Mike Sarraille (How to identify and hire talent instead of skills)

In this episode of the Judgment Call Podcast Mike and I talk about:

  • How it feels to risk your life every day as a NAVY SEAL.
  • Why and how society has moved away from the values presented and embedded by the military?
  • Why the NAVY SEAL’s ‘Basic Training’ is anything but BASIC.
  • How Mike went from Atherton, CA to the military.
  • How can talent be identified? What role does leadership development play in large corporations?
  • Can you still be effective when selling to big corporations HR departments?
  • Will AI ever be able to identify talent and how effective can it be at this?

Mike is the author of The Talent War: How Special Operations and Great Organizations Win on Talent – now available on Amazon.

MIKE SARRAILLE is a retired U.S. Navy SEAL officer, a graduate of the University of Texas McCombs Business School, and now a leadership instructor, speaker and strategic advisor for Echelon Front. Mike served fifteen years as an officer in the SEAL Teams and five years in the U.S. Marine Corps as an enlisted Recon Marine and Scout-Sniper. Mike served in SEAL Team THREE, Task Unit Bruiser alongside Extreme Ownership authors Jocko Willink and Leif Babin where he led major combat operations that played a pivotal role in the Battle of Ramadi in 2006. Mike is a recipient of the Silver Star, six Bronze Stars, two Defense Meritorious Service Medals, and a Purple Heart.

Upon his retirement from the Navy, Mike joined Echelon Front as leadership instructor, speaker, strategic advisor. He is CEO of Echelon Front Overwatch, a company that specializes in the recruiting, training and placement of U.S special operations forces veterans.



Welcome to the Judgment Call Podcast, a podcast where I bring together some of the most curious minds on the planet. Risk takers, travelers, adventurers, investors, entrepreneurs, or simply mindbogglers. To find all the episodes of this show, please go to iTunes, Spotify, YouTube, or go to judgmentcallpodcast.com. For more resources, including how to become a guest, how to advertise, and to see all the lectures, podcasts, and books I would like you to listen to or read, please also go to our website at judgmentcallpodcast.com. Like this show? Please consider leaving a review on iTunes or Like us and subscribe to us on YouTube that will make it easier for other users like you to find us later on. This episode of the Judgment Call Podcast is sponsored by Mighty Troubles Premium. Full disclosure, this is also my business. What we do at Mighty Troubles Premium is to find the best travel deals for you as they happen. We do that in economy, premium economy, business, and first class, and we screen 450,000 new airfare deals every day just for you and present the best based on your preferences. Thousands of subscribers have saved up to 95% on their airfare deals. In case you didn’t know, Americans and Europeans can already travel to more than 80 different countries again, South America, in Africa, and in Eastern Europe. To try out Mighty Troubles Premium for free, go to mightytroubles.com slash mtp, that’s too much for you to type, just type in mtp4u.com, mtp4u.com to start your 30 day free trial. All right, I’m really excited today, I’m here with Mark Sarrell, hope I pronounce this correctly. I’m just struggling with this, and Mike has served 15 years as an officer, as a SEAL team, in SEAL teams, and five years in the US Marine Corps. He’s the CEO of the Eklund Front Overwatch, a company that specializes in the recruiting training and placement of US Special Operations Forces of veterans in the private sector. Mike is also the author of The Talent Board, and how special operations and great organizations win on talent. Hello, Mike, welcome to the Dutchman Call Podcast, it’s great to have you. I’m happy to be here and humbled that you invited me. Absolutely, absolutely. You know what this shows about risk takers, and usually I ask people, what’s that part in your life where you took risk, sensible risk? A lot of people say, well, you know, I put money to it, I put up my reputation on social media, but I always ask, so did you ever put your life on the line? And most people say, well, I never had an opportunity to do that. And you’re basically the epitome of a risk taker in that line of thought. You really put your life on the line as a SEAL, probably on a weekly basis, monthly basis. Is that something, when you think back to your time as a SEAL, where you felt you were aware of the risk, as it was in the moment, it was very sensible, or that was more like something that with all the training, you don’t think about that anymore? First off, that is a great question. I will tell you, the special operations communities, irregardless if we’re talking about the SEALs, I mean, the Army Green Berets, the Marsoch Raiders, all of them, and JSOC, you’re taught to look at risk differently. Where most human beings, 99% of human beings look at risk, they see fear. What they ingrain in us is when we see risk, we see the upside, or the potential for reward. And so no one has achieved great things without accepting great risk. So I wanted to start off with that one, but when you are passionate about something, when you are willing to give your life for a cause, something you believe in, when you’re surrounded by 40 people that believe in the same thing, and that are so highly trained, each competent in their roles and responsibilities, all contributing to the mission, you understand you’re taking risk, but it feels like it’s been mitigated as low as it can be. It can never be eliminated in its entirety, but our job when we stepped on the battlefield was to make sure in the planning and preparation, because the old phrase is, fortune favors the bold, I believe fortune favors the prepared. So we went into every mission as prepared as we could, as well trained as we could, and because of that, we usually came out on top. That’s amazing to hear that you can do so much with preparation, and I’ve been thinking of this, when you think back to Plato’s warrior classes, and when you think back to the way people think about the hero, the hero in the classical myth, who goes out and slays the dragon, and for a lot of people, this is a once in a lifetime experience. And what’s weird is now we barely, very few people in our current society have that experience. So they think of being a hero is, I don’t know, raising $500,000 and spending it the next day on ads on Facebook. This is how things change. How do you feel this affects the military from the inside of society? Probably has moved so far away from, you know, even, I feel like that’s a certainly certain cities and certain parts of the country has moved so far away from this responsibility to be a warrior, to be defending this country. You know, being a warrior, the military, the profession of war is one of the oldest professions in the world. You look at World War II, almost, let’s say, a high majority, a high percentage of young adults went off and fought during World War II. And so they had that shared adversity, they had that common bond together. You look at the percentage of people that serve in the military today, it’s 1% compared to the 99. And I do believe it’s sad that the 99% know nothing of our military, well, the only thing they do know is what they see in the movies if they watch those movies, which don’t paint us in the best light. But I think the term warrior is thrown out very loosely. There’s the warrior in the biblical sense, which my friends and I were, but I do believe there are everyday warriors, people that get up, that want to impact other people’s lives. Warriors that get up, that try to improve themselves as human beings contributing to a greater cause each day. And as a civilian, if you do that, then, hey, you’re a warrior in your respective profession, as I like to say. Well, the reading, I read the book and I really enjoyed reading it. I think it’s a mind opening to see, not just the experience that you point out, but also how you make use of them today and we’re going to get into that in just a second. Before we go there, I wanted to ask you personally, if you can share them, what are the toughest experiences, you talk about the battle of Ramadi in the book, what are these things that you feel seeing so many things that were very impactful, probably in your psyche, where do you feel this was the strongest experience, either positive or negative? So the battle of Ramadi was my second deployment, my second combat deployment of 10 total combat deployments. We lost a lot of guys with the units I was attached to, and that’s the hardest part. He’s coming home without those guys, and we always say those are the true heroes. The true heroes are the ones that didn’t come home. And most people, most human beings that, if they were exposed to that, would crumble under the volatility, the uncertainty, the complexity, and ambiguity under which we operated on a daily basis. I mean, that’s why so few are cut out for special operations, but I always felt or questioned whether I deserved to be with a group of guys I was with. I watched them conduct selfless valor on a nightly basis. And while we lost friends and we deal with that trauma on a day to day basis, I also considered myself extremely lucky to have experienced something that a very, very small percentage of humans get to see. This thing called selfless valor, where people didn’t even contemplate putting their lives on the line to save their brethren, their brothers and arms, or their sisters and arms. They went into action. They didn’t even think, they just acted. It was almost instinctive. And watching these men and women, who I believe are the best of our nation, hands down, and I’ll argue that with anyone till I’m blue in the face, I considered myself extremely lucky. So you got to take the good with the bad. War is a tragic, ugly thing that I hope my kids never have to see. But war is a necessary thing. And I’m blanking on it, and I think it’s Ralph Waldo Emerson that said, the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to stand by and do nothing. And I served with men that didn’t stand by and ran to the sound of guns and eradicated evil from this earth. That’s the one thing that people think that war… That’s a strong message, Mike, that’s powerful. People think that war is not a necessary thing, it is a necessary thing, and that’s unfortunate to say. No, I fully agree with you. It is something, we’ve been going into this in another podcast, and I was putting out this hypothesis that I’d love the world to be without a war, but some wars are just necessary. And the debate is obviously open, which wars are the good wars or which wars are the bad. And I grew up in Germany, I grew up in a lot of this Nazi shame, and you kind of develop in Germany, there’s no sense of a good war, there’s no sense of what is behind this. Because you were always on the losing side, and there’s a lot that has been going on in Germany, and this is a debate on its own. I just felt this, we have overdone the idea of pacifism, which is a good one, but the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and I think this is where we are right now. It’s very obvious, and it was a public debate. And that’s a strange thing for me, and I guess it feels even more strange for you. To live, you know, it was Secretary of State, he served on the UNGM in World War II. I want to say Secretary of State Schultz, and I had an opportunity to sit down with him, and he gave us sort of five points that he thought were important in life, and one of them was don’t look at the world through rose colored glasses. We all want the world to be a perfect place where war is not necessary and there is no evil, but you’re dealing with humans. And there are humans out there that will always take advantage of other humans, and if that means to kill them in order for their tribe to rule a specific region of a country or the entire country, that’s what’s going to happen. And that cycle, quite frankly, it’s just, it’s wishful thinking to ever think that we’ll break that. And that is why, yes, you don’t enter war lightly, but when you do enter war, and this is where we failed in Iraq and Afghanistan, when you do enter war, you end it quickly. To the point where your, even your allies, your fellow allies, tremble in their boots as they watch you step into a land and just eradicate the threat very swiftly, very violently. It’s, you know, it’s just part of, I think, human psychology. Being evil is a survival strategy. As bad as it sounds, there’s always a certain percentage of people who are born evil, and you could say, okay, maybe it’s not the fault, maybe, but it’s the fault because it’ll have it out. It is a human survival strategy, and eventually evil becomes so bad, you know. So Sodom and Gomorrah that at some point you need to, you need to destroy it, or it will take over the population, and everyone will suffer, and that’s, you know, that was very well known to the ancients, but it seems to be forgotten with this peaceful last 90 years that we had. I want to move somewhere else. A lot of the book is talking about the special training, the initial training, not special training, but the initial training, the basic training that every CLA has to go through in order to qualify. And I realize 99.9% don’t make it. Where was your biggest challenge at this, when you first got to the SEALs? Where did you feel, okay, a counter is just impossible? Well, you know, I had a very, very distinct advantage. I served in the United States Marine Corps, and specifically in the recon community, which in the 90s was their version of special operations. In order to get into the reconnaissance community in the Marine Corps, and I also became a scout member, it is, it’s a very, again, a very elite few that make it into those communities. So I had exposure to that type of training, being constantly cold, wet, and sandy. So when I stepped into SEAL training, my last Marine officer who was a major said, don’t quit, or you’ll embarrass the Marine Corps. And that stuck with me. So I knew there was absolutely no way I was going to quit, but because I was still very much viewed as a Marine. But you know, to say that the training wasn’t challenging, I’d be just a blatant liar. Every bit of it was challenging. It’s a long, right? It’s like two weeks, three weeks? So the initial phase, the first three phases are 24 consecutive weeks. And Hell Week, Bud’s is famous for Hell Week, which is the five days with very little sleep, constantly wet and sandy, constantly running. Yeah, that was extremely challenging. But it’s also fun. I mean, you’re also creating bonds with the guys in your class. In fact, I got a text, I was on vacation with my wife, and the text from Dr. Johnny Kim. If you don’t know who Dr. Johnny Kim is, he was a Navy SEAL, a Civil Star recipient, became a Harvard educated doctor, and a NASA astronaut all by the age of 34. And he was just selected for the moon mission, if and when that goes. But I got to serve with guys like that, and Ryan Job, who nobody thought would make it through SEAL training, and there was no quitting them because of the way he looked. He was judged. And I smile when I look back, and all these guys that I went through training with, with Nick Czech, who was awarded the Navy Cross posthumously during a successful hostage rescue of an American doctor in Afghanistan. I got to, I got to live amongst these men. So again, while we were a wartime era, the good with the bad, I think I’m blessed. People are constantly saying, oh, I’m so sorry for everything you’ve been through. I’m like, don’t be sorry for me. I served with lions. I walked with lions. I’m lucky because you never will get to experience that. Yeah. I think this is, this is very powerful to see. I think society has lost us a little bit is this, you know, man have this ability and especially the ones who have, who are strong in leadership. I sometimes feel they are also very high in testosterone. That’s kind of my personal suspicion, but maybe that’s not true. They form these spontaneous teams, these spontaneous bonds. And if they put, or it’s being put to the test, you know, at the margin of life, this is where these bonds really start to grow. And because men are very competitive, right? It’s all about who can attract the best and best looking girls, who can attract the biggest audience, very competitive, but once men get pushed to this limit, they form these bonds spontaneously. And I feel this doesn’t happen so much in modern society because we’re at home, we code computer code. These challenges have put us through the test for better awards and this can be very dangerous. Even the training, I feel, can be very dangerous. These things don’t really happen anymore in societies and they even don’t happen in many organizations anymore because people, well, how do I say it, have gotten lazy and lazy, but also in a mental way. Not just that they sit all the time, it’s also that the ability to create these bonds and the opportunity is kind of lost. Yeah, we could dissect this one for days on this podcast, but I think there’s been, the country’s over indexed on individuality, it’s over indexed on specialization. As a whole, this country lacks a shared adversity. You don’t see common bonds between people in workplaces like there used to be. If you want to look at a good case study, look at Israel, where almost everyone, Israeli citizen serves in the military and Israeli has a common threat at its borders at all times. And so there’s this common threat amongst Israelis and a much larger spree to core amongst the civilians than you find in America. We’re so busy and competition is good. Competition can be healthy, but we are so occupied with identifying our differences that we’ve almost stopped identifying what brings us together as Americans. It’s funny enough with the election, you probably know this, people are viewing people as either Democrats or Republicans, not as fellow Americans, and that’s how divided we’ve become. So I will end with this, I think social media has made everyone so damn miserable that everyone’s posting only the great moments of their lives, which make other people depressed that they have less. And the best thing I could say, I just got picked up for a recurring article with Men’s Journal called the Everyday Warrior is in the initial article by Men’s Journal, the one advice I gave is stop trying to compare yourself with other people. You’re running your own race. You’ve got to determine what makes you happy. It’s not the amount of money that the person that you’re comparing yourself with makes. It’s not the beauty of his wife. It’s not his fitness or her fitness. You’ve got to determine what happiness means to you. And then pursue that and don’t worry about other people. Did I get older? I worry less about other people in the sense that whatever they have going on in their life, I hope they’re happy and I’m happy for them. Now when I say I don’t care about other people as much, I mean, in the sense that they’re in their own race, but if other people need help, then yes, I absolutely care about that, but we have to stop comparing ourselves to one another. I absolutely agree with you, one silver lining that I see in this whole process and comparing each other, being on social media, I think what happens is the bar for being happy and successful has been raised and we are going through this initial phase and that might be a complete tunnel we are running into, a dangerous tunnel. But what could come out, and that’s the silver lining for me, is that everyone feels like they have to raise the body, have to be more successful, they have to be more interested, they have to be more curious, they have to make better decisions, they have to know more. I think this only applies to a certain percentage of the population. I think that’s what social media is to some people. This might be a good effect, but I fully agree with you, it’s right now the phase is completely negative and hasn’t helped a lot of people, but I have this silver lining, this hope that it might change. Everyone is so focused on money and I understand, I understand, but more money is not going to bring you more happiness. This is the way I put it, I’ve met a lot of people that are extremely wealthy in the bank and extremely poor in character. Money does not bring you character. Again, it goes back to don’t worry about how much someone else is making, worry about what makes you happy. If that’s getting to the mountains every weekend and spending a night in the mountains with your family, that is pure joy and trust me, money can’t get that. The other thing I say is, there’s something called the whole man or the whole person concept. The Army Special Forces communities really sort of resurrected this in the 2000s and made it part of their selection process. Is there looking for somebody that’s fit of body, fit of mind, and fit of emotion, that they’re well rounded in each of those categories, but the foundation to mental and emotional fitness is your physical fitness. The thing about physical fitness that I love so much, and trust me, I’m 43, tomorrow I go in for a hip replacement, but I’m extremely healthy, low body fat, and yes, I’m going to have to recover and get back into it, but fitness is the one thing that the rich can’t buy. It can’t be bought and it can only be earned. I think for a lot of people, if you focus on getting physically fit, next comes the emotional stability and the mental stability, and if you’re constantly trying to improve your fitness and then you’re reading every day and you’re learning, you’re going to be much more happy and put the damn phone down. Put the damn phone down. If an app goes up and down, if it goes up and down, that’s bad. That’s bad. They are collecting on you. They want to keep you engaged, keep you scrolling down. I think if people actually step back and look how much they’re on social media, they’d be shocked how much time of their lives that they’re actually wasting on that crap. Yeah, those are wise words, Mike, and I fully agree. I have two teenage kids. That would be my dad’s speech to them, and what they do, they go into their room and go to TikTok. The wise words, I think, the wisdom is out there, but the generation has a different set of incentives. It’s hard to pull them out. I fully agree with you, but I have my own struggles making this work in my own family, and then what I found interesting in your comment is that people are so focused on money. The last time I’ve seen people so focused on making money, not as an entrepreneur, but through political intrigue, through political debates, through political maneuvering, that was Easton, Germany, where I grew up. Nobody could be an entrepreneur because it just wasn’t an option, but you could make money and you could really be focused on money through political intrigue. I think America was always vulnerable for this. It’s just these days that has happened. Maybe it’s the 90 years since the Second World War, or maybe it’s something else. I feel like we have to go through this phase to come out on the better side, but the phase won’t be great. One thing that I found really interesting is that you grew up in Ethicon, and I used to live in Menlo Park for almost a decade, and I know it’s a very affluent community, and it’s very rare that people, when they have as entrepreneurial ideas as you, they go to military route. What usually happens is they go full force into raising money from angels and went to capitol and tried to spend it as quickly as possible and get that experience. What made you go very different route and go to and listen to military? Very uncharacteristic for a kid from Atherton to join the military, very uncharacteristic. My mother and father came from San Francisco. My mother’s father was a fisherman. She had three brothers. They weren’t well off. My dad’s father was a San Francisco policeman. They had to earn their way. My dad lived in a two bedroom apartment growing up his whole life with his family. They built their own marketing and advertising empire in Palo Alto. Watching my dad, who came from very little as well as my mom, to do as well as they did, which all came down to hard work and character. They raised us very differently from a lot of the people in that town. My dad made it very clear upfront that what he built was not going to be passed to any of his children. He wanted us to blaze our own trail. Unfortunately, when he said blaze your own trail, I took that as go out there, get as in as much trouble and adventure as you could to the point where even my fifth grade teacher, who was a family friend, looked at my mom and said, your son is never going to amount to anything. That’s what my fifth grade teacher told my mom. Then lo and behold, people now know my name for what I accomplished in the seals and the level I made it to in the seals. The fact that I’ve got a bestselling book, the fact that I got my MBA, all from a kid that they said would never amount to anything. People look for people to fit in the mold, and that’s not how my parents raised me. When you join the military, here’s the funny thing, Atherton, kids go off to college, they get in trouble or they get in a bad way. Their parents can still step in and pretty much rectify the situation. When you join the military, your parents can’t call anyone. There’s nothing they can do to get you out of trouble if things are not working out in the military. I loved it, I loved the military. It was so easy to succeed in the military. They told you what you had to do, and it was on you to execute the principles that they laid out for leadership, the level of performance they expected. They set their KPIs or OKRs, whatever you want to call them. They tell you what the standard is for excellence, and then it’s on you to achieve it. It’s to the point where the Marines sent me back on their dime to get my undergraduate, and then years later, the Navy sent me back to get my MBA using my Montgomery GI Bill. I credit not only my parents, but the military gave me everything, and it was such a great place to be if you knew how to maneuver within the confines of the military system. That’s an amazing story, and I think it’s pretty rare, and I think people even on the West Coast need to hear that story, and it’s just, again, not aware of this, I feel, and they don’t even consider it. I went a very different route and had my first billion dollar startup when I was 19 years old, and I never had someone mentoring me in a way that I felt. I just sought out a lot of mentors, but I never had a system like the Army, fortunately, I never actually thought of that when I was younger. That was also in a different country, but I never had that opportunity where I felt, okay, this is a template you can follow, and then you can excel from this template. I always felt I have to remake the whole template, which frankly, pepped me back a lot, because sometimes you just miss a lot of learnings that other people can just teach you, but you don’t have access to them in a way that you can understand. It’s not you can go to college and learn life lessons. You can try to make what I found that almost impossible. You bring up a great point, and you’ve probably heard me say this before, because it’s true. Again, now I will argue this until I’m blue in the face. The US military is the world’s greatest leadership development program without debate. You look at the Surface Academies, which I didn’t have what it takes to get to a Surface Academy. I’m envious of them, and then I’m not, because that’s a tough four years, but West Point Naval Academy, Air Force Academy, those are great leadership institutions. Then you get into the mainstream military, and all it is is constant coaching, and mentoring, and constant evaluations, and feedbacks to grow you as a leader. Today’s higher institutions of higher education are not built to teach leadership. They’re not. People get very offended at this. The professors are very good at their domains. A lot of them, a good majority, are not equipped to teach leaders, and quite frankly, some of them are, I think, violating the rules of teaching critical thinking by spewing propaganda in our colleges today, which is killing our nation’s ability to think critically, especially when it comes to politics. The business world as a whole lacks the leadership development piece. That’s where you’ve overwatched, much like we talk about disrupting spaces in Silicon Valley, guess what, I’m trying to do it in the service industry, and I’m having a hell of a lot of fun. I love that idea. When I was reading through the book, the basic to me, the basic excerpt that I took out of it is, how do you hire based on talent instead of skills? Everyone out there is looking at skills. I saw a job at the other day, and it was for a founder, and I’m like, oh, the sun’s interesting, so let’s look into this. What they wanted is literally someone who had the $5 billion minimum exit, who knows pretty much every VC on the planet, and then they would pay this $1 million, I’m like, you guys are really funny. This is a level of experience that is completely off to what a lot of young people can achieve, and it’s not productive in a way that the experience will materialize in anything useful to your organization. I love your approach, and I hope you can tell us more about it, the way you break it down into certain categories, how to identify talent, because that’s obviously the problem, right? It’s easy to identify certain skills, but almost impossible for people currently to think about talent in a way that is quantifiable. You said it earlier, people are lazy. The default, and you’re absolutely correct, the default mode for human beings is the path of least resistance, which we can define as being lazy. When I say most, it’s like 99% of companies, one, they’ve got the wrong people in charge of the hiring process. Special operations learn this very early on. You’ve got to send your best to run the hiring process. One, not only are they great role models for the job candidates trying to get into your organization, but they have the ability to identify people that are going to be better than them. That’s right. A player is looking at the young job candidates and saying, that woman right there, she’s going to be better than we are. We need to get her into this organization. People default to objective things, and usually that comes to the resume or the interview process. What was their GPA? Oh, they went to an Ivy League school. Oh, they know so and so. Oh, the reference checks came back clean. When you’re doing that, you’re actually undercutting a process that is going to bring in top tier talent. Now, people often ask us, well, then how do you do this? How do you set up this process? And fortunately, we have to say it’s different for every organization. You’ve got to figure out what works for you. One, you better have a solid leadership foundation within your company. Core values are not just something on the wall, and Ben Horowitz just wrote about this. It’s not what you say. It’s what you do. This has to be, your core values have to be something that you live. And what you’re ultimately looking for is how do you identify somebody that lives those core values as well? That’s the true definition of a culture fit. Somebody that lives, that demonstrates in the interview process through behaviors that they believe in what your company believes in and that they live it, rather than the fact that they had five years of marketing experience or five years of software sales. Now, that experience tells us where we’ve been. Character, mindset, tell you where somebody’s going, and that’s what you want. Bill Campbell knew this. Yeah. What I wanted to say is that what you have that in the book is you cannot fight the last war. You’ve got to find a solution to fight the next war, which would be much different. But I think companies don’t have that horizon, and most of the companies are not interested in that, sometimes because they’re in a hurry, they feel like they’re being overtaken by the competition, and often technological change puts huge organizations that may be very well run out of business in a heartbeat. So Warren Buffett always stays away from, or has been staying away from technology businesses for a long time, because that was always his biggest fear that you can identify leadership and he’s been better than others in this, and you can maybe instill a sense of where we need to build this new generation. But how do you go about when things, and especially I see this in the tech companies that I’ve been working with over the years, even if you think 15 years ahead, there is basically nothing you can predict. People often restrain themselves and say, well, we don’t have to invest in leadership because let’s see if this thing happens, if it really scales, and then you raise a hundred million from vision fund, then we’re good to go, you could go public and we have a billion dollars and then we go to Switzerland. But I think this is wrong for a couple of different reasons. That’s why I’m here on this podcast also, is this is not good for the way to actually develop an economy long term, and it’s also bad for you individually because this make money quick scheme might sound good, but it’s not about how much money you have as you pointed out earlier, the true happiness in life in doing something lasting and having an impact on the next generation, that would help you if you have a hundred billion, a hundred million or even a hundred dollars, because if there’s nothing in you that you can give the next generation, then this is going to make you very unhappy over time unless you go into drugs, which won’t make you long term happy either. You know, there’s a high school guidance counselor that is having a more impact on the world right now than a CEO of a tech company that’s about to go public. You’re absolutely correct, and again, it goes back to money. The greatest currency in life is not money, it’s the impact you have on other people. Now, can you overcome a bad hire? You’re talking about leadership development within companies. Yeah, you can, regardless if you make a good hire or a bad hire, I’ll tell you the next part of the equation, and that’s why we put it in the book, talent plus leadership equals victory, is the second you make that hire, that’s when the true and hard work begins, because it never stops. It’s the leadership development training. You’re constantly coaching, mentoring, giving feedback, training your people to make them better than you were. I often talk about the legacy of leadership. The legacy of leadership is not ultimately determined by how you perform as the CEO of Intuit. It’s actually how Intuit performed once you left that seat. Did you do your job? Did you train the people behind you? The next generation, and let me tell you this next generation, these millennials are awesome. When people bag on the next generation, you know what that is? That’s the generation game, and I can get into that. No, this generation’s awesome. Tell me more about that. I will. Most of my soldiers were millennials. In fact, the young man at the time, who died at the age of 26 at Jambaner grenade to save myself and a seal to his right, I was to his left, was a millennial, and he didn’t even hesitate. You have to constantly train your people. It just never stops. Henry Ford, there’s an old story that he was in a board meeting and somebody said, what if we spend money on training for our people and they leave, and he looked at everyone in the board and he said, what if we don’t and they stay? That’s your job as a company is to train your people. Yes, they may leave, but guess what? If you train them so well and they go on to another company and they’re so highly successful or maybe they do their own startup, people are always going to remember that they worked for your company first. But the generation game, this hit me what was it, 2015. So I had just gotten off my 10 combat deployment. I had requested to leave the organization I was with for six years at JSOC. I had some things going on in my life and I needed to come off the battlefield. I’d done pretty much 10 straight combat deployments. And they sent me to the University of Texas and when I checked in, one of the instructors was bagging on the young, what we call midshipmen. Midshipmen are the Navy term for an officer in training, whether going into the Navy or the Marine Corps. And they all wear skinny jeans and they need safe spaces and they’re snowflakes. And I was listening to them and I have a friend that was a clinical psychologist, does a lot of studies, also a behavioral scientist, and he talked about how when the Korean veterans came home from the Korean War, the World War II generation was not all that welcoming of them. The VFWs and the veterans of foreign war, alphets. Same thing with the Vietnam veterans is the World War II veterans and the Koreans were not welcoming of the Vietnam era veterans. And so he clicked and when this guy’s talking, I sort of stopped in midstream because he was talking a while and I said, you know what, I put a name to this and I’m like, I called this the generation game and I looked at him because he was older and I’m like, what do you think the Vietnam era veterans said about you, sir? And he’s like, you know what? I don’t know. I’m like, well, I could probably tell you and the words can’t be repeated on this podcast. They probably thought our generation was a bunch of wusses. And the same thing with the global war, first global war on terror, guys, probably looked at our generation of the global war on terror, I’m sorry, the Gulf War vets and thought we were glory hounds because they came home, they had one parade and that was it and we’ve got movies and books made about us were always in the news. They probably said some pretty derogatory things about us. Hey, just because someone procreated, you know, their parents procreated before you does not give you moral authority over the next generation. Everyone is going to. Yeah. The generation again, you know, you can go back to the old Greeks and, you know, punishing socrates was all about fearing that he would influence the youth in a bad way. That was the main driver at least officially, who knows what actually drove them in the end, but that’s why they killed him. And it’s the same thing. And then I think always the next generation is wars or it’s just okay. We don’t really worry about, I fully agree with you. This is a recurring theme. But on the other hand, there seems to be something going on with the millennials and probably that’s the fault of the boomers or our generation who has put them in an environment where this is too coddled, where they are too comfortable and they don’t get out there. You know, I want to put my kids into for two years into Ethiopia. That’s my goal. I don’t know how I can pull this off. I literally go there with the most basic tools ever and are being challenged. And I think that’s what we talked about earlier. It culminates in saying that the millennials are snowflakes. This is, and I agree with you, it’s not their fault, but it is kind of their fault that they are not realizing what they’re into and it is kind of their fault or not. Yeah, obviously they didn’t have a puberty. They never really said no to their parents and said, you know, fuck this and let’s go on with their lives and do something great. And they kind of, they got into this with the protests and then they eluded some stores and I mean, those actually felt, you know, this outburst was necessary, but now they should need, they should use this creative energy. And of course, everyone is different. I fully agree with you. There’s hundreds of thousands of excellent people in that generation. It’s just a label we could put on people. So you know, I will agree with you one, there is this resistance to expose our children to conflict because social conflict on the playground is healthy for their development because they’re forced to work through, to verbalize their argument to whatever they and the other kids are arguing to find a compromise. There’s this resistance to let them fail because we all know that one, and we talked about it in the book, true learning only takes place at one’s mental and physical limits and failure is the greatest life lessons you will ever receive. And so yes, I do get it, like everyone gets a trophy, no, not everyone should get a trophy. And for those that don’t get a trophy, you have to explain why those lessons are so valuable. You ask them, hey, does it feel good right now that the fact that you didn’t, you know, your team didn’t win and you guys didn’t get recognized and that young man or woman’s going to say no. And you, you explained to them, I want you to remember that. Now it’s not that you weren’t the better team on the field, but you guys didn’t execute. So this is why we have to practice so hard. This is why we have to prepare so hard every time we step in and give 100% towards something. So yeah, society’s changed. Here’s, you know, I’m probably going to have Facebook and Instagram and all the rest targeting me after this. There’s something about the tech community that is not healthy. And these kids are overly exposed to tech. I remember there was an article in the San Francisco Chronicle that said, you know, how tech is killing the culture in San Francisco, San Francisco, our family has been there since 1899. We came across Treasure Island and San Francisco is, it is one of the most beautiful cities and you could not pay me to go back to my home town anymore. It’s a disaster. It’s bad policy and bad policy is a byproduct of bad leadership. There’s something that the tech culture does in terms of leadership to areas. I’m in Austin now and we’ve got the brain drain going on and people moving to Austin now wholesale. I know HP just announced they’re going to Houston. We’ve got Tesla, Apple inbound as well as Oracle. And I have a fear, having seen this movie before, that the culture in Austin will change for the worse. But there’s something about tech I can’t put my finger on that does have a way of killing cultures and bringing in bad or reinforcing bad leadership principles. It’s a good point you’re making. I think that it’s something we’re in with tech that was really taken back about two years ago when we were, you know, in the middle of Trump’s presidency. And so we started seeing a lot of people getting blocked on social media. And I’m like, I know some of the founders personally, I know the investors. And I really expected them to speak up and say, you know, Mark Zuckerberg eventually did it. It took a long time. It’s kind of ishivashi. But this was a core principle of freedom of coercion from living in a free society. And it’s always going to be limited to some extent, but making a powerful statement would be beneficial to their platforms is not even like they would put this out and, you know, they would be offline the next day because everyone hates them. Some people would, but they never came around saying that in a straight out way and executing on it. And I was so disappointed because these are, you know, they’re beyond rich, they’ve made their mark on the world. So why not do the right thing? Why go into places that are really dark? And I’m really disappointed by CEOs and in the Silicon Valley. It’s now, it bubbles up a little bit. I see a bunch of people who are more outspoken about it, but it took way too long. And frankly, I don’t, as you, I can’t put my finger to it. And I feel like I always expected the real progressivism is actually libertarian. It’s freedom for people involved. And what we ended up with, the complete opposite. And I think to all the CEOs, it’s completely visible, but they completely ignore it and they’re too scared or they’re too worried or maybe it’s their family. I really don’t know what it is, what’s holding them back to do the right thing. If I asked you where we expect our leadership to be the very best in this country, I know you would say Washington, DC. That’s what we expect, but we get the complete opposite. Complete opposite. And there is, I was talking to a long time SOCOM, which is the U.S. Special Operations Command Psychologist, he was in the Air Force for close to 30 years. And he nailed it. He said, you know, back when I grew up, there was a civility between Republicans and Democrats. And there is none now. And when we can’t see Republicans and Democrats operating as a tribe under one common banner, which is being an American, naturally the rest of the country is going to follow suit. But what is concerning is that someone can’t speak against the loud minority and express their opinions in a very constructive way. It doesn’t matter how you articulate your opinions. If you disagree with that loud minority, they’ll just attack you. And so I think what people have defaulted to is this thing called, and I know you know what this is, virtue signaling, and virtual signaling does nothing. It’s pure surface level semantics with no action behind it. And we used to have a saying, doing is greater than talking. And everyone’s virtue signaling, and no one’s taking action whatsoever. You know, brother, I grew up in a communist country. So I’ve seen this movie before, right? I’ve seen it for many years, and I know how this ends. And I know also, you know, the German revolution was, there was no black chat, almost none. You know, there were literally, there was, it was business as usual, and then within a week, there were 10 million people out of the population of 17 million on the streets and said, okay, that’s it. We’re not doing this anymore. And it was over. Like the next week later, the border was where it came down. So all it actually takes is reach this, this melting point, and I don’t actually know what the catalyst was at the time, and nobody could see it coming. Like it went from zero people on the street, because they were afraid to get shot to 10 million on the street. And obviously you can’t shoot 10 million, but that was pre internet, pre WhatsApp. I don’t even know how people organize all this, literally the whole population of babies and old people were out on the street, but they’re wheelchair. So I think that one, I know there’s a silver lining. I just know it’s probably not happening tomorrow. That’s an amazing story. And you know, I’ve spoken to quite a few entrepreneurs that, you know, this woman created a proprietary technology in the pharmaceutical, I’m sorry, facial industry, and she’s from Russia. And she was almost scared of what she was seeing going on in the country now because she had lived through communist times. We all are. Everybody who’s in that experience sees the pattern. It’s that there’s nobody, nobody who doesn’t see it. You know, Thomas Sowell said best, you know, the famous economist, he said, the true definition of greed is thinking you’re entitled to what somebody else earns. And I’ve never felt entitled to, because Jeff Bezos has so much money, I should have. No, no, I actually, I applaud Jeff Bezos for what he’s earned. I think if Jeff Bezos wants to give back, he should be holding weekly seminars for small to midsize business leaders on how to grow their business so quickly. I think that’s how he gives back to society is spreading some of the experience that he’s gained. But it’s not like us going and claiming, you know, authority over his, what he’s earned. So that’s dangerous in my eyes. And having served for 20 years and combat deployments, that’s a little unsettling to me right now. Yeah. I was, you know, when I read your book, I was like, whoa, this guy really is in for, for a hard sell. Because what the divorce departments when you’re an entrepreneur to speak to is the HR department A, because the variety is steady, stat fast, you know, they don’t change. So selling them soft turns or forever sale cycle. And now a lot of these HR departments are 100% PC. They, there’s no, obviously they still do a managerial task and they administer things. But everyone I feel who has been hired in HR department and is still there and hasn’t been booted out is super politically correct. And I wonder how you deal with this. So it must be really tough for you guys to go through. So this is where, and Mark my words, if we come back one year from now, I will admit headway is that HR, and in fact, George Randall, the other co author and I and a few others were, you know, some, some very prominent female HR leaders wanted on this to write a article for the Wall Street Journal on why HR is in jeopardy of becoming obsolete. Is HR is intended in design not to be a compliance function that’s legal and lawyers can do that as long as we know the legal compliance and what we have to meet. That’s fine. But the role of HR is to build elite teams, come up with leadership or talent management programs to continually develop your talent and then retain them at all costs. That’s the point of HR. But now it seems like what’s the two words that HR is synonymous with diversity inclusion. That’s what we’re focused on and diversity inclusion is important. No one’s going to debate that, but that’s not the primary function of HR. It’s to build elite teams for companies and you are right. HR has not become, is not known for, for a place that a players end up settling in unless you look at women like Patty McCord for Netflix or Tracy Keough from HP, the CHRO for HP who went out and found Meg Whitman. She knew how to identify talent, she brought in Meg Whitman and HP was a different company because of it. They’re tired of it. Right. There was 50 years ago. The HR departments had, you know, they were great, but I really feel 90% of HR departments, if you could call them, you end up with someone who’s super politically correct. I don’t even know how you guys approach the HR department. So how do you get into this? You actually approach CEOs. So this is why you have Overwatch focuses on small to midsize businesses. I work very little with Fortune 500. I almost refuse to. It’s like when a veteran comes out and says, hey, I want to go into the tech sector. And I feel obligated to say, hey, don’t do that. You will find that the culture does not resemble a tribe whatsoever, and they’ve got all these preconceived notions about what veterans are, and they’re completely wrong. In Fortune 500, when I do talk to people in the HR department, it has not been fun. It has not been fun at all. So that’s why we decided, I said to hell with the Fortune 500, unless there’s a Fortune 500 company out there that believes in the same belief as us, they have a talent mindset that your people are the strongest competitive advantage you can ever hope to achieve and maintain. That’s a talent mindset. And when a Fortune 500 has that mindset, which is embodied in their HR department, that’s somebody I’ll work with. But if Overwatch and something called the talent war group, we are going to, here’s my initiative, you’re going to become the primary source for very aggressive HR leadership in this nation. If you want a very aggressive HR leader who’s all about building elite teams for an organization, they’re going to come to us to identify that HR leader and then source them into those companies. I love that vision. I love that. And you remember, my gosh, I forgot his name, who was fired from Google for writing an essay and just using it as a source and displaying it correctly to a large extent, the knowledge we have about the big five traits and comparing this and these are statistical objective truth, so to speak, and he was comparing it to different genders. And he didn’t even get an appeal. He was fired on his fun. And he’s famous on it. He got famous and he made his money with that fame. But still, as a company, I’m like, this can’t be right. This is so far from the ethos of Google. I’m maybe a native tech founder or once the brotherhood of tech CEOs, and I came to Silicon Valley in 2001 when the people who were left were in the East Coast, a banker, a starry eyed, and they just wanted to make a couple of billion dollars. Those were the real tech founders who were like, okay, this thing is blown up, so let’s focus on improving the world. But none of this is improving the world. Everyone knows this is making it better by stereotyping people and then just not even listening to the facts. I was amazed this happened to Google, but it wasn’t an exemplary case. It could have happened to hundreds of different cases and probably has since then. Yes. You’ll be crucified very quickly for speaking your opinion, even in a respectful manner in this day and age. And you, again, having come from a communist country, know that that moral censorship becomes a very dangerous game, very dangerous. Especially if it’s internalized. Then you get so far away from the truth that nobody can really help you anymore because nobody even investigates the truth anymore. That’s really, really strange. I realize that’s one more thing I wanted to ask you about. There’s been a couple of entrepreneurs coming out of the military, the SEAL teams. This being even hyfer, circle willing. Now you will make a big impact also on public opinion by writing books, by being on podcasts. Do you think that the SEAL team, way to run a SEAL team, and that must be really new from my point of view, is kind of a school for entrepreneurs, because entrepreneurship has been put so much on the back burner in the rest of society. There’s basically very few role models that are left. Let me share one statistic with you to reinforce what you’re saying. So when World War II was over, the veterans that came home, 50, it was actually 49%. 49% started their own businesses. It’s one out of two veterans that came home from World War II, that engaged in entrepreneurship. For veterans today, it’s roughly about 4% to 5% of veterans coming home, very low, very low. Now, albeit the economic environment is drastically different, potentially with the digital transformation going on, maybe it’s much harder to break into markets that have become so consolidated. So special operations is like an entrepreneurship academy. It absolutely is. One, you are taught to be innovative and adaptive. Not only taught, but you’re screened for that. Does this person have the ability to adapt to the environment and find a way to win? That’s what we’re looking for, because we emphasized in special operations something called effective intelligence. I would rather have somebody with an IQ of 100 than somebody from an Ivy League school with a 125 IQ. But if that person with 100 can apply the intelligence they have in an effective way to identify solutions to real world problems for which no book solution exists, then they are highly effective. They’re problem solvers, and they look at things differently. Now the person with the high IQ of what we’ve seen is that beyond a certain intelligence level, increased intelligence doesn’t equate to higher performance. So some of the smartest people I ever served with in the SEAL teams came from Ivy League schools, and unfortunately they suffered from a lot of paralysis through analysis. And we’ve seen this in the tech culture is the person that comes up with the idea is not always the best person to commercialize it and build that company. If you do find those people, then they are people that I want to have dinner with and just pick their brains all day long. Not only are they wildly intelligent, they have effective intelligence as well. We should set that research at Charles Murray, you know the debate about his book, and people still go crazy about it. Whatever it is he found, it doesn’t have any very low prediction above a certain threshold. I think people don’t realize that they take IQ as a 100% linear predictor for actual performance in life. And that’s not true. I mean, there’s certainly something to it, but if it’s a fully greater, if it’s 150 or 120, the effectiveness of an IQ goes down a lot, and people don’t realize that. So if you look at the academic environment, it is a very contained and structured environment. And then when you leave that, the world is nothing like that. I think you would agree that tech sector to include the American private sector is fascinated with how special operations builds and runs their teams, and for good reason. I mean, we are the only organization that doesn’t hire for industry experience. We hire for potential. We are very good at identifying potential. And as you said, we’re still young, we’re only half a century old. So every problem we faced in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Somalia, and other regions of the world, we faced problems for which nobody else could tackle it because it was not clear cut. We had to identify means and ways to accomplish the mission. Often other organizations failed. They took a first attempt, and then when they failed, they’d hand it over to us. And sometimes it took us months to identify a way to accomplish that specific mission. And I was always taken back by the fact that my guys were, they were all problem solvers. And they could all remain calm in very stressful environments, which we all know a startup, oh my God, and you’ve lived it. That is the highs and the highs and the lows and the lows. You can be on top of the world one day and then next day you’re like, oh my God, are we going to make payroll? It’s emotionally very taxing. You don’t feel your risk, your life, you maybe get a heart attack, but you don’t feel your risk, your life. And I actually agree with the way that problem solving is a huge part of entrepreneurship that people, there’s probably the urgency is missing, there’s still problem solvers. I see this with my kids as much time that they spend on social media, they are really good problem solvers, but they see it from a very different focus and they’re never on that edge where I feel like, whoa, we really have to like up the ante, they’re like, okay, let me think about that. They’ve very much come up with new and interesting solutions I never thought of. So that skill I think is still in people, but it’s not being promoted, it’s not being cherished. And that’s a big problem how we build this society, because that’s what I find is extremely interesting what you said just a moment ago about the quota of people starting their own business when they come back from a war in a social, I don’t know what the exact numbers were, but there were millions of people who were enlisted in the second world war. And if really we had say one million people who came back these 50% were entrepreneurs, this maybe can explain this big stagnation when this is what I’ve been talking about for quite some time is that, and nobody knows that there might be military values because we have this stagnation since the 70s. People came back, started their own business, it kind of fizzled out, the next generation took over in the 70s, those were not as motivated, they had no, not the same skill as the people who actually fought in Germany. And since then outside the tech industry and finance, we basically didn’t produce much, which is really puzzling when you see what happened from 1945 to 1975. And maybe that’s the solution. Nobody really can answer this question, why do we have the big stagnation, how do we solve it? And maybe what’s going to happen is we’re going to have enlistment again, we send people to a war because there’s a war with China. And that’s how we solve it. And by going through this extreme negative of a wide scale war, we might actually make the country better off. I actually think the people that fought the Cold War with Russia were probably more equipped to enter the private sector because that nothing was clear about the Cold War. That it was very abstract and it required extreme critical thinking to fight a war to which you did not know if you were winning at times. So that replicates an entrepreneurial environment. You said something about military values. And this is what we’re trying to bring through this organization I call a talent war group, which is just nothing but 40 mostly special operations leaders that now have broken into the business world. And a lot of them are CEOs or C suite leaders. They’ve been successful in both domains. But there is no military values, there’s no difference between military leadership in private sector leadership. Those principles are all the same. And that’s where I often hear people are like, well, how you lead in the military is not how you lead in the private sector. And I sort of tilt my head and I say, how is that? Like we just can’t bark orders to people and they go and run and I don’t know what they think we do in the military. But if I barked orders at my seals and they weren’t smart orders, the guys would say, no, we’re not doing that. You had to build coalitions. But don’t tell me that discipline is unique to the military and not unique to very successful entrepreneurs. Some of the most disciplined people, even more so than the military that I’ve ever met are extremely successful entrepreneurs that can do it over and over and over again, that they can start a new startup and exit within the number of years. They’ve identified processes to which they adhere extremely rigidly because they know they’re successful or the ability to build teams, to build coalitions, to build relationships that works in the military, that works in the private sector. There’s only just leadership. That’s all there is. It’s leadership values. What differentiates the military from the private sector is that we actually teach those. We sit the young men and women down to join the military and we teach them about all the leadership principles and we explain why they’re so important. Harvard can’t do that. No Ivy League school can do that. No state school can do that. They’re not doing it. What I was just trying to say is these religious values, they are fatherly values, encoded fatherly values over the last couple of generations. These fatherly values often show a blueprint how you can develop safely and how it is good to develop and how this also helps society because otherwise these religions wouldn’t be around anymore. But they are a blueprint to a positive society development. Now we don’t use these blueprints anymore, which to an extent is good, gives us more freedom. But on the other hand, we don’t tell people, okay, go this way and this is safe and really push them into this. But if you have a different opinion, then you can live outside of it. That’s great too. I think the military has that blueprint. They are able to develop this sense of this is where you should be. That’s why the military is the only one who can pull this off. I agree with you that the leadership values are the same. If you’ve got to have, and you can be a postmodernist and say this is all power, but yes, you need some power to instill it in people, let them mull it over for a couple of years, and then you can still change their mind, but eventually they need to learn the lesson and nobody goes to church anymore. Again, this is not in all states, true in the US, but in many places. So I think we’ve lost that way. I don’t have a good solution to bring that back and I love the way where you come from because you actually have a beachhead into this. I will say that the other interesting thing that I just couldn’t understand while I was in the military, now I can better contextualize it and articulate it now that I’ve been out. Back into mainstream society, I’m a civilian again, is in the military, they teach emotional strength and emotional stability, where if you and I are having a conversation with differing views, is that I don’t lose my emotion and lose my sense of logic and yell at you because you have a differing opinion, is they teach you this ability to listen to others, to respect their views and their perceptions because they’re entitled to those views and perceptions because they have different experiences, and ultimately remember that you’re on the same team, bring a sense of logic to the discussion or the argument so that you can identify a common way to move forward. Now that I watch the way some of my fellow Americans react to differing opinions and they lose their emotion, there’s a lack of emotional stability, and it goes back to stability that I mentioned earlier amongst Americans to just have a conversation about differing opinions, ultimately with the common goal of identifying a way of had a solution to move forward together, a compromise, and we do that in the military, and I’m seeing the, God, I hate to say it, I hate to make sweeping sort of remarks, but I see a large lack of emotional stability and ability to converse on differing opinions. Yes, absolutely. I mean, that’s very obvious, and I think what’s missing is the fatherly value, and this is maybe born out of feminism, born out of postmodernism, but the whole idea of fatherly values to use as a blueprint, you can still break up. That’s the spin loss, and we see this. Oops. Yeah, hey, I’ll tell you what. I was fortunate with the family I had, grew up in a very Catholic family. Both my father and my mother were instrumental in my upbringing in very different ways. Father taught me the sense of discipline, hard work, my mother, same thing, but also the very emotional side really pushed me to become an emotionally stable young adult, but to this day, I will always tell everyone, even though my mom is Italian, she’s like five, three, I still fear that woman, and I will fear that woman until the day I die. My dad was a big man, but when she was upset, oh, stand by, you ran out of the house as quickly as possible and got out of harm’s way. Okay. I only had one last question. We really want to be conscious of your time, but this has been an excellent discussion. I really like it, and I don’t know if it came through my last question. I was just thinking, what’s the last question? The framework you describe in your book is very quantitative, how to describe talent and how to see talent. Do you think there is a way, and I work with different AI strategies a lot, is there a way to actually predict AI by what you see, say you go through someone’s LinkedIn profile, you go through lots of data you find in CVs, could you, kind of like SIP recruiter, were you identified talent, you have a model that actually, you compare the people who had good talent and how they were hired, do you think that’s a system that could be built on top of LinkedIn and AI that predicts talent? Do I think it’s possible? Absolutely. Are we even close to being there yet? No. And somebody released an article, and I’ll try to hunt it down about AI in the recruiting process. And the example they used was AI couldn’t properly predict the outcome of this last presidential election. AI was anticipating that Biden was up as much as 12% to 13% above Trump, and as we saw, that was wildly off. I believe it is possible, and a lot of companies that actually Eastern European, if not European companies are playing with AI in the recruiting process. I think it’ll eventually be another tool in a multivariate hiring process. It will be a tool. But can you ever remove the humans from the equation? No. There is something to say, and I’m not kidding you, this would happen, where one of the guys would have a gut feeling about an individual. All the other instructors would be, they were in love with this individual. They’re like, hey, we got to get them into the field community, but there would always be possibly one instructor that’s like, hey, I’ve got a gut feeling that I can’t articulate that tells me this guy would not be a good hire. And the other instructors would, by majority, say, hey, we understand, but we’re still going to let them in. And that individual would go on to do something unethical within about one to two years. So the human factor, the X factor, is always part of it. And when somebody engages and they’re involved and they’ve created a systematic, repeatable interview process that judges people on character, attributes, mindsets, and the more hires they get under their belt, they develop that intangible ability to identify something that is not easily articulated about whether somebody would be a good or a bad hire. So that’s something that just AI can’t do right now. I think we’re still a little bit away. I fully agree. But one thing that I know AI does pretty well, if you have a good data set and not a recruiting has a lot of good data on people, basically what they put in their CV is, does that have to be structured? It can be very unstructured. And what AI is really good at is finding patterns and be know the outcomes, you know the people who have done well, because maybe they got hired or they’ve done well in the organization. So we have, they call it a labeled data set. We can easily use this and see if there’s any patterns on what’s the predictive rate. And I thought that applies so well to something where AI, it can have a bias, but very often it doesn’t have, you talk about that in the book, AI doesn’t have as much as a human bias for battle wars. Wars, they don’t have a sixth sense, which I fully agree can be a problem. But what you described there, this new, to an extent it can be a quantitative matrix. What you described is like, whoa, AI can solve this, not as a full process, but like the pre interview and maybe even the convincing of an organization, you know, there is a statistical pattern, these people will do better even if they don’t have the skills. I always felt this is a good pitch if you can say, oh, we know the hard sciences and we figured this out. And second, of course, we’ve lifted and we know that the system works and we know the human factor. But you’re saying AI is not something you’re looking at right now. It’s not something, you know, the other factor too is the factor that you’re going to have to overcome at HR is going to naturally have a resistance to this because you’re going to put fear in people who think they’re going to be out of a job in the HR function. Beyond that, I think once you have an AI that is proven to evaluate language and voice in response to questions as well as kinesics, the study of body language coupled with other things, yes. I think AI will be an invaluable tool in that, even involved in the reference check process. When you get one of the reference checks on a Zoom, you can evaluate their body language if they’re lying or, you know, basically how they truly feel about the candidate. Reference checks are not dead, but I think, you know, once you have something that can do that, both language and body language, I think, yes, you’ll have an invaluable tool. That note about the future, I had to break this up. And thanks for giving us your time. That was spectacular, Mike. Really, thank you for coming under the podcast. Dude, thank you for having me. I’ve enjoyed the conversation and I’m sure we will do this again. That will be my hope. Thank you again for coming. All right, brother. Thanks, man. Great.

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