Unity – Business is War

Bill Snyder, Kansas State’s legendary football coach, is famous for his 16 goals for success. His players recite the line: “…to common goals & being successful. Individually, if we accomplish these goals, the entire team will be successful.”

Throughout the year, we will discuss these 16 goals and how to apply them to the Vermillion Group’s common goals in 2013. We welcome you along for this journey…

#3: UNITY Joining forces through enthusiastic emulation.

A quick recap: In the first two articles on Bill Snyder’s 16 goals for success, we talked about commitment and unselfishness. At first, I felt unity was more or less a synonym of the first two goals; but given more thought, I realized that unity is a culmination of the two.

I stumbled across a perfect illustration. You’ve heard of TWIF, right? That’d be the Tug of War International Federation. (…I had no idea either)

Two eight person teams, not to exceed their division’s maximum weight limit, fighting for leverage over one rope. The high-level matches can only be won with:

  • superior form
  • tactics
  • experience
  • teamwork
  • determination

England’s indoor team is masterful at sitting back, letting the other team tire, and then powering inch-by-inch like a well-oiled machine, pulling their opponent across the room four long yards to victory. Take a quick look » UK Indoor Tug of War 2009.

Business is a game of tug of war. Sometimes, the only strategy is to maintain your leverage until you can start inching towards victory. The team who can execute with the most unity throughout the competition will win.

In order to gain the experience necessary to succeed, you must be committed to plan and work with diligence every day. There will be times when you slip, and that’s why you have others pulling the rope with you. Sometimes all you can do is ‘all you can do’ and trust that your coworkers are unselfishly doing the same thing.

Keep in mind that moving an inch at a time is progress, and eventually momentum will reward the effort.

Are you pulling with unity or just trying to take up the slack?

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Unselfishness – Be the Tortoise

Bill Snyder, Kansas State’s legendary football coach, is famous for his 16 goals for success. His players recite the line: “…to common goals & being successful. Individually, if we accomplish these goals, the entire team will be successful.”

Throughout the year, we will discuss these 16 goals and how to apply them to the Vermillion Group’s common goals in 2013. We welcome you along for this journey…

#2: UNSELFISHNESS is demonstrated through a consistent effort over time.

Most everyone has heard some rendition of Aesop’s fable, “The Hare and the Tortoise.” The moral of the story teaches: ‘Slow but steady wins the race.’

The same principle can be used to illustrate the second of Snyder’s goals – unselfishness.

Some may argue that the soldier or policeman who react quickly to save a life, sometimes risking their own well-being in the process, is the perfect example of “unselfishness.” Yes, I would agree that it may be an unselfish act; however, I feel this type of event is more accurately described as being brave or heroic. The difference between the two allows us to relate unselfishness to less altruistic activities; that difference is consistency.

Just as we discussed commitment being the first of these 16 goals, being unselfish requires an element of time to be considered alongside the action. Being unselfish in business urges one to ‘be the tortoise’ and avoid hare-brained activities that will end up getting you nowhere fast.

To be unselfish in business, you must perform your assigned duties and responsibilities with tortoise-like conviction and commitment. You need to ask yourself, “What is best for the business?” and bring that mentality to your list of daily priorities. Can your manager assign you a task like Ron Popeil cooks a chicken? (…“set it” on your desk and “forget it” because they know it will get done.)

Being unselfish in business means you must maintain a reliable relationship with your customers, whether they are internal (coworkers) or external customers. A relationship built on reliability and trust is especially key to successful sales professionals. Can your people count on you? Do they believe that you are stepping up to bat for them each and every day?

An unselfish businessman or businesswoman acts with the highest level of integrity, even when no one will ever find out what they’re working on. We’re not talking about a light switch that you can just flip on when necessary… when ‘people are watching you.’

A mother is unselfish. You do not raise a child in one day. You must wake up and do the little things consistently, unwaveringly, if you want to instill the right values and lessons in them. You can’t let a dog run wild for years and then decide to train it in a weekend. You must make an impression on them from early on and correct unwanted behavior through reward and encouragement.

There are no tricks – and your job is the same way. By doing the unremarkable things that people rely on you to do - reaching your metrics, hitting your plan, achieving short-term goals through effort, making the little adjustments and staying focused – you will achieve remarkable results. A business who has all of their employees focused on achieving a common goal and working unselfishly can accomplish the remarkable.

First comes the commitment, then comes the opportunity to go all-in and work unselfishly. Be the tortoise…

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Commitment – The Iron Man

Bill Snyder, Kansas State’s legendary football coach, is famous for his 16 goals for success. His players recite the line: “…to common goals & being successful. Individually, if we accomplish these goals, the entire team will be successful.”

Throughout the year, we will discuss these 16 goals and how to apply them to the Vermillion Group’s common goals in 2013. We welcome you along for this journey…

#1: COMMITMENT tops the list. Without it, a goal becomes but a wish.

A commitment means saying yes without having to contemplate your current mood or other considerations. Shift gears from football to baseball and immediately one star stands high above all the others when talking about commitment. The Iron Man.

Iron Man, Cal Ripken, Jr.
Although Cal Ripken, Jr. will be remembered for many records, his legacy is built around commitment, consistency, and his longevity record for the most consecutive games in baseball history.

Cal summarizes how he was able to achieve such a clear commitment to baseball with this:

“I didn’t just show up for work, as has sometimes been said. I also showed up to work.”

He explains that showing up each day means nothing if you are not committed to being there and making yourself indispensable by constantly striving for improvement.

“I think it’s important, especially in this economy, to see that you can’t stay around if you’re not getting better,” Ripken says. “No business or baseball team is going to keep people just because they show up. You have to constantly be looking for ways to get better, looking for ways to improve your value to the organization. You have to develop strong fundamentals—no matter what you do—and you have to make yourself indispensable. That requires you to constantly be evaluating what you’re doing and what needs to be done.”

I can tell you without a doubt that Cal did not go out that first day in May of 1982 with the thought of accomplishing what he did. And that leads me to conclude that when applying his level of commitment to business is all about focusing on today. Not what happened yesterday, or what will be happening tomorrow.

Step back and approach today with the idea that you must improve what you are doing when you step into the office. You must maintain a consistent approach and refine your craft. You must become laser-focused on meeting your daily goals today, and before you realize it, your daily commitment becomes something extraordinary.


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Season’s Greetings from Vermillion Group

From our family to yours:

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Dan Larson’s Sweet 16

Dan Larson 16 Years

Amazing… Dan Larson celebrates 16 years with Vermillion Group today!

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19 Stellar Years


Our most tenured employee, and with the utmost priviledge, our sincere congratulations for a job well done. 19 years with the Vermillion Group today.

Congratulations, Russ Tessman!

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Lest We Forget…

9/11/2001

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Don’t Just Follow


“If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking.”  - George S. Patton

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One More Dial…

I am a big fan of METRICS. Year after year, they are the best way to gauge your performance & effort, and the ROI accompanying your output. Some recruiters drill down to “dollars per dial” (CASH-IN / CALLS) to measure how they are doing compared to years past.

That being said, the recruitment industry provides all of us with a tremendous OPPORTUNITY. No matter how good your metrics are, no matter how high your dollars per dial are, nothing can replace effort and DETERMINATION. Do you have what it takes to make one more call at the end of a long 10-hour day?

Many times working after the traditional 5pm workday can yield the best results. Maybe that important HA’s secretary has headed home for the day and it is your big chance to speak with him directly. You will never know unless you have the determination to try.

Recruiting is like sitting in front of a free-play slot machine. The next big payoff may be just one pull away, but you have to make the attempt or you’ll never know.

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The Bloodhound Pup – A Niche Recruiting Fable

The Bloodhound Pup

A Fable (for Recruiters)…

One day there was a young bloodhound pup who wanted to become the most successful bloodhound in the world. He dreamed at night of rescuing lost children, sniffing out drug smugglers in international airports, tracking down escaped fugitives through rivers and fields…

This bloodhound pup was so determined to be the best that he would wake up every morning and work on something new each day. He would sniff and smell all types of scents: illegal narcotics, exotic birds, human scents, animal scents, things buried in the snow, dirt, and ice.

When the young bloodhound pup was ready to make a name for himself, he left his home and headed out into the world, searching for people who needed his nose.

On one call to find a missing girl in a big city, the young bloodhound pup took off into the streets. He sniffed animals, he sniffed people, all of the things he trained to sniff for so long came rushing back from this direction and that… he felt overwhelmed, sat down in the middle of the city park, and howled in frustration.

Over the course of the next year, the young bloodhound pup met with people from all over to offer his help. He sniffed to help hunters, he sniffed for luggage and babies and crime scenes. Most of the time he could get close but never seemed to get the job done.

During one such search for a missing jogger, the young bloodhound pup slumped down near a stream – he kept ending up in the same clearing, confused and disoriented. All of a sudden he heard something come crashing through the underbrush.  It was Ace, the world-renowned search & rescue bloodhound, hot on the jogger’s trail! The young bloodhound pup barely had time to run after him.

Charging through the river, through thickets, down a rock slide, over a barb-wire fence, Ace was nose down, making a beeline towards a dark corner of the forest. A large cave loomed in front of them. Ace bayed and a cry for help was audible. He found the jogger who was injured and was unable to move under his own power, but otherwise safe.

As Ace stood guard until help could arrive, the young bloodhound pup gazed at him in admiration, still trying to catch his breath from the search. “How did you do that?” he asked his new hero.

“Kid, it’s simple – the only thing I do is find missing persons in a temperate forest. I don’t search for narcotics – I don’t track animals; I am the best at what I do because it’s the only thing I sniff for…”

The light bulb went on for the young bloodhound pup.

Ace continued, “If you want to be the best, pick the one thing you’re good at & stick to it. I can’t help everyone, but I can help the ones that I’m specialized in helping, each and every time. When a nose is needed to sniff out this exact scenario, they call ME!”

Find your specialized niche, immerse yourself in reaching the right candidates & clients; become the “Ace” of your niche market and don’t lose focus!

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