As is my want, I occasionally l drift through old blog posts to see if my thinking has changed much over the years. Here’s one I found from March 2009. I can remember what I was feeling as I wrote this and it is still relevant for me today, and sadly topical in the Consulting world we live in. Lessons from an Evil boss, looks at dealing with redundancy, and letting people go in a human way, understanding that while it is tough on the person telling someone they don’t have a job anymore, it is harder to hear, ensure that you keep your levels of respect high.
OK I cheated…. I wrote this post over two weeks ago, but due to tragic circumstances, I’ve previously noted, it was not appropriate to post this.
That said, with a (not so) subtle push from my Dad, this is something I will make a reality this year!
Just like a great bandwagon, I’ve never met a cliché I didn’t like, so with that in mind, let’s take a look back and forward and publicly put the pressure on myself to what I’ll achieve.
2012 was pretty good, we had Talia start school and blossom through her year in Prep. Her school report was a testament to that. It really tired her out though, all the work she put in week in week out, saw her really tired at each weeks end. She’d matured so much, both Sim and I have been and are, really proud.
We saw the maturing of our son Zach too. His first year as “one of the big boys” in his composite class of Grade one’s and Grade two’s, saw him come to grips with some responsibility and really improve over the year, bringing home some great results and comments in his report that were really great to read. This year also saw Zach start competitive football, something that he really grasped well, and was able to hone his competitive juices. To keep these juices flowing, he started soccer in summer and has now really embraced cricket. he may make our weekends disappear for quite a few years to come I feel.
Lexie, has become her own little person, 2.5 now, she’s started talking…. lots, she’s lost her Dummy, gone into the big bed in some bunks with her sister and is really starting to make her mark on this family, pretty sure we will all be her pawns soon, doing all her bidding without knowing we’re doing it.
Wifey, has had a big year too, honing her photography skills, and really starting to get her business cranking. This is so exciting for me to watch and fills me with pride watching her go for it. Seeing what she produces after all the hard yards she has put in to learn is testament to her and something she will look back with fond memories in the years that follow us. The images she is producing are (without any bias) just magnificent, I’ve had the privilege to see some of her clients faces when they have first viewed some of her larger prints. I cannot wait to see what 2013 brings for her.
Personally, it’s been an interesting year. One I’ve learned a bit, struggled at times but stayed happy for most of it. I started a new job in the last week pre Christmas 2011, an interesting time to start, but I am grateful for it. Who says hiring stops in December! It has been a tumultuous year in this new job, having to deal with a fading market, some initial issues of acceptance of me starting, some redundancies and performing outplacement help for those affected. It was great seeing the team stick to their guns and keep stepping up to the plate and we started to see some rewards for their efforts towards the end of the year.
I got to do something that has been a goal for a little while now. I was invited to speak at a conference. SOSU12 was the occasion, Phil Tusing invited me and scarily enough, it was really fun. Even though, my laptop died a day or so before hand, my notes didn’t show on their version of Powerpoint, and their was no moisture in my mouth. The heckling was to a minimum (thanks) and I got to throw in a few cliché’s there for myself and inserting Chuck Norris into it.
I got to be involved in some IT projects, which isn’t huge in itself, especially after 15 years in the industry. It gave me some interesting insights to what the people I work with and hire day in day out go through, even at a smaller level. (Hats off to them, it has been a frustrating experience)
Now, 2013?? What will it bring? I’m not going to speak on behalf of my family, I just hope continued growth for the kids, and happiness and success for my wife. I would like to be able to keep bringing it. Adding value to most situations I am in, both personally and professionally, there are some areas where I really do need to step it up in 2013, sadly, I’m not a kid anymore. Really is time to step it up. I hope to become more handy around the house, it is a skill I am extremely deficient in, but something I do enjoy doing, the feeling of well “yay” when I actually fix something, I need to learn more about this in 2013. I rely too heavily on some of the older gents in my sphere to help fix things, namely my Dad and my Father in law, whilst this is great, and I love working with them (OK for them) when a job gets done around the house, I need to know stuff too, if for no other reason, to help my kids out when they get older and need me for things.
For me personally, well there is one large goal I have for myself. I am publicly saying it, so feel free to bag me, harass me or call me out if I slack away from this goal. I need to lose weight! It’s got to that stage. The bullfrog blowing out beneath my chin, needs to go, my spare tyre seemingly has graduated from a tyre from a mini to a spare of a Monster Truck! My Daughters cannot even get their arms around me when giving me a hug, and I get out of breathe way quicker than I used too. There is a photo in my wallet, one of my wife and I when we were 18, fresh faced and just started going out. My kids know it’s mum, but have no idea who the guy is sitting with her and why it is in my wallet. I told them I ate that guy and became me (I even have cheek bones here, I wonder where they are? From memory, I even had ribs).
Whilst I cannot commit to getting that guy back (as I know I cannot reclaim my youth no matter how young I act) I may lose a few sizes of this guy typing here today. I haven’t decided what measures I will be taking, but there must be more physical activity, less sugar (sadly that most likely means soft drink and lollies) and a better mindset for it. It’s not just the fact that I want to look a little better, it’s a health thing too! We had a “health check” at work this year, and let’s just say this, it wasn’t pretty. Couple this with a little health scare (even if it was all in my mind it seems), it’s pretty clear that measures have to be taken. So…. after the new year festivities are gone and forgotten, as they say in the (not so) classics. ”Game on mole!” Operation Bullfrog Drop is ON! Wish me luck..
So, here I am, alone with my laptop, after quite a few loud and busy, thankfully distracting, and joyous days. It would not surprise people to know that I’ve written a blog full of hopes and aspirations for 2013 and reflecting on 2012. I wrote this naturally on the day of New Year’s Eve, with the aim of posting it, in a timely manner on New Years Day, after all the festivities and fun that traditionally go with this time of year.
Waking up early on New Years Day courtesy of my darling 2 year old daughter, I was kind of grumpy when the phone rang pre 8am. You can probably guess what I was muttering to myself. I then got some news which basically made my previous blog, and the 177 or so before them redundant dross.
You see it was my parents with the inaudible news that my eldest brother, Rodney Clarence Nuroo had passed away in the wee hours of 2013. It seems his body just stopped, it was his time.
As a big brother, we were a generation apart, he was born 15 years before me, that has some advantages for a boy like me. I remember him offering me $1 a goal as a young budding AFL player in my primary school years, I mean how cool did you reckon that was for a young boy? Not so good for him as I got 70 odd goals that year, but he didn’t grump handing it over, makes me smile thinking of the pride he showed as he gave me cash in an amount I’d never seen before. There was the odd uncomfortable image which springs to mind, one being him in (only) his budgie smugglers helping our Dad put in a retaining wall. I don’t need a photo to remember that I’m afraid. One of the funniest things I’ve ever seen was my brother trying to master the art of wind surfing one family holiday, lets just say he wasn’t a natural..
One of the disadvantages of being a generation apart, is the fact that he (and one of my two sister’s) had all but grown up by the time I turned up on the scene. They both made some decisions as young people which sadly cost me quite a few of my formative years of knowing them.
To describe my brother, sadly, Collingwood Supporter is right up there in what you need to say. He loved talking footy, his beloved Magpies and basically hanging shit on you if your team was up against them. Especially if, like me you went for Carlton, I knew I’d get calls, I loved the banter, and how silent my phone went if by chance Carlton won. To his credit, he answered his phone if they lost and took his medicine.
He was all about family. That is not just a token statement, it is a full blown fact. He’d tell me off for calling him “mate”. ”I’m not your mate! I’m your bro!” he’d say. I got away with saying “you’re both”. He loved a natter on the phone, and the advent of his discovery of Facebook, allowed him the ability to keep in touch in another way. Say what you will about that medium, it was great for him, and us. Both my wife and I had many many DM chats with him here.
With this in mind, he was in absolute bliss in (what we now know) was the last wek of his life. His son, my nephew and his beautiful bride announced to the world on Christmas day the amazingly great news that they are expecting their first child. You can imagine the joy this bought him. His pride and joy, Rohin and Emma, bringing another being to the clan. You couldn’t find a prouder man in a days walk. A great happy man, always with a laugh, always accepting of people at face value, and always handy with a word and a beer for you, generous of spirit who would do anything for you if you needed it. His attention and helpfulness to our Dad in the last few years, when Dad needed it is something I cannot thank him enough for and for being my secret inside word on Dad’s health, when I wasn’t sure I was getting the whole story from my parents
It’s really hard to believe, I’m still kind of numb to the fact to be honest, the home coming on Tuesday will not be what we’d hoped for but it will be a time to say good bye.
Good bye bro, I love you, I’ll miss ya, the world is worse for its loss, but better for having you part of it. I’m proud to be known as your brother. Rest in Peace
Ok it’s no secret that I love conferences. The meeting of people, the sharing of ideas, sometimes the food and the vendors peddling their wares around the outside, but essentially I love the feeling of immersion in my career, in what I do, hearing new ideas, and getting new sparks to go back to the office and cause havoc with. All these things were present at Phil Tusings latest Rectec.
This is the first Rectec I have attended, and I wasn’t let down. I wasn’t sure what to expect, hoping to learn about some new tools and tricks I hadn’t heard of before and getting some perspectives on my world of Recruitment from people I didn’t know yet! Ticks all round please
Firstly props to Phil for assembling such a great tribe of presenters and to Dave G for wrangling them all into line and keeping the conference on track (not an easy feet in a room full of Recruiters who love a good chat).
Quite simply, I need to just talk about my highlights or I will be writing forever, so here goes. Apologies for those I don’t mention.
Brad Cook kicked us off in fine style. A talk from the trenches if you would, someone who has built, driven, analysed and built again recruiting processes and metrics which have had a serious business impact, especially to his current company, Informatica. It looked like you really need a big budget and high level support to achieve things, but he shared a lot of free ideas too. Lots of food for thought and things to investigate once back in the office.
Mark Havercroft took to the stage in a relaxed and comfortable manner, I suppose you can when you are representing IBM. He too spoke about BIG DATA, but introduced me to “Innovation Man” a truly superb character, reinforcing the need to actually put some of this “high level” talk, and “wishful thinking” into action.
Andrew Butow, a young guy I hadn’t heard about before, took to the stage in what can only be described as infectious enthusiasm. I think he infected the whole crowd and had everyone eating out of his had throughout his presentation in “Gamification”. It really was a memorable presentation. He alluded to the fact that (sorry folks) gamification is nothing new, it’s always been there, just in different guises. The old “Corporate ladder” being the most recognisable. He was able to transfix the crowd and even convert a few nay sayers in the process, there was a great buzz around the room after this, and probably quite a few plans hatching or at least conversations being had in Recruiting departments across the country.
Carolyn Chyams, what can I say about Carolyn? A practical and entertaining presentation. It was great to finally meet her in person and then see the tips and tricks her and Hannah Savage have plotted on Social Media to get the Firebrand brand where it sits today. (For those who haven’t heard about what they have done with the Firebrand brand….. where have you been? ) Pulling back the screen a little and really sharing, I have pages of notes (Yes, I even got off Twitter and took copious of hand written notes which I am happy to say I can still read!)
Mike Casey, I remember when Grad connection was just run by 3 young guys who wanted to have fun and live the dream. Nothing has changed there The self proclaimed nerds, who understand this internet stuff so the rest of us plebs don’t need to, well, Mike really threw some spanners in the works for me. He added to the stats we’d been hearing all day about the rise and rise of mobile technology, with a practical step forward. In the process he kind of contradicted one of the other presenters about the need for an app versus a mobile ready product. His term of “Mobile first Development” really hit a nerve with me. It caused me to get straight on the phone to my business and change the scope of development for our website. So Devs, blame Mike for your extra workload, but it’s going to be fun learning about HTML5, ResponsiveCSS and Bootstrap isn’t it?
You really need to be thankful for a conference where you can get some information, have some conversations with industry thought leaders and walk away with some insights, some ideas and some ways to practically implement. So much for a quiet period leading into Christmas. Congrats to all involved again, a great day Phil.
If you’ve read stuff I’ve written before (thank you) you will know I am an evangelist for all (OK most) things “Social”. I’ve heard the detractors, and those who simply oversell the idea.
Let me talk about where I’m coming from. Well the name of Social Networking gives it all away.
By being “Social” you are collaborating, sharing, asking for help, helping others and generally being involved. It doesn’t mean you are always on Facebook, or Twitter or LinkedIn, Pinterest etc, although it means that you are using them as a vehicle for either your own personal branding, your learning, or to push a product. I have had issues with previous Managers over my activity in this space, they didn’t see the value, just saw the frequency of my interactions and jumped to conclusions. Happy to say a few years later I actually had a coffee with said Managers (after we’d parted ways) and received an apology, they just hadn’t recognised or realised what I was trying to do, and didn’t think my responses were valid, they are now playing catch up.
Being “Social” leads to Networking. This has opened my horizons remarkably, I can still remember when I first dipped my toe into the Social networking water. I didn’t know what to expect, I was just open to trying things, so I gave it a go. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no Bill Boorman, he has taken this space to a new level! But my collaborating, forcing myself to be involved, adding my 2 cents in conversations with people who I was (and still am) in awe of, was really beneficial to me. Why? Firstly it gave me confidence, not that it’s something I normally lack, but it really enforced some messages I had semi fixed in my head. It opened up a brand new world of like minded people (scary huh). I got to know people all around the world, and although the majority I have never met, and potentially wont, I feel a connection, I feel I know them, at least professionally. It opened up a great channel for learning and asking questions. I’ve had numerous skype calls with people from across the globe helping structure a vision, poke holes in an idea, or generally just providing an ear for a vent for the frustration this industry gives us at times.
The practicalities of this also stand out for me. The learnings are amazing, be connected to the right people and you mind will thank you for it. The connections however are THE most important thing. Whilst it is great to know a lot of people, maybe it’s better to be known by more? Does that make sense? Here’s why, in the cold hard light of day, it helps personally. I had a boss say to me once (before Social Networking was even thought of) it’s great to have a great Rolodex (look it up kids) but if you aren’t billing from it… “who Cares?”. Whilst I haven’t (overly) actively pushed it from a sales capacity, it has worked for me. My last two roles came from relationships formed on-line. In one we had connected on-line even before we met face to face, the other I’d know basically a lifetime ago, but kept abreast of him via Social Media, so when the time was right, the time was right. Networking is a super important part of growth, but not everyone enjoys the drinking, mingling, talking to strangers, etc that you have to do at a conference, or even generally. The relative distance and security of involving yourself in a conversation on-line is much easier. The real buzz is when you do attend a conference, and you recognise people’s names (even if they look nothing like their online picture), you “know” them, they “know” you. That initial fear disappears. It’s great. (Sometimes it also helps if your name is the answer to a quiz/scavenger hunt at a conference! Thanks Phil and Andrea)
Networking, or building your personal brand is an important thing in life, and if you make a living off your reputation and lets face it we all do, you need to start thinking about if you are paying this social media thing enough attention. It’s not all about what you had for breakfast, or watching others rant about failed relationships, if that’s your belief… think again.
So what is it you are after? What is the goal of your Recruitment advertising? Is it to persuade a tidal wave of applicants to your (insert hyperbolic statement here) role or is it to attract the RIGHT/BEST candidate for your role?
In the last month or so, we started a campaign to find a Sales person for our business and to be honest I was pretty excited about it. My expectations were high, that the role was so great that we’d be beating applicants back with a stick (I went and got one too), we upgraded our ATS (Applicant Tracking System) to ensure that we didn’t have to manually.
We’d done our planning, we’d mapped out what our ideal candidate looked like (not physically….. promise), where they would come from, the type of experience they would have. The level of the role meant headhunting would be challenging, as we wanted to really hire someone with the right attitude, aptitude and ability to build into a star, I didn’t want to recycle someone else’s sales person. We’d built a new training programme, mentoring process, even devised a new hiring process just for this role. We were excited (OK maybe it was just me, but…. )
We wrote compelling copy, jazzed it up with videos and some other social media stuff. Hit go… and sat back waiting for the flood gates to open. And then……. the flood started. Not really, a great journey is started by a single step right? So, I was happy when the trickle started, everything has to start somewhere right? Surprisingly (for me) it didn’t really advance much past a trickle.
That said, what we did receive were profiles, calls, applications from a good half dozen people, who essentially came straight out of our minds eye (there was a fair amount of chaff too mind you). Just like a bad 80s movie, these applications essentially came straight from our whiteboard, personifying themselves into our process.
That said, initially, through discussions with the team, there was some disappointment at the volumes (or lack there of) of applications. However, on reflection (even at this early stage), the ads have done their job. They have attracted THE type of people we wanted. We are only going to hire one (or two) after all. Making the question, did they work or not? I’m voting YES…. you?
“Do as I say not as I do!” – This was/is a favourite saying from my Dad. Normally trotted out when we as kids, busted doing something, which we found amusing. Talking with his mouthful and farting/burping in public being a few examples that you cannot go past. (Those last two normally followed with the infamous “Where ever you may be, let your wind go free”)
———> MY Dad!
Now I’m an experienced Dad (well, I’ve been one now for 8.5 years and have now ramped my Dadness up to cover 3 (not so) little tykes, I’m finding myself morphing into my parents. Sadly (I feel) it’s not just at home. It’s creeping into my work life. It’s quite confronting when you realise that you have people in your team, who are almost a generation younger than you!
I felt this yesterday. I took an annual leave day to spend what turned out to be a stunning day with the family. Being school holidays and all, it was the least I could do to at least seem like I was shouldering the load with my wife. It was a great day, weather wise, couldn’t have asked for better, best Spring day for the season. We jam packed it with activities which were fun for all of us. We laughed when we heard about the traffic chaos almost shutting poor Melbourne town down, as I wasn’t needing to battle it. We played, we worked in the garden, we got haircuts and we played some more! It was gold!
But I was still drawn to the phone, the little mobile office in my pocket. I only took one call, which we concluded in less than 2 minutes, but I was still compelled to check. I’m not sure why.. I’m not a workaholic (sorry boss), sure I enjoy what I do and have a real passion for it, but reflecting back…. seriously? one day? My mistress iPhone gets me in. (I get grumpy with my team do it) I can remember the days when you just travelled somewhere. If you were out and someone wanted to catch you, you had to leave a message on a cassette tape on the answering machine (I think I’ve lost my Gen Y readers – check this for clarification) I couldn’t take calls, I couldn’t check status’ (that was done at the pub with the lads) and my message bank was a number of red slips of paper in my cubby hole at work when I returned to the office! I’m wondering how my kids will actually be able to take a break from the office? They’ll be doing stuff we haven’t even thought of yet.
Is this a comment on me? society? a new working culture? Does it make you good at your job or just bad at living?
Funnily, I accepted a meeting invitation which takes all of a microsecond to click “Yes” I’ll attend. This acceptance was followed by a quick email, in capitals no less from one of MY team, saying “GET OFF THE EMAIL!”. Humph… Double Humph!!!! She was right mind you, and I would have done exactly the same thing, if the roles had been reversed. But come on, “Do as I say not as I do!!” I can say that right?