Another Interview Question I’ve Never Used that ROCKS…

By | Culture, Free Career Advice, Interviewing | No Comments

I’m a behavioral interviewer, so I really don’t like questions that don’t ask for examples of past behavior.   But this question, tweeted by Harry
Joiner of eCommerce Recruiter and Marketing Headhunter, is one that I will add to my portfolio:

“Tell me one misperception people (team members) have of you.”

Nice.  As Harry says, this tells if the candidate is self-aware.  Additionally, I think it’s a great window to the soul of what the issues might be if you hire the candidate.  For example, the candidate might say, “one misperception is that I’m unapproachable”.

So you get the answer and turn the focus behaviorial with items like the following:

“Tell me about a specific time when you have sensed a team member feeling that way about you.  What did you do?”

I like it.  I’m adding it to my mix.

What’s Guided Us

By | Building a Company, Culture | No Comments

As I look back at where we’ve come from in preparation for where we’re going in the future, I revisited a document first created in the fall of 2004 titled, “DAXKO Defined.”  As I read through our list of “guiding principles” in that document, I realize that not only do these principles still hold true today but also that this mindset is what’s driven our sustained success.  Although I’m relatively self-critical of how we measure up against this list, I do believe we genuinely strive to meet these ideals.

DAXKO GUIDING PRINCIPLES

  • Integrity. Treat our customers, partners and fellow team members with fairness, honesty and respect. Without integrity, true success is impossible – there is no compromise.  It is what defines our every action.
  • Commitment to Team Members. Provide our team members with opportunities.  Focus on their development and growth.  Strive for a healthy balance between work and home life.  Always be fair, open and honest.
  • Commitment to Customers. Our customers’ success is our driver. We put ourselves in our customers’ shoes.  We aim to understand their needs and to be responsive to those needs.  We are in partnership with our customers.  Service before reward.
  • Relentless Focus. Do what we do best.  Determine what is most important, do those things, and don’t be distracted by the rest.  Willingness to say “NO” to seemingly big opportunities.
  • Disciplined Growth. Focused, rigorous discipline in managing our growth to ensure the long-term viability and health of DAXKO.  We are building an organization that will be here in the future for both our customers and team members.
  • Teamwork. Our success is not dependent on the heroics of a few individuals.  It is dependent on team members working together towards a common goal, accomplishing things they couldn’t do on their own.
  • Intense Determination. The deep resolve from every DAXKO team member to do what needs to get done.  Everyone focused on our goals and objectives and working diligently to reach them.
  • Accountability. Trying hard isn’t good enough.  Results are what matters.  No Excuses.  We create our own future.
  • Innovation. Always seek ideas that lead to the improvement of DAXKO and increased success of our customers.  Share ideas – from the smallest process improvements to the most significant new strategies and products.
  • Community Impact. Through contributions of time, money, and resources, our team members aim to strengthen our community.

Swing Your Next Speech Like This One from Linkin Park’s Guitarist…

By | Communication, Culture | No Comments

It’s always good to try and be a little contrarian when you present. So the next time you present, do something to mix the thing up…

Example, Linkin Park guitarist was recently invited to give the commencement speech at UCLA. I think he did pretty well, especially when he mocks the fact that he wasn’t the university’s first choice. Take a listen and tell me what you think…

Hat tip to Insights from a future Association Executive.

Create 20% More Time in Your Life…

By | Culture, Free Career Advice, Healthy Stuff | No Comments

Do you want to know how to gain 20% more time in your life?* Do you want to know how to get ahead in your career, connect with more people, have more exciting times, and improve your relationships with loved ones?

Get rid of your TVs – all of them! Get rid of the TV in your living room, your bedroom, your home office, and anywhere else you have a TV. I don’t mean just turn them off. I mean physically get rid of them. I also don’t mean tote them down to the garage just to see what it is like without a TV while intending to bring the TVs back after this neat period of being without a TV. Give them away, throw them away, or pawn them away.

 I lived for four years without a TV at home and found it to be one of the most liberating changes I could make. I have one TV now only because my wife loves baseball (Braves and Red Sox).

I used to love seeing the reaction when folks would find out I didn’t have a TV. The reactions ranged from abject horror to disbelief to sympathy. In fact, more than once I had offers of TVs from people I barely knew. I guess they assumed that if I didn’t have a TV then times must really be hard!

The next favorite thing I loved was when people would ask me the inevitable follow-up question, “well, what do you do?” My response was always the same (and truthful):

  • I read
  • I go running
  • I go biking downtown
  • I travel
  • I go to the gym
  • I go out to a bar
  • I hang out with friends
  • I go to events – art shows, concerts, etc.
  • I go to dinner at friends’ houses
  • I cook
  • I sleep
  • The list goes on….

The next response was just as predictable. People would tell me, “Oh, I only watch TV for [fill in the blank] show(s).” This was always a lie. I know, because my friends all gave me the same line. Of course, when I was at their house the TV would be on 24/7.

“What about college football games?”

Ah, you thought you had me on this one, right? But alas, you forgot that friends and bars have TVs if I really want to catch a game. Watching a game in these environments is more social and thus healthier for you.

I am in awe. TV is probably one of the most finely-tuned advertising vehicles to ever be created. Think about it for a moment. We have consciously decided to pay thousands of dollars to bring these boxes into the sanctity of our homes, plug them in and let uncontrolled advertising messages spew forth to interrupt our conversations with friends and family. To keep us from completely unplugging these obnoxious chunks of plastic and turn them into fish tanks, we are fed morsels of “entertainment” like the little green pellet logs coming out of the food dispenser for a guinea pig. Break free of the power of the blinky box!

Perhaps I am just too ADHD to handle TV. If a TV is on then I have a hard time focusing on anything else. Other folks seem to be well adapted at tuning out TV programs. Unfortunately, I am drawn to the blinky box like a moth to a flame. Thus, like an alcoholic who can’t just have one, I live best when there is no TV around. Come join me in TV rehab – the world becomes a lot more interesting when you are living it rather than watching it.

* On November 24, 2008 Nielsen Media Research said the average American watches 142 hours of TV in a month. That is 1,704 hours of 8,766 hours in a year (19.4%). A 40-hour week job takes 2,000 hours a year assuming a two-week vacation during which you can watch even more TV.