The country’s auto-immune disease

8 Feb

Watching CNN and FOX is like watching two different America’s. And, politicians seem to have no interest in cooperating with their political enemies to get things done for the country.

I’m writing a political satire that comes out soon. The basis of the book is: “The only way to end the division in the country is to divide the country.” In the book I point out that America is like a patient dying of an auto-immune disease – the kind where the body attacks itself.

We could have some hope if the leaders on each side weren’t so infatuated by their own self-importance, their desire to prosecute their enemies, and their insistence on shoving their agenda down the throats of America.

Why did Trump win? Because many Americans realize how BROKEN Washington is. For eight years Obama stuffed liberal garbage down our throats. It ruined society and left the country far more divided when he left office. Because of that, and the trillions of dollars of debt he incurred, I think he was one of the worst Presidents we’ve ever had. Obama is intelligent, a great politician, and a great leader. But, where he led the country was an abandonment of the morals and values we’ve always known.

He made fringe groups mainstream and it seemed that he made everything about the bad white guy (and sometimes black guys who are cops) and the poor black victim.

It’s not all Obama’s fault but we are at a place now where there is so much division and anger at each other, it’s hard to see a way back.

On CNN, Trump got blamed for violence at his rallies but liberal violence is considered an expression of civil rights.

Republicans are almost as bad. They’ve had seven years to work on a replacement for Obamacare and have nothing.

At least Democrats stick together. Trump will always be fighting the Democrats, the Republicans, the Media, and anyone who is establishment.

It just seems like the country is so uncivil and so divided that there is no way we’re going to get back to a place where we can have respectful conversations with those with whom we disagree. And, without that in Congress, there won’t be any compromise. Without compromise, nothing will get done. I hope the division isn’t fatal but it sure looks that way.

 

The Problem with Sanctuary Cities

10 Jan

These thoughts aren’t meant to be about immigration and I can empathize with people in the country who don’t want to be separated from their loved ones.

But, there IS a problem with sanctuary cities. Here’s what I think:

  1. It’s hypocritical for some people not to obey the law. Liberals are wanting to prosecute Flynn for taking money from the Russians because its in violation of Federal Law. In the same breath they violate the Federal laws on immigration and consider themselves merciful.
  2. Justice is supposed to be blind and fair to all. How can liberals prosecute people for violating Federal law and at the same time dismiss the laws.
  3. Liberals are really good at marketing. They created places where the law is being broken and gave them a graceful name.
  4. When leaders can pick and choose what laws to obey, where does that lead society?
  5. Why are conservatives so weak that they don’t put violators of Federal law in prison? That’s what the liberals would do if the situation was reversed.
  6. If you don’t like a law, change it. But, obey it until it’s changed. A liberal on the news was asked how they can defend violating Federal Law. He said is was draconian. So, following his lead, if people don’t like a law, they don’t have to obey it? Tell that to the people in prison for tax evasion or embezzlement. They probably didn’t like those Federal laws either.
  7. Liberals – and conservatives – shouldn’t be allowed to have cities that are sanctuaries from Federal Law. When we can pick and choose the laws we follow and get away with it, what kind of precedent does that set? What kind of society does that create?

This chart explains a lot. This year, establishment lines are more important than party lines

21 Sep

In a typical political season there are Democrats and Republicans who each vote along party lines as illustrated in the chart below. Some candidates might be more establishment and some not quite so much. But, this chart shows how in a normal election, how establishment and non-establishment doesn’t mean as much as party loyalty.

Usual election: Voting along party lines regardless of how “establishment” a candidate is.

 

chart2

 

 

Ah, but this is no ordinary election. We have a non-establishment candidate running against a complete establishment candidate.

This primary election: Not voting along party lines. Voting along conventional establishment lines.

The unconventional Democrat, Bernie Sanders, would likely have been chosen as the primary winner except for

  1. the Super delegates who made it look like a landslide from the beginning and
  2. the corruption at the DNC hindering the Sander’s campaign.

    Clinton is really an illegitimate candidate because of the corruption but since she is establishment, the rule of thumb for conventional candidates is, no harm, no foul.

And, we all know how the GOP voters rejected the establishment candidates.

Establishment people can’t understand voting for an unconventional candidate. But, the American people apparently want a non-establishment candidate. That explains the rise of Trump and Sanders.

If Bernie was the Democratic candidate for President, as he would have been without the corruption and finger on the scale for Clinton, the voting in the general election might be back along party lines again.

chart5

Why would George H.W. Bush and several other Republicans vote for the Democratic candidate?

Some Republicans look at the choices for conventional establishment candidates and only see the Democratic candidate.

This year being an establishment candidate is more important than party affiliation. The Bushes and other Republicans would rather beat down the unconventional than beat the Democrats.

Why? Because the anti-establishment candidates are a bigger threat to their way of life than a conventional Democrat. 

The question is, will independents vote conventional or unconventional this year? This election is not as much about Republican vs Democrat as it is Establishment vs Non-establishment.

chart4

 

 

Why the new PXT Select is so awesome

7 Sep

 

If your company uses assessments or are thinking about it and would like to have a good experience, you would be wise to consider the PXT Select™.

For over 15 years I’ve been an authorized partner with Profiles International. In addition to recruiting and public speaking, I provide occupational assessments to companies.

I use assessments when I recruit for companies. The Profile XT is amazing at uncovering what someone is REALLY like and finding out BEFORE you hire them. Seriously, using the Profile XT is like hiring with the lights on. And, not using the Profile XT is like, well, you get it.

A few years ago, Profiles International was purchased by the Wiley Corporation and they’ve just rolled out the PXT Select.

PXT Select is an assessment that is taken online. Here’s what the PXT Select does for you:

The PXT Select helps fill in the gap between the resume and the interview. It provides you with actionable data about candidates in a simple-to-understand format that can help you to interview better and hire smarter.

Here’s why the PXT Select is so awesome:

The PXT Select provides great value! It provides several assessments for the price of one! As an example, just a few months ago, before PXT Select, there was a separate charge for a Profile XT, a PXT sales assessment, or an Executive Leadership Report.

With PXT Select, all of those reports are available for no extra cost. That’s pretty awesome.

And, for our clients, all of those reports are now available for anyone who has taken the Profile XT!

In addition, there are 8 hiring reports including a total person assessment, interview guides and performance model matching,

All included!

But wait, there’s more…. (sorry, just had to)

When a manager and employee take the PXT Select, in addition to their individual reports, we now provide at no cost a Managerial Fit report, showing how a manager and employee can work together better.

When each member of a team take the PXT select, in addition to all the other information and reports available, our clients can receive a PXT team report to help understand the composition of the team so they can work together more efficiently.

To roll our the PXT select, I’m offering a big discount* for a limited time (through September 2016). Also, I’m offering a FREE virtual assessment center set-up – a $1,000 value – and reduced annual hosting fees for life.

With your own virtual assessment center, you have control over scheduling and reports, plus your company branding appearing across the assessment program.

To take advantage of the PXT assessment program, just email me at mike@thepartnergroup.com or give me a call at 847-732-9001.

Here are the reports available with the PXT Select:

Individual profile™™
Individual graph
PXT Sales Assessment (compared to a custom job pattern we make for your company)
Graph
Performance Model Comparison
Interview guide – challenge areas
Interview guide – total person
Summary graph
Comparison summary
Strategic workforce planning – matches a person to job patterns in your company
Leadership approach (formerly executive leadership report)
Leadership approach summary
Candidate matching
Team report (requires each team member to take the PXT)
Managerial fit (requires both manager and employee to take the PXT)

 

* Sorry – In order to sell at discounted prices, my authorized partner agreement prohibits me from publicly publishing prices  – but just email me or call.

PXT Select is a registered trademark of the Wiley Company

The biggest mistake people make when using assessments for hiring

8 Aug

Trust the tool.

That’s what I learned the hard way. And, that’s the biggest mistake that people make when using assessments – they DON’T trust the tool.

For 15 years I’ve been an authorized partner with Profiles International. When I started using assessments doing recruiting for companies, I fell into this trap myself. The Profile XT assessment – or whatever excellent assessment you happen to be using, is a tool that should account for about 1/3 of the hiring decision.

The resume and background checks are the past, the interview the present and the assessment tool is a look into the future.

You meet a candidate and think their great! So far, so good. You give them the Profile XT and there are issues. They are only a 60% match. You look deeper.

You don’t want to believe the candidate is really a 2/10 on energy. They interviewed so well!

You don’t want to believe they are a 1/10 on manageability. They seemed to get along with everyone.

You don’t want to believe they are a 2/10 on the learning index scale. They knew so much about the job and the industry.

So, what do you do? The warning signs are there. But, you don’t trust the tool. You hire them anyway. We’ve all done it. We want the search to be over. We want the warm body in that seat. We want to stop interviewing and go back to our work. I get it.

But, Six months later you hear these words come out of your mouth as you see that employee walk in one morning and ask a colleague, “Who hired that idiot?”

The answer comes, “Uh, you did.”

That employee doesn’t seem to get very much done during the day, they won’t follow procedures and they make mistakes as if they don’t even understand the work.

But you didn’t trust the tool.

Possible reasons why the assessment information is different than the candidate you interviewed:

A lot of people who have been in an industry a long time will know the lingo. It doesn’t make them a good employee or the right job fit.

A lot of people who have done the same job a long time can succeed at it even if they don’t have a high learning index. But, change for them is tough.

People are good interviewers. Job hoppers are great interviewers. We have a tendency to hire the best interviewer rather than the best employee.

In the interview process, people hide their dirty laundry and put their best foot forward.

People win you over during the interview with their personality and interest in working with you.

So, what do you do?

Trust the tool!

The Profile XT digs into the unseen parts of the total person, the parts you’re going to get to know in a few months if you hire them.

I can absolutely guarantee you that the Profile XT assessment will often disagree with the impressions you take away from the interview.

It’s hard to trust the assessment information over your own eyes. But, going with our gut feeling is why 2/3 of hiring decisions turn out to be mistakes.

What’s the solution?

Trust the tool!

 

 

 

 

 

Shows I’ve binge-watched

1 Jul

For some reason I usually don’t watch shows while they’re on.

But, you’ve gotta love binge watching. Here’s what I’ve binge watched and my reviews. Well, now that I think about it, obviously I liked them all or I wouldn’t have binge watched the whole thing.

Alias 

I never even knew this show existed until I saw it on Netflix. It’s my current binge and I’m only on Season 3.

It was tough getting into but now I’m hooked. It moves fast and the twists are fast and furious. I MUCH prefer psychological twists to hours of car chases.

What’s in YOUR wallet?

 

Battlestar Galactica

This was a long time coming. My daughter kept saying I should watch it but for the longest time I couldn’t find it anywhere. Then it showed up on Hulu or Netflix, I don’t remember which.

Loved it.

Couldn’t wait for the next episode. Also liked this – hysterical – and says it all.

 

House of Cards

The reason for having Netflix. This is so great because they put out all the episodes on the same day. It’s a loooong year until the next season.

Kevin Spacey is great in everything. He’s really great in this. Apparently he and Robin Wright will be making the same amount from now on, which is fine even though Frank is on top of the ticket. Just as long as they make more seasons.

Watching the corruption is almost enough to make you want an outsider in the White House. Maybe Ivanka can be VP after all?

 

Friday Night Lights

No offense to the people I went to High School with, but I don’t remember girls like they have on this show. And, maybe it was just my era but I don’t remember all the sex in high school. I sure wasn’t in on it.

That said, I enjoyed it and watched all the seasons. Full hearts, clear eyes, can’t lose. And, you can’t lose with Minka Kelly, Adrianne Palicki, and Connie Britton.

Funny how I’d never noticed Kyle Chandler before but now I see him here and there. He was a scientist in a small part on the terrible remake, The Day the Earth Stood Still.

 

The Walking Dead

Didn’t even know this show existed until 6 seasons were over. I binge watched the first five and then had to wait until AMC had a Walking Dead weekend to  DVR season six.

Truthfully, I’m not a big zombie guy. That’s probably why I didn’t give it the time of day. I started watching it once and it didn’t do anything for me. Tried again. Same thing.

Third time was the charm and I was hooked. Especially when Maggie joined the cast. If Glen is the target of Negan, that would be a terrible thing. Except, Maggie would be single.

 

Game of Thrones

Another one that I didn’t watch until recently. I got to binge watch 100 episodes. All I can say is that I would follow Khaleesi all the way to the Iron Throne.

Jon Snow may know nothing but he’s probably the guy who will end up sitting on the Iron Throne when its all over. Maybe he and Khaleesi will get married?

Have to say, the last two eps of each season seem to be especially mind blowing. The big battles and Khaleesi flying off with the dragons. Pretty amazing episodes.

Breaking Bad

This took me a few false starts to get into. But, the evolution of Bryan Cranston’s character is very interesting.

Golf is very frustrating

7 Jun

I love golf. It just doesn’t seem to love me back. And, I officially quit the game today. I’m done. It’s over. Duffed the ball, couldn’t hit it where I wanted, complete disaster on the course. I quit! And, I mean it!!

I heard about a guy playing on the famous road hole at St. Andrews. When a funeral passed by, he stopped before putting out and put his hand over his heart.

His playing partners remarked about how thoughtful and respectful he was.

“Well,” he said, “it’s the least I could do seeing we were married for 40 years.”

That’s kind of the love people have for the game.

I read that Arnold Palmer was playing with Tiger Woods. Not sure this story is true or not but I’m sure I read it. Tiger hit it in the rough behind a tall tree. He was contemplating whether to try and go over it or just punch it back into the fairway.

“What would you do?” Tiger asked, hoping to get advice from the great Arnold Palmer.

“Well,” Arnie said, “in my day I remember being in this same spot and I just hit it over that tree.”

Tiger took out a 7 iron and hit a towering shot but it caught the top of the tree and fell back into the rough.

Arnie laughed and said, “Of course, in my day, that tree was only three feet tall.”

I’ve hit my fair share of trees. I went to hit a bucket of balls the other day and the sign in the parking lot said the range was closed. Made sense. We’d had lots of rain.

tree

I texted this picture to my brother and he commented how great it was that the range had trees to aim for. I told him all that practice is why I was so good at hitting trees.

Yogi Berra famously pointed out that, “Baseball is 90% mental. The other half is physical.”

Golf is a great mental test.

You have to forget about stuff and move on and not get negative. You hit a bad shot. Then you get on the next tee and have to put it out of your mind.

You have to take responsibility for what you do. You can’t blame other people. It’s not a team sport. You can’t blame the ball. The thing is just sitting there minding its own business.

You can focus on the positive or the negative. Every round has a great shot and a whole bunch of “what could have beens.” It’s easy to focus on the, “If only” moments.

You have to have hope. No matter how many times you “quit forever” on the course, after a day or two, you want to get back out there again.

And, you never arrive. It’s the kind of game where you’re always striving to get better. There’s no perfect round.

Sounds a lot like life? I’ll let you sort that out. I have to go make a tee time for tomorrow.

Review of Superman v Batman

26 Mar

Bottom line at the top: Better than I thought after reading the reviews.

I’d rank it this way:

Overall score: 7/10

How to improve it? Make is shorter, funnier, and cut down the graphics a bit.

Plot: 7/10  Really very nice and good (to borrow a Seinfeld line). This time they handled the, “We’re afraid of what we can’t understand” plot line much better than the first movie. I was a bit confused by some of the dreamy parts and how people knew who people are. Not to give anything away.

Amy Adams: 10/10

Popcorn: 10/10

3D: 5/10    I love 3D and this was okay but there could have been a lot more popping out at me with all the CGI. Except for a few leaves falling at the beginning, nothing really jumped out at me. Missed opportunity.

Gal and Holly 10/10  Good to see Holly Hunter get a nice role. Looking forward to more Wonder Woman.

A bit of trivia: Wonder Woman was created by William Moulton Marston who also created the DISC personality information currently owned by the Wiley publishing corporation. And, he is said to have created the first lie detector. Think of what happens when Wonder Woman throws her lasso around someone.

Ben as Batman 8/10   Very brooding.

Henry as Clark/Superman 7/10

It’s not Henry’s fault. He’s a fine Superman –  but where is the CHARM of the mild mannered reporter Clark Kent?

Lex Luthor: 8/10 – C’mon! He was the only one who acted like he was having any fun. The actor has been slammed in reviews for playing it too over the top or making it too similar to some of his other roles. I thought he was refreshing and showed a little personality that was completely missing in the way-too-serious faces of every other character.

Having to watch the death of Bruce Wayne’s parents over again: 2/10 Seriously? Enough is enough.

Jeremy Irons as Alfred: 7/10

Ending: 8/10  Going in, I didn’t know the ending. I was actually surprised. Don’t tell me they’re going to make a sequel?!

Visuals: 8/10

Humor: 5/10

Length: 5/10 No need to make this over two hours long. Lots of parts could have been shortened. Just not any of the scenes with Amy Adams or Wonder Woman.

CGI:  5/10 – fantastic graphics but just too much, too over the top if that makes sense. For instance, why is Wonder Woman’s lasso now a CGI sizzling power cord like Mickey Rourke’s character Ivan Vanko’s electronic whips in Monaco in Iron Man 2? Oh, for a simpler time.

 

 

How to manually calculate your own job match

21 Mar

Having helped companies hire for 16 years, worked with occupational assessments for 14 years, and with the honor of having over 10,000 companies attend management seminars I’ve taught all over the country, I’ve noticed that a lot of people are unhappy in their jobs.

It didn’t take a rocket scientist to come to that conclusion. But, I have come up with a way for you to manually calculate your own job match percentage!

Add up your score in these five areas and you’ll get a job match percentage ranging from 25 – 95.

Then, tweet me your job match percentage @michaelderrick

1. Competence – 19 points available

19 points – you are challenged by what you do and excited to go to work each day

15 points – you like what you do

10 points – you are either bored OR you are overwhelmed

5 points – you have no idea what you are doing OR can’t stand doing it

 

2. Culture – 19 points available

19 points – you really like how people act toward one another and feel completely comfortable at work

15 points – you generally agree with how people are treated

10 points – you struggle sometimes with how people react to each other and it makes you uncomfortable at times

5 points – management sucks and people hate working there

 

3. Thinking Style – 19 points available 

Presume a thinking style range of one to ten where ten is a brain surgeon and 1 means someone is as dumb as a rock.  

19 points – your thinking style is in the range for what the job requires

15 points – you’re usually okay but once in a while the work is way too easy or hard

10 points – you are often bored because your assignments are too easy for you OR you are overwhelmed by your assignments

5 points – you walk around worried people will find out you have no clue about what you’re doing OR if you wanted, you could get your work done in the first hour and do online shopping the rest of the day.

 

4. Behavioral Traits – 19 points available

This is talking about qualities like energy, assertiveness, manageability

19 points – you have just the right amount of management, independence and work flow

15 points – sometimes you get too much managment OR too little management. Sometimes you are given too much work OR sometimes you are not given enough work

10 points – you spend a lot of time at work and at home thinking about how things at work could be better. You can’t wait to gossip about how bad things are.

5 points – you spend a lot of your free time looking for a new job.

 

5. Occupational Interests – 19 points available

There are six categories of interest: Enterprising (sales and such), Mechanical/Industrial, Financial/administrative, technical (computers and such), People service, and Creative

19 points – you are consumed with your current project and excited about working on it

15 points – you find the work interesting

10 points – your mind wanders at work a lot and you wish you were doing what someone else on the team was doing

5 points – you lay in bed realizing life is slipping away fast and you dream of doing something rewarding and challenging

 

That’s it!

Add up your points in each of these five categories.

80 – 95  You have a good job match. Harvard Review did research and concluded that job match is the number one factor is long term success at a job. Congratulations!

65-79  There’s good days and bad days. Maybe the same job at a different company would be something to look at.

45-64 There’s a strong possibility that you need to find something else to do. Find the intersection of these three: something you like, something you’re good at, and something you can make money at. Because whatever you’re doing now isn’t it.

25-44 You might want to consider buying more lottery tickets because work is not going well for you. Consider some serious life changes!

 

Books coming out soon!

3 Mar

Well, I’ve been very negligent in writing posts for this blog. But, I HAVE been doing a lot of writing.

I did 70 speaking events last year which took my fingers away from the keyboard. But, now I can announce…..coming out soon are four novels! Woo hoo!

There is a trilogy called Copper Green. Book one is out on Kindle and Smashwords, book two coming out in a few weeks and book three is done and being edited.

Copper Green is the code name for a secret prison in Afghanistan. The American government denies its existence.

One of the two main characters is a philanthropist who is a clever terrorist. She’s a wealthy Saudi princess who moved to America and is teaching political science at an Ivy League college under an assumed identity.

She takes a sabbatical, steps back into her Saudi Princess high heels and travels the world giving money to good causes while planning the most devastating and creative terrorist attack the United States has ever seen.

The other main character is a college drop out. She takes a part time job as an FBI messenger.These two strong women become unlikely adversaries.

It’s a simple but involved plot with lots of twists and turns and more twists and a little sci-fi and some humor and sex and violence and all the stuff you’d expect. Fun, entertaining reading and a way to do a terrorist attack that you would never expect and hopefully no one will ever really do in real life.

The fourth book is a political satire that I’m very proud of at this point. It’s done but I’m not finished with my preliminary editing.

More on all of this soon. A website on the books is under construction.

Thanks!