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The	  8	  Man	  Rotation:	         A	  Look	  At	  Sports	  and	  HR	                The	  2012	  Season	                 ...
Table	  of	  Contents	                                                                       	  Foreword	  by	  China	  Go...
“The	  Future	  Performance	  Enhanced	  Workplace”	  by	  Steve	  Boese	  “Tuesday,	  Rain,	  and	  Playing	  the	  Long	...
 Special	  Jeremy	  Lin	  Section	            	            “The	  One	  Thing	  You	  Bring	  to	  the	  (Operating)	  Tab...
Foreword	  By	  China	  Gorman	  	  What	  the	  heck	  is	  the	  Eight	  Man	  Rotation	  and	  what	  does	  it	  have	...
 And	  then,	  as	  if	  the	  clouds	  had	  parted	  and	  goodness	  rained	  down,	  came	  the	  2012	  edition	  of	...
Introduction	  	  	                From	  the	  rise	  of	  an	  unknown	  talent	  in	  New	  York	  that	  led	  to	  th...
CHAPTER	  1	         HR	  Planning	  and	  Strategy	  	  
“HR’s	  Unwritten	  Rules”	  	  by	  Tim	  Sackett	  Originally	  posted	  on	  November	  26,	  2012	  	                 ...
I	  can	  think	  of	  more	  ways	  this	  unwritten	  rule	  makes	  no	  sense	  at	  all:	  	                   1. No	...
“You	  Want	  A	  Jerry	  Jones	  Type	  Owner”	  by	  Tim	  Sackett	  Originally	  Posted	  on	  October	  10,	  2012	  	...
find	  a	  person	  more	  passionate	  for	  “his”	  business	  to	  succeed,	  for	  “his”	  employees	  to	  do	  well,...
“The	  LA	  Riots	  and	  How	  Sports	  Can	  Help	  Understand	  the	  World	  Beyond	  It”	  	  by	  Lance	  Haun	  Ori...
the	  wire	  in	  overtime.	  I	  still	  remember	  seeing	  those	  empty,	  ugly	  orange	  seats	  dotting	  the	  lan...
CHAPTER	  2	         Staffing	  and	  Career	  Considerations	  	  
“How’s	  Your	  Network	  with	  Talented	  Middle	  School	  Kids?”	  	  by	  Steve	  Boese	  Originally	  posted	  on	  ...
 But	  ask	  yourself	  -­‐	  if	  you	  are	  one	  of	  the	  many	  companies	  that	  is	  having	  trouble	  finding	...
“He	  Toyed	  with	  Me.	  	  He	  Lied	  to	  Me.	  	  He	  Intimidated	  Me.”	  	  by	  Steve	  Boese	  Originally	  pos...
negotiations	  between	  the	  team,	  and	  their	  long	  time,	  and	  legendary	  player	  Tim	  Duncan,	  who	  certa...
“Three	  Stories	  You	  Should	  Be	  Able	  To	  Tell	  Candidates”	  	  by	  Steve	  Boese	  Originally	  posted	  on	 ...
In	  college	  football	  recruiting	  the	  stories	  are	  easy	  to	  see.	  Players	  move	  from	  the	  school	  to	...
“Should	  You	  Give	  the	  Assessment	  if	  You	  Don’t	  Care	  About	  the	  Results?”	  	  by	  Steve	  Boese	  Orig...
and	  reasoning	  capability	  of	  a	  player,	  as	  well	  as	  provide	  a	  means	  of	  comparison	  with	  all	  th...
Claiborne	  didnt	  really	  have	  an	  option	  to	  decline	  the	  test,	  the	  NFL	  has	  an	  effective	  monopoly...
The	  Academic	  Version	  of	  "Unemployed	  Need	  Not	  Apply"	  by	  Matthew	  Stollak	  	  Originally	  posted	  on	 ...
 Another	  reason	  may	  be	  that	  CSU	  or	  Harvard	  might	  already	  have	  an	  internal	  candidate,	  such	  as...
Why	  Id	  Hire	  A	  Penn	  State	  Football	  Player	  by	  Matthew	  Stollak	  	  Originally	  posted	  on	  Thursday,	...
Why	  Tom	  Izzo	  and	  Mark	  Hollis	  Get	  It	  by	  Matthew	  Stollak	  	  Originally	  posted	  on	  Wednesday,	  Ju...
associated	  with	  the	  Michigan	  State	  basketball	  program	  is	  excited	  for	  this	  unique	                opp...
“Some	  Hiring	  Managers	  Rate	  the	  Attractiveness	  of	  Your	  Spouse…”	  	  by	  Kris	  Dunn	  Originally	  posted...
recruit,	  then	  you	  got	  a	  chance	  to	  get	  hired.	  Thats	  part	  of	  the	  deal.	  	  Theres	  a	  very	    ...
“Hiring	  Former	  Athletes	  as	  a	  Recruiting	  Strategy	  –	  Genius	  of	  a	  Cop-­‐Out?”	  	  by	  Kris	  Dunn	  O...
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Transcript of "The 8 man rotation 2012 season"

  1. 1.                
  2. 2. The  8  Man  Rotation:   A  Look  At  Sports  and  HR   The  2012  Season                 By     Steve  Boese   Kris  Dunn   Lance  Haun   Tim  Sackett   Matthew  Stollak
  3. 3. Table  of  Contents    Foreword  by  China  Gorman  and  Dwane  Lay    Introduction    HR  Planning  and  Strategy    “HR’s  Unwritten  Rules”  by  Tim  Sackett  “You  Want  A  Jerry  Jones  Type  Owner”  by  Tim  Sackett  “The  LA  Riots  and  How  Sports  Can  Help  Understand  the  World  Beyond  It”  by  Lance  Haun      Staffing  and  Career  Considerations    “How’s  Your  Network  with  Talented  Middle  School  Kids?”  by  Steve  Boese  “He  Toyed  with  Me.    He  Lied  to  Me.    He  Intimidated  Me.”  by  Steve  Boese  “Three  Stories  You  Should  Be  Able  To  Tell  Candidates”  by  Steve  Boese  “Should  You  Give  the  Assessment  if  You  Don’t  Care  About  the  Results?”  by  Steve  Boese  “The  Academic  Version  of  “Unemployed  Need  Not  Apply”  by  Matthew  Stollak  “Why  I’d  Hire  A  Penn  State  Football  Player”  by  Matthew  Stollak  “Why  Tom  Izzo  and  Mark  Hollis  Get  It”  by  Matthew  Stollak  “Some  Hiring  Managers  Rate  the  Attractiveness  of  Your  Spouse…”  by  Kris  Dunn  “Hiring  Former  Athletes  as  a  Recruiting  Strategy  –  Genius  of  a  Cop-­‐Out?”  by  Kris  Dunn  “How  Not  to  Hire  a  D1  Football  Coach  in  the  Big  Ten”  by  Tim  Sackett      Training  and  Development    “10  Years  Later,  Still  Talkin’  About  Practice”  by  Steve  Boese  “MAMBA  OUT:  Leadership  and  Likability”  by  Steve  Boese  “Want  to  Be  a  Great  People  Manager?    Don’t  Watch  the  Ball…”  by  Kris  Dunn  “Don’t  Send  Me  Your  Kid  and  Expect  Me  to  Fix  the  Big  Problems…”  by  Kris  Dunn  “It’s  Hard,  But  It’s  Fair”  by  Tim  Sackett  “Are  You  Really  Giving  100%  -­‐  Super  Bowl  Edition”  by  Tim  Sackett      Performance  and  Talent  Management    “Step  Stone  or  Destination?  If  You  are  not  Sure,  the  Talent  Will  Let  You  Know”  by  Steve  Boese  “In  the  Interview,  Talk  About  Your  Talent  Plan”  by  Steve  Boese  
  4. 4. “The  Future  Performance  Enhanced  Workplace”  by  Steve  Boese  “Tuesday,  Rain,  and  Playing  the  Long  Game”  by  Steve  Boese  “French  Fried  and  Who  Takes  the  Heat  When  You  Reach  for  Talent”  by  Steve  Boese  “Value,  Pricing  and  Early  Retirement”  by  Steve  Boese  “I  Feel  Alright”  by  Matthew  Stollak  “King  for  a  Day”  by  Matthew  Stollak  “Late  at  Night”  by  Matthew  Stollak  “When  to  Bet  Your  Future  on  a  Single  FTE…”  by  Kris  Dunn  “The  NFL  Bounty  System:  Mama  Said  Knock  You  Out…”  by  Kris  Dunn  “Rob   Gronkowski   is   That   Young   HiPo   Who’s   Either   Going   to   End   up   Running   Your   Company,   Or…”  by  Kris  Dunn  “Trying  Not  To  Lose  in  HR”  by  Tim  Sackett  “The  HR  Olympics”  by  Tim  Sackett  “Moneyball,  Talent,  And  Where  This  Is  All  Going”  by  Lance  Haun  “The  Difference  Talent  at  the  Top  Makes”  by  Lance  Haun  “Doin’  Work:  Looking  Beyond  Social  Influence”  by  Lance  Haun  “Billy  Beane  and  the  Science  of  Talent  Management,  The  Moneyball  Way”  “Super  Bowl  Hangover?  Yes,  Employees  May  Be  Less  Productive  on  Monday  by  Lance  Haun    Total  Compensation    “Bad  Habits,  Pressure  and  Results”  by  Steve  Boese  “When  is  Gutting  Payroll  the  Right  Thing?”  by  Tim  Sackett  “The  First  Lie  You  Hear  in  HR”  by  Tim  Sackett      Employee  and  Labor  Relations    “What  We  Learn  About  Replacement  Labor  from  the  NFL”  by  Matthew  Stollak  “Radiation”  by  Matthew  Stollak  “Great  Places  to  Work  are  Like  Great  Sports  Franchises”  by  Steve  Boese  “Regretful  Turnover  and  Saying  Goodbye  to  the  NJ  Nets”  by  Steve  Boese  “HOW  TO  GET  FIRED:  Miss  a  Deliverable  and  Come  to  the  Meeting  with  Urkel  Glasses  with  No   Lenses”  by  Kris  Dunn  “If  I  Were  Starting  A  Union,  Here’s  What  I’d  Do…”  by  Kris  Dunn  “Reasonable  Accommodation:  A  Cautionary  Tale”  by  Kris  Dunn  “Moving  Out  A  Legend  Employee”  by  Tim  Sackett  “Wrong  for  the  Right  Reasons?    When  It  Comes  to  Employee  Discipline,  You  Have  to  Get  It  All   Right”  by  Lance  Haun  “David  Petraeus,  Mike  Leach,  and  the  Art  of  the  Investigation”  by  Lance  Haun  “Unwritten  Rules,  Sports  Fandom  and  Company  Culture”  by  Lance  Haun      
  5. 5.  Special  Jeremy  Lin  Section     “The  One  Thing  You  Bring  to  the  (Operating)  Table”  by  Steve  Boese   “Anticipating  Regret  and  Chasing  a  Sure  Thing”  by  Steve  Boese   “Hoops,  Race,  and  Workplace  Stereotypes:  Why  I’m  Ordering  a  Jeremy  Lin  T-­‐Shirt   Today…”  by  Kris  Dunn   “Do  You  Have  A  Jeremy  Lin  On  Your  Staff?”  by  Tim  Sackett   “Think  You  Should  Launch  Your  Product  At  A  Conference?    Maybe….Or  Maybe  Not”  by   Lance  Haun   “To  Hype  Or  Not  To  Hype,  That’s  (Always)  The  Question”  by  Lance  Haun    Special  Tim  Tebow  Section       “Tebow:  How  Many  Leaders  are  too  Many?”  by  Steve  Boese   “Losing  Your  Job  –  Tebow  Style”    by  Tim  Sackett   “Employee  Communication  101  –  Tebow  Style”  by  Tim  Sackett    Special  Bobby  Petrino  Section     “How  Many  Bad  Decisions  Can  You  Get  Away  with  –  Motorcycle  Crash  Edition”  by  Steve   Boese   “GIVE   IT   UP:   Here’s   How   You   Get   Someone   To   Admit   They   Took   $20,000   From   a   Boss   They  Were  Having  an  Affair  With…”  by  Kris  Dunn   “Bobby  Petrino,  Hiring  Manager,  Though  HR  Was  Way  Too  Slow”  by  Kris  Dunn    About  the  Authors    Cover  logo  by  Lizzie  Maldonado  
  6. 6. Foreword  By  China  Gorman    What  the  heck  is  the  Eight  Man  Rotation  and  what  does  it  have  to  do  with  HR?        The  legendary,  old-­‐school,  Cleveland  Browns  Head  Football  Coach,  Sam  Rutigliano,  was  often  heard  saying,  “It  doesn’t  matter  what  I  say.  It  only  matters  what  they  hear.”    Smart  guy.  Great  coach.    When  you’re  talking  about  HR  and  people  and  organizational  challenges,  using  language,  stories  and  metaphors  that  people  can  understand  and  hear  is  not  just  critical,  it’s  everything.    Like  the  coach  said,  it  doesn’t  matter  what  words  you  use  –  all  that  matters  is  what  the  players  hear.    In  other  words,  tune  your  language  so  that  your  audience  will  actually  hear  your  message.    That’s  what  so  cool  about  the  Eight  Man  Rotation.    It’s  a  collection  of  blog  posts  by  5  HR  bloggers  –  all  guys,  all  sports  crazy  (and  I  do  mean  crazy!)  and  all  great  story  tellers.    Each  of  the  posts  included  are  about  HR,  organization  effectiveness  or  people  management.    And  each  of  the  posts  uses  sports  as  the  backdrop  so  that  the  readers  actually  relate  to  and  “hear”  the  content.      It  really  works  if  you’re  a  guy.    Or  if  you’re  a  woman  like  me  whose  husband  is  a  former  NFL  football  coach.    If  you’re  not  a  sports-­‐minded  person  –  male  or  female  –  then  the  analogies  and  examples  might  not  be  that  compelling.    But  the  points  are  still  valid  and  the  irrepressible  voices  of  Matt  Stollak,  Kris  Dunn,  Lance  Haun,  Steve  Boese  and  Tim  Sackett  are  still  worth  listening  to.        So  take  a  read  of  this  incredible  compendium  of  sports-­‐themed  HR  posts  from  2012.    It’s  not  just  about  HR  –  it’s  a  2012  sports  retrospective  seen  through  the  eyes  of  some  pretty  great  HR  guys  who  are  also  pretty  great  story  tellers.          By  Dwane  Lay    In  these  cold  winter  months  between  the  World  Series  and  Spring  Training,  when  daylight  and  warmth  have  been  equally  scarce,  and  in  a  year  with  no  National  Hockey  League,  there  has  been  more  than  a  little  consternation  about  possible  entertainment  options.      With  political  strife  dividing  the  nation  and  the  end  of  the  NFL  well  within  sight,  where  would  masses  look  for  hope?        Books?    Far  too  long  for  the  American  attention  span.        Movies?    All  remakes  and  sequels.    And  far  too  long  until  the  JLA  film  is  expected.    The  NBA?    Certainly  the  Geneva  Convention  would  provide  some  protection  from  that.      
  7. 7.  And  then,  as  if  the  clouds  had  parted  and  goodness  rained  down,  came  the  2012  edition  of  the  8  Man  Rotation.    Sure,  the  name  has  roots  in  basketball,  but  don’t  let  that  scare  you  off.    There  is  real  talent  and  real  content  contained  within.    This  collection  of  concise  content,  specifically  structured  to  supply  synaptic  stimulation,  will  warm  your  heart,  relax  your  tension  and  bring  you  hope  for  a  better  tomorrow.    Or,  at  the  very  least,  will  keep  you  entertained  for  upwards  of  ten  minutes.    Enjoy,  then,  this  new  edition  for  the  new  year.    And  rest  easy  knowing  you  won’t  have  to  face  the  rest  of  the  year  alone.    
  8. 8. Introduction       From  the  rise  of  an  unknown  talent  in  New  York  that  led  to  the  fever  pitch  of  “Linsanity”  to  the  trials  and  tribulations  of  Tim  Tebow  in  two  towns  (Denver  and  New  York),  2012  proved  to  be  a  pivotal  one  in  the  nexus  between  the  world  of  human  resources  and  sports.           Once  again,  the  8  Man  Rotation  refers  to,  in  basketball  parlance,  the  five  starters  and  3  reserves  that  play  the  most  minutes  in  a  game.    Just  as  the  coach  wants  to  find  that  combination  of  players  that  will  maximize  the  team’s  likelihood  of  success,  the  starting  five  of  Steve  Boese,  Kris  Dunn,  Lance  Haun,  Tim  Sackett  ,  and  Matthew  Stollak  provide  within  the  strongest  writing  on  sports  and  HR  that  you’ll  find  anywhere.     2012  was  so  strong  a  year  in  sports  and  HR  that  it  sparked  a  writing  fervor  amongst  our  authors  unmatched  in  previous  years.    Culled  from  the  electronic  pages  of  the  HR  Capitalist,  Fistful  of  Talent,  LanceHaun.com,  Steve  Boese’s  HR  Technology,  the  Tim  Sackett  Project,  and  True  Faith  HR,  the  authors  bring  you  the  largest  edition  yet  of  “The  8  Man  Rotation.”    Of  particular  note,  three  stories  spurred  multiple  posts  from  your  vaunted  authors,  so  much  so  that  we  have  special  sections  devoted  to  them  at  the  end  of  the  text  –  the  aforementioned  Jeremy  Lin  and  Tim  Tebow,  as  well  as  the  employee  relations  nightmare  that  was  Arkansas  Coach  Bobby  Petrino’s  motorcycle  crash  and  dalliance  with  a  subordinate.        Here  are  the  details     A  whopping  64  posts  (up  from  45  the  previous  year)     Over  38,000  words     Nearly  150  pages  of  sports  and  HR-­‐related  goodness    That’s  A-­‐Rod  contract  worthy.    Or,  as  Rasheed  Wallace  might  say,  “the  ball  don’t  lie…”  
  9. 9. CHAPTER  1   HR  Planning  and  Strategy    
  10. 10. “HR’s  Unwritten  Rules”    by  Tim  Sackett  Originally  posted  on  November  26,  2012        Welcome  back!  How  was  your  long  holiday  weekend?    I  ate  too  much  and  watched  a  ton  of  sports  –  so  mine  was  wonderful!    For  those  NFL/Professional  Sports  Fans  out  there  I  give  you  one  of  the  dumbest  unwritten  sports  rules  that  is  out  there:    You  can’t  lose  your  starting  spot  due  to  injury.    San  Fransisco  49′ers  starting  Quarterback,  Alex  Smith,  was  injured  recently  and  potentially  could  have  come  back  this  past  week,  but  his  ‘backup’  Colin  Kaepernik  did  such  a  good  job  in  the  one  game  he  started  in  place  of  Smith,  that  the  coach  decided  his  starter  wasn’t  quite  ready  to  go  and  let’s  give  the  backup  another  game!  This  got  sports  news,  radio  and  fans  talking  about  ‘the  rule’  –  if  you’re  the  starter  and  you  get  injured,  once  you  are  better,  you  automatically  get  your  starting  job  back.    But,  why?    Where  does  this  come  from?    I  can  think  of  a  couple  of  reasons  why  an  organization  might  want  to  have  this  type  of  rule,  in  sports:     1. You  don’t  want  players  playing  injured  and  not  wanting  to  tell  the  coaches  for  fear  if   they  get  pulled,  they’ll  lose  their  job.    Thus  putting  the  team  in  a  worse  spot  of   playing  injured  instead  of  allowing  a  healthy  player  to  come  in.  Also,  you  don’t  want   the  player  furthering  injuring  themselves  worse.     2. If  the  person  has  proven  himself  to  be  the  best,  then  they  get  injured,  why  wouldn’t   you  go  back  with  the  proven  commodity?    
  11. 11. I  can  think  of  more  ways  this  unwritten  rule  makes  no  sense  at  all:     1. No  matter  the  reason,  shouldn’t  the  person  with  the  best  performance  get  the  job?     No  matter  the  reason  the  person  was  given  to  have  his  or  her  shot  –  if  they  perform   better  than  the  previous  person,  they  should  keep  the  job.     2. If  you  want  a  performance-­‐based  culture,  you  go  with  the  hot  hand.     3. Injuries  are  a  part  of  the  game,  just  as  leave  of  absences  are  a  part  of  our  work   environments,  the  organizations  that  are  best  prepared  for  this  will  win  in  the  end  –   that  means  having  capable  succession  in  place  that  should  be  able  to  perform  at  a   similar  level,  and  if  you’re  lucky  –  at  a  better  level.    It’s  different  for  us  in  HR,  right?    We  have  laws  we  have  to  follow  –  FMLA  for  example,  or  your  own  leave  policies.    But  is  it  really  that  different?    In  my  experience  I  see  companies  constantly  make  moves  when  someone  has  to  take  a  personal  or  medical  leave,  and  go  a  different  direction  with  a  certain  person  or  position.  Let’s  face  it,  the  truth  is  our  companies  can’t  just  be  put  on  hold  while  someone  takes  weeks  or  months  off  to  take  care  of  whatever  it  is  they  need  to  do.    That  doesn’t  mean  we  eliminate  them  –  we  can’t  –  but  we  do  get  very  creative  in  how  we  bring  them  back  and  positions  that  get  created  to  ensure  they  still  have  something,  but  at  the  same  time  the  company  can  continue  to  move  forward  in  their  absence.    I  wonder  if  ‘our’  thinking  about  the  NFL’s  unwritten  rule  of  losing  your  position  comes  from  our  own  HR  rules  and  laws  we  have  in  place  in  our  organizations.    It  would  seem,  like  the  NFL,  most  HR  shops  figure  out  ways  around  their  own  rules  as  well!  
  12. 12. “You  Want  A  Jerry  Jones  Type  Owner”  by  Tim  Sackett  Originally  Posted  on  October  10,  2012        I’m  not  a  fan  of  the  Dallas  Cowboys  but  I  have  to  say  from  an  HR  perspective  many  of  us  our  missing  the  boat  on  Jerry  Jones.    Here’s  the  deal  –  you’ve  got  a  guy  who  played  college  football,  made  a  crap  ton  of  money  and  decided  he  was  going  to  buy  the  Dallas  Cowboys.    It’s  his  team,  he  pays  the  bills,  he  is  an  owner  unlike  many  NFL  owners  in  that  he  actually  wants  to  be  involved  and  has  background  at  a  high  level  into  the  sport.    Let’s  back  up  for  a  minute.    In  business,  most  of  our  owners  were  at  one  point  entrepreneurs/startup  types  that  had  an  idea  and  ran  with  it.    They  worked  their  butts  off  and  became  successful  and  while  they  might  not  be  super  involved  in  the  day-­‐to-­‐day  currently  –  they  clearly  have  the  ability  to  jump  back  into  the  mix  if  they  had  to.    In  many  circumstances  owners  are  still  the  lifeblood  of  their  companies  –  they  drive  revenue,  they  motivate,  they  live  and  die  their  brand.    Not  bad  traits  to  have  from  an  owner  (or  anyone  else  working  for  you).    So,  why  do  we  hate  on  Jerry  Jones,  the  owner  of  the  Dallas  Cowboys?    Here  are  the  reasons     1. We  hate  him  because  he’s  wants  to  be  involved  with  the  business  he  runs?!     2. We  hate  him  because  we  feel  there  are  more  qualified  people  to  run  his  billion   dollar  investment?!     3. We  hate  him  because  he  wants  to  be  involved  with  every  staffing  decision  that  is   made  in  his  business?!    You  know  what  happens  when  an  owner  steps  down  and  let’s  someone  else  take  over  operations  in  a  majority  of  cases?    You  get  less  passion  for  the  business,  you  get  increased  entitlement,  you  get  a  decrease  in  knowledge  and  a  decrease  in  motivation.      It’s  shown  time  after  time  when  original  owner  steps  aside  (it’s  something  I  think  about  often  in  my  new  role  –  don’t  let  this  happen!).    Jerry  Jones  isn’t  bad  for  Dallas  or  the  NFL  –  he’s  great  for  it  –  you  won’t  
  13. 13. find  a  person  more  passionate  for  “his”  business  to  succeed,  for  “his”  employees  to  do  well,  for  “his”  investment  to  pay  off  even  greater  in  the  future.    You  know  what  you  get  when  you  take  away  “his”  or  “hers”  –you  get  “yours”  and  “theirs”  –  that  isn’t  better  –  it’s  worse!      
  14. 14. “The  LA  Riots  and  How  Sports  Can  Help  Understand  the  World  Beyond  It”    by  Lance  Haun  Originally  posted  on  April  30,  2012    I  remember  the  LA  riots  but  I  shouldn’t.    I  was  10  when  the  riots  happened  20  years  ago  and  I  lived  another  world  away  in  Portland.  Other  events  from  that  time  are  a  bit  hazy  (the  first  Gulf  War,  my  parent’s  divorce)  but  I  remember  the  LA  riots  for  some  reason.    Why?  Sports.  Specifically,  my  Portland  Trail  Blazers  were  playing  the  hated  Los  Angeles  Lakers  the  night  the  riots  broke  out.    Arash  Markazi  at  ESPN  has  a  great  breakdown  of  its  impact  on  the  Lakers  and  Clippers.    But  for  me  at  least,  it  helped  underscore  the  way  sports  can  help  people  understand  the  world,  current  events  and  even  some  of  the  workplace  lessons  I’ve  talked  about  here.  I  was  barely  aware  of  what  happened  to  Rodney  King  or  the  ensuing  trial.  I  didn’t  even  have  any  real  concept  of  what  race  meant  or  why  people  would  be  upset  about  the  outcome  until  much  later.  But  in  a  series  where  the  Blazers  had  won  two  games  and  the  Lakers  (without  Magic  Johnson,  due  to  him  retiring  that  year  because  of  HIV)  were  facing  a  must-­‐win  situation,  the  commentators  pre-­‐game  were  talking  about  what  was  going  on  outside  of  the  arena.    They  cut  to  a  blimp  shot.  You  see  the  lights  from  the  Forum  and  you  see  it  pan  toward  emergency  lights,  smoke,  fire  and  people  out  in  the  street.  It  seemed  close.  And  while  it  was  still  somewhat  light  when  the  game  started,  the  night  grew  darker  and  darker  and  the  fires  seemed  to  grow  brighter  along  with  the  amount  of  emergency  lights  every  time  they  cut  back  to  the  shot.    I  don’t  know  how  my  dad  explained  it  to  me.  To  be  completely  honest,  I  had  no  perspective  to  base  it  on  so  I  doubt  I  would  have  understood  it.  I  lived  in  a  place  where  there  weren’t  many  people  from  different  races.  My  idea  of  other  races  came  from  a  teacher  who  looked  different  from  me,  a  couple  of  classmates  and  from  following  the  NBA.  Even  if  I  had  that  perspective,  I  was  still  10.  Understanding  wouldn’t  come  until  later.  Still,  there  was  something  surreal  about  watching  the  game.  From  the  announcers  continuing  to  make  references  to  it,  to  fans  leaving  midway  through  an  elimination  game  that  went  down  to  
  15. 15. the  wire  in  overtime.  I  still  remember  seeing  those  empty,  ugly  orange  seats  dotting  the  landscape  of  the  arena  while  the  minutes  ticked  off  the  close  of  a  back  and  forth  battle.    Why  are  people  leaving?  Don’t  they  realize  that  if  the  Lakers  lose,  they  are  done  for  the  season?    I  didn’t  understand.  I  may  have  guessed  that  whatever  was  going  on  outside  of  the  arena  was  important,  but  I  didn’t  know  it  the  same  way  I  knew  this  game.  I  knew  if  I  was  at  a  game  like  this  and  my  team  were  on  the  brink  of  elimination  in  the  playoffs,  you’d  have  to  drag  me  out  of  there  kicking  and  screaming.    But  then  I  realized  something:  it  must  be  important.  If  people  are  leaving  because  of  what  is  going  on  outside,  it  must  be  really  scary.  Or  something.  And  while  Laker  fans  aren’t  exactly  the  model  game  day  fans,  they  certainly  had  to  understand  the  importance  of  the  game  and  chose  to  leave  instead.    Whatever  was  going  on  had  to  be  important.  I  didn’t  know  why  but  it  had  to  be.  The  Lakers  opted  to  move  game  4  to  Las  Vegas  due  to  their  proximity  to  the  ongoing  activities  and  summarily  lost  badly.  Meanwhile,  the  Blazers  made  a  long  run  to  the  finals  where  they  lost  to  Jordan’s  Bulls  in  six.    As  I  learned  more  about  the  riots,  about  Rodney  King  and  Reginald  Denny,  the  LAPD  and  the  trial  in  Simi  Valley,  and  about  race  in  south  LA,  I  was  interested  in  all  of  it.  I  wondered  what  went  through  the  minds  of  people  who  left  before  overtime  started.  Something  trumped  sports  for  those  people  that  night.  And  on  the  most  important  night  of  that  season,  people  vanished  into  the  night  to  confront  something  beyond  sport.    I  won’t  pretend  to  know  all  of  the  issues  that  erupted  that  night  in  LA  but  that  night,  sports  opened  up  the  world  beyond  just  basketball.  If  you’re  willing  to  look  beyond  the  superficiality  of  the  game  itself,  there  are  a  lot  of  interesting  issues  that  it  can  bring  up.  Whether  it  be  HIV,  race,  feminism,  fairness,  leadership  or  compensation,  sports  can  be  a  powerful  storytelling  device.  When  it  doesn’t  devolve  into  meaningless  clichés  or  played  out  story  lines,  it  can  transcend  the  sport  itself.    
  16. 16. CHAPTER  2   Staffing  and  Career  Considerations    
  17. 17. “How’s  Your  Network  with  Talented  Middle  School  Kids?”    by  Steve  Boese  Originally  posted  on  August  7,  2012    The  most  interesting  piece  of  news  from  the  most  cutthroat,  vicious,  win-­‐at-­‐all-­‐costs  recruiting  niche  in  the  world  -­‐  no  Im  not  talking  about  the  market  for  hotshot  Silicon  Valley  techies,  but  rather  top-­‐flight  scholastic  football  players  that  just  like  the  rockstar  coders,  typically  have  their  choice  of  fantastic  options  to  pursue,  will  probably  surprise  and  maybe  disgust  you.    Here  it  is:    Lousiana  State  University  offers  scholarship  to  promising  8th  grader.  From  the  ESPN  piece:   Last  week,  a  hopeful  prospect  showed  up  at  LSUs  July  football  camp.  He  posted  an   impressive  4.46  40-­‐yard  dash,  and  he  earned  a  scholarship  offer  from  the  Tigers   coaching  staff  for  his  efforts.     Its  a  scene  that  plays  out  on  college  campuses  every  single  summer,  although  this  offer   was  different  for  one  main  reason  -­‐-­‐  Dylan  Moses  has  yet  to  start  eighth  grade.     Considering  the  Tigers  are  only  just  starting  to  hand  out  offers  to  members  of  the  Class   of  2014,  it  came  as  a  bit  surprise  for  a  2017  prospect  to  get  one.    Nice.  Or  a  little  unsettling  depending  on  your  point  of  view.  LSU  is  a  consistent  national  title  contender,  and  plays  in  the  most  competitive  and  most  talented  football  league  in  the  country.  Theyre  one  of  the  top  organizations  in  an  incredibly  challenging  market,  and  one  where  the  difference  between  exceptional  and  average  is  often  decided  by  the  outcomes  of  one  or  two  games.  An  environment  where  finding,  recruiting,  acquiring,  and  developing  talent  is  the  most  important  differentiator  between  success  and  failure.    Perhaps,  at  some  level,  similar  to  the  environment  in  which  your  organization  operates  and  competes.    The  question  I  think  the  LSU  recruiting  the  8th  grade  athlete  story  raises  for  the  rest  of    us  isnt  if  is  it  proper  or  ethical  for  LSU  to  start  the  hard  sell  in  middle  schools,  but  rather  one  that  challenges  our  own  commitment  to  acquiring  the  best  talent  possible  in  our  organizations.    LSU  is  willing,  for  better  or  worse,  to  compete  for  talent  at  the  highest  levels,  with  the  highest  stakes,  and  for  them,  at  least  in  this  example,  that  means  doing  things  that  seem  out  of  the  ordinary,  and  taking  actions  that  many  of  their  competitors  might  shy  away  from.    Is  it  wrong?  Does  it  cross  some  kind  of  line?      Maybe.  
  18. 18.  But  ask  yourself  -­‐  if  you  are  one  of  the  many  companies  that  is  having  trouble  finding  that  rare  talent  you  need,  are  you  doing  whatever  it  takes  to  land  the  talent  you  seek?    Are  you?    
  19. 19. “He  Toyed  with  Me.    He  Lied  to  Me.    He  Intimidated  Me.”    by  Steve  Boese  Originally  posted  on  July  23,  2012    . I  have  no  idea  if  this  is  true      Negotiating  anything,  whether  its  the  sale  price  of  that  new,  shiny  Mercury  Montego,  or  the  details  of  a  potential  job  offer,  can  be  a  difficult,  tense,  uncomfortable,  and  often  a  disappointing  process.    For  many,  particularly  those  of  us  not  inclined  to  enjoy  the  competition  of  a  negotiation,  or  simply  less  practiced  in  the  art  of  negotiation,  it  can  be  really  easy  to  feel  like  youve  come  out  second-­‐best,  that  youve  paid  too  much  for  the  car,  the  house,  or  settled  for  less  money  or  left  something  on  the  table  when  trying  to  hammer  out  that  new  or  renewed  employment  agreement.  When  most  of  us  are  up  against  that  car  salesperson,  who  makes  deals  for  a  living,  well  drawing  from  our  prior  experience  haggling  over  the  Montego  in  1977  usually  doesnt  provide  enough  foundation  for  confidence.    But  I  think  much  of  the  angst  associated  with  these  negotiations  arises  from  the  mentality  that  one  side  has  to  win,  and  one  has  to  lose,  and  that  usually  the  house,  (the  car  dealer,  the  employer,  the  merchant),  has  the  upper  hand.  If  someone  is  going  to  squirm  and  flinch  first  in  the  battle,  its  going  to  be  you  with  your  paltry,  limited  experience  in  wheeling  and  dealing.    But  it  doesnt  always  have  to  be  that  way.  Sometimes  you  do  actually  have  the  upper  hand  entering  the  deal,  even  if  you  dont  completely  realize  it  going  in.  And  sometimes,  maybe  more  often  that  we  like  to  admit,  even  a  spirited,  aggressive,  both  sides  all  in  kind  of  negotiation  can  end  with  everyone  keeping  their  dignity  and  moving  on  with  the  understanding  that  negotiation  is  part  of  the  game,  and  business  is  business,  and  you  can  even  gain  more  respect  for  someone  willing  to  fight  for  their  side  and  not  just  give  up,  or  conversely,  to  bully  their  way  to  a  win.    Case  in  point  -­‐  check  the  comments  (kind  of  said  with  a  little  bit  of  a  smile,  admittedly),  from  San  Antonio  Spurs  coach  Gregg  Popovich  regarding  the  recently  concluded  contract  extension  
  20. 20. negotiations  between  the  team,  and  their  long  time,  and  legendary  player  Tim  Duncan,  who  certainly  an  all-­‐time  great,  at  36  is  in  the  twilight  of  his  career.  Heres  Popovich,  (representing  the  house):     “He  toyed  with  me.  He  lied  to  me.  He  intimidated  me.  He  threatened  me.  In  the  end,  it   worked  out.  But  I  had  to  take  much  abuse  to  get  it  done.”    Whats  good  about  this,  and  Popovichs  attitude  about  how  the  negotiations  were  conducted  and  how  they  concluded?    That  the  house  respected  the  other  side  of  the  table,  that  the  team  knew  that  both  sides  had  the  right  to  negotiate  hard,  and  that  in  the  end,  the  house  had  to  acknowledge  the  position  and  value  of  the  talent,  and  take  a  little  bit  of  abuse,  in  order  to  get  a  deal  done  that  both  parties  could  live  with.    I  get  the  sense  that  Duncan  too,  although  he  is  not  quoted  in  the  piece,  came  away  feeling  the  fight  was  fair,  and  that  both  sides  walked  away  with  their  heads  up,  and  more  importantly,  with  continued  respect  for  each  other.    Big  heavy  take  away  from  this  story?  Probably  isnt  one,  unless  it  helps  to  remind  all  of  us,  no  matter  what  side  of  the  table  we  sit  on,  that  the  guy/gal  across  from  us  has  just  as  much  right  to  be  sitting  there,  and  if  they  did  not  possess  something  we  needed,  then  no  one  would  be  sitting  down  at  all.    The  other  guy  has  a  point  of  view  too,  and  if  you  have  to  take  a  little  bit  of  heat  to  let  them  communicate  that  point  of  view,  well  dont  take  it  personally.  
  21. 21. “Three  Stories  You  Should  Be  Able  To  Tell  Candidates”    by  Steve  Boese  Originally  posted  on  May  1,  2012      One  more  take  based  on  the  recently  concluded  NFL  Draft,  that  annual  and  remarkable  spectacle  of  talent  assessment,  evaluation,  and  management  that  plays  out  live,  and  on  TV  each  spring.  This  year,  my  alma  mater,  the  University  of  South  Carolina  was  represented  exceedingly  well  at  the  draft,  with  2  players  selected  in  the  drafts  first  round,  and  a  total  of  6  players  selected  overall.  For  South  Carolina,  this  was  by  far  the  most  players  it  has  ever  had  selected  in  a  single  year  at  the  draft,  and  also  serves  as  a  kind  of  reward  and  validation  of  the  last  college  football  season  that  saw  the  Gamecocks  finish  with  a  school-­‐best  11  victories,  punctuated  with  a  fantastic  win  over  Nebraska  in  the  Capital  One  Bowl.  For  schools  that  play  at  the  highest  levels  of  college  football,  the  number  of  their  players  that  are  selected  in  the  NFL  draft  has  several  implications.  At  the  surface,  it  is  a  measurement  of  the  quality  of  last  seasons  squad,  the  more  players  selected  by  NFL  talent  evaluators,  the  better.  But  second,  and  for  the  colleges  perhaps  more  important  for  the  long  term,  having  players  selected  for  the  NFL  draft  serves  as  a  powerful  recruiting  tool.  For  many  of  the  very  best  and  in  demand  high  school  players  that  have  plenty  of  options  in  where  to  play  their  college  ball,  the  track  record  and  history  of  a  school  for  preparing  and  placing  players  in  the  NFL  is  an  important  and  powerful  factor  in  the  decision  process.  Put  simply,  if  a  school  has  a  history  of  success  in  preparing  players  for  the  NFL,  (Alabama,  Ohio  State,  Miami,  LSU,  etc.),  the  more  likely  it  is  that  top  high  school  talent  that  sees  the  NFL  as  their  goal  will  choose  those  schools.  And  a  virtuous  circle  is  formed  -­‐  the  school  sends  players  to  the  NFL,  more  top  prospects  that  have  the  NFL  as  a  career  aspiration  take  notice  and  attend  the  school,  they  in  turn  progress  to  the  NFL,  they  help  the  school  have  success  on  the  field,  and  on  and  on.    
  22. 22. In  college  football  recruiting  the  stories  are  easy  to  see.  Players  move  from  the  school  to  the  NFL  in  a  highly  public  manner.  But  inside  organizations,  these  kind  of  success  stories  are  often  harder  to  envision  and  describe  to  candidates  and  prospects.  While  in  the  recruiting  process,  the  organization  typically  talks  to  the  fantastic  opportunities  that  await  candidates  should  they  choose  to  join,  it  can  be  difficult  for  the  candidate  to  appreciate  or  even  accept  these  stories  as  more  than  another  part  of  a  recruiters  sales  pitch.  In  that  light,  I  think  there  are  three  kinds  of  success  stories  that  HR  or  Recruiting  ought  to  be  able  to  articulate  to  these  top  players,  the  ones  that  have  lots  of  other  options  for  their  next  career  move.  One  -­‐  Come  here,  and  heres  what  incredible  opportunities  are  possible  if  you  decide  to  make  a  long-­‐term  career  here.  Take  a  look  at  Joe  Bloggs,  he  came  in  at  about  your  same  age,  at  a  similar  job,  and  now  he  is  the  head  dude  in  charge  of  XYZ  Division.    In  fact,  Id  like  you  to  meet  Joe,  lets  set  up  a  lunch  for  you  two  to  talk.  Two  -­‐  Come  here,  and  build  the  skills  that  you  can  take  anywhere  youd  like  to  go  in  your  career.  Do  you  know,  (insert  name  of  the  most  famous  company  alumni  you  have),  he/she  spent  three  years  here  back  in  the  90s  and  now  they  run  their  own  company.  In  fact,  we  still  work  with  him/her  from  time  to  time  and  I  am  sure  we  can  arrange  a  call  if  youd  like  to  learn  more  about  how  working  here  really  set  them  up  for  their  future  success.  Three  -­‐  Come  here,  and  build  the  skills  that  you  can  take  anywhere  youd  like  to  go  in  your  career,  leave  if  you  think  you  need  to,  but  come  know  that  we  will  welcome  you  back  somewhere  down  the  line.  Heres  where  you  tell  the  story  of  a  high-­‐profile  re-­‐bound  hire  that  illustrates  the  possibility  and  flexibility  that  makes  choosing  your  company  more  attractive  to  the  candidate.  The  sports  world  is  certainly  full  of  these  kinds  of  tales,  of  players  that  left  a  team  only  to  return  later  in  their  careers.  Bottom  line,  when  selling  your  opportunity,  whether  it  is  to  a  top  athlete  deciding  on  a  college,  or  a  top  technical  developer,  both  who  have  plenty  of  options,  being  able  to  paint  a  compelling  and  realistic  picture  of  all  the  possible  career  scenarios,  and  how  your  organization  can  best  help  the  candidate  make  the  most  of  them,  offers  your  side  the  best  opportunity  to  land  the  talent  you  need.  And  dont  forget,  being  open  and  accepting  of  what  the  candidate  might  want  to  do  after  he  or  she  leaves  your  organization  might  be  just  as  important  as  what  they  can  or  want  to  do  inside  your  organization.  
  23. 23. “Should  You  Give  the  Assessment  if  You  Don’t  Care  About  the  Results?”    by  Steve  Boese  Originally  posted  on  April  20,  2012        Last  week  Americas  second  most  popular  sporting  spectacle  took  place.  No,  not  the  beginning  of  the  NBA  playoffs,  but  rather  the  annual  National  Football  League  player  draft,  an  incredible  three  days  of  televised  talent  assessment,  evaluation,  and  selection.  The  NFL  draft,  once  a  largely  behind  the  scenes  administrative  event,  has  grown  over  the  years  into  a  multi-­‐day,  multi-­‐media  extravaganza,  with  an  entite  cottage  industry  of  draft  experts  and  advisors  seemingly  making  a  really  good  living  not  actually  evaluating  players  for  the  actual  teams,  but  rather  appearing  on  TV  to  inform  and  share  with  fans  and  viewers  their  opinions  of  draft-­‐eligible  players,  offer  their  speculation  on  which  players  will  be  selected  by  which  teams,  and  comment  more  generally  on  how  well  or  poorly  each  teams  talent  evaluators  did  in  making  their  player  selections.    Making  the  right  selections  from  among  the  large  pool  of  eligible  talent,  (almost  all  American  college  football  players  that  have  graduated  from  school,  exhausted  all  of  their  college  eligibility,  or  have  declared  themselves  eligible  to  be  selected),  like  talent  selection  in  any  business,  is  challenging,  complex,  and  incredibly  important.  On  a  good  year,  anywhere  from  10-­‐15%  of  a  teams  total  active  roster  can  be  supplied  via  that  years  draft.  Hitting  or  making  the  right  picks,  like  finding  a  rare  or  overlooked  talented  player  in  later  draft  rounds,  or  avoiding  missing,  by  bypassing  players  that  later  turn  out  to  have  unsuccessful  playing  careers  often  eventually  means  the  difference  in  overall  organizational  success  or  failure.    All  the  teams  know  how  important  the  draft  process  is,  and  thus,  over  the  years  more  and  more  steps  and  components  have  been  introduced  to  the  pre-­‐draft  player  evaluation  process.  From  intense  study  of  college  game  video,  to  a  battery  of  physical  tests  and  measurements,  and  more  recently,  even  formalized  tests  of  a  potential  players  cognitive  and  reasoning  capability,  in  the  form  of  what  is  called  the  Wonderlic  test.  The  Wonderlic  consists  of  50  questions  to  be  answered  in  12  minutes,  and  is  meant  to  give  teams  a  general  feeling  for  the  overall  thinking  
  24. 24. and  reasoning  capability  of  a  player,  as  well  as  provide  a  means  of  comparison  with  all  the  other  potential  players  who  also  take  the  test.    Most  years  the  draft  process  ensues  without  much  mention  of  the  Wonderlic  test  as  a  part  of  the  player  evaluations,  except  only,  and  as  happened  this  year,  when  a  particularly  high-­‐profile  and  anticipated  top  draft  choice  caliber  player  gets  a  really  low  Wonderlic  score.  This  year  Morris  Claiborne  from  LSU,  regarded  as  one  of  the  Top  10  available  players  in  the  draft  reportedly  scored  a  4  (out  of  a  possible  50)  on  the  Wonderlic.  A  score  of  4  is  really,  really  bad,  according  to  ESPN  it  was  the  lowest  reported  score  in  more  that  10  years,  (for  comparison,  an  average  score  is  about  21).    Despite  the  alleged  poor  score,  Claiborne  was  indeed  selected  by  the  Dallas  Cowboys  with  the  6th  overall  selection.  So  apparently  the  disastrous  Wonderlic  score  did  not  impact  Claibornes  standing  and  attractiveness  as  a  candidate  for  the  NFL.  In  fact,  Dallas  Cowboys  owner  Jerry  Jones  stated  the  test  score  was  not  an  issue  at  all,  and  Cowboys  coach  Jason  Garrett  remarked,  We  talk  about  the  test  scores,  but  we  also  talk  about  Whats  his  football  IQ,  also  seemingly  dismissing  the  value  of  the  Wonderlic  as  a  means  to  predict  future  performance  as  an  actual  football  player.    Now  of  course  the  Cowboys  reps  might  be  trying  to  defend  their  selection  of  Claiborne  and  downplaying  the  significance  of  the  Wonderlic  score  is  certainly  in  the  teams  self-­‐interest,  but  the  ESPN  story  linked  above  also  refers  to  Claibornes  view  that  the  test  was  essentially  meaningless  and  not  at  all  important  in  determining  his  ability  to  actually  play  football  at  the  highest  level.  He  is  quoted  as  saying  -­‐    "I  mean,  I  looked  on  the  test  and  wasnt  nothing  on  the  test  that  came  with  football,  so  I  pretty  much  blew  the  test  off."    Sort  of  an  odd  situation,  the  player,  (candidate),  and  the  team,  (employer),  both  essentially  admitting  that  one  of  the  common  if  not  primary  assessment  tools  given  to  all  players  doesnt  have  anything  to  do  with  the  actual  job,  and  as  soon  as  the  assessment  results  dont  fit  with  what  our  more  traditional  and  time-­‐tested  evaluations  tell  us,  (like  actually  watching  the  candidate  play  football),  they  will  essentially  be  discarded  from  consideration.  Seems  like  a  big  waste  of  everyones  time.    Now  sure,  you  can  argue  with  me  that  Claiborne,  as  a  top  player  in  this  years  draft  was  not  ever  going  to  be  impacted  by  his  score,  (good  or  bad),  on  the  Wonderlic,  and  that  the  test  is  really  meant  for  use  as  a  supplementary  measure  or  data  point  for  players  whose  football  talents  are  more  questionable,  and  that  it  can  be  used  to  help  make  decisions  between  closely  related  prospects.    But  the  league  made  Claiborne,  and  other  top  talent  take  the  test.  And  I  bet,  if  you  look  closely  at  your  organizations  recruiting  practices  as  well,  you  might  find  similar  examples  of  making  top  talent  run  through  hoops  or  perform  silly,  eventually  meaningless,  exercises  because  thats  just  our  process.    
  25. 25. Claiborne  didnt  really  have  an  option  to  decline  the  test,  the  NFL  has  an  effective  monopoly  on  professional  football  in  America.  But  any  top  talent  you  might  be  recruiting?  Well  they  likely  have  plenty  of  options.  You  probably  want  to  make  sure  your  process  understands  that.    
  26. 26. The  Academic  Version  of  "Unemployed  Need  Not  Apply"  by  Matthew  Stollak    Originally  posted  on  September  24,  2012    Check  out  this  recent  ad  for  a  Humanities  position  at  Colorado  State  University.      Focus  on  the  following:  Required  qualifications:  1.  Ph.D.  in  English  or  American  Studies  or  closely  related  area  awarded  between  2010  and  time  of  appointment.  2.  A  promising  record  of  scholarship/research  in  pre-­‐1900  American  literature  and  culture.  3.  Ability  to  teach  a  range  of  subjects  in  American  literature  and  culture  between  1600  and  1900.    A  similar  recent  job  posting  at  Harvard  University  for  an  Assistant  Professor  of  Comparative  Literature,  “Applicants  must  have  received  the  PhD  or  equivalent  degree  in  the  past  three  years  (2009  or  later),  or  show  clear  evidence  of  planned  receipt  of  the  degree  by  the  beginning  of  employment.”      What  do  you  notice?  Go  ahead...take  a  minute....  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .    Well,  items  #2  and  #3  do  not  seem  out  of  the  ordinary  -­‐  these  seem  like  reasonable  requirements  for  the  position.    However,  #1  for  CSU,  as  well  as  the  Harvard  ad,  is  interesting  and  has  ginned  up  a  little  controversy  (note...both  ads  have  changed).    Much  like  weve  seen  in  the  private  sector,  academics  were  not  immune  to  the  vagaries  of  the  economy.    If  you  completed  your  Ph.D.,  and  entered  the  job  market  in  2007,  2008,  or  2009,  you  may  have  had  difficulty  finding  a  tenure  track  academic  position.    Now,  with  ads  such  as  those  filed  above,  we  have  the  academic  equivalent  of  "unemployed  need  not  apply."    Are  there  reasons  to  narrow  the  candidate  search  in  such  a  manner?    It  could  be  economic.    Someone  with  3  or  less  years  of  academic  experience  will  take  longer  to  apply  for  tenure  and  promotion,  and  the  accompanying  bump  in  salary.    With  an  average  salary  increase  of  1.4%  from  2009-­‐2010  to  2010-­‐2011,  earning  tenure  and  promotion  is  often  the  only  way  for  professors  to  see  a  significant  bump  in  compensation.    As  a  result,  delaying  the  promotion  decision  can  positively  affect  the  bottom  line  for  colleges  and  universities.  
  27. 27.  Another  reason  may  be  that  CSU  or  Harvard  might  already  have  an  internal  candidate,  such  as  a  visiting  assistant  professor,  and  are  trying  to  keep  the  applicant  pool  small.        A  third  reason  might  be  similar  to  the  NBA  draft,  where  a  team  would  rather  take  a  chance  on  a  college  sophomores  "tremendous  upside  potential,"  than  a  college  seniors  "experience"  thats  good,  but  not  great.    In  this  instance,  a  college  might  prefer  the  freshly  minted  graduate,  than  a  less  malleable  individual  with  a  couple  of  academic  years  under  his  or  her  belt.    However,  the  start  of  such  a  trend  is  worrisome  for  an  already  difficult  job  market,  where  it  might  take  as  many  as  3  years  to  land  a  tenure  track  position.    One  might  have  spent  two  or  three  years  serving  as  an  adjunct  while  trying  to  publish  an  article  or  two.    I  might  be  a  promising  academic  who  might  have  had  an  illness,  or  family  issues  (such  as  caring  for  a  sick  parent),  or  served  in  the  military  that  might  adjust  ones  tenure  clock.    Or,  I  might  have  found  a  tenure  track  position,  and  simply  want  to  relocate  to  another  area  of  the  country.    It  also  affects  the  time  one  spends  in  graduate  school.    Future  academicians  may  delay  the  time  that  they  finish  so  they  will  have  a  more  established  publication  record,  to,  subsequently,  become  more  competitive  in  the  job  market.      When  I  entered  the  academic  job  market  in  1994,  supply  of  labor  exceeded  the  number  of  jobs  available,  and  it  took  6  months  to  find  a  visiting  position.  When  I  finally  found  a  tenure  track  position,  and  built  up  a  number  of  years  of  experience,  I  wanted  to  find  a  job  a  little  closer  to  my  parents.  Such  mobility  may  be  a  thing  of  the  past.  
  28. 28. Why  Id  Hire  A  Penn  State  Football  Player  by  Matthew  Stollak    Originally  posted  on  Thursday,  July  26,  2012    If  you  watch  any  college  sports,  Im  sure  youve  seen  a  variant  of  a  video  where  it  is  stated  that  there  are  more  than  380,000  student-­‐athletes  and  most  of  them  go  pro  in  something  other  than  sports.    They  put  in  time,  energy,  sweat,  tears,  body  and  soul  into  serving  the  sport,  their  coach  and  peers,  and  fans.    Yet,  for  most,  the  end  result  is  not  a  lucrative  sports  contract.    Imagine,  then,  you  are  a  football  player  at  Penn  State  University.    Sanctions  have  just  been  announced  that  effectively  cut  off  many  of  the  benefits  of  the  "job"  you  currently  have  undertaken.    No  bowl  game  at  the  end  of  the  season  to  reward  good  performance...having  to  do  more  with  less  as  scholarships  have  been  taken  away...reputation  of  your  organization  dragged  through  the  mud.    Youve  been  "punished"  for  a  very  serious  crime  for  which  you  had  no  knowledge  of  or  involvement.    A  lifeline  has  been  offered...you  have  the  opportunity  to  transfer  to  another  academic  institution  and  get  immediately  playing  time  (instead  of  having  to  sit  out  a  year).    Do  you  take  it?    Soon  after  the  sanctions  were  announced,  approximately  25  players  at  Penn  State  made  a  statement  that  they  are  sticking  with  their  commitment.    Senior  Michael  Mauti  stated,  "“This  program  was  not  built  by  one  man  and  this  program  is  sure  as  hell  not  going  to  get  torn  down  by  one  man."    If  they  are  willing  to  stick  to  their  organization,  despite  the  sullied  brand  and  lack  of  tangible  rewards  (outside  of  their  scholarship  and  education)  for  the  next  few  years,  wouldnt  that  be  an  asset  to  be  cherished  down  the  road  as  you  look  to  fill  a  position  for  which  that  former  football  player  is  qualified?            
  29. 29. Why  Tom  Izzo  and  Mark  Hollis  Get  It  by  Matthew  Stollak    Originally  posted  on  Wednesday,  June  27,  2012    Right  around  this  time,  the  Top  50  Best  Small  &  Medium  Companies  to  Work  for  in  America  are  announced.    Im  beginning  to  think  that  playing  basketball  for  Michigan  State  University  should  belong  to  this  list.    It  was  announced  that  the  Spartans  will  open  up  the  2012-­‐2013  Mens  NCAA  College  Basketball  Season  for  the  second  straight  year  on  Nov.  9  at  Ramstein  Air  Base  in  Germany  against  UConn—  an  event  to  be  played  in  front  of  troops  and  televised  by  ESPN.      According  to  Mark  Hollis,  Athletic  Director  for  Michigan  State:   “Once  again,  we  are  excited  about  participating  in  an  event  that  pays  tribute  and   respect  to  the  men  and  women  that  serve  in  our  nation’s  armed  forces.    With  that  focus   in  mind,  all  other  challenges  and  obstacles  in  participating  in  an  event  of  this   significance  are  secondary.    Pending  final  approval  by  the  Department  of  Defense  and   with  the  collaboration  of  ESPN,  we  look  forward  to  participating  in  an  NCAA  men’s   basketball  regular-­‐season  game  against  Connecticut  at  Ramstein  AirBase  in  Germany  on   November  9,  2012.     “Coach  Izzo  has  a  talent  for  recognizing  and  bringing  to  Michigan  State  University   student-­‐athletes  that  want  to  be  the  best  on  the  court  while  developing  themselves  as   young  men.    All  of  us  at  Michigan  State  believe  in  providing  our  student-­‐athletes  with   championship  opportunities  and  amazing  cultural  experiences.    The  student-­‐athletes  on   our  men’s  basketball  team  have  had  an  opportunity  to  play  the  game  they  love  in  NCAA   Final  Fours,  for  Big  Ten  titles  and  aboard  a  USN  Aircraft  Carrier  in  front  of  the  President   of  the  United  States  of  America.    Coach  Tom  Izzo  added:     “This  is  another  amazing  opportunity  for  Spartan  basketball  and  Michigan  State   University.  I’m  thankful  that  ESPN  reached  out  to  us  to  be  a  part  of  this  great  event.   Being  a  part  in  the  first  college  basketball  game  to  be  played  on  a  military  base  overseas   is  truly  an  honor.”     “Playing  in  the  Carrier  Classic  on  the  USS  Carl  Vinson  last  season  provided  memories   that  will  last  a  lifetime,  as  the  historic  event  was  so  much  more  than  just  a  basketball   game.  The  opportunity  to  honor  the  great  men  and  women  of  the  US  Armed  Forces  was   a  humbling  experience,  as  we  felt  that  we  got  so  much  more  in  return  than  we  gave.  To   now  have  the  opportunity  to  take  our  game  overseas  to  the  servicemen  and  women   serving  to  protect  us  is  an  awesome  experience.  I’m  reminded  of  my  trips  to  the  US   bases  in  Kuwait,  and  what  a  life-­‐changing  experience  that  was  for  me.  Everyone  
  30. 30. associated  with  the  Michigan  State  basketball  program  is  excited  for  this  unique   opportunity.”      So,  you’re  Senior  Derrick  Nix.    In  the  past  three  years,  youve:    • Played  three  straight  years  in  the  NCAA  tournament  • Won  two  Big  Ten  Titles  • Played  in  the  Final  Four  • Be  featured  regularly  in  nationally  televised  games  • Played  on  an  aircraft  carrier.    Now,  you  get  to  experience  something  no  other  college  basketball  player  has  done  -­‐  play  on  a  military  base  overseas.    Add  to  the  fact  that  every  four-­‐year  MSU  basketball  player  has  made  the  Final  Four  under  Tom  Izzos  leadership,  you  have  a  truly  compelling  value  proposition  to  sell  to  recruits.    This  is  why  Tom  Izzo  and  Mark  Hollis  get  it.    Theyre  offering  something  unmatched  at  other  organizations.    A  potential  recruit  may  soon  find  themselves  playing  at  the  site  of  the  first  Olympic  Games,  or,  who  knows....the  International  Space  Station.    What  compelling  value  proposition  to  recruits  are  you  making  for  your  organization?  
  31. 31. “Some  Hiring  Managers  Rate  the  Attractiveness  of  Your  Spouse…”    by  Kris  Dunn  Originally  posted  on  June  4,  2012      As  a  candidate,  you  know  that  people  considering  you  for  employment  judge  you  on  everything,  right?  Clothes.    Your  Car.    How  you  talk.    Whether  your  spouse  is  smoking  hot.    Hold  up,  what  was  that  last  one?    Your  spouse  -­‐  he  or  she  needs  to  be  smoking  hot  -­‐  you  didnt  get  the  memo?        I  made  it  gender  neutral  becuase  Im  a  long  term  HR  guy  and  thats  how  I  roll.  But  lets  face  it,  men  are  pigs.    So  it  stands  to  reason  that  men,  not  women,  would  be  the  ones  to  judge  the  ultimate  accessory  held  by  a  candidate  -­‐  the  wife.    Dont  believe  me?    Heres  the  rundown  from  Coachingsearch.com  (hat  tip  to  a  blogging  friend  who  doesnt  want  his  name  on  this),  which  covers  comments  made  by  the  Vanderbilt  head  football  coach  on  the  topic:     "Breaking:  Do  not  apply  for  a  job  on  James  Franklins  staff  if  your  wife  is  not  a  smoke   show.     While  in  Destin  on  Wednesday  afternoon,  Vanderbilt  head  coach  James  Franklin   told  Clay  Travis  on  104.5  The  Zone  that  he  evaluates  the  appearance  of  coaches  wives   during  the  interview  process.   Franklin,  in  a  relaxed  mood  near  the  beach,  explained,  "Ive  been  saying  it  for  a  long   time,  I  will  not  hire  an  assistant  until  I  see  his  wife.    If  she  looks  the  part  and  shes  a  D1  
  32. 32. recruit,  then  you  got  a  chance  to  get  hired.  Thats  part  of  the  deal.    Theres  a  very   strong  correlation  between  having  the  confidence,  going  up  and  talking  to  a  women   (sic),  and  being  quick  on  your  feet  and  having  some  personality  and  confidence  and   being  articulate  and  confident,  than  it  is  walking  into  a  high  school  and  recruiting  a  kid   and  selling  him."    Does  this  apply  to  more  than  football?    Probably.    The  general  rule  of  thumb  is  that  the  spouse  starts  becoming  a  factor  once  you  start  getting  into  leadership  positions,  especially  with  smaller  companies  where  great  sacrifices  might  be  required  on  the  part  of  families  -­‐  thats  when  the  hiring  executive  wants  to  meet  Mrs.  Candidate,  more  often  than  not  to  guage  whether  shell  be  supportive  of  the  sacrifices  required,  and  also  to  sell  her  in  to  the  promise  of  the  role,  etc.    So  it  stands  to  reason  that  a  high  attractiveness  level  might  be  a  plus  in  that  situation,  if  not  a  requirement  via  the  progressive  views  of  James  Franklin.    Women  -­‐  does  this  ever  hold  true  for  the  male  spouse  of  a  key  female  candidate?    That  would  explain  my  wifes  amazing  career  success  before  she  opted  out  of  the  game.    Im  just  sayin...      
  33. 33. “Hiring  Former  Athletes  as  a  Recruiting  Strategy  –  Genius  of  a  Cop-­‐Out?”    by  Kris  Dunn  Originally  posted  on  May  8,  2012    Was  with  an  SVP  of  a  pretty  cool  company  a  couple  of  months  back  and  he  lamented  what  he  considers  to  be  a  broken  recruiting  strategy  –  hiring  former  jocks  for  sales  positions.    He  considered  the  approach  broken  due  to  the  track  record  of  the  “usual  suspects”  his  company  hired  for  AE  spots  –  former  jocks  –  but  outlined  that  the  primary  reason  for  the  systematic  failure  of  the  AEs  in  question  was  their  intellectual  capacity  to  pull  off  a  consultative-­‐style  sale.    In  other  words  –  they  were  dumb  jocks.    Stoopid,  even.  He  didn’t  feel  they  had  the  intellectual  capacity  or  agile  mental  capacity  to  do  the  consultative  style  sale  –  when  they  got  stuck,  they  just  pushed  harder  rather  than  adapting  mentally  to  the  game.  So  it  begs  the  question  –  does  hiring  former  athletes  work  as  a  recruiting  strategy?    Or  is  hiring  jocks  a  sucker’s  play  if  you’re  looking  for  any  kind  of  depth  beyond  some  backslapping  and  war  stories  about  the  “glory  days”?  Answer:    It  depends.  The  first  rule  of  hiring  jocks  is  as  follows:    If  you  live  in  a  limited  geographical  area  where  sports  affiliation  runs  high  and  the  position  you’re  hiring  for  is  focused  on  meeting  the  public  and  opening  doors,  the  jock  hire  with  ties/a  career  at  the  local  Division  I  might  make  a  lot  of  sense.    You  call  it  sales.    I  call  it  PR.    If  I’m  selling  in  Birmingham  these  days,  having  a  former  player  for  the  Crimson  Tide  (University  of  Alabama)  making  calls  and  setting  up  appointments  might  make  a  lot  of  sense.    They  need  to  have  the  aptitude  and  desire  to  pick  up  the  phone,  but  it’s  a  good  start.  And  I’d  need  to  get  ready  to  support  them  in  the  sales  process  in  a  big  way  if  that’s  what  I  was  going  for.  After  that,  the  rules  get  pretty  dicey.    If  you’re  not  hiring  for  name  recognition  (school  or  individual),  hiring  a  jock  only  provides  benefits  if  the  following  things  are  at  play  as  a  result  of  their  development  as  an  athlete:     1. Your  interview  shows  they  compete  better  than  the  average  candidate  due  to  the   background  as  a  jock.     2. They  achieved  academically  and  the  fact  that  they  did  it  while  packing  in  a  full-­‐time   job  in  a  sport  means  they’re  driven,  organized  and  well  –  just  pretty  damn  good.    

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