Join Kyle Roed as he speaks with Anthony Vaughan, founder of the E1B2 Collective about Project 2030. Anthony unveils a new HR mentorship program for the next generation of Sr. HR Leadership.
About Anthony: I've spent the last 6 years learning everything there is to know about business and entrepreneurship from (sales, marketing, operations, cash flow, profit-loss, partnerships, business development and everything else in-between). I have founded multiple brands and impacted several more through my thoughtful mentorship and strategy via consulting.
Throughout all my successes and failures I have come to realize my true passion and skill if I'm being honest with my self is in the area HR. Impacting those I work with and helping them be more and become more fulfilled me in ways most couldn't understand. I love using strategy, love, candor, and empathy as it pertains to an employee base to help them drive better results for a brand as well as drive better strategic results for there own personal futures.
Through years of hands-on experience as a leader in several organizations, I have identified the needs to reengage an employee base, revitalize underperforming businesses, and drive true change with senior leadership through innovative strategies and an out of the box approach to HR.
Rebel HR is a podcast for HR professionals and leaders of people who are ready to make some disruption in the world of work.
We'll be discussing topics that are disruptive to the world of work and talk about new and different ways to approach solving those problems.
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Please believe me, there's so many new technologies, frameworks, best practices, points of views, ways to go about the things you know how to do well, that I believe you should learn and apply. And the only way you can do that is study every single day and learn every single day, and have the bandwidth to test these new things out. So that's all sort of something I do as well.Kyle Roed:
This is the rebel HR podcast, the podcast where we talk to human resources, innovators, about innovation in the world of HR. If you are a people leader, or you're looking for a new way to think about how to help others be successful. This is the podcast for you. Rebel on HR rebels. All right, Rebel HR listeners, I am extremely excited to welcome back. AJ Vaughn man who probably needs no introduction. If you heard his episode, he certainly made an impression on me. And I'm really excited that he has agreed to come back on to the revel HR podcast. So for those of you that don't remember, AJ runs the E one v two collective, which is a collection of six different brands, all intended to improve the world of work. We're going to be talking about Project 2030 today. Welcome back, AJ, thank you so much. How are you? You know, I got no complaints. I'm happy. I'm healthy. It's not snowing outside anymore. So you know, life's good. How about you?Anthony Vaughan:
Thanks. Uh, well, the rain has been crazy over here in Maryland. But things are working out. I got engaged recently. So that's fun. Awesome. Congratulations. Yeah, we were doing some venue. Shopping here today. I think we landed on the spot. So Oh, man, you know, I've been married for a while. I don't miss the wedding planning. Yeah, I'm leaving 99.9% of that up to her. I'm a little bit of a style type guy. So the only thing I'm worrying about a lot is how my suits gonna look. And I'm really big on vibe. So I'm big on music and lights and the statics and I like to dabble in drinking in the air. So some good bourbon on tap me?Kyle Roed:
Yes. You know, that's an interesting question. So you know, you're a founder, you're a CEO. How much do you delegate some of that stuff? It sounds like you're on the right track?Anthony Vaughan:
Yeah, I'm delegating every single bit of it for the most part. Besides those things,Kyle Roed:
stuff here, you know, it's probably good. You know, it's a, I tell people, you know, I have two CEOs, I have the one that that pays me. And the one that really matters. That's my wife. Good stuff. Good stuff. Well, congratulations. Love to hear some of that exciting new. So it's been a hot minute since we last spoke. So what have you been up to? Yeah,Anthony Vaughan:
ah, I'll try to keep that tight. Here, for those that maybe didn't listen, I run the E one v two collective, like you said, it's a it's a holding company. It's a collective in collection of a lot of different brands. And so I've just been working really hard, trying to, I think, do a couple of different things. Being as though I'm kind of a hybrid, a lot of bit of an entrepreneur, a lot of bit of a people operations type guys, I've been trying to stay really grounded and study and research. I've also taken part of a lot of like active, like, consulting, internships, I know that's a weird format. So pretty much I was feeling my skills atrophy a little bit. And as like a people operations practitioner, rather than an entrepreneur of people operation things. It's very different if you didn't know, anyone listening. And so I've actually like found a couple of different companies saying, you don't have to pay me anything. You get me for 10 hours a week, and I will do anything you ask for free. Um, I just want to be exposed to day to day, week to week problems inside of a company. And so that's been fun. And then, yeah, been running all these companies, man. We're up till about 20 folks across all the brands, two of them are going through some acquisitions cross our fingers. And yes, of course, writing speaking the whole nine so been working?Kyle Roed:
Good stuff, good stuff. Not a lot of weekends off. Does it sound like? Definitely not? That's a question. Do you actually get weekends does that even does that word exist in your vocabulary.Anthony Vaughan:
And the weekend, it was 730 to three times a day. And then you know, from three on you know, it's time to spend, you know, spend some time with a fiance kind of lay low and then I might pick up a computer again at like nine or 10 just looking over some things. Sunday's are a little bit heavier, but I'm always thinking about it. So it's like an act of rest time for those athletes out there. It's like an act of rest, but never a fool like Friday computer's close until Monday morning type of thing.Kyle Roed:
Right? I get that I think a lot of people in the world of people kind of get that too, right? It's like, you know, gosh, I remember the days when I had a job, right, I was able to clock out and leave it behind, because I couldn't do it. But when you're dealing with people, and when you're dealing with ideas, and you're dealing with, you know, how do I solve a problem that I've never solved before, you can't just shut your brain off and not think about it? Like, I get that, I think, you know, it was, I mean, that's a great example of, I think some of the challenges that people face, you know, trying to find balance. And in a world where, you know, a lot of works now remote virtual, and it's right in front of them, you keep really can't walk away from it. So definitely something that, you know, I get that, I get that I feel that.Anthony Vaughan:
And I think it's more like the entrepreneurial lens as well, for anyone listening, I would think if you are kind of internal, you may not want to walk away from it. But I think frankly, you should, um, I think you should force yourself to not engage too much after Friday. I think it's America, maybe I shouldn't use that macro statement. I mean, everyone can do what they want to do. But I think it's healthy. to step back a little bit. I think, for me, just the way I've decided to design my life. I mean, this is it, you know, I'm an I call myself an independent, I don't call myself a full fledged entrepreneur slash business owner quite yet. Because I don't know, my terminology of that is like, kind of like what I think I used to have, I think my terminology around that I was like, you know, if you have 50 full time employees, and like a lot of a lot, a lot of revenue going but right now I look at myself as more of like an independent and aka like, I'm independently generating income for myself and those that are closely around me. And, yeah, to do that, you you have to work very hard from an hour perspective. So sure.Kyle Roed:
Yeah, that's interesting. I, you know, I was having this conversation over the weekend with a couple of good friends. And, you know, we were talking about, you know, someone's motivations and what makes them tick. And we were all coming from such different points. You know, one of my friends is very much a, you know, what I don't, I'm not gonna work on Fridays, I'm not on this earth to work on the surf to exist and to live in the build, you know, my family and spend time and enjoy it. And that's his paradigm. My other friends look closer to retirement, kind of like, Listen, I'm good. And I'm working smarter, I'm not working harder, got a finite time period left, and I'm good. And I'm the guy sitting here thinking, I just love the game. I like work, because it's fun, you know. And as weird as that may sound to some people, you know, the my motivation is trying to try to figure out this Rubik's cube that is, people and business and in when, but that's just, that's just my wiring, you know?Anthony Vaughan:
No, likewise, I think what was my athletic background, I kind of agree, though, I will say, I gotta give you a really practical example, I'll be very candid and transparent. Hear. You know, when I had my first two companies, and they were successful financially, I would always say, at the point that I'm at now, which is 31. And I should say this to myself, and I was 1922 23, I would always say, I'd be a millionaire liquid, meaning I could open up my bank account, and I would see millions of dollars, they're not not running a seven figure company. And it's now changed a little bit. I'm a little bit different. Now, when it comes to that thinking, I'm a little bit more like you now. I just love the game so much. And what I need financially from it doesn't necessarily need to be that it needs to be enough to sustain a certain lifestyle that I desire. But I think it's more or less you're trying to create value. And, again, there's just something about the quote unquote, game that I love, but it definitely changes.Kyle Roed:
Sure, yeah, you know, it's, I think it is interesting that, you know, careers change so much your mindset changes so much. In one of the things that we spoke about here a few weeks ago, was, you know, kind of how somebody is approached to their career path could be shaped specifically, we were talking about people who are in an HR generalist role or an HR manager role, and want to kind of ascend to a chro role or a VP HR role or something like that, where, you know, they've got kind of that hunger, that motivation, and how different that may be for some folks. And I know, that's part of what you're working on with your project 2030 cohort. So can you walk us through, walk us through what you're doing and how you're approaching people's, you know, motivation to get to that level?Anthony Vaughan:
Yeah, so I'll start from the very beginning, but I'll keep it somewhat tight with the story. So I've spoken at about 17 Sherm chapters inside of universities and speaking to the graduate students. So these aren't the, you know, the 19 2021 year olds, these are the folks that sometimes are in their 40s or in their 20s During the 30s, whatever the case is going to be. And I've had an honor to do that at some pretty respected universities. And what I realized very quickly was two main things. Number one, a lot of the information that we're teaching, and this is connected to Sherman, there's no knock on Sherm, I love Sherman, a lot of information is amazing. But a lot of the information that we're teaching, they were preparing these folks to be generalist specialist, HR managers, at best. They weren't teaching them a lot of I think the fun things. And I'll give you a couple examples. They weren't getting into internal communications. They weren't getting into DNI. They weren't getting into talent development, they weren't getting into career mapping, they weren't getting into kind of the executive coaching aspect. They weren't getting into organizational psychology and human behavior, and, and all these things. And so they weren't getting into, I think, what is number one a little bit more fun. Number two, which a little bit more important to understand how to execute, being the person that's going to hold the title of impacting the people, because if you understand those things, that's really gonna really scale things up. I think what Sharon was inevitably teaching at that stage is kind of just what to do to be in compliance to maintain the structure of the organization. And, and frankly, to survive, right, maybe to to optimize for activity a little bit, but I don't think it was really getting into some of the more creative things. So that was the first thing that I realized, right. And then I said, This is interesting. Let me ask a few of these students here, if they have a desire to be in this HR space for a long period of time. And then I quickly realized they all were very fascinated by this chief people, Officer chro, head of people title. And then when I found that was very interesting, as all of them said, I have no idea how I will even get there. I have no idea. And then I had one student, as you say, seriously, I have no idea because from my time that I've been spending in this space, which is the last seven years, and then another person raised their hand, there's in my time I've been spending, which is the last 12 years. And then another person said, my time that I've been spending last year, it's been a lot of individual contributor type work. It's been a lot of again, compliance, legal, just really structured, HR, operational type work. That's it, how do we even get to that stage, they said, the folks that I report to, aka the CH heroes, they seem so much bigger and grander, and more strategic and thoughtful than I can even imagine to be. And so that's when it kind of hit me, cause like, I was like, this is an interesting issue. And so long story short, with the project 2030 brand is in very simple format is, I believe the learning curve from being a generalist or specialist, or even an HR business partner, to becoming a chro worse, or a chief people officer, which is a very strategic role. I believe that learning curve is very steep. Number one, number two, I believe a lot of HR folks need to start thinking about professional branding themselves earlier in the process, because it creates opportunity, it creates a little bit of an aura in quote, unquote, I'm a young guy, so I'm gonna use this word here creates a little bit of a swag, if you will around you. It creates an ability to network at scale to find the right opportunities. And then I think the last thing connected to the right opportunities, I think these types of folks need a little bit of an understanding of what type of stage size problems internally of the companies that they will be the best fit for. And so everything I just said has been curated and designed for anyone that's thinking about making the jump to being a chro, VP, or head of people for the very first time in their career. And Kyle, I guess I'll throw you in. If you remember when I first introduced this to you, I asked you kind of direct this and they call. Do you think there was something maybe you would have wished you would have done? That would have helped you navigate that learning curve? And I'm not exactly sure what you said. But I remember something along the lines of Yeah, I remember you saying that. It was a steep one. And that's the gist of it. I've ranted enough and I'm sure you have questions.Kyle Roed:
No, it's good. You know, it's really interesting and something that, you know, I'm sure our listeners will be curious to learn more about but you know, at the end of the day, it's almost like there's such a gap between your first you know, entry level, HR role, and, you know, maybe maybe that's in a big corporation, and then going into maybe a role. It's a little bit more expanded and kind of, you know, learning as you go, but it's a huge jump to go from, you know, a you mentioned individual contributor or a role where maybe you have a team that's like two or three people but then to go into a senior level leadership for the dozens, hundreds 1000s 10s of 1000s of people and be the culture owner that learning development owner compliance on the employee side, you know, the decider on things like benefits and compensation, like, those are critical decisions that are made at the business level. And if the wrong ones are made, the ripple effect is massive. And I think most of us kind of had to figure it out on the fly. I think there is also a reason why you see a lot of ch arrows come out of operational roles, or legal roles where, you know, they have breadth of knowledge outside of the HR pyramid. And I think you're hitting on something, I think it hits on the leadership pace. And I've said this for years, you know, my first job out of college was an operational leader of a $50 million retail store, you know, and had I not had, what I call leadership boot camp, early in my career, and gone through the I mean, it was hard, very hard. And I had to learn how to lead large teams. And then I actually stepped back into HR and led very small teams. But I had that operational exposure had I not had that. I don't think I would be where I am today, I think I would really, really struggle.Anthony Vaughan:
I couldn't agree more. I couldn't agree more, it says a steep learning curve. And you know, and something else that I want to add call that I didn't even kind of mention here, it's even more, it's even more around. And this is why it's underneath of the E one v two collective kind of banner. It's even more around educating and reshaping what I think the chro in the future should look like. So that's where the project 2030 comes into place. Everyone asked him what the hell is Project 2030? Like, why did you name it that it's more or less also, kind of like my own point of view baked into what I want to see more in the world. So a lot of the things you mentioned, I think a lot of folks can get stuck. And what I mean by that is, I think a lot of folks can get in a really weird and odd situation where they've understood legal, they've understood compliance, they understood benefits, they've understood a lot of different areas of the HR function at such a high level, that they inevitably can either move up to the highest ranks, or maybe they're coming from another department, as you mentioned within operations, but they're still doing it from an older playbook. What I think is also something I'm trying to bake in here is I think there's a new version of a chief, a CTO or chief people officer that we need to look at and respect, I think, because what I don't want to see is I don't want to see ch rows that just understand the benefits playbook for contextual to this organization, contextual to the industry. And they're just overseeing that traditional playbook within a team of folks that are running that department. That's what I don't want to see. I don't want to see someone to say, Hey, I just know what like the back of my hand. And I'm the best one in the organization that has the most amount of knowledge in this particular domain. What I want to see is I want to start seeing more CEOs push it a little bit further and start to get outside the box creative, more humanistic, putting employees first extracting data from employees, and then using that to make more strategic conversations. And so for example, I'll give a little quick plug to a company comp is a really creative startup that is revolutionizing the Employee Benefits space. And I want to see ch rose even know that that exists. Don't just use the old playbook here. I believe being a CH ro is you are now the chief the leader, the person that is supposed to have their pulse and their finger on all things innovative within this space, not just the one that knows how to execute the old school model and playbook the best.Kyle Roed:
And now a word from our sponsors. When Molly Patrick and I had to figure out how to start on podcast, we didn't know where to start. Thankfully, we found buzzsprout buzzsprout makes it super easy for us to upload our episodes, track our listeners and get listed on all the major podcast networks. Today's a great day to start your own podcast. I know that you're one of our listeners, so you've definitely got something to say. Whether you're looking for a new marketing channel, have a message you want to share with the world. Or just think it would be fun to have your own talk show. podcasting is an easy, inexpensive and fun way to expand your reach online. buzzsprout is hands down the easiest and best way to launch promote and track your podcast. Your show can be online and listed in all the major podcast directories within minutes of finishing your recording. podcasting isn't that hard when you have the right partner and the team it buzzsprout is passionate about helping you succeed. Join over 100,000 podcasters already using buzzsprout to get their message out to the world. Now for listeners of revel HR, you can get a $20 amazon gift card sent to you from buzzsprout by clicking in the link in the show notes. Thanks for listening. Are you looking to grow your personal brand or your business brand? Take it from me, the podcasts are a great way to do it. Here's the secret. We all want to feel connected to the brands that we buy from what better way to humanize a brand than through sharing your personal story on a podcast. I have had great success with kit caster kit caster is a podcast booking agency that specializes in developing real human connections through podcast appearances. And let me tell you, it's all about the right human connection, you can expect a completely customized concierge service from their staff of communication experts. kit caster is your secret weapon in podcasting for business, your audience is waiting to hear from you. For a limited time offer listeners to the rebel HR podcast can go to www.kaster.com backslash rebel to get a special offer for friends of the podcast, Rebel on. Interesting. I think you just summed up our podcast. Yeah, but honestly, that's why we started this, you know, it's all about, I think about kind of like in the terms of capitalism, you know, it's creative destruction. It's the fact that if we continue to operate in the same way that we always used to eventually, with that way of operating will become extinct because the world changes too quickly. So a great example of that, I think that thesis being proven, at least partially true, is just look at the issues that we're having in the in the world of hiring and retaining talent right now. I mean, people are demanding more from their employer. And it's not just more money, that's part of it, there's a number of things related to wage inflation, but they're demanding companies to have ESG goals, you know, environmental, social, and governance souls that are then, you know, quantifiable and adhere to, and the organizations that don't get ahead of the curve right now, are going to be at a disadvantage because people want more. You know, so I agree 100%, that you can't just be the person that makes sure you don't get sued. You know, I mean, there's there's obviously an element of compliance and risk that needs to be you know, needs to be a focus, you have to have some risk management and your enterprise level. But I tell people all the time, if you do anything, purely because you're afraid that you might get sued. Your focus is in the wrong place. Right? Yeah. Yeah, I'll never forget, it's like going through a training, you know, interview training and managers like, well, we can't see this. And we can't see that because we don't want to get sued. And I'm like, how about you just don't ask it. Because it's not appropriate to ask. Like, that's, that's such an intrusive question to ask. Like, it's just kind of a jerk move, like, let alone somebody filing a negligent hiring lawsuit? No, just just Don't be a jerk. It's not that. Yeah, I mean, you know, I'm with you. And but I do think that a lot of organizations are going to struggle with that. I think that a lot of management teams don't view HR that way. I think that to your comment, trying to find the right organizations, the right fit the right size. Yeah, for folks is critical. So how are you approaching that challenge? like trying to figure out, Okay, how do I figure out the best fit.Anthony Vaughan:
So without getting into too much of the details, because that would be an entire kind of podcast within itself. I do want to touch on that macro thesis. So we kind of categorize that within this category we call career pathing. And so I think what we do, the very first thing we do is we really unpack and actually, let me take a step back, Kyle, let me let me say this, because I've been getting a lot of heat from this from folks that I've connected with trying to find introductions to fill this first cohort. Let me be on the record. I am nothing more than the founder and thought leader of this company. I'm a 31 year old man that has built brands that has held this title. And I think I have an interesting point of view. But folks are gonna be executing and delivering the content. They are active right now in the moment, CH arose heads up people, Chief people, officers or previous 10 1520 years in that role. So let me just put that out there as a disclaimer, because rightfully so, I've been getting a little bit of heat from folks thinking that I am the one delivering the content, I am not the one. Now, I will say I am the one that has baked out the macro thesis of this and I have baked out with my partner Laura, what the curriculum should be along with all of the feedback That's what I've been getting from my network. I am that guy. But I'm just want to put that as a disclaimer. But moving in now to the career mapping atmosphere in the career pathing atmosphere. The first first very first thing we're going to do in that section is we're going to have a one on one interview, and a one on one conversation with active ch heroes with some of the folks that are going to be in the cohort and say the following. Let me lay out all the different types of sizes, companies, problems, issues, things that companies may go through. Example, Case in point, maybe there's a company that's really looking for the first time to dive deep into people analytics, maybe there's a company that's been having, at the global scale, a lot of compliance and legal issues over the last 18 months, maybe there's a company that for the data that's been having significant turnover issues, due to a lack of mandatory training, or lack of career mapping infrastructure, and opportunities. Maybe the executives in the company are having horrible kind of NPS scores and things of that nature, thus, there needs to be some truth. So long story short, what we want to do first and foremost, we want to teach and educate folks around here are the different types of sizes of companies, problems, companies may be having intricate aspects inside the companies, things that these organizations need. And here's how you're going to go about doing an audit of yourself, and figure out how you may fit in with those companies. Because Carl, you may be able to resonate with this, there are different types of folks that look like us in this space. I know for me, you know, you're gonna have to create a really interesting role for me, you know, I, I'll be very transparent with my last roles. As the head of people, I had decision making bandwidth and reporting structures, that every manager an executive inside the company outside the CEO, reported to me in a certain within certain categories. So they reported to me when it came to certain areas around internal communications, or how they showed up on behalf of their people, or how they showed up during leadership moments or like I had the ability actually did it, I had the ability to remove a CFO out of the company, if he or she did not show up in the best way to get the most productivity out of one of the direct reports. And there were ways that I would measure that and understand that, because what I did, cause I walked into the organization saying I'm the one researching every day, I'm the one that understands the people in this company and the overall space of people operations the most. So what gives a CFO or CEO or even for that matter, a CEO, more power to remove someone from the organization than I do. If I'm noticing a CFO or manager doing something that is clearly causing alignment issues, a drop off from productivity, that are more emotional, that are more leadership based and that are more communication based. And I know a lot about that work, after I try to support them and develop them find no longer can, we should not just keep them because they're great at their tactical executions of their job, I should have the domain to fire them. And so the punch line is this in the career pathing and mapping conversations, we're going to go through size of companies, scenarios of the province companies may be having. And then the most important thing we're going to do is we're going to allow them to teach them how to do an audit, a self audit and a self awareness exercise to figure out what do you actually care about right now within your career as you prepare for this first role? I know I did a long rant, but I don't know if that was helpful.Kyle Roed:
No, it's you know, here's what's really interesting AJ, for me, so I kind of had to learn that the hard way. And you know, the story there. So I, my first HR job was for one of the largest retailers in the country, 300,000 plus employees. And that job taught me so much. One of those things being I don't want to work for a company this large and this slow to move. And the truth is that it was I couldn't move the needle much, you know, to the point and I still tell people, the day that I decided this isn't for me, is the day that I got a document in the mail that said, this is how you need to organize your office, this binder holds Department of Labor forms, this binder holds x and it goes on this shelf and this and I'm like you're really telling me where to put paperwork in Maya. But you know what, for somebody who is much more aligned with that type of thinking and that type of structure, that could be the perfect fit. You I would tell you for me, I gotta have some novelty. I like change. I like dynamism. I need to be able to make some movement. And I want to be able to make an impact wherever I'm at and so, so my career path got progressively smaller and smaller companies and now I'm at a company right now where I love it. It's fun, it's dynamic. It's hard. And it's not structured. So like, my job is trying to find the right balance between structure and unstructured, and bureaucracy and eliminating bureaucracy. And it's a ball, man, I just have fun, you know, and I'm truly coming to work and having a good time, as opposed to being a cog in the wheel. But for me personally, I had to discover that through my own journey, had somebody come to me 10 years ago and said, Listen, man, your profile does not fit this organization, you need to start a long and strategic search for the right type of role. You know, I think that would have been really critically helpful for me. And I think for anybody listening to this, who is trying to figure that out. It's a really gray concept to crass, but I would just tell you take the opportunity to internalize, okay, what do I need from my work to be fulfilled? And that doesn't mean you go to work and you love everything about it. That doesn't exist. I'm sorry. Work sucks. Sometimes. Yeah, it can be rewarding, but sometimes it really sucks. But you've got to find the right structure to be successful in. Right. And it's okay to have sucky days. It's not okay to have sucky. weeks, months, years. No. So yeah, you're speaking to me, you're speaking my language. AJ,Anthony Vaughan:
I appreciate that. Yes. I guess the last thing I'll add on that, it's, it's one of my actually my most exciting, it's the most exciting part of this. I frankly feel, I think, because it allows it's something number one that I think you would agree with is something that's not talked about a lot number one, like I've spoken with, I want to give you a real number, I don't want to exaggerate 5050, seriously, 50 plus active right now ch a rows of six plus years within the row. And they all tell me that they're now one to their second company, because of what you just said, the first company, the structure member. And that's nothing I said, comment if you have any thoughts on that the structure of the role, like decision making ability they have, who they were reporting to relationships with their fellow executives, like what they were working on day to day, the splits between strategic fun, innovative pushing the boundary work versus compliance, day to day individual contributor work. Like just a lot of that stuff, they were just saying to me that they like you said, they really wish they would have been a little bit more thoughtful. Because I think what they typically do is when we think about HR, we think we need to be everything, we think we need to be a somewhat of a six out of a 10 skill level, across the board and everything. And what I think is more impactful. Think about the areas that you're like a nine out of 10 and see if a company is uniquely having those issues right now. And then build a unique team around you to fill in the gaps. Because most of your time should be spent being a leader in a short strategy and a thinker, not necessarily someone that's doing every single a busy task. So I don't know if that makes sense. ButKyle Roed:
I agree 100% if I look at myself, in that context, you know, I've definitely got some, you know, maybe eight out of 10, maybe a, you know, maybe a nine out of 10 here and there. But there are definitely areas that either I'm not good at, or I just don't enjoy. So I you know, just, I just hate spending time on it. But yeah, you fall especially if you start as a generalist, you fall into that trap of thinking, I got to know everything, you know, and I remember one of my early jobs, I was a generalist in a manufacturing facility. And you know, one of the tasks, one of the projects was go out and do these job descriptions. And then we're going to use those job descriptions to, you know, to make sure we're hiring the right people and all this stuff. And, you know, I'm sitting here early in my career didn't know any better. I'm like, I can't understand what these jobs are supposed to be doing. But what I realized was, if I just got the right people focused on that role, and had them actually just be asked the right questions, then I could achieve the goal. You know, it wasn't about me being an expert, it was about me being a connector and a question asker. That's probably not the right term. I'm sure there's a more articulate way to say that but ask good questions. And the power of a good question is worth a whole hell of a lot more than 40 hours of research to try to become an expert and be mediocre at something.Anthony Vaughan:
So if I'm understanding correctly, you thought you were supposed to actually understand the depth of each role versus going and having conversations with those that are in those roles and interviewing them in building and building a relationship and building a little bit of rapport. And that I call it emotional glue to open them up to give you the depths and the rabbit holes and then take that data and then make a really good job description that reflects the reality of.Kyle Roed:
Exactly, exactly. And it was, yeah.Anthony Vaughan:
And if people are listening, and you see that, and you know, this now being where you are, but that's a big difference.Kyle Roed:
That's a whole lot easier to. Yeah. And that's the only way like, you get to a senior level. And here's, I guess, here's the other piece of advice, I would say, for anybody who's thinking, Okay, I really want to be chro. Like, I get it, like, it sounds glamorous, and you know, what, it's, it's a whole lot of fun. I really enjoy what I do. But you also have to get a little bit more disconnected from some of the things that I used to really enjoy in my career, you know, I used to spend a ton of time just talking to people, I mean, just talking, just shooting the breeze, building relationships with people on a really personal level, because I had oversight over a smaller number of people. You know, I mean, that's just the truth. So now that I'm in the 1000s of employees that I'm supporting on a regular basis, it's really hard to do that. Because you have to be able to aggregate your cultural feeling, you have to be able to make sure that what you are focused on is for the greater good of the organization, and the people and you're balancing more of an equation versus just trying to do something for, you know, one person who you happen to have a great relationship with, and you can still build those relationships. But naturally, there is a little bit of a difference there. And unfortunately, I think that sometimes that can come at the disconnection from the people. And so you have to be really, really intentional. You have to intentionally and actively focus on building relationships, broadly, across the organization, it's not okay to just focus on fostering the relationships of the people that you regularly interact with, because what will happen is you will get completely disconnected. So it's, it's hard. Like, if you don't take the time to understand that you will be actually hurting your organization actively without even knowing it, in my opinion. So it's not easy. And I actually think I think that's why some people fail. Honestly, I think they I think it's easy to disconnect yourself from the actual people, culture and to lose that connection. And the minute that connection is gone, you're over, it's over. As far as I'm concerned. Sorry, now I'm getting on a soapbox. You know,Anthony Vaughan:
hey, that's what I was hoping for. Right? I was, what I was hoping for is that this would resonate so much with you, and so many other people that they just start thinking about it and start doing their own rants and things like that. So this is what I was hoping for.Kyle Roed:
Hey, man, if you want to rant, I'm your guy. rant. You know, I think it is so powerful. And I think what it really comes down to is, I think it's mentorship, right. And it's, if you do anything, for anybody who is in your program, or is interested in doing more with their organization, or within HR, one of the most important things you can do is make sure they really want it, you know, and if you're going to be all in on this career, I think you need to have that realistic job preview, or you're going to wake up one day and think how I got here, but I'm miserable. Exactly, exactly. I couldn't agree more. So I want to ask, you know, maybe I think one more question because I think it's, I think it's one of your signature skills or strengths that I just want to call out and I think clearly, you are a lifelong learner, and you are working to become educated and enlightened as opposed to just being focused on I just need a paycheck. I need you know, this many dollar signs that kind of thing. So as you've approached the areas that you want to learn or the education that you want to focus on, how have you focused that how do you approach you know where to go next as you are as you're learningAnthony Vaughan:
I approach it in a couple of different ways. And this is also baked into the program as well because I think what we're looking for is is this eight week experiences is not the end all be all so our recommendations is an expected tangible outcome of the program is we're going to be giving each and every person their own individual playbook not physically I mean not a tangible one it's going to be obviously like a you know Microsoft Word document or PowerPoint deck that they decide the design or however we decidedKyle Roed:
man I want I want like a you know, a cool playbook like you know, maybe not the Jets but you know something like that, likeAnthony Vaughan:
Within that playbook is going to be a lot of what you're talking about, which is what do I do to continue to learn? What do I do to continue to grow? And so I think for me, my answer is a couple different things. Number one to give advice to folks is, I understand exactly to the tee of what I didn't want to learn why I need to learn it and how I learned best. So that audit and that deep dive is important. And then from there, what I figured out is like, okay, you know, I like to continue to research and stay on top of frameworks, best practices, case studies, just a push that information in the top of my head, just to keep it in there not know that I'm learning it at such a deep level, because I'm not always applying it as much. But I think just having the language, having that context, having that information, within my mind, it's always good to have. And then what I do is I try to take detailed notes around all of it, as well, so I can refer back to it. I also suffer from severe ADHD. So that's probably why I take those detailed notes. But I think it's also important because now I have a now I have my own playbook to refer to. So anytime any company may have an issue, I don't have to go off of what I've done in the past or go off of what I think I should do, I can look at literally in my computer here, seven to 12 different options and different ways to solve one issue that are laid out exactly to the tee. And they're not from my own point of view. They're from many points of views. And that's where I think a lot of folks like us get it get a little bit twisted here. We have mentors and we learn one way to go about employer branding or learn one way to go about career mapping or go one way to go about employee benefits, instead of having multiple ways and having a diverse skill set and a diverse perspective around these ways. And so you have the ability to contextually meet the moment where it is with a lot of actions that are contextual to those moments, and you have that data. So I have that I dive into a lot of I remove ego very often, I've always told active heads of people are active folks in HR period that they should beyond their day to day job, they should go to other companies in their network and say I want to work for free. You have a separate, you know, separate set of issues. You have completely different contexts. You have completely different personalities, you're in a completely different market. I want to learn, I want to adjust. And then I think the last thing that I do is I take it seriously. And what I mean by that is just like any athlete, I think professionals we can atrophy. I think that's true. Like I don't think enough people are realizing this and out and I'm thinking of a couple of people right now I hate that I'm not gonna say it, put it on the spot, but they're talking directly that what they do, tactically, strategically as a leader, they're going off of frameworks, best practices and experiences that they learned 15 years ago. Why I look at it very similar to laughing I'm I'm a former football player. If you look at any great athlete nowadays, Odell balcom, you know, Lamar Jackson, Patrick mahomes. In the basketball world, LeBron James, if you look at them in the offseason, they train every single year to get new skill sets, to refine things, I'm not seeing enough car rolls or heads of people do enough of that, right? A lot of us are really leaning on our subconscious skill sets. And our best past experiences, please believe me, there are so many new technologies, frameworks, best practices, points of views, ways to go about the things you know how to do well, that I believe you should learn and apply. And the only way you can do that is study every single day and learn every single day, and have the bandwidth to test these new things out. And so that's also something I do as well.Kyle Roed:
Absolutely, I agree. I agree. 110%. And I think that I don't know, when it was, you know, a few years ago, I was executing a project. And I was stuck in that, in that thought process that, well, we just need to do this and execute this, and this is a best practice. Wait a bit. Wait. And I think everybody kind of hits a certain point in their career where they realize, wow, where did this best practice come from? You know, why is this best? And, you know, what's interesting is, you know, the specific topic I'm referring to is going through a talent assessment. And that, that's like 40 years old. And, you know, it, you know, going through like the force ranking exercise, and you know, and rating people on, you know, on their potential and, and we just had a podcast guest on Steve Brown, if you're familiar, and I know he, he and he's, like, you know, potential is, why do we do that everybody has potential and to try to rank potential as higher or lower than others, is an exercise in exclusion. So why do we do it that way? And the honest answer is, that's because that's what we were all trained to do. And it's the, quote, best practice. And so I think the minute that you realize the best practice doesn't mean best, it just means the way that everybody's done it for a long time. That's when your mindset can actually start to shift. And you know what that best practice may be best for your organization. But it might not be. And that's where they need that thought leadership. And that's where a chief people person needs to be questioning. Why do we do it? Because I guarantee you, people, cultures, the world of work is a whole hell of a lot different than it was 40 years ago. Yeah, right. There's no playbook for some of the stuff we've gone through over the last year or two. Exactly, exactly. Got to keep learning.Anthony Vaughan:
I think the last thing I'll say here, and then we can go in any direction, or wrap it up if you'd like. I think the last thing I'll say on that note, from an entrepreneurial lens, and I think this can be applied as a chief people, Officer, anyone internally for that matter. Call, every single company that I've started has all been from me questioning why things are the way they are. I mean, if I can just for 12 seconds, I go down the list here. My beyond brand execution, I was questioning why companies are not being more authentic and honest about the operational realities to talented applicants. seconds after they apply. Why do we wait until they get into the company for them to figure out what it's actually like? You know, beyond me, I was very confused of why professionals are not, you know, professionals are not creating their own operational manual, if you will, of saying here's who I am, and why are they always afraid to stick to those guns? Why are they always flexible and molding themselves to a piece in organization? Why aren't they a little bit more confident within who they are actually, as an operator, and live into that? You know, the lie, I'll give you last example with this company Project 2030, I was very curious of why there is not a certification, a course a playbook, a coach, someone saying, hey, you spent 789 years doing a lot of different things. Now you're being thrusted into trying to be a thought leader and a leadership, you know, and a leader and a coach, and a strategist in this space. very steep curve here. Also, it's important to do a lot of professional development and be you know, have your own podcasts, write blogs, be a speaker. There's no playbook right now on how to do that it within the intro space, and why that's important and how that's valuable. So I was always so curious. So all of this to get wrapped up is all around curiosity for me. And just questioning what is with what could be. I love it.Kyle Roed:
I love it. I think that's the takeaway for this podcast for anybody listening is you know, work to learn. And you'll eventually find what you're looking for. So, AJ, it's been absolutely wonderful reconnecting with you here. And we're coming to the end of our time here. So why don't we do a little handoff here? How can our listeners find out more about you and more about the 2030? project?Anthony Vaughan:
Yeah, so you can a couple different ways reach out to me, it's Anthony Vaughn via UGHN at gmail dot 2000 firstname.lastname@example.org. That's the email I still use my personal one for things like this, because the way we're trying to fill up the cohort is in a very personal interaction here. You can find out what I'm doing at the E one p two, collective calm. But the most important place I think people should go was Find me on LinkedIn, reach out to me, it's Anthony Vaughn there as well. And I have a podcast as well that you won't be to collect the podcast. So somehow, some way, if you do enough research, you'll be able to find me get ahold of me reach out to me. And as far as this program is concerned, I'll be very clear as well, Kyle, if you are listening, and you are a very first time person that is looking to make that leap looking to make that transition or that jump, at the very least, reach out and ask questions and I'd be willing and happy to answer them.Kyle Roed:
Absolutely. AJ sounds like a wonderful program. Keep on making some change in the world, man. I appreciate it. I appreciate you. Alright, thanks. All right. That does it for the rebel HR podcast. big thank you to our guests. Follow us on Facebook at rebel HR podcast, Twitter, at rebel HR guy, or see our website at rebel human resources.com. The views and opinions expressed by rebel HR podcast are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any of the organizations that we have. No animals were harmed during the filming of this podcast.Jude Roed: