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Check Out my Book From Vendor to Adviser for advice on building these traits.

Check Out my Book From Vendor to Adviser for advice on building these traits.

Who Get’s Hired in the Future? Do You?

Great article today on who Google Hires.  Between HR and the Big Data Hiring Trends, and articles like this one (How to Get a Job at Google – from the NY Times,) we should all be rethinking the definition of a great hire. How many interviews have you sat through where the interviewers seem ill-prepared?  How many have you been involved in from the inside, where the hiring criteria are unclear…or maybe management is simply looking for someone with great contacts on the sales side, but not doing much to analyze the effectiveness of the candidate they are talking to?

With the ongoing instability of our economy, and the cost of hiring people who don’t perform, this seems to be an area companies are starting to think harder about. Google apparently takes this hiring thing pretty seriously…look at their criteria:

Google’s Criteria For Hiring:

  • “Google had determined that “G.P.A.’s are worthless as a criteria for hiring, and test scores are worthless. … We found that they don’t predict anything.”
  • “The “proportion of people without any college education at Google has increased over time — now as high as 14 percent on some teams.”
  • “The No. 1 thing we look for is general cognitive ability, and it’s not I.Q. It’s learning ability. It’s the ability to process on the fly. It’s the ability to pull together disparate bits of information.”
  • “The second…is leadership — in particular emergent leadership as opposed to traditional leadership. Traditional leadership is, were you president of the chess club?…We don’t care. What we care about is, when faced with a problem and you’re a member of a team, do you, at the appropriate time, step in and lead…”
  • “Do you step back and stop leading, do you let someone else? Because what’s critical to be an effective leader in this environment is you have to be willing to relinquish power.”
  • “Ownership…It’s feeling the sense of responsibility, the sense of ownership, to step in…to try to solve any problem.”
  • “Humility to step back and embrace the better ideas of others. Your end goal is what can we do together to problem-solve.”

How do you measure up?

How can you improve in one or more of these areas? This explains why Google is so successful…great teams are made up of individuals with strong character.  If you look at this list, the thing that jumps out at me is the focus on character traits vs. skills and connections.  The focus on degrees, majors, grades,…all come up as meaningless.  And while the article did mention that people need to have programming skills – the emphasis was on these elements of character, not the skills.

Ability to listen and respond to problems – speaks about attentiveness and alertness…perhaps decisive action.  Taking initiative at the right time vs. having had a title at some point – this is a character trait, not a credential.  Willing to relinquish control – or deference, another character trait.  Responsibility or dependability…these are character traits.  And finally, one we don’t often hear from a large company – that of humility, an essential ingredient for someone who works in one accord with a team…This is a great list, one we should all take note of.

One of Benjamin Franklin’s Keys to Success was his practice of taking one character trait each month and focusing on developing it.

© 2014, David Stelzl

P.S. This past week I conducted a panel discussion, assessing what happened at Target – and lessons we should all learn from the Target IT can view it in the SVLC Insider’s Circle!  Find out how to gain access to it for FREE right here.

Experience Your First Hangout

Collaboration – a big trend in 2013, and growing quickly.

Have you been out to Google+ yet?  I mean for business…this is a growing powerful tool for business development and marketing.

The best thing is, it’s free.

Over the past ten years I’ve seen a significant move toward online collaboration and training – and it’s moving faster than ever.  In fact, 7 or 8 years ago all of my workshops were onsite – live.  This made quality training programs overly expensive for the smaller companies, and almost impossible for geographically dispersed companies.  Today, that’s all changed.  In 2013, while I still managed to rack up over 130,000 miles on USAirways, over half of my training programs were delivered online.

What I like About Google+ Hangouts

There are many web-based collaboration tools out there, but most are expensive and proprietary.

For instance, if you want to record your sessions, on most of the older platforms, you’ll run into additional fees for disk space, file types that you can’t easily upload to YouTube or Vimeo, and a number of other hurdles making it hard to edit and share.

If you are looking to do an event with a big group, you might just find that your account limits you to 25 or that there’s a significant cost to going over.  While Google is somewhat limited in large group collaboration – on the training side (You can’t interact with voice in a large group), it’s video delivery platform is excellent.  You can deliver content to thousands at one time.  But unlike television, you can interact through various chat utilities including a tool I use called Comment Tracker.  This allows the speaker to aggregate comments from a number of sources including Twitter and YouTube comments.  In Summary:

  • You can reach thousands for free.
  • Interact via chat with everyone from anywhere, on a variety of platforms.
  • Save your program automatically to YouTube (and edit it). The end-result is a a video in a format easily shared.
  • Share it with anyone, or just a select few. Or make it private.
  • Get it for free.
  • And for training purposes, attendees can actually stop the tape!  If they have to step out for 15 minutes they can actually rewind just like a pre-recorded session. Of course they’ll be behind the rest of the class making their questions seems out of sync, but at least it’s possible

One-on-One and Small Group Interaction on the Google+ Hangouts

Google+ looks like a great way to work with clients and prospects.  I use it for coaching and interviewing.

In a coaching session, I can record the session and make it available to the person I am working with – this is a huge step forward for the coaching industry.  Way better than a phone call where you have to keep up with note taking.  It also gives me that face to face interaction needed when building a relationship.

If you’re in sales, you know that in-person meetings are more effective than phone meetings. The problem is, if you sell to a large territory, you can’t really meet everyone face to face.  I had one client years ago who was constantly driving out to Knoxville from Charlotte.  That’s a 4 hour trip!  Many times he would end up with one meeting, maybe two.  That means he worked about 2 hours that day and spent the rest of him day listening to the radio in his car.  He probably made some calls on the cell phone, but we all know how effective that is.

Shorting out Google+ Hangouts, Hangouts on Air, and Live Events

Getting started may not be as simple as it sounds.  There are a few confusing things to navigate through.

First, there are Google hangouts, and there are Hangouts On Air (HOA).  They are not the same. The first is for small groups, the second for larger group interaction.  And then there’s the Live Events from the YouTube side – which is sort of the same thing as HOA, but it’s actually different.

A “Private” HOA can only be started from the YouTube side right now.  And if you use the Q&A app, (apps can be added to the toolset), it is only available from the HOA side – but Comment Tracker is similar and can be used by either.  There’s too much to go into here – but here’s how I figured it out:

Ronnie Bincer – The Hangout Helper.  Google him and you’ll see dozens of instructional videos, and an option to pay a monthly fee to join his mastery program (which I did join).  I also took it a step further and hired him to coach me through getting set up.  It was well worth his fee, and of course we did it on Google Hangouts, so I have the recorded session.

More Tools Coming

The best part is, this is a growing community – new tools and apps are being created as I write. There are several overlay options that give this platform incredible functionality for training, marketing, and more.  Some are fee based, some are free…joining Ronnie’s group keeps me up to date on this, so if you find yourself using this extensively, it might be worth checking him out.

© 2014, David Stelzl

P.S.  This Friday, on the 24th, I will be conducting a live training session on How to Attract New Clients – using Google+.  This session is private – but if you sign up for my Two Month Free Trial – you can attend the class free of charge!  Hope to see you there – I’ll also be explaining how to use this tool in your sales process.

Online privacy and the cloud.  There is a lot of talk about cloud computing, but maybe not enough about privacy and how cloud applications affect the future of privacy.  This is an interesting article, mostly about Google and Facebook (CLICK).  I pass it on, because these trends are important topics when talking to clients.  Consider:

  • How they use cloud technology
  • How they interface with their customers and what kinds of data will be helpful to them going forward
  • Sensitive information they really don’t want to leak

Check out some of the sound bites:

  • “Google’s policy is to get right up to the creepy line and not cross it
  • Before a sales call, “The client Googles the CEO’s name and finds a picture of him as a 17-year-old student with a vodka in his hand and a traffic cone on his head. This changes his perception of the CEO.”
  • In another case, “Target figured out that a girl was pregnant before her father knew.”


How can you help your clients manage their online reputation?  This might be a trend that takes your business to a new level of consulting and security services.


© 2012, David Stelzl



Looking at Google+

March 15, 2012 — 1 Comment

I’ve been looking at Google+ this week…why?  Because it seems like everyone is on Google for something, and that means Google+ will likely gain a strong following.  I have a Facebook company page, and of course, everyone is on Facebook too – so what should we do with Google+?

First – click the g+ and connect with me on this page!

Well to start with – you need a way to connect with clients and prospects – Linkedin is a great networking tool for me, but are your clients using it actively?  I suspect they have a profile set up – but are they paying attention to the posts?  Probably not.  In my own experience, Linkedin is a great way to keep track of where people are as they move from job to job.  If you call on the larger enterprise, this can be useful – IT people leave every 18 months on average, so keeping track can be an important part of territory management.  On the SMB side, hopefully you call on business owners – they are probably not moving around.  If they are, their credit is probably not very good…

Facebook has a strong following – and the business side is growing, but for the average sales person, you probably don’t have your own corporate page – so now you are somehow mixing your personal friends, high school and college contacts, and business contacts all in one.  This just doesn’t do it for me.  I don’t think my clients are interested in old fraternity pictures taken several decades ago.

Google+ seems to have a friendlier interface for this type of thing.  The circle thing works for me, but the “Create pages” feature is really powerful.  You can now set up your profile, and then create a special page – which, unlike Facebook (at least from what I see here), you can create a unique landing page in a matter of minutes.  You can post pictures and bio info specific to what you do, add daily info and insight, and begin building connections that center around your professional side, without getting caught up in the personal side.  80/20 was recommended somewhere – 80% professional, with about 20% personal to give this a personal feel without going overboard.  If you are involved in other leadership activities with outside organizations you might consider building more pages for these things.  Unlike Facebook, they are unique pages with no connection between them – other than you manage them from a central place. The people who connect to you don’t see a bunch of unrelated tabs and posts.

I am now exploring how I might use this to create landing pages for books I’ve written, and more.  Check it out – and see if this might be a way to set up your personal web landing page to communicate your value to those you call on.

© 2012, David Stelzl

Google Changes Everything

December 1, 2010 — 2 Comments

My educated started with school, ended with Google

I learned about Cobol programming, Fortran, 8-inch floppy drives, and outdated architectures at college.  I also learned how to cram for tests, gain the teachers favor, and correctly fill in scantron test sheets with a #2 pencil.  Eventually I graduated and needed a brain dump on relevant technology – at the time, Novell operating systems, ArcNet and Ethernet, PCs, and mainframe/PC connectivity.  The first part of my education came from professors lacking any relevant field experience, the second from sales people.  Sales people educated me, kept me up-to-date on product road maps, and even taught me how to address TCP/IP back when you did everything manually.  There was value in product knowledge, and other than some outdated bulletins our company subscribed to (at a very high price), I had few resources to turn to.  Even books were out of date by the time they hit the market; on demand publishing didn’t exist.

Google It

Enter Google.  Need to know how to cook something, understand a math formula, fix an engine problem, find a verse in the Bible, or learn about a technology?  Google it!  I used to be a central resource of knowledge, teaching my kids at home.  No more.  Now I just have one answer…Google it.  Just about every question that comes at me during the day can be answered on Google (well almost every answer).  We’re almost at the point where I don’t have to ask my wife what’s for dinner!  Chances are it’s on our family blog and all I have to do is Google the question.

They Can’t Google Your Expertise

So what is the sales person’s value?  It was about product knowledge, coming features, and compatibility.  Not any more.   It’s all on Google.   So where is your value?  It comes back to “improving the client’s position”.  What Google doesn’t have is your expertise and customer interaction.  You can find a million articles addressing someone else’s situation, but not one that exactly fits your client’s current situation right now, with the current market conditions, partners, employees, plans, and current technology.  This must become central to your value proposition and you must be able to communicate it with confidence.

They can’t Google Mine Either

In 2003 I was looking for something new.  My wife sat me down and said, figure out what you really love about the work you’ve done in the past, what you don’t like, where your passion is, what won’t commoditize in the next year, and create the perfect job.  Then, taking a note from Jim Collins, author of Good to Great, I added the economic engine concept.  (Notice this type of decision process is not in Google).   Speaking, writing, teaching, mentoring…these are the things I love.  I do them at home in our homeschool program, I do them at Church,…why not do them for a living.  So on December 17, 2003 Stelzl Visionary Learning Concepts was formed.  I found my niche and have never looked back.  In fact, in the early days whenever difficult times would come, I would simply call up one of my buddies in product sales and ask him how things were going.  Their answers always validated my choice.  Whether or not I sold a product didn’t matter.  What did matter was that I offered something based on intellectual capital, something uniquely mine.  I don’t sell hours, skews, or discounts.  I sell IP (Intellectual Property).

Find your Niche and Sell it!

There are millions of things to specialize in, and for the engineer, products are included.  In sales, you must pick something you believe in, are passionate about, and something you can be the best at.  Then it must have an economic engine that works.  Take inventory of your intellectual capital.  What value can you provide which cannot be commoditized through Google or filled through your prospects everyday social contacts?  Hopefully you can come up with something your company can offer or support you in.  Then become the expert in it, and figure out how to take it to market. But don’t stop the learning process or the market will quickly pass you.  In 2011, Find your niche and go out and sell it!

© 2010, David Stelzl

More on Cloud Computing and Google in today’s WSJ:  These sound bites are relevant when selling against cloud computing giants that threaten to take over your business:

1. Google apps = Cloud computing.  Let’s not mix words here…this is cloud computing. This is not about Google – it’s about any major online target that causes someone outside the company to want or need something inside.

2. China is not happy with Google – this could be anyone not happy with a company you are dealing with such as customer dissatisfaction issues.

3.”gained access to computer code for the software that authenticates users of Google’s email, calendar and other online programs,…”  Simply put, online programs means Google applications that may contain personal or business related content.  Google hosts email for businesses and individuals, as well as a number of online apps that are used in both cases.

4. Hundreds of companies…it’s spreading:  Quote from the Journal…

“But some security experts suspect a group of attackers that has penetrated hundreds more companies since Google went public with its attacks in January. “The exact same group has been exceptionally active,” said one person familiar with the attacks Google announced.

The group, which is believed to be Chinese and has been identified by investigators by its attack methods, has broadened its victims to include law firms and utility companies, this person said. It’s been penetrating companies at a rate of at least 20-50 new companies a week, this person added.”

Also note my video comments following a recent talk I did on protecting assets to Tampa based business leaders:

© David Stelzl, 2010

In the second half of this interview Nate and Kelly ask the killer question…”what about cloud computing?”  Listen in and see what I say about it.