Welcome To The Talent War Podcast

24
May / 2021

Is your sales stagnant, your labor efficiency abysmal, or your employee engagement declining? You may have a talent problem. The Talent War Podcast will teach you how to develop a talent mindset – the deep belief that your people are the single most important competitive advantage your company can have to win the war for talent. Join bestselling author of The Talent War, George Randle, and CHRO and executive coach, Tom Lokar, as they unravel how to transform any organization, regardless of industry, through talent.

The Talent War Podcast is sponsored by Talent War Group, an executive search firm and talent advisory. We work with your organization to attract, retain, and develop top talent. To learn more, visit www.talentwargroup.com

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Welcome To The Talent War Podcast

Talent Warriors, this is George Randle, and my co-host and partner in all things talent, Mr. Tom Lokar, Ph.D. in all things talent. This is our inaugural episode. We will be answering the question, why should you continue to listen about talent? Stay tuned as we start our very first show to discuss all things leadership, executive coaching, talent advisory, executive search, how to build elite teams and win in your space. As always, this episode is sponsored by the Talent War Group, an executive search firm and talent advisory. We deliver talent solutions to business problems. To learn more, visit TalentWarGroup.com.

Tom, I know the first question I have. Who is Tom Lokar, PhD?

I’m a CHRO at a healthcare company here in Plano, Texas, as well as a partner and co-contributor with the Talent War Group. I’m moonlighting. Don’t tell my boss.

Is that Karli or your wife? We now each have two.

I was thinking of my CEO here at my regular job but don’t ever tell my wife anything. Tell Karli everything because I feel like she is the only one that covers our rear end there at the office. I don’t know if there is a whole lot to talk about that is not already on LinkedIn and people could Google. For the most part, I’m a senior-level HR advisor who loves the opportunity to develop people and leaders. I got my PhD in IO Psychology because I believe that the leadership quotient was the most important thing I could study or pay attention to. The most I thought in the late ’80s, early ’90s when I was in undergrad and grad school is that leadership was the most important lever I could learn to pull as a business executive. I didn’t see myself as a straight-line business executive. I wanted to pursue this dream of developing leaders.

I didn’t know what a talent mindset was. I didn’t know that there was a talent war. I naively didn’t even know how important leadership was to organizational effectiveness, culture and business results. It intrigued me as a psychological principle. How does someone become a leader? How does someone grow as a leader? Interestingly enough, we were having this discussion as a senior team at work around investing more in the development of leaders. As you know, in most companies and functions, the best individual contributors get promoted to management. Is that because they were innately ready to be leaders? Is that because you’re born with some leadership gene? We can go into way more detail in this when we go into your background and your co-author’s background, Mike Sarraille, but I don’t believe that.

Assertiveness, drive for results and some of that type-A personality propels certain people into leadership roles faster than others, but I don’t think that makes you a great leader because you had that. I don’t think you know anything about leadership because you sell more, engineer better or think faster. It’s a whole different set of muscles that you have to develop and you have to continuously develop. If leaders were born versus develop, you and I would probably be better husbands than we are. You could say everything is innate then. I believe that it has to be attended to. Years later, as a Head of Talent, a Chief Learning Officer, a Business Consultant, a Management Consultant, three-time CHRO, I’m more invested in the leadership quotient than I’ve ever been. It’s what got me back into consulting in between my CHRO gigs, working with you and the folks at the Talent War Group to launch our firm. I don’t want to put down every Fortune 1000 or Russell 2000 companies. There’s still a fundamental lack of patience with developing leaders.

It drives me nuts that people don’t invest more and aren’t focused on that. I thought it was an anomaly at my first company and then I saw it over and over again. I was like, “This is a much bigger problem than I thought.”

That was a quick review of who I am and why I’m here. I don’t know if there’s anything else in my backstory. I’m a father of five adults, 14 to 23 in college or out-of-college. One of my daughters has been promoted to HR Business Partner at Amazon a year out of school. She’s in that massive company churning along. I’m pretty proud of her. She’s excited about this new opportunity with this new company as the head of HR. I’m still super passionate about not just talking to people like you and I are going to do with this show about leadership and organization effectiveness. I’m still interested in doing the work.

I don’t know about you, George. I think you’ll agree. I feel like we’re at the sunrise of our careers where experienced wisdom and the right amount of perspective is at our fingertips to apply to these business solutions that our clients are looking for. People are going to hear in this show our passion. They’re going to hear some direct and clear thinking on leadership and talent, whether it’s acquisition, development or putting it and making it work within a culture in an organizational system. They’re going to hear a lot of straight talks. Even though you did write a very well-written and well-received business book, they’re not going to hear a lot of business book speak from the two of us. The guests we’re going to have on, they’re not going to get a lot of management BS. It’s going to be us talking the real talk with real leaders from all walks of life about leadership, talent and organization effectiveness.

Winning the war for talent ultimately comes down to having the talent mindset. Click To Tweet

This is going to be or what my hopes are for the younger folks reading the original Wizard of Oz when they pulled back the curtain on who was operating in the world. You get to see the real inside of HR. Hopefully, there are a lot of people out there that are reading or will read and understand that there’s even greater value for the human capital specialists out there, those leadership development and executive coaches. I’m super passionate but I am one of those people. I’m the coauthor of The Talent War: How Special Operations and Great Organizations Win on Talent. It seems to be doing pretty good out in Amazon and wherever books are sold, as well as Kindle and audiobooks.

I remember this one practice episode where I asked you about your backstory and then we got into podcasting. Before we get into more content, let’s let our wide-reading audience know a little bit about your backstory. Honestly, it’s more interesting that you served. We all thank you for that. Mike, Karli and the entire team served but how you got to where you are now. Your pretty humble beginnings in the Midwest is a fascinating story. How you became passionate about this topic of leadership, talent, organization? It probably goes more to who you are as a person and not just who you are as an executive. People will be interested in knowing it. How did you get here, George? Where did you start? What was that beginning that got you down this path?

There are so many ways to start that. You’re right, I did serve Midwest, middle-class. My dad was a truck driver. My mom was a social worker. I knew that they wanted me to go to college. I had to go to college. There’s no way to pay for college. Back in the day, this is the pre-global war on terror, I saw that “Be all you can be” and I was sold. I enlisted in the US Army in the reserves. I learned a ton quickly but had a very colorful tongue and colorful mouth. I remember two non-commissioned officers saying to me, “Randle, if you think you’re so damn smart, why you don’t go be one of them officers?” We were in the Ozarks. That’s where the accent is supposed to come from. It’s not designed as derogatory. Two good old boy rednecks said, “Go be an officer.” I shrugged my shoulders and said, “How hard could it be?”

I was commissioned through ROTC. I served about eight years of active duty. I won the lottery as I say. There was a drunken assignments officer that put my name on a dark and threw it over his shoulder. I hit the globe and I went to Berlin in 1989. I’m living four blocks from what people would call the Berlin Wall but it’s the Berlin Fence. The wall only goes from the East. It separates the two cities, East Berlin and West Berlin. The fence goes around the rest. I got to retire at Allied Checkpoint Charlie. I do a deployment in Kenya and Somalia. I came back, went to schools and commanded. I loved it. I realized that I was in the world’s greatest leadership incubator. I can say that now but I didn’t necessarily know that I was living in that fishbowl at the time. After I got done commanding, I always liked being with troops, building those teams, going out to the field, deploying and enjoyed a lot of it. We won’t go into the bad parts of deployments.

I thought, “I’ve had enough deployments. I’m going to get out.” I go through this veterans firm. I don’t know what I don’t know. I land with this marquee company. We wrote about it in the book. Wrong person, wrong job, bad fit. I got promoted. I did well. I’m a big-box retailer on the logistics side. To cut the story short, I realized that was all about management. It was all about turning the cranks. How many binders at the time could you fill with policy manuals? How are you adhering to that? I was very fortunate that I got a crack to join a consulting firm. I was in the defense contracting space but it sounded sexy at the time, “I’m a senior consultant. I’m a consulting manager.” Things aren’t always what they seem. I liked it but I went through this life event. I should be straightforward with everybody. I went through a divorce. I needed to make sure that I was in the same city as my kids.

The only job that I could get was in human resources. I took a few steps back and fell into it. I’m like, “Whatever I got to do to be with my kids.” There was never a passion there but about 3 to 4 months into the gig, they said, “You can lead.” I said, “I’ve done my fair share of that.” The next thing I know, they start giving me HR business partners, resource managers and recruiters. I’m off and running. It was about that time that I realized I could do this not only well, but having understood the business side of the equation. I wasn’t somebody turning the cranks. I wasn’t just another HR operational person where people throw things over the fence. You catch them and you deliver. I wanted to make life easier. I finally made the connection that it was about building elite teams. I spent twenty-plus years building, recruiting teams and gather large ones. When you and I came together at HP, at any given moment, I couldn’t tell you how many recruiters I had across the three regions. In the 3 or 5 years when I headed up global recruiting, we hired 75,000 people.

That’s true and it sounds unbelievable to people but at that time, HP was one company. It was over 350,000 people worldwide in every country of the globe. I managed a portion of it that was somewhere between 45,000 to 55,000 people, depending on which portion, whether they had ITO or BPO job, $10 billion to $17 billion in revenue. I know, George, you hired that many. In my five years at HP, I let go through best shoring, which is the process of workforce planning your high-cost people out of the US and Europe into lower costs Asia and South America. I best shored 25,000 to 30,000 jobs and rehired the same amount in other countries. That was your staffing team that was doing it. You weren’t doing that just for me because you had moved up to the enterprise services role, the larger business unit that I was a part of. The scale at that time at HP and IBM is so mind-boggling. People think we’re bullshitting them but that’s what it was. You can look back at the statistics but what a great learning experience to do HR at scale, wasn’t it?

It was. I don’t know if I ever told you the story but I got brought down to this America’s HR meeting. Tracy Keogh, the CHRO, Caroline Atherton and a bunch of other people were all down there. They were asking for suggestions. I was probably three glasses of wine into the cocktail hour. I wasn’t gauging my audience. I remember it was year two. They were giving me some award for America’s Best Staffing Team. They said, “George, what would you do to improve this operation?” I said, “You should have one throat to choke. Leaders like you, Tom, got to go to 3, 4 or 5 different people depending on what region or sub-region you’re recruiting. Put it on one person’s shoulders.” When I offered that up, I thought that was a brilliant suggestion and that they would beta test that in a smaller business unit in HP.

No way in hell they’d ask you to do it.

I didn’t think I was killing myself right there. All of a sudden, at the end of the week, Mike Dallas comes back, Caroline and Jemma Johns who’s the Head of TA at that time said, “We liked your idea. We’re going to beta test it. We’re going to put you in the role.” In my head, I’m thinking, “There are 125,000 people in enterprise services.” I define the word masochism at that moment. I was like, “Okay.” They certainly gave me some money to go with it. That’s where I got to impact at scale but also for those people reading, that’s where I got to meet Tom and be influenced on the HR side about the true value that the talent acquisition that HR can bring to the table. I stayed with HP for a long time. We’ll cut the story short because it’s not super interesting, just a couple of other VP jobs. I ran into Mike Sarraille. I listened to him on a Jocko Podcast of all things. I became a Strategic Advisor for EF Overwatch. During that commercial break, he calls me up and says, “I think we have enough for a book here.” That’s where The Talent War came together.

TWP 1 | Talent War
The Talent War: How Special Operations and Great Organizations Win on Talent

Let me guide you through this part if you don’t mind because it helps frame it. You and Mike meet. You became workout buddies too over at Life Time Fitness. You’re both jacked up. You two come together from different backgrounds. He grew up in Northern California. His dad was a marketing consultant, ran a very successful business, entrepreneur. Mike enlisted. We’ll have him on to tell his story so I won’t ruin it. You have this single-minded focus talent. He’s coming from special operations. What he did after he left was regular service in SEAL teams and moved into a specialty role. You and your force point head of talent acquisition role come together. You write this book called The Talent War. Why did you write the book? What were you hoping to communicate? I don’t think you wrote it to start a consulting firm. Let’s go to the real heart of the book, what it’s about, why you wrote it, and what you hope to communicate.

What we’ve figured out was we started with a premise. Mike had already started a not-for-profit firm called Vetted and then he changed it to EF Overwatch when he starts working with Echelon Front. He got to see firsthand how challenged any number of firms were when it came to building elite teams. Mike coming from arguably the place that does it better than anybody else in the entire world, the US Special Operations Command, JSOC specifically for Mike, we know we had something. Between he seeing the absolute best way that you could build elite teams and my twentyplus years of seeing companies do it sometimes spectacularly correct, some companies doing it wrong. What we thought is that we would combine the best of special operations and the lessons learned from the corporate world on how to hire the best.

You asked us what the purpose was. It wasn’t to build a firm. We didn’t have any idea about that. It was, what could great organizations learn? What could companies learn and challenge companies about the value of talent? It then spread into the HR side. We realized that one of the challenges was, you being an exception to the rule and why we needed you to contribute to the book, was there are so many people that just didn’t get HR. Let alone how to look at talents the right way. We were off and running. Our biggest challenge was don’t boil the ocean, which we did our level best to do.

I might mix questions here but the two questions I want to ask is, how was the book received from a content standpoint? What have been some of the reactions that you’ve gotten from folks? When you put something out in the universe, that’s yours, which I admire you and Mike for doing that. You have no idea what’s going to come back. What’s the reception? What I’m getting to is, did your message come across the way you thought it would or did people take it in a different way? What’s been some of the reactions and surprises to the content?

From the business groups and business leaders, it’s generally been positive like, “These guys know what they’re talking about.” We both bring a lot of credibility to the table. One of the things that we were adamant about is making sure people understand that we were preaching, that there was any number of mistakes that we both made along the way. In the HR and talent acquisition community, we’re seeing people that go, “Thank God somebody finally established the basics.” Many people think of HR, talent acquisition, recruiting, staffing or whatever term you want to put on it is so basic to the response but other than that, it was a great reception. The biggest challenge for us was boiling it down to the basics where people could pick it up and go, “It’s not a YouTube video. It’s not a how-to guide. These are the principles of doing it.” If you apply these principles, you’ll do better but we’re not giving you the magic question, the magic process or the magic flow chart or org chart. I was surprised because you’re right, I was expecting to get creamed and everybody to jump in and go.

On some level, you and Mike have talked about this, you could have easily done a field guide from that content and given people a twenty-pager at least on the act with talent acquisition piece. I want to come back to the HR piece of the book and talk a little bit about HR transformation with you, maybe where HR as a business function at this point in time. Don’t you think you could have easily translated that into a field guide and a bit more of a formula of how-to assuming that people read the principles correctly and interpreted them the correct way?

That’s something we may do in the future. When you go through it, they give you this list of 50 questions before you even start writing the book. They’re like, “Who’s your target audience?” We had to determine that. The reason we didn’t go to the field guide was because there are so many permutations. Some people don’t even have an HR function but they could use this guide. We wanted it to appeal to the largest population as possible, and we thought the more specific we would get. Because of the reverse of the equation, we were thinking about doing a field manual to help veterans transition. The stuff that’s out there for veterans is abysmal.

Our forgotten service members, even though we see them in the airport, we see them on the airplane and we say, “Thank you for your service.” It’s like homeless people. We move on past them. We don’t think about them again after that. We don’t pay enough attention to the sacrifice they made and what they need to come back into society until we’ve walked in those shoes. I have a brother who served. I don’t think he suffered PTSD but I know that coming back from the military into the regular world even in his 60s was tough on him. Before I jumped to the HR thing, I’m going to put a pin in that. If I heard you correctly, one of the things you and Mike feel like you got correct with the book was you brought some things back to the basics. We could talk forever. Maybe this will be our target audience since it’s certainly been the target audience that’s reached out to us.

I’m amazed at how many small, medium business owners have taken to this book and take it to the concept. They don’t have huge HR departments. They may not have any HR department. They can’t afford McKinsey, Bain, Korn Ferry or Russell Reynolds to come in and consult to them. They’ve dug into this book and they see the pragmatic things that they could use in their business. For our audience, it’s how we came about starting a consulting firm. We realized there’s this segment of business owners and business people who have vibrant organizations with leaders in them and all the talent challenges of an HP but at a much smaller scale. They’re looking for ways to put some of the talent work concepts in place for them, as well as additional things that you and I, Mike and the other members of the team bring to the table. Before we move on from the book, anything you and Mike feel like you got wrong or missed that you wish were in this book?

By the end of writing the book and doing the audiobook, you’ve edited and reedited so many times you come to hate your own book. With some things where we could have done a little bit better job if I were to pick and choose, I would have hammered down on the C-Suite a whole lot more than it being a leadership responsibility. The foreword of the book was written by Jocko. He talks about that building a team is a subset of leadership. We could have hit that a whole lot harder. To your point, these small companies that are coming to us, you and I hired tens of thousands at HP. There are mistakes that are going to come in numbers like that. It’s like a drop of water in the ocean. That mistake is not catastrophic but to a small and vibrant business, if you get the wrong person, you can do enormous if not irreparable damage to your brand, your finances or your customers. We could have hammered a little bit harder on the leadership side of the equation about how it’s more their responsibility to drive and pull this thing together.

The one competitive advantage you can hope to achieve and maintain is your talent. Click To Tweet

I’m not going to disagree with you, although I think the book has enough stored in that direction. You probably could have done a whole chapter on it. Who knows, George, maybe we’ll do a whole book on it. I don’t know.

Maybe there’s another book in the making. We’ll see.

We’re going to continue on with Tom interviewing George because you’re more an interesting guest than me. I’m a decent interviewer but this one we can talk about forever. We won’t keep our audience that long. You left the company. You were there for five years. You went through an entire transition with them, two different heads of HR, maybe the same CEO but definitely, it changes at the top leadership team. You built out a whole new team. The head of HR put in a whole new set of systems and programs globally for that company. I went through the same thing a couple of years back with Mitel. I was with them for six years. We went private, public, private. I had to reinvent HR for a 45-year-old company. I felt like a lot of what I was doing was transforming HR while we were delivering services, buying companies, integrating employees, improving revenue per employee, improving engagement and all those things. I look back and I look where I am. You might do the same thing and ask yourself, “Where is HR as a function? What is the state of HR? Is HR transformation done? Did everyone punch their ticket and they’ve all moved into this new model of business partnering, seat at the table, trusted advisor and business person?” My favorite is a business person first, “HR is my major.”

I haven’t heard that one yet.

You haven’t interviewed HR people in a while. The fact that matter is it should be true but it’s become a cliche on resumes and LinkedIn that sometimes I roll my eyes and gag. I would love to test those people through their P&L, their balance sheet and say, “Show me where you’re at cashflow Q2.”

You’re going to get a deer in the headlights look about every time.

At the same token, and I hope they become our audience members, I know a ton of HR people that are incredibly astute from a business perspective and a P&L perspective, but they’ve totally forgotten about the softer side. They were so busy becoming business partners. They forgot that there are human beings on the shop floor that need care, reinforcement, a sense of worth and value as part of the company versus what we experienced at HP where when you’re dealing with those kinds of numbers, you stop thinking about them as people. I would say, George, that 90% of the people you hired and 90% of the people I let go I never saw face-to-face.

The percentage is a little bit higher. Many people knew because I was signing the offer letters. That’s how they knew who I was but we hired in 90 countries.

Where do you think HR is now? What’s your perspective in terms of the function and where it’s at?

I’m a skeptic by nature. I don’t think we have enough HR practitioners that are students of the business. My experience was the balance has been on the operational and the compliance side versus striving to achieve the balance that you talked about between being a student of the business, understanding the pain points, understanding the P&L or the CapEx and the OpEx of any particular business unit and managing the care and feeding. I don’t think we have enough practitioners that are doing that. We don’t always want to refer to the book.

If you're not winning in your space and you're not outpacing your competition, you likely have a talent problem. Click To Tweet

We got one show that sells the shit out of this book. We’re not going to talk about it again. Until we have Sarraille on, then we’ll have to talk about it again but go.

Tracy Keogh said it best. HR isn’t just at the table. We are at the table. We need senior leadership to be forcing that but we also need that HR side to strike that balance between the gateway to every human capital issue, which is everything in your company, but understanding that the people that are in those business units have massive responsibilities that HR has to understand. Otherwise, it’s like two ships passing in the night. I have seen that more often than not. You’ve got a business leader talking about the things that they’re about to approach in their quarterly business review, in the month or in the quarter close, and an HR executive screaming right by and talking about people issues. Those two issues are never intertwined. I’m skeptical. I’ve seen plenty of people that are doing it like rockstars that have that balance but not enough.

I’m at a small company that’s on a growth curve. It’s a start around. Ten years ago, it was a startup and it struggled, now it’s been turned around by an effective CEO and a leadership team. This is the first time in my career that I’m working for a CEO who leads with EQ over IQ and yet the guy is unbelievably smart. He’s fond of saying he’s not the longest french fries in the Happy Meal. He is but he starts with EQ and empathy. Maybe that’s because we’re in behavioral health. He hasn’t always been behavioral health. The whole team is that way. They’re very driven and effective successful executives. This is one where I’m still getting my head around what the HR levers are that we need to pull.

In the broader sense, as I was roaming around for years since leaving Mitel, consulting, the work that we’ve been doing to get the business off the ground and working with some clients, corporate HR almost has a set playbook of there’s a head of HR. There are some COE leaders and business partners. A lot of companies have pivoted back to make sure employee relations and field HR is well taken care of. We got it way too much to the 1-800 call HR and manager-employee self-service. Maybe we went a little too far with the care and feeding people. Your HR function is only good as your payroll system. If you don’t pay on the 15th and 30th or 31st of every month, and that person’s paycheck goes direct deposit to their mortgage or their car payment, you’ve ruined their life. It’s my way of saying you got to be good at the basics to get moving up Maslow’s hierarchy to leadership development, organizational change and building culture.

I’m optimistic that the function is when you get out of the big corporate level and you get into smaller companies like the ones we’re starting to talk with, they don’t have a preconceived notion of the old HR or the behemoth HR where you have to have COEs, HR business partners and field HR. They’re looking at practical people solutions. There’s a place where in the SMB market, Small Medium Business market, which I don’t know what that is. In my old days, that was a company that was $100 million or less, maybe 5,000 employees. You’re seeing executive teams wanting more from their HR person on the talent side and the culture side because they know they can get the blocking and tackling done through other means, through contract resources, their HRS system or some other provider. They’re looking for the talent and culture council that they need to build the kind of company they want to build.

To me, the state of HR, we’re in a much better place where we’re much more of the table. We should have an episode on this. I know we’re running out of time. We should have an episode on maybe what’s happening in corporate. Corporations around talent and some of these topics that have popped up over the past couple of years, how corporate HR and C-teams are dealing with some of these issues, and being influenced as much by their strategy as they are by society and changes that are happening in society.

I was reading that article that you shared. That line is getting far more blurry between the community and businesses. We’re going to add a few what could be potentially controversial topics in HR. Since it’s people, it’s always everything. Some of the most dynamic and best leaders that I’ve run into have come out of HR. I’m skeptical of what’s in place now but I’m optimistic. You asked me the question when we went back to the book. We hope we do help people get it right on the small to medium business company side because it sets the trajectory of where you’re going to go and when you get it right. You do have to do the blocking and the tackling. You can’t ignore that. Frankly, I don’t know if you feel this. I think you do feel this way. It has been the most all-consuming job to be on an HR executive leadership team with all that’s coming at you at any given time. It’s made me a better business practitioner. It’s made me a better people practitioner. It’s made me pay attention to systems, programs, absorption rates, and be very mindful of everything that fits into the business ecosystem. I wouldn’t change the way that I went for anything in the world. Despite the masochistic side of being in HR and how much punishment you can take on any given week if you get a fire drill, it’s been the best career choice that I’ve ever made.

I know here in Dallas, Jamba Juice has headquartered here in the Frisco, Plano area. Their CEO was their former CHRO. I have no doubt that Tracy Keogh, Patty McCord or you name the name brand CHRO could become a CEO at this point. They’ve got all of the DNA around leadership, people and culture. You don’t survive at that level, reporting to that level of a board at HP and not know your way around a balance sheet and the P&L. The function as it attracts more business-oriented people and those people are successful, you’re going to see more and more heads of HR become CEOs. Let’s face it, with the drive for diversity and inclusion at the top of the house, 60% of our profession is female. That gives a lot of opportunities for women to move into and across the C-Suite, and maybe even up to the top job if they have the interest to do it. We’re at our time. We first told the audience where the Talent War Podcast. The next thing and final thing we’re going to tell them are, what are we going to be about over the coming weeks, months? How is this going to work? What do they have to look forward to?

For me, what people have to look forward to with us is that you’re going to see the real side of the human capital equation and how it influences business. Regardless of whether you’re an HR practitioner, you’re on the business leadership side or you’re a hiring manager, somebody aspiring to get into management, it’s truly my hope that this changes how you look at the investment, the time, the mentorship, the coaching, the focus, discipline and rigor that you put on your human capital.

With that in mind, people are going to be introduced to some fascinating guests. It’s not going to be just you and I playing catch ball all day, maybe a portion of it. Our hope is that we bring some of the best minds, not just in HR but in business and leadership to our show to talk about their views on these topics we’ve mentioned thus far. Maybe even swerve off into other topics because these business people that I know we have listed for future shows are fascinating all-around people. The fun part of doing this, not just talking about talent, culture and leadership, is if you’re a young person reading in or you’re new in your career, you’re going to get a lot of great career advice extemporaneously through reading to these people’s backstory, how they got where they got, why they formed the notions around talent, leadership and organization or business that they have. That’s going to be a powerful part of the coming show so I’m looking forward to it, George.

There’s a great list of people, authors, CHROs, CEOs, and COOs. I know that we’re going to have one specific guest that’s in the NFL and in charge of player development. We’re going to hit it from all sides. We want to thank you for tuning in to the show where we’re going to discuss all things talent, focusing on the talent mindset, and the core belief that the only true competitive advantage you can hope to achieve and maintain is your talent.

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About the author

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 US Army Reserves.  While serving in the USAR, he received his bachelor’s degree from Missouri State University and was commissioned an officer. His career assignments included Berlin, US CENTCOM, and III Corps with deployments to Africa (Somalia and Kenya), Central America, and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Following his successful military career, George transitioned to the corporate world, experiencing many of the same challenges the Military and Veterans face today. These challenges along with the recognition that building elite teams are his true passion, George ultimately transitioned to the Human Resources and Talent Acquisition function. He later went on to create one of the largest and most successful Veteran Hiring Programs for a Global Fortune 50 firm. Collectively, the teams George has built have hired over 85,000 professionals, including over 2000 executives. He is also a Hogan (HPI, HDS, and MVPI) Leadership Assessment Certified coach.

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” and the Host of "The Talent War" Podcast.

Tom Lokar
Partner & Co-Director of Talent Advisory | More From the Author

Founder and Principal of OnCoaching LLC, Thomas Lokar, has over 25 years in the field of Leadership and Organization Effectiveness. After graduating with his Ph.D. in I/O Psychology from Kansas State University, he started his career in management consulting with the HayGroup, ascending to Regional Practice Leader. He has had a distinguished career in Human Resources functions, with increasingly larger roles as an expert leading Talent, Learning and Staffing functions, and then on to large-scale HR Business Partner roles in global organizations, like Hewlett-Packard. Most recently he served as the EVP, CHRO at Mitel. Tom resides outside of Dallas, TX with his wife of 20+ years, Kathryn, and their 5 kids (and a few labs). He is an accomplished and avid endurance athlete, having had a very successful amateur Triathlon, Running, and Cycling career for over 30 years.

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