#134: This Hiring Secret Can Help You Find Your Next VP
#134: This Hiring Secret Can Help You Find Your Next VP
DG: We're good. You're here.
Aliaz Torres: Make a yellow. You're here, DC.
DC: See that you'd make a great authentic NBA coach. The sneaker collection would finally be justified.
DG: I don't know if you've seen this, but do me a favor and Google the New York Knicks' coach David Fizdale. A lot of people are congratulating DC on the Knicks' first win last night.
DC: I kind of look like that's my doppelganger, David Fizdale. You can call me Fizz from now on.
DG: He looks exactly like.
Aliaz Torres: Can you imagine DC as a basketball coach?
DC: I am one right now.
Aliaz Torres: These are the two crosstalk.
DC: That could be a whole separate podcast.
Aliaz Torres: If you read the culture code.
DG: Who's voice is that.
Aliaz Torres: It talks about that leaders and coaches are two different personas. You're not a coach.
DC: I am a coach.
Speaker 4: His a leader.
Aliaz Torres: You're a leader.
DC: Oh, really crosstalk I don't remember. I read that book.
DG: This is actually related. Okay. Who's that voice?
DC: That's Alias Torres. He's back for his third.
Aliaz Torres: Sneaking my way in.
DC: Sneaking his way in. He caught on that. His microphone actually didn't have a cord. It wasn't actually plugged in. And so we just gave him a chord crosstalk.
DG: We got him micd up now.
Aliaz Torres: And you had me sitting on the edge of the table. I felt definitely not included in this thing.
DC: What if we made some room in the table so you can sit here?
DG: We were going to do thinking fast and slow too. We're going to do that next week.
DG: On a consistent schedule now. In case you didn't know.
DC: Finally crosstalk have been asking, right?
Aliaz Torres: I'm going to give you guys a secret.
Aliaz Torres: You want to talk about that David?
DG: People have been asking, wondering how come we're not on a consistent schedule on seeking wisdom. I've been asking DG the young nephew that for a while.
DC: You just tee'd him up for that.
Aliaz Torres: Absolutely not. I had a friend of mine who has become a seeking wisdom fan. He's become an avid reader now. Shout out my boy. And he calls me about 10 o'clock at night. And he says," I love seeking wisdom, but how come you guys are not on a consistent schedule? Don't you guys have them all prerecorded? I have to just constantly be surprised. It's a pleasant surprise, but I just don't know when it's coming."
DC: It's true. I hear that all the time crosstalk you can only give so much feedback to the young nephew, who's still waiting for a consistent schedule.
DG: You're right. Okay. So we got that one out of the way. That's number one, is consistency is coming. Number two, is let's talk about my hotly debated trip to Europe.
Aliaz Torres: How many times have you been to Europe?
DG: Let me tell you something, I'm at the gym this morning. And all of a sudden my phone is just ping, ping, ping, ping, ping, ping. And before I know I looked over my shattered phone that I needed to go fix. It said," There's a thread that is D- C- E- D- G. And it said, 36 messages. I hadn't even opened my phone yet and I just knew, I had a little pit in my stomach. I'm like," 36 messages from these two before 6: 30 AM. What could this be?" How did it start? I asked, David inaudible and I said," DC, have your kids ever been to Europe?"
DC: And I said... Actually, my daughter's 13 and my son is seven years old. Neither have been to Europe yet. And the reason he said," You know what? Annie has been there." How old is Annie?
DG: 16 months.
DC: 16 months, DG's daughter. She's been Amsterdam, Dublin.
DG: Amsterdam and Dublin.
DC: Dublin, you know, gallivanting. Because if you don't realize that the young nephew-
DG: San Diego.
DC: San Diego. My kids had never been to San Diego either. The young nephew has been gallivanting in Europe for the last two weeks. Kind of why we haven't had a consistent schedule here on seeking wisdom.
DG: Partly. I was wondering if he was in the U. S.
DC: That was the first text message," DG. Are you in the U. S. today?" So I'm here.
DG: Thank you for having me back. I appreciate it inaudible Oh, he's dying. He's loving it. This is part of life. To see me get roasted is a very enjoyable thing.
DC: This happens every day, by the way.
DG: It happens every day. Anyway. So the reason I got your message this morning with my bloody finger and my shattered phone, Michael-
Aliaz Torres: I told DG, that they have apple stores in Europe. That you could get that fixed there.
DG: They do.
Speaker 4: He was too busy.
Speaker 4: He was eating. What is this? Trudeau straw inaudible.
DG: Hashtag sastock 18.
Speaker 4: What are the things you're eating Amsterdam?
DG: What did I eat at Amsterdam? They had little pancakes.
Aliaz Torres: Have you ever been to? I've never been to Amsterdam.
DC: No, not yet.
DG: It was all bread. All bread over there. So the reason I got all the text messages from you is you started texting this morning about this hiring profile. That's why Alias is here. As much as I would love for this whole episode to be a roast about me, which is fine. I'm okay with moving on from that. How do we tee this up? What I don't want to make this. I don't want to make this about me and here's how you hired me, but I think there's a lot of good hiring lessons, and hiring is typically the most popular content that we do talk about on this show. So give me a little transition.
Aliaz Torres: Absolutely. Usually I'm here inside the office, working, you guys are always traveling and speaking at places. This is my only outlet. And what happens is, the few times I'm out a year, people come and ask me, founder, CEO, CTO's, and they're like," How can I hire someone like DG?" That's what I'm looking for.
DG: In all seriousness, Alias is saying the few times he's out, but the serious side of it is, you two are actually, it's a lot. You have both invest and advise in many companies. And I think that this common question comes up a lot.
Aliaz Torres: Yeah. People want to know. And so, they're asking, and the other day I was talking to a friend of mine and I pause for a minute or I just started talking, you know, that's how I think outside my head. And I was thinking," How do we find someone like DG?" And that's when I came up with three points.
DG: On the fly.
Aliaz Torres: On the fly. And I practiced it. What I did is I just sent you a WhatsApp, a practice rough draft of the thought. And I said-
DG: I wrote them down in case you forgot.
Aliaz Torres: The most important thing is that David and I come from nothing. DG comes from nothing.
DG: Sort of. More than nothing.
Aliaz Torres: It is Wooster. It's a little bit more.
Speaker 4: It's nicer.
Aliaz Torres: But you come from humble beginnings. Yeah. I seen your house. I've been to Wooster. I seen the street where DG grew up. So if you guys want to do a pilgrimage, hit me up, I'll take you.
Speaker 5: You want to do a bus tour?
Aliaz Torres: We'll do a bus tour. And so what happened was that before... If he's in the U. S. he might not be here, he might not be in the States.
DG: Check that I'll be there. I might be in London.
Aliaz Torres: It doesn't matter. You won't be there. We'll just go by your house. Say,"That's where DG grew. These are the fields where he play. And this is the tunnel where he snuck out one time." And so, what happened was, I said," You've got to come from humble beginnings."
DC: Because you need to be hungry.
Aliaz Torres: You need to be hungry. And there's a lot that we can unpack there. The second one is, that you have to have this ability to get shit done. It's just important. Without that ability, you don't get by in an honest, meaningful way and you're going to grow. And then the third thing is the one that I'm most uncomfortable talking about. Especially when I'm sitting here sitting next to you, is that you've got this it factor on.
DG: Don't look at me when you say it.
Aliaz Torres: I know, sorry.
Speaker 4: No, that's not the third one. The third one is humility.
Aliaz Torres: No, we said that crosstalk humility comes when you also come from humble beginnings.
Speaker 4: No, not always. This is also part of crosstalk.
DG: So it's four.
Speaker 4: Because I think the, sorry to interrupt, I think the first three would be common or easy to find someone who comes from humble beginnings and they have a hunger to prove themselves. That's one thing. Two, is...
Aliaz Torres: Do the work.
Speaker 4: Do the work. Willing to do the work. Three is this charisma that you are going to go in here uncomfortable. You know, in this small room here crosstalk in his presence. But those three are kind of, you could find those. Those are sort of easy to find. The fourth one is the most important, I think, we talked about this morning. It's the hardest one to find consistently. And that's the ego free slash humility to have the humbleness. That's the hardest one to find. I could find a whole bunch of the first three. If you look out there, but every time we've found people like that, they usually stall out or they flame out because their ego gets in the way. And all of a sudden they think they're a big shot. They think they finally arrived. They want to go speak on panels. They want to go gallivant around. They want to go start their own podcast. They want to go do whatever they want to do. And then, they stall out. That's why humility is the most important one because you keep refining and you can take those daily 36 messages from us like that and keep getting better along the way, sorry to interrupt.
Aliaz Torres: That's why I don't go to panels. I tried that 10 years ago.
DG: Tell them about 10 years ago.
Aliaz Torres: Okay. So here's the story. So I leave IBM after 10 years and I'm joining DC in his startup inaudible and then we shut that one down. But then we started performable. So now I'm upgrading to a co- founder of a tech startup in Boston. We raising some money, we're talking to investors. And I've seen all these people that are out there at this events all the time. And I'm thinking," Now, I'm going to be part of the events. I'm going to go to these conferences and talk to people, talk to investors." And then I'd tell the DC," I was talking to Eric Paley, you know, from Founder Collective." And DC's like," We have a company to build. We don't have time to be out there just talking and wasting time. We got customers to delight. We got product to build. We have to sell. We have to work. If you want to spend all your time just at events and doing that kind of stuff. I don't think this is going to work." That was the last time I went.
DG: 10 years ago.
DC: He had a dream, he was going to be on panels now crosstalk.
Aliaz Torres: People are going to invite me to speak. Nobody invites me to speak because I'm not known. Because I never Went back out. I was like," I'm going to stay right here, put. I'm going to do my job."
DG: He told you to get to work.
Aliaz Torres: Get to work.
DG: He said," Get to work."
DC: We had work to do.
Aliaz Torres: It's true though. We wouldn't be here today. If I were spending all the time out there on panels, trying to have everyone hear my opinion.
DC: Mm- hmm( affirmative). A hundred percent.
DG: This topic today, this came up because it was specific to marketing. A lot of people ask you looking for you to make a marketing hire.
Aliaz Torres: Yeah. Agree. It was interestingly enough, I don't know why I ended up keeping track of this. First marketing hire at Drift. We were interviewing all kinds of people. And even though I've been in marketing, I didn't really know every different role in the marketing department. And so, as I was interviewing the people that DC was bringing in, I started making a spreadsheet, like a PowerPoint presentation. And I was realizing all the subtle nuances of every role in marketing. And I was like," Wow, this person is great at demand generation, right? Oh, this person is great with ads. This person is great with design. This person is great with social." And I was like," How are we going to pick someone?" They all were coming from different places where they were doing one part of the marketing job. And at first realization, there's not one marketer that can do it all. And then you came in and you didn't know how to do any of those.
Aliaz Torres: And so, you had done something different. Do you see what DG done.
DG: He was working at HubSpot, but that wasn't the reason. He had been there for a little while. It was that DG, had started a side project called Tech in Boston. I was episode number 50. And that's how-
Aliaz Torres: What number was that?
Aliaz Torres: Hold on. It was because DC was notoriously, I think until I was at Drift inaudible.
DG: I think
Speaker 5: I think that was planned.
DG: You got to do PR. You PRing. He was like this mystery man. Nobody had ever interviewed him. Maybe they didn't give him love. I don't understand but.
Aliaz Torres: That's probably true.
DC: That's true.
Aliaz Torres: And neither did you.
DG: No, I remember how it happened. Because I had Tech in Boston.
Speaker 5: 50.
DG: I shared at Drift. You guys had this party.
Speaker 5: It was at the the bottom of the list.
DG: You had an opening party. You had this office.
Speaker 5: In Boston crosstalk Boston.
Aliaz Torres: You're number 50.
DC: I was number 50.
Speaker 4: That's good.
DC: It keeps you humble.
Aliaz Torres: You better keep your ego in check too.
DG: I wish I could tell you 49. He DM'd me on Twitter and he said," We're having this party. Can you share this thing?" And I said," Yes, will you come to my podcast?" That's how it happened.
Aliaz Torres: Yeah. So he had this podcast Tech in Boston. And what was interesting about that is that we're always looking for people who are actually go out and take the initiative and do something. Most people that we meet, who meet those qualifications will be like," I want to be a marketer. I want to be an engineer. I want to be whatever. I want to join a startup." And then we'll ask and then we'll look and they haven't taken the time and the initiative to actually go off and do anything. They're just waiting for one day to someone like wave a magic wand and say," Now you're a marketer and now you can do this." And Dave didn't do that. Dave had created a project. He had a website, he had 49 guests who are not myself. He had an email list that he was marketing to. He had social media presence for it. He had.
DG: Sold ads.
Aliaz Torres: Sold ads on it. He had done all of these things to promote this stuff as a side project that showed this initiative and this hunger. And that was the thing they we're like," Yes."
DG: To me. That's actually the lesson that I want people to take out of this, that you guys looking beyond for a hiring profile. And this is still a mistake that I need more reps in. And, the three of us talk a lot about this in hiring is, I think it's so easy to look at a LinkedIn profile and say," We're a B2B sales and marketing company. This person was at this company, that company, oh, they look great." Right?
Aliaz Torres: Right.
DG: That person, usually that looks great. I can't think of many people who are at Drift today that are successful. That looked great on paper and are great. There's always something else that you would have to dig into.
Aliaz Torres: Absolutely. A great line is, the world has changed. In some ways the world has changed. In some ways the world has not changed. Marketing needs someone that can grabs people's attention. And does that charisma that you have, that's the it factor that is important. What we want to encourage people to find someone to come into marketing is to look in other places, that is not the traditional, who's doing what role in marketing? But it's bring other people that are great at marketing in other ways naturally, and bring them into your business.
DG: When we were talking about this this morning. The example that I used was like, as a marketer here, now the person that I would rather hire somebody who you have two candidates, right? One of them has this perfect B2B sales and marketing resume. he other one is, someone who is maybe at a company like that, but on the side they have a food blog and they've grown this food blog to 50, 000 views. And they're always on podcasts and they got videos and they have this massive social media account that they built around. That's the person that I think, this is what DC, one of the superpowers is, is finding that and saying," Look, I seen these patterns. I think if we invest in this person, they can then go apply it." Where I think most startup founders especially are very risk adverse when it comes to hiring and say," Well, they haven't done it in this area. So I'm not sure it's going to be a good fit here."
DC: Yeah. It's actually how I got the side project thing I just remembered, is how I got my first job at a startup 1996, DG.
Aliaz Torres: So what does that make you 58, 48?
DC: 58, 59. Something like that. D- E- T's always inflating my age, but in 1996.
Aliaz Torres: I was in high school I think.
DC: I got that job with three founders. That's what started me in startups because there was no books. There was no Google. Obviously there was nothing that you could read. But I was teaching myself about building stuff on the internet, on the side. That was not my job. And because of that, I was able to meet these people and then get into what we do now. But it was 1996. You know, the first time that I went to an event like Alias, to one of these events and stuff. What year was it?
Aliaz Torres: 2003.
DC: 11 years.
Aliaz Torres: Well, that's why you were at number 50 on Tech in Boston.
DC: 11 years, just building stuff. And it wasn't until we were getting ready to sell, compete in 2007 that I-
Aliaz Torres: You went to Miami.
DC: I did go to Miami. But I went to the first event here in Boston and I went to an event. I met Bijon. Who's one of the founders of Spark capital, Sabat. And I met Nabeal who's also a investor now at Spark Capital. First time I met them and they were like," I thought compete was in California." And I was like," No, we're in Copley." And that was the first time I had ever talked to anyone in Boston, in the startup world. Was 11 years later.
Aliaz Torres: Absolutely. I think this applies to every role.
DC: Every role.
Aliaz Torres: I also met you David, because I was working at IBM full- time, but I was doing side jobs nights and weekends with a startup from Rudy Ruhanna. Who's our chief security officer now. Who introduced us. And then we started working together, but he was a night and weekends and crosstalk.
DG: How long were you at IBM?
DC: 10 years.
DG: See, it's always the common theme. No one ever talks about the dark 10 years that people put in, whatever you can do it early, late, whatever, before they take that next big step. It's a very common pattern. If you look at people, whether it's in sports or whatever, no one talks about that 10 years.
Aliaz Torres: And maybe we're a little bit old school, but we don't want to say," Oh, you shouldn't go to anything." We're definitely not that extremist. But just reminding people, you have to develop the discipline, the passion to get the job done, to get the work. And that's something you've been able to do here DG. So you got to look for someone that exhibits that and you need to go out and look in other places. But I would say another thing is that people want to hire a great marketer, people want to hire a great VP of engineering, great product person, but you're not doing the job either. I recommend that you have to go out there and look for people online. Find them, meet them, go out for coffee because they're not going to show up on your doorstep.
DG: Yeah, that's a really important thing to dig into is people want to hire a person X or person Y but the same thing applies to hiring is you have to do the work to find the person. Same way as that candidate has to do the work to get found. You have to actually go and do the work to find them verse yeah, we got a job posting and this person is going to come find us.
Aliaz Torres: Waiting for someone to come in, it's not going to happen. And if you are a young DG in training and you want to have the same trajectory, you've got to put in the work, you got to remain humble. Most people fail at that. And so they'll stall out. Almost everyone does. And then, the third one is you'll have to put yourself in the right company that is growing and has the right set of people there. Because if you put yourself in a high growth situation, then the company is going to pull you as you continue to grow into bigger and bigger roles. That's usually how it happens. And again, this is for fast growing companies. Every company that I've been a part of, there's almost a neg thing that I've noticed lately, which is, the people who usually ask and this is only in high growth companies. The people who usually ask for a promotion, when's my next thing? What's this? Who are always asking, or for me in my limited experience would have been 100% the people who are not ready to go to the next level. The people who are, and that's just a sign. The people who have naturally continue to grow fast are it's because they've been executing so well. And they're in those fast growing environments that if you're in that environment, you're going to be desperate to pull someone like," Someone help me." If someone has the capability, you're going to pull them to help you. Right. Because you're drowning in those environments. But that's with fast growing companies.
DC: I'm reading Blitzscaling right now, Reid's book. And it's just amazing. I think is highly recommended for people that have-
Speaker 4: Tell people the full book.
DC: Blitzscaling, Reid Hoffman.
Speaker 4: Founder of LinkedIn.
DC: It says," How do you go from zero to 1 billion?" And it's so exciting, but it just lays out the treasure map. The growth. You go from a family to a tribe, to a village, to a city, to a nation and how people have to grow within that trajectory. And so, he spells it out. So for any young people there go read that. So you realize what happens. Some people move up, some people have to take a different tour of duty. And then some people have to go into another company. Is laid out crosstalk the normal paths that happened. And you just have to put in the work and see if you're growing at the right pace with the company.
DG: Yeah. When you're experiencing it, it doesn't feel normal, especially because you don't have any experience. You don't have a context of being in that situation. But that book is a good one to remind you, there are others, but that one's really good at reminding you, if you're in that situation, this is normal. It's going to be normal for some people to go up. Some people to take different tours, as Alias said, and for some people to figure out it's not the right environment for them anymore because the company has become a nation when it was a village before.
Speaker 4: How do we close this and how to find a great marketer that connects with the audience? People like hearing from where would you find another DG DC.
DG: Yeah. I mean, you were saying I should go find another DG.
DC: Go find another DG.
Aliaz Torres: If he's going to spend most of his time in Europe, we need someone to record podcasts crosstalk.
DG: We need a consistent, I need a system. I need to check.
DC: What I would do is I would go find someone who has a side project.
DG: By the way, this is what we haven't talked about, it's so much easier today. When you guys did it 10 years ago, it was not as easy as it was. Today, you have Instagram, you have YouTube, you have Twitter, you have all these channels that can connect you to anybody where you can get found. I think almost 10 years ago, you almost did have to go to event. Even though that's what DC's crosstalk saying.
DC: It was hard.
DG: It's much harder. Today, anybody can be a creator. Especially in your marketing, if you're not creating something that people can find publicly, like we talk to candidates all the time and I say," Hey, can you send me over some of your stuff?" And they don't have it.
DC: I haven't done that yet. And so that's why I'm constantly sifting through stuff. As Alias would say that I'm constantly just tweeting. I'm looking at Twitter, I'm on Instagram, I'm on everything. And I'm trying to find people like I'm collecting people to find who could be the next great person at whatever? Because they're actually doing it right now. And as DG said, most of the time someone will come in and be like," I want to do social media." And then I'll look and they'll have 20 followers. And it's like," You're not doing it now."" I want to be a videographer like the boy G2 here."" Do you have any videos?"" No, I don't have any videos." Alias is like," What are you talking about?" People who are doing already. So I would look for people who are doing it already first. Then I would look for that hunger. Do they come from that background? Do they have that hunger? Do they have the humility? And you know, do they have as Alias would say, charisma, a little charisma there, a little x- factor.
DG: It helps. You also need to, from the other side of this, you have to surround yourself by people who are going to push you like that. That is everybody says that. But I think very few people believe that because to be pushed is painful. And so crosstalk.
DC: DG can tell you about that.
DG: People say," I want to be pushed. I want to be around people that are going to help me grow." You know, the common, you're the average of the five people that you spend your time with, whatever. But I think when actually push comes to shove, people don't, when you get in that situation, it is uncomfortable. But if you can have the mindset of, like I said to you both this morning," I have a ultimate humility check, which is both of you keep me very humble."
DC: It's amazing.
DG: But the same thing is it's always painful, but I always get better.
Speaker 4: DC, he keeps me humble too.
Speaker 4: He won't let the ego grow. Who's keeping the DC humble though?
DG: That's a good point.
DC: Myself. Her name is Lisa crosstalk.
DC: My daughter. There's a whole bunch of them, I'm on the bottom of it at home.
DG: So if you want that opportunity that you have to be-
DC: And Eazy the dog.
DG: You have to be willing to get it right. It's the same advice about working out or whatever any other analogy there is.
Aliaz Torres: Absolutely. So that's the way you would go about finding it. Go look for people who are creating already. It's clear if you're marketing and that's easy. Two, look for people that have hunger. Three, people that are willing to put in the work. So they have the work ethic. Four that it factor and five have that level of humility. And so that's how you do it. You know what rhymes with five?
Speaker 4: Six.
Aliaz Torres: Six, exactly. Six stars. What rhymes with five is six and so please leave a six star rating. We seen it uptick, but I've noticed most of those, six star ratings, excuse me, are for the young Maggie Crowley director of product here at Drift, bringing some fire. DG is getting a little worried. So please drop some six star ratings for hi crosstalk and put him on.
DG: Let me play you a clip from...
Speaker 7: I'm here at SAS stock. And then you guys had some comments about the apple ratings systems, it doesn't work. Five stars.
Speaker 8: No.
Speaker 7: How many?
Speaker 8: Six stars only right.
DG: That's amazing.
Aliaz Torres: See, even in Europe, they know.
DG: Vienna, they were from Vienna.
Aliaz Torres: Even in Vienna, they have good judgment.
DG: Six stars only. Thank you for joining us. Let us know if Alias should ever make it back for number four. We're not sure yet.
Speaker 5: And check this out, we are back next week and we're talking about thinking fast and slow crosstalk.
DC: But what would be on a schedule?
Speaker 5: We're on a schedule.
Aliaz Torres: What is the commitment? Every day? Every Monday? At what time are you going to have a new episode?
DG: This is getting hot right now. We have a new seeking wisdom episode every Monday. By the time you wake up, it goes out Sunday night when midnight changes.
Aliaz Torres: East coast time crosstalk.
DG: I'm on European time crosstalk.
Aliaz Torres: See you.