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NextGen Featuring Ben Wright

Ben Wright: How to Hire Next Generation Rockstars

Rapid growth as a company can be challenging...but growing over 39,000% brings its own set of headaches. Learn from Ben Wright, CEO of Velocity Global on how they only hire 10's.

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Disclaimer: This transcript was created using YouTube’s translator tool and that may mean that some of the words, grammar, and typos come from a misinterpretation of the video.

The Transcript - How to Hire Next Generation Rockstars

Welcome to the Next Generation Rockstars podcast. If you are trying to figure out how do you recruit and retain this next generation of rock star talent or you are in the right place.

Amanda Hammett: Hey, this is Amanda Hammett with the Next Generation of Rockstars. And today we have Ben Wright with Velocity Global. Ben, welcome to the show.

Ben Wright: Great to be here. Thanks for having me, Amanda.

Amanda Hammett: Oh, no problems, no problems. So you are actually a guest on my husband's show. My husband's show, is Leaders in the Trenches, and he really digs in and studies the Inc 5,000 and after he interviewed you, he was like, he needs to be on your show. So tell us a little bit about you, Ben.

Ben Wright: A little bit about me? Oh my gosh. I'll try to keep it to a little bit. Founder, CEO of a company called Velocity Global. We're headquartered based in Denver, Colorado. , blessed, average. Dan said to be on your husband, show leader in the trenches because we, we built a company that's, that's grown really, really quickly. We ended up number four on the Inc 5,000 last year, which is pretty amazing. I'm still kind of have to pinch myself every time I say that. Uh, but we've got a really incredible team. , husband, a father of two kids, Ted and Seven. , and I don't know what else to tell ya that occupies just about all of my time.

Amanda Hammett: Well, that's a lot. I mean, just being a CEO and a founder is a lot, but a CEO and a founder who grew, yeah, 39000% or over 39000% in three years. That's full, that's more than a full-time job. So congratulations to you.

Ben Wright: Thank you.

Amanda Hammett: All right. So wonderful. Wonderful. So a couple of things that I wanted to dig in and get to know about you, is that okay?

Ben Wright: Yeah.

Amanda Hammett: You guys, in order to grow that fast, you've really got to feed a machine, but you've got to have a machine that is made up of phenomenal people. So where do you find these phenomenal people and how do you get them in there to velocity global?

Ben Wright: Yeah. A great question. , any organization, the dad kind of has grown as we have, has to feed that machine with people. We are a technology-enabled service. There's nursing. So that's particularly the case with us. , we're not just a dyed in the wool technology solution that has this incredible scale where you achieve a certain size and then, you know, you can grow, grow, grow, grow, grow without having to add as many people to the organization. , and so han capitals big for us. And so getting a feeding the machine with candidates and the right people and getting the right people on the bus is huge, particularly for an organization like us. , and, and we've, you know, we've taken the approach since day one of the organization. Uh, literally the very first person I hired who is now my COO, Kevin, the name of Rob Crabtree took the approach from day one is that, uh, you know, we want to make sure that we get the very best people in the mix organization.

Ben Wright: And every company can say that. But we took the mantras that we only want to have penned. , and so if, if we are out there and interviewing and talking to people, typically in the last question we asked ourselves is, you know, is this individual attention? Uh, and if not, despite how much we like them, we'll take a pass and we'll wait until we can find that, that that grade standard comes in. We have passed on people who honestly and objectively are probably tens, but may not actually be tens in our system as well. And so there's, there are multiple angles to it. , and, and frankly, I think for us, it as odd as it may sound, it doesn't have all that much to do with your, the very specific details of your professional experience in terms of kind of the exact roles that you served or are Kennedy accomplishments along the way. It's more sore about who you are as a person. , your ability to learn, your ability to analyze information, to assimilate information, to really be a team player. And can I have a sense of where do you want to go in life? That's all been a pretty good, pretty good Gbo for us.

Amanda Hammett: I'm pretty good Gbo. Okay. Wonderful. So when you're putting people through this process, you mentioned it's not all about what's on the rese, which I think is phenomenal. It's, I think it's really more about culture versus specific skill. , so are you guys relying more on the softer skills or those abilities or how do you judge those softer skills? Let's start with that.

Ben Wright: Yeah, great question. So we've got, we've got a whole process that we put people through. And it's interesting. I was, I'm just happy to be on kind of glass door the other day and right notice that a few folks have kind of interviewed and apply with us and it didn't get past that first phone screen and couldn't figure out why the heck we weren't. Yeah. Talking about their rese. And I kind of got a chuckle out of it because that's on purpose and I'm sorry to those folks who applied and didn't get past that bed first round. But we really start out talking about you know, what makes you passionate. What are the thing is that you are most proud of, you know, what are some low points kind of throughout your, and really kind of understanding and painting a picture of almost kind of what it means in a quick 30-minute conversation about what it is to be you in a professional setting?

Ben Wright: And that's where it, that's where you either you're either onto the next round or you're not, uh, beyond then in future rounds we do actually start going into kind of the different roles that you've had over your career. But honestly, we don't focus as much about really the blocking and tackling of what each individual position entails. It's more about what did you learn? How did you work with other people? Uh, you know, how, how did you work with your boss? How were you as a manager? How were you as a peer? When you were in those positions, you know, what did you gain the most satisfaction out of? And, and how does it all kind of weave a tapestry? And too, it's a what it is that you're going to do next and what makes you most passionate. And the perfect situation does, is we have incredibly passionate, incredibly intelligent people, who may not be able to articulate perfectly, but together we can come up with kind of, this is, this is really what this next step looks like for you. And when that fits into what we need as an organization, it's magic.

Amanda Hammett: That's, that's wonderful. I love to hear things like that. I love to hear when, when people bring that whole recruiting process in and make it magic. That's, that's amazing. So, hmm. What about when people are in the recruiting process or in the interviewing process and you're asking them these questions. Yup. Are you relying, and I hate to say this, but are you relying on exactly taking their word for it or are, how are you backing this information up? Let me, let me go about it that way.

Ben Wright: Yes. So, yeah, you know, we, I don't want to, I don't want to give us too much credit in case I, I think there's, there's a lot of people who do some really great things around there through an interview process. And I don't think that we are just completely, you know, off the grid genius in terms of what we do. But we do have a process that is really good about getting down to, okay, this is what you told me, but, but, but, but, but digging deeper, digging deeper, digging deeper, and then repetition, repetition, repetition, right? , I am a firm believer, that we can and should learn as we go through our careers. Right? , and the Times that are the challenging times, I'm the great times. Those are fantastic. And that's what we always want to talk about in the interview.

Ben Wright: Those are easy. Exactly right. But it's the, you know, it's the tough ones where we literally learned the most. And, and that's where you understand someone's character. That's what you understand their metal. And most importantly, that's where you understand them, not only how did they overcome, but what did you then take that to the next know? How did you take that to the next position and the next company? Right? And what are the learnings that you did from there? And my goodness, if you continued to kind of make those kinds of same issues in Saint Mary's, in Sanford stakes, , I hope that you learn at some point, but you're probably not going to be a good fit here, right? And come back when you, you kind of have that, that ability to be able to kind of incorporate and information. And then so, so all of that can of paint that whole picture. One of the final steps is absolutely talking to references and talking to people, , who you've worked with in the past and it's, yes, it's validating the job and the job description of the job requirements, but it's more so validating. Here's what, here's the picture that we think we've kind of painted about this individual and we ride, are we wrong? Help keep us honest on this thing.

Amanda Hammett: That's really, I, I love that you put that kind of care and effort into it. , it seems like, and I could be wrong, but it seems like you guys really take your time through the hiring process. You slow it down.

Ben Wright: Yeah, so yes, we are very, the way I describe it as we are incredibly purposeful and for studios, but we also move fast. So, uh, you know, we, we named ourselves velocity global for a reason. We moved fast in just about everything that we do. Uh, but we are in certain that we kind of purposeful and taking the right amount of time kind of through that process.

Amanda Hammett: I love that. Oh, fantastic. All right. I'm gonna switch gears a little bit. So I know that this is not this first round as a founder and you blew it out of the water. Congratulations on that. But before that, you have various other roles working for other companies. And I would imagine that you have experienced other forms of leadership and how did those shape who you became as a leader?

Ben Wright: Yeah, I often tell the story and, and I don't even know, I'd have to actually go back and do the math again because there's so many. , so take us to the grain of salt. But I think over the first 10 years of my career I worked for seven different companies. Some of that was my, of my own decision making. Some of it was, you know, market forces, like the company, was bought out. I was fired a couple of times, so that was not my choice.

Amanda Hammett: I appreciate the honesty here.

Ben Wright: Was pretty sure it, and I honestly probably deserved it in both cases, but the one where do you learn, right? What are you learning?

Amanda Hammett: You learned something apparently.

Ben Wright: because you tried to be hope. You too. , but I only raise that because you know, seven different companies under the first 10 years. I have lots of different managers, pods of different cultures and it's not how I would've scripted my career by any means. I would have scripted it really, really, definitely. But the silver lining is, it honestly gave me, you know, experience after experience after experience. And I was able to kind of look and view and absorb and say, here's the culture's, here are the themes, here are the personalities. Here's the direction. Here's the strategy that I love and here's the ones that I, that, that I really don't care for. Uh, and don't make sense to me. And honestly,

Ben Wright: In my opinion, that hasn't necessarily led to success in those organizations. Right. These things have held those companies back, these things ever really let those companies shine and grow. And so I really sort of took that collection of experience. You're not just in terms of cultures of organizations, but the leaders themselves. MMM. And there's, you know of them, of this, the seven different companies over the first 10 years, probably 10 or more, you know, bosses or leaders that I worked for in that time, you know, there's, there's probably two or three that really stand out, uh, as amazing. , there's four or five that were pretty middle of the road as far as I'm concerned. And, you know, there's a couple that I hope they, they really continue to grow and evolve as leaders and managers.

Amanda Hammett: So that was a very polite yeah.

Ben Wright: Because I'm certain there's, you know, there's probably somebody out there and maybe say the same thing about me and so I'm just hoping they would offer me that same grace.

Amanda Hammett: That's wonderful. So I am an expert on developing next-generation talent and I noticed just going through your website that you have quite the population of millennials. Do you have any Gen Z's on your staff when your team does

Ben Wright: What's Gen z? What's the oldest?

Amanda Hammett: Gen Z would just be starting to graduate from college. So the oldest would be around 22, 23

Ben Wright: so we do, so we did, we have, I couldn't tell you how many, but we have a handful of folks who are kind of just out of university, , in a handful of folks who are, who are interns with us, who are still at the university level. So, so yes, we're starting to get into that Gen z, but we do have quite a few, quite a few millennials.

Amanda Hammett: What would you say the makeup is of millennials versus everyone else?

Ben Wright: I haven't looked, but my gut says are the average age in our organization is somewhere between 28 and 30. Okay. Guy like me, that's at 42 is really dragging that mean up quite a bit. And there's a few of us there that are, you know, again really kind of do dragon that the dragon that numbers up. For better or for worse. I don't know if I like the fact that I did that, but it's just simply the fact. So you know, quite a bit. I, I would say that the majority of our, uh, of the team of our population is probably in that millennial group.

Amanda Hammett: Wonderful. Yeah. Well, I would imagine in such a fast growth arena, you guys really do need to rely on that millennial talent in particular. I mean across the world globally, it's going to be 75% by the year 2020 or 2025. Excuse me. But I'm glad to see that you guys have already reached that. A lot of the people I work with are already at 90%, so I'm not surprised by that at all. Not at all. So I'm all right. What, what do you think is the difference in the workplace or in the culture of a workplace now versus maybe when you first came in? Cause you're, you're a little, not much, but a little tiny outside of that millennial age range. I mean, just a little like, oh, I'm actually being serious. It, you know, it's more of a flow thing versus a hard date. So,

Ben Wright: Well, listen, when I started my career, we were in cubicles, right? I mean that in and of itself is, is out the door. You know, with us, the velocity global, we not only have a completely open office environment, nobody has, nobody has an assigned desk. , and, and that includes me. I don't have an office. I don't have an assigned desk, you know, we'd float. And it is totally wide open and there's, you know, there's space where you can sit at a desk there space where you can sit in the couches, you can set me at a huddle rooms, you know, it's this incredible use of space, which was so sterile when, when I came out and frankly I hated it, right? I'd go sit in my cubicle and it didn't matter how high the walls were and it felt like they were always ridiculously high.

Ben Wright: You know, you had to poke your head around just to talk to somebody and they're giving me this look like, why are you poking your head around the cubicle, the toxin, you know, the collaboration and the relationships and the bombs kind of bogus. This, you know, the millennial generation is, it is incredible and it's so powerful and I think it's an incredible boon to business because people care about each other. They know each other at a much deeper level that I feel like I did with my colleagues when I started my career. And that leads to it are really a much richer tapestry that allows you to kind of get stuff done. All right in a way you've never been able to do. , you know, and it's funny and it's ironic because we always read this stuff, you know, in the Internet generation and, and phones and social media and know these millennials are going to be able to talk to each other. I mean, it's ridiculous. It's wrong, right? It's absolutely wrong. They are, they have deeper relationships and they communicate at a, at a much deeper level than you, the than I was ever able to do. We get early in my career.

Amanda Hammett: Wow. I, that's a that's quite an accolade that you just threw out, so I appreciate that. That's wonderful. So, all right, let's talk a little bit about developing your employees because as we mentioned, a lot of these are on the younger side. You've got some interns, you've got fresh out of university all the way up the to late thirties, early forties. , what is the development path look like for you guys? Is there a set in stone? Everybody goes through this or is it more individual? How do you guys go about that?

Ben Wright: It's individual. It's very much individual. So what we do at velocity global is we have this thing called an employee development plan. EDP. and while not required, we strongly encourage everybody that goes to the process and its symbol and it's one page and it's, you know, what are my goals? and we encourage people to not think about it from a velocity, global perspective. Think about it in terms of a personal and professional perspective and almost going to take the philosophy where will thing out of the equation, what do I care about, what I want to do short term, medium term or long term. And we know that coming out of the interview process, but then once you're on board, we, we create the CDP together. Yeah. We make sure that we understand what that is and then we updated on a periodic basis because the best that we can understand from employee's perspective about what really makes them tick, really made some h.

Ben Wright: And frankly, what gets them the most passionate and an alliance. And that alignment can change and it should as you go through your career, but, but what aligns with what I want. I really want to do what I really want to accomplish. Okay. We take that and then we take a look at kind of the goals of the business, right? Where are there holes? Where do we need, you know, kind of future leaders, where do we need, you know, where do we need gaps that people are going to have to be able to go in? So it's a run this machine as you say. And then we make that alignment. And it's not, you know, it's never perfect. But the closest it gets to perfect is when both sides are being really radically candid with each other. , and went on the company side.

Ben Wright: We're saying this, here's the honest to God, the truth about what kind of this role in this direction looks like and the demands that entail. And, uh, you know, and this is why I think you can or potentially are not [inaudible] yet ready to do this job. And then on the individual side, you know, it's a two-way street, you know, our colleagues have to be ready and willing to be really open and honest like this is, this is what I want to do. And you know, the conversations that I honestly love the most is when that really doesn't have a current company Lens on it. When they say, you know, in five years' time I really want to go start a not profit or whatever the case may be. Right. Yeah. Perfect. I'm going to be really sad to lose you when that time comes, but now we know and so we can together create this directional flow that will help get you ready for that while at the same time help us accomplish the goals.

Amanda Hammett: Okay. That's amazing. I love that. That's so I'm, I'm almost me, I have so many questions and things I want to say. I love that because I think that so many people are afraid to say, this is my five-year goal, this is 10 years where I want to be, and I know it doesn't align with my company's goals. And so they keep that in and they're like, oh, I want to be a manager. I want to be a director by that point when really that's not what they want. But if you're using that as a, as an ability to not only teach them and to be able to leverage those skills in the meantime, but also prepare them to leave you, that's something you don't, you don't see a lot of. And I love that you guys are doing, I love that you're offering that to, to your employees, because one thing that you probably haven't thought of but that I'm immediately thinking of is the fact creates loyalty too.

Ben Wright: For sure.

Amanda Hammett: Absolutely. And that's something that I always hear. Millennials aren't loyal employees, their job hoppers, but if they love what they're doing and they know that you're supporting them, of course, they're going to love it and they're going to stay. That's great.

Ben Wright: Yeah, Bingo. Certainly, no surprise. Couldn't have said it any better myself, Amanda. But, uh, that was, yeah, perfectly captured. And you know, you've gotta, you've gotta walk the walk with a philosophy like this. , and what I'm really psyched about it is, you know, in a few weeks we're going to celebrate our five year anniversary as a company. And I believe that we have batted a thousand. We have every single case, , walk the walk as it relates to that, that, you know, we will work with you if you're willing to open up and kind of work with us. And, and we have never, there have never been negative consequences of someone has ever opened up and said, this is my five-year path. Right. And so, so the data has proven, just think about us as an organization that we have shown you can, you can open up right. Not Everybody has the courage to do that. And I get it. And sometimes we come with prior professional baggage, right. And you can't stop that, but all we can do is give, you know, obviously, try to create the right culture and environment ourselves. , and then my hope is that everybody sees that, hey, this is actually a really great way to get people to buy in, to be a part of a team, to remain loyal, but also, you know, create that goodwill and help them get to that next stage in their career, whether it's within this company or not. And so the navy then goes forth and become the leaders that we all hope they'll do.

Amanda Hammett: This is, this is an amazing and beautiful conversation and I'm sad that it's almost over and I don't even know so many other things to ask about. So. All right, we touched on this a little bit, but let's be very specific here. If you had an early in career employee come to you, And I don't know, are they saying, are they going, I don't know, it's up to you. What would be the one piece number one piece of advice that you would give them

Ben Wright: Early in their career employees.

Amanda Hammett: Early in their career? So they've been in the workforce full time, less than five years.

Ben Wright: Okay. So the advice that I would give to them is, and this is, I'm kind of thinking back about my own path is that have a plan, right? Have a plan and work would be, I mean, give your all to that plan, right? Give you all that plan and give your all to whatever it is that you're doing. And you have to do it every single day, right? You really can't, you can't take days off. Don't get me wrong, you need to take days to sharpen your ax. I'm not saying that when you come to work or when you're following that plan, you gotta, you know, you got to suit up and show up every single day when you're doing that and be purposeful about it. , because that's what kind of builds the right habits to get there and have that plan, but yet, don't be so headstrong and you know, heads down about that plan that you miss the incredible opportunities and promises as they come. You know, again, if my own career path is, is any sort of example, there've been a, there's been several instances along the way where opportunities were presented and if I hadn't been paying attention and if I hadn't been willing to take the leap, you know, just like kind of this current, you know, organization that I'm running today, it would have been a very different path. I'm sure it would have been great, but you know, you gotta be willing to take that plunge when the opportunities come.

Amanda Hammett: That's great advice. Very solid. All right, one last question. This is something I'm asking all of the leaders, what is your favorite leadership book?

Ben Wright: My favorite leadership book. And that's tough to only name one, but I think it's probably the five dysfunctions of the team. Okay.

Ben Wright: Ah, yeah, you pull it off the shelve. Yes. Yeah, it was plugged. yeah, it is just, it is so quick. It assembles it. It is so well written. , and into those lessons you just, you just see, you can take with your time and time and time again. It just came up in conversation with some of the executive team yesterday.

Amanda Hammett: Oh, I love it. I love it. Well, this is actually the field guides, so if you haven't gotten nice, try that one out too. I'm writing this down. , well, wonderful. Thank you so much Ben, for being on the show. Thank you for sharing and being honest and really sharing with the world about how awesome the culture is at velocity global, but also about what you guys are building. I think that that's really amazing and important and so thank you for sharing with us.

Ben Wright: Well thank you. It's an honor and we're hiring, so come check it out.

Amanda Hammett: Right. We will link to the hiring page for velocity global, which obviously I think it's a pretty awesome place to be if you make it through the cuts. So thank you again and we'll talk to you soon. It's a pleasure. Thanks so much. Thanks so much for joining us for this episode of the next generation Rockstars, where we have discussed all recruiting and retaining that next generation of talent. So I'm guessing that you probably learned a tremendous amount from this week's rock star leader. And if that is the case, don't keep me a secret, share this episode with the world, but really share it with your friends, with your colleagues, because they also need to learn how to recruit and retain this next generation of talent because these skills are crucial to business success moving forward.

Amanda Hammett: Now, of course, I want you to keep up to date every single week as we are dropping each and every episode. So be sure to subscribe to your favorite podcast platform of your choice, and you will see the next generation rock stars show up just for you.

Disclaimer: This transcript was created using YouTube’s translator tool and that may mean that some of the words, grammar, and typos come from a misinterpretation of the video.

NextGen featuring Horst Schulze

Horst Schulze: Excellence & Joining the Dream

In a world where "good enough" is the reality, learn how Horst Schulze, Co-Founder of the Ritz-Carlton, goes against the grain seeking out Excellence in each employee.

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Disclaimer: This transcript was created using YouTube’s translator tool and that may mean that some of the words, grammar, and typos come from a misinterpretation of the video.

The Transcript - Excellence & Joining the Dream

Welcome to the Next Generation Rockstars podcast. If you are trying to figure out how do you recruit and retain this next generation of rock star talent while you are in the right place.

Amanda Hammett: Hi, this is Amanda Hammett and on today's episode of the Next Generation Rock stars, we have Horst Schulze says he is the co-founder of the Ritz-Carlton. Now I think we all know and love the brand of the Ritz-Carlton. They are known for their excellence in everything they do, customer service, their food, their beverages, their rooms, they're beautiful properties, but it's not just excellence in those things. It's excellence all behind the scenes with the people that are there. A Horst actually walks us through how that idea of excellence was really brought into his life as a 14-year-old working as a busboy in a hotel and how he carried that with him and some lessons he learned along the way. But I think what you're really going to walk away from his horse ideas around developing people and learning those lessons and taking them on with you throughout your career. So join us for today's episode and take lots and lots of notes.

Amanda Hammett: Hi, this is Amanda Hammett with the next generation rockstars. And today I have a phenomenal interview for you. I Have Horst Schulze say, ah, he is here with us and he is going to tell us all about his ideas around leadership and developing next-generation talent. Horst, welcome to the show.

Horst Schulze: I'm glad to be here Amanda.

Amanda Hammett: Wonderful. Wonderful. So I know a lot about you because I have this little book right here. Um, but I would imagine our audience may not know a lot about you, so why don't you share with us a little bit about yourself?

Horst Schulze: Well, it really starts when I left home when I was 14 and started working, I bought a hundred miles away, a hundred kilometers away, an awesome busboy in the best talent in the region. That's why a Honda phenomenon, Sabine from home, they're living with the kids in a dorm room and working and learning the business slowly and was quite lucky. That's why I refer to that time. I had a huge mentor at that time when I was very, and it's accessible to information very young. Do you understand? I was 14 and had a huge man that was the Maitre d of the hotel. He impacted my life dramatically.

Horst Schulze: In fact, the first day I met him, he said, now there by other kids who started the same day, no. Yeah, guys don't come to work to just work, come to work to create excellence. And that was kind of impact that mid traumatically throughout my life. Now at that time of went over my head, frankly that's not, and for by on one, what does excellence and washing dishes and dishes and cleaning floors. But however he kept on staying with that theme and he presented himself as a human being of excellence and work workout excellence. So you could sooner or later, after a couple of years working there, I could connect to that very clearly and could, you could feel it, you could see it. And he impacted my life and from down, I've worked in the top hotels in Europe. I mean truly you had that at the very best hotels in Europe and in Switzerland and France.

Horst Schulze: And hold on, hold American Lion, England, Germany. And then I came to the United States in 1964 worked, worked in San Francisco, Chicago, worked for Hilton or for Hilton, Dan Hyatt. And finally, when I worked for hired, I was, I started as a director of food and beverage for a hotel.

Amanda Hammett: Right.

Horst Schulze: They came director of rooms, became a general manager, regional vice president, over 10 hotels, a corporate vice president, 65 hotels. When somebody offered me to come to Atlanta and start a new hotel company, I was not very interested in that because I had my golden handcuffs and everything you want. But they kept on offering me the shop and slowly at Treme start developing what I would do with the new hotel company. That dream started to control my total, totally controlled by the vision. I started the job, gave up my, the handcuff and Arizona, all my friends and everything and moved to Atlanta to start a new hotel company. A year of that coming to Atlanta, we opened our first hotel, which turned out the Ritz-Carlton Bucket, which doesn't exist anymore. But that is the beginning and I live 20 years later, nearly 20 years later and Ritz Carlton had become the leading hotel company in the world. Absolutely. And many countries, four continents. That's my story.

Amanda Hammett: So I will say that when you do think of excellence, so you manage to thread that through the entire, the entire company.

Horst Schulze: Yeah.

Amanda Hammett: Wonderful.

Horst Schulze: I think so as thing, so that was my whole purpose and I have and dismayed with deans and of course I'm new, the project and we all are, are the, are there is salt of influence of many, many people with a, with a major influenced by this gentleman and this gentleman, the Maitre d just hard us think excellence and not work more hours, but while your work, instead of painting a wall, pin the painting and that was kind of his mantra and, and you cannot help it, you're so young. You, you adopt some of it. And of course [inaudible] Ritz Carlton, that was the whole thinking. I could not, I saw him in front of me saying, create excellence.

Amanda Hammett: That's amazing. That's really amazing. How that one story of mentorship has shaped your life and the trajectory. So let's talk a little bit more about that. I would imagine that throughout your career that you've experienced, you know, other forms of leadership besides this one.

Horst Schulze: Yeah, sure.

Amanda Hammett: How did that go into helping your style of leadership that you would go on to develop?

Horst Schulze: Yeah, there are many people who have impacted me that way and I can look, and if you're lucky, you have got people who impact you. If you're lucky, you're dumb. And that's really it because the effect is we are a result of that. And it had some great leaders and I remember that the president of, of Higher Ed who was affable and what was fun was relaxed but didn't compromise who was, it was a friend. Right? But didn't, that didn't mean you compromise. I remember a gentleman by the name of Colgate homes, we'll absolutely be precise, communicated. It showed a future to our own, showed us why we do things, not just for the function of the day, but for results in the future, et Cetera, et cetera. So a lot of impacts. And I had a, a mentor I've been on right after I finished my apprenticeship as a young man and gender men who reminded me to, to, to come to work. Also asked a gentleman to act rides, to behave right, to, to understand your work in a place where a certain amount of certain type of customer comes to trust yourself to those people, et cetera. So different in pumps in different learning moments in life is what formed me. Right or wrong. That's who I am.

Amanda Hammett: Of course, of course. Well, fantastic. Now, especially on as you grew through your career, did you ever feel pressure from your bosses, maybe from a board when you were at the Ritz Carlton or any of those positions that you've held that you really had to focus on numbers and not on really, because the way I see it as you're developing people, did they want you more to focus on numbers and profitability versus just the people will do what they gotta do?

Horst Schulze: Just to curse of today. That curse exists forevermore. And, and what is a serious mistake that is for organizations, but your organization can tell and cannot have it, tell it your organization is pressured by investors, by Wall Street, et Cetera. So look at a dollar. Consequently, the organization measures and identifies success by the dollar, the mansion. There's the headquartered in Chicago and it's a hotel or a business. Doesn't matter what it is. I of course report to hotels or hotel thousand months of eight. How does Chicago headquarter evaluates the leadership in that hotel? Nothing but the bottom line.

Amanda Hammett: That's right.

Horst Schulze: And yet at the same time, if I'm down and the vape, I can really impact on that. But that bottom line by cutting and my services to the customer by not painting anymore, by not cleaning so much for taking the flowers away and so on. Sadly that's the same thing but, but excellence. That's the point about excellence. Excellence concentrates on the things that make money and not under money.

Amanda Hammett: Yes.

Horst Schulze: That is the difference. And that's what I tried to show everybody. Let's concentrate on our product concentrate what the market ones and do that superior to the competition that infects, we'll create money on the end.

Amanda Hammett: Absolutely.

Horst Schulze: And that's not how things are measured today.

Amanda Hammett: Unfortunately, you're correct. Yes, absolutely. So Horst what would you say the difference, because how long have you been working since you were 14 so quite a while. What would you say the biggest difference is that millennials have brought into the workplace.

Horst Schulze: You know, that is why in my opinion it's widely understood and I've worked with them. Now mind you, it's not that I'm applying to them. I work with them quite a while. The millennials ask the questions, which we would have liked to ask, but they're afraid to ask this, say the milling and said, what's in it for me? Yeah, we were wondering what's in it for me. We would have liked to know, we would have liked to ask the question of why and the Millennials and says why. And you know, this is kind of fascinating, but because Adam Smith of course, who rode belts of nations 300 years ago, when you wrote another boom of which incidentally was more proud and in that book he studied the human being and he came to the conclusion 300 some years ago, came to the conclusion that human beings cannot relate to all this and direction. Yet what do we do? We give orders and direction. He said, human beings can relate to objective and motive and that's what the animal in its want to know. What's the reasoning, what's the more devoted and what's in it for me? So it really is not new. It's only newly expressed and we're not used to it. I all leadership like me, I'm not used to, we're not used to it. All of a sudden the young person comes in and says, why? So what? What's in it for me? We would have liked to sentencing, the same thing, but we were afraid.

Amanda Hammett: Absolutely. I agree with that answer wholeheartedly. Wholeheartedly.

Horst Schulze: The other things, of course, the medallions, it as a market, as a customer, the millennial, it's, it's really the same thing. They mainly the millennials say, do it my way. [inaudible] do it my way. Nope, you're not your way. No, your way. The businesses way but I wanted my own way and we went also Ribet willing to subordinate two, the producers, what they produced to us missing too, even though we would have liked to have a different the millennials said I take the hamburger, but I won two slices of cucumbers on a sort of one.

Amanda Hammett: Yes.

Horst Schulze: Do it my way. And that's really the differences and you can expand on that, but it's all the same.

Amanda Hammett: Absolutely. They, they very much appreciate that into individualized attention. Whether it's at work or whether it's as a guest. Absolutely. Exactly.

Horst Schulze: Yeah.

Amanda Hammett: You absolutely. Absolutely. So let me ask, how did this influence millennials coming into the workplace and coming in under you? How did that influence the way that you lead them?

Horst Schulze: Well, I had come to a conclusion much earlier anyway that, eh, I don't want people to come to in my organization to fulfill the function. [inaudible] I want them to join my tree, my objective. In other words, I was almost willing to go higher, join me. And that's what the and then that millennials want to do, but have the knowledge what that chosen. But or because organizations still say, join me and then they say, go to work and, and make the speech about we are a team. [inaudible] we are a team. That is, it is ridiculous team speech. But a team is a group of key people who have a common objective. Yeah. And that's what a millennial wants to know. What's the objective?

Amanda Hammett: Yes.

Horst Schulze: And, but the boss says, we're a team here. No, go to work.

Amanda Hammett: Yes, do what I said.

Horst Schulze: You know the team, unless you on the understand the objective and the motives of the organization, I always believed that because I grew up through the ranks.

Horst Schulze: I want you to know that I was up north. I was afraid to ask, but when I was started and Scott and I met very clear, I want people to join us. I wonder if you have an orientation maybe explained fully who we are, explained our three, invited them that showing the dream and then told him, told them our motive for this dream and connected our motive to death. For example, one the girl you want opportunity, we wanted to be on that. You want to be respected it Cetera, et cetera. So I didn't change my approach. I know that because it was deep in me and, and I said, boss, I look back. That came from, I came from being a busboy. I wrote as weight and as a coconut from this, I have done the work our employees do. I know the pain and I know the pleasure of it.

Amanda Hammett: All right, so you are, what I just heard is that you are a man way before your time.

Horst Schulze: No, I know I don't know what that, yes, I was probably a little bit before everybody, but then when many, I was not the only one. Let's understand that. But it's the course I grew up and I had the right influences. I was influenced by the right people and the head of the ride experience. I didn't fall through the ceiling one day and say, Hey, I liked those hotels. I'm the president of. I had worked myself through it. So I know the pain of the employees and I and it was very good. And some of my leaders in the past told me vaping and gentleman, but never cook home set, you know, employees who wanted to do the job do better work better than the ones that have to do a shop. Absolutely. So it's very symbol. So knowing that I have to look back and say, all right, how do you want to be a child? If you feel part of something you say it all is very simple. I also like the, I read the old philosophers and even our sense people, people in order to be fulfilled in life, have to have the excellence of purpose and belonged to that purpose. So why would I hire employees for the function? I hired them for the purpose and let them feel a part of it. Absolutely.

Amanda Hammett: So let me ask you since you just brought this up, let's, let's talk about this hiring process and the recruiting process. Yeah. I mean if you're hiring them for the dream, how do you communicate that through a job listing or how do you communicate that to them, to a wider audience of potential employees? How do you communicate this?

Horst Schulze: Probably to the listening part of it through the first and interview. Okay. To the first interview by the, and by the way, I'll say clearly I identified the processes clearly in my book how to do that. And uh, it is sort of the first interview, invite them to join an organization. Make it clear. Don't just come here to vogue, come here to join us to function, which you fulfill. I why? Why would I hire people? Trust for the function, right. Did, did come here to fulfill a function for its purpose to accomplish a certain goal, which is if you're creative leader, you determined if that objective, the long-term objective is good for all concerned is my objective, is my train good for the Organization of course. But the investments [inaudible] for the, for the customer, for the employee influence society as a whole. Once I determine this, my objective is good for all concerns. I build my systems so that everybody joins me in that objective. So a hire you for my objective, not the function because you see the chairman which was sitting is fulfilling a function. But I'm hiring human beings. Right? We know since Aristotle wants to be part of something. Yes. So I'm offering that on, of course, I made it very clear The function has to be fulfilled better than the competition fulfills it so that we can accomplish our dream.

Amanda Hammett: Right. Okay, that's wonderful. So let me ask you this. You obviously came up through the ranks starting as a busboy. Um, and, and I feel like I, I'm guessing here, I'm going to put words in your mouth for a second, but I would assume that you got a lot out of that development process. Coming up through the ranks and it has influenced who you've become as a leader, who you've become as, as a co-founder. It's influenced by everything. Yes. What would you say is the benefit today of starting at the bottom, at the busboy, at the whatever and working your way up? What would be, what would you say to someone today to try to a young person trying to tell them, hey, join us in this dream. I need you to start here.

Horst Schulze: Yes. Well, yes, I would show him, show him all have, obviously that is a Korea, no matter on what level you are going to start. It's quite simple. In fact that career [inaudible] it's a guarantee. It's a guarantee that we have a guarantee. Don't you have a current, a career? If you take any trip that you're in, I can give you examples of people that started as a dishwasher. There's one very close by over here. The manager ended in a Marriott over here, but you know in Atlanta. I remember when he was oriented in the first Ritz-Carlton. I was still running that hotel. He was a dishwasher, a refugee from Nairobi.

Amanda Hammett: Really?

Horst Schulze: It was a dishwasher, but what he did is exactly what I met my career. He was a little better than hours. We didn't come five minutes late. He came five minutes early, maybe ask them to do something. He didn't say, why me? He said, I'm happy to thank you for letting me doing et Cetera, and said, Ron, he was excellent in every shop they had soon after. He was excellent as additional sham, the room service manager, ours can. I have them work for me and it became the best room service with them and soon the banquet manager said, can I have them worked for me? Everybody wanted him because he was excellent at what he was doing. That's the story. That's the story. I, that's my story. I wrote as room service that in the Hilton in San Francisco when the cam first United States and I made the decision that I will be the best after I real. After somebody got promoted ahead of me and I realized that person is served at a little bit more than me. I came to work tired in the morning, sometimes five minutes late because I was young, was partying, and then I didn't get a promotion.

Horst Schulze: Now first as thought stupid management by didn't I get the promotion and to every few months. Of course, it taught me a few months to realize the other guy disrupted more. He said when he was told something, he didn't say, why me? Is that I'm happy to, and that's when I made the decision. I will be excellent and average shop category that I will ever have and I've consequently had a career just like eBay, the Manitoba, then the Marriott who was nothing but promote along because in every job he was excellent. He came to work to be excellent and not just fulfill the function. That was his decision. That decision can be made if you're a millennial or not a millennial.

Amanda Hammett: Yes, absolutely. Absolutely. I agree with that. I'm curious, how old were you when you were passed over for that promotion?

Horst Schulze: 24 I was a room service waiter.

Horst Schulze: It impacted my life. Totally impacted my life. I suddenly now no manual. I wanted that promotion. I didn't get it. Of course I knew it was the best waiter there, technically I was good when I was in a funny book up in the morning, but when you come in, come in every day and they look a little tired and sometimes you lead and the other, the other guys, every morning there are a few minutes early and says front the good morning. And that was a difference. And when I saw it, I saw something beautiful. I looked once I've taught me a few months mind you have called me a few months to overcome my ego, my ego, or in the stem, it's not me. Obviously, in about suddenly, I looked at my hand and there was a key to success. That's from now on. I'm going to create excellence now all of a sudden. And as so in front of me, my first made a deal saying to me, I told you, come to work for excellence. I saw him, I saw it in front of me and I said, this will never ever happen to me again.

Amanda Hammett: And it did. There you go. It was a wonderful learning lesson for you. Sure.

Horst Schulze: Hopefully we all have those lessons or we all have them. But if you recognize them or not, that's the question.

Amanda Hammett: That is the question. That is the thing. You have those opportunities to learn, but do you take it as a learning experience or do you take it as a, Oh, that's, that's not why.

Horst Schulze: Why not be planned? Somebody [inaudible] and player management, which I did for a few months. Of course, something that makes you feel bad that, but it doesn't get you anywhere.

Amanda Hammett: No, it doesn't. It sure doesn't. So wonderful. I'm glad that you have that experience for sure. So, um, I think you've touched on this a little bit, but I want to really hammer this home, especially for our younger audience. What advice would you give an early career employee? Is it coming to work five minutes early or is it?

Horst Schulze: Well, it is so it's the same words. There's nothing different. If you're starting in your career, be excellent and what you're doing standout. I recommend this to my children. I have four daughters. I urge everyone to go to work five minutes earlier, be heavy. When you walked a road, make a decision. It was used to decide. Make a decision that you like to get shot. You know, today, half the people in the, in any given job go to work happy and the others are pretty happy.

Horst Schulze: What is it? It's a decision. It's not a feeling. Control your feelings. Make a decision as a chop protected. Be early, be happy if you have extra roping given, gives you a chance to learn this. Be Excellent today, every day for day. And you will get rewarded. The rewards will come. Oh, it takes much too long before somebody recognizes. I know it takes much longer, but it will be recognized. It will be rewarded. The rewards will come. The reward is in the future. And you're working for the future young people.

Amanda Hammett: Absolutely. I think that a lot of times it's hard to, I have been guilty of this myself as a young employee. You know, you see the frustration today. That's what you're living in is this today and it's hard. It is hard to look beyond that and say, okay, what it can be in six months.

Horst Schulze: Exactly. So yeah, exactly. And so it's so important to it. I'm, I'm at a point, once I had done the experience and for God's, the message from my first met with excellent, I infect them for years wrote and my on my mirror, their shape in the morning, go to work for excellence. I had to remind myself so that I wouldn't to live away from it. I had to manage myself. We have the manage, we have to be leaders of ourselves first before we are leaders of others and wait to be led by artists. The most important form of leadership is self-leadership. Lead yourself to excellence. Have a vision for yourself and commit yourself to implement the steps that get you there. And I'm focused on it that that is where the pain comes into focus in because you see, you find excuses, you find apologies that make you feel good for a moment but doesn't take you anywhere. The only division takes you somewhere. Have a vision for excellence.

Amanda Hammett: All right, I love that. I love that actually. So you know, if something popped up in my head when you were just talking just now, what would you advise someone who is, when you're looking to promote people, say you're looking to promote somebody to lead a team. What's more important to you that they are a rock star as an individual contributor or they understand they have a better understanding of how to lead people?

Horst Schulze: Well, I have a better understanding of how to lead people. However, contrary to what everybody says it, leadership can be learned. Leadership can be learned. Some people said that porn, it's not true. And there is, I have seen creatively the crib leaders that I touched on earlier, they had all totally different styles. It's not the style leadership is in my opinion, the understanding that the objective of the organization must be of excellence for all concerned.

Horst Schulze: If it lets out one, one of their constituencies, if you, if you will. It's not good leadership. I have to have to think if, if my company here is an objective for my company and if I do that as a, as a leader and set the objective and see something beautiful, it has to be beautiful. It's not something that you can do. It's something you wish to be. I said out before the first Ritz-Carlton, I came here, I took that job because I wanted to create the best hotel company in the world. Yes. That was my dream and when I hired people I said show me for that. There are some of the lovings of us. We don't even have a hotel you're talking about like that. But that's the dream. Once I understand this stream is good for all concerned, I want to underline that it's not a train for you only it's self-constraint.

Horst Schulze: No, it must be good for all concerned and then align your people behind it and hire people for it. Align everybody behind it. That's leadership to see something beautiful and how people on a journey to that destination help them and management is that to do what? To help them to get there but not compromise. You do not compromise. That's because of the moment that compromise if my vision isn't created one and good for Arkansas and soon the moment when a compromise, I'm going against everybody, I can't do that. Done my direction is clearly a set.

Amanda Hammett: That's wonderful. So I actually, I think that we should end on that note because you had so much wonderful, so many wonderful things to say about development and talent and excellence and of course excellent, right?

Horst Schulze: Yeah. In the book, [inaudible] all pretty clear how to go on a kind. Of course, I can not detail everything here, but I think it will be oh of volume for young people particularly.

Amanda Hammett: Wonderful. Well, thank you so much for your time and thank you so much for being here.

Horst Schulze: Amanda, great to be with you.

Amanda Hammett: Thank you.

Amanda Hammett: Thanks so much for joining us for this episode of the Next Generation Rock stars, where we have discussed all recruiting and retaining that next generation of talent. So I'm guessing that you probably learned a tremendous amount from this week's rock star leader, and if that is the case, don't keep me a secret, share this episode with the world, but really share it with your friends, with your colleagues, because they also need to learn how to recruit and retain this next generation of talent because these skills are crucial to business success moving forward. Now, of course, I want you to keep up to date every single week as we are dropping each and every episode. So be sure to subscribe to your favorite podcast platform of your choice, and you will see the next generation rock stars show up just for you.

Disclaimer: This transcript was created using YouTube’s translator tool and that may mean that some of the words, grammar, and typos come from a misinterpretation of the video.

NextGen Episode 2 featuring Howard Behar

Howard Behar: Servant Leadership for Next Generation Talent

Being a leader is really about serving others, not managing others. Learn how Howard Behar and Starbucks harnessed servant leadership to become a worldwide juggernaut.

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Disclaimer: This transcript was created using YouTube’s translator tool and that may mean that some of the words, grammar, and typos come from a misinterpretation of the video.

The Transcript - Servant Leadership for Next Generation Talent

Amanda Hammett: Welcome to the Next Generation Rockstars podcast. If you are trying to figure out how do you recruit and retain this next generation of rock star talent or you are in the right place. So welcome to today's episode of Millennial Rock Stars. We have a really awesome, interesting gas to kick off season two. We have Mr. Howard Behar and you know him from the world of Starbucks. So Howard, welcome to the show.

Howard Behar: Thanks very much. Great to be here.

Amanda Hammett: All right, so Howard, what did you tell the audience a little bit about yourself?

Howard Behar: Well, I'm not a millennial or from the other millennium. I am, I was born and raised in Seattle and grew up in retailing and pretty much spent my whole life and consumer services or goods. And so, which, you know, made me have to be a people person, whether I liked it or not. I had those instincts early on. And um, when I was in my mid forties, I was trying to figure out what I was going to do with my life. And I met this young guy named Howard Schultz who was about 10 years younger than I was, is the modern day founder of Starbucks. He actually didn't found the company. He asked me to join Starbucks and then my life changed forever after that and it was an incredible ride. You know, you couldn't, you couldn't have predicted it. It's one of those things, it just happens to you. You know, when you're living the life right now. I can't tell you I enjoyed every day of it are pretty much I did.

Amanda Hammett: That's wonderful. Well, I think how is being a little humble here. You actually, you came in to Starbucks as what the VP of sales and operations and then you eventually helped them. You became the president and you eventually help them become the international Starbucks that we know today. They were a regional chain when you came in, right?

Howard Behar: Yeah, a very small, there were only 28 stores when I started.

Amanda Hammett: Yes.

Howard Behar: There are $50,000, like 28.

Amanda Hammett: There are quite a few. But what I, what I love about Starbucks is so you can go to anyone around the world and they have their own little community built on and to the people that go there along with the Baristas and people working there, it's a small like microcosm of a community and it's fine.

Howard Behar: Right? How many stores? Starbucks as it can only be one. It's the one that you experienced. And if that's not right, right. Yeah. So, you know, big is not an excuse for not being good. You know, to take care of each individual human being one, one customer at a time, one cup at a time.

Amanda Hammett: That's awesome. So you are a big, big believer in the idea of being a servant leader. Now, how does that concept come about for you?

Howard Behar: When I was my early or mid twenties, uh, uh, one of my mentors, my most important mentor, a guy named Jim Johnson, who I still know today, and he in our, he gave me this little booklet called the servant as leader, written by a man named Robert Greenleaf, a little orange pamphlet, more than 50 pages. And so I read that book and I probably read it a hundred times. That began my journey because it put into words the things that I felt mattered in my life. I never had a definition for it, never thought of it. And the context of being servant leadership. Um, and so that began a journey. And from that on, you know, I realized that servant leadership was primarily about learning to lead yourself first. And then once you figure that out, then you learn how to lead others through serving others. Not through managing others, but actually being of service to others.

Howard Behar: The people that you work with, people who report to you or, or those human beings we call customers canceling. Servant leadership at its core is really the understanding that our job is to serve other people and their journeys to accomplish and attain the things that they want in their life. And in so doing, we will get what we want to know. But you can't with the other way around.

Amanda Hammett: Correct. That is, that is very, very true. So, Howard, I would imagine that throughout your career you have witnessed and maybe even bit have experienced other forms of leadership now, how did that actually shape your leadership style?

Howard Behar: Well, you know, all the, all those experiences, you know, you observe your, you participate, you're affected by different leadership styles. And, I was never very good with the autocratic leadership style and I would fight back against those things. I had a guy that you're my boss, and every morning he'd come in and he'd say, hi, a dummy. How you doing?

Amanda Hammett: That's terrible.

Howard Behar: Thought he was being funny.

Amanda Hammett: Right.

Howard Behar: It made me mad. One day came in and he was a big guy who's like six foot four. His name was Irwin Greenwalt. Then I went up to him and I got, I couldn't put my nose in his face, so I put my nose in his chest and I pointed out and I said, Irwin, don't you ever call me a dummy again? You know, a month later I was fired, you know, but you know, it's, you know, it's the way things are, right?

Howard Behar: I needed it. I needed leaders that, uh, the gave me opportunity that, uh, you know, explained what the values and the mission of the organization where, and then sent me on my way and left me alone. Nobody would be harder on, on me than myself if I made a mistake right into something, right. I'd be the first one to admit it. But bosses, it, we're always pointing out what I did wrong versus pointing out the things that I did write really affected me.

Amanda Hammett: Yeah.

Howard Behar: I said, I am never going to be like that. And it's amazing how many bosses are like that. They, they, they think that the way you help people improve is by, uh, pointing out what they do wrong so they can correct. But the way you get people to improve is to have point out the things they do, right?

Howard Behar: Because we all gravitate towards that right? So it was that kind of leader, the kind of leadership that empowered me, that gave me responsibility and accountability and then left me alone. Um, yeah, that really made a difference in my life. And I used to say that before I started at Starbucks and my manager, I said, everybody gets to vote in my organization and their areas of responsibility and areas of expertise, even if sometimes it's not, there is a expertise. And when I got to Starbucks, I kind of, different Frazier said, the person who sweeps the floor should choose the bro and essence. I want her to be the kind of leader that hire great people that, that brought him into the organization properly and then send them on their way and helped him whatever they needed help. And so that's where I blossomed and I felt other people would blossom under the same kind of leadership style I was, I was not good under an autocratic leader. Okay.

Amanda Hammett: I, you know, I really don't think anybody thrives as an employee under that kind of leadership style.

Howard Behar: I don't either. Yeah. I don't either.

Amanda Hammett: Yeah. And that is something that I heard in season one of millennial rock stars. Every single a millennial that was nominated to be on the show, they all mentioned in one form or another that they wanted the, the ability to go in and do their job and not be micromanaged and not, and really to be empowered to do what they were hired to do in the first place. And that's where they grew the most. They may have made mistakes, yes, but they grew under that kind of leadership. So I applaud you for recognizing that at a time when probably it wasn't in vogue, he wasn't cool to do it.

Howard Behar: That was 50 years ago, lobby for the millennials were even thought about

Amanda Hammett: Love it. Now, were you ever pressured by a board or higher ups or at any point in your career to focus more on the numbers and less on the people and what was your response?

Howard Behar: Yeah, that was, there was always that perceived conflict, but I was always, I used to give, you know, say back to them, Hey, wait a minute. You know, there's no inherent conflict between achieving results and treating people well. Right. As a matter of fact, it's the opposite way around. So I said, if you don't like around my results farming, but I need to lead the way I need to leave now. And that happened a lot of times. You know, I wasn't a soft later. I wasn't a person that didn't hold people accountable. I did. I hold myself accountable. I hold others accountable. But again, in a way that put people up, not put people down because that's what I needed. Money.

Amanda Hammett: Absolutely.

Howard Behar: That just the way that it was. But that's there all the time. It's amazing how many leaders, how many bosses, you know, think that way. I, I've given hundreds of speeches around the world and how many times people say, well, it's too soft. How do you possibly get results? I said, you, I said, I get it. I said, I'll tell you what. I'm always willing to have a contest with you. What man? Your Organization for a year. And I'll show you what, what, how trading people well gets better results in the way you're doing it.

Amanda Hammett: Has anyone ever taken you up on that?

Howard Behar: Nobody's ever taken me up because they know in their hearts, which, right cause see it's an exact, you know, leadership in organizations. Exactly the same as as relationships and families. Yes. I mean does it really work to come home and tell your wife every day what you, what they did wrong, right or right. It doesn't, does it? No, it does not. Doesn't, doesn't work. Come home yelling and screaming all the time. No it doesn't. Yeah. I used to tell a story about Harris. I used to challenge people. Should I want you to go home tonight, watch on your way home. I want you to buy a really nice bottle of wine. Something that your significant other really liked and then also by two really expensive, right? L glasses. Those are really nice crystal glasses for drinking wine and when you get home, I want you to say, honey, I brought to your favorite wine.

Howard Behar: Come on, let's have a conversation. First of all, she or he will know something's wrong. But because you just did that, let's say you sit down and you pour a nice little sip wine and Annie and you look at and they say, honey, this is your lucky day. This is going to be your annual performance review and you know how to give don some things well and you've done some things wrong and you know how well does that, how well is that going to work as your ass has bounced and out the front door right now? That's not the way relationships work at home or in business.

Amanda Hammett: No, you're absolutely correct. You are absolutely correct. Yeah. So we kind of touched on this before I turned on the recording, but um, in your opinion, what is the difference or what is the influence that millennials have brought into corporate America?

Howard Behar: Well, you know, certainly technology, right? No, they're there a familiarity with, with technology, their understanding of how to use technology, I think has been great. Um, I think, uh, you know, I mean, it's like all new generations, you know, they bring their point of view about the world and where the world is and, and how they think the organization should address the issues in the world. There are much more likely to attach to purpose then I think my generation was, you know, uh, you know, we never talked about purpose. You know, now everything is about purpose. Everything as well about why are we here? Why are we doing what we're doing and are we living up to that purpose? And so I think that's a, that's a big one too. I think one of the things that I think they've brought that I'm not so, I shouldn't say happy about, but, but that I don't subscribe so much to, as this constant focus on the data.

Amanda Hammett: Okay.

Howard Behar: You know, if I had more data, I can make a better decision. You know, there are points in time where you don't need more data. What you need to do is look inside yourself, right? From a human perspective and look at the people that you're serving from a human perspective and say what's good for them. You know at that.

Amanda Hammett: Yeah, I would agree wholeheartedly.

Howard Behar: It's just too much data. Dadda Dadda Dadda Dadda you don't have, your wife comes home one night and says, you know, I'm not happy in my marriage. Do you need any other points of data? That's one point. You just had to listen to your wife. If you listened to your customers, you listen to the people that are working in your organization. You know you get enough data, people get lazy. They want this technology to solve their problems for them. They don't want to spend the time talking to people.

Amanda Hammett: Absolutely.

Howard Behar: I grew up with that data. My data, my data came from having a talk one on one to the people I was serving and to the people that worked in the organization. That's how I got my data and it was much more human and it gave me insights that you could never get by asking people questions on a computer.

Amanda Hammett: I agree. I completely agree and it's really interesting. What I've seen is this generation has actually grown up being studied and you know, taking surveys and the test, I mean from day one and it's really interesting. You can hand them a survey to take, they can hand it back to you and then you can ask them verbally the same questions. And they don't always match up because they, they've been taught to take the test. They've been taught to, you know, they're giving you the information they think you want. But in reality, when you're having a actual human to human conversation, sometimes that can change

Howard Behar: And they're looking at somebody. Yeah. They're in their eyes and you see their face sort down, sort out the wheat from the chaff real quickly. You know what's true and what's bullshit. Right. There was an explosion.

Amanda Hammett: And that's okay. That's okay. So, all right. How would you say that millennials really influenced the workplace? Or how did it change your leadership style or, or did it change your leadership style?

Howard Behar: I don't think it really did. Yeah. I've been, I've been managing organizations for 53 years. And you know, through from my own generation to, to, um, you know, millennials, Steven to generation x. You know, and it did because I, I felt that human beings were human beings and, you know, are there some differences? Yeah. But this generation is much more sensitive to input, you know, they, they tend to see all and put his criticism versus helping. So I have found that I have to do it a little bit differently. You know I have to be a lot. I always was gentle, but I found that I had to ask for permission for him to give input more. And once I got permission, then it was clear. And I do that today. And I do that with everybody now, you know? Yeah. Just these generations. I do it with my own generation, you know, permission to coach. I say.

Amanda Hammett: Absolutely. Absolutely.

Howard Behar: And that way they, once they say yes, then they kind of open up, you know, or at least there's, they're conscious of where they are. So, you know, I think that's, that's, uh, that's, other than that, you know.

Amanda Hammett: Yeah.

Howard Behar: Hi, just I'm up guy that believes that human beings are human beings and that if I say I love you, you know, people understand that. You know, and if I say I trust you, people understand that and when I don't trust them or I don't love on, they understand that too. And that, you know, so you know, there are there really, you know, and, and it's across, like I said before, it's across cultures. It is, you know, I mean there's much more, a bigger difference across cultures then there is a cross our own culture and the different generations.

Amanda Hammett: Okay.

Amanda Hammett: I would agree. Yes, absolutely. Absolutely.

Howard Behar: You know, you learn to deal with that and then you can deal with anything.

Howard Behar: You know, I, um, one of the things when I am leading groups of company leaders, whether it's from a huge fortune 500 are a small startup, one of the most,

Amanda Hammett: okay

Howard Behar: Common things that I bring up very early on in the conversation is this idea of generational strife is not new. Um, I can't tell you how many conversations I've had over the years that are just like, oh, these millennials, they're the worst. Like how do you do what you do? But actually this idea of generational style strife has been around since the beginning of civilization. Others, a lot of famous quotes from Socrates and Plato complaining about younger generations and their lack of respect for authority. And there was a lack of respect for their elders and, and just being too, you know, too much of everything. And, and I just think that it's really interesting as you, as each youngest generation comes through, they are quote unquote the worst. And I just, I think it's

Howard Behar: true. That's, that's fallacy. They're not that different. I agree. Uh, you know, there are some differences and it's good to be aware of it, but you know, if you ask them, they'll tell you.

Amanda Hammett: Okay.

Howard Behar: But I find it's almost individual by individual. When you take this brush and painted across a broad category of people, you're going to make huge years. If you, if you talked to each individual different, uh, uh, on their own, you know, individually, then you learn.

Amanda Hammett: Okay.

Amanda Hammett: Absolutely. You've got to learn to lead the people that you're with and what each person responds to you. Because the way I respond to things maybe completely different than the way you respond to things. Exactly. And that, you know, we have different drivers, we have different motivators and a really great leader can recognize those things and give, you know, help you with those.

Howard Behar: Yeah, I agree. Perfect.

Amanda Hammett: Oh, I love it. So now what are the benefits for leaders? What are the benefits to focusing on the individual development and education of your people on your team?

Howard Behar: Well, look at team is made up of a bunch of individuals. Yes, I'll, I'll try to live their lives. You know, I'll be treated with respect, find love or whatever it is and our or per and find purpose in their lives. And unless you, unless you have individual communication, you don't know what those things are. They're not things that they can put down in a questionnaire and get underneath it all. And you know, you need to know about their families of origin. You need to know about, you know, when I interview people or talk to people, I, one of the questions I ask is if they have a brother and sister, I said, what does your brother or sister like a batch of what don't they like about you? Wish you would have become versus what you've become, you know, uh, you know, uh, you know, who's your best friend and why are they best friend and when, when did your best friend disappoints you and what disappointed you in them and when did you disappoint your best friend and what did you do to disappoint your friend?

Howard Behar: And trying to find out who they are, what matters to them. And then once you do that, then then you know, because they, they respond individually to say one thing to one person that reported to me say exactly the same thing to another person. They'd take it completely differently. Yes, yes. So I had when I retired once from Starbucks and when I came back, uh, to, uh, be present in North America, I had still been on the board, but there was a guy that I inherited from a guy that preceded me and he was in charge of strategy for North American retail and his name was Dan. And Dan was one of those kind of guys that he, his office was right next door to me. He was in my office every day over something. He was the most high maintenance guy I've ever worked with my life.

Howard Behar: And some people just couldn't deal with them. Always believed I wanted blonde hair, brown hair. I want a blue eyes, green eyes. I wanted people that thought differently from the other people I wanted. I wanted real diversity is about diversity of thought.

Amanda Hammett: Yes.

Howard Behar: And so I learned to deal with Dan and I figured out what the, you know, that he was, he was a guy that just needed lots of caring, but he was the smartest guy in my team. Abs without a question. He, he could see around corners like nobody else could see. Really. Yeah. He was the guy. He basically saved the food business. It's Starbucks and you know, he wasn't always the most, you know, people would complain that, uh, that he would, that he would break a lot of glass and he did. It wasn't that he didn't care about people but, but that, you know, he was the only dealt 50 cards and the 52 card deck and the two cards he was missing was where these empathy cards.

Howard Behar: Ah, I had to work with them all the time on the empathy. Did I ever get in perfect. Not while he reported it to me, but I still know him today and he really has moved because he focused.

Amanda Hammett: Yeah. That's fantastic.

Howard Behar: Yeah. He really moved. But he did it because he wanted to. So I had lots of different people and they were, they all were different. And I had to know each one individually what motivated them, what they cared about, where their strengths for where their weaknesses were and that helped them. Absolutely. And I'll be all they can be,

Amanda Hammett: That is fantastic. And what's even more fantastic is that he was able to accept the coaching from you, you know?

Howard Behar: Well, if you do, I want, if you can do, you can say anything to anybody as long as this with love in your heart and with caring and people know that you know it. Do they feel it? Yeah. If you constantly are beating people up, they're never going to listen to you. But you know, and nine times out of 10, the conversations we were having were always positive. So I had a lot of rocks on that scale. So when I said, you know, uh, uh, permission to coach, you know, I had ears open and heart open, which is most important.

Amanda Hammett: Yes. Because he was ready to accept whatever coach. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. I love that. So I'm now in the past and I've watched some other interviews that you've done in the past. Um, you have actually said that Starbucks has a really great recruiting program. Yeah. Now, what do you think really sets it apart? I mean, what, what makes it so special?

Howard Behar: Well, we, we lead with purpose, right? So that, that's the thing we talk about first and, and the truth is our recruiting program is our people. Yes. Right. That's what really works. In the early days, you know, we weren't exactly so people focused, and I coined this phrase that we weren't in the coffee business serving people. We are in the people business serving coffee. Yes. It took us time to really bring that into our organization. But once it was there, then you know, like Jim Collins says, you know, people that didn't fit would inject themselves like a virus, that virus and had started to be that all of the people that fit would start applying. And so our organization became, you know, the, the recruiters and, but it really was about purpose. First. It wasn't about skill sets first. And it was about who the human being was first.

Howard Behar: It wasn't about what their skills were, right or not. Because if you don't get, if you don't get to him inside, right, nothing else will happen. I don't care how smart you are. I don't care how technology technologically fit you are a professional. You are, it doesn't work. And we actually, you know, we made lots of mistakes, bring the wrong people into the organization, but the organization moved 'em out because they realized they didn't fit. And uh, that it was all about, you know, at the end of the day how we treated each other. And the first guiding principle at Starbucks is that we treat each other with respect and dignity. And the last guiding principle was we recognize it. Profitability is essential to our future growth and success. That wasn't the first thing was the last thing. That's what came out of all the guiding principles. Yes, yes.

Amanda Hammett: I agree. You know, one of the things, I started my career as a recruiter at a major fortune 500, and it was just, it was amazing. It was all about the skills, what's on the resume, what's on the resume? And I'm like, but if you can't work on a team, if you don't fit, this doesn't, this isn't going to work. And they're like, no, no, just focus on the skill. Um, and it's amazing because it's still like that today. And I've been in the workforce for years and I'm no longer a recruiter, but when I go in and work with these large companies, it's still very much, well what's on their resume? And I'm like, you don't understand. Like you need to really focus on the individual person, not what's on the skillset, but actually the individual person, how are they going to match? How are they gonna mold skills can be developed, but personality and who they are as a human being, that's, that's already there, that's already developed that determines the success or failure of an organization emotionally and what your culture is, you know, because the culture is a reflection of how you act, not what you say.

Howard Behar: And so if you bring people that don't fit into the organization, then people start to think, oh, that's how I need to behave. And then all of a sudden you get to call it. You don't, you know the culture you thought you had. You don't. And it's, there's no question about it. Focus on the people side first. I look, if you're hiring somebody that needs to be technically proficient and it, or accounting or something like that, fine. That that's their right, right. But at the end of the day, it's do they fit on the team and do they have what I need or can I teach, are they smart enough where I can teach them the skills because there's such a good people. I always hired people first. Yes. Always. You know, and uh, you know, and then, and then, you know, if there was something that they technically are experience that they needed to have.

Howard Behar: But you know, I heard a lot of people that didn't have perceived the resumes skills you wouldn't have, you had said, well, Geez, they don't have the resume that I need, but they had the people skills and I hired them and they fit perfectly and they learned the skills. Yes. Yup. Absolutely. So what career advice, because you know, one of the other things that I do a lot of, or I find myself doing a lot of his coaching and helping, uh, people who are earlier in their career. So what advice would you give for an early career employee? So someone who's fresh out of college. Oh Great. That's a good question. Number one, you got to know who you are, right? What are your, what are your values, right? And define those values and how do they inform the actions and the decisions you make in your life that's bad. And then, you know, right. What, what is your mission in life? Remember, all these things are not written in stone. This is not have to be the rest of your life. You know, they're not, they're not the 10 commandments there things that you can change, but you need to know what, why you're here, or at least an idea of why you're here. You know, I want to work, I want to help people. Right.

Amanda Hammett: Okay.

Howard Behar: You know, and I, I want to serve people that are in need, you know? And that helps guide you. And then you use those things to decide what kind of organization that you want to work in. C, we don't need to, we're not after a job.

Howard Behar: You know, we're trying to build a life. Yeah, we're trying to build a fulfilling life, which work is part of. And so you take your values and you overlay your values over the company's values, the organization's values. You overlay your mission over the company's mission and you'll say to these things, at least on paper, do they fit? Then if I paper they fit, then your work has just started because then what you want to do is go talk to people that work in the company. And the first question you should ask is, I, I've read your mission statement and the company's guiding principles or values statement, where, where do they not, where are they? The actions not in sync with the words. That's a great question cause you see it all the time because it's, it's there everywhere has that everywhere. They, even the wonderful Starbucks that I love dearly has that right. And you better when you've done that, then you better say, are these things I can live with or not live with? And another question you should ask is what are the, what are the, uh, what are the rewards, uh, spoken or the intrinsic rewards and what are the intrinsic penalties that happen when somebody does something well and somebody does something wrong? What happens when you screw something up in this organization?

Howard Behar: Oh, it tells us calibrate this mistakes or do they penalize mistakes? Does the organization shove you often in the noodle land, Netherlands and nobody will eat lunch with you because you made a mistake, you know, or did they all gather around and support you? So how do they act as human beings and you, you want to know the good, the bad and the ugly about any organization you're going to go to work with. And then before you go to work, I would not go to work for an organization that doesn't have you interview with your potential boss and there's lots of that do that. You'd never meet your boss until after you've been hired.

Amanda Hammett: Yeah.

Howard Behar: I would never take a job like that because I don't care how good the organization is, you know, or even sometimes how bad the organization is. If you get the right boss, somebody that respects other people and that you can respect and trust you and you trust stamp the world will be right. I agree.

Amanda Hammett: That is that, that was some fantastic advice right there. That was just like perfection.

Howard Behar: I would walk down the street and look at the person walking down the street or say, God, he's good looking. I'm going to marry that person. You know, you might fall in love because of how they look or something like that. Or maybe the clothes are wearing or you might get, you know, whatever. But you'll want to know more about them once. Yah, absolutely. That's what dating is about. That's what spending time together is about. And you find those things out, find the truth out.

Amanda Hammett: That isn't very, very true. Very true. All right, so similar question and this is our last question. Um, what advice would you give to a first time leader?

Howard Behar: I first time later. Don't take yourself too seriously, right? That uh, you know, on both sides of the ball you're not that good and you're not that bad. Love your people. And I mean love them. Use that word love right. You know, help your people be all they can be and you'll get what you need out of them. And they are read all the books you can get on servant leadership. And I, my, one of my favorites is a book from a gym. Uh, Jim James Autry does servant leadership and then get the daily Drucker. It's a book that, uh, that Peter Drucker, you know, it's all his stuff and he was a practitioner of servant leadership. He was a personal friend of Robert Greenleaf's. And use that as your guide and you know, and be willing to make mistakes and be willing to own up to your mistakes.That's number one, be vulnerable, be authentic. You know, you don't need to be the boss. Yes. You know, you don't need to be the boss. Screw up. Be the first one to raise your hand and say, I am sorry. served me well at home and in the office.

Amanda Hammett: I think that being able to own up to your mistakes is a major thing that people are so afraid of. But it's hard to do. It's so important because it builds trust with your, with your team, especially with millennials, they're very, they to have a little tendency to be distrusting. But if you are authentic and you own up to your mistakes, they see that and they build loyalty with that quicker than anything else.

Howard Behar: The boss who takes the bullets versus dodge the bullets, it will be my will be respected and the people will go to battle for them. If you dodge the bullets and let the bullet hit one of your people, they will. They trust me. They will never go to battle for you. And all you have to do is do that once you've totally broken trust and it takes forever to gain it back.

Amanda Hammett: Absolutely. Absolutely.

Howard Behar: And I've seen it happen so many times.

Howard Behar: Oh yes. It, it does. It happens unfortunately very regularly. Well, Mr be hard. Thank you so much for being on the show. This is, uh, been a wonderful, just chock full of great information both for young know next generation of leadership, but also for the current leaders out there who are looking to learn from one of the greats out there. So thank you. Thank you. Thank you so much for being on the show and we will.

Howard Behar: Thanks for having me. I appreciate it. I always late to talk about leadership.

Amanda Hammett: Well fantastic. Well you had so much to share and I appreciate it. Alright, take care. Thank you. Bye. Bye. Thanks so much for joining us for this episode of the Next Generation Rockstars where we have discussed all about recruiting and retaining that next generation of talent.

Amanda Hammett: So I'm guessing that you probably learned a tremendous amount from this week's rock star leader and if that is the case, don't keep me a secret, share this episode with the world, but really share it with your friends, with your colleagues because they also need to learn how to recruit and retain this next generation of talent because these skills are crucial to business success moving forward. Now, of course, I want you to keep up to date every single week as we are dropping each and every episode. So be sure to subscribe to your favorite podcast platform of your choice, and you will see the next generation rockstars show up just for you.

Disclaimer: This transcript was created using YouTube’s translator tool and that may mean that some of the words, grammar, and typos come from a misinterpretation of the video.

S2-EP1: Exploring Leadership Lessons for a Multi-Generational Workforce

Gen Z: Welcome to the Workforce! Now that we officially have 5 generations in the workforce, what strategies do we use to keep our multi-generational workforce engaged and productive? Season 2 will look at the leadership of all levels within companies from the Chief Human Resource Officer to a front line manager of early in career talent. What can each of these leaders bring to the table to help you as you navigate this new frontier in the workplace?

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Disclaimer: This transcript was created using YouTube’s translator tool and that may mean that some of the words, grammar, and typos come from a misinterpretation of the video.

The Transcript - Exploring Leadership Lessons for a Multi-Generational Workforce

Welcome to the Next Generation Rockstars podcast. If you are trying to figure out how do you recruit and retain this next generation of rockstar talent? Well, you are in the right place. Alright, welcome, welcome, welcome to Season Two of the Next Generation Rockstars.

Now you heard that right, I didn't say millennial rock stars, I said next-generation rock stars. That is because, over our little break between seasons, we decided to do a whole name-change and rebrand so that we could really, fully welcome in Gen Z into the workforce. So now that Gen Z is here, they are starting to make their own waves on workplace culture, and we're really excited to see how that pans out for everyone. But this is a really interesting time to be in the working culture, to see really how all the generations combine and mix together because we do have five generations at work currently.

We've got Gen Z, we've got millennial, we have got of course Gen X, baby boomers, but we also still have some of the silent generations still there in the workplace and really giving it their all, even at this point in their career.

So, now that we're mixing things up, and now that we are all together, what can we learn from each other, what do we each bring to the table? Now it's really interesting because so far early in 2019, there have been multiple studies that have come up, or surveys of CEOs that have been put out asking CEOs, what are their top three concerns? In every survey so far that I've seen, they have listed recruiting talent and retaining talent as two of their top three concerns. Two of their top three concerns revolve around talent. That has got to tell you something. The war for talent is on, and it has been on for years and years, and years.

Now I know that there are people out there that are predicting a recession is coming, and that is very likely based on the cyclical nature of our economies. But what you should know is that that, when there's good talent on the line, there is always a war for that good talent, recession or not.

So Season Two is really gonna look at the development of talent, the recruitment of talent, and we're gonna be doing that, looking at that from the lens of leaders of young talent. So it is, we've interviewed CHROs, like Matt Schuyler from Hilton, I interviewed the Chief People Officer from Cisco Systems, Fran Katsoudas. I also interviewed the former Head of HR at Tesla, Alan Cherry. Howard Behar from Starbucks, former President of Starbucks, as well as numerous other major leaders in the talent development area. But, I didn't just stop there.

I went back to Season One's rock stars, and I started asking them, or I started really going back and looking, who did they specifically mention as people that have been pivotal in their careers? So, I went back and I gathered some of the leaders that made a big impression on some of Season One's rock stars, and I've got them coming on the show giving wonderful day-to-day in the trenches advice on how did they really go out there and developed rockstar talent? So they're in the trenches with them and they can give you some nuts-and-bolts advice. That, maybe someone from a CHRO perspective can give you a wide-angle view, but they're gonna be able to give you that in the job, day-to-day experience knowledge.

So, I hope that you will join us for the rest of Season Two, we've got a lot of wonderful, wonderful interviews, and trust me you are going to want to listen to each episode a couple of times, because some of these are just so chockfull of knowledge that you just need your notebook to follow along. Another thing that you might want to know is that I am listening, I am reading all of your comments, all of your messages. I was inundated with LinkedIn messages last year, I loved it, keep them coming, I want to read each and every one. And actually, one of the listeners suggested that Season Two examine the leadership of young talent, and I felt that that was a wonderful idea so I took it to heart.

So again, I am listening, I would love to hear what you have to say, and of course always, please subscribe, please share this with your friends, make some comments on your favorite podcast platform of your choice, and we will see you in the rest of Season Two.

Thanks so much for joining us for this episode of the Next Generation Rockstars, where we have discussed all recruiting and retaining that next generation of talent. So I am guessing that you probably learned a tremendous amount from this week's Rockstar leader, and if that is the case, don't keep me a secret. Share this episode with the world, but really share it with your friends, with your colleagues, because they also need to learn how to recruit and retain this next generation of talent, because these skills are crucial to business success moving forward.

Now, of course, I want you to keep up to date every single week as we are dropping each and every episode. So be sure to subscribe to your favorite podcast platform of your choice and you will see the Next Generation Rockstars show up just for you.

Disclaimer: This transcript was created using YouTube’s translator tool and that may mean that some of the words, grammar, and typos come from a misinterpretation of the video.