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Behind the Scenes: When CEOs and PE Talent Partners Recruit CMOs
Episode 120th January 2022 • The Get: Finding And Keeping The Best Marketing Leaders in B2B SaaS • Erica Seidel
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What’s it like behind the scenes when CEOs hire CMOs in PE-backed companies? Hear from a ‘talent whisperer’ from a PE firm.

If you’re a CMO looking to work in a private-equity-backed business, or a hiring leader in a PE-backed company, you will come across the PE talent partner. Learn about the role of the PE talent partner in recruiting CMOs. 

You’ll hear about the soft skills framework Bryan uses to vet CMO candidates. In particular, listen for his definition of agility: not just being adaptable, but being PROACTIVELY adaptable. 

We unpack the difference between a candidate who can go into a new situation and figure it out versus a candidate who has a plan of attack. 

We discuss whether prior experience with scaling is or is not the best predictor of future scaling success.

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Key Links

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Hiring great marketing leaders is not easy. The Get is a podcast designed to inspire smart decisions around recruiting and leadership in B2B SaaS marketing. 

We explore the trends, tribulations, and triumphs of today’s top marketing leaders in B2B SaaS.

This season’s theme is Solving for the Scale Journey.

The Get’s host is Erica Seidel, who runs The Connective Good, an executive search practice with a hyper-focus on recruiting CMOs and VPs of Marketing, especially in B2B SaaS. 

If you are looking to hire a CMO or VP of Marketing of the ‘make money’ variety - rather than the ‘make it pretty’ variety, contact Erica at erica@theconnectivegood.com. You can also follow Erica on LinkedIn or sign up for her newsletter at TheConnectiveGood.com

The Get is produced by Evo Terra and Simpler Media Productions.

Transcripts

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Hi, you're listening to The Get, the podcast about finding and keeping

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great marketing leaders in B2B SaaS.

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I'm Erica Seidel, your host.

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On The Get, I talk to a lot of awesome marketing leaders.

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But my guest today is actually not a CMO.

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Instead, he plays the role of a 'talent whisperer' for CEOs who are hiring CMOs.

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Bryan West is the head of talent at Resurgens Technology

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Partners, a private-equity firm investing in enterprise software

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companies in scaling mode.

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If you're a CMO looking to work in a private-equity-backed business,

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or a hiring leader in a PE-backed company, you could come across

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someone in a role like Bryan's.

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You'll learn about the role of the PE talent partner in recruiting CMOs.

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You'll hear about the soft skills framework Bryan uses to vet candidates.

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In particular, listen for his definition of agility, not just being adaptable,

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but being proactively adaptable.

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We unpack the difference between a candidate who can go into a new

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situation and figure it out versus a candidate who has a plan of attack.

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We discuss whether prior experience with scaling is or is not the best

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predictor of future scaling success.

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And we talk about failure.

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We all know it's important to have a failure story, but what

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if you have more than one?

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Is there a sweet spot of failure?

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Bryan has had quite a career.

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He was a fly fishing guide, he spent several years in the U.S.

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Marine Corps, and later McKinsey.

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Then, he was with the leadership advisory firm ghSMART before joining Resurgens.

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He also has a great radio voice.

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Let's get started.

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So welcome, Bryan, to the show.

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Thanks for being here.

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That's a really high bar.

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I thought about making a joke voice there just to crush your hopes

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and dreams on the radio voice.

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I've been looking forward to this.

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I look forward to every conversation I have with you, Erica.

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So looking forward to diving in here.

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Great.

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Super, can you talk first about the role of the talent partner in PE and how

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you interact with CEOs and candidates?

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Because what I'm seeing is more and more PE companies are cropping up and investing

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in software companies, and then as those software companies look to bring on a

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new marketing leader, you have that CMO candidate who's not just interviewing

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with the head of sales and the CEO and the team that they'll manage, but they're

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interviewing with somebody like you.

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And then other people that work with you more on the investment side as well.

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But can you talk about that and the value you provide at the

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end of the day to that process?

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I'll do my best on the latter, but I'll talk a lot about things I do,

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and maybe then we'll figure out if there's an ROI to it on the back end.

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So first actually I'll - not to provide too deep of a history lesson, but the

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talent partner role with any investor group, to include venture firms or things

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of the like, it's a relatively new thing.

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The history of investor groups and private equity firms is, originally

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it was, let's flash back twenty, twenty-five years ago, and the history

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of private equity predates that.

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But the operating models started evolving about twenty, twenty-five years ago, where

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originally it was, hey, let's go buy a business - I'm going to oversimplify - do

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a lot of financial engineering and then hold it for a few years, and sell it for

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a 'profit.' Then return that money back to the investors that had given them money.

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The next horizon was is there something we can do to help these

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companies we invest in along the way to increase, or juice our returns, so

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to speak, improve their performance along the way so that then bore out

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portfolio operations, support teams.

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And frankly, there's a whole lot of different versions of

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that out there still today.

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And then the final or currently the next frontier that's really been

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tapped into pretty materially over the last three to five years is

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having someone dedicated or some group dedicated to maximizing the 'value

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creation' through the talent lens, i.e.

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have somebody that's actually thinking about talent and ROI all the time

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as owned by the investor group.

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Now, these roles, though - it's funny, I'm really well-connected

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with people in similar roles, boy, they all take form in different ways.

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There's former recruiters who step in where the primary function that

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role plays is to help turn on the talent acquisition machine, if you

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will, across the respective portfolio.

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There's forerunner CHROs that take the role and just basically make the function

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become a shared service for anything and everything when it comes to HR.

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And then there's folks like me who are former talent advisors and CEO

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coaches and/or leadership coaches.

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So that archetype of which there's a number of us out in market, and the

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good news is we get to share our misery in good cocktail hours here and there.

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Our role, really, is to help translate with a CEO and, of course, our

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colleagues, which is in effect the board for an investment, our role is to

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help translate whatever that strategy is for a business into a clear set

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of priorities for the business to go execute and help that inform what the

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org structure and key roles should be.

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Like, what are the capabilities that we need to deliver on

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our growth plans confidently?

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And by the way, fortunately, I work at a private equity group that all

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we do is buy small companies and try to grow them and make it bigger.

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I don't play the other game.

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With that lens, though, it becomes a non-stop - of course, it's early

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on it's pretty heavy, but it becomes a nonstop problem-solving game and

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strategic game of, hey, what are the capabilities you need for tomorrow?

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What are the capabilities you need for several years from now?

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And what are we willing to invest in?

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What do we need to invest in now?

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That conversation with the board or with the CEOs directly becomes a

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pretty dynamic one because you could keep it very academic and talk about

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capabilities and whatnot, but at the end of the day, these are human beings

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and we're all a little imperfect in how you engage one another and how you

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actually help elevate the performance of an individual early and ongoing in their

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time, in that seat, and in their career.

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It's a pretty dynamic, ongoing conversation.

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I play, I'm the grease in that conversation often between the CEO and

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the board and the CEO and their team because I just want to make sure that

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anything and everything we can do to elevate the performance of people in

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the seats to whatever degree their capability ceiling is, we're getting

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the most out of them that we possibly can both for our benefit, candidly,

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yes, we are selfish, big, bad private equity people, but also for theirs.

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Look, growth is fun.

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Good performing is fun.

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Let's all go have a little bit of fun while we do really hard things.

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Yeah.

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In my experience recruiting, there is often a CEO and maybe that CEO has

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not hired a ton of marketing leaders before, or maybe ever, depending

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on if maybe they're the founder.

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It can be very helpful to have somebody who has this muscle developed every

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day, like you, who can say, okay, here's how you prioritize this.

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Here's how to pay attention to the signal and not the noise and

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not get emotionally wrapped up in it because that can happen a lot.

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It can happen a lot.

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And to your point, founders in particular, understandably so, by

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the way, my goodness, the empathy you develop for founders at a

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firm like ours is pretty real.

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Number one, we are often convincing them to sell us a

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majority stake of their business.

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It is often their baby, their third, if they've got two

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kids, this is their third kid.

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And sometimes the company is actually at the top of the list.

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So that attachment they have to what they know and what they know to be

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true based on their own personal experience is often really high.

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When it comes to marketing leaders, though, and the marketing

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capability overall, you're dead on.

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Pretty material challenges to navigate and helping either a founder or a CEO.

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The difference, obviously, often those are the same human beings and often

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though founders do transition out of the CEO seat on this next wave of

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growth that our businesses go through.

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But one is just simply understanding what role marketing can play and

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should play in value creation.

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Fortunately, this is evolving and has evolved in software businesses because

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the pattern recognition of seeing how value is created in software businesses

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over time has become pretty clear in that, hey, marketing is going to help you

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actually drive demand and drive revenue.

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Again, at a high level.

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The problem is a lot of CEOs don't fully understand tactically

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how that comes to bear.

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So they don't have the confidence to manage or lead it that well.

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So they just put it over to the side, go lean in on the things they do know.

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But even for CEOs that have worked alongside a great marketing leader,

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it's not often that function that has needed strongly to express more than

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one axis of marketing, if you will, and you're probably going to have better

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terminology on this than I would.

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You've also seen this in some of our partnerships already just to work with

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each other, the scorecard, so to speak, for marketing leader A and company

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number one that we partnered on, pretty doggone different than the scorecard.

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Even though these are two software businesses, what skill set needed to

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get expressed and leveraged the most was quite different across both of those.

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And CEOs often don't have, and this is true of the leaders alongside

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the marketing leaders as well, the peer level, they'd only seen one

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skill set expressed materially.

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They've never seen more than one.

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So that becomes a challenge because the CEOs often don't know how actually

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to think about it and manage it unless it's something they've seen before.

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The most a non-commercial background CEO can really coach a marketing leader on is

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the interpersonal leadership skills and how better to present a business case.

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Those are absolutely essential and critical skills, but if the marketing

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leader's broader toolkit is not refined and some of it needs to get tapped into

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or elevated further, the CEO needs to figure out a way to solve that, help that.

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That's some of the role where I come in, not to coach them on the skill

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set, but to help solve for how do we find a way to elevate that skill

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and/or develop that skill further?

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So it can become an interesting dynamic, again, if the CEO just has

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simply little exposure to it in the first place, or at least a full breadth

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of what marketing can do for you.

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I often feel in a search, what the CEO is really looking for, beyond the scorecard

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that you're inevitably going to have, is just the marketing leader that they

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can feel comfortable admitting that they don't know it all and the marketing

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leader that they want to learn from.

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And that's it.

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So the CMO that gets the job is the one that is the best at being that

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Sherpa or that coach for the CEO.

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I'm curious, you're seeing people grapple with questions behind the

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scenes when they're hiring the marketing leaders and other roles, of course.

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Is there a particular question or questions that come up, those behind

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the scenes questions when there's a tough hiring situation going on?

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Yeah, that's a good lens to reflect on because yes, there are some common themes.

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It's funny, some of them are just bespoke to personalities.

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That's shame on us, in a way, cause I always say, hey, at the end of the

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day, we can find a way to make it work.

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Let's just latch onto what are the capabilities we need and can we get

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aligned with this individual and build an effective working relationship with them?

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I don't need everybody to be exactly the same type of human being.

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The main questions I see folks wrestle with - and maybe a touch more

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context on the types of businesses that we invest will be helpful here.

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We're investing in $10 million businesses and trying to get them to fifty at

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a high level, both through organic growth and inorganic growth, i.e.

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M&A.

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The best set of data, in crude terms, that we at the investor side, and, of

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course, we typically are working alongside a founder and/or a CEO to help make

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these decisions on who to hire, as well.

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But the best set of data that you can get to help drive conviction is past

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performance data that is exactly, extremely analogous or a dead-on match

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to what this needs to happen in this next chapter of growth in the business today.

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Of course, it is exceedingly rare, not impossible, but it is

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exceedingly rare that you find that exact perfect set of data.

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So you have to find yourself making a few leaps of faith here or there.

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And that's totally normal in any hiring practice, but particularly,

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candidly in our end of the market.

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Why?

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Because when you're going from ten to fifty, often your best leaders

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are, not always, again, those people who've gone from ten to fifty, if

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they're ambitious and driven, often they want to go do the bigger thing.

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And they go off to go do the next fifty to 100 march.

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So that ten to fifty is often a first-time leader every time, either stepping

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into the seat for the first time or stepping down from a bigger business

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as a number two role, coming down to a $10 million business and running it.

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The struggle with the decision is can this person balance the need of executing

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and being really hands-on and building for scale and being strategic enough and

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disciplined enough to build for scale as they add onto their team over time?

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Finding that data, if it's not obviously right there, or finding analogous data

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in crude terms throughout the interview process can be a struggle because it's

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not, it becomes an imperfect science.

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Hiring's a subjective exercise.

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You've just got to apply a lot of lenses to it to make it as objective as possible.

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Yeah, it seems a lot of my searches, that's what companies want.

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It's somebody who has done that climb before, that ten to fifty,

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or fifty to 200, or whatever it is.

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So you're right, there's that interest in the been-there-done-that.

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That prior scaling experience, is that really the best indication

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of future successful clients?

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Because it seems there's so many things that can come into play.

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You were successful because the market was growing or because the culture was

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a great fit or you had a great boss or a great team under you, or whatever.

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And I can see how that increases hiring confidence to have somebody who

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has been successful, in any context, growing and scaling a business.

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But is it really?

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Well, at the end of the day, this is actually true of any hiring exercise but

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particularly investors, we're making bets.

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And then we do everything we can to maximize the creation

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of value, but also critically mitigate the risks on the downside.

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And risk is everywhere now to be sure.

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So, too, is opportunity.

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As much as I love finding the best in people and candidates that I connect

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with and find reasons to say yes to someone, the statistical best predictor

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of future performance and behavior is still past performance and behavior.

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It's not perfect, but it's still the best - doesn't mean the

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only, but it's still the best.

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It's just the one that folks can latch on to the easiest.

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So the best case scenario is finding someone that's been there, done that.

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But as I shared earlier, you can't always assume you're

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going to be able to find that.

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It's not just for the psychological comfort of it, by the way.

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It is also a knowing that the individual would show up and be effective by tapping,

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not just their intellect and base of skills, but the pattern recognition.

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That equals speed.

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And guess what, we're also in a game of moving pretty quick and there

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is something very real to that.

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Because scaling is hard.

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At our end of the market,, some of this is a little bit bespoke

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to us in our operating model, but going from ten to twenty to thirty,

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it requires some athleticism.

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It requires some dynamism in the role.

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These leaders will have quite lean teams early on, so they'll need

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to be doing some of that doing themselves in the early stages.

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That can lend to some execution risks, no surprise.

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If they've seen the movie before, it makes them all the more effective

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in how they allocate their time and advocate for further resources.

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Those are lenses that bosses, CEOs, and boards just love.

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Why?

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Because we're all about advocating and making further bets and

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making further investments.

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It sure is helpful when somebody can articulate exactly what they've

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seen before, what they can do, and what the payoff would be.

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That helps everybody see the movie and bring folks along in that vision.

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And frankly, marketing leaders, can be really good at that, at least

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the good ones are because they can help paint that picture of how

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exactly this is going to play out.

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You have, I remember, a framework for hiring for potential.

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We were doing this search and you were evaluating candidates and you

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ran through all these lovely, soft skills that you were looking at.

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Can you review that?

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Potential, to be sure, is one thing that we're looking for.

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We do, of course, look for hard evidence of things they've done before

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that are analogous to what we're asking them to do in the future.

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Park that to the side, 'cause you've already heard me say we're going to have

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to take leaps of faith here and there.

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So the best way for us to fill in those leaps of faith are on what are the

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markers for potential this person has?

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I break potential down into four categories.

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And this is not, nothing in my brain is fully organic to me, or originated by me.

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I'm informed by my own background and experience set.

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Some of this I pull from my ghSMART days, my days as an advisor.

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There's four categories.

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First and foremost, cognitive quotient or just smart.

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I recognize that's an overly simplistic thing, but it's not

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just, is this person booksmart?

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Is this person really savvy or quick in a room?

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It's things like, are they proactive in identifying opportunities and

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risks that the regular person, a regular candidate just wouldn't?

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Are they thinking of things their boss should be thinking about

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one and two years down the line?

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Are they thinking about the organizational impact of one of their initiatives

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before they even bring it to the table?

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That's one.

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Two is drive.

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Drive doesn't need all that much explanation.

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And drive is not just somebody who has sharp elbows and is willing

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to advocate for themselves just for their own career advancement.

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It's drive so they can pull people along with them, and drive so they can

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actually advocate for a course forward.

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And you can absolutely look for these in the interview process, in crude

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terms the "data collection" process.

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Third, is relationship quotient.

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Think of that as a more robust version of EQ and that is, can you relate to others?

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Can you understand others' motivations?

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Can you navigate team and organizational dynamics to

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advance, ultimately, your agenda?

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Can you compromise your agenda and still achieve the organizational goals,

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and understand what those trade-offs are and help others achieve theirs?

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That's that part.

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Those are things you can really test for.

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Then, that fourth category is agility.

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And agility certainly has grown in popularity in recent years and,

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as a result, it's been defined probably ten different ways

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over the last five or ten years.

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I've simplified it as being much more proactively adaptable.

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Often you hear folks say, 'That person is really adaptable,' or, 'That

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candidate is really adaptable.' ' Hey, over time, they're going to settle

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in and adapt to the situation and eventually become successful.'

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Agility is proactively identifying how do I need to evolve my formula

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for success to be successful in this environment, in this context?

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So that when they come in, they're not just figuring it out.

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They've already started to think what are the things that I need to tweak in

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my own approach before you even step into that situation to be successful?

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The markers you look for in their interview process is whatever that person,

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across their varied types of roles in their career, have they been successful in

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different types of environments over time?

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If the answer is yes, odds are, they're pretty doggone agile.

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Odds are they didn't just figure it out over time.

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They are actually figuring out they need to be proactively

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adaptable right out of the gate.

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I love that.

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I love this idea of not just adaptable, but proactively adaptable,

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not just, I'll figure it out, but I'll have a plan of attack.

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I've seen some people come in and they're like, oh, I have

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a playbook for all of this.

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And I think that can go overboard too far in the oh, I'm going to just smoosh

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this same playbook on this company.

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So I think what a candidate needs to do is have the playbook, but

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see where it needs to be adapted.

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I had this other guests on the show.

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It was very interesting, we talked about being like a Sherpa where, okay, you've

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climbed a mountain before, but never with the same clients and never following

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the exact path up the mountain and never in the same exact weather conditions.

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So you have enough pattern recognition to put it all together.

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I love that.

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That's absolutely dead on.

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And it applies to both the functional toolkit, playbook, if you will,

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and truly how to engage others and influence and be effective in a

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certain working group of human beings.

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The best candidates that I've ever, that we interact with, and the ones that,

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really, a magnetism starts are the ones asking us all kinds of questions around

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what's the playbook, not just what's in place today from a functional lens

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and a capability lens in the business, but how do things get done today?

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Because we need that individual to come in and not just install a marketing playbook.

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We need that person to come in, of course, tailor the playbook to what it needs to

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get done in the future, but they also have to be effective within the working

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norms of that business and help evolve them in a constructive way pretty quickly.

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And to do that, that means you have to be proactively thinking about this right out

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of the gate before you step into the role, not just 'I'll go in and figure it out.'

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Let me pick up on that because I'm wondering what are the most impressive

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things you've seen candidates do?

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You've just mentioned one thing, but can you talk more about the candidates

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that have really stuck out in your mind?

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Because if you're like me, you interview thousands of people, and then there's

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a few that, just, you remember.

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There's a few that you remember.

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And it's funny, I have a problem that I kinda like everybody I

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deeply interview 'cause I just appreciate everybody's story.

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But I always have to come back and think.

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People ask me five minutes after an interview, 'What do you think?'

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'What's your recommendation?'

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I always punt and say I need at least several hours or even a day because

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I need to step back and think about that person's capability set, that

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person's way of getting things done.

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And I get back to these potential markers I was talking about and

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thinking about the scorecard.

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Hey, at the end of the day, what needs to get done here?

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What's that individual's odds for success?

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So I say that because, this sounds corny as all get out, but I really

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do think everybody I deeply spend time with is pretty doggone awesome.

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Especially if somebody like you has teed them up.

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But the candidates that really stick out are those that, when I ask them a

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question like the softball, surface-level questions of, hey, what accomplishments

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are you most proud of in your career?

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My disposition is to be pretty intensely curious after they list out

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accomplishment number one, and ask how?

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Tell me more.

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What would that other person in the story's version of the story be if

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I were to talk to them tomorrow?

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Those who take the time to reflect before they start answering the question and

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actually provide a compelling response, and also sometimes acknowledge they

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don't know, those tend to stick out.

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Those who just repeat what their talking points are that they've had scripted from

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prior interviews, those don't stick out.

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I always stress test myself to death on if you know, you know.

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But those candidates where I do have that feeling, I go back and look, and

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it's when I drill down with them, they are very self-aware in understanding

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what it is they did to affect the outcome of whatever their story was.

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Those are your winners because that way, that gives me

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confidence in that agility piece.

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They understand what their formula for success is.

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A lot of leaders, a lot of successful leaders, are just effective and they

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don't read really fully appreciate what they're doing entirely and

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what's leading them to be effective.

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There's that small, select few that just really are incredibly self-aware

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in understanding how they're applying themselves, their skill sets, and even

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their personality to be effective in different scenarios and how to adjust it.

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I have to ask you, since I ask everybody this, do you have favorite

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interview questions that you ask?

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Or is it just about the probing?

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Cause I always collect interview questions.

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I always give my clients these big, long lists of questions that they could ask.

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Then I think, it's really about, you were saying the second level question,

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the double-clicking that you do.

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But all of that said, do you have a favorite interview question

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that you think is most revealing?

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I've got two.

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I do think the second, more thorough questions have a ton of value.

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But two opening questions, if you will, not to a conversation necessarily,

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but really do lend themselves to excellent follow-ups and insights.

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I'm not going to claim original authorship on either one of these.

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We live in a world of plagiarism left and right, and I love stealing ideas from you.

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But one is who do you want to be five years from now?

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Full stop.

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Ohh, really, Bryan?

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That's such a...ugh, god.

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But I want to know where they take it!

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Because sometimes people take it professional, people take it

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personal, people take it skill set, people take it growth, people

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take it I want to be resting.

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It's really telling from an overall hunger perspective and fit perspective,

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and then it just lends itself to probably ten follow-up questions from me.

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Again, it's an opening question.

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It's not that great of a probing question on its own.

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It's a corny question, but it allows for amazing follow-ups.

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The second one, and this applies a little bit less to broader hunger, this

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is more capability testing, both from a functional lens and a business-savvy lens.

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If you were on a deserted island and I offered you this job, what information

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would you ask for me to learn to basically help yourself ramp up and

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be effective as fast as possible?

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For a marketer, boy, you can learn all kinds of great stuff about simply

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business savvy because there's a whole range of things you get asked for, some

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of them pretty doggone telling versus others, as far as how much coaching will

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this individual need on the business side should they step into the role?

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And the answer can be they need coaching on the business side.

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That's fine.

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But it's good to calibrate, especially if you're the CEO.

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That's an interesting one.

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I like that.

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I have to say, I like that better than the first one.

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You're right, it's not so much the question you ask, but the kind

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of active listening that you're doing and the probing afterwards.

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I think that's also a piece of giving candidates a moment to take

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a beat and formulate an answer.

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Big time.

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I was actually just with a founder, a similar lens to this, and to

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better defend my first answer.

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I was with one of our founders yesterday, actually, talking about interviewing

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and talking about scorecards and why scorecard's important and we believe

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strongly in outcome-oriented scorecards.

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When I say outcome-oriented scorecards, we say, hey, in two years from now, this role

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or this function will have delivered what?

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And then just go ask questions about that.

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So the founder asked me, 'Hey, wouldn't it make sense to share the scorecard with

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the candidates early on in the process?' Of course, there's a case for that.

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I actually say no.

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Reason being is I don't want candidates acting too much in our conversation.

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I don't want them performing too much and filling in blanks

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that they know I'm looking for.

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I want their organic selves as much as possible.

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Then it's on me to be really intentional about the follow-up questions I'm

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asking to find data in, crude terms, that satisfies some of that analogous

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data that would give me confidence that they would deliver on outcomes one,

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two, three, and four on the scorecard.

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If I spend too much time being too specific with a candidate on

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certain types of questions that are very job-specific, all I'm doing is

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constantly leading the witness and I don't want to lead the witness.

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I want their natural energy and their natural skill set and their natural

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way of being to line up organically with what we need to get done, full

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stop, as opposed to them thinking they need to fit themselves into it.

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And if I ask too specific questions, it's just leading them into that.

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That's interesting because sometimes I wonder if that style

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means that the candidates that are fastest on their feet get the job.

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I know me, I like to think about things before I answer a question

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and then I'm not going to be so articulate right off the bat.

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So there is that piece as well.

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There is that piece.

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And that's also just my interview, by the way.

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We could get into the interview process, but my interview is, I'm thinking in

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that dimension we just talked about.

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There are absolutely focused interviews and as you well know with us there's

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case studies and those things.

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And my vote is not the only vote either, but I want to understand how this

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person gets stuff done, and, really, think about how best to set them up for

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success should they step into that role, and how much of a lift would that be?

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And that's where if it gets to be too big a lift, then it's time to start talking

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about, eh, maybe not the right candidate.

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I have one final question for you and that is we all say we love a failure story,

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but how would you feel if somebody had multiple failure stories and they had a

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lot of energy and they're really excited about what they potentially could do

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and they have reasonably good reasons for why things have not worked out, why

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they haven't been able to scale as fast as you would have liked in the past.

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Can you talk about that?

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How much failure is too much to be not palatable anymore?

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Is there some sweet spot of failure?

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That's a good question.

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I think that the opposite version of that or another end of the spectrum

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is somebody who has never failed or at least claims to have never failed.

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And to be sure there are individuals out there who have never failed.

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Those are actually, there's some risk with that because you gotta

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be able to take a punch and get back up off the mat, so to speak.

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Too much failure?

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Sure, especially from the investor side of the house, or at least

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amongst my colleagues, yeah, red flags, you gotta find the truth.

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If somebody failed multiple times, let's just say to your point, simplify

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it with that, it is not a showstopper at all, but I do want to dig in and

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understand that context very well.

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I do want to reference check that very well and I want to understand

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what they learned from it.

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What do they do differently today as a result of the

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mistakes they made in the past?

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Whether it be on a grand stage or a small stage.

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Ultimately, that goes back to that self-awareness piece.

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If the individual has, if the candidate is able to articulate very clearly,

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and sometimes it takes some reflection on the spot, not a pre-canned

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answer of I did this reflection last year, here's what I came out with.

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But if they're able to articulate what it is they took from that situation and

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how they applied it differently the next time because life is an iterative learning

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process as it is, that gives me confidence that they could step into, like this

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situation, assuming the scorecard, the decent fit, and probably be successful

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and apply those lessons learned.

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But, no surprise, as an investor, we're going to reference check it.

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In full, not through back channels.

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We prefer very much having the candidates connect us to the references

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directly 'cause we're straight up.

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Here's what we're going to talk to them about.

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This is awesome, Bryan, thank you so much for sharing all of this great insight.

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It's great to talk to somebody who geeks out about interviewing and talent

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and in even more detail than I do.

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That's awesome.

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Thank you so much for being on the show today.

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Thank you, Erica.

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And it's debatable that I'm more detail oriented than you.

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I've appreciated the partnership and the relationship so far.

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I look forward to the next one.

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That was Bryan West from Resurgens Technology Partners, sharing what

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it's like behind the scenes when CEOs hire CMOs in PE-backed companies.

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Next time on The Get, I'll speak with Jay Gaines about how a CMO

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in a scale-up should take the reins for overall growth planning.

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You won't want to miss it.

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Thanks for listening to The Get.

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I'm your host Erica Seidel.

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Hiring great marketing leaders is not easy.

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The Get is designed to inspire smart decisions around recruiting and

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leadership in B2B SaaS marketing.

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We explore the trends, tribulations, and triumphs of today's top

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marketing leaders in B2B SaaS.

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This season's theme is Solving for the Scale Journey.

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If you liked this episode, please share it.

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For other insights and recruiting great marketing leaders, what I

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call the 'make money' marketing leaders rather than the 'make it

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pretty' ones, follow me on LinkedIn.

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You can also sign up for my newsletter at TheConnectiveGood.com.

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The Get is produced by Evo Terra and Simpler Media Productions.

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