Hire Me HeadBlade

Today’s Missive is about a lot of things. It’s about shaved heads. It’s about social media. It’s about a man on a quest for his dream job. But mostly it’s about passion. And putting ourselves out there to realize a dream.

Once upon a time, there was guy called Eric Romer. Eric shaved his head. He loved that clean scalp look. And he used products by HeadBlade to keep him nick-free. He was a fan.

On Twitter, Eric heard that HeadBlade was looking for an Interactive/Social Media Manager. He wanted this job. He dreamed about this job. And he was determined to get it. But how to stand out of the pack?

So, Eric started a campaign. HireMeHeadBlade.com, @hiremeheadblade, www.youtube.com/user/HireMeHeadBlade, hiremeheadblade@gmail.com, and his Facebook fan page were born.

The buzz exploded. Including this one on Twitter:

@HeadBlade If you don’t hire @HireMeHeadBlade, you’re nuts. He’s already executed a social media campaign for you. FREE.

He got a call from HeadBlade for an interview. In ONE DAY. That’s right. From the time he saw the job posting, through development of his campaign, to the huge social media buzz that prompted HeadBlade to actually call this guy – 8 hours. A mere 24 hours later, he was on the phone interviewing with the CEO.

And, in case you’re wondering – yes, he got the job.

So what’s the moral of this story? The moral is: You need to care. And commit to being something great. You can’t just throw a resume together and expect to get hired. You can’t just show up at work, slog through your day, and expect to get a raise and a bonus.

You need to be passionate about what you do. Whether it’s chasing an uber-cool new job or making the job you already have totally amazing, be fierce in your commitment to getting what you want. Do what it takes, even if that means colouring outside the lines. It will change your life.


It's Okay to be Different

With its Think Different campaign, Apple found common ground with designers, artists, and rebels of all kinds. This ad was first released in 1997. A decade later, it's still relevant. And not a single reference to an Apple product.

Here's to the Crazy Ones.

Is Being Nice Overrated?

Today's post inspired by Execution by Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan.

Suppose a leader goes to a plant or business headquarters and speaks to the people there. He is sociable and courteous. He shows superficial interest in his subordinates' kids - how well they are doing in school, how they like the community, and so on. Or he chats about the World Series, the Super Bowl, or the local basketball team. He may ask some shallow questions abour the business, such as "What's your level of revenue?" This leader is not engaged in his business.

When the visit is over, some of the managers may feel a sense of relief because everything seemed to go so well and so pleasantly. But the managers who are any good will be disappointed. They'll ask themselves, What was the point? They had prepared for tough questions - good people like to be quizzed because they know more about the business than the leader. They'll get frustrated and feel drained of energy. They didn't get a chance to make a good impression on the leader - and the leader certainly didn't make a good impression on them.

Of course, the leader hasn't learned anything. The next time he makes prognostications about the company, the press or the securities analysts may be awed, but the people in the business will know better. They'll ask each other, "How on earth could he say those things so confidently when he doesn't have a clue about what's happening down here?"

MM: When you work with teams, are you asking the tough questions and finding out what's really going on? Or are you just a superficial "nice guy" leader? Yes, absolutely you need to have a pleasant and open working relationship. But gaining the respect and trust of those you work with does not come from just a hearty handshake and a quick chat over coffee. Your best people want to be challenged. So dive into the issues. "What's holding you back from delivering plan?" "Give me three things you can do to improve your bottom line within the next six months." "Why did you have a downturn last quarter and what are you doing to correct this?"

When I was in my senior year of university, my grades weren't all they could be. I whined about it to my boyfriend - the work is so hard, my profs are so tough, I'm doing the best I can. He could have just been nice to me: Yes, it is hard. And those profs are just mean. But he did more for me, because he really did care about me: You know, you are not really working as hard as you can. You're better than this. His answer shocked me. Wasn't he supposed to be on my side? But here's the thing. He was right. I was coasting and he called me on it. I re-doubled my efforts at school and my grades went up by 15%. That boyfriend risked a breakup by showing me the cold, hard truth and demonstrating that he really did care about me. This is one of the reasons why that boyfriend is now my husband. 21 years and still going strong.

Do the right thing by your team and help them be all they can be.


The Moment of Silence

Say you're in a room full of people. Everyone is talking at once. You've got something important to say but no one can hear you. An 800-lb gorilla steps into the room and everyone falls silent, afraid to speak. But you stand on a chair, point to the back door, and shout: "Hey! There's a way out." Everyone hears you and they safely exit the room.

It's the same with Brand. Don't talk when everyone else is. Have something of relevance to say. And take advantage of the moment of silence when it arrives. (Hint: That moment is here.)

The Economist explains with pretty pictures. Of course, this doesn't just work with print advertising. This relates to all marketing-related tactics: online, social media, brand building, etc. (Please forward this post to anyone you know who cares about business development, marketing, or industry leadership. Please Twitter, Facebook, or share via flattened dead trees. (Via Brand Flakes for Breakfast.)

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