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Absolute Advantage Podcast

The Absolute Advantage is about learning from some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs, leaders, and achievers at the top of their game. When chasing your dreams, a lot of times there isn’t a need to reinvent the wheel. Instead, shorten your path to success by learning from the stories, strategies and concepts shared by our guests. Then shorten it even further by learning about amazing resources (books, webinars, tools, software, events, coaching, etc.) that should be on your radar. You are not alone in the challenges you face! It's my mission to help you walk away with at least one idea you can apply each episode and to offer content that inspires, encourages and helps you grow and progress QUICKLY both professionally and personally.
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Now displaying: March, 2018
Mar 28, 2018

Ken Baker is currently serving as a member of Gensler’s Board of Directors and the Gensler Management Committee. As a Co-Regional Managing Principal of Gensler’s Southeast Region and past Co-Managing Principal of Gensler’s UK, EMEA and Gulf Regions, Ken is considered a global expert on workplace design and planning, particularly for law firms.

He has designed tens of millions of square feet of corporate headquarters and offices for law firms and financial institutions and is one of Gensler’s major Global Account holders, managing relationships with clients such as Sidley Austin LLP, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, JP Morgan Chase, and Barclays Capital worldwide. Ken is also a leader in Gensler’s furniture and product development practice and frequently speaks about the power of design at industry events around the world.

A fellow of the College of Law Practice Management and a member of the Board of Trustees for the National Building Museum, Ken is passionate about producing design solutions that optimize trends that align with clients core objectives. Ken’s focus on maintaining strong client relationships is a core tenant of his leadership philosophy and design strategy and is a natural outgrowth of his people oriented personality.

I was recently emailing back and forth with a listener about building a recruitment marketing strategy for their business. How companies can make people want to come work for them is actually one of the things I’ve been talking to people about the most lately, so I wanted to make sure to have an episode of Absolute Advantage with a guest whose business is excelling in this area.

The architectural design firm Gensler is an excellent example of this, and I was so thrilled to have Ken Baker, Co-Regional Managing Principal of Gensler’s Southeast Region, join me to talk about making an impact in everything you do.

One of the areas in which Gensler makes an impact is their excellent process for growing and developing their team, no matter what position someone might have inside their organization. That internal mentorship program is absolutely top notch.

This really stood out to me because of the impact actually making that effort and investing in their team has on their recruitment and retention efforts. When every person inside your company continues to get better and better, that becomes really attractive for people job searching. Top talent loves attracts top talent, and that’s absolutely the case for Gensler.

Not only that, but the growth is really important to the millennial generation. They often get a bad rap, but growth is so important to them. When you give them the opportunity to grow, develop, and gain purpose, they want to stick around. We all know how expensive it is to turn people over, so you have to do what you can to keep your good employees around. The best way to do that is through this growth program that Gensler has implemented so well.

This is just one of the many ways that Ken talks about around this idea of how you can make an impact that is spread all over this episode. I highly recommend that you listen in to the full episode because when you apply Ken’s strategies to your business, you will be applying the secrets that have made Gensler one of the most successful companies in the planet.

Thank you for listening today! I appreciate your time so very much.

Ways to contact Ken:

Mar 21, 2018

Aaron Hendon is a Seattle Realtor, real estate investor, author, educator, and speaker. He is managing partner of Christine & Company, a Seattle Magazine awarded, Five Star Real Estate Agent, winning team for the past 6 years and an individual Rising Star in Seattle Real Estate winner.

Bringing together a diverse background and history including transformational leadership, entrepreneurial start ups and traditional cold calling sales, Aaron and his team consistently outperform the local market, selling homes for over 5% more than local market averages.

Born in New York, Aaron graduated SUNY Purchase with a BFA in 1997. Discovering his fine art degree made him eligible to work in the foodservice industry anywhere in the country, he headed out to New Mexico immediately after school. He eventually found his stride opening a real New York bagel shop in Albuquerque, selling it 9 years later as a business grossing over $1,000,000 annually.

In 2000 he found his way to the Pacific Northwest and now lives on a small island off the coast of Seattle with his brilliant wife, Kael, his two brilliant children, Leela and Jonah and his adoring, if not exactly brilliant, Golden Doodle, Rozy. He has just published his latest book, Shortchanged by Shortcuts? 44 Surprising Ways People Rip Themselves Off When Buying or Selling Their Home.

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“A leader’s job isn’t to make followers. A leader’s job is to make other leaders.” – Aaron Hendon

When I asked my guest Aaron Hendon to share a lesson of leadership as I do with all of my Absolute Advantage guests, I thought the idea he shared about developing the people in your organization was incredibly profound.

It’s a great example of the incredible conversation we had about what a great culture looks like and what it takes to build one, which is something Aaron knows all about. His company Christine & Company is Seattle Magazine award winning company, and it is that way because of their culture.

Christine & Company has turned qualified people down that didn’t gel with the rest of the team because that’s just how important culture is for a successful team, and they know it. Not only that, but they’ve let people go that have gossiped about the team because of their belief that you can’t belittle any member of the team.

It takes a lot of work to build an award-winning culture like Christine & Company, but it’s so worth it because of the way your team gels with each other and makes your company so much more successful than it could be with a lesser culture.

To learn how to do it in your business, please listen to this episode with Aaron Hendon.

That was one of the nuggets from my conversation with Aaron Hendon that stood out the most to me. Please let me know which stood out the most to you.

Thank you for listening today! I appreciate your time so very much.

Ways to contact Aaron:

Mar 14, 2018

After doing tech startups in Canada and the US for about 10 years, Mark Sears lived in Nepal for 6 years building CloudFactory. He is driven daily by his passion for technology, business and people. Mark lived in Durham, NC the last 3 years to help grow sales and marketing and now is building out CloudFactory’s global HQ in Reading, UK. Mark’s better half is his beautiful wife Laurel and together they have a lot of fun seeing the world through the eyes of their children Noah and Maya.

He started his career as a software developer with Sun Microsystems before finding his groove in the world of startups. Moving into technology evangelism and product management roles he helped a 5 person startup grow to 130 employees across 4 international offices after raising $48 million in venture capital. Mark then raised angel investment, launched and managed his own startup company for 6 years before coming to Nepal and starting the CloudFactory adventure.

It isn’t enough to have full-time employees that live in the same location you do anymore. You need to have access to the best talent in the world, and it’s highly likely that those people don’t live within 30 miles of your office.

Luckily, there are a lot of options to fill out your business. When you have an important project come along that requires a specific skill to complete, you don’t need to hire a full-time employee to do that work. You can work with a consultant, contractor, freelancer, agency, or a variety of other options to help get that work done, and they don’t have to live in the same city you do.

This idea of how to supplement your business using outside talent is one of the topics I talked to my guest Mark Sears about.

Mark loves this strategy because it allows your in-house team to focus on the core parts of your business while allowing you to leverage on-demand talent at a high level with really expensive experts but only using them when you need them.

Mark says leveraging talent in this way is going to become critical in the years to come.

“It’s a huge competitive advantage when you can learn to tap into the talent of the world…when you can build a culture that allows people to really interact and collaborate with your organization no matter where they sit in the world. Those are competitive advantages that are pretty much going to be table steaks in the coming years.”

So, next time you’re thinking about hiring someone new because you need some extra capacity, think “how would I do this if I’d never done it any other way before.” If you typically resort to hiring full-time people in your area, that’s not going to suit you well in the long run.

That was one of the nuggets from my conversation with Mark Sears that stood out the most to me. Please let me know which stood out the most to you.

Thank you for listening today! I appreciate your time so very much.

Ways to contact Mark:

Mar 7, 2018

Pam Wasley is Co-founder & CEO of Cerius Executives and Cerius Advisors. She is a serial entrepreneur with multiple decades of knowledge and experience. She has personally sold companies, led a management buyout, and advised hundreds of companies on strategies for growth and higher shareholder value. Pam has served on several private boards and is a highly sought after speaker. She’s been featured in prestigious publications such as Forbes, Entrepreneur, Fortune, and Bloomberg Businessweek on the topics of mergers and acquisitions, the workforce of the future, and global contingent workforces.

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If your business is currently hiring, this statement shouldn’t come as a shock to you, but talent is a big problem today. There aren’t enough qualified applicants currently on the market to fill all the positions that companies are looking to hire.

What can you do about it? My guest Pam Wasley says you need to really have a strategy for your talent … which means both new hires and current employees … and how to grow that talent long-term.

For most companies, talent is an afterthought when it comes to their strategy. They say, “Okay, what talent do we need to execute our strategy,” but as Pam explains in the episode, that’s backwards thinking.

Companies need to integrate their talent into their strategy conversation and start thinking about how to build their talent into a long-term asset to be more profitable.

This is a problem for many of the clients we work with, and we struggled with it ourselves starting out, but it can be solved without having to make expensive hires.

Companies are lacking a plan for growing their existing talent. Try identifying where your strengths and weaknesses are and then develop the talent you already have to fill those gaps.

Listen and learn how!

That was one of the nuggets from my conversation with Pam Wasley that stood out the most to me. Please let me know which stood out the most to you.

Thank you for listening today! I appreciate your time so very much.

Ways to contact Pam:

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