Archive for the ‘2015 Events & Posts’ Category

There are times when the Human Resources Department of a company must respond to poor earnings, high general and administrative (G &A) costs, and industry forecast by downsizing, reductions in force (RIF) or simply put layoffs.

What if we changed the system of how new and existing talent is acquired?

Today talent is mainly acquired by referrals, job postings, recruiting events and with the use of staffing companies.

In today’s fast moving economy and technological advances there is a need for a system that allows industries to benefit from competitors inability to maintain talent that could become the next great leader.  Think about it, what if the person your company just laid off was the next Mary Barra, current General Motors (GM) CEO who started with GM inspecting panels or the next Kurt Warner  to lead your franchise on a three-year record breaking run with a Superbowl win in between?

In the NFL there is such a system in place.  The system is known as the Waiver System (Waiver Wire) or the Transactions.

WAIVER WIRE

The Waiver Wire system is in use by the National Football League (NFL), Major League Baseball (MLB), National Hockey League (NHL) and National Basketball Association (NBA).  The system has been very effective at helping teams find often overlooked or discarded talented individuals with high potential.

In terms of this discussion, I am only truly qualified to discuss the NFL Waiver system, as during my three year NFL career I was signed,  activated,  de-activated,  waived,  released,  cut,  and resigned by the Jacksonville Jaguars during the 2001 season a total of five times within the same season before being on the active roster the last six games.

Yes, the NFL is a tough business not just on the body but also on the mind.

Question:

What is the difference between waived, cut and released?

All three terms are synonyms for termination of employment.  The number of years of service in the NFL and the time of year has a lot to do with each term as it relates to individual players.  A vested veteran player with four years of service will be handled differently from a player with less years of service.  Keep in mind football does not have recall-able waivers like the business model baseball works under.

  • Waived: A non-vested player (less than four years of service) who is terminated goes through waivers. When he is released another team can claim him within a certain period of time. A vested veteran only goes through the waiver system from the trading deadline in mid-season through the end of the season. During the off-season and all the way up to the trading deadline, a vested veteran gets released.
  • Released: A vested veteran is free when he is terminated and can sign with any club. Keep in mind, if the termination takes place between the end of the trading deadline and the end of the calendar year, the player goes through waivers. A vested veteran released this time of year is free to sign with any team.
  • Cut: Is an unofficial term for being terminated and one of the above two categories applies.

Source: NFL.com “Even in the offseason, NFL education never ends By Pat Kirwan” May 19, 2008

NFL USE OF THE WAIVER SYSTEM

Week to week NFL Teams are forced make roster decisions based on needs position by position.  For example, the starting linebacker gets hurt.  The team needs to get another linebacker who can join the team as a backup or starter.  In order to do this the team must release, waive or cut a player from the 53 man active roster.   Like the supposed method used in layoffs (under-performing talent out first) NFL teams review their roster then select a player to release regardless of position.  Some teams will release an under-performing veteran to free up money to sign a younger player or a better performing veteran.

A notice then goes out on the Waiver Wire to the other 31 NFL teams that X player at X position has been released, waived or cut.  Thus giving the other 32 NFL teams the opportunity to evaluate X player to assess if that players talent can help their team.

INTRO: THE CORPORATE WAIVER WIRE

The Joseph Wesley Company has just completed a round of layoffs.  We theoretically were able to identify those employees who were not performing to expectations.  Three months have elapsed and the outlook for growth is great plus we have secured a major client that will require the company to staff up in order to service.

Now instead of the company having to contact multiple staffing companies (who at times submit the same resume), resurrect the internal referral program (hidden cost) and spend money on ads announcing the company is hiring we can simply access the Corporate Waiver Wire.

The Corporate Waiver Wire, like the NFL, will post personnel by position, years of experience, last company and transaction description all in one place.  Hiring corporations and organizations can just simply look at the talent now available on the waiver wire.  Just like in the NFL you can bring in selected talent by position or years of experience.

You can now save on overhead by not having to spend money on the unforeseeable costs of hiring.

Companies just as NFL Teams will still have to complete the interview process but will now have a better more effective and efficient method of finding talent quickly.  Where it takes months to weeks to find just that right candidate to fill those open positions it will now take days to possibly hours.

I think I am on to something here.  Who has the startup Capital?

SUMMARY

Simply put corporate culture has looked to sports for years to understand and adapt for use multiple concepts and methods.  Things like Leadership, Management, Building Winning Teams, Employee Motivation, and the list goes on.  Now we have another concept we should look at. Use of the Waiver Wire for Talent Management.

Think about it.

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start a movement

TESTING TED TALK: “HOW TO START A MOVEMENT”

A few months ago a colleague emailed me a link to the Ted Talk Video “How to Start a Movement”.  He thought it was very funny and that I should watch it.  Click the link below to view.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V74AxCqOTvg

So, like any person who already has hundreds of emails and multiple meetings, the video sat in my inbox. When I finally got to the video, one month later, I enjoyed it so much I watched it twice.

My first impression was to laugh and say this guy is crazy and this can’t possibly be a practical submission exemplifying leadership.   But on my second review I began to understand what the speaker was communicating.

Speaker Points

Derek Sivers, speaking points recap, just in case you haven’t watched the video.

  1. A Leader must have the Guts to stand alone and be the Lone Nut.   New ideas and concepts are often crazy to people who are “Status Quo Committed” complacent thinkers.
  2. The First Follower. It’s not about the Leader but the 1st person to follow. This person gives the crazy idea person legitimacy. The First Follower makes the Lone Nut a Leader.
  3. Tipping Point: The 2nd Follower. This person establishes the movement and confirms the Lone Nut and the 1stnd Follower.

TEST TIME: THE BUFFET LINE

A few months ago I participated in the Seal Legacy Foundations golf tournament held in Houston.

I and event best friend, Jamie Lee Thurston, were standing around talking. (If you know and love country music, yes, this is the Jamie Lee Thurston)  Together we looked on as the caterers set up the serving stations. They put out the heating pans filled them with water and lit the small fire cups underneath.

Next they brought out all of the food; they brought out ribs, mashed potatoes, vegetables, potatoes salad, a green salad, and off to the side a table reserved just for deserts.  There was nothing unique, different or intimidating about the process.  It went off smooth without any hiccups.

Once the crew finished they left and went back into the club house, it was as if they disappeared into thin air.  Then the waiting game started. About ten minutes or so went by and we (the crowd) it seems were paralyzed. We had no direction and no leader to carry us home.

Then it hit me, “I should try out this Theory of “How to Start a Movement”.

So I pulled my new found friend Jamie Lee Thurston to the side and explained to him the principle of what we could accomplish if we worked together.   I gave him a quick overview about the Dancing Guy Video.  My new friend’s response was “I get it but I am hungry.  I just don’t want to go out there by myself.”

I had found my Lone Wolf, the guy that would seem like the Lone Nut.

But I changed the game by committing to Jamie Lee Thurston that if he went first that I would be his 1st Follower.  He agreed and we moved forward with the plan.

Now the conditions were set and all I had to do was be sure to take notes.

Jamie Lee Thurston goes first.   About two minutes go by and to my surprise no one else hopped in.

Next, I make my move to get in line and pick up a plate then start to add food.  Of course I selected the ribs first.

As Jamie finishes I am half way done and we have gained the third and fourth followers.  Now, we had a full-fledged movement.  I turned around to note the people who at first were by-standers and on-lookers.

They had all joined the buffet line movement to ensure they did not get left out.  Once I sat down I began to count the people.  My final count was twenty five people.

LESSONS LEARNED

To put this into perspective these twenty five people represent missed opportunities to be first and to ensure their plate of food was the hottest as well as freshest food served.

Just as Jamie Lee Thurston and I went through the line as the Lone Nut and First Follower we did prove these concepts;

  1. In the simplest of environments (Buffet Line) with predictable out comes (get fresh hot food) people still have anxiety about standing out in crowd. http://anxietynetwork.com/content/what-social-anxiety-is-like
  2. It really does take a 1st follower to get the party started.
  3. When looking to do something different make sure it is public and that you have a Leader (LONE NUT) and a 1st Follower.

In the end I proved to myself and hopefully to you that there is legitimacy to Derek Sivers “How to Start A Moment”. http://www.ted.com/talks/derek_sivers_how_to_start_a_movement?language=en

AVDA (Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse) Launches #EndAbuse Social Media Campaign to Increase Awareness of Domestic Violence and Resources Available to the Victims.

On May 27, 2015, AVDA (Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse), a Houston-based non-profit that provides life-saving services to victims of abuse and their families, will launch its first-ever social media campaign – #EndAbuse.

The campaign’s goal is to increase awareness of the issue of domestic violence in Houston and to inform victims of domestic violence as well as the public about AVDA’s services that are available to help victims, their families and the abusers.

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, one in three women and one in four men in the United States have been victims of some form of physical violence by an intimate partner within their lifetime. The Texas Department of Health Services and the 2014-2015 Harris County Community Plan reports that more than 250,000 Harris County women are in domestic violence situations.Post to Twitter and Facebook.

Gojoewesley.com will be posting to Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram #ENDABUSE #Gojoewesley.com

You can also follow me as I will be out in the community soliciting people to take a pic. with me and the #EndAbuse Hashtag.

My goal is to get 20 people to take part with me. Will you be one?

Posted: May 8, 2015 in 2015 Events & Posts

adapt

ADAPTABILITY

I was sitting in my office this week when my colleague asked me a very thought provoking question.

“He asked “ In your opinion why has there been some much turn over in this position?”  He went on to say “It pays good and the responsibilities are simple”. I paused for a second. Then I proceeded to give him an overview of all the people whom held the position and what their individual strengths and weaknesses were..

But in the end my conclusion was simple “Adaptability”.  Those employees were not able to adapt to sudden change in work scope or with directions that required multi-source inclusion. 20% quit, 45% duties reassigned, another 20% were moved to a less demanding role and 15% were removed out of the department.

Understanding this, it caused me to think on the matter a little more. In my research I came upon this article that may give you a little more insight into “ADAPTABILITY”.

This column is part of a series formed from a partnership between Entrepreneur and NFL Players Inc. Click here to see the other columns.

In the NFL, adapting to different positions, coaching styles and the strategies of opposing teams is imperative to staying in the game. And in business, adaptability is similarly crucial to your longevity.

The average career of an NFL player lasts 3.3 years. A coach once told me that if a player lasts 10 years in the league, he will have been a huge success. From that very moment, I set a goal to play in the NFL for at least 10 years.

My long-term goal required that my short-term goals be flexible — adjusting on an almost-constant basis. My first job was on the practice squad in 2003. Then, I earned a position on special teams. In 2005, I was brought in for third downs, and I finally landed a spot as a full-time starter in 2009.

Related: 4 Leadership Traits Shared by Successful Quarterbacks and CEOs

At each level, I needed to adapt physically and mentally to changing opportunities. For instance, one adjustment meant playing tackle and gaining weight until I was 315 pounds. Shortly thereafter, I had to lose all that weight to drop to a lean 260 pounds. If I had not been able to adapt every step along the way, there’s no way I would have seen an 11-year career.

In business, circumstances also change, and not recognizing when adjustments are necessary can lead to your company’s demise. Here are four areas to always keep top of mind:

  1. Competition:  What is your competition doing? Are competitors offering something that you aren’t? Has a new player entered the market? What differentiates your business from others? It’s imperative to study the competition so that you know the adjustments that are necessary to outperform them.
  1. Customers:   Are you connecting with your customers? Are you interactive and responsive? Now, more than ever, the communication cycle has a direct effect on your ability to stay on top of current conditions impacting your niche — allowing you to get a feel for where the market is headed and what your target audience is consuming.

Related: How the Most Important Lessons in Football Apply to Running Your Business

  1. Technology:  Are you keeping up with technology? Do you frequently look for new ways to streamline what you do? Technology trends can reveal new markets or merchandising opportunities, but they can also introduce new methods to give your business a winning edge.
  1. The Plan:  Are you regularly reviewing short- and long-term goals to identify any corrections that need to be made? Draw out the big picture for your business — but know that this is merely a starting point that is bound to evolve. A business plan is like a football game plan in that, sometimes, the strategy must change mid-game to adjust to what the competition is doing.

To this end, small, incremental changes may be the most effective. Other times, however, a major transformation is in order. Either way, stay nimble so you can navigate toward your end goal.

Related: Your Product Launch Feels Like the Super Bowl But It’s Really the Start of the Season

Our launch of Athlitacomics Sports Heroes, a line of merchandise that merges professional athletics with super-heroic mythology, exemplifies an instance where my team and I discovered that, to be more timely and cost efficient, we would need to modify our original plan and alter one of our short-term goals.

By making a slight adjustment, our introduction of Sports Heroes to the marketplace was accelerated and some fantastic partnerships were formed. If we had resisted taking Sports Heroes in this direction, we would have missed a great opportunity for profitability. Just as I had learned to do in the NFL, I adapted as a small business owner, embracing change to make it work to my benefit.

It’s a skill that will help you stay on top of your game — so always be ready to call an audible when new opportunities are identified.

DIPLOMACY

Posted: April 16, 2015 in 2015 Events & Posts

Diplomacy

Diplomacy

A great question that I am consistently asking myself “When do you stop diplomacy?”

I was raised in a big family. There were three girls and two boys.  In our early years we always had brother sister disputes.  Typical things like leaving the toilet seat up or the occasional “remote control” warfare.

We had a very lively household.  As we got older into our teen years we began to fight less and engage in more loud debates like “who got here first” or “I was watching that show but you left the room”.

In these cases we would present our argument to the other siblings. Then they would decide a verdict.

I believe as a result of that I developed a talent for being diplomatic. That skill was very useful as I played college and professional football and now in my professional life.

So again, I asked myself “When do you stop being diplomatic?” I believe the answer is simple.

Diplomacy stops when the other party(s) involved illustrates demeaning or disrespectful behavior. At that point the best solution is to end the conversation. Move on and get over it.