Create a Culture of Greatness – by Jon Gordon

This is a great piece by Jon Gordon’s SOUP: A Recipe to Nourish Your Team and Culture, The Energy Bus and Training Camp.

To build a winning a team and a successful organization you must create a culture of greatness.

It’s the most important thing a leader can do because culture drives behavior, behavior drives habits and habits create the future. As the leaders at Apple say, “Culture beats strategy all day long.”

When you create a culture of greatness you create a collective mindset in your organization that expects great things to happen—even during challenging times. You expect your people to be their best, you make it a priority to coach them to be their best and most of all you create a work environment that fuels them to be their best.

A culture of greatness creates an expectation that everyone in the organization be committed to excellence. It requires leaders and managers to put the right people in the right positions where they are humble and hungry and willing to work harder than everyone else. A culture of greatness dictates that each person use their gifts and strengths to serve the purpose and mission of the organization. And it means that you don’t just bring in the best people, but you also bring out the best in your people.

If you are thinking that this sounds like common sense, it is. But unfortunately far too many organizations expect their people to be their best but they don’t invest their time and energy to help them be their best nor do they create an environment that is conducive to success. They want great results but they are not willing to do what it takes to create a culture of greatness.
A culture of greatness requires that you find the right people that fit your culture. Then you coach them, develop them, mentor them, train them and empower them to do what they do best. As part of this process you develop positive leaders who share positive energy throughout the organization because positive energy flows from the top down. You also don’t allow negativity to sabotage the moral, performance and success or your organization. You deal with negativity at the cultural level so your people can spend their time focusing on their work instead of fighting energy vampires. And you find countless ways to enhance communication, build trust and create engaged relationships that are the foundation upon which winning teams are built.
If creating a culture of greatness sounds like a lot of work, it is, but not as much work as dealing with the crises, problems and challenges associated with negative, dysfunctional and sub-par cultures. While most organizations waste a lot of time putting out fires you can spend your time building a great organization that rises above the competition.”

Visit Jon’s blog by clicking here.


Employee Loyalty… A thing of the past?

There is a lot of online chatter today about employee loyalty as if it is something employees should have toward their employer, and frankly, I find it rather amusing.  The companies who expect blind loyalty from their employees are often the same ones who callously exercise layoffs to reduce overhead in a tough market. So, what kind of loyalty should employers expect.?  The kind of loyalty that will stick with them through the tough times?  When things aren’t going so well?  Should they stay loyal even after several quarters where no bonuses are paid out?  What about when they have had to endure the instability of having multiple managers in a relatively short time span?  Should they do this as a “good soldier” and be thankful that they have a job?

What exactly is the appropriate amount of loyalty in our economy?  Are we talking about loyalty to a company? Is it loyalty to a Brand or Person?  As a search professional, I am often faced with a scenario where a prospective candidate is emotionally processing the reality of resigning from their current company to start a new job. This is often a very stressful time as they contemplate delivering the terrible news to an unsuspecting boss.  Usually, they miscalculated the response they will get.  Recently, while recruiting for a VP US Sales for a $4B medical device company, the chosen candidate and I discussed his resignation process and the expected counter-offer.  He assured me that he and his boss were such “good friends,” and the opportunity was so great for him, that his boss would be happy for him and wish him well on his new journey.  What he met with was far from the warm sentiment that he expected. His boss paid “lip service” to that idea, yet followed up with a very aggressive lawsuit and an attempt to obtain an injunction keeping him from working for his new company.  With situations like this, it begs the question, “where is loyalty appropriate when it comes to “Business?”

Obviously, this “High Ranking Official” according to the plaintiff had an opportunity in a bigger and better role in the new company that he would not have had in his current company.  Believing that his boss and “friend” ultimately wanted what was best for him, he naively agonized over his impending resignation believing that he was going to “really let his boss down personally.” When he witnessed a very different response than what he had expected, he doubtless had one of those “Aha Moments” that can leave a person jaded.  What he thought his boss felt for him, was only an illusion. His boss was only “for him” as long as it benefited himself.  When it was no longer in his boss’s interest to be a friend, he quickly turned into a much different person, even an adversary with a lawsuit naming this individual, putting his family at risk.

So when I read articles about companies wanting to engender more loyalty in their employees, and seeing it as a failure of the individual that there isn’t more of it, I have to laugh. Yes, perhaps I am jaded as well. Since I have personally witnessed so many people’s disillusionment after meeting with unexpected hostility from the people they trust, I have a pragmatic view of these things.

Here is my advice for anyone in this situation: 

Employers:  If you’re not loyal to your employees, don’t expect them to be loyal to you.  Take a sincere interest in the people who have been entrusted to you. Make sure that you know what their hopes and dreams are.  If their hopes can’t be realized under your leadership, encourage them to find it elsewhere and work with them to find that place where they can be challenged to achieve their dreams.  I realize that most managers are not capable of this kind of commitment, but the key is that a leader should not expect greater loyalty from their employees than they have for their employees.

If you are in HR, quit using this “Employee Loyalty” rouse to make people feel obligated to stay in a job when a better, more fulfilling opportunity may await them elsewhere.  If you really want to keep the best of the best, make it hard to leave by how generous you are to them.  Earn their loyalty by showing them yours.

Talent is king! The war for talent demands that the best people be taken very good care of in order to keep them engaged and yes, even “loyal.”

Employees: Don’t be loyal to a company. A company is nothing more than a P&L, logo or brand identity undeserving of such emotional commitment. Remember that it is your own responsibility to provide for your family so be proactive and pursue mastery of your career until you are compelled either by your boss or by your own drive to find a place to grow, be challenged and develop new skills and talents.


Realize that you will be with your current company only for as long as it makes sense to THEM for you to be there.  When it ceases to be so, you will be like so many who are on your own to find a solution to your new, unwelcome reality of being jobless.

This is business, and if you don’t look out for yourself, no one else will.  I know, this ranks right up there with the fatherly advice many of us received that “Life isn’t fair.”  Get over it and move on. Yet, you would be amazed to know how many people I tell this to who seem to have a rude awakening after realizing it’s over.

Everyone needs to manage their own career. You cannot wait around to be called up, or the call may never come.  Ultimately it is up to you to make positive things happen.  I often say that it is better to be the one calling the audible for change than being the one hearing them without being prepared.

Hiring Your Search Partner is Every Bit AS important as The New Hire Itself!

I’ve often consulted with clients and suggested that engaging a recruiter on Retainer is far smarter than doing so on Contingency. The basis of this is the quality of the relationship built on “Trust” that you develop with the recruiter.  You as a hirer can expect that the individual will produce the caliber of candidates within the preferred time-frame that you require.  You believe this, because you have an agreement in place and the recruiter has established some level of credibility. This is a great place to start, but it is critical to recognize that the “Object” of your confidence is as important as the method you have chosen to execute your search. (Retained)

Weak confidence in Thick ice is better than Strong confidence in Thin Ice.

I am referring to the selection of a recruiter. Selecting the right search methodology is only half of the equation.  The next and equally, if not more important is the Who.  You must choose well to ensure proper execution of your search, or you jeopardize the entire outcome. Simply because a recruiter can articulate the process and impress you with the correct vernacular does not guarantee that you’ve partnered with the right person. So, what must a hirer do to ensure they have chosen well?  References.

Consider that the selection of a recruiter is as important as the selection of a final candidate and you realize that if you’re hiring a recruiting firm after a few phone calls, you’ve not done adequate due diligence to ensure you have the best possible search consultant. Just as any reasonable sales rep can sell themselves far better than they can actually sell in a competitive selling environment for a company, recruiters are well-trained at pitching the deal. But what you don’t know from a simple phone call or two is far more telling than you can imagine.

Before hiring a recruiter, you really should ask the recruiter what the last five or so searches that they conducted were and who they worked with at the companies? Can you call their client to see how happy they were with the process and as important, the outcome?  How about clients from over a year ago?  Can you call people to see how these hires worked out over time?

If the recruiter is worth his or her salt, they should have no problem giving you some recent clients to contact in order to dig down and find out what is beneath the veneer of their flashy pitch.

Ask the references these questions:

1. How long did the search take and what did the slate of candidates look like?  Was the reference satisfied with the outcome?

2. How constructive was the input received by the hiring authority?  Was it incisive?

3.  How accurate was the recruiter’s input and analysis of the candidates? Was it all positive, posturing, or was it both strengths and weaknesses?

4. Are you happy with the outcome? How well has the hire performed compared to how you were told he/she would?

5. Would you retain the firm again in the future?

these are only a few of the more obvious questions that you should consider asking before making a selection.

Remember, recruiters are if nothing else, great at selling their pitch. You can expect them all to describe their Recruitment Process in spectacular detail, but the key question is do they actually execute that defined process or is it just part of the pitch?

It’s still TRUE whether you accept it or not!

In recent months, I challenged the value of measuring recruiting metrics. I declared that the only metric that really mattered was how successful the person was that you placed in your client’s company. I received a staggering amount of criticism from recruiters and HR people in cyberspace.  I have to admit, I knew it was a little bit edgy, but not quite blasphemous. I wrote it in respond to the prevailing views on recruiting blogs discussing which metrics are best for recruiters to measure in their business. I realize that these measurements can be useful when managing recruiters, but I was interested in challenging the conventional wisdom and making people think bigger. You might say, that I was trying to get people to think about the outcome of their work and the impact on their clients rather than their own efficiencies. My assertion that only one metric truly mattered, and if we aren’t measuring how successful the people we placed were, and the impact they have in the companies we place them in, we are missing the whole point of our profession.  What is so scandalous about that? Isn’t that the whole point? Are we not placing people to do a job? Are they not hired to effect change or growth or both? Or are we only accountable for helping companies fill open requisitions, with no connection to the results? Because if that is the case, and you’re one of those recruiters, you are guilty of malpractice.  I am not a “Career Recruiter,” so perhaps my view is tainted by actual “real world experience” where sustained results really matter. When I was working for Stryker, I occasionally hired through recruiters.  I kept track of the results of the people who I hired through recruiters and compared the results in order to validate the expense and effectiveness of hiring recruiters.  At that time, I can say that the results I obtained through recruiters was far less valuable than those I hired on my own. Subsequently, I stopped using recruiters.

People who don’t understand why companies engage recruiters  beyond simply filling vacant positions lack a fundamental  understanding the real value that companies expect of them.  Several comments that I received after my bold blog said that I had “too lofty a view” of my role, and that “it isn’t the job of the recruiter to worry about what happened after the hire occurred.”  “we don’t have any control after the hire is done!” REALLY?

No control? FALSE!  You are the “procuring cause.” You cannot distance yourself from it.  During your recruitment process, you perform due diligence to discern who, to the best of your ability, will best execute  in your client’s company and have the greatest impact on their business.  If you don’t get that granular, then you aren’t thorough enough to earn a full fee. , (this may be why so many recruiters are forced to discount their fees to levels more commensurate with the quality of their work.)  You see, I don’t think my view of the role I play in the acquisition of talent for my clients is too high; but if you think I’m wrong,  your view of this business is too low!

As a Search Consultant, you have the opportunity to be a tremendous strategic asset to a company and enjoy the many rewards that come with this type of consultative relationship with your clients and industry.

You also have the right to feed on the bottom with the majority of recruiters who see their only responsibility as “filling openings.”  The choice is yours, but the implications are huge!  Choose wisely!

Breaking into Medical Sales – ebook

New eBook

Breaking into Medical Sales

Well, it’s been a little while since I blogged while working on this new e-book.  I get calls and emails daily from people wanting to break into medical sales. Unfortunately, I can’t take the time to answer all the calls and messages and help everyone explore the world of device sales and help them determine if and then how to break in.  So, I essentially took my advice and put it into this new e-book which is perfect for your iPad, iPhone or Kindle.

Here is an excerpt:

Chapter 2

Your Guide

“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.”

-John C. Maxwell

You wouldn’t start rock climbing without an experienced guide, would you? You might be able to do some research, ask the guys at the equipment store, and drive around until you found a worthy cliff. But to scale the most impressive walls, you need a guide. Someone who’s been there before, and knows how to get you safely to the top. The thing is, climbing instructors love to show people the way. They love to help people experience some of those views and the sense of accomplishment that comes at the top.

For me, this is no different. I didn’t start out in medical sales to be a “leader.” But my experiences have affected my life for the better, and I would be remiss if I didn’t share that experience with others.

A Qualified Guide

You may be wondering why I am qualified to tell anyone else how to get into medical device sales. Well, it’s because I have been up the mountain, so to speak. I know what it takes, and I know how to teach you to replicate the steps I took to get there.

I spent 10 years in orthopedic sales, three years in sales management, and the last 12 years as a recruiter in medical devices. I have seen the industry from all sides, and I believe that qualifies me as an expert on the topic of how to land a job in medical devices. Let me tell you my story, and hopefully you’ll agree that we can do this together.

To learn more about the new release, visit 

A new book for College Grads

I recently saw my son leave college to start his official “first real job.”  There was so much I wanted to tell him about the real world, but would need hours to convey all the lessons learned, and many lessons consisted of epiphanies like, “I’ll never do that again!”

After writing out over 80 nuggets, I went online and self published the book in time to give it to my two sons for Christmas fully bound. I used Create Space as the vehicle and after ordering my copies, I checked a box that made it available on Amazon. Who knew other people would find it interesting or valuable?

So here it is.  If you are curious, you can see the first several pages for free.