What Would You Prefer Today From A Speaker: Motivation-Speak or Process-Speak?

I feel an interesting conversation potentially burgeoning here on RBC. In my eyes, it's never the initial discussion post or comment that provides value; rather, it's the ongoing dialogue that ensues. We may start on one topic, but the conversation may veer off on a slight tangent . . . upon which there are nuggets and insights that are beyond invaluable. To me, such is the power of a social network that encourages and embraces user-generated content.

A previous discussion on RBC "The Risk of being Over Motivated - Bullhorn Live" along with the following quote from an (as always) intelligent Sumser blog post on "Radical Transparency", led me to reflect:

"Motivational speakers, like Danny Cahill, rarely get taken to task for the views they express. The audience is charged at the end of the material and no questions are fielded. In the new environment, guys like that are going to have to change the way that they work."

[Note: I think the takeaway for a former Million-Dollar biller like Danny Cahill might be to cut his presentation down by 5 minutes to field questions from those in the audience. Good advice, if you ask me.]

Here's my question: Given today's economic times, what would you more prefer if you had a chance to see a Recruiting presentation?:

a. A motivational presentation that fires you up and gets you in a state of mind that "We can do this and we will make it through these times".

OR

b. A process presentation on how to recruit in a recession.

Follow-on Bonus Question: In tough times such as these, would you (as a Recruiting Leader), provide motivation to your staff or talk about process?

My personal take: I admit that I'm a guy like that today. I get more out of hitting the gym in the morning and firing myself up to make calls than dive into process. At least today, that is. I find myself spending an extra half-hour weight training and listening to Alec Baldwin's infamous "Always Be Closing" speech in Glengarry Glen Ross than diving into the WSJ like I used to do each morning after my workout.

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The best presentations for me, meaning the ones I would pay for, are a mix of both. I have no use for a training that is purely motivational. In fact I'd go so far as to say I'm very anti-fluff! What motivates me is two things, success stories of how people implemented the ideas you're about to present, and then pure data, nuts and boths specifics of your ideas on whatever topic you're presenting on.

I went to my first industry conference last year, and it was great. Geared to third party recruiters, it was a wide variety of targeted workshops addressing specific areas, such as phone sourcing, working a desk, working with a researcher, time management, etc. We wanted nuts and bolts information we could go home with and we got it.
Pam, good point - there can be a mix of both. When it comes to conferences, there better be, right? Especially when it's two days of talking heads!

My question is more along the lines of a single presentation, say 60 minutes. Would you look for the mix still? (the context is more for today's times than generally speaking)

P.S. There is no right or wrong answer - if it's right to you, then it's right! :)
Hi Josh,

If it were for a single 60 minute presentation I'd want the mix to be roughly 90/10 90% specific how-to data, and 10% success stories showing that it works.

:) Pam

Joshua Letourneau said:
Pam, good point - there can be a mix of both. When it comes to conferences, there better be, right? Especially when it's two days of talking heads!

My question is more along the lines of a single presentation, say 60 minutes. Would you look for the mix still? (the context is more for today's times than generally speaking)

P.S. There is no right or wrong answer - if it's right to you, then it's right! :)
Wow, in the middle of a call, I saw an email from Scott Love regarding a new article he has out ("Stop it NOW! How to Stop Self Sabotage"). This couldn't be more fitting :) Here's a quote (and I do admit being a fan of Scott's presentation style), so here she goes:

"If you are an owner or a manager, you have to train your people on how to think at a higher level, how to think in terms of achievement, how to have the attitude of positive expectation.

I find it interesting that nearly all the other training for our industry focuses exclusively on the tactics of recruiting (market, sell, onboard client, recruit, qualify, present, overcome objections, close, follow up). In my own opinion, I believe that this tactical knowledge contributes only about ten percent to your success. About fifteen percent of your success is based on work habits, about twenty five percent is based on strategy, and a full fifty percent of your success is based on how you think. That includes your self esteem, your self confidence, your beliefs, your perspective on solving problems, resilience, and your attitude and outlook."
Interesting post from Penelope Trunk about goal setting vs process -related to this discussion (I think).
LOL - funny article with catchy title (although this article seems to be a little of a departure from brazeness and more toward coaching?). I wonder what Stephen Covey would think :)
I'm not sure that the choice is so binary, Josh.

The larger question is more like "How do you motivate in a hyperlinked world?" While I can feel the obvious answers readying themselves, deeper participation and questioning makes old school motivational stuff less relevant.

Of course, there will always be sheep looking for a shepherd and in those cases, a good preacher is a great thing. But, when you are building a network of co-collaborators (not individual all stars), the pure "speechy" motivational stuff is a little saccharine.

There's a role for drill sergeants at the indoctrination level. When you are empowering small cohesive interdependent bands of collaborators, its a different story. In those cases, motivation comes from embracing the challenge, not taking a pill, drinking a beverage or psyching yourself up.

The assumption that the guy on the stage (or at the top of the organization or at the center of the network) has the authority to motivate without input is the issue. How one motivates in this new environment is the question.

My view is that the new version of the very tired Zig Ziglar - style motivator will be more case specific. It takes real hands on understanding of the problem and an ability to be motivational when the audience is willing and able to voice its disagreement.
Great response and I truly understand where you're coming from, John - there is a time for group discussion and there is a time for a tried and true Big Biller (many times over) to lead the floor amidst a backdrop of Recruiters that want to 'bill bigger'. Maybe it's just me (admittedly so), but I don't believe the world has changed so much. Our ability to collaborate and communicate has, and I believe that education frees the mind (i.e. we finally elected a minority President), but is the notion of human community so different in a hyperlinked world?

At the sake of sounding funny, I've attended Danny Cahill's training and heard marginal producers question him - I've been there in person. He fields those questions and I can promise you he answers them point-blank. However, this is day-long training as opposed to a keynote. I'd also be remiss not to mention that his material isn't for an Internal Recruiter (hence his partnership and presence at Bullhorn).

This conversation will likely go on for the foreseeable future, but I do find myself asking where Leaders have gone? I recall an article I read about how Massive Multi-Player Online Role-Playing Games (MMORPGs) have led to extreme collaboration and teamwork, but many in Gen-Y are afraid to grab the mantle and lead. Of course, this was an opinionated article, but it led me to reflect on where society is heading. Surely, there must be a middle ground. Providing motivation to others doesn't have to be indoctrinational or drill instructor-esque. For example, my younger brother just lost his job . . . and I'm trying to motivate and empower him through other ways rather than booting him in the rear (as hard as that can be) :)

P.S. I do think there is a time to be binary, and a time not to be . . . but I ponder the following about Danny Cahill: Has his charisma and motivational qualities become a cross to bear? I see so many position him as nothing more than a 'motivator', but I ask why? His material is rock-solid, however is his method of delivery (foundation-shaking) the reason for the positioning in the market? I wonder why I'm one of very few to step up and say they've learned something from Danny and become a better TPR as a result? Perhaps I'm in the minority.
You'll be surprised to know that I found Danny Cahill to be captivating and motivating. He made me think much more than I expected. He seemed to know his stuff in a profound way. I learned something from the presentation and think that lots of people at the Bullhorn Live conference also learned something.

The question remains. How do you do motivation in an era of multiple overlapping and sometimes conflicting agendas. The pat answer is that focus is everything. The reality is that a networked society/organization depends on group focus and individual autonomy. It's a different model.

PS. Binary is great unless you want to have a conversation. It's good for debate, bad for conversation. The whole point is that next gen leadership is conversational.
Josh,

I don't think you're in the minority Josh. I saw Danny speak for the first time at the conference I mentioned, and we were so impressed that we stuck around for a second session. What we liked about him was that he didn't sugarcoat things, he talks about the need to work hard and smart to get things done. I thought he was fantastic.

Joshua Letourneau said:
Great response and I truly understand where you're coming from, John - there is a time for group discussion and there is a time for a tried and true Big Biller (many times over) to lead the floor amidst a backdrop of Recruiters that want to 'bill bigger'. Maybe it's just me (admittedly so), but I don't believe the world has changed so much. Our ability to collaborate and communicate has, and I believe that education frees the mind (i.e. we finally elected a minority President), but is the notion of human community so different in a hyperlinked world?

At the sake of sounding funny, I've attended Danny Cahill's training and heard marginal producers question him - I've been there in person. He fields those questions and I can promise you he answers them point-blank. However, this is day-long training as opposed to a keynote. I'd also be remiss not to mention that his material isn't for an Internal Recruiter (hence his partnership and presence at Bullhorn).

This conversation will likely go on for the foreseeable future, but I do find myself asking where Leaders have gone? I recall an article I read about how Massive Multi-Player Online Role-Playing Games (MMORPGs) have led to extreme collaboration and teamwork, but many in Gen-Y are afraid to grab the mantle and lead. Of course, this was an opinionated article, but it led me to reflect on where society is heading. Surely, there must be a middle ground. Providing motivation to others doesn't have to be indoctrinational or drill instructor-esque. For example, my younger brother just lost his job . . . and I'm trying to motivate and empower him through other ways rather than booting him in the rear (as hard as that can be) :)

P.S. I do think there is a time to be binary, and a time not to be . . . but I ponder the following about Danny Cahill: Has his charisma and motivational qualities become a cross to bear? I see so many position him as nothing more than a 'motivator', but I ask why? His material is rock-solid, however is his method of delivery (foundation-shaking) the reason for the positioning in the market? I wonder why I'm one of very few to step up and say they've learned something from Danny and become a better TPR as a result? Perhaps I'm in the minority.

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