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Help Wanted

help-drowning

In recent posts, we’ve been following the turmoil at a local Chicago corporation, GKIC (formerly “Glazer-Kennedy Insider’s Circle”). It’s been a lively discussion, with some thoughtful and constructive comments (mixed in with a lot of angry ones).

(Catch up on previous posts by clicking on them in the “Recent Posts” list to the right.)

Last week, Ben Glass posted a comment saying he’s “Not sure the old GKIC will ever be returned…GKIC is trying mightily to become something different” with a link to the online job posting for their new President.

If you clicked on that link one week ago, when Ben posted it, you would have seen a red “Apply Now” button. But if you click on that link now, you’ll see a message that reads, “Bummer. That job is no longer available.” (Don’t you just love everything online that thinks it has to be hip and cool?)

The listing on www.TheLadders.com states “POSITION FILLED.”

This is good news for the overall economy (one more job filled), and for the job seeker who got the $304K/yr + stock options position – if it’s true.

And it’s also good news for small business owners and entrepreneurs around the world who look to GKIC for direction and help in growing our businesses.

But I have to wonder…

If GKIC did in fact find a new President nearly a week ago (AmericasJobExchange.com states “This job is no longer active” and lists the “End Date” as December 20, 2012), why hasn’t anyone heard anything about it?

Not a single email about it. No mention on the company website. Nothing on the “official” Facebook page. Not even a tweet. And most definitely not a letter, fax or phone call to any of its members, customers or strategic partners.

It’s a veritable cacophony of multi-media silence!

More amazing than the complete lack of communication about this momentous event in the history of the company would be the fact that they actually found even a single qualified applicant, based on the job description:

GKIC President job description

And even more amazing to me is that while the job doesn’t require any knowledge of or experience in Direct Response Marketing, the candidate is required to hold an MBA from a “top school” (and they probably don’t mean the best possible school for an entrepreneur, the “School Of Hard Knocks”).

You may be a solo-preneur or business owner who’s still in the near-startup mode of trying to do practically everything yourself, but if you keep at it and take the right steps to grow your business, at some point you’ll be looking for a President of your own. Or, you may own a larger business where you are now, or have been in the past, looking for a President.

With that in mind, here’s an opportunity for an interesting and educational exercise…

If you were writing the job description for the new President of GKIC, what would you require? Would your ideal candidate to lead the turnaround have to be…

  • A serious student and fan of Dan Kennedy?
  • An experienced and accomplished information marketer?
  • A proven expert in direct response, relationship-based marketing?

…or any other qualifications mysteriously absent from GKIC’s list?

And what qualifications would you NOT require, that GKIC did?

Join the discussion by posting your comment below.

20 Responses to Help Wanted

  1. Nina Hershberger Reply

    December 26, 2012 at 11:12 am

    I have worked side by side in the past with MBA’s from one of the nation’s ELITE Universities. Let me just say they would NEVER survive as an entrepreneur. They know how to huddle, vet, spend endless hours in meetings, and create fancy dashboards of meaningless numbers. They know how to spend amazing amounts of marketing dollars on crap that doesn’t pull and would look horrified with ugly marketing. They’ve never heard of the book “Think and Grow Rich” let alone read it. And Dan S. Kennedy’s books certainly would not be gracing their book shelves. They proudly display all sorts of letters behind their name and would laugh at anyone who only has a *gasp* high school education.

    I was once told by one of these knights of pure wisdom that I was too creative and thought too much. And then 2 months later was told I needed to spend 1 hour a week away from my desk with a paper and pencil only “thinking”. Never told what to think about. I made great use of the time and developed my own business plan.

    When I asked one MBA what success would look like at the end of a project we were working on together I was given a formal reprimand. How dare I try to threaten his position to find out what the end goal would be.

    And yet…having been a student of Dan’s now for 20 years earn more than any of them, working from my home office, employing VA’s all over the world (yes, some right here is the good ‘ol USA), I MAKE MORE THAN ANY OF THEM!!!

    Here’s what I would add to the position requirements: 1. delivered newspapers as a kid 365 days a year in snow, wind, rain, and sleet 2. grew up working in a family business – preferrably a restaurant. It’s easy to sit a butt in a seat, but not so easy to crawl that same butt out of bed at 5 a.m. every morning, 7 days a week to serve others.

    I would RUN from ALL MBA’s!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And just being “entrepreneurial” would not be enough for me.

    One last thought: “rapidly growing???” You’re kidding me. It’s obvious there is no truth in advertising. Should have said “rapidly declining and if we don’t get someone in here quick it will be history”.

  2. Steve Sipress Reply

    December 26, 2012 at 11:38 am

    Excellent insights, Nina.

    And, of course, since those with “only” a high school education need not apply, that means even Dan Kennedy himself wouldn’t be given even a moment’s consideration!

    I can only imagine how completely different this job description would have been had Dan (or any of the MANY successful information marketers he’s helped create) been asked for any input or guidance…

  3. janelle nagy Reply

    December 26, 2012 at 11:56 am

    I know a guy who would be an excellent President for GKIC. He graduated from the school of hard knocks, has the heart of a lion, is a servant leader, consistently employs Glazer/ Kennedy marketing strategies to help fellow entrepreneurs grow their businesses and improve the quality of their lives. He is grounded in Biblical truth, has a successful marriage, and has helped me and countless others to grow our businesses. Based on his track-record, I would be floored if GKIC did not approach him with a direct offer- they’d be crazy not to. Sound like anyone ya’all know?

  4. Walter Terry Reply

    December 26, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    I hear ya Steve!

    I’m currently battling some of GKIC’s customer service incompetence and now I’m going to have to do a “Hail Mary” pass by sending a letter to the acting CEO and COO. Whatever that shambling mass of business malpractice calls itself now, it’s a far cry from the GKIC of old — before the “Chicago Takeover” (no disrespect).

    As I told the incompetent CS kid: “This is just indicative of the larger problem — I got better service as a $60/month Gold than I’m getting as a $1,000/month Diamond-Peak Performer.”

    His response: “What is it you want me to do?”

    So, appreciate this behind the scenes, Steve. I was experiencing the result but wasn’t fully grasping the mechanics causing it. Now things make more sense.

  5. owen garrat Reply

    December 26, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    I admit, I was crestfallen at the MBA thing. Ugh.

  6. Steve Sipress Reply

    December 26, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    Walter: I know how you feel. I’m an $1194/month (plus $35,000 deposit) Independent Business Advisor member of theirs, and I had to spell my name FOUR TIMES to the customer service rep I spoke with last week to request a refund of the “BEST DISCOUNT PRICE that will ever be offered!…VALID TODAY ONLY!” $497 each I paid for my beautiful wife Michele and I to attend the upcoming GKIC Women’s Event (the event is now only $97 to attend, I think — I checked the GKIC website, but it just says “This event will be taking place on February 8-10, 2013… further details to come!”).

    After getting thrown out of the last GKIC event I attended, clearly I have no plans to attend another one. (And no, I have not yet received an apology for my mistreatment.)

    After finally getting my name straight, the rep told me he would have to check on my request and have someone get back to me.

    To make matters worse, not only have I not yet received a refund or gotten any update on the status of my refund request, but about an hour ago I received an email from GKIC saying “We have received your registration and you are confirmed to attend the 2013 Women’s Entrepreneurial Summit.”

    Sheesh! How many more calls or emails will it take to get this taken care of?

    I sincerely hope that, contrary to what I’ve been told by GKIC, this is NOT “business as usual”.

    I still wonder how long it will be until GKIC stops denying that there are major problems, so everyone can focus on trying to right the ship and rebuild the loyal relationships it once enjoyed.

    I know I’m in the minority, but I still believe there’s hope.

    I hope the new President got an “A+” in “Customer Service 101” in Business School…

  7. Steve Sipress Reply

    December 26, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    Update: I just received another email from GKIC in response to my response to the email I mentioned in my last comment, saying “I have submitted a refund for you and Michele. A check will be mailed out to you.”

    See? There IS hope! Hang in there, GKIC members!

  8. John Cohoat Reply

    December 26, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    First comment is that I think the person should be of utmost integrity and honesty… with a fully operating BS detector. I find some unbelievable BS in one of the comments above, coming from a point of no integrity at all. So, just be able to have your BS detector on all the time, since we are the No BS guys.

    Second comment is that I’m not sure that servant leader really fits the bill of what I would want for a leader, at least not the way I perceive servant leader. I’d ask us to consider that the best leader might espouse the principles in No BS Ruthless Management. For me, I can’t reconcile “servant leader” with Dan’s Ruthless Management approach, which I think is more realistic based on the many businesses I’ve owned and led.

    Third comment is, even though some might think this counterintuitive, the person might want to have the background which allows them to operate in the corporate world and be able to succeed and communicate there. Otherwise, there might be such a culture shock with the investors, that the bridge is impossible to cross. So, there are many of us who had successful careers in the world of high finance. large companies, etc. who have now found the Dan Kennedy religion. We might be better equipped to speak to the investors and the GKIC members.

    But, no matter what… Honesty and Integrity… no BS

  9. Steve Sipress Reply

    December 26, 2012 at 5:55 pm

    Great points, John. I hadn’t thought of that newly-created problem of having to find someone who is highly-skilled at relating to corporate types on the one hand and entrepreneurs on the other. Such leaders are EXTREMELY rare (and even more rare if you insist that they have an MBA from a “top school” — if such a person even exists at all).

  10. Erick Monzon Reply

    December 26, 2012 at 6:01 pm

    Steve… that ad was B.S. Marketing made by a guy (or gal) totally disconnected from the soul of the goods they sell. MBA from top school? Dan himself didn’t go to college! What a joke.

  11. Phil Brakefield Reply

    December 26, 2012 at 6:03 pm

    I’ve been around a LONG time.

    Got to watch Mickey and Roger chase 60 home runs in a single season…no steroids.

    Saw Michael hit the impossible shot more than once.

    Watched Jack sink that winding putt to win the Masters again at 46 years of age.

    Toured with Elvis and watched him shrink 20,000 seat venues into spaces that felt like my living room.

    Was on the committee that brought Martin Luther King in as guest speaker to my university.

    Appeared in the movie “Semi-Tough”.

    Fought in Golden Gloves and was transported from comfortable (read, spoiled) middle class kid to novice humanoid who needed to learn what it really takes for someone less fortunate to break free from circumstances of birth.

    These things and so many more set my life experience bar at lofty levels, and up until recently, I valued my GKIC membership as yet another life-changing experience that was as valuable for the new friends, mentors and influencers it brought me into contact with as for the content of the materials made available. So to see the degradation of the organization is painful enough…but to witness it happening by flying directly in the face of all the things it has espoused as formulaic to continued viability and success is just short of tragic.

    Not forgetting “who brung you to the dance” trumps MBA every time.

  12. John Cohoat Reply

    December 26, 2012 at 6:21 pm

    Steve,
    I bet you would be surprised if they polled our membership that you would find ex-corporate types all over.
    When I give my pitch, I tell people I’m a “recovering CPA”… graduated from Notre Dame and worked for one of the top International Public Accounting firms. On a very fast track to partnership… left to join a start-up medical laboratory as their first CFO… left there to become a hospital CEO at age 32… then bought an ice cream company…. later worked for a large health care system as VP of Organizational Integrity and also a 2 year stint with a major real estate developer, etc. (And, I had a paper route, mowed lawns, worked as a janitor and tire jockey, paid for my own private high school and college… etc.)
    Got my MBA from the University of Pittsburgh. I keep most of this quiet because people in GKIC look down on this….but I bet there are more closet MBA’s out there who went rogue and became GKIC types.

  13. Steve Sipress Reply

    December 26, 2012 at 6:50 pm

    John:

    I agree. Many of us have similar stories.

    (That was part of my response to GKIC’s ex-CEO when she tried to hire me to lead entrepreneurs as a corporate employee of hers: “Don’t you know my story? I LEFT my one-and-only corporate job [where I was extremely successful — and completely a fish out of water] to dedicate myself full-time to running my local “Chicagoland’s Sharpest Entrepreneurs” group. Why would I now want to go back to being a corporate employee?”)

    Those two little letters are the key to your comment: “ex”-corporate type.

    Did you answer that help wanted ad? Would you apply if the job opening were posted again in the future?

  14. Dean Reply

    December 26, 2012 at 7:00 pm

    I agree – hire the guy with passion – not the person with letters by their name!

  15. John Cohoat Reply

    December 26, 2012 at 7:07 pm

    I wouldn’t go chasing a situation like that unless I knew more about the players, etc. And, so far I really haven’t tried to kiss up to the corporate types there that I met… although a few of them seemed like they might actually have a heart.
    But, no I won’t chase that job… I’m into Magnetic Marketing… they know where I am if they want any help from me.

  16. Austin William Walsh Reply

    December 26, 2012 at 7:44 pm

    Thats crazy. Talk about killing how a company like that should be.

  17. Leela Cosgrove Reply

    December 26, 2012 at 8:07 pm

    Dude, what is going ON over there?? Totally crazy …

  18. Leela Cosgrove Reply

    December 26, 2012 at 8:11 pm

    After coming over for last years infosummit, we kinda backed off … the whole “female entrepreneur event” really pissed me off … it’s like, I heart GKIC because it’s not about all that mummsy BS … I don’t get where they’re going anymore or what the vision is and it’s hard to back when that’s the case. It’s like – I’m just going to sit over here and watch you either implode … or not. Whatever you decide.

  19. Steve Sipress Reply

    December 26, 2012 at 8:50 pm

    Leela: Yes, I remember how great it was to finally meet you and “Thor” at the 2011 Info-Summit!

    Their last few events have been disappointing, and don’t get me started about last year’s “Women’s Event.”

    BUT

    I admire the fact that they’re experimenting and testing new ideas and strategies.

    Hopefully, their new leader can repair damaged relationships and get GKIC back to being THE place to be for small business owners and entrepreneurs.

    One more thing about the “help wanted” ad: It would be nice if they recognized the need to attract an expert in “information marketing” and “relationship marketing” instead of “product marketing.”

    That alone would help reverse the recent decline, in my opinion.

    I’m still hoping they do it — would be nice to see you two crazy Aussies again!

  20. Rand Gloger Reply

    January 24, 2013 at 10:06 am

    I am not sure what I am reading here beyond an indictment of those with a Master of Business Administration degree for a position that values the entrepreneurial spirit.

    In the world I have from where I have come, you hire the person, the cultural fit, the personality, the passion, not just a degree. I have met my share of dynamic individuals without college degrees and my share of fools with the same credentials. Ditto Baccalaureate graduates, Master of You Name It grads and PhDs.

    Personally, I find the comments indicting MBAs as a group as a distinct reason for many of the failures in your organizations. Finger pointing is easy especially when you are pointing at someone else’s foibles and faults instead of your own.

    As an MBA from a TOP 5 grad school, I chose the route of the “rolling up my sleeves,”on the floor, retail manager and leader because of my passion for serving the customer. In my consulting business today, my 6 partners and I are more concerned with serving and helping our clients grow and improved their efficiencies and profits rather than comparing the degrees, fraternity / sorority badges and parties, and drinking and dating experiences.

    If you made a bad “hire”, if you didn’t deeply explore references, past work history,credentials and personality, you got precisely what you deserved.

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