah, I mean, I think here's the deal on that. From my perspective, if there's someone that works hard and is there to support the team, I like them.
You know, they're like, I don't know anyone that has. Here's here's the interesting thing. I know people that have good personalities and bad character. They exist, but I don't know of anyone.
And so I might not like someone that has a good personality. And you can think when I think of these people, I just think of famous people, right? There's all these famous people that they have these personalities. And then all of a sudden the story breaks that they're total dirtbags. Right. And they're whatever. They've got the most heinous things going on in their personal lives. So you've got that where someone has a good personality, they're forward.
Facing personality is real positive. But then behind closed doors, they're scumbags. And but if you flip that over, I can't think of anybody that has a good character, that they're a good character, but they're a bad. But they have a bad personality. I don't I don't it's hard for me to think about. Now, is there someone that maybe has a has a good character and they're there maybe to direct or maybe they're maybe they don't talk a lot or, you know, whatever, but but normally, if they've got to if their egos in check, they're there to support the team.
I mean, I can't yeah. It's pretty rare. But a better way of putting it is there were people that were high performers that were just sort of socially awkward to me. They were introverted or just like they were to direct it, burn sometimes bridges. You understood their personality, but other people did it back to the attributes. So Brian Dekkers, now the director of player development for the Indianapolis Colts, and so took what he learned in Special Forces assessment.
And he's now playing it. He's been in the NFL. He's worked for two teams for about six years when they revolutionized. And, you know, it pains me to say this, but I can put my ego aside. The Special Forces Army Special Forces community was much further ahead in terms of creating a structured and professionalized assessment of how they select Special Forces soldiers into the community. SEALs. It was just sort of this oral history passed down. And when I went over there as a guest instructor at their phase two, which is their small unit training, that's when I was really exposed to their whole process.
And this thing called the. Man concept in the fact that they were looking for specific attributes, so when they redesigned their assessment selection, they created tasks much like an interview process where they're trying to elicit certain behaviors, whether good or bad, and that's what they're looking for. And so that translates to companies. It doesn't matter what your interview process is or if you have written tests, what you're trying to elicit with every question should have meaning behind it in an interview process.
And ultimately, that question has to drive behaviors that people call this, you know, in the civilian world, behavioral interviews. They're one of the best techniques if you do it well, yeah.
The the German army, as they were trying to get their their officers to step up and implement decentralized command and be able to make moves.
One of the things that I've read about they would do is they would give them here's the rules that you have to follow for this training operation. And the only way that they could actually successfully complete the mission would be to break the rules. And so it was a test to see if they would break the rules in order to accomplish the mission.
And then there was and look, even if you if you didn't break the rules, it didn't necessarily mean that you were a bad person. It just now we know more about you. Right now I know more about you and you. We got into some of this on wound up at Gettysburg for for F battlefield.
You know, the fact that Lee didn't know his his two subordinates as well as he had before Jackson died. So he's talking to you all and he's telling you all that he wants to do something. But he didn't know him well, he doesn't know his personality well enough.
So when he tells you, hey, take that thing if you can't take that hill, if you can and you'll goes out and says, well, I can't, he could of it just would have been a gut check.
And if you would have told Jackson to take that hill, Jackson would have taken that hill. So these are this idea behind setting up questions or situations or problems that you have to solve that reveal some part of your character is a very cool thing.
You know, when you mentioned earlier about when people come to you and ask what's the best interview question, the question back to him is how are you screening for character? As one of the things we go into this book is that most of those questions are about experience. Do you have this objective experience? They're not screening for character. And so, you know, with the research that we did with Dr. Josh Scott and brought to us and when we figure these out, you know, our point is, is that, you know, once you meet that simple experiential gait, when you've got the basics, you need to start screening for character and you go company by company by company.
And and I and I hate in some ways to say this because I see it all the time, which is executives are almost the worst of this, picking other executives and they don't screen for character they're looking for. Did you work at competition? How did you move the revenue? How did you improve customer success? How did you move a product along? They don't go down into character. And I I've sat in interview after interview after interview and it and it's all objective traits or, you know, basic subjective traits that don't go deep into character.
And that's what's missing. People will default to objective things because they're measurable, they're easy, it's it's it's the easy button. The subjective is what's hard. He talked about defining success. You know, one of the mistakes we see with companies do is they just have one interview process across the organization. You actually have to create talent profiles for each of the roles and functions in levels of. And that's why it takes a lot of time. So what's going to make a great engineer in a company is vastly different from what makes a great salesperson.
So a lot of the times why companies don't define success and they're not good at the interview process is they haven't take the time to create talent profiles for the different levels and the different functions within the community. It's much like a seal. The attributes that make a great seal are vastly different than the attributes for special operations, direct support, an intel officer or someone handling the logistics. And we've gotten smarter about that over the years as well. And what a lot of people don't understand is we're not only screening the Green Berets and the Navy SEALs, we're also screening the people that provide the support to those organizations that ultimately come under our umbrella.
They're being screened for specific attributes as well.
Think about the attributes of a good point man versus a good breacher. Right? This is like two guys, the same food. But you know that Breacher, your attitude versus a point bad attitude, that's even those guys are a little bit different and they kind of get picked when you show up at the team, you know, some little guy, that sneaky point man, some big freakin bruiser walking around. Breacher So let me let me throw this out.
You often see that a bachelor's degree is a requirement and a lot of companies can't articulate that.
Yeah, why why is that even a requirement in.
I'm not saying, you know, it does show somebody took the the the initiative to go complete their bachelor's degree or a master's. And I understand that.
But he's got a great story about when C++ programming came along and I'll let him tell it.
Yeah. Just embarrassing for the people that that were requesting a coder.
Yeah, I had a it was actually Python was the language that they were coding in. And I had a senior engineer come to me and say, Hey, George, you got to go find me somebody with five years of python experience, like, well, we can't do that.
He's like, well, why not?
And it's only been around three years.
And you mind if we knock that requirement back down to three? But it's scary that he was so wired to getting an objective level of experience that he didn't relate to the job and was completely arbitrary and wasn't find any measure of success. So, I mean, we calibrated them really quickly and we got somebody that had spent most of their, you know, the last few years doing Python, you know, coding, but, you know, working with that language.
But it was shocking that it came from an engineer.
Yeah, you got to watch out for that one. Going back to the book, The Importance of a talent mindset. And this is this is sort of a thread that goes throughout the book. A talent mindset is the deep belief that human capital is the single most important competitive advantage your company can have when a company has talent, mindset, assessing, selecting and developing the best talent is a top priority.
A talent mindset not only accounts for hiring talented people, but also includes the continual development and investment in that talent through their tenure in the organization. So beyond just bringing people on board, it's continuing to grow them and make them better.
So we call it the high potential when you're going through the interview process to select new SEALs in when they graduate, but are they had performers? They're not yet. They have been proven. They passed the first gate. That gate is closed. They are high potentials. So even if you're looking for a front line trooper, front line employee or a brand new CEO, when you bring them into the organization, if you made that decision that they're going to be part of the team, even if he's been a prior CEO to another company, he's a high potential within that new organization.
He's not proven yet. So in order to turn that person from a high potential, I mean, this is what we do for a living, the national honor right now, you have to develop them. And that takes a lot of time and effort and it never stops. And if you want to turn that high potential new high performer, it's again, it's you have to pour in and invest in those people. And that's why Special Operations was sort of the the foundational organization we focused on in this book, because they do it so well at the core of what makes special operations so special.
It's their fundamental belief that people are everything. And of course, when we say people, you're also talking about leadership.
And then, you know, you look, it's one of the things we drive through in the book. That talent mindset is that everything changes so rapidly today. Technology, the economy, markets, companies, your only true competitive advantage is talent. And that's what we're trying to convey, is that it isn't the hardware in special operations, it's the people. And that's how it's got to be in corporate America. And it's got to be where you treat your human capital with the same rigor and the same focus that you treat your financial capital.
And time and again, Mike and I see that, you know, of course, revenue cures. All people are focused on revenue. They're not focused on the human capital, which is driving everything.
You get into this section, chapter two, what's so wrong with traditional hiring practices?
George felt as if he'd won the lottery for a career through a highly selective vetting veteran hiring group. He'd just been offered a position at one of the world's largest big box retailers. According to the company representative, they were looking for driven leaders who knew how to mentor, lead and provide vision for people. It sounded like the perfect fit for George. Plus, the job included a good salary, stock options and growth opportunity. It was George's first civilian job after nearly a decade of active duty service and which set him up to be able to go anywhere and do anything.
George accepted the job. His very first day of orientation, training and onboarding was like a punch in the gut. Nothing was about talent or leadership. The position was none of the things they had advertised or told him. They didn't want a leader. They wanted someone who would fill vacant positions as quickly as possible with people who would adhere strictly to the rules. They were looking for cogs in a machine, not talent. Accordingly, their recruiting teams were evaluated based on efficiency, their speed of filling vacant roles and cost per hire.
To say it was a bad fit, it was a gross understatement. Nevertheless, George soon proved himself to be a high performer and was promoted. His new role still wasn't a good fit fit, so he applied for other positions within the company. He felt he would be more suitable, despite exceeding all his key performance indicators and being ranked in the top five percent of his divisional employees. The company refused to move him. He was succeeding in a leadership role that others struggled with, so the company wanted to keep him there.
George made it 20 months before he quit. He wasn't the only one who had to leave quickly. Several peers who shared his talent mindset let also left. Within two years, George and his peers had been able to transform and improve their small assigned corners of the company. But as soon as they left, everything reverted back to the status quo. Attrition went up and all the KPIs went unmet. George learned a lot of valuable lessons from that big box retailer primarily and what not to do, which can be as important as knowing what to do.
It was a first hand look at how broken traditional talent acquisition is. The mistakes his organization made are the same ones we see companies make again and again. And here they are lacking a talent mindset, not understanding how HRR should be structured to drive impact, having a button siege mentality, participating in fear based hiring and settling for mediocrity. Any one of these mistakes can spell disaster for an organization. But the most destructive mistake is missing the talent mindset.
Rough first tore out of the military.
It was. It was. And you know, I've got a four year old. My wife's pregnant, but I'm thinking, OK, I've had a great career. The things that made me successful in the military, they're going to make me successful in the corporate world. And I've just fired up, you know, young don't know what I don't know and use one of those veteran firms and oh, I landed a job.
You know, what I think is interesting about that is I bet that many people here oh, you've got a guy that's been in the military for ten years, what he wants and what he expects. This is someone that hasn't been in the military. What he wants and what he expects is to be told what to do and then follow. The protocol has been, as you're told, and stay in your box. And anyone that's been in the military knows that that's not how the military operates.
At least that's not how it should operate. So you go into that position.
They think, oh, cool, we've got a cog here that we that we can just count on to, you know, run the numbers, whatever, follow the daily program when in reality, what does a military individual want to do, wants to improve things, wants to make things better, wants to grow, wants to get more efficient, wants to, wants to push and improve. That's what we want to do. And all of a sudden, you're trapped in a situation where.
No, don't do that. Oh, yeah, I was I'm sitting there and you walk in the first day and I'm like, what happened? What did I miss? How did I miss this? You know, the other thing they want to rule followers.
You know, this is a big box retailer. We won't we go to great lengths. We do not name any of these companies, but I walk in the door. Everybody would know this one. And they're expecting me to execute very specific rules. I mean, it they had more manuals for the same task than the United States Army does.
It was it was fun. And that's impressive. That's very impressive how you pull that off. You want to know how to do something. There's a there's a binder up there. And, you know, this is this is before everything's, you know, on your iPads and on your computer.
And they wanted rule followers. And immediately I knew that was wrong because to your point, the one thing that I would add is, you know, military people come out, want to win. They want to make a difference. They want to make an impact. And so when you're looking at a company and you know, you see this this big name and I got to be honest, another way I got humbled was those stock options looked really, really good when I came out.
I'm like, woohoo, I've got equity. I got something I would never get otherwise. But they want to rule followers and and so there was no there were no latitude, you know what? I want my commanders, you know, everybody I work with, they give me my left and right limits. But they also entrust me to make good, solid decisions, to take care of my people if I need to exceed that left and right limit.
And I communicate those things. But I got here and it's it literally you're in a really, really small box and you go from thinking that you're going to be wildly successful. And to be honest with you, I was because I don't care what you're gonna throw at me, I'm going to figure it out. And I did. But it was just missing so many things. And veterans crave being able to make you were just making a difference in the service.
Now you want to make a difference in the corporate world. And, you know, I was kind of almost ashamed to come back, tell my wife, honey, I think I made a mistake. You know, when she's eight months pregnant, that was not coming out of my mouth. You know, I was just like, OK, I got to figure this stuff out, but yeah. Bad fit.
And just to make sure I clarify this point, to say that military people we're not saying that military people are not rule followers.
And look, in the military, you follow all kinds of rules from the way you cut your hair to the way you freak and wear your clothing like you follow rules. But there's there's another level to this. And as a leader, the last thing I look as a leader, I wanted people that followed rules. And here's the key point. As long as the rules made sense and if the rules didn't make sense, I wanted my guys to come to me and say, hey, you know what?
This thing that we're supposed to be doing, it doesn't make any sense. And here's why. I don't want people that blindly follow rules that don't make sense if there's rules in place.
And there's a good reason for. Absolutely. Military guys are great military guys and men and women are great at taking a protocol and exercising that protocol. And we have the discipline to and the mindset to get that done. But what's even more important than that is having the mind to look at a problem, look at a situation, look at a protocol and say, wait a second, we can make this better. We can do this more efficiently. That's what that's not only what we do, but it's what we want to do and what drives us.
Because, like you said, we want to win.
Yeah. Do you want to and am I can I try to do this with each other? And you want to empower the people that work for you, that you're leaving to do the very same thing to say, hey, you've got a good idea. And I borrowed a phrase from the two of you, the best idea wins. You come up with an idea. It makes sense. You know, it's not illegal, it's not immoral, it's not unethical.
And it's going to drive revenue or improve something. Hey, let's get after it. Let's go do it. I came up with an idea that I figured out in one year would do two million dollars in operating cost reduction. And the answer was, is it in the book like, well, no.
And neither is the two million dollars, by the way. And it was still no. And, you know, that's kind of the environment where a military leader goes, OK, I'm not going to reach my potential here. I'm not going to be able to do all the things that I want to do and and and, you know, was challenged because, you know, I don't want to quit anything. But you sometimes have to make those hard decisions in your career to say, yeah, I could impact better somewhere else.
And I did.
This supports something that I tell people all the time that the most important compensation you can give a human being is freedom and autonomy. And and what that means is ownership, ownership over your own destiny. And if people like that's a classic example. Here you are. You're getting good money. You had good stock options. You're crushing the job, which means it's not like it's a tax on your mental power. But none of that was compare. None of that none of that was had enough value to make you stay there.
Exactly. Whereas if you would have had autonomy and freedom and the ability to control your own fate and destiny, you'd still be there right now. We wouldn't be having this conversation. You'd be running the company.
Yeah, exactly. And, you know, it's spot on. And I came into a company two years ago, and I can certainly name the company Force Point, which is a we're owned by Raytheon, but a cybersecurity company. And that's what the CEO and the CEO gave me at that company. And what's interesting is we put an ethos, a marker in the ground for the entire team. It was teamwork, ownership, humility turned around the entire I mean, we walked into a dumpster fire, frankly, when we walked into and we were able to do great things.
But that value in that ownership that they gave me, that I was able to give everybody on my team, it's everything. And so when you come into those moments where compensation becomes an issue that value, that empowerment, that ownership you give people, they stick. And in two years we had zero percent attrition.
Wow. Is that you know what's amazing, though, is that that's a surprise to people.
And and, you know, I'm kind of sitting back going, how can that. So, so much of a surprise that giving somebody ownership and trust and value is everything.
Most important thing? The best form of compensation. And the reason I've been able to tell that to clients, the National Front is I say, look, I had people that, you know, SEAL teams in the military, in the Navy. If you're doing the best job, you know, three times better than anyone else in your platoon. I can't give you a raise. I can't like I can give you a good evaluation. And then in two years, you'll be eligible for promotion and then you'll get an extra two hundred and seventy dollars a month.
No one's doing 3x the work because of that.
But what can you give someone? Freedom.
And if you worked for me and you were squared away, you pretty much did whatever you wanted to do.
And and I would just do nothing but provide cover fire for you if you weren't squared away is totally different ballgame. You're going to put in a box and you weren't going to be able to maneuver at all because you're doing things wrong. So the best way to retain your talent is great leadership. And it goes back to Buford. We just did a battlefield at Gettysburg. You know, he operated within the spirit of the commander's intent and actually deviated from what was the plan because he saw an opportunity.
I think what the Marine Corps calls it took authority on demand and made calls that ultimately made the the union army, you know, victorious over the the Confederates.
You know, you did say something about and we deal with this with you of overwatch is for some companies, it's a mental leap to hire a military leader into a senior management role when they're come in fresh out of the military. And it's usually because those perceptions are shaped by what the movie's hundred percent. You wonder if you guys I mean, you follow orders that it's 100 percent the cogs cogs in the wheel is is shaped by movies. And we literally have that conversation, you know, especially during covid.
We've seen that a lot of organizations did not select the right leaders coming to the organization that were not able to innovate and adapt, that we're not able to handle the chaos, could not remain calm and were unable or ill equipped for four crisis. And what we have to educate them about these men and women coming out is one, they are generalists, but generalists are much more powerful than specialists. In fact, one of the quotes from Brian Decker in this is that we've over specialized some of the roles in the private sector.
It's no longer good enough that you're an ear doctor. You now have to be a left ear doctor.
And, you know, while I understand that that that is a requirement for certain rules, if it's a very technical position, yes, technical skills are required. But in general, management roles, which are usually your top leadership roles in a company generalist, are more equipped to lead. And this is why, because they they draw from a broader base of experiences. I mean, you've been all run around the world in the military. You've dealt with different cultures, you've dealt with different problems, that you have this vast array of experiences where a lot of the business leaders that have never left the United States do not.
And we're finding that that that that experience has not only prepared them, but it's the factor in a lot of these military leaders stepping into the roles. The ones we place are being highly successful. They're performing when they step in. Of course, there's a learning curve, but the learning agility for the men and women that we place is extremely high. That's one of the things we're screening for ADF, our washes that, yeah, into intellectual horsepower matters.
It does. But once that gets closed, these people are placed and it's been phenomenal. I mean, you met some of the clients on the battlefield.
They're like best hire ever.
Yeah, the the trainability. You know, if you've been in the military, you know how to learn. You start learning stuff out of the gate and you learn how to learn very well. And so that's why when someone comes with out the skill set in the civilian sector, they can learn that skill set very quickly because they've been learning all these different skill sets for eight years. Twelve years. Twenty years. Twenty five years. That's what we do in the military, is learn new stuff all the time going here section called The Cost of Talent.
When companies lack talent mindset, it's a common refrain cost creating a robust talent acquisition and management process is simply too costly, they say. What most companies don't understand is the major cost is not money, but time and devotion to creating a world class talent acquisition pipeline. In the process, you will actually save money in the long run as your attrition lowers and you consistently make better hires. The special operations community has long understood that people are everything. Special Operations soldiers go through three main stages assessment and selection, training and combat in a war.
And then you. Guys, break this out, so in special operations, it's called assessment and selection in business, it's called talent acquisition or the hiring process in special operations. It's called training in business, called Talent Management and Leadership Development. And then in special operations called Combat War. And in business, it's called business, sales, marketing, production, whatever it is that you're doing. It's a pretty good little break out there of how similar these things really are going in another section here.
Many companies have a fundamental misalignment between upper leadership and H.R., where leadership says they want talent, but H.R. is not set up to actually hire for talent. In fact, H.R. often doesn't even know what talent looks like in the company. There is no gold standard of talent. Instead, hiring is mechanical order taking process based on objective requirements. Leadership gives HRR a laundry list of what they want. Years of experience, required skill set, compensation range and H.R. goes out and fills the order to have effective talent acquisition.
Your business leaders and H.R. department must be strategic partners. The talent acquisition team must be students of the business, understanding the organization's underlying goals and talent needed to achieve them since day one in my career.
Joe Depinto told us, and that's the CEO of 7-Eleven. I've always had my HRO linked at the hip and will continue to, as Joe is discovered, to function strategically. Your H.R. department must be a part of the planning process for both talent acquisition and management. H.R. should be involved in succession planning and gap analysis to assess, select and develop talent in a strategic way.
You know, we we found this in you know, I kind of knew it intuitively and I suspected it. But when we did the research chief human resource officers are often paid one third of their C suite counterparts. That's where it starts. Could you imagine for a second that your your mechanics and your medics were paid a third of what you make because they're not frontline? Could you imagine what that would look like in special operations, in any military unit?
And that's where it starts.
And an H.R. is not, you know, a strategic function.
And, you know, I had the benefit of coming up with this mentor and somebody who really empowered me. And her name is Tracy Keough, and she is the CEO of Hewlett-Packard. And she's just absolutely amazing. We put this quote in the book because to this day, it's still it's one of the reasons that I've stated my function for so long. And she went to an executive meeting one day and they're like, hey, you know, Tracy, it's good to have H.R. at the table.
She kind of snickered, look back at him. And she's she is a very strong leader. And she says, we are the table.
And I was like, you know what? That's that's right. And that's the theme throughout this book, is that people are everything. So when you start out and prioritizing your chief human resources officer and you make this an administrative function or an operational function, you know, how do you ever expect to get the best talent and talents which drive in your product talents?
What's driving your service talents in front of your customers? Talent is driving your revenue. That's everything.
And then you sit there and you look at your revenue and your revenues declining your attrition, tie your products not on time, and you're going, gee, I wonder what's going on. And it takes Mike and I about all of two seconds to see that. And it's unfortunate. And one of the things that we really wanted to get across is you can really leverage H.R. in a strategic function and it makes all the difference to every single part of your business.
And the more of a talent mindset you have and the more that you empower human resources to be your strategic talent partner, that revenue will come, that product will be on time. That service will be good.
It's it's not rocket science, but in some places, it's a brand new concept.
Let's go back to that cost. So there's there's an old adage you can't outspend a good hiring process. Yeah. Because the consequences of having a poor hiring process can sink a company.
One of the statistics we found is that for senior level executive positions, the cost of a bad senior leader can be two hundred and thirteen percent of that individual's annual salary. So give you an example. If you have a three hundred thousand dollar salary CEO or executive, that could cost the company as high as six hundred and thirty nine thousand. That's let's say that's a direct cost.
So what a lot of companies can't track from attrition is really the indirect costs, and that's about two thirds of the cost of attrition. You can't put a number. On the damage to a culture that a senior leader can cost maybe for two years, that impacts sales and that's what's very hard for a lot of companies because they can't see it on their bottom line directly.
Good CEOs can come hang out in front and go work with some clients, and you'll get to see that all the time. A toxic leader, a bad leader, a leader with a negative attitude.
Everyone below them either doesn't perform well or leaves if they're and, you know, it is the good people. As we said earlier, the good people leave, the bad people stay there and don't perform well. That's what happens under a bad leader. It's a total nightmare. Was the old I think Henry Ford is credited with this quote there at a board meeting and they were talking about leadership development. And somebody said, hey, well, what if we develop our people and they leave?
And Henry Ford looked at all of them, said, what if we don't and they stay? This is why leadership development matters.
So as you reading that that that section right there, you saw George and I getting, like, agitated. We get I mean, this is how passionate we are the subject.
So through Echelon Front, I spoke with H.R. group. There's like 500 H.R. leaders from an area we did. It was supposed to be an in-person conference covid. So it was online, but I had like one hundred H.R. leaders reach out. They were just fired up because I talked about the book, like, you guys are the key to the success of every organization.
Don't let your leaders tell you otherwise. So, you know, Trittico and Patty Mcor, Patty in court was the CSIRO for Netflix, built a strong organization, both vs what's Netflix?
Yeah, both these ladies should be CEOs of any Fortune 500 company.
They just have a passion for talent acquisition and talent management or leadership development. And I mean, you look at Tracy Keough, Harvard educated, cut her teeth in sales and marketing and was asked at one point during her career, hey, we've got a problem with, you know, HRR. Can you go fix it? And of course, the answer was no.
They said, good, you got it. And she developed a passion.
You're our leader has to be a business leader. They have to in H.R., even though I love H.R., sometimes has become a dumping ground for average or mediocre performers. And most often those H.R. leaders are just compliance leaders. They're not a strategic function. So if you're H.R. reports into legal, it's a compliance function. If they report into finance, it's an overhead function. But as Tracy CEO will tell you, if they report into the CEO and have a direct line and they're involved in the talent strategy, then there's a chance in hell their strategic function that is going to help build the organization into a world class organization.
And so that's where that misalignment between senior leaders in H.R. is killing a lot of organizations. Goes back to the Dolmades.
It yeah, that's a big that's a big change, actually. It's not even that big of a change. It's a little change that will have a huge impact. You start getting people to really start to grow the or grow an organization properly with the right people. That's exactly what you're talking about.
You go into this section here. I'm skipping ahead the section here that I liked. It's it's entitled Fear Based Hiring. Special Operations Community has become world class model for potential based hiring, which is the foundation of their assessment and selection process. In contrast, many companies, instead of hiring the candidates with the most potential, hire those candidates that inspire the least amount of fear. This kind of fear based hiring usually comes down to one of three fallacies. Number one, red flags are more important than green flags.
No two leaders shouldn't be outshined by their followers. And number three, somebody is better than nobody.
You go on in traditional corporate hiring practices, the objective has seemingly shift from hire the best to hire the familiar and safe people are more afraid of a bad higher than they are excited by a good hire. You go on here. Fear based hiring is dogmatic about objective requirements. You guys already talk about this black and white criteria. Make it easy to say yes or no. Does this person have X years of industry experience? Does this person have Y degree?
These criteria don't matter nearly as much as you might think, Col. Brian Decker, former commander of Army Special Forces Assessment and Selection, told us.
When I arrived at my command, anything easily measured was heavily weighted in the selection process. The problem was it didn't have a lot of predictive value. The same is true in business. Just because you can measure something doesn't mean it's important, and just because you can't measure something doesn't mean it's not important. The only question that truly matters is, does this person have the potential to be a top performer? Don't disregard red flags entirely, but don't obsess over them either.
In combat, you don't want to get shot. But at the same time, if your primary concern is not getting shot, then you don't go into battle. If you make your hiring decision based on avoiding your worst case scenario, you'll never achieve your best case scenario. It's far more effective to look for green flags than for red flags.
So people are scared, you know, and and I don't want to get too far down into the minutia. But if you're a manager and you've got an empty seat, so many people that I've seen over 20 years are like, I'm going to lose that seat. If I don't get it filled with somebody, I'm going to get somebody in there so anybody is better than somebody. Then they go down the objective requirements like, well, they don't have this, they don't have this.
And so they're checking off red flags of objective requirements to put somebody role in never asking the question, is this the person with the character attributes that can do the job? They're not looking. They're literally scared. Well, if I hire this person and they don't have five years, how am I going to be looked at? What if they don't do as well as I think and they don't they don't think that their leadership can take somebody with the right characteristics, two or three years less experience than they mark and put them in the role and coach them to succeed.
They're they're scared to death. They it just turns into this machine.
How fast how fast can you hire? How fast can you get that butt in a seat?
I'll take that a step further at the risk of being a little bit of stereotyping people. But who's hungrier?
The person that, you know, has two years experience going into a role that needs five years experience or weight. Will you or the person that has seven years experience going into a role with five years experience required, who's who's hungrier, who's trying to prove themselves a little bit more?
I don't know, man. I'm leaning towards that two year hungry individual that wants to prove themselves.
And I've seen this time and again is, you know, the recruiters that I brought up, the talent acquisition specialist, I call them talent consultants because they're really embedded in the business. They'll go, hey, I've talked with this guy. Yeah, they're two or three years light on the experience you were asking for, I promise. You hungry? They're hungry.
They want it. They want to get after it. And the manager says, well, they don't have the seven years of experience. And it goes back to what Brian Decker said. You know, they picked seven years almost out of the year, that seven years is not predictive of success. Working for a competitor is not predictive of success. Character attributes are predictive. And you need to be watching for those.
Another fear but fear based hiring problem leaders shouldn't be outshined by their followers. Average or underperforming managers often fear hiring someone who will outshine them because they don't want to hire themselves out of a job. There should never be a maximum standard for talent, only a minimum. If you're not hiring people better than your current employees, you'll never raise the bar for talent within your organization. That's just the classic. Surround yourself with people that are better than you.
I want to work myself out of a job I want to have. And we go in a little bit later about succession planning. I need to have as many people who can take my place and corporate America doesn't do that. You know, succession planning we do in the military to muscle memory. But I always want people who are going to push me to be a better leader. They're going to push me to get better at my game to up the game.
I mean, when you roll with people, do you roll with people that are easy to beat?
Sometimes something like this toxic environment is no good here. For an hour I was waiting for a moment. That's the first moment for Echo Charles to shine. Yeah, yeah. Sometimes I do run with people that are easier, a lot easier.
You do somebody better than nobody. And you know, you talked about that just feeling like we better get someone in the platoon. And, you know, this happened in in Charlie Platoon life had a guy, a good guy, but he just wasn't really didn't really have the just couldn't get the job done.
And, you know, coach and we wrote about it in dichotomy of leadership. But one of the things that I told Dave, I said, hey, Lahiff, if you get rid of this guy, you're not getting another one. I mean, there's there's you know, you're going to go on deployment. You're missing a guy. And because we're going to we're going to get rid of him. And, you know, life was like, well, and he thought about it.
He said, you know what? I think we're better off without him. And you know that to me, that was a little litmus test for me because, you know, life might be thinking, hey, I'll just replace it with some other guy and we'll, you know, we'll step it up.
It was a litmus test for me to see what life really was thinking and if. You really would rather not take someone than that means you you don't feel comfortable with them at all. So there's a quote from Charlie Beckwith for the listeners. Charlie Beckwith is the founder of Delta Force. You know, served time with the SAS, which generated the idea for for a specialized force. He had a quote that was, I'd rather go down the river with seven studs than 100 shitheads.
And it goes to point that, yeah, I'd rather select highly talented people into the organization and have less people than, you know, volume quantity is not better than quality. Never has been in, you know, the the quote from her. Heraclitus, the Greek philosopher, 500 B.C., not that 100 soldiers on the on the battlefield, 80 or 80 are just targets. 10 don't even deserve to be there. And then there's 10 that are warriors.
But that one that one will always bring us home. I mean, these guys all talked about the the the importance of talent. And you'd rather bring talented people in individually than build a massive quick army. That's when you deviate from the process and it works out poorly for you.
When you bring the wrong person in, you're actually just creating more drain on your time. Just mayhem. Yeah, mayhem. And then it's a cancer.
And then you're a players are looking at you going, why do you bring a C player in? And now it reflects on you as the leader that your bar wasn't high enough, that your standards weren't high enough, that you are tolerating this C player, this B player. And we all know how that works out and never, ever.
Well, next section, what makes special operations so special?
And in here, you you kind of profile one individual, an individual by the name of Johnny Kim. Which podcast? Two twenty one. You can listen to Johnny Kim's story.
It's it's just unbelievable. What made you want to profile Johnny in here to Johnny and I and Ryan.
We're all in the same boat class. And what stuck out about Johnny? It goes back to why I was judging Ryan. You got to understand my career. Prior to that, I'd finished number one in pretty much every military school from boot camp and school, eventually finished third and recon school out of thirty behind two guys that went on to be MARSOC. That one even, you know, graduated number one from Reynosa. So when you're on a successful track, what happens?
You become a little bit arrogant. You think you have things figured out. And I thought I had things figured out naturally because I was still a sergeant in the Marine Corps. The class sort of gravitated towards me because I had a roughneck style of leadership and they loved it and the instructors loved it as well. But Johnny, I just sort of always dismissed Johnny because small Asian kid, Korean from L.A. just, you know, you sort of I don't want to say devoid of emotion.
He's not he's not a showy guy. And naturally, because he he didn't have a flamboyant personality, I figured out this guy's just not performing. He's just another one of the students that he was going to drop or go make it through and be a nonfactor in the SEAL teams. In this book, I think you've seen that I show my ass a lot in these assumptions that I made about, you know, who's going to be a good seal and who wasn't.
And you use that was wrong. But those are the scars as you get involved in town. Acquisition is like you don't become better at this process of assessing and selecting the right people in your organization unless you screw up.
Yeah, I'd say your assessment was wrong on multiple levels because not only is Johnny Kim an awesome seal and ranks above among the highest of of, you know, respect in the SEAL teams, but then just as a human, I mean, then as a Harvard doctor and then as an astronaut and then just basically as an overall human being, he's right up there with very rarefied air.
So I talked to Johnny what I wanted to get approved through NASA, that he was good. He read it. You know, I think the instructors looked at Johnny and they just sort of you made a snap judgment that, you know, he's just a quiet little guy and watching him because, again, we both reported in SEAL Team three, my jaw just continue to drop because he was better than I. It was day one out of Bud's. I mean, he was just that smart where he picked up everything quickly, you know, eighteen Delta now he's a high speed medic, quickly rushed to sniper school, becomes a sniper.
You know, he'd either be treating casualties on the battlefield or he'd be pulling the trigger, eliminating Islamic extremists. And the guy was amazing and humbled to to to have served with him. And based off this podcast, we had a very close conversation about one night in Sadr City, which, you know, was a bad night for everyone, but ultimately that was on Stoner and I, that we even let the guys go out when we knew we weren't ready.
But yeah, it's the point with Johnny's. A lot of people just want to look past him quickly because, you know, he didn't have a college degree from L.A. Nothing stood out on paper. But as you, you know, peel that on your back.
Yeah, I think I think a good word to describe Johnny that you would pick up is just unassuming. Right? He's just I think he just he's just unassuming and he is what he is. I mean, it's it's less now because you kind of people know his background now. So I'm sure that just comes across big super hump. Just a super humble, unassuming guy and.
Yeah, a beast. You know, I tell people I worked with John McCain. John McCain. That's awesome.
The origins of the soft talent mindset, the very core of SOF is a talent mindset. The idea that small group of talented individuals can be effective fighting force capable of defeating larger enemy forces and delivering strategic impacts through small scale operations. Three innate traits have led special operations, talent, mindset and subsequent success. One, No. One has prior special operations experience. So raw talent must be the selection criterion. The most effective selection is based on mindset and character.
That's a crazy thing to think about that when you go into special operations that most of the time there's zero experience in special operations. You know, that's just that's like a crazy thing to think about. Where does this seal come from? He comes from a high school.
You know, this is the story. We're working with business leaders and they think the industry experience is so important. I say, hey, I don't go to a high school and say, hey, we're recruiting for Navy SEALs. Raise a hand if you have special operations experience doing it, guys, you're not eligible. A French Foreign Legion, the UK Special Forces, go get some experience, come back in and then let us know.
Next one, Special Operations Forces. Our teams, teams win, not individuals. No. Three Special Operations teams work in high stakes environments. When the stakes are high, mediocrity is unacceptable. Let's look more closely at these traits. Raw talent. This is this is a no emphasis on experience. Draw talent is difficult to identify. Industry experience, on the other hand, is far easier to identify and measure. This is why business world often falls in the bad habit of relying on industry experience.
And as a hiring criterion. Special Operations does not have that luxury because nobody has prior special operations experience. If the SOF community began selecting for industry experience, the US would not have a special operations community out of necessity. Special Operations. How to develop a core competency in potential based hiring where raw talent is the primary consideration. That's self-explanatory.
And that's when team mentality special operations forces are structured as teams. They are incentivized as teams and they win or lose his teams, not as individuals. In contrast, in the business, in the business world, egos can often rule and the team can be less emphasized. People are rewarded for individual achievements, so individuals are often concerned only about their incentives versus the overall health of the organization. Bad leaders who hire and manage others often accept and often and even encourage mediocre employees because it raises their own value in comparison.
A team mentality greatly reduces the power of ego ego. Yeah, there's nothing worse than encouraging mediocre people to be in your organization so that you can look good because you have something on them like I do.
Let me hit back on the the lack of industry experience to real vignette. So, again, we quoted Charlie Beckwith, if you didn't know it, because we also interviewed what we didn't interview Charlie Beckwith because he's passed. But we did interview throughout this book a guy named General Jerry Boykin, amazing individual, was a longtime Delta Force member. Even the commander was involved in Desert One, Operation Eagle Claw. So, you know, we went into the history.
Charlie Beckwith was a strong believer that before you could even get into special operations and this was the old sort of mentality that that that existed within the militaries, that you have to serve as a conventional soldier, either an officer or enlisted before you could try out for special operations. And he was very dogmatic about that.
And General Boykin talked about when the Army Special Forces community created the 18 x ray program because of the needs of the war, where they took people directly off the street that had the right attributes, passed the initial test intelligence, physical standards, mental standards that they actually made as good of special forces soldiers, if not better, because they didn't have bad habits from the conventional forces.
That was one view. So let's let's put that into a private sector, you know, context. The other vignette, Google did a study on what made their most successful managers so successful. They came up with 10 criterion that made them so highly successful. Industry experience came in at number number nine. It was one of the least important things. Now, if you look at extreme ownership, pretty much all those principles of how we lead were much farther ahead than the importance of extreme I'm sorry, the industry experience.
So that's why this potential based hiring is so much more powerful than objective, trivial requirements like the industry experience when when they started the X, when did they do that? I want to say that was roughly around 2003, 2004, that that program came to fruition. I'd have to go back and find the exact year. Yeah.
John Stryker, Meyer was talking about that and how there was like people in the Special Forces community that were saying, oh, this is garbage. You're going to get these guys that don't know what they're doing. But like so many of those SOG operators went right from boot camp to, you know, to Ayittey and then on to Special Forces. Then they went right over to Vietnam and freakin just got after he he was laughing about it because those guys were just freaking legit.
What what General Boykin was telling the story. You know, you had senior leaders when he was the commander of U.S. soccer, which is he's the commander of all Army Special Operations. And they were arguing there was two camps of no, we can't accept people without conventional infantry experience. And the other camp was saying, no, we can't take people off the street and turn them into great special forces soldiers. And of course, what there was a command sergeant major useless sitting back, the senior enlisted adviser.
Well, both camps fought. And finally he said when he piped in, he said, hey, I was a soldier in Vietnam. I didn't go to the Special Forces qualification course. They sent me right over to to to Vietnam. And I learned the job while outside in the wire. And they all shut up. You said, OK, there you go. Right.
Last thing, high stakes, perhaps more than any other factor. The high stakes under which SOF operators under which SOF operates necessitate a talent mindset. War and combat are among the most unforgiving environments in the world. A mistake on the battlefield can mean the difference between life and death, not only for oneself, but for one's fellow soldiers. A failed mission can mean the destruction of cities and the loss of civilian life. Excellence in execution is the standard because it has to be.
The stakes are that high. It should be no difference. Bit different in business. In business, the risk may not be life or death, but the stakes are incredibly high. Don't fool yourself. Business is war. War by non-violent means.
The result of a bad hire or several bad hires is the underperformance of the business, if not a nose dive to bankruptcy. It is not literal death, but it is death in the marketplace. That death spells disaster for you and your employees, whose well-being depends on the health of your organization.
Look at today covid hit us. For those people that have these attributes as leaders, no factor. It's like, OK, hey, that's that's part of the environment. We got to operate. Let's go do it. All right, let's. Let's prioritize, what do we got to pay attention to, how do we pay attention to our people? How do we pay attention to our product? How do we continue to drive the revenue and take care of our people?
And it was it just didn't faze those people. And I've been around quite a few of them where it was like, OK, yeah, we got covid, OK, and what's your point? But you can start to see those companies where that talent wasn't there, where that talent mindset where that leadership wasn't there. covid hits, they lose their minds. What do they do? Let's start cutting people. Let's cut this. Let's cut this immediately.
What we're going through today speaks exactly to why it's so critical to have a talent mindset and get people with those character attributes in the roles that make a difference. And I love what you guys have pointed out earlier. The US military isn't the most powerful force in the world. It's the US economy. And that was one of the things we wanted to do with this book, was to we want to continue to contribute to strengthen that.
You go into a skipping ahead a little bit.
You go into a scenario and it just it just spells out exactly what you're talking about. You've got a guy, Daniel, you go into this. Daniel is looking to hire candidates for sales leadership position. And he used to search firms f overwatch, which is which is Echelon Front and a competitor. And Jeremy, so there's here's the two people that got presented, Jeremy presented by a competitive search firm, three point nine GPA from a prestigious university, high intelligence, four years of industry experience with two different companies driven, highly competent, borderline arrogant.
Chris presented by Yev overwatched three point two GPA from a public university above average intelligence faced significant adversity in life, came from a lower middle class family and held a full time job while in college. Recently separated Army infantry officer who held several different functional billets in the army has all the attributes required to be a highly successful sales leader but lacks industry experience. Which of these candidates would you choose? Since this chapter is about hiring for character and skill, you might know the answers, most likely Chris, not Jeremy.
But be honest at your company, which one of these candidates would most likely be hired? That's a good question. When you put be honest in front of it because. Right. Because it's a fear based hire is to go. You know what we don't know about this Chris guy? He seems like a good guy who's in the army. But man, Jeremy, he's got four years of experience. You go on. Most companies would choose Jeremy without hesitation.
Chris's GPA was average compared to Jeremy's, but he didn't have the he didn't have the industry specific experience. But he was one of those people who perform time and time again. Whatever you put in front of them, you'd find a way through it. Overcrowded. He was relentless and adaptable. So you go on there eventually chose Jeremy over Chris. And two weeks later, the guy calls up and says, we made a huge mistake.
That's how it turns out that quick that quick time and time again.
And here's the funny thing is you remember Trey Holder, who helped us out here in the infancy of our overwatch. We had this call and it was either a week and a half to two weeks after they made that selection. And this leader within the company who we had a personal relationship said, hey, this guy is an arrogant you know what he's like, we've got a problem.
And, you know, we're not going to say, hey, we told you so. The guy, the guy, he's trying to run a major distribution center, he made a call. We're there to support him. And our basic question was, what do you want to talk to our candidate? He said no. He said, we asked, what are you going to do about it? He said nothing. And I just said, if you have somebody that you feel is going to poison the culture, why aren't you going to do anything?
And it was if I let him go two weeks into the job, my senior leaders are going to look at me like, what are you doing down there? And so that individuals can let it ride. I haven't talked to him. I don't know if that individual stayed. And sometimes things change within for, you know, a few weeks. Maybe he that that individual who was arrogant came around. But what do you think the chances of that are?
Little, but how often? You know, we talk a lot about special operations and how grave an organization is, how great they are selecting high potentials, but how often, if we're being honest with ourselves, did we let mediocracy reign within the SEAL teams? Yeah, well, I mean, you need you need people.
And what what was horrible, you know, I didn't mind that.
Look, you've got to have people that are going to do some of the jobs that are a little bit easier in the teams. I mean, it's just the reality of the situation. And, you know, when when I was going through officer candidate school, I had whatever eighty people in my class, in my office or candidate class. I was the class president.
And you got. To write like suggestions to the drill instructor and or whatever, so I guess a group of people like four or five people, because I had a bunch of prior enlisted guys in my class. All great guys and females as well, guys and girls in there.
And somebody wrote to the the drill instructor and said, we need to get rid of these four people.
They don't belong.
They don't belong as officers in the Navy. And so my drill instructor, whose name was Gunnery Sergeant SEALs, oddly enough, great guy. You know, as you know, I mean, any Marine Corps drill instructor is just freaking outstanding. So he gets up and he says, hey, I'll tell you what, let's say we get rid of the bottom 10 percent of this class.
And he says, now, what happens tomorrow? We got a new bottom, 10 percent. What happens after that? We got a new bottom 10 percent. So eventually you realize, guess what, there's going to be a bell curve in any organization where I have a problem with this. So so that's my explanation. Like, hey, the SEAL teams, look, you can have some guys that are not the not long ball hitters.
You know, you can have some guys that are not long ball hitters. The problem I have and and had and still have is when you take those guys and you put them in the leadership positions, that's where it's a problem. That's where it's a real problem in my book.
And we still allow that to happen. But have we still allow that to happen? Because, hey, they put in their time, they've earned that spot. That's not a good criteria. First off, I'm going to say you guys have a suggestion box in Navy officer candidate school.
Yeah, it wasn't really a suggestion box. I don't I don't that's why I couldn't really name what it was. But it was some way of communicating with the drill instructor. I don't I forget what it was because I didn't do it, but because I'm just a U.S. Marine Corps officer candidate school that was called the trash can drill instructors did not care.
What suggestion do you have? I don't know. I don't know where I don't know where this idea came from. I'm thinking it must have been some kind of suggestion box. Or maybe they raised their hands and asked him, I don't know.
But it was it was the reason I remember it. It was somehow clandestine. Right? They weren't they didn't say in the middle of the class, like because we used to basically get briefed all the times and in the hallways, the barracks, you know, you all sign out front of your rooms, your own big lines.
So no one had the courage to say, hey, officer candidate Smith Jones in in Brown need to be let go. No one had the courage to do that. So they somehow, through some mechanism and I get your humor through some mechanism, they it got to the to the drill instructor and yeah, I don't know what that mechanism was, but no. The. The Navy officer candidate school was pretty good to go, I thought I had a good time.
So we actually one of the candidates agreed to give Overwatch Fighter. It actually was going through the training because we hold webinars every Friday both in leadership and career search and struck a chord with this guy. He actually moved to Austin. He's like, hey, just just so you know, I went to officer candidate school with with JoCo. With Willing. Yeah. He's like that guy solid. So you bring up a point that, again, we nerd out on this.
Yeah. All talent follows a bell curve, normal distribution curve. And you know that that that is a fundamental truth.
However, the performance within that talent distribution is more like a I'm sorry, the performance is more along the lines of a power distribution, or some people call it the Parado Principle. It's just 80 percent of the results driven within your organization come from 20 percent of the workforce. That's that. It's just the realities, as you say. But ultimately, what makes better organizations and as we did the research, is that competing companies within the industry all have that bell curve.
If you want the average performance of your entire workforce, the statistical mean to be higher than your competitors. And that's what makes special operations so great, is that not everyone's a player. They're not. It's a small element, the long tail, but the overall performance of the entire force is much higher.
Yeah, you to slide that thing to the right. Yeah, that's because you can for sure. So we're talking all about all this, you know, experience and how that's not the most important thing.
But then you guys go on to say this, which is also important. We're not advocating that you disregard experience entirely. You're not going to hire a kid straight out of high school for a CS reposition experience and past performance matters for certain positions. But you do need to be thoughtful about how you use experience in the selection process. We see companies make three common mistakes when it comes to looking at experience. One, they require experience that doesn't matter to job performance, too.
They require very specific experience when general experience would be just as good, and three, they prioritized industry experience over character. So you guys aren't saying to ignore experience. You're saying, hey, pay attention to it.
Exactly. And ultimately, it's not what counts. And, you know, one of the other fallacies is, you know, if I have somebody with experience that was working at this competitor and I bring him in, well, if they were successful there, they'll be successful here.
That that just boggles my mind. And I see it all the time. But, yeah, these are the three the three mistakes. And, you know, we talk about this in the book about Gates. Once you set your requirements for this role and they meet those, that gate then closes everything after that is a part of what determines success as far as the nine attributes in most people. And you'll and on the ground level, you'll watch a person come in.
You've got these objective requirements and you'll have five people in the hiring process, all these five different members of the team, and they will all ask different versions of the same questions about their experience. Nobody's digging in. Nobody's digging in it. I you know, it's patience is a virtue in my function, I assure you.
And but they're listing out experience and hiring managers will dump all of the stuff in thing. And if I get all of this this experience and one person, my company will do better. They're looking at the wrong things. It's the character. It's those attributes that make the difference. When when a covid comes up, when when when another company comes out with a product, when you know we're behind or we're short team members, it's those character attributes that drive that team forward.
When things get tough, when you're under stress, that's when character reveals itself in in the business world. That's when it counts the most.
So we over rotate on experience. And, you know, you know, Mike and I try to go to great lengths in this book. Look, we understand your business leader. You've got fifty thousand things going on. If you're a CEO, you've got a million things going on in your head. But this will help you be better. This is the competitive advantage that you need and it's prioritizing talent and these things that make the difference. And yet these three common mistakes, they happen time and time and time again.
They will they will happen ten times a day in one company. And that's a small company. You get to a big company, some of the Fortune 50 that I've worked with. You'll see this a thousand times in one day and it multiplies itself. But you guys have both seen and I've seen it in my time, you get a good leader, you get talent on your team. That's infectious. The game comes up, you get a good player, you get a rock star, you're all like, OK, I'm chasing that guy.
I'm coming up. I got to elevate my game because this is not looking good for me. You know, person on my left, person on my right there outside of me. I got to step it up, so. You've got to get the experience that's minimum for the job, hey, you've got to be able to do these things in the job, it does matter. We're not saying disregard it. Don't make it so specific that it's ruling out talent.
And that happens a lot in industry experience is not as important as you think. And I mean, Google points it out. I mean, you know, statistically it's not important, but it makes managers feel better. Oh, I took somebody from my competitor. They were doing really well. They know our industry. They're going to do well here. It's just a fallacy. And and if we can get people focused on character, if we can get people focused on leadership, that will power your company.
When the hard times come, hey, you're going to rocket, you're going to survive. You're going to make the US economy that much more powerful if you get the right mindset and you focus and you drive and get after it.
Brian Decker talked about this with Special Forces assessment selection. So to get into any of the special operations community intellectual HP's requirement, you have to have a minimum score. We take the ASVAB. There's a score. Once a person passes that intelligence requirement. What George is talking about is that gate is closed. It no longer comes back into the planning factor, the hiring factor whatsoever. And what they found is that level. They put a lot of thought behind it.
And what they see is that if somebody hits the requirement, dead on in somebody exceeds that requirement. Is that the person that exceeds that requirement? It's not necessarily correlated to a higher level of performance. So that's why you have to be very careful up front about the gates you you select.
You know, Brian Decker also told a story about, you know, industry experience versus none. So when he was running SFJAZZ, you know, sometimes we bring civilians on and give them sort of the dog and pony. They put two groups through some obstacles that Special Forces soldiers run through in groups. And again, these exercises are, you know, Khodary are watching to see what behaviors come out from from the individuals. So it was a group of members who were off the charts.
Intelligence had industry experience. We're currently getting their MBAs and then a group of undergrads, you're talking 18, 19, 20 year olds, first group of twenty seven to thirty five year olds. And, you know, naturally, Brian, he's Khodary, you know, they're showing him a good time, but had an assumption that the NBA is we're just going to outperform the undergrads.
Like hands down. How do you think that ended up? The undergrads absolutely decimated every obstacle much quicker than the NBA group.
And it goes to show you that, you know, that even though they had prior experience, more vast experience, those undergrads actually, because they lacked ego, I guess they lacked the group, the group dynamic, it goes to show if you have a lot of talented individuals that are humble and lack ego when they come together, it's an exponential effect.
One plus one isn't do with a group that truly unifies behind a common good one plus one equals three. It's an exponential effect.
And to ask you to Bruiser, there was a point where we were I don't know how far we were from deploying, but we knew we were deploying to Iraq.
And one of the senior officers at the command, he came to me and said, hey, you know, you're going to Iraq. Do you want to switch out one of your platoons with this other platoon commander with this with his other platoon, who the platoon commander has a lot more experience than your two. You know, your two. Oh, I see. Which was death and life.
And it's kind of funny because remember how the ceilings were out because they were doing construction. So Seth and Life were in the tasking of Ruža office. And they hear this individual basically asking me if I wanted to swap out either one of these two sets. And we've had very little experience. They both on one deployment, but they just blend in the teams for like two years. And one of the platoon commanders in one of the other platoons had a lot more experience, like he was a prior enlisted guy.
And so the senior officer was saying, hey, you know, you can take one. You know, you can take this guy and his platoon and he's got way more experience. And it might be a lot better for you. And I was like I was like, no, at this point, I already knew Seth. My wife and I go, no. I said, these guys have exactly what I want them to have, which is they're tough, they're humble and they listen.
And that's all that's all I need. That's like my most important characteristics.
And he was like, Are you sure? And I was like 100 percent.
That was that next section, the nine foundational character attributes of talent under pressure, one's mental and physical limits, hard skills, rapidly degrade. What remains is character skills are by design meant for men, for predictable situations and environments says. Tired seal commander Rich Devinney if businesses are interested in forming organizations and teams that effectively deal with unpredictability and complexity, they have to go deeper than the guy who has the best sales record or the Harvard grad who's at the top of the class.
They have to look at character. Character is key because it is an indicator of a person's capacity. General William Boykin points to capacity as more important than current ability.
Quote, What are you looking for? Hard skills or capacity?
Ideally, look for both.
But if you have to choose and you have a fair way of doing so, assess their capacity. What is their capacity to learn new skills? What is their capacity to think for themselves? What is their capacity to problem solve? Got to interrupt. Isn't it interesting you hear General Boykin like one of the priorities that he puts in there is their capacity to think for themselves, not to follow rules, but to think for themselves. Back to the book.
According to General Boykin, it is the focus on capacity. Is made special operations so successful on the battlefield and beyond a person's character is the aggregate of their deeply ingrained attributes. As we define it, the nine foundational character attributes of high potential individuals are drive, resiliency, adaptability, humility, integrity, effective intelligence, team ability, curiosity and emotional strength. These traits are predictors of high performance. These attributes cannot be taught, so they should be the focus of your hiring check.
And then you go into a little spot, a little section about how different special operations groups sort of way those things out a little bit differently.
But they all are looking for the same basic, the same basic things care.
Dr Carol Green, Air Force colonel, psychologist. He was heavily involved in the MARSOC assessment and selection set of grid.
He's like they're all basically looking for ice cream, just different, like slightly different flavors. But, you know, the Special Forces guys, SEALs, MARSOC, you know, the afsal guys APJ, and they're all interchangeable from a new group. The attributes are very close, totally. You go into resiliency, you hear a little bit. Somebody with high resiliency, bounces back from stress quickly, is adaptable and is not easily discouraged. An individual with high resiliency resists quitting and is focused on completing goals is essentially resilient is how people handle setbacks and persevere in the face of challenges.
They accept failure as part of the process. They don't accept it passively, but utilize their lessons learned and mistakes as a basis to grow. And then you go into a well, it's a section about a person that could be considered possibly one of the most resilient human beings in the world, which is Mike Day, who is just on this podcast, number two. Forty one and, you know, shot twenty seven times and then killed the enemy that had shot him.
And just unbelievable story. You put that in. There you go. And so yeah.
Adaptability, you talk about adaptability, you talk about humility. And here we go.
People often asked us what is the most important trait of any leader. Without a doubt, it's humility.
The US Army, a two hundred and forty four year old institution credited with training some of our nation's most prominent leaders and practically writing the leadership manual for leaders in any field, recently added humility as one of the key attributes of good leaders to the Army doctrine. Publication six TAC twenty two saying a leader with the right level of humility is a willing learner, maintains accurate self-awareness and seeks out others input and feedback.
And this is something that one day on our Echelon front ops call, I said, Hey, I've got something to tell everyone in this group. We've been talking about humility as the most important characteristic for a leader for the past 13 years or whatever it was twelve years at the time. And the Army just added this to their manual, which is freaking awesome, because those characteristics hadn't changed for a long, long time in the Army. But they realized if you're not humble, you got problems.
I just want to say plagiarism is one of the highest forms of flattery. So if you bring your lawyers at me, we will go toe to toe. A lot of this is taken from my mentors. I did not credit you in certain spots.
It goes back to Johnny and I think the military as a whole. There was a point where we viewed humility as weakness. And I think at a young age I mistook somebody like Johnny, who's just one of the most humble dudes. He still is as a slight form of of weakness. It is funny that Army, I think, sort of has morphed as well, their view on that. The criticality of humility, yeah, no doubt about it, and you also realize after you've realize the thing, that pointing this out to me stronger than anything else was when we would fire a guy that was going through my training, we would be firing that person.
If they want a leadership position, if they were in a leadership position, they could get fired for safety or a number of anything, any other things. But if they were getting fired from a leadership position, they weren't generally having safety problems. They weren't having they knew how to shoot their gun. They were in good physical condition. They would get fired because they lack humility, which meant they weren't listening to anybody else. They weren't listen to the critique from their own platoon.
They weren't listened to advice from their platoon chief or from their task or anyone else, and definitely not the freakin training cadre.
So they're just a disaster.
And I have to bring up a comment, a YouTube comment. OK, so the Johnny Kim podcast on YouTube, and it says something like the title of the podcast is Johnny Kim, you know, SEAL Sniper, Harvard doctor, astronaut.
And the first comment on YouTube is, dude can't hold a job, which I thought was pretty funny with integrity.
You guys talk about integrity. I mean, you go through these characteristics kind of each one effective intelligence. Talk to me about effective intelligence that was effective intelligence compared to just plain old intelligence. And I hope this has something to do with the fact that speaking of acquiring people, there was a time in the late 90s where in the SEAL teams, in the officer community, I wasn't an officer yet, but they were the SEALs were starting to get popular and they started getting really good candidates for the officer program.
And so they started recruiting and and beyond just recruiting. They started accepting all these just Ivy League, Ivy League individuals. You meet every every every new group of officers that would show up the SEAL team. You know, there'd be a bunch of Naval Academy guys because they get a bunch of the billets every year.
And then there'd be a bunch of guys from freakin Harvard and and Yale and these really smart guys.
And maybe they didn't have and I'm not saying this about every because some of them were great guys, but not all of them have what I'm hoping is referred to in this book as effective intelligence. Is that somewhat accurate? It is.
I'm going to take one step back. So integrity. I know we sort of glossed over that Josh got Dr. Cotton is very passionate about this one. He's done a lot of studies and looked at the data organizations that are in, you know, high ethics or highly, you know, high integrity. The culture is much healthier than organizations that don't. And I know that sort of an obvious statement. But you look at Enron.
Yeah. And I think also you you you say it seems like an obvious statement, and yet there's so many organizations that let those things slide. And here's the problem with letting things slide when it comes to integrity. Once this is, you know, the slippery slope, sometimes they say a slippery slope fallacy because, you know, well, just because I did this doesn't really mean I'm going to do that. The slippery slope when it comes to integrity is I think is an almost unstoppable thing because, you know, if I let Echo get away with something.
Well, now he's got something on me and now he lets me get away with something. We go back and forth. We go on this downward spiral and there's no one that can. I once I once I give up my integrity, I, I give up my ability to tighten anyone else's integrity up. And you've also set a new standard.
You've put your personal stamp on approval that that behavior is now tolerated. Yep.
And that's what makes it so hard. You can't go backwards. Yeah. You can't unring that bell. It's really hard to deal with.
And if you have to go backwards because, look, you can put yourself in a situation, what do you do? You own it. You stand up in front of the troops. You say, hey, look, I made a bad decision, bad personal decision. I thought this was a good thing to do. It didn't make sense. It was the wrong thing. I won't let it happen again. That might be that's your that's your first step in trying to recover your integrity.
Yeah, but when you give it up, that's why it's so, you know, the moral high ground, the moral high ground and keeping the high ground. I talked about this the other day on Heff online.
It's like once you give up the moral high ground, it's just like being in combat.
You now you now are going to have to fight to get it back. And it's a freakin uphill battle and there is a good chance you can't get up there anymore. So you cannot give up that moral and ethical high ground.
It just it's it's one of the worst possible moves you can make on the battlefield. It's one of the worst possible moves you can make in life. So I didn't mean to breeze over integrity like that, but no doubt. It's a it's a core component of what you've got to be looking for in people. And people don't screen for it. That's the weirdest thing nobody ever asked.
But I should say no. But I want to be careful on extremes there. But I've watched, you know, the predominance of the hiring. I do. I manage a team. But most of the hiring that I'm looking after is executive level. And, you know, all of these offers combined, you're talking a half million cash and more. I mean, they're their significant compensation.
And I don't hear anybody ask the question, can you give me an example of when you had to hold the line on integrity and take the harder path, even just that simple question.
You won't hear it in an interview process. It would it would shock me if I heard it. But it is so fundamental. If you don't have this, the rest doesn't matter. If there's if the integrity is gone, that's it. You cannot have a person without integrity in your organization. Full stop.
What was interesting is we were writing this book as so. Com was dealing with a number of ethical issues. And let's be honest, a lot of them were coming from the SEAL community. And, you know, we sort of struggled, hey, do we have to change the language in here? But, you know, one individual doesn't speak for the organization, but they do when they're on the front lines, the front pages, front page, speak for your organization.
And, you know, you mentioned Ivy League. And I feel bad sometimes because I over index on the Ivy League guys, and sometimes I'm critical there. There were some great philosophers that came out recently for sure, some outstanding guys, no doubt, but they were more the exception than the norm.
So as I'm talking to Johnny Kim, Johnny was like being in Harvard.
That was after he became CEO. So he gets a pass. And Johnny brought up a story in my life where I'm like, Johnny, that's that's not a good story. So, you know, we're talking about Bud and we're talking about Ryan and him now.
You know, you could tell getting a little emotional on the phone, he's like, hey, you remember that time we had a Harvard officer in our class who actually worked for Enron? But some officer, you know, I don't know what the fascination was like. Oh, this guy went to Harvard News with Enron and, you know, and he's in buds.
And this guy was, I mean, arguably one of the smartest guys in the class, not as smart as Johnny.
And this guy just alienated everyone.
He thought he was the smartest man in the room. And he was egotistical. He was an asshole. And John, he's like he's done the story about we're running to the chow hall and still there's like two hundred and fifty two hundred twenty five people in the class in. This guy knew I was a recon Marine. You know, sometimes you'll run the formation. There's one guy that runs to the right of the is it the left or the left?
Left. This is my younger Marine. That's that's pretty embarrassing. To the left his hands up unless your left hand. He's seeing a cadence and he's just ripping on recon. And Johnny's laughing on the phone because the whole class saw this guy just fall out of the main formation, run out. And I just took a hand, you know, sort of the the nothing I can. But the hard end is the open slap. Knocked the helmet right off as he's heading.
It goes wrong across the street and has to run over it. I just took over the cadence and my job. That was not my best move. But this guy, I kind of like that.
But this guy was he was going to make it through how he was going to meet the physical requirements and the mental toughness requirements. But the court stepped in and dropped him. And that's rare because he was just that toxic, that toxic. And it's funny, the instructors could recognize that because usually instructors like, hey, he meets all these requirements. We can read that out of them.
Effective intelligence is the ability to use the intelligence you have in a real world setting to solve problems for which there is no playbook.
And that is the heart of special operations.
So, you know, we found a study. What would you guess was the average GPA of most millionaires that went to college? I have no idea. Two point ninety two point nine.
And that's my saving grace because I think I got a two point. I know somebody average.
But so what we found in the people that are off the charts, smart and what we saw in the SEAL teams is that they suffered a lot from paralysis through analysis or they made things so overly complex. And when you work in high stakes environments, time is usually a factor and it goes back to the second law of combat. Simple. Yeah.
Yeah, that's that's all good stuff in it again. Hey, we're not bagging on the guys that came in and had awesome education and a lot of more awesome. And and here's another another reason that it hurt the community was because these guys would become. In and they were had such high potential. This is in the 90s, there's no war going on. They do for years. They get they do their systems to come in and they do their platoon commander.
They look at what's ahead of them in the 90s. And it was like, oh, you're going to you're going to you're going to write a desk for the next 18 or whatever the next 16 years before you can retire.
And guys would say, you know, I'm going to get out and I'm going to go do something else. So it hurt us from a just a personnel building standpoint as well.
But that's the other thing that I've seen is where you get and look, some people pull this off and they do a great but there are some people that have a problem taking their highly intellectual view of something and translating it to the front line troops, where now the people, the people that have to go and execute whatever it is you want them to execute is doing it in a simple, clear, concise way. That's why simple is one of the laws of combat.
Part of the law of combat is planning. Keep your your planning simple. The other part of that law of combat is to communicate simply and there's a lot of people that have a hard time doing not a lot. There are some people that have a hard time doing that. So that's a that effective intelligence is is definitely an important thing.
And that is the one I mean, one of the attributes specific to MARSOC is that they call it effective intelligence. And that's again, Flanary. We took that one. It was the way they described it in their assessment and selection manual that that's one of their primary requirements. The way they described it was absolutely beautiful.
MARSOC had the advantage of having joined so calmly. You know, I was a recon Marine. We were never part of Sock'Em back then. And eventually in two thousand was it five, six MARSOC, that one led by Colonel Kazinsky.
Two thousand four. Yeah. Because they would leave me in Baghdad. That's right. And everyone's like, yeah, this is a no brainer.
But they could look when they were building the MARSOC assessment and selection course, they could look at what they see as a community and they were very deliberate. And that's the Marzak community. Stand by. They're just going to be powerful. They already are. Yeah.
You know, we were talking about to bring this over to the business world. You know, when we talk about effective intelligence and people over indexing on experience, they're wanting people to come and take a playbook and run it over here. And and assuming that the situations that you're going to find in this particular business are going to be exactly the same. And so they're thinking, well, they've handled these situations over here. They'll be able to handle them here, will be successful.
End of story. It's the effective intelligence that's not assuming any course of action for a business problem.
They're looking at it that that ability to take the intellectual horsepower and look at all of the data points, all of the indicators, all of the little pieces of intel, collect them and put them into a cohesive picture that then you explain simply with a plan of attack. And it's so different than experience. And if we could get people to index on that versus the experience, you'd see the difference immediately.
You know, George, we actually we talk about the 70 percent solution. That's a great example. What you you're explaining in a business context is, again, the guys that are wildly intelligent when they only have 70 percent of the operational picture, they can't make a decision. But people high and high effective intelligence can draw threads, parallels and make a very decisive decision with incomplete information.
And, you know, they we pulled a quote out because we were talking to Tracy Kiyo. And so she was talking about the CEO of Microsoft said, we don't want know it alls. We want learn it alls.
If you can get that, how far ahead of the game are you?
I'm going to I'm going to reach into some people's brains that are listening to this right now. And I'm just going to do a little a little tweak on their brains, because I promise you I promise you that there's some people that when you said, hey, you're talking about someone that just takes a playbook and runs the playbook and that's it.
I promise you that there's some people that are thinking, wait, that's what I want. That's what I want right there. I want someone who's going to take that playbook and they're going to run. That's what they're going to do. And and I'm going to reach in there and just I have to stop you from thinking that, because I know that's what you think you want. That's what that's what leaders think they think. Hey, look, I've got this all figured out.
If everyone would just do what I tell them to do, run the playbook, just do what I say to do. We'll be good to go. Here's the thing.
There's no static function in the world that what you want is non thinking apparatus to run a playbook.
And if you do, if you have something like that. Yes, automate that. Get a robot to do that task and do them over and over again. The same way when you're hiring a leader, you want them to be able to adapt and change and make improvements and do whatever they have to do to win. That's what you want. So if you hear George say, hey.
We don't want someone that's just going to run the playbook and you're thinking new way to do that. Do you want that? No, you don't. And this was the same thing has happened to the micromanagers coming through my training when I was running training. You get someone that's thinking, hey, look, I've been either on experience or I know I'm highly educated. I know how to run these operations. So everyone if everyone just get in line and just do what I tell them to do, will be good to go.
And what does that turn into? It's micromanagement that you can't tell everyone what to do. There's no way you can be everywhere at once and everything falls apart. You need thinking shooters is what we used to call it.
So what what we're offering at ATF Overwatch is thinking leaders that will actually solve problems. Yeah, you're right.
And and, you know, we made a little vignette, a little video about this, but coming up through the army. And, you know, JoCo, I was actually one of those people that that started to get out in the 90s. I was I'd gotten through know I had two years of lying command. And I'm thinking, I love this. I got to go to the field. I love you and my soldiers. And then you then, you know, your time for command comes up in the army and you're looking ahead.
You're going now. I'm going to say something and I don't want to hear crap about it later, Mike, but I'm thinking I got a life of Harvard graphics ahead of me which preceded PowerPoint just to bring you along with the program here.
But and so I got out. But I have to tell you, the US Army and the US military is the world's greatest leadership incubator. And I owe so much back to the military, to my mentors, to my coaches, to the soldiers, to the noncommissioned officers, the people I served with. And it created in me that thinking leader. Do I have all the answers? No, no. But that the US military and when we talk about overwatch, we talk about placing the leaders.
If you're in a fishbowl 24/7, 365, as a leader, it is the biggest and best burden you can ever carry is to be a leader in the United States military. It is just it's an honor, a privilege. It's scary as hell. It's rewarding as hell. It's everything. But you're in an incubator to lead. And I am so, so grateful for that. And so when we talk about the principles in these book and when we talk about that effective intelligence, the army helped me in my case deliver that that that.
Did I know everything about the enemy? No. I had to take all these cues and start putting pieces together. What do I have to do? What are my possible courses of action? What's good, what's bad, what's high risk, what's low risk?
And anyway, it just it it astounded me how much I learned to think about the art of leadership coming to the US military.
I mean, muskets were not as intuitive during his days as the force we have now.
But we had good horses, Mike. So, you know, I'm good with that.
This is what I have to put up with daily team ability.
Did you guys make up that word, that hyphenated word, team ability?
We did not. We I think we found that within our research. We liked it. So we stuck with.
Yeah. And kind of because we were talking with Brian Decker, we were talking a lot of people, everybody had different versions of that same word. So we put that together. Yeah. The teamwork and how different. And do you have the ability to put yourself whatever level you're at as a team player and that there's a certain element of that to be a follower as well? What do you like that word?
Yeah. OK, yeah, we came up with it. Good to go. Moving on, you say about it, nothing worth accomplishing can be done alone. There are no Rambo's in the military that might look cool in the movies, but individuals die pretty quickly on the battlefield or worse, get others hurt. Their greatest success requires that we work together.
Curiosity, exploring the unknown and questioning the status quo in pursuit of better, more effective solutions is the key to innovation.
Without curious individuals, nothing would ever change or improve emotional strength in the US military. And I'm given like these highly abbreviated definitions and you guys go into it. Not not only do you go into better examples, but then not only not only more detailed definitions, but examples. You know, you're talking about the rescue, Captain Phillips. I mean, you got really cool examples in here to back these things up, but that's where people buy the book so that they can read those curiosity already covered that emotional strength in the US military.
The whole man concept is the belief that the individuals need to be assessed based on the entirety of their person, of mental, physical and emotional and emotionally strong individual has a positive attitude, high empathy and emotional control in stressful situations. Many of the individuals we interviewed identified positive attitude as important to their hiring decisions.
Attitude is contagious.
Positivity breeds positivity, while negativity begets more negativity and individual the negative attitude. Still produce results, but is often at the expense of company culture. Typically that one person's results are not worth the resulting damage to the team.
You have highlighted this section, Emotional strength is the ability to regulate one's emotions, to remain logical under stress, stressful situations. Marza calls this stress tolerance and defines it as the ability to deal with ambiguous, dangerous, high pressure or frustrating events while maintaining control of emotions, actions, composure and effectiveness. It is a universal truth in life that humans don't make good decisions and emotional state people who are able to remain cool, calm and collected in the face of challenges.
And the unknown are people you want in your organization. This is the exact reason soft creates stressful environments to mimic the conditions of war during assessment and selection programs. Stress tolerance is so important that some SOF organizations even use heart rate monitors to evaluate individual's psychological physiological responses to stress. Got to stay calm, got to be able to detach these were this chatter. I mean, you get people that are very passionate. Ryan Decker was heavily involved in this chapter.
Resistivity, do you ever served with Rich? I do not. Rich is a brother very, very passionate about. In fact, he has a book called The Attributes 25 Hidden Drivers of Optimum Performance. It's about attributes, some of his observations like empathy. You know, when you think about it in the way he described it, he said Special Operations is very good about dialing up and dialing down empathy. He said it's almost like a dimmer switch.
When you go out on an operation and you're raiding the home, there's a likelihood that there are women and children in there. And, you know, you've got to dial down your empathy to accomplish the mission, not safeguard them while still bringing the hurt to the combatants you're going after yet we're very good about down that empathy. Back up when we come back from front from operations. So very detailed conversations, very passionate about these these subjects. And those two were instrumental.
And in this chapter, yeah, you guys dug into some, like I said, good stuff. And obviously going with getting those dead information from good people, creating a talent acquisition plan.
Talk to me about that.
Well, you know, one of the many mistakes that, you know, once you get past, you know, making sure that your chief human resources chief human resource officer is strategic and tied into your CEO, you have to look ahead.
You know, that old adage, if you if if you fail to plan, you're planning to fail. People look at talent and recruiting and staffing is, hey, we've got these open positions, let's crank it. There's not often a plan behind it. And that starts with looking at your company and it starts with going, OK, what is the strength of our company when it comes to talent? What gaps do we have? What gaps do we have in leadership?
What gaps do we have in technology? What gaps do we have in sales in leaders and individual contributors? Do we have key points of failure? Do we have only one person that can do this job? And if they go, we've nobody to step up? Do we have no tools? Do we have no threes? OK, where are we going to grow? Where are we going to grow next year? And, you know, this could go on and on and on.
But the basics are you need to be sitting down and looking at each organization and what are you missing? Why aren't you winning in that department? Why aren't you winning in sales? Why aren't you winning in product? Why aren't you winning in service or whatever and find out what your gaps are. And that's where you start with talent and get that down into a plan that says, OK, we're going to go after this in a strategic way. We are going to go out into the market.
You know, we're going to look within our own organization first, but then we're going to go out to the market and we're going to build an organization and talent acquisition, H.R., that says these are the people that are the gatekeepers and they are going to find and they are going to know what our success profiles look like. And they are going to bring us high caliber people with those character attributes to be considered for these positions. But you plan it out versus going, oh, you know what?
Hey, we have an open position over here. We've authorized ten head count in this particular department. You've got an empty seat. What do you need? That's not a plan. That's just that's a button. A seat like we talked about.
You have to take that time to say, what does my organization look like as far as talent and people? It's one of the many things that because everybody's focused on everything else, they don't take the time to go. What's going to bring us into twenty one? What's going to bring us into twenty to you? And like Don Robertson said in our book, you have to be hired for the skills and needs of the future where your company is going to go.
And I think we even brought it up. It's like the term is fighting the last war. You know, you're not thinking ahead as to what you're going to need. And so there's no plan to go after that and build that for the future.
This is one of those things where you it happens in National Front sometimes to be working with a company. And and, you know, whatever company is, it happens all the time. Companies caught up in that firefight day to day. They're trying to survive. They're trying to make things happen. They got projects. Do they got all these things going on? And then you ask them about, you know, hey, do you do you have anyone that's looking at, you know, six months down the line about where you're going to be, about what supplies you're going to need or whatever?
Just whatever those. And you can see they're caught. They're caught, like on their heels because they don't. And if you if you think about what you're talking about here, a talent acquisition plan, how we're actually going to build a company. And you think about how many companies are out there that the way they think about is just it's a firefight. Right. We need to fill the seat right now. That's the plan. The plan is hire someone to do that role.
Next, we have a new plan. The plan is hire someone to fill this other role.
There's no you. To find long term strategic plan of what we're doing and what is the military do better than? Well, there's many things they do better than most, but there's always a pipeline, there's always a pipeline, there's always a plan, there's a succession plan. There is a pipeline of high quality people coming into a pipeline so we can assess and select and put them into those things. It's it's a forethought. We have people that are out there doing that stuff, but they're actually thinking, what do we need for twenty one.
Twenty two. Twenty three. Twenty four. Twenty five even that goes all the way up the systems and equipment and but the military does it all, whereas corporations will go to your point. They're out there. Fire-fighting. Oh wow. Wow. I've got an opening on team. I got to bring somebody in. But if you do have an opening on your team, it should be a we got a pipeline of ready talent that's banging on the door to get into this place because we have a talent mindset, we have leadership, we are focused.
We empower our people. We lead our people, we drive our people, we win. And people will want to be a part of that.
Yeah. You guys break it down and hear what you have to do, what you have to do to create this talent acquisition plan, defining greatness in your organization, identify your high performers, assess your talent, objective assessments. Just you guys go line by line and explain all these things in great detail. Build your talent profiles, make you already mentioned that workforce planning.
I mean, you just go through the detail so that people that don't have a plan can actually open up this book and put a plan together so that they are moving forward with it with a room.
Right. With a route, instead of just moving forward in the blind, which is crazy to think about. And yet it happens all the time. It's just start with the conversation. The senior leaders and companies are not having this conversation in that that's where it starts. There's many ways to go about this. You don't need to bring, you know, bring in a top five consulting firm. Yes, you can bring any of overwatch. That's magalog.
But, you know, this isn't something where you're going to bring in, you know, industrial organizational psychologists and you're going to create assessments that are going to solve this for you. It's just this is this is basic leadership that you have to have the discipline to follow through on and you can create these processes from scratch. Special operations community had to start somewhere. They basically started from scratch. And you can build this. It's going to take time, but you have to have those conversations and you have to have those conversations all the time, every every week, every month.
Are we selecting not only for what we need now, but five years down the line? If you're creating a talent profile, how does that talent profile change with the digital transformation five years from now? What's going to be required in terms of attributes five years down the road or ten years down the road?
Next section is about attracting top talent. What talented people look for attracting talent requires knowing what talented people want. Many companies assume that the answer is money and perks. They offer competitive salaries and wonderful creature comforts, high end expression machines, fully stocked kitchens, pool tables and more. And yet they still hemorrhaged talent. On the other end, we've seen countless people turn down higher pay to stay with the company where they feel challenged and love the people they work with.
If you want people to dedicate their talents to your company, you must offer something equally valuable in return. Since talented people have high drive, they are interested. They're just as interested in achievement and challenge as money. Let's not fool ourselves. If your compensation and benefits are not competitive within your industry, you'll lose out on talent. But attracting top people goes beyond that. Beyond money. Talented people look for talented leaders and colleagues, a sense of community, a challenge, opportunities for professional and personal growth and purpose.
Talent attracts talent.
It's a magnet for good leaders. Or you want to go. Even in my military career, I know who those good leaders are. And I'm like, Oh, I got to get in that organization because they're going to help me get to the next level. They're going to pass on that experience, that coaching, the mentorship. I did that in the military. I do it here in the corporate world. I've been doing it for twenty years. You know, one of the people in this book I actually followed to another organization.
He's like, hey. And I'm like, I'm there. I'm there. You know? He goes, Do you want to talk about compensation? I said, No, let's just move. Let's go.
And the great part is, is that, you know, there's a lot of bad habits that get you into a vicious cycle, but attracting great talent gets you into a positive cycle of attracting better talent all the time.
Your alumni in the people currently in your organization are the best way to attract talent. Hands down. I mean, you're doing it right now.
You've probably caused a lot of young men and women to enlist or seek missions in the military based off the lessons that learning. Yes, that is a factual statement. Yes. There we go. There's a lot of a lot of people out there that are straight up. In the military from listening to podcast, because I hear from them all the time, it's awesome. In fact, we were having dinner last night. Air Force individual came up and said, hey, I follow everything you do.
Thank you for what you do.
And then he asked, he handed me the phone, said, hey, can you take a picture of I'm really he's like. So we tell the story.
And this is 100 percent true. I didn't come from the military lineage. I didn't I'd seen the movies. I thought they were pretty cool. I thought the military was potentially a path for me. There was multiple pass. The backup dancer for Madonna was just not going to be a career that provided, you know what I needed to live. So I know that an inside joke inside the inside, it's also a frightening mental image. I assure you.
There's a sequined thong somewhere in his house.
So when I was I was 18 and living in Colorado, I ran into and I'm not going to mention his name, which is called Staff Sergeant Ben Stafford. And Ben was attending the University of Colorado on the Miss program, which is the same program I eventually attended at Texas A&M, the Marine enlisted commissioning education program, where they take the enlisted, send them to get their degrees and ultimately earn a commission. So I met Ben and at the age of 18, here you have this staff sergeant from the Force Recon community, and he was humbly confident.
He was articulate, highly respectful to everyone. What differentiated him from the other Marines was even though he was, you know, this dual cool, you know, highly decorated, is he was actually nicer than the other Marines. He had nothing to prove. And physically, the whole man concept, he was there. He had a stature about him. And when I'm 18, I'm like, dude, that guy's awesome. That's who I want to be.
That's who I want to be. I mean, to the point where I enlisted in the Marine Corps to become a rate because of the image, because of the person the Marine Corps put forward in front of young men and women like me. When you have strong leaders stepping up, representing their communities, it sends a very strong message to people that I want to join that. And it never changed. When I went to infantry school, you know, seven Marines stepped in front of us and said, who wants to screen from recon?
I'm like, oh, my God, it's like seven staff sergeant bents. And then when I finally met the SEALs, I was in the Marine Corps. I'm like, oh, my God, that's my next challenge. You and your alumni and current employees or team members are your greatest recruiting tool.
Always. Yeah, I was I've had many conversations with businesses. As you know, they're losing somebody. Somebody decides to leave and they start thinking about we're going to hit them with a no compete. We're going to get hit with this. We're going to go with that. And I say, I got a better idea. Why don't you wish them luck and thank them for what they did while they were here and let them go about their way?
Because if you send them out the door with a kick in the ass, they're not coming back. If you send them out the door and say, good luck, it's been great working with you. First of all, they're not going to go out in the street and say, you know, oh, Jock was a jerk. You want to work for him, he's going to go. I left them, but they're good people, right? And that those people will come back to you, by the way.
I mean, eventually they're going to come back because, you know, somebody is over. The reason they're leaving is because if you're treating people well, the reason people are leaving is because someone is lying to them. You know, they're lying. They're giving them some lying that they're not going to be able to uphold. So when people are leaving, it's it's your alumni. You've got to treat them like your alumni and say, hey, good luck.
Let me know if you ever need anything. You know, even though you're working for a competitor. It's all right. You know, you're my friend. Yeah.
Yeah. Well, we we took it one step further. We have some of the the just great members of my team about ninety days down the road. I'll call them up where they went. Hey, how are things going for you.
Hey, was that everything that you expected? I hope you're experiencing great success and it's everything because there's people that move along because for whatever reason, their next challenge may be somewhere else. And you have to be accepting of that. And you and you have to, to your point, encourage that, too. And if you have a good number to your following, you don't worry about it, but reach out to somebody and say, hey, how are you doing?
You know what? Hey, if things aren't going well there, hey, give me a call.
Give me a call. Because we loved having you here.
You wouldn't believe how many people are gone. You know what? They don't have to admit that they made a mistake. They're gone. You know what? It wasn't as good. It wasn't as good.
You know, we call it we call it the ultimate litmus test. It's if there's pride in the organization, whether you're with organization at that time or after, look at the Marine Corps when somebody says, hey, you know, what do you do? Well, I'm a former Marine. They proclaim that vice somebody saying, hey, I'm a I'm a coder. No, if they're prideful in. They say I'm a burglar, and so when they identify with the organization, it's one sort of identifying that there's a talent, talent oriented culture in that there's strong leadership at that company to the point where they have a sense of pride in that becomes a talent magnet for other people at that cocktail party that you said it so very powerful, we can't sort of over index on that one enough know.
And it's just, you know, everybody in your company is a talent scout. Everybody in your company is an example of what you hold as important, especially your leaders when they're out in the public. And everybody should always be looking. And we talked about this like, you know, the term is opportunistic hiring. Most people are only hiring for an open position. But if you've got talent scouts out there, they're bringing talent to you and saying, you know what, this person's a difference maker.
This isn't a player. We have got to find a place in our organization. So everybody, when you have a talent mindset, it's not just, you know, from the CEO down all the way through that you've got the mechanics and you're looking for top talent. But it's all your employees. Once they're in the door, they're branding going, hey, you want to come try out here? This is a tough place to work. And that's exactly what happened to the special operations community.
There is no shortage of people signing up to get a beating. No shortage whatsoever. And in an ideal world, if you have a company with that kind of mindset, you'll have those people going, you know what, I got to work there, because that's going to make me better.
You know, Jackie, you brought a point about when somebody leaves your organization, you show them respect and try to keep that relationship intact. What we found great organizations do, even in the hiring process, if they don't hire somebody, is they still spend time to say, hey, we'd love to debrief you on why we didn't select you for this position. And they show them a great deal of respect. The special operations community does this. When somebody drops from Buddz, they do pull him aside and have a conversation.
Hey, what do you want to do in the Navy? What have you learned from this process? And they speak highly of the SEALs or the Special Forces selection process when they leave. We've seen organizations that are so highly respectful to people that they don't even hire that at the end of the debrief, they say, wow, no other organization has done that for me. They just simply some don't even respond or some just say, hey, we didn't do that.
And they said it's not uncommon.
Organizations that sort of follow this this tactic, it's part of their culture where the person looks at them, says, do you have any other positions available in the organization and literally make hires based off that by showing them such a great experience during that hiring process?
It drives me nuts to have a bad process because effectively, and especially in today's era of social digital media, that experience is your brand going back out in the marketplace and you've created an impression.
You've created a customer consumer or you've pushed one away if you didn't select them. So you know how you treat people in the process. It says everything about your company, says everything about having to tell it mindset.
Yeah. And the bottom line with all of these things that we're talking about, all these behaviors, is you're you have a culture that people that are talented are going to want to go to. And that's what this this section is about, a sense of community, the challenge, the growth opportunities, having a purpose, their salary and benefits, giving people ownership, giving people control over their own destiny, and that all those things you kind of sum up here with brand yourself as a talent magnet.
The US military, especially Special Operations, has skillful marketing and branding, which is very weird for me to say. But I know it's very true. Their branding, I mean, let's face it, the Marine Corps is branding itself way before branding was a thing. Same with the Army. I mean, I remember I was totally brainwashed when I was a kid to be all you can be or the few the proud Marines like that was just one hundred percent.
Just my whole the branding in my mind is stuff to this day. You know, the few the proud Marines, Rangers lead the way that others may live day, a press, a lever lever.
How do you say that? Can't we we can't say that the press libre. Is that right? I think you got it right. Yes. Sorry. Tim Kennedy, bro. I'm sorry. Tim, dear Pressel Liebert. There you go. To Free the oppressed. The only easy day was yesterday. And what you're doing with these things is is the other the other big part of this is employee value proposition. What you as an employee, as employer offer to your employees.
And you kind of you kind of lay out some you lay at one Price Waterhouse Coopers from empowering mentorships to customize a coaching. BWC provide you with the support you need to help you develop your career. You'll work with people from diverse backgrounds and industries to solve important problems. Are you ready to grow? Here's the here's the Ranger on recognizing that I volunteered as a ranger fully. Knowing the hazards of my chosen profession, I will always endure to uphold the prestige, honor and high esprit de corps of the Rangers acknowledging the fact that a ranger is a more elite soldier who arrives at the cutting edge of battle by land, sea or air.
I accept the fact that as a ranger, my country expects me to move further, faster and fight harder than any other soldier.
Rangers lead the way branding.
I hate calling that stuff branding because it's so badass using social media to reach top talent. All right, let's hear it, guys.
You guys, apparently, you know, you just talked about this. What are we talking about? Last night was so I'm doing. Oh, yeah. So Calm is starting a podcast. Who did they reach out to? They reached out to me. But yeah, it's very cool what they're doing. You know, they've got to they just wanted to, you know, get my kind of cut on it and very cool what they're trying to do.
You know, they're just trying to get the word out there. And and then you pointed out to me that whatever, a year ago, so calm started an Instagram account. So we see our own special operations community building their social media presence so that they can communicate with the next generation of special operations humans.
The military has been pretty good about this. So back in the late 90s or mid 90s, X Games was really coming to fruition and the military started creating their own extreme sports teams because that's where they knew the new talent, is that that's where that, you know, the demographic of the 18 or I'm sorry was, say, 15 year olds to the twenty 25 year olds was was pushing towards at that time. What do you think the military is going now for recruiting video games?
EA Sports teams, they're putting EA sports teams together.
Now, if you asked our generation when they said, hey, we're going to go recruit out of the EA Sports or video game temples, we'd probably say no way that future SEALs and future MARSOC Raiders and Special Forces are not going to come out of those communities. That's wrong. That's that's where the new talent lies. Not all the time. They're still town out there playing sports on teams, wrestling. But, you know, that's just this new generation.
They play a lot of video games and that's where they're finding success with their recruiting. Yeah, I'm curious about that. Video games make me nervous because people get addicted to them. And, yeah, it's really it's a real thing, the real thing. So let's be honest. Yeah, it missed my generation. My my dad was not big on video games and we didn't have it. That's why when I would go to my friend's house, I would stay up till four while they were sleeping, playing the video games, the tendo, Mike Tyson, Sibongile.
But what are the guys usually do when we got back from operations?
Oh, bro. I mean, my first deployment to Iraq, they had Halo set up between tents and then they had this. So Seale's I was already like like, you guys are playing video games. Wait, wait. What is this? What are you guys doing, PAC man? I'm so out of it. I'm from, you know, back. I do appreciate that you reference PAC Man. So I'm thinking, what is it? So like I went in there, looked inside to see whatever the guys are playing Halo and and I just didn't really get it.
And I thought it was this weird couple, you know, five or six seals that were all into it.
But then they had a C just so def tournament of Halo. Did you hear what I just said? We're in Iraq, we're on deployment. We're fighting the enemy. And they have a at the command of Joint Special Operations Task Force for Iraq. They have a Halo tournament.
So that's a little bit embarrassing.
So it's embarrassing that I got SEALs doing it. It's even more embarrassing that they have a serious sort of tournament. And the height of embarrassment was when my two players went up there for the tournament. Not only did they win, they utterly destroyed everyone. And I guess in that game, you in the game Halo, the version that they were playing, you have to get to 50 kills.
And in the finals, these two guys in the finals, they killed the opponent fifty times and they got killed once and they came back and they were super stoked. And I just was I was like, gentlemen, I'm very disappointed.
What's really crazy is just I mean, great guys. And one of them was a total freak and physical stuff. The other one is when my bad ass, you know, pipetting seals. So they were awesome guys. So I don't know, maybe I misjudged who did. It does make me nervous, though, because people get addicted to those video games.
Yeah, kind of for the same reason they get addicted to other stuff, too, though, a lot of the time because they don't have like other stuff going on necessarily.
But I don't know, it's been kind of proven that video games are like a good method of problem solving, like in your brain.
For people, it's it's true. They can be conducive in certain circles. Why don't you say here and do some problem solving? There's that, too, but you get guys who play video games and jujitsu, you see them. I'm saying I'm saying it can be it can have a little role in it. You have a little rule. Has you. Have you been good at any video game ever in your whole life you make.
I tried playing with these guys. I would take two steps and die. Yeah. Yeah.
You talk about Halo that like, OK, that's no one's kind of advance. Like you mentioned, Mike Tyson punch out.
Yeah. I never I never made it. To who. Mike Tyson. Did you mention that. Yeah.
To get a beat. Mike Tyson. So I'd be Mike Tyson. Punch out and regular punch out. You know what the difference is. No, nothing really.
Except one is the last guy is Mike Tyson, you know, Brown guy. And then on regular punch out, the last guy is Mr. Dream, same exact pixel formation of the guy.
Except he's a little lighter because that's what I think. Mike Tyson ran into some problems publicly, I think with the law and whatnot and whatnot, you know, but I think they just had a documentary come out on the evolution of video games for oh, for Netflix.
You should check. Thank you for standing up for this generation. Yes, sir. Yes, sir. Yeah. All right.
Moving back to the subject at hand, it's I these are not there. It's creating the hiring team.
Creating the hiring team is one of the most important decisions to make in the talent war. But we see companies make the same four mistakes again and again. Here they are be players or see players being put in charge of hiring. You already kind of mentioned that that's not a universal statement, but it does happen.
The hiring team is homogeneous, homogeneous, homogeneous, homogenous. There we go. Thank you.
Actually, Charles, tightening up the English major over there.
I'm sure the hiring team is homogenous, which means, well, we've got a team here and they're all they're all all the same people of all engineers, salespeople wanted to have you look or to put it in the context of special operations.
If you just selected breachers to be the team of people selecting not not not the point man, not the navigator, you breachers are going to look for future breachers number three, there's no training. What's the training that you're talking about?
You know how to dig in. And first of all, and I've got to say this, is that every time you hire, there are legal ramifications. I could tell you horror stories about asking the wrong questions. Now, it great. Actually, I literally had a senior hiring manager go in and there was a lady that came in and one of his questions was, is when are you due? And I'm like, Really? And yeah, she wasn't pregnant.
So that made that just she got an offer on the spot for me. We saved the company a couple of million dollars in a lawsuit. But the training you have to teach people to make sure that you're asking questions that are simply job related and performance-related number one. But number two, how do you dig in and examine those questions? How do you put that person under pressure? How do you pressure test them and train your hiring managers? Otherwise you get five guys on the engineering team.
And Mike's example, five breachers, who are all asking questions about breeching. You're asking engineers and they're all asking different. Well, how did you do this at this company? They go to the next person. You get candidates to come out, go, well, I answered the same question seven times and hopefully I got it right six out of seven times. But you need to train your interviewing team as to what your success profile is. And, you know, there are nine attributes, but you're not looking for all nine.
Maybe it's three, maybe it's four, maybe it's two for this specific role. How are you going to dig in on those and elicit responses that tell you, are they a person of high drive?
Are they a person of high resiliency? Are they adaptable? Do they have team ability? How are you digging in and which characteristics you're looking for, depending on what the success profile of that particular role is and you have to train people to do that. Interviewing is not a skill that people just out of thin air can do very, very well. It takes time to train in. The more you train those people, the you know, the more clear they become on selecting the best candidate that's in front of them for that role.
So training them to that process, what is the process that works for you, for this organization? You're hiring a team of eight players need to understand the process. And then they they need to understand, as is George was talking about, is what are you looking for during that process? So Brian Decker with SFA asked. They would continually go through training as they came up with obstacles in identifying that, hey, the reason we're putting them through this specific obstacle is we're looking for these two attributes.
And this is how you judge based off the scorecard where they score on that attribute. So that's the training where we're talking about. Let me say this one. We say a players, because a true a player has humility, the ability to look at a bunch of young SEAL candidates or a bunch of future employees and say that that girl right there, she has the potential to be a lot better than I am. And she's going to make me she's going to raise my performances while she's going to raise the bar and she's going to challenge me.
A players can do that because they want competition. They want healthy competition. They want to be surrounded by other players. You put B players or C players. What we're saying there is again, it goes back to, you know, fear based hiring is I don't want to be outshined that that Johnny came right there. I will be a non player in the organization if he's there.
We're not taking him that that's what that's what happens.
And so when you have ego and you have people that are mediocre performers in charge of your hiring, guess what? You're going to get mediocre talent.
The last mistake that people make is hiring as a secondary function. So we're not going to take Djuka Willink as a troop commander to ask you to come in and say, hey, you got a train to go to war. Oh, hey, by the way, you've got to cut over to Buddz every day at three p.m. to assist with the assessment selection. You can't do the phrase in the military to think shitty one thing. Well, yeah, we take in this.
This is hard to take one of our retirements and we take a players off the battlefield, guys who want to continue going to war. And we say, hey, for the next two years, actually, you're going to have a greater impact on the community, your sole job, your one thing. It's not a secondary function.
This is your primary function for the next two years or six months is focusing on filling the talent funnel and assessing and selecting people into this organization. That's what it means by a secondary function.
And then you can score it and then you can do a feedback loop if you've got the same people and I mean you'll have multiple teams across multiple departments.
But once you've seen how they interview, if if each one of those talented candidates is going through the same group of people and getting the same structure, you can go back and evaluate the results. You can get that feedback loop, OK, we hired this person. How did they do?
Or we hired this person and they didn't do well. What did we miss in the process? And you're going back to the same group of people as how to iterate a little bit better and you get a little bit better each time. But if you keep changing that team out, you're effectively you have no standard or you get the standard of the day with the team that you put together.
But if you get those eight players, you make hiring the priority for what they do, you train them properly. You can look at how we're doing and how do we exponentially increase what they're doing.
That's hard for a business leader to sometimes very hard, very, very hard. So what you're telling me to do is take my best salesman or saleswoman, take them off the line for six months and have them focus on hiring the next generation of sales leaders.
And our answer is yes, in the short term, a tactical mindset that may hurt if you have a strategic mindset for the long term, for the long run, if he hires three or four solid sales leaders, that's going to have a much more exponential effect, an impact on the organization. Again, that's hard to do. It was hard for the SEAL community to take guys like you off the battlefield say, hey, we need you to run training.
Now we know where you want it to be. And so, again, a lot of this is getting that we say talent mindset, getting business leaders just to make that mental paradigm shift of out of that tactical mindset into a strategic mindset to play the long game. And that's what the talent war is.
It's the long game. It's just that important.
And, you know, everything in your environment, your your product, your service, the economy, the market, the global conditions are going to change and they're going to change rapidly. But those nine attributes don't change. And they allow you to confront any circumstance as a business with confidence and to win those things just won't change. Everything around you will change. But those leadership principles, those nine character attributes, those are the foundations, and they will let you attack and win in any given situation.
When you don't pay attention to them, your fire-fighting covid comes along. Oh, my God, what do we do?
Every Chicken Littles. And it becomes a very difficult problem to solve versus. OK, got it. Roger, that's today's situation.
Let's go next section here. Characters revealed at one's limits and there's a subsection called Mike Feels the Pressure. This is it. Mike thought, staring up the rope. I'm going to fail out of Buddz because of a freaking rope. Two weeks prior, Mike had completed hell week. The instructors had even pulled him aside and said, You're one of the standout leaders in the class. We know what you can do as a leader. So we need you to step aside so that we can test and evaluate other officers.
Yet now Mike was struggling to climb a basic rope like he had been climbing since day one of the Marine Corps. He had been climbing ropes for years and he was good at it. He never failed to get up one until now. For the first time in training, Mike was displaying serious signs of fatigue. It was an ideal moment to test him. So the instructors dug in, shouting up at him. The other students who had already completed the exercise watched from their nearby formation.
Mike started up the rope again. He could sense all eyes on him. He could feel the pressure. He made it ten feet and dropped. The instructors kept yelling and Mike started up the rope again and again and again.
Mike was frustrated. He felt like a dirtbag for not being able to get up the rope, but there was no way he was going to quit. He started up the rope again and fell again. He got to his feet and prepared to start up the rope again, but the instructors stopped him and pulled him aside out of view from the other students. It's OK. We all have these. Is one of the instructors said we wanted to apply some pressure to you to see how you would react and whether you would quit, the instructors didn't really care whether Mike made it to the top of the rope or not.
Good little test. See where it's at that that day.
And again, I'd been in the Marine Corps for, what, five years at this point, climb plenty of ropes, climbing ropes.
I remember that day, just something with the body was off.
I had zero energy.
And you talk about feeling like the eyes were on me, like I was almost near tears.
Not not not from the pressure, but I just spent all of it together. I was I was done.
And I mean, it just reinforces the point that, you know, you set character cannot be created where none exists and you truly don't know people until you push them to the limits.
That's not just physical limits. That's also mental limits. And that's the point of the special operations assessment and selection. It's not because we're sadistic.
Maybe, maybe we are a little, but it's not to put these these young men and women through, you know, pain for our benefit. There's a purpose behind it, much like an interview process is we know that once we can push them to the threshold, that's our moment. OK, now we're going to see if this individual has what it takes, if they have the right attributes. One of the things and you go back to the attributes, one of our colleagues, Jason Fusun, you know, you talked about resiliency, the whole point of a lot of you know, the special operations assessment selection is to see how resilient people are.
He talked about in Buddz attracts much like the other special operations, some pretty phenomenal human beings like NCAA athletes, Olympic athletes. And when he ran first phase, he saw a lot of these, you know, what people consider exceptional athletes quit. And he said they were low on resiliency because this was the first time they had failed in their life. And that's a point of the training, as he says, just to keep knocking people down to see how they react.
And when you have a high achiever who's never really experienced failure and they repeatedly fail in buds or these other assessment programs, sometimes they quit. And that's what you're looking for.
But somebody who's experienced nothing but obstacles in their life, as well as more prepared for what they face in special operations and more equipped to deal with crisis than than some of these exceptional athletes who've just never really faced challenge.
Yeah, you're going to fail some stuff. They're going to make sure you fail some stuff 100 percent, like you're not going to pass everything, OK, who you are. They're going to make you sure you fail some stuff to make sure that when you do fail something, you don't lose the bubble. You talked a little bit about the interview process and you go into the interview process here.
And here's a strategy on on you go in a bunch of stuff. I'm going to skip to one part for guidance on strategy. Look to special operations murder boards. Murder boards are not quite as terrifying as they sound. They are full of pressure, but professionally run. And operator sits on one side of the table. And on the other side is a psychologist and five to eight senior enlisted and officers representing the entire community. The psychologist has previously assessed the operator to identify potential red flags.
The senior panel then digs in, raising the pressure by probing the red flags and presenting complex scenarios. They ask difficult questions and push against sore spots to see how the operator reacts. If you approach your interviews a little more like a soft murder board, you can reveal valuable information. To that end, we have five tips.
No one know what you're looking for with each question.
Number two, create a core set of questions to be used with each candidate. Number three, ask scenario based and behavioral questions. Number four, add challenges. Number five, push candidates outside their comfort zone.
Be careful on the legal side of this, huh, George?
You did. You do. And and that's where that training comes in that we talked about earlier. You people have to understand, you know, hiring decisions. There's a lot of law around it. And so you want to train those people effectively, but you can create an enormous amount of pressure on somebody by asking them difficult questions. And, you know, it's funny when we're when when we're teaching veteran candidates, do you the number one candidate or the number one question that stumped people, executives and military people alike?
I just asked him a simple question.
Tell me about your leadership style. And people think from muscle memory, they have muscle memory.
Oh, I should be able to answer this. And they go on and on and on and on. I get that with exactly. I get that with veterans. But push people to to describe the. Cells put them in uncomfortable situations, talk about failures, tell me about a time that you failed and there are several executives that if you can't talk about how you failed and failed miserably and got back up and what you learn from it, that's a person you need to avoid.
But, yeah, there's there's a lot of lore around it. But if you know what you're looking for with each question, you plan your questions, you plan your inner your interviewing panel, your murder board, you can create a lot of pressure. But mind you, there's a balance, too, because you you don't want to make it like the military version of it, because it's OK. I'm not working there. But you can carve a simple balance where they know they're going to be tested in your environment.
And those people that know they're going to be tested in your environment, the right people are going to be drawn to your environment because of that test.
Any any person who's of talent that's worth their salt, that comes to an easy interview process and Roxette in the back of their head, when they walk out the door, they're going, OK, that was a little bit easy. And so now they're starting to think about, OK, that was a little too easy. But a person with true talent that wants to be challenged and wants to be valued and, you know, work in an environment where there's the grind and the drive, that tough process, they're going to go, OK, I'm ready for this.
Bring it. Let's go. Let's do this. And you find out a lot by putting people under pressure in that scenario.
And let's dispel the notion that, you know, we call it a murder board and you've been on them.
People aren't yelling at, you know, just as in there looking if you give an answer, they whether they like it or not, they're going to dig a little in a very professional manner in some reports go quickly because they identify that this person's humble in their admitting past mistakes and that they learn from it and that there's still work in progress and improving in those murder boards. Go quickly. It's the others where somebody comes in. They're overly confident, arrogant.
And so that's where people that are trained to assess those behaviors. And this is one big behavioral interview. This is the military's version of a behavioral interview. Those go very long and it almost becomes like a confessional. They just they just keep digging themselves.
Now, another tactic to that is after you put the person through mortarboards, like one person goes out and say, hey, how'd you feel about that process? What do you think you could have done better? What areas didn't you expand upon to see?
Now, if they can do a what we call a brutally honest self-assessment, like, hey, you know what, man?
I wish I could do that again. I missed this. This I didn't reinforce this point. And so if that person's training, they come back and say, hey, real, real self reflective after action that they just gave.
And one of the reasons that we put this specific technique in there is because most interviews with companies are done on a one to one basis.
And JoCo Beko, I bet you could I can put you in one of these murder boards and you could watch three other people ask questions and they'll have their opinions. But just in the observation mode, that is of tremendous value, just to watch people, how they answer, how they act, how they think, how they reason through a particular scenario, how they explain their problem solving methodology. So, so many interviews due to the firefighting in the time.
And you know that this is reactionary. They don't put the time into it. They don't put people in a room and go, OK, this was my impression of the answer to the question. This is how I think they'll work or succeed or fail or struggle in this particular environment. You can get actually a lot out of observation, which is why we put this in the book to give an example of what are on those boards.
And you probably remember this one is they're going to ask you an ethical question. You're dealing with a boss who does something highly unethical.
You know, what actions do you take? And the response is going to tell you a lot about the person.
Yeah, yeah. You guys do a great job of kind of laying all the stuff out from how to observe them, to do role plays with them, case case studies and scenarios. You've got all that stuff in here. Observation, what to look for, how to look for it, different situations. You can look for it. And I mean, it's just it's just a very thorough chapter.
And then you get into assessment tests and you talk about, you know, the IQ tests that the army used and just the different assessment tests that get used now. So that's all good. One of those tests you comment on here, one company we work with, ATF Overwatch, using aptitude, motivation and personality assessment to weed out candidates. Our veterans, despite being high performers, were all scoring very low on the test and thus being eliminated from the hiring process.
Curious, Mike took the test for himself. His score just fifty seven percent, a failing grade. So what was up with that test?
So your assessment test naturally have bias built in.
By whoever designed that test and there was a bias against you, I'm not saying in a negative light, veterans are very different from the demographic that test was based around.
The bottom line we're trying to say here is assessments are good. It's another layer to the process that you use to select people, especially if you have talent profiles. And when you do these town profiles to identify your high performers, you also want to do that against your low performers to see if the assessment test is actually accurate. Because if you're high performers and low performers in the same role or generally getting the same results, that that assessment test is most likely not relevant or added value to that process.
Yeah. Is it measuring what you want it to measure? Right. Is it determining the success factors? And in one of the challenges with companies is that and this is just, you know, kind of that that inside the talent acquisition function and talent management function, people will buy an enterprise wide solution and apply that test across the board and just say, OK, this test applies to everybody. And in Mike's particular case, it's screening our veterans and we're able to look at that and go something every year.
Something's wrong, but it's hard to persuade people that something they've invested a good amount of money in is not showing them what it should show them. I mean, they're very wedded to their solution. They're they're bought in and it's hard to move them off the mark. But Mike was an exceptional example of where people are using something that's not showing success factors that you wanted to be showing you.
It's another data point. Yeah. So we do see companies that use these personality assessments as a either no go or go criteria. And I would caution people not to do that. You talked about not being a rule follower. Funny enough, we had a company that recently assessed one of our people. And, you know, I won't say what specific organization this person works for, but he's with a very unique organization and he's been in that seat for five years, which is an indicator that this guy is a high performing individual.
Ethical. Absolutely. And when he took this test, the company came back to this guy's not you know, it shows that he doesn't follow rules. And we sort of had to explain the context of the role he was in and say he finds a way to win. And that may be why he's not testing well in that one criteria on that assessment. So you've got to be cautious, even like Josh Cotton, Dr. Cotton, that does this for a living will caution you with regard to the results on assessments.
He said you've got to take it with a grain of salt.
And some people to use a phrase that that, you know, I remember hearing it must or actually assessment tests are not inoculations. They don't insulate you from making a bad hire. They don't inoculate you from, you know, all the risk in the world. You need to use them. As Mike says, they're just one more data point. But they it all begins and ends with knowing what success looks like for a particular role. And that requires thought.
It requires, you know, planning and mapping that out, how you're going to go do it.
Like I said, you've got that chapter locked in. The next chapter goes into the fact that you can't hire or fire your way to success. Talent acquisition is only one part of a two variable equation for success. Talent plus leadership equals victory.
And then there's a story in here about Mike and a little task unit that you were in called Task Unit Charlie. And what's interesting about tasking to Charlie, so tasking a bruiser and tasking to Charlie and tasking to Alpha, we're all in SEAL Team three and every one of those task units had some great guys in them.
And, you know, if you put the bell curve on all of them, they'd all be relatively the same group of, you know, seals, you know, a couple of guys, a couple of high guys, bunch guys.
And we just just kind of typical not nothing good or bad, just typical. But it didn't really work out that way from a leadership perspective.
No, it did not.
So pulled from the same town pool, like you said, the town profile for both the task units was the exact same. And this is where, you know, we caution people, you know, this is why we end the book with this chapter is you had two groups where the resources, the talent, everything was predominantly the same same budgets, same weapons systems, same people really in one raised race to the occasion, in one fell below the standard and the SEAL teams in was toxic.
And the final determination was leadership. So bad leadership can poison any talent pool of exceptional people.
It just can't in that I'm so fortunate.
Who observed that at a young tenure in my career and what I'd benefit to is, you know, I got plucked out of that task unit and put your task unit and it talks about how I wasn't the root of the problem, but the person that was the root of the problem.
I basically threatened because I have an allergic reaction to people that are just selfish and all about themselves. And this individual wasn't he wasn't to solely blame, but he was the impetus of the problem. And so I came, I guess, with warnings when they sent me over to you. And then all of a sudden I start to prosper and I become your operations officer. I was your assistant operations officer. You put me in charge of operations officer, and then you promoted me two months later to Delta Platoon, NYSE.
You know, the funny thing is a lot of the guys, the deployment after that were Cestoni took basically tasking a bruiser back to Iraq. And we ended up in the battle of Sadr City. A majority of the guys in that troop were from task you to Charlie. So, again, you put him under a great leader and they did exceptional things. So that's why we say you can no longer you know, you can't fire or fight your way to success.
Ultimately, you have to lead and you have to develop your people. And that's what this chapter is about.
Yeah, we we kind of brought it around to, you know, as we mentioned earlier in the book, you have to treat your human capital as importantly or as important as your financial capital. And this was a way to kind of close that out, to say the journey doesn't end when you hire a players, you get this whole process right. That's not the end of it. You're not done. And we did this little video clip and we call it the talent war.
The interesting thing about this title is and we went into this in the video, is that war doesn't end. It's continuous. You're going to win some battles. But there's no point in this. Even if you read this book, if you do everything in this book and Mike and I are working with you and everything goes perfectly, you don't get to declare victory. People grow, people change, products change, the environment changes, people move on.
You have to keep after this. This is a discipline that you need to bring to your company.
And when you do, you will have a competitive advantage. It's the path.
It's part of the path. Back to the book. Far too often a company will hire talented candidate, a talented candidate whose performance ends up being lackluster. The company chalk it up to a bad hire. Fire is the person who starts all over again a costly assumption. There are many reasons someone might not be performing as you expect, and only one of them is a bad hire. Chances are, if a talented individual is not performing to standard, it's not their fault.
It's yours. A little a little extreme ownership coming at you live from the talent war talent development, you guys talk about training, mentoring and coaching.
Good quote in here from Joe Depinto from 7-Eleven, CEO. Most important thing in any organization is leadership. It's always leadership first because leaders find a way to get things done.
Once again, summing up a great attitude and in for the listeners, Joe Depinto is actually a West Point military academy graduate. He served as a Army officer before he entered the corporate world.
Leadership is the most critical determinant of achieving victory for business leaders are the ones who drive change, make things happen. So when working to transform high potential high potentials into high performers, it's critical to identify and develop future leaders. That's just the way it's got to be.
And then. Wrapping this up a little bit here, actually this I'll wrap this up right here with this with this like it's not quite the closer, but it's close. A true talent mindset. And like I said, this is kind of the underlying thread of the book. Remember, the most critical step in winning the war on talent is developing a talent mindset, the deep belief that human capital is the single most important competitive advantage your company can have.
If you truly believe human capital is your greatest competitive advantage, you won't stop with the hiring process. You will continue to invest in and develop your people, creating an unbroken chain of excellence. That's what good leaders do.
That's how great organizations are formed. The training and leadership development opportunities you provide. Your employees revealed the truth of your talent mindset. You might be able to attract candidates with the talk of a talent mindset, but if you want them to stay, you need to show your employees that you truly value talent by helping them to grow into their potential. Starts with you. If you demonstrate exemplary leadership, others will follow practice a talent, mindset, mentor and coach.
Your key leaders put in the time and effort to develop your people into something great and a great organization will emerge.
So that's I mean, you go on, you have a good closing, but, you know, that's it. It's recruiting, selecting, training, mentorship, putting the right people in the right places.
Think about that's why putting the right people in the right places.
All those things are really one thing and that is leadership. And this is how you build a team. And leaders have to understand the importance of that.
They have to understand the importance of building the correct team.
So one thing that we're doing is obviously helping people build these teams with f overwatch.
Tell me a little bit about the process at F overwatch to take and find the right people, bring them in and get them assigned to the right companies out there.
These in you know, a lot of people say, hey, you guys are a veteran recruiting firm. I sort of actually push back. I said, no, we are a leadership talent acquisition firm. We only deal with military leaders and people naturally pull rank on that. Senior enlisted or officers know it's all levels in the military as long as they have the attributes we're looking for, especially humility. So the military leaders come coming out of the military, have already been highly vetted.
And guess what? They have reputations. And it's very easy for us to reach back into those communities and reach into the SEALs and say, hey, does anyone know this jocularly guy? Yeah, I went through buds with a solid another guy says I did two platoons with them. You cannot find a more reliable team oriented individual. And that's what we need to hear. We are also putting them through multiple assessments, Joshes, EPA. We're going to start utilizing that as a basis for us.
Plus, we want to collect data to see if we can start identifying the difference between high performers, middle performers and low performers. And he's already started that that process.
And then really with with the candidate side, it's so simple. It's very easy to identify the ones that are just you've got it. And we're really looking for the top ten, 20 percent of every community in the military and those that don't fall into that realm. We still want to help them with training. We're dedicated to our brothers and sisters in arms to make sure that they're they're successful. We can't place every candidate, you know, we just don't have enough job opportunities.
One day we will. But if one thing for the military leaders that come to us, they go through some of the best training, they go through the extreme ownership. And what what we talked about this last night, the reason I love extreme ownership is I've never seen two people you in life create a leadership system that is so simple, because if you go ask the Air Force, the Army, the Navy, the Marine Corps, they're all they're all going to give you different answers on what attributes are important and what are the primary principles of leadership.
They're all saying the same thing, but it's not codified. So what extreme ownership and even for the candidates reading the book is what we tell them is, hey, in the interview process, you have to tell a story why we love extreme ownership so much as not only is it going to help you contextualize your leadership experience, and that's what they need help with. Some of these leaders coming out, special operations leaders who have been serving for twenty years.
Leading is muscle memory to them now. And that's why if you ask him the question, tell us about your leadership style. Some struggle through it, but when we teach them the context of extreme ownership, they start to to get their story in the way. You guys wrote the book, Combat Story Principle Business Contacts helps them to translate. We all know the number one challenge for veterans trying to get. Is translating their experience, extreme ownership sets them on the path to doing that in a good manner, then I handled that first part.
They get George and Harry Walden and they put them through search training. They prepare them for the interview process. The feedback we're getting from senior special operations leaders to other military leaders is this is the best advice I've ever gotten from TAPS in all these other programs that we go through. We don't sugarcoat anything. We give them the reality of the situation. And we're very straightforward that it's on you. We can't step into the interview with you. It is on you to convey your value to the organization and get them to say, yes, they want to say yes, that's the military leader side and talk about rewarding work.
Not only do we make a, you know, a good paycheck from from this line of work, it's also the emotional return on investment from seeing our former brothers and sisters step into senior management positions and then crush it. That's feedback we get from business leaders. Best hire I've I've ever met. On the client side, we screen our clients as diligently as we screen our candidates. And this has been a learning process. We've got to learn this through scores.
And it comes down to I need the clients to commit and they need to hear that they have a foundational belief that leadership is wildly and infinitely more important than industry experience.
If we hear that from the clients, we believe they truly understand that, then that's a client we're most likely going to work with. But if we get a client, we've had this like, hey, listen, I need a leader right now to step into this role. I don't want have to train. I don't want to have to build a relationship with them. Literally said this. I just need them to do their job. And it was a lucrative role.
We said, hey, we're not the best fit because we know that that relationship is just going to end poorly. So I also have clients come to us and they say we need to fill in twenty days. They've already compromised the process and we're not going to do that. So we're very prideful on the white glove service that we provide. And if we don't have many misses at all, but if we find out a candidate didn't work, it is like a gut punch.
It is like our reputation has been marred in that. We take it very seriously. And I think that's what sort of differentiates us from from a lot of the executive search firms out there is. I know we together in George, we're going to build this into the number one leadership talent acquisition firm in the nation. I have no doubt that when people look for directors of leadership and training as well as chief leadership officers, they're going to say go to give overwatch because the men and women we're placing know how to train people.
They know how to create the foundation for strong cultures. And that's really where we're making the name right now. We'll still place people in the CEO roles, general management roles. But one of my passions for overwatch is that that director of leadership in training or the CEO position.
Yeah. You know, and just to be completely transparent, to be intel on acquisition, you have to have a pretty strong masochistic gene about you because it's a brutal, brutal job function. But I've been helping veterans for over twenty years and where it started was I want to be able to give to our brothers and sisters in arms and things that I didn't have when I transitioned out in the 90s. And what they didn't have was actionable information. And we deal once we go through selection kind of assessment and finding that right candidate with all those attributes.
There's still this bridge between the ideal opportunity for that veteran leader, for that senior leader and that position. It's called the interview. And that is very, very difficult for veterans to cross that divide, to be able to articulate clearly and in a crisp, professional, impactful manner in the interview that you're going to be able to over deliver in that particular role. So it isn't just, you know, we're doing all facets of it. And I think that's what makes the dynamic between me and Mike and our team so well, so good, so solid and so different is that you have twenty years of selection and assessment.
We've both been in leadership roles. I've been in the executive roles, and we're bringing actionable information to top military leaders so that they are ready for that transition into corporate America. And when you put that person in that position, it begets more veteran hiring. And so we have to get it right with the company. We have to get it right with the veteran. And there's some veterans that we we're not going to place, but we're absolutely agnostic.
If they come to us, we're going to help. But crossing that bridge, screening our our candidates, screening our clients, we are very meticulous about how we go about doing that.
Yeah, I think talking to some of the clients of people that we've placed and it's just awesome to hear everything that you guys are talking about.
It's like it's like with extreme ownership. We go to work with the company. We'll check back in with them three months later. They're like, oh, yeah, this is working, this is work, this is awesome. And it's the same thing we're getting back. You know, when I hear from clients, you know, this is the best hire we've had. Oh, yeah. We were worried.
And now we're promoting I mean, it's just like totally it as as we often say, it works. This stuff works. And you take these individuals. And I know, Mike, you and I have been talking about this and I know it's a little bit hard to do, but we're some of the some of the guys that we've placed, we're going to get them on the podcast so they can talk about not just their military experience, but then what it was like going through Jeff overwatching now what it's like entering the civilian world.
You know, we're letting them get settled in a little bit before we yank them back to fly out to California and do this.
But I think it'll be awesome for people to start to hear those stories and get that feedback when people want to engage if overwatch towards the process so they can go to the website, EAF overwatched dot com.
Another thing we do with companies is we are here as a talent advisory. We can come in and basically set the foundation based off the playbook we've provided. So you have a hiring process from which to grow, and that's probably the greatest service we can provide beyond just finding the right leaders for your organization. That's critical.
There's a lot of times that George will actually have to ask the client, do you have interview questions? What your process? Can I send you something to help you make the selection of the leaders we present? And that's more often than that. Than not, that talent advisory piece is is key.
But if I'm just a company out there that wants to hire. So I go to I go to E.F. overwatched dotcom. I fill out the various information and then we're going to set up a call and you're going to talk with Mike, you'll talk with myself.
You may talk with one other person. And we're going to really kind of dig in with you as to, OK, let's talk about your company. What is your position in the market? What are you trying to accomplish? Where are you trying to grow? What are your leadership gaps? What are your individual contributor gaps? You know, we want to know both of those things. You know, what are those things that are keeping you up at night?
And then let's talk about how talent and leadership solve those problems. And are you committed to leadership is the most important thing in your business. And, you know, we'll also walk through to find out the maturity of their hiring process and how they've done it, because, you know, we want to make sure that they know how to do because they're mechanics behind this as well. We've helped with offer letters. I've helped with compensation, you know, structuring complex offers which which is not easy for small and medium business to do.
A lot of times they just don't have that expertise. So we will sit down and spend a good hour, hour and a half with them diagnosing, you know, why did they come to us? What is it that they need? What can we solve for them and should we be working together?
And I'm sorry, I misunderstood the question. Absolutely. It's going to be a series of phone calls. We want to know everything about your business, about your industry in a lot of times the reason we do these phone calls, because what business leaders think they want is not necessarily what they need in our our job as well during that is to advise them based on what we're hearing. What we think you really need is X, Y and Z, not ABC.
And our clients have followed our advice and it's worked out beautifully in that advice is coming from nothing but scars and failures, especially with twenty years of talent acquisition between him and Carly.
So we want a very, very strong relationship with our clients. If they sign the contract beyond that, then it gets into the talent sink with a talent sink is for us is we're going to spec out what that position is in, what are the attributes they're truly looking for. From there, we tell them, hey, we're going to need usually two to three weeks to start screening in assessing potential leaders, the people, the right leaders for this position.
It could be through our organic talent pool. We're also going to run an external search for people we haven't touched yet that may be out there. That may be a good fit for that that role. And that takes time. And our clients, again, we're preaching patience. We have a pretty darn good full speed, the rate to fill. And if people allow us to go through our process, it usually very statistically works out in a very good pairing.
Yeah, well, it's like what we do methodical and we say all the time. And from what we do is we solve problems through leadership. And what better way to solve a problem through leadership than to actually give a person, give or give a company, a leader that understands these principles, that knows how to lead, that knows how to step in and make things happen. So that's been awesome if overwatched. Dotcom, I can't we look, we've been going for almost three and a half hours.
But real quick, if battlefield, we just kind of ran our first pilot program and tell us about that a little bit. So this besides, let me interject that it was. Freaking awesome. You weren't a believer at first, is that accurate or completely inaccurate? I know where you were. Why do you think that we live? And I thought, oh, Jack is not necessarily a believer. He has to see the concept. Personally, I 100 percent am a believer.
I was a thousand percent.
I mean, you know, if you think about what I do in this podcast, I take I take battlefield strolls through books. So for me to go out and walk battlefields is to me, I would do nothing but that. That would be my whole life.
In fact, I was telling you, I got offered a show in Europe to like go and walk battlefields and talk to stories. And I just couldn't do it. There was multiple months of filming and I just it not happening, you know, I just can't do it.
But at some point in my life, I wouldn't be surprised. So, yeah, I don't know I don't know where that that idea came from. That is a bad assumption. The lack of relationship of knowing our boss and I actually take ownership.
It's actually kind of crazy to think that me that me with my whole life would not want to go out and walk on that sacred, hallowed battlefields and talk about leadership.
That's yeah. So I'm a hundred percent on board and I always have been from day one. So.
So where this came from is in 2012. No. Yeah. 2012 with one of my SEAL squadrons, the commanding officer especially the timing was not good. We were one month away from going to Afghanistan and I'm the operations officer. And of course, you know, the the task list of what you need to get done before he deploys is pretty deep as an operations officer. And I sort of try to reason with him. I hate timing is not good.
And he heard me out and he said, my guess what? I said, what? We're going out there. Leadership development is not optional. It's mandatory. And so we went out to Gettysburg. And of course, I'm Paudie. You know, I'm doing my quite sort of pallium of there. And as we started to walk the different stands, the two day walk of Gettysburg, you started to realize that the commanders of both Confederate and Union forces face the same dilemmas, same human dilemmas and human problems that we face in Afghanistan, Iraq and other regions of the world.
What makes and we call this in the military, we call these staff writes, it is a technique we utilize to develop our people. Again, looking at past examples of Commanders Youmans that made both great decisions and bad decisions and learning from their mistakes and their successes to make you a better leader when you walk and people may say, well, you know, the civil war is drastically different than Iraq or Afghanistan technology. No, the problems they face transcend geography.
They transcend technology, they transcend time. And this is why a lot of businesses do these. StaffWriters we call it battlefield. But what I think we do better than any just sort of historian that takes people out there is wheaty, extreme ownership into it. And on this first one, the pilot, we brought 20 of our clients out. And I don't know about you. I mean, they probably don't call you because they don't have your phone number.
But I've been getting text messages from the CEOs that were out there that this was one of the most valuable leadership development trips they've ever taken. Are you could see it on their faces in the first hour. You could see it on their faces. They're looking. They're taking notes. They're talking to each other. Yeah, it was just extremely impactful. And, you know, it was a pilot.
And we're going to start spinning those things up. Yeah. If you will keep we'll keep you posted. We'll keep you posted. And I mean, there's going to be limited seats. I mean, that's just the way it is.
It's going to be small groups. But who knows? It's freaking it's just an unbelievable way to learn and an unbelievable way to develop in an unbelievable way to increase your understanding not just of history, not just of leadership, but of human nature to go out there and see what has happened in our past. So freaking awesome. A lot of stuff going on that we do.
So the book comes out when?
November 10th. So it's up on Amazon right now. The talent or it's right now we just have the e-book, the Kindle version. The paperback will be up momentarily. It's in the Amazon right now than the hardback will follow that. An audio book. Ultimately, though, the book launches November 10th, which if I need to educate, you know, November 10th is you don't need to educate me, bro. The Marine Corps birthday. No coincidence.
George, any any closing comments here?
You know, this is it's been an interesting journey to write this book. And it's it's it's very serendipitous to find somebody who has the same passion for talent that I have.
And so, you know, I hope that Mike and I got the best out of each other in this book, pushed each other. And I'm really proud of what we've delivered here, because ultimately it's about helping companies just get better and win. And and I'd like to think we did a pretty good job of of giving him a good roadmap. The talent is the most critical thing that you can focus on.
Any closing thoughts might not check.
We're trying to get better. We're trying to build a better team. Echo Charles. Yes. Any recommendations on how we can get better?
Interesting thing about what we've been talking about is it's like, yeah, you guys talk about, you know, these are things to to look for, you know, and as far as hiring and stuff.
But on the other side of the coin, like, if you're looking to get hired, hired, it's like a good thing from informational resource to be like, OK, that's what I'm going to strive for, you know, very interesting. Anyway, as far as striving for stuff. Let's talk about you first. Driving really transition. Well, you know, it's OK.
This OK, so JoCo, for you, uh, how should I say assortment supplementation items, the ones that stay on my mind, which I noticed, like, I don't so much think that much about Molk.
Yeah, that's interesting. You must be nuts not wanting to be stronger. Well, here's the thing.
It's not that I don't take milk all the time. I don't think about it all the time. But I do think about joint warfare, krill oil and vitamin D for some reason. I don't know why. I feel like because it's like an everyday maintenance thing and when I stop taking it, that's when I pay the price harsh.
Here's my question to you. Yes. Do you know what that price is like? Have you felt it because you don't really go after it?
I don't I don't go off it. Yes. I don't know the price. Yeah, I do. Yeah.
So basically, like, you know, like, OK. All right, let me turn my attention over here. So, you know, like sometimes like you OK, maybe you're feeling weak or whatever. Right.
But as far as your joints go you can feel strong but your joints are like jammed up. That's almost in a way worse than being weak because if you're weak, you're like, oh, maybe don't eat good, maybe whatever.
But if you join, it's like it's a it's a different issue. So I'm saying, here's the good news.
Get back on the joint warfare. Get back on the krill oil.
You feel all that stuff just flying back into your joints, then you're back in the game. Then we start feeling good about it.
Real good, by the way. So and I know this, too, because I have gone off it and gotten on a few times and. Yeah. So I know the price and I know the benefits.
Do you are you able to make these assessments because you're a doctor. No.
OK, well my my explanation of the joint warfare and crude oil flying back into your joints was we'll see a little bit short of a medical explanation as far as how it works.
I'm not a doctor either.
Yes, I know that. But I've done also of a very intense medical assessment of. Yeah.
Of Vitamin B three and Cold War. And here's the assessment. I've traveled all over the place. I'm shaking hands with a bunch of people. I have not had this disease called covid for some reason. Could that reason be right? OK, could that reason be because I'm on the D three and the Cold War?
I'm not saying it is because I'm not a doctor now, but but, you know, you know, there is there is such thing as coincidence then there's such thing as correlation.
And then the such thing is causation.
You see saying the three levels. Yeah. A that's well we'll leave it at that. How about that. Cool. Safe, right. Yeah. The thing we were talking earlier about you can only ask certain questions in the interview or not so much. You can only ask, you can't ask certain questions.
That's very correct actually to deviate from the the Jakov you think for a second isn't it. A lot of the times the case where the interviewer is kind of in a way like wanting to bond with the person just on a maybe on a just a small level like, hey, oh, when's the baby due?
And it's like, oh, I jam that up.
Like it really, you know, it's like it's not like they're trying to like enforce power or something like this. No. I mean the best interviewers are always trying to build a relationship. Right, because one of the critical things you want to get out of people is authenticity. Yeah. That's one of the biggest things. And the best way you do that is by building a relationship. And to your point, that person may come in, they may not come into your company.
So, yeah, they do. And most of those things are done with malice. They happen accidentally. But, you know, in today's litigious society, even accidental, scary if that will get. Yeah, yeah.
And see that's why it's so like. Yeah. Like scary for real scary because it's like man it's one thing to be like hey that was a dick move for me to do that. So I'm not going to do that anymore. Well, how about I just not be a dick and interview problems? All right, here's the thing. Problem's not solved because you're getting sued. Yeah, because I can be. Well, in that case, yes.
But as far as from a learning perspective or from just the general functioning perspective, no. Be like, how about this? I'm going to be real nice about that.
I'm going to bond with this guy. Meanwhile, you're like in a what do you call a minefield landmine field, one of those you're walking on eggshells and whatnot.
Which kind of isn't a very good bonding approach. Yeah, you can. Unfactual. Yeah. Then you kind of get, you know, your CMM personal, you're risk averse. And so, you know, as we teach veterans, any good interview is simply a conversation. It's ultimately what it comes down to. And, you know, when we work with veterans, it's just, hey, man, be yourself, be authentic, you know, but put it in the vernacular of extreme ownership and talk about how great of a leader you are.
Just have a conversation. And that's a it's simple, not easy. And I love that phrase.
Labor laws are not always a good thing. Not all of them are great. And that's a profession in itself. On top of. Yeah, yeah.
It's just part of my profession. Is that training, you know, ultimately training keeps people safe, right? That's what it does.
Yeah. That's one of those situations where you can be mad about it. You might not like a particular law, but it's the law and you've got to you've got to just deal with it. That's just the way it is. So you never know. People could be making claims like medical claims about things, about supplements, and you could run into all kinds of legal problems what you just did there.
But, hey, if you're waging war on Coggs, various sickness, illnesses, viruses, etc, you don't need to name any. Is there a medical is that a medical claim really is?
I don't know, maybe. Maybe not. Nonetheless, these are the things that you do want to follow, if you want to call it.
What's that called like a caveat or. No, it's on the caveat. Is it a caveat, caveat like or dislike. Yeah, but here's my disclaimer.
I'm not a doctor yet, so don't listen to me.
Yes. Yeah, well, or just listen, you know. Yeah. How about this. Listen to just go about that.
OK, we'll go with it. We'll stick with that in mind that I'm not a doctor. Yeah. Johnny Kim. Doctor.
I know Doctor keeping these all these things in my wheelhouse. Yes. Vitamin Vitamin D daily daily men. These are things that you know again to stay on your mind. I'm not saying don't keep Molk on your mind. I'm not saying that. I'm saying me personally. My experience D3 don't work for Crill. Well, I'm on every day less Molk, if it is on your mind or not, whatever.
These are the things that OK, we have these two pronged effect.
I mean, my attention over here to the pros. So you have long term.
You have short term. Right. And every once in a while you'll get a golden nugget. That's both. That's what Mark is saying. A lot of these health foods, they don't have the immediate gratification as heavy as a lot of these unhealthy fricasseed.
I'm saying it's true. Milk is one of those rare golden nuggets.
The other one is sushi, my opinion. But back to milk.
It's dessert in the form of health, food or protein, health food in the form of a dessert boom.
Either way, you're good. There you go.
Either way, it's true. Also discipline, multiple forms, multiple forms.
There's your intrinsic discipline that you go through life with that comes from within. You know, there is talk about that one. I don't know. We're talking about the supplementation. So, yes, OK, what is what is the three forms?
You've got the powder. That's a good one. There's a good pre workout one. I like this first pre workout like I did.
I like a pre life. Yeah. By the way, it was so hot this weekend out here. You're in Texas, so I know it's hot there, but I mix it up.
JoCo Palmer in the big ice tea like pitcher with ice in it to go to jail.
Yes. You go feel how you do. Also the the cans.
OK, here's here's what the cans are. Really, really.
It's a health brain health drink. Right. So it doesn't sound glamorous. Right. Think of it. It's a brain and body health drink, OK.
In the form of a of a delicious refreshing beverage.
However you want to say that I was gonna say energy drink, but then then you got all the what do you call this what do you call it when you have a reputation where it has a reputation of freaking stigma, has a stigma it seems in anyway. That's what it is. It's what the can it's also discipline. Go. OK, look, we want to drink the can. We want to mix up powders. OK, I get it.
Pop a pill that even has a stigma, the less this one's a good way of popping good pills, capsules, technically, you know, all these forms, depending on your lifestyle, depending on what you're doing that day, they can you know, at least one's going to work for you, I think. In my experience, that's how it is also we got Warrior Kid Molk, we got chocolate, white tea and all the stuff is available at the vitamin shop.
We also got if you're going to get into jujitsu, which you might, you probably should should go to origin main dotcom, get yourself a geek, get yourself a crash cart, get yourself things that you you can wear when you're not on the jujitsu mats of justice.
Because despite our best efforts, we're not always training jujitsu. Sometimes you have to have other parts of your life. That's why we make jeans. That's why we make boots. That's why we make t shirts, whatever, a bunch of different clothing items, all that stuff. And the supplements available at Orange and Main Dotcom, sir.
Also, we have a store. JoCo has a store. It's called JoCo Store.
Anyway, some good developments and improvements on there for those of us that browse JoCo store. For those of us that are seeking praise for our efforts.
And I'm not even saying I'm doing it. I'm just saying the store is becoming more and more developed in one person's opinion. And I think it's what we call it, an objective. All right.
We'll go anyway. Drugstore.com go there.
If you appreciate the developments. If you appreciate beautiful webdesign.
Yeah, exactly. Yeah.
Go check out if you. Yeah, well, actually, technically I didn't really design it, you know, I got a finger in the pot.
Nonetheless, as far as design goes, nonetheless we supply provide really clothing items that you can wear to represent while you're on this path that we're on this path.
That's not easy. By the way.
I don't know if you guys know this or not, like in George hard full of pitfalls, temptations.
Trappes wise man once told me that the less when you're on the path you want to represent.
JoCo store got hoodies, shirts, hats, beanies, shorts, board shorts.
At some point, those shirts are this. Here's the thing, they're not up, OK, but the real improvement, calling them out, it's a process. It's a process. You know what makes a mike said something?
The methodology, it's a process to follow the process, trust.
The process is one of our things.
I'm saying any way that they could incorporate that into the whole deal and boom, you got it anyway. Yes. Jokela story this week.
If you want something, I'll get something. Also got a podcast. Subscribe to this podcast because Echo thinks that you're not going to. Well, we also have JoCo unraveling, which has been on this feed. It's going to soon be on its own feed. JoCo Unraveling podcast to myself and Darryl Cooper. That was the thread. We had to change the name because I was getting sued again, which is always fun. So that's why it's called JoCo unraveling, because I own my own name, JoCo, so I can pretty much put that on anything and no one can bother me about it.
Grounded podcast we haven't done in a while. Maybe record one more this week. We have an opportunity for your podcast as well for those little kids out there. And if you got little kids or even if you're a grown human, I need some soap. Go to Irish dotcom where young Aidin, the warrior kid is making soap. There's a new one out when the warrior kids already made warrior kids.
So like actual so not just you as an adult, but also your children can stay clean and YouTube.
We have a YouTube channel where Echo makes videos and if it's a four minute video, he puts a bunch of explosions in. And if it's a four hour video, then it's just nothing. Yeah, because that's the way he operates. Different purposes. That videos. Yeah, it's cool.
All right. OK, we're talking about effective hiring processes. Leadership, right. Make sure, George. Should we put explosions, smoke and fire in this video occasionally in this in this in this video that we that we're doing.
Is making at some point when you're talking about something, would it not be a good thing to have maybe a Blackhawk helicopter fly overhead or a minigun open up or an explosion happened in the background echo?
I'm going to back you up on this. You ask anyone on the overwatch team, I say, what don't I do? They say we don't do cute.
So I'm not talking cute from talking many minigun over the top. I think you haven't done the right that. I think you're right.
But here's the thing. Is this for real?
If I'm like, hey, if I get moved inspired and I got my notes here, I don't know if my notes here. Oh, so you're you're you're starting to take it under consideration?
No, I'm saying I'm explaining my notes here. Maybe I was moved by something. Georgia makes it right. I have my notes. OK, look, if I could isolate what they said and try my best to capture the feeling that I got when he said it, maybe boom, I can cut that up into a little video that might involve explosions.
The effects way too much like a certain financial TV host, like Mad Money.
Oh, yeah. Just losing that one or two explosions happened to did like sound effects of sound effects. Yeah. See. Yes, but good comparison. I think. I think it's my opinion anyway. Yes. Some videos of explosions, the shorter ones, whatever. And the video version of this podcast. We're keeping it raw material. I don't even add color. And you want me to add up minigun opening up. I don't know. Probably not.
I don't know though I could be wrong anyway. Also psychological warfare. If you don't know what that is. That's an album that Julka recorded with tracks.
Each track has a purpose and it gets you past these moments of weakness on this path that we're on in the event of you being on the path which of course, we all are in the last one hundred percent effective on the one, by the way. So, yeah, you can get that Amazon or like a Google Play anywhere where you can buy.
And three, if you want a visual version of the path, go to flip side canvas dotcom, owned by my brother, Dakota Meyer. He's putting this cool stuff on to things that you can hang on your wall. Flip side, canvas dotcom. Also, we got some books. We got some books. First book, Talent War by Mike Australian. George Randall, step up. Get that.
We got the code. We got Leadership Strategy and Tactics Field Manual where the warrior get one, two and three making the Dragons this political freedom field manual and extreme ownership and the dichotomy of leadership. If you like what we're talking about here, check out some of those books, books we got National Front leaders of consultancy. And what we do is solve problems through leadership.
Go to Echelon front dotcom if you need help inside your organization, aligning your leadership, getting everyone on. The same plan and rowing the boat in the same direction so that you can win Echelon front dotcom. We also have an online version of leadership training.
Look, you don't learn leadership in one day and one hour, in one week in one month. It's something you constantly have to check yourself on. Go online, Dotcom. We totally revamped it. We're doing live stuff all the time. If you want to ask me a question, if you want to ask me a question, you can go to online dotcom and I will be there at certain times and you can sit there and ask me a question and get feedback, have a conversation with me with the rest of the Echelon front team.
That's what we're doing. So come and check that out and we got to muster. The Phoenix monster has been cancelled. The Orlando Muster was canceled. The next monster is Dallas, Texas, December 3rd and 4th to extreme ownership dotcom for details. And listen, we're probably going to have to do some kind of social distancing, so that means less seats. We've got people that were scheduled for Orlando and were scheduled for Phoenix who have now opted to come to Dallas.
I don't think we're sold out yet, but it's going to sell out quick just because of those factors. So if you want to come extreme ownership, dotcom, go and register. And we've been talking about if overwatch all day today, all all this past almost four hours.
This is what we do if overwatched. Dotcom, if you're a company out there and you need leaders, which, by the way, let me tell you something. You do need leaders get experienced leaders from the military that understand the principles that we talk about. And you can plug them in to your organization so that your organized organization can go to the next level. What did I miss?
Felis, that's spot on.
I mean, it's a game changer. Talent plus leadership equals victory.
Get on board the train. America's Mighty Warriors, dawg. That's Mama Lee, Mark Lee's mom.
She has dedicated her life after losing Mark to helping service members, their families, gold star families around the world. If you want to donate or you want to get involved, go to America's Mighty Warriors dog. And if you have too much time on your hand and you just want to hear a few more of my monotonous monologues, or maybe you think you need just a little bit more of EKOS exasperated explanations, then you can find us on the interweb, on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, EKOS adequate.
Charles, I am at JoCo Willink, Mike Ciarelli is MJ Ciarelli on Twitter and Mr. Dot Ciarelli on Instagram and Facebook. Michael Ciarelli. George, what's your social media. Gene Randall. Randall Randall is Ed Graham.
That's the Graham Echo calls that the Graham that Graham and for all things echelon front on social media it's at home front and then for F overwatch, at F overwatch and on the inter webs, we can be found at Echelon front dotcom, but also if overwatch dotcom. And thanks again, guys, for coming on. Been awesome. Thanks for your service to the country. Thank you. And you know, when you're you know, we always feel like when our service is over in the military, we want to serve more.
And what you guys are doing right now to help veterans transition out of the military, get in the civilian sector and get on their next mission. You've heard me say it a thousand times. Veterans need a new mission. When they leave that mission that they've dedicated their lives to, they get out. They need a new mission. They're looking for a new mission. You guys are doing a great job providing that mission for them. So thank you for that.
And to all the veterans and all the active duty troops that are out there on the front lines now or have held the line in the past, thank you for protecting our ability to pursue life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and to police and law enforcement and firefighters and paramedics and EMTs and dispatchers and correctional officers and Border Patrol and Secret Service and all the other first responders. Thank you for protecting us when evil closes in. And everyone else out there.
Making things happen is hard, accomplishing your mission is hard, life is hard. But you don't have to do it alone, build yourself a team, surround yourself with talent, and then go out there and get after it.
And until next time, this is Mike and George and and JoCo.