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BGBS 030: Geoff Smart | ghSMART Part 2 | Who: Hiring Tips

BGBS 030: Geoff Smart | ghSMART Part 2 | Who: Hiring Tips

 
 
00:00 / 00:34:06
 
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BGBS 030: Geoff Smart | Part 2: Who: Hiring Tips

Founder of ghSMART & Co, Geoff Smart is sharing how he studied under Peter Drucker and found his calling to help businesses solve their number one problem; who to hire and how to bring them on the team. As the creator of a Fortune 500 company that is regularly voted one of the top businesses to work for, Geoff tells us his step by step process of hiring with a 90% success rate.

Prepare yourself to learn crucial information in how to build your dream team. 

What we’re talking about

  • The Number One Problem in Business Today
  • Ineffective Ways Businesses Interview Candidates
  • How to Hire With a 90% Success Rate

The Number One Problem in Business Today

ghSMART & Co is one of the best leadership consulting firms in the world. Geoff Smart discusses the number one problem in business today, hiring. When asked, CEOs report that the top two problems today are talent and technology disruption.

Ineffective Ways Businesses Interview Candidates

The current practices of businesses hiring process can be said to be ineffective, inefficient, and miss the mark by a mile. This isn’t necessarily their fault. A “good hiring” process isn’t being taught in school. Most frame the interview around hypothetical situations and questions. This only gives you hypothetical answers.

 How to Hire With a 90% Success Rate

Geoff gives us his highly successful step by step hiring process, information that top companies pay thousands of dollars to learn. 

Are you ready to elevate your company by building your dream team? 

LINKS MENTIONED

Who: The A Method for Hiring by Geoff Smart

Leadocracy: Hiring More Great Leaders (Like You) into Government  by Geoff Smart

Power Score: Your Formula for Leadership Success by Geoff Smart

SPONSOR

Wildstory

TIMESTAMPS

  • 10:55 – 11:18 (23 sec GS) One of the principles of good hiring…daunting challenge of picking the right people.
  • 12:23 – 12:53 (30 sec GS) When you’re in a great job…it could be really miserable.

QUOTES

  1. One fad is to ask people hypothetical questions. When you ask people hypothetical questions, they give you hypothetical answers. And those answers don’t tend to be grounded in reality about how people actually behave or perform on the job. GS
  2. The goal is to have 90% hiring success vs. 50% hiring success by following the steps. GS

Podcast Transcript

Geoff Smart 0:02
You know, when you’re in a great job, like your life is great. Like, it just is like, we spend so much of our, our lives working. You know, if you’re really engaged in your in your work and you love your job, it’s a wonderful thing and that if that job fits really well, it has a huge effect on your life satisfaction. And if a job is mismatching, you know the personality of your colleagues as wrong as kind of offer the actual work itself, the content of the work, they really like, you know, it can be really miserable.

Marc Gutman 0:35
podcasting, Boulder, Colorado. This is the baby got backstory podcast. we dive into the story behind the story of today’s most inspiring storytellers, creators and entrepreneurs. I like big back stories and I cannot lie. I am your host, Marc Gutman.

I’m Marc Gutman in today’s special episode of baby Got backstory. part two of our interview with hiring expert Dr. Geoff smart of gh smart. In our last episode, Geoff shared his story of how he studied under legendary business guru Peter Drucker and found his calling to help businesses solve their number one problem, who to hire, who to bring on the team. After spending years studying this question and working with thousands of companies, Geoff is back to share his process for hiring the right person. Every time I improve this stuff works. And the good news is you can do it yourself. Listen closely as Geoff shares his process. This is the secret goods people. This is the stuff Geoff’s clients pay huge fees for and you can get it right here. Right now.

So, Geoff, I’m looking at your book right now, on the covering. It’s called “Who” On the cover and really big type. It says solve your number one problem. Yeah, what is the number one problem we need to solve?

Geoff Smart 2:13
So the number one problem is hiring. And that’s based on an economist cover article from a few years ago, it declared after surveying thousands or 10s of thousands of business and government leaders, like what’s the biggest problem facing our world, it’s talent. And so also top universities, poll CEOs all the time, every year you know, hey, what are the biggest things on your, on your mind? and talent and technology? disruption are typically one in two and talent and being like, you know, how do you hire and develop talented teams, so our marketing people at Random House or publisher, or like write a book on hiring is sounds boring and it sounds like an HR manual.

So let’s not market it like hey, here’s like the world’s greatest book on hiring Instead, let’s make this the nothing short of the solution to your number one problem. And so I liked that I appreciated their guidance. That’s why we call it who, because that’s, you know, when you’re in boardrooms or you’re hanging out with government leaders or you’re hanging out with entrepreneurs, the you know, some of those important sensitive, scary exciting conversations are around like Who are we hiring or who’s not working out in our company who might need to get fired? Who this who that Who should we pair with this important initiative? So the who questions we thought Oh, also deserve the title who because the who stuffs your number one problem also thanks a nod out to Jim Collins. Good to Great first get the right people on the on the bus and in the right seats. And he he has a quote in good degrade I hope I get this right.

I said the the most important decisions in business are not the what decisions. They’re the who decisions. So according to the economist, according to leading universities who survey thousand CEOs, According to Jim Collins himself, this topic of hiring and picking the right people and building a talented team is the number one problem in business. So we set out to write the the top selling book on the number one problem in business. And we did and so that’s that feels good, like the whole circle was completed. It’s like here’s this daunting challenge that so many business leaders say they struggle with, let’s use our our research and our experiences with clients and try to you know, shape a nice simple framework to help leaders solve their number one problem.

Marc Gutman 4:48
It is a problem and I feel a little like guilty admitting this, but until I heard you speak and I read your book, I like hated hiring. I’m like, I loathed it. Like it was something that like, made me feel it. And now I can’t say that I love it today. I’m better now and thanks to your book and your, in your methodology. It’s helped me quite a bit. But I get the feeling that you love it. Like what do you if that’s true, what do you love about it?

Geoff Smart 5:16
What’s wrong with me? Why do I learned because here’s why, it’s important. When you get it wrong. It’s painful and costly when you get it right. It’s a company maker. And so so just, you know, doesn’t matter as a matter. Yeah, like it matters so much. So that’s one reason I like it. The other reason I like it is, most people do it wrong. They just do it wrong. They do it the wrong way, according to a century of research by thousands of academics and lots of consultants who study this stuff for a living, and by doing it, but by having most people doing it wrong, that provides an edge or a source of competitive advantage for those who choose to learn how Do it right. And so it’s fun. It’s like a superpower.

It’s like you go when there’s a government leader, or we’re working with a governor. And you know how, if you can imagine and in government land, hiring a cabinet, you know, your top team, your top like 20 leaders, after you just won an election in November, and then you’ve got like a month and a half until your inauguration to like, higher, higher higher up this whole team from scratch. The hiring success rates of governors putting their cabinets together is abysmal.

So if you get them to be honest, they would admit it’s even worse than the 50% hiring success rate that business people say that they achieved. So imagine all the problems that causes at scale, right? Oh, you know, in government or business or wherever, or if you have like a, you know, a 50% or worse, hiring success rate. taxpayer dollars get wasted. Fraud happens, you know, dishonesty happens, bad results happen. So I love the main reason I love hirings just because I feel like it really is the most important question to get right. And in any organization you’re trying to lead, and the fact that we have knowledge about, you know, good methods and bad methods. And, and, and it’s not widespread, and most people do it wrong, makes that extra exciting as well.

Marc Gutman 7:21
Yeah, why do we do it wrong? I mean, we’re, you know, we’re kind of smart people as a whole as a species. Like why did we get this wrong? Why can’t we figure this thing out?

Geoff Smart 7:30
Yeah. So unlike finance and accounting, 101 and marketing, and you know, other disciplines that have clear methods that we get taught in school, good hiring until fairly recently hasn’t been taught anywhere you don’t learn it in high school, you don’t take a class on it in college, and even at some of the best business schools in the world are my colleagues will go teach a you know, one class period on on on good hiring methods. You know, across a two year MBA program, so the short answers, you know, you’re, you’re not taught how to do it. And then like, Well, why can’t we come up with hiring methods that are intuitive or whatever? It’s because our intuition is wrong a lot.

For example, one very common way to interview people for jobs is to ask them hypothetical questions. And this is like a whole fad that started in the 90s. And you see it today, people, you know, Hey, Marc, how would you resolve a conflict with a colleague? How would you How would you it’s a hypothetical question. And then marc goes, Oh, you know, I would sit that colleague down, and we’d have a conversation about our goals. And we would work through our differences. And we’d come up with a win win solution, and say, Oh, great. So what do we know about Marc? We don’t know anything about marc, we just know that marc can say what he would do in a hypothetical situation. It seems like useful data. It’s just not. When you ask people hypothetical questions. They give you hypothetical answers. And those answers don’t tend to be grounded in reality about How they actually behave or perform on the job. So they’re like a bunch of things like that, that, that once I pointed out, you might go. Oh, yeah, that makes sense. Yeah, asking people hypothetical questions is dumb. But if you go watch 100 managers, interviewing people’s fresh off campuses, or for not for profits or in governments are not for profits, you know, big, big ones are or businesses. There’s a ton of that hypothetical interviewing going on. So anyway, it’s like, you know, you don’t get taught it. People invent their own intuitive approaches.

I had one guy, I remembered a semiconductor company, tell me or tell a bunch of us I was doing a keynote over a lunchtime retreat, this company was having he, at the beginning of my thing. He said, I know, I know, you’re going to tell us the Holy Grail for hiring. But he’s like, I just got to share this really great approach that I use for hiring people. And I said, well, what’s that? And he said, Yeah, I like to ask people what kind of animal animal they’d be, and why. And everyone kinda laughed to that. I said, Well, how do you know what the right answer is? And he said, I developed a whole, you know, a whole matrix of like, what different, different answers mean? And I’m like, Oh, that’s great. What? And how has it helped you be a successful hiring manager? And he said, No, no, I’m terrible at hiring, but at least it cuts the boredom of the process. So it’s like, why are we bad at hiring, we’re bad at hiring because the best methods aren’t taught to us in school, and aren’t really taught to us on the job.

And then, you know, you kind of fill the void with intuitive approaches that you think might work but, you know, aren’t really grounded in science or reality. I’m also people, it’s awkward, right? I mean, sitting and trying to, you know, get to know somebody is a bit awkward. I think a lot of people feel just simply uncomfortable with it. So they try to talk about the weather or sports teams or they sort of talk about anything and you know, one of the principles of good interviewing and hiring us, you’re not supposed to talk about just anything because If you are just making conversation with somebody that’s not a very, like data driven way to evaluate their capabilities, and it’s just like chatting, chatting doesn’t make for good interviews, but is the way that a lot of untrained folks default when they’re faced with the daunting challenge of, of picking the right people.

Marc Gutman 11:18
Yeah, and I also think, you know, a couple things, you know, just from my own experience, it takes a lot of work. It’s not easy, so just anything that’s good, it takes some work and you got to put some, put some work into it.

And also like, as you start to get down the process, like I personally start to feel bad like I have this like, guilt about you know, bringing people through a process and and I could tell myself look, this is all about making sure it’s a right fit for them and that they’re gonna be successful long term, but I do have this like, sense of like, I feel bad and like, you know, and I’ve even made bad hiring decisions because I feel bad. And of course, we know those don’t work out but, and I’ve experienced that myself.

Geoff Smart 11:52
Yeah, I hear you. You’re nice and you’re empathetic. And yeah, you’re judging people. Like it’s a weird thing. It’s a weird kind of almost like A natural structure for to be judging people. But to your point, yeah, if you’re better at both sides, the employee perspective in play and the hiring manager, use better methods for judging the other one, then you’ll have a greater chance of a good match happening and when a good match happens, I guess that’s one of the other thing is I just really feel strongly about and why I love this topic of hiring is, you know, when you’re in a great job, like your life is great.

Like, it just is like, we spend so much of our, our lives working. If you’re really engaged in your in your work and you love your job. It’s a wonderful thing, and that if the job fits really well, it has a huge effect on your life satisfaction. And if a job is a mismatch, ie you know, the personality of your colleagues as wrong as kind of off or the actual work itself, the content of the work, they don’t really like, you know, it can be really miserable.

And I saw something I think it was a Gallup poll, maybe six months ago, that only I’m going to get this number wrong by a few percentages that Something like only 29% of people love their jobs and the rest don’t and that’s sad to me so I think yeah two point on it takes hard work on both sides to really figure out if a job is a good fit and maybe that explains partially why folks who get busy and you know have so many entrepreneurs I know you know feel like they have so many fires to put out it’s very difficult and it’s understandably difficult for them to sit down and you know, have write out a scorecard and you know, do some of the other best practices to to increase the the hiring success rate.

Marc Gutman 13:37
This episode brought to you by wild story. Wait, isn’t that your company? It is. And without the generous support of wild story, this show would not be possible. A brand isn’t a logo or a tagline or even your product. A brand is a person’s gut feeling about a product service or company. It’s what people say about you when you’re not in the room. Wildstory helps progressive founders and savvy marketers build purpose driven brands that connect their business goals with the customers they want to serve. So that both the business and the customer needs are met. This results in crazy, happy, loyal customers that purchase again and again. And this is great for business. If that sounds like something you and your team might want to learn more about, reach out @ www.wildstory.com. And we’d be happy to tell you more. Now back to our show.

Speaking consists of other things that can create issues around that. And right now we’re in the middle as you mentioned, a big pandemic and like how is your current How is the current situation changed your thinking on hiring and leadership like like, how are you approaching this in a different matter? Are you?

Geoff Smart 14:54
Yeah, let’s see here. So let’s let’s think about this for a moment. So the principles Good hiring, I think still apply, we could talk about those later. But as you’re creating the criteria for who you’re hiring, or as you’re actually doing interviews by video or by phone rather than in person, I think it actually slightly increases the importance of making sure all the checklist items are hit, because you can’t just throw time in person time with with someone as a solution to the problem. So you know, like maybe pre pandemic even allows the hiring process can work pretty well.

If you just spend a ton of ton of ton of in person time with with the people you’re thinking about hiring like so that’s, that’s kind of like a bad return on investment. timewise. But you can get to a pretty good answer just by spending a ton of time in person with people. Well, you can’t do that in a pandemic. So guess what? You have to default then to the best practices and be more like surgical with how you spend time with folks. By video or by phone, doing reference calls, etc, you gotta like, do all that stuff if you want to achieve 90% hiring success, which is what the goal is the goal is to have 90% hiring success versus 50% hiring success by by following the steps. And then I think as your, I think it’s and it’s just harder.

So you better have a much better value proposition for an employee, if you expect him or her to leave a great company and join your company in the middle of a pandemic. So I think the energy and the empathy required to really bond with someone and to have them trust you enough to leave their perfectly good job in the middle of a pandemic and join your company is higher, I think the bar is higher than in a, you know, than in a more stable environment. So bottom line is, I think it’s just as important as it always is. And I think it’s even more important that folks follow a discipline process to get it right.

Marc Gutman 16:56
Yeah, and you know, and there’s people going to be, you know, it’s hard, hard to get someone to But also, given what we’re seeing in the headlines and what we know, anecdotally, there’s potentially some really great candidates out there that can come join your company. And yes, be that difference maker in a way and that they’re going to be looking for things like you talked about, like that Harvard case studies student talked about, like, why should I come join your company? And also, you know, finding that right match or there’s some principles of good hiring, that you’re able to share with, you know, with the audience so that they might be able to get a leg up?

Geoff Smart 17:29
Sure. You bet. And I’m with you on that. I think it’s smart to because it’s hard to forecast in this environment, demand and revenue. I think it’s smart to follow these great steps for hiring that I’m about to describe, but then maybe hold on just a moment and not actually start the person right away, but to build kind of like a virtual bench of talent, that as the business conditions get increasingly clearer and you can forecast you know, revenue etc, then all of a sudden, you can like snap all these great folks off the bat. So, so just like a little bit of caution there, because I think it is hard no matter what industry folks are in today, other than hospitals and maybe Amazon, it’s hard to know what you’re doing, you know, obviously, tons of activity these days, it’s hard to forecast revenue.

So in the environment, like like we’re in right now, with increased importance. These are the four steps of good hiring, that we find are associated with a 90% hiring success rate. Now imagine, Marc, you hired 10 people, like nine out of 10 people work out great. And we define hiring success super simply, just as a year after you hire the person, are you glad you hired them or not? And so, if the goal is 90% hiring success, here are the four steps and these are outlined in our book, and they’re super important in the during a time of crisis. One The first step is called the scorecard. And so one big mistake in hiring is is just using like the name of a job as a, as a proxy for a scorecard. Like we’re trying to hire a marketing coordinator. Okay, well, what does that actually mean? You know, what do you need the person to deliver? What are the outcomes that you’ll you’ll measure their success based on? So what are the competencies that are really important for this role and for our, our firm?

Um, so that first step is creating a scorecard writing out basically like the criteria of what you expect the person to accomplish is step one, step two, is called the source step. And there’s a couple ways to do that. Well, actually, one unexpected way to source lots of good candidates is to pay incentives here existing employees to source people, and it can be like 500 bucks, or, you know, dinner out, or, you know, as much as $10,000, we’ve heard, aren’t like to offer a referral fee to existing employees to do the hard work to really source in more good people. So that’s One, one hint on source.

On the third step is called the Select step. So this is this is where the interviews are really important. So in the Select step, you need to have a good intro interview where you know, you try not to be too eager, you know, and you basically just have like a career conversation with someone, you know, what are your career goals? What are some of your strengths? What are some of the things you’re not as good at, you’d have like a really kind of enjoyable, substantive, initial call with someone that’s like, we call that the screening interview. And then when you have, when you’ve narrowed down the list of candidates for like a key job to maybe two or three, then you you wheel out the heavy artillery. And you do one of these who interviews, which is long, it’s like two hours plus for a senior hire, where you sit there and interview them about their their whole life kind of in chronological order.

So starting back in the school age, what were some highlights and lowlights of the school years, and then let’s talk about each job and talk about What you’re hired to do, and what you accomplished, and what some low points were, and mistakes, who you worked with, and like, what what your boss was like to work with, and what your boss would say, was like working with you. And then Why’d you leave that job and what comes next. So doing like a really thorough walkthrough someone’s resume in chronological order, like that is a really key step. And then the final step, the fourth and final step, we call sell, which is once you’ve decided, hey, this person really has accomplished great things against the scorecard.

We want them you know, we’re very confident that they’re going to do a great job, then you have to figure out how to sell them and to your earlier question, like how do you persuade them to leave another company and trust you, you know, especially during a time of crisis, and join your company, and we we did a big study for the who book of successful entrepreneurs and we asked them like, how did you sell people on joining your company, and generally, it was like a checklist of like, one or more of five things that make Someone want to join your company. And they all start with the letter F, as in Foxtrot.

So fit. So sell them on the fit, Hey, your strengths and talents match, you know, like this, you fit what we’re what we’re all about your values etc. Family, which is basically like hey, you know zere if you have a significant other are they? Are they comfortable with you joining our firm? Do they have any questions like, you know how and obviously it’s a steer clear of asking people questions like whether they’re pregnant or planning on having a baby anytime soon or asking any questions that are not appropriate for for an interview. But you can certainly ask people if they’re, if they’re relevant family members or supportive of their taking a new job, whether your company, what else fortune is a third app, it’s like telling people what they’re likely to make and not be guessing them. But just showing them how their compensation is calculated, and what it could be expected to grow to over the next few years about very important So clarity is key freedom.

So I’m deciding what freedoms people will have working for you, is really key. Everybody really wants a high degree of freedom these days. And so emphasizing that as pretty key and fun as the last one. So basically, hey, what’s fun about working at your company, and it’s like, what the actual content of the work, you know, the teamwork, that collegiality, letting them talk to people and really get a sense for what’s fun about working at your company is the fifth and final F, and the five F’s for selling. So those are like the almost like a checklist that we use that we teach our clients to use around, you know, let’s make sure we’re communicating a brand message for hire for joining this company that hits you know, one or more of those five apps that are important to the person.

Marc Gutman 23:48
Well, thanks for sharing that. And you know, I know this is all supported and comes out of years and years of study and years of years of science and work but like as you go through the steps, it doesn’t sound that bad. All

Geoff Smart 24:00
right. Thank you. Yeah, I love that. And so it’s weird. It’s people who’ve read our books or clients say things like, yeah, this is like, really common sense. But it’s kind of uncommon practice.

Marc Gutman 24:14
Yeah. And and I can I can speak from experience of going through it gives you a framework, it gives you an ability. I mean, I’m an emotional as you mentioned person, and I can tend to let that get in the way of my decisions, versus really tying things to outcomes like you outlined in the scorecard. And we we hire people, we wonder, why can’t they do this thing that we wanted, because we didn’t tell them and we didn’t lay it out, or they don’t know yet how they’re being measured.

So really appreciate you laying out those four steps as well as the five apps and in for everyone that’s interested, that’s definitely in the handbook and in detail, and because it does go into depth and gives it great examples on that book as well. So thanks a lot for that, Geoff. You bet. So Geoff, what’s next for you in gh smart?

Geoff Smart 24:57
Wow, what’s next? All right. That’s fun question. Let’s see here. So our growth story is pretty simple. There’s nothing next for me. It’s I’m just I love my job. I love being chairman and founder of ghsmart is an awesome platform. So I will continue to play my role, every now and then I like to do a stint in some form of public service. So like a few years ago, I took nine months off to work full time for a governor that was up for reelection, who was trying to figure out whether or not to keep the team intact, like, you know, sir, who is going to stay who is not going to stay in the team. So I was like chief talent Officer of a 20,000 person $30 billion budget, state. And that was super fun.

So that was, so I’d like to stay with gh smart, continue to do my work as chairman and founder here, and then kind of toggle out for brief stints of public service helping leaders of whether it’s not for profits or government To to hire, and develop talented teams. It’s kind of my thing I like I just really enjoy that, that work. And that’s about it. So my role is this plus some community service public service since in the future that the firm’s future is like focusing on three things. So, with our SEO clients, we only help them with a narrow set of problems. And so we want to keep widening the problems that we help our SEO clients to solve. So for example, back in the early days of gh smart, we’re very focused on helping CEOs and investors, assessing senior talent like that was it that’s all we did, and then we added coaching, so we’re going to assess the talent, we’re going to coach the talent, and then we move from the individual focus to more of a team focus.

So today, we help senior leaders and their teams, you know, hire and develop talent and run the team at full power, as we say, in the future, you know, I think they’re gonna be awesome. there other things, other problems that CEOs face that are leadership oriented that we can help them solve. We don’t do any compensation work today. We don’t do any large scale, organizational culture monitoring kind of work today like aligning culture to strategy. There’s just a bunch of things that we could do for CEOs that we, we just don’t have solutions for yet. So take, you know, kind of continue to expand the set of solutions that we offer, which is number one.

Number two is geographic expansion. So there with 12 offices around the US and only one internationally, it’s in London. We started at three years ago. It’s doing great. And we’d like to expand from London to continental Europe. So that’s, that’s on the docket for the near term. We’d like to open a Southeast Asian hub in the next three years or so. Probably Singapore or possibly Hong Kong, and then expand in Asia that way. And then at that point, figure out what our Latin American Europe or Latin America Can Middle East and Africa expansion plans are. So geographic expansion is a second party.

And then the third one is a little bit longer term, it’s using digital technology to first help our consultants. be smarter, no pun intended, and serving clients, you know, with advanced data analytics and predictive analytics and that kind of thing. And we have this huge database of all these, all these successful and unsuccessful careers, folks for 25 years that we’ve, we’ve studied and gotten outcome data for. So figuring out how to use artificial intelligence and machine learning to make our consultants that much smarter with their advice and counsel on helping you hire helping you manage your career. And then, you know, creating new products and services using technology beyond just consulting to companies would be the longer term goal on our product and services expansion.

So like maybe one day you know ghsmart will primarily be a management consulting leader. advisory firm as we are today, but it’d be really neat to have two or three or four other business units that, you know, still serve the same overall brand vision of helping leaders be successful. But do it in different ways, whether it’s, you know, products or database access or other automated services, who knows, maybe one day we’ll go and, you know, we’ll, we’ll create matching technologies to help you know, the, the marks of the future, manage your career strategy, and to be able to get real time probabilistic data from us on choices.

You’re thinking about making like, Oh, hey, if you want to turn left in your career, that has a 6% chance of making you happy if you turn right, it’s gonna as a 94% chance of making you happy, you know, to apply statistics and probabilities. I tell people make more confident decisions with their careers and with how they lead their teams. It’s kind of a medium term, pet project that we’re putting a bunch of into these days. So in summary, what’s future future for the firm is do more for CEOs. Number one, number two is carefully expand geographically. And then number three is invest in digital technologies to make our, our work that much more valuable for our clients, and that much more enjoyable to deliver for our people.

Marc Gutman 30:20
And I have no doubt that you’ll be able to make that happen. Geoff, as we wrap up here, if you ran into your 20 year old self, what do you think he’d say to you today?

Geoff Smart 30:31
I think my 20 year old self would say, Good job for staying true to a few things that really important. Family is super important to me. So I, the way I grew gh smart, has allowed me to, you know, put family first and so that’s something when I was 20. I was like, I really want to do interesting things in my career, but I really would love to have a successful family. So today I have seven kids. perfect wife Lauren, and I’ve got two kids on the We’re pregnant with twins that are coming. We’re pregnant. She’s pregnant with twins are coming in July. So we’ll have nine kids if you can believe that.

Marc Gutman 31:07
Congratulations. That’s incredible.

Geoff Smart 31:09
Yeah, this massive amount of children. We’re very, very family focused. And I make a ton of time for my family so I feel good about that. I don’t live with regrets of like, Oh, you know entrepreneur has been great but you know, missed out on family. So I think family success, I’d be proud of the 20 year old me was looking forward. And then on the smart side and just the entrepreneurial side, I really do feel good about my colleagues and employment opportunity that they they get and seem to really enjoy here. And then the value that clients are getting.

So I think the 20 year old me 20 year old me would have said that maybe the like 30 year old man should have invested more energy and software earlier and kind of like, you know, had something to show for the the, you know, the rise of technology. It doesn’t pissed me off a little bit that Google was founded a year after my firm was, and you know, like, yeah, and we’re 120 people and we did 70 million in revenue last year, which is like great nothing to sneeze at. But yeah, I’d say like 20 year old me would have shaken his head and said, Hey, you should have gotten you know, more of a dog in the technology hunt earlier. So just to be balanced, but overall, I don’t know 20 year old me Would it be like yeah, keep keep up the good work on on putting family first Keep up the good work on hiring people and giving them a ton of freedom and having them really you know, enjoy their work and have a life outside of work.

And I guess the 20 year old me would have courage me today to keep innovating and keep you know, the foot on the gas pedal of experimenting and never getting to like smugger or believing believing our own press a few well so staying humble and I guess like kind of like the the Andy Grove but see Have Intel enough paranoid to, to always work hard and push against our overall business strategy and making sure that we’re living by the values and the credo. So yeah, I think net net, my 20 year old self would would be pretty happy, while also giving me some advice and things that I should be focused on for the future.

Marc Gutman 33:25
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you to Geoff smart and ghsmart and company. I can’t express what value the information you share today is. Thank you. Oh, and if you and I were in an interview, and you asked me what animal I’d be, probably a turtle. Well, that’s the show. Until next time, make sure to visit our website www.wildstory.com where you can subscribe to the show in iTunes, Stitcher or via RSS, so you’ll never miss an episode. I like big backstories and I cannot lie to you other storytellers can’t deny.

up next:

BGBS 029: Geoff Smart | ghSMART Part 1 | Part 1: Yes, You Can Have It All

BGBS 030: Geoff Smart | ghSMART Part 2 | Who: Hiring Tips     00:00 / 00:34:06   1X   Download file | Play in new window | Duration: 00:34:06 | Recorded on April 20, 2020BGBS 029:  Geoff Smart | Part 1: Yes, You Can Have It All Geoff Smart, founder and chairman of ghSMART

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