#001: The Talent War Authors – Mike Sarraille and George Randle

What can business organizations learn from the military when it comes to talent management and leadership development? Those who have been in the trenches, leading people through some of the most difficult and risky missions in the world know that people are everything. Mike Sarraille and George Randle are two of the authors of The Talent War, an incredibly insightful work that examines the parallels between the talent management practices of special operations forces and the most successful organizations in the world. Aiming to empower small and medium businesses to achieve excellence every day, Mike and George founded the Talent War Group, a cadre of highly-experienced SOF leaders and business executives who understand the critical importance of human capital management. Listen in as they share some of the principles they talked about in their book as they join Fran Racioppi on this first episode of The Jedburgh Podcast.

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Unknown to many, the way military picks and handles its people is very much like how a business hires and manages its team members. These fields empower people on one shared factor: giving more attention to character rather than skill alone.

Mike Sarraille and George Randle, two Navy SEAL veterans, dedicate their post-military careers to this concept, writing the book The Talent War and building the community The Talent War Group. Through their collaboration, they bring the military mindset of getting the right people for a particular job into the business scene. This focuses not necessarily on what they can do but the mere potential to deliver well and be willing to undergo that needed training curve.

They drive the message home by emphasizing how special operations in the military require the longest behavioral interview to recruit the best individuals. And even when chosen, the assessment process continues well into the operation itself.

Reflecting the same concept to the business sector, Mike and George underline the importance of looking for transformational leaders who are willing to invest in the people within their teams and promote personal growth. In contrast, transactional leaders who only think about themselves and simply getting the job done must be avoided at all costs.

The duo also highlights the power that entrepreneurs can harness by having a disruptive mindset, or those willing to disregard the siloed world rampant in corporate America in favor of easier and far more rewarding processes. If leaders cannot open themselves to new things that are ultimately for the better, disruptive leaders must either accept the fact that they have embraced mediocrity or just resort to causing changes even in small degrees that still matter.

Finally, Mike and George delve into the path to success by embracing risks and failures along the way. If one believes that they have not failed ever, or don’t think they will ever fail, it proves how much work is needed in terms of self-reflection, humility, and resilience.

This boils down to the Whole Man concept, which reinforces the fact that working with people is always more than what their skills are or what’s written on their resume, but the entire package of the human person. And this involves the overall character, which has a weight more than anything else.

About Mike Sarraille

Mike Sarraille is the CEO of EF Overwatch, an executive search and talent advisory firm, and leadership consultant with Echelon Front.

He is a former Recon Marine and retired US Navy SEAL officer with twenty years of experience in Special Operations, including the elite Joint Special Operations Command.


About George Randle

George Randle is a Managing Partner at EF Overwatch, former US Army officer, and Vice President of Global Talent Acquisition at Forcepoint, a human-centric cybersecurity company.

George has more than two decades of experience in talent acquisition at Fortune 100 and Fortune 1000 firms.



About the author

Fran Racioppi
View Bio | More From the Author

Francis Racioppi, CPP, CBCP, most recently led Genius Fund as the Chief Executive and Chief Operating Officer, a vertically integrated cannabis company in Los Angeles, CA. Prior to Genius, Fran served as the Director of Global Security for Snapchat where he was recruited to professionalize and scale the security organization across the globe and among all business units. Fran holds an MBA from New York University and graduated with honors from Boston University with a BA in Journalism and a minor in Political Science. Fran served 13 years in the United States Army as a Green Beret, deploying three times to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn. A lifelong sailor, Fran volunteers teaching Veterans to sail as the Race Director for Sailahead a Veterans service organization dedicated to reducing the Veteran suicide rate. Fran has also served as the Treasurer of the United War Veterans Council, an NYC-based non-profit focused on the wellness and healing of transitioning veterans, as well as the host of the annual NYC Veterans Day Parade.

George Randle
Managing Partner & Co-Director of Talent Advisory | View Bio | More From the Author

George Randle is an experienced talent executive, veteran, coach, mentor and leader known for selecting, building, and reorganizing teams to reach their full business potential. George has 20+ years of Fortune 100 and Fortune 1000 global Human Resources and Talent Acquisition experience building elite teams.

George began his professional life by enlisting in the USAR.  While serving in the USAR he received his Bachelor’s Degree from Missouri State University and was commissioned as an Active-Duty Army Officer.  His career assignments included the Berlin, US CENTCOM and III Corps with deployments to Africa (Somalia and Kenya), Central America and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

George transitioned to the corporate world, experiencing many of the same challenges the Military and Veterans face today.  With the recognition that building elite teams was his true passion, he ultimately transitioned to the Human Resources and Talent Acquisition function.  George went on to create a talent engine to hire a world-class team for a cyber security firm and one of the largest and most successful Veteran Hiring Programs for a Global Fortune 50 firm and collectively, the teams he has built have hired over 85,000 professionals, including over 2000 executives.  He is Hogan (HPI, HDS and MVPI) Leadership Assessment Certified.

George currently resides in Austin, Texas and is the co-author of the best-selling book, “The Talent War: How Special Operations and Great Organizations Win on Talent,” Vice President and Global Head of Talent Acquisition for an industry-leading cyber security firm and Managing Partner for The Talent War Group.

Mike Sarraille
Founder, Managing Partner & CEO | View Bio | More From the Author

Mike Sarraille is a retired U.S. Navy SEAL officer, founder and board of director for the VETTED Foundation, a 501(c)3 Veteran executive education platform, a graduate of the University of Texas McCombs Business School, and a leadership instructor and strategic advisor for Echelon Front, a management consulting firm. 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 before receiving his commission in the Navy. 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 again deployed with Task Unit Bruiser in 2008 and led historic combat operations in Sadr City during the Battle of Route Gold. Following his return, Mike assumed duties as the primary leadership instructor for all officers graduating from the SEAL training pipeline, taking over that role from Leif Babin. Mike was then selected for assignment to the Joint Special Operations Command where he completed multiple combat deployments in support of the Global War on Terrorism. Mike is a recipient of the Silver Star, six Bronze Stars, two Defense Meritorious Service Medals, and a Purple Heart. Mike continues to participate as a Veteran Transition subject matter expert on panels across the nation.

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