People. Process. Service.
People. Process. Service.

Episode 15 · 2 months ago

S2E1: After a 2.5 year hiatus, the team is back! Part 1 of 2

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Co-hosts Bill Kasko and Tyler Kern are joined with guests David Cerami & Mike Cook as they kick off People Process Service for a brand new season. Part 1 of a 2-part conversaion.

No matter. The industry leaders need to hold these things. Dear. Who we serve, how we serve, Why we serve. This is people process service, A frontline source group podcast. All right, cool, we I'll just get it started. We'll dive in and it'll be organic. We'll have a good time. So you say that we're gonna have a good still under debate, it's been two and a half years, let's just start. It's been two and a half years since we were able to sit down the last time we sat down and had a conversation. So first, great to see you, and I wouldn't do this again without you. So, I mean the wonderful part about having these these podcasts and informational uh interviews we've all been listening to the last two and a half years, through these ups and downs everything it's a lot about nothing sometimes and then as you sit down and you pull out all the different pieces that are so cool. So I'm excited to get back into this and I'm really excited Tyler, you're gonna be joining us. And and so today we have two additional guests that are joining in with us. Yeah, today we are thrilled to have on the podcast. David surround me and Mike Cook. Hello, Hello, guys, welcome, Thank you, thank you. How do you feel about doing a podcast just before we dive into anything else? You know, Oh, it's exciting, never acting a little bit, just the unknown and knowing that they're recording this. There's something, there's something weird that happens when the red light goes on a little bit. A little bit years ago, we did a radio show and care L d back in eight two tho eight two thousand nine, and we had Dave on one time, and I'll never forget how scared he was going on absolutely the radio. You don't even remember what we talked about. We were finished, and I'm like, what did I say? Yeah, I don't even know what I said. You were only concerned that we're gonna drop the F bomb during the whole conversation. This is better because if you want to drop glahead, it's okay. Yeah, we can edit it out of a different time. I survived being on television and a red polyester store director jacket, So there's nothing to this. You know, it sounds really creepy when you say like that. People don't know, but you were so So Mike comes from the grocery background, grocery industry, and where was a man at store manager And one of those, one of the items in the of your attire every day was this red polyester jacket. And I know you miss it absolutely Wait, you had to, You had to earn. It was an honor to receive in a pleasure to give a way that like wasn't your green jet like master, it wasn't the same level, yes, okay, not the same color. You were happy to give it back, absolutely, right. So Dave comes from the legal has more of a legal background, whereas Mike comes from the retail side of things. But really the podcast, you know, has always focused on people, process and service, right, And we have to start like we do with every podcast, but in this podcast especially, we start off with the people aspect of this because these are relationships to go back decades at this point, right, absolutely. I mean, it's it's funny how people come together over time. So Dave and I started. I started in the staffing industry and Robert Half International and met Dave there and in twenty years we've built that relationship and friendship and partnership and been through ups and downs together and recessions and pandemics, and so many different things over that time, and it really goes back to focus on about the people. And so today having him in here there, there's really that reason behind it because it is about the people around you over those years and so many times during our podcast before we discussed the people around you that make you successful...

...or help you or pick you up, or maybe who sucked the life out of you and you have to get away from whatever movie. But it's always been about the people. And so Dave and the story for Dave, I think is very interesting because when you talk about and look at the people that around you, I'm a different person because of knowing Dave and and and that to me today to work with him and to be together like this is fantastic. Now. The the other side with Mike is really fantastic also, but scary because we go back to being seventeen sixteen, seventeen, eighteen years old and sacking groceries at a grocery store, and and you have a history that started at that point that many years ago. I left and Mike uh I drank the coool aid and stayed for thirty six years. Had to get that red polyester jack he did he wanted to. I just was more into that, you know, Miami vice. Looking back then we need to get like some seventeen year old Bill Castco stories at some point, but that might be its own joined the company. I had to sign documentation that those would not be brought done. But it's it's interesting how thirty five years later that relationship is still there. I feel like we never missed a beat, and I know today we're so lucky to have him to be a part of our organization, but I'm also very lucky to have him as a friend. And it's not just these people you meet in the past and when they come back. It's very interesting when you look at the way it was then to the way it is now and what a difference it makes. But also there are a lot of things that I've I've forgotten over the years and when we've told some great stories and had some great laughs about things, but we've also been able to share a lot of memories and share a lot of common common areas that today make a difference to us, both both in our professional life along with our our personal life. And so having Mike involved in in his story about where he has gone and and those those three pillars, not just the people, but the process and the service of what you've ended up at, I think are really incredible stories. And I think that as we go forward with the podcast and start bringing in the guests and people that they know, like we've done in the past, they're so interesting when you start talking about things that have that. We're not talking about employment or what we do, but it's the people that helped us to get to where we're at, or that we surround ourselves with every day that really make a difference. And that's been that to me was what was so much fun. And I've missed that over the last two years. Yeah, I have as well. And you know, one of the things that I've thought a lot about recently is that idea of community and building community being such an important thing. Whether it's the people that you work with, are the people that you associate with outside of work and that sort of thing. We're kind of blending those worlds here together. But the importance of community in our lives and our work and and everything we do, I think is uh. It's something that was really driven home to me over the last two and a half years. I think just as all of a sudden, it became harder and it wasn't just as baked in as it always had been in my life to actually have to go and seek those sorts of things out. It now feels good to kind of be in a room together and to kind of feel that community aspect that you have when you sit down and have conversations like, well, I've thought about three years ago discussing the people process service and and people going huh. And then now today when we have discussions or talk about it, people are like, WHOA, that really makes sense. It's as if over the last two and a few years we went back to look at the way we live our life. How do we go day by day? What are we giving back? What are we doing it? So much has changed that to me. This has really become a focal point of a conversation that I think is going to be very well taken as we go forward. And having these two gentlemen join us is going to add a lot because of the people they know and the people are...

...gonna be able to bring first to have a discussion and I really think raised the lawr Yeah, yeah, absolutely, I think this is going to certainly elevate future episodes for sure. So Dave, let's talk about people from from your perspective. When we say people process service and we focus on that initial people aspect, what does that mean to you? Well, you know, and knowing Bill and Shelley, who was one of the first people Bill hired, I've always kind of known them from you know, afar as they say, you know, we're in the same line of business. Were competitors to an extent. His business model was totally different than mine, but I always admired what he was doing and I always liked him. And when I was even at Robert Half, I remember and all these people that were in the building when I met Bill, I saw that he approached the business the same way I did. He cared. He cared about both sides of the business, from the client perspective and from the candidate perspective, which not everyone always does. They tend to lean towards where's the money coming from? And to be honest with you, the client, I mean the Robert Half, they kind of they kind of value the client more so. When I would have jobs or clients that had an I t V, which is what Bill specialized in. I knew he approached the business the same way. His customer service skills just just from start to finish with both the candidates side and the client side. So over the years he's always kept that. He's always that's been one of the first things he instituted, and when he would hire somebody, the people and he he made sure that their customer service was to the nth degree. And I think that's one of the reasons why Mike fits in so well, because coming from the background he does in the grocery business, and you have to have great customer service skills. I mean period, you have to otherwise. I mean the stories that he tells me, all of them are based around customer service and getting to know your your clients and getting to know them personally and develop a relationship with them. So when I decided to, you know, Bill had been talking to me for a long time about doing something with Frontline, and I had some things going on. I wasn't happy with what I was doing running my own business, and by that time I had scaled it back. It really was just me. I was miserable, and he completely sensed that he was trying to throw me. I mean, he could throw me like forty life you know, preservers out there, and I was just not smart enough to see them. And then finally he said, just come talk to me. So I went and talked to him, and uh, it just made sense. And I got to, you know, talk with Sharry and Shelley again and and some of the people I had met previously over the years. And then it just felt good, if that makes sense. It just felt good being in there with everybody from for a lot of reasons, and more probably for me at the time, it was more personal why. I just needed to be part of something. And and to this day I said it is. He threw me a life reserver and I love it. I mean, I I keep telling him, I'm having so much fun. It's ridiculous doing what I do. And it's a large part of it is from the people. I didn't know Mike at all, but he's got a lot of similarities and to Bill and I and to Shelly and Sharing and everybody and how they treat people and just as a person. So I resonated with all of them and it is very much communal to a degree, and uh, that's what kind of makes the frontline so great in my opinion. Um, that's why I come there every day. I mean, he gives us all the time, but we can work from home and do this and that. But it's I enjoy it, enjoy it and it it. It fills my cup, as my wife always says. It fills that part of me up and I need it. I love it, so I keep doing it. I love it. It's fantastic to you. Thank you, Mike. Talk to this about something. You know. The grocery business is a people business and they just have them selves food. And I was so used to the people's side of of the business world, you know. And Bill came to me after all these years and talk to me...

...about this opportunity. It's in the height of COVID and I thought, you know why not. So Bill allowed me to come spend the day or half a day, ended up being almost the whole day at front Life, and I got to see a a family in this environment, in this office everything that I had heard of a staffing agency, you know, could be very competitive. Everybody celebrates each other's victories. You know, there's not one person that's on island. You're there, You're a family. We we have our highs and the lows, we come together and figure out a resolution. And to me, starting over after thirty six years in a in a brand new career, I need that. So, you know, I I appreciate Bill and David and and Shelley and the whole old team for you know, given time in a in a very fast paced business. To me, you know, I never feel that I am an inconvenience or a burden. You know, it's part of it. And that people side, you know, is critical. And and Bill taught me, you know, back when we were young about the service piece and and Bill and I were assistant store managers together and I was the junior, and I looked up to Bill, and I watched how he interacted with people and his work ethic. And like I said, when when he came to me and we visited about this opportunity, the easy answer would have been, let me think about it. No, I don't. I don't know, it's too risky. But I believed in Bill then. I believe in him now. Everything that that he his values then have carried over into his leadership style. And it's been one heck of a ride so far. When you think about it's very kind and not getting as when you think back about the people that you were around, and we knew and I've had this conversation one of our, one of our I call him a mentor. And I was in the grocery business for like eight years, so I think it was, I mean it was eight years, and and they were wonderful to me. And we had a mentor that stood out to both of us. And his name was Ronnie Horton, and he was the at the time I was there, the district manager and we worked for Brickshire Grocery Company out of Tyler, Texas. And you really took me under his wing. And and I feel today there's been many times when when things will come up or I'm somewhere presenting or meeting with people, whatever it may be, that something will it just resonates still going back to that day and do it this way, to make sure you don't forget this, to do that and and and Mr Horton had passed away a few years ago. It's actually now I'm thinking about's almost twenty years ago. And so when Mike and I reconnected, that was something that we both had in common that both meant so much to us. He met so he met just unbelievable amount that Mike suggested we do something in memory. No one had ever done anything. This guy had been with this company for years and years, no one had ever done anything, and his memory, yet the man had such an impact. So Mike's going through ideas. We're talking about things, and we're a member of the National Grocer Association and we find out that they have a scholarship program. And I am not going to say it took ten seconds, if it took only three before Mike said a couple of words out of his mouth about a scholarship deal they had, and I said done, and and we created the...

Ronnie Horton Legacy Scholarship that we do to give away to young people in the grocery industry to help pay for college every year, and in his name. And it wasn't somebody telling us to do it. There wasn't anybody breathing down our neck and begging for money from us. It was something that we were both compelled to do because of a person that the people that got us to where we were. And to me, that is something that we haven't even really promoted that and the way we probably should uh In fact, we've probably downplayed it more than anything. We've just written the check and made sure people are taken care of. But I'll never forget going to have lunch with Nancy Horton and Matt the son and and his Mr. Horton's wife and and telling them what we wanted to do. And that was the moment that we knew. I knew that this was this was a match because they were beyond belief thrilled number one. But then when we heard the stories from them about how much he cared but never really told us, because he's usually yelling at us that it really moved us, which goes back to that people part of it, and and that is where you forget. You forget those little things in the past. And one of the things we've tried to do, both with the grocery side, both with with Dave and some some things that we do with Dave's family is to not to make sure we don't forget about that. And it's not asking anybody to I don't want anybody to tell us thank you. It's not we're never asking for that. It's because it had an impact on us. And that's what I think. Through COVID we've all been through, especially that we were really looked inside to recognize we don't say thank you enough, and we don't tell those people in our life thank you enough. And we're not looking for that, but we recognized we don't say it enough, and and that's something to me that's been really interesting to kind of go through well. And it's also interesting hearing I'll tell this story, just the idea that this man had such an impact on the two of you, and it's probably why you guys are here in this room at the same time together, right, is that relationship, the foundation of that relationship that was built during that time. And it's always just interesting to think about the different threads that kind of run through our lives that connect us to different people and then change us as people, and change the opportunities that you have, and and all of those sorts of things that I always find that fascinating and sometimes downplay in my own mind, the impact that we can have on one another, and how you know, simple acts of kindness or thankfulness and just different things like that really do change the course of not just our lives, but the lives of plenty of other people. Because now anybody impacted by the relationship that you guys have in this room, you know, contrace it back to Ronnie Horton, which is incredible. Right, One of the great aspects of this whole venture was learning how much he took individuals, so many more than we knew. He was not wanted to be boastful, and in fact, he was from East Texas and very short in his messages to you, but you know, one of which was, you know, to do right. It's not always easy. I think he said it ain't easy, but but nonetheless, you know, it was it was the simple messages. But as we went through this process and we're speaking with people, you know Mr Horton helped me with this or Mr Horton was instrumental in this, and and it just it really revitalized his name, his legacy in a time, like Bill said, you know, twenty years since his passing. So that was that was wonderful. But one other thing that that came out during Mike story and kind of what he was talking about, was that you brought him in the height of the pandemic. You know more about the hiring industry than than I do, and what was going on during that time. But in my in my mind, I don't think Bill was one of like five people in America actually...

...hiring people during the pandemic. We did well. We we were we were sticking to our plan, as it says in our wall and that you know, our company was built on the idea of the Castanza theory, that it's the George Costanza from Seinfeld that we do the exact opposite. And what a better time than to to actually roll out what we wanted to roll forward with and and part of that really started with bringing Date on board and when Dave came and joined us. You know, the the idea and thought behind that again goes back to when when I started in the industry, I knew absolutely nothing about it, but I had the core and now looking back, I had the core fundamentals that were instilled and it and it was I knew it was about the people. I had to have a process of how I was going to run working in this business and I had to give a service. While I knew I understood the people part, I was sure with that. I wasn't concerned about that. I knew how to give the service that that that's okay, I mean, it's gonna be a little different, but I got it. I didn't understand the freaking process at all because I didn't even understand what really a recruiter was. And and I remember that in in the in the location and the or the company we were with, they were very segmented in in the different lines of business that you were selling. And it was almost as if at that time, which may be different now, as a disclaimer, I don't know that they fought against each other and if you could figure out how to do something for one of the other industry lines of business, but maybe not tell them, um, we don't like that. And I'm doing that in quotes, but hey, it's you're building it out. We don't really care. And I always felt like that was just wrong to do it that way, and Dave had the same feeling. Very dog eat dog. It was. There was no communal I will excuse it, very little communal community. We found each other and it was it is a vast sea of of of not not good. You easily would be lost, yes, And I was lucky enough to to be able to to to find him or to have that relationship that was starting. We had a few a group that understood and and and really allowed me to explore working with his clients, and that trust was built. Well, that was that that people part. I had to understand the process. I'd understand how they operated, but we were able to build that rapport and I mean, we've got we've got great story stories I can't ever tell again. Well, I knew he wasn't going to damage my relationship with my client because of that dog eat dog. I mean they would go there and I had some other lines of business that not I t they would scorched the earth my client. And then my client would call me and like, dude, what are you doing? Who is who is this guy? And why did you send him my way? So I quickly learned I had to go be pretty selective. And I remember meeting him. I was like, Oh, he's normal, just a normal guy. You know, he's funny. He knew what he was talking about. You know, I knew that my clients. Knowing my clients, I knew they were going to instantly like it. And in our business, you know, with any sales business, if they like you, you're in. You know, as long as you can provide what what you say, you're gonna do and he did, and they loved him, and I think he did pretty well. But some of them we did well. But that was part of the people part was absolutely And then when you look at the individuals that we met during that time and so many in and we brought this up not too long ago that there were a group of us that all started really about the same time and and still a handful that have become extremely successful. I mean just one little group, one little office. As one is like the president of a publicly traded agency. Yeah, he started the same day I started. Apparently I should have been right behind him. Another one she is...

...a like senior senior vice president of a very large public which I mean really high up in her role billions billions of dollar company. Fantastic and all very normal people who all approached their business just like us. We all got along and it it is pretty impressive. And we started listening to them one day and he's like, what about so and so? And I was like, kind of forgot about her. And then you know, even Eric Peters with his Tabasco tie that we all made fun of for so long, and they're just doing well. And it's funny. Of of our group to see. I think it's there's obvious connection of why they were so successful. Uh, it lends itself. Like you said, to the People Process Service, it's just something you don't think about. You've been listening to part one of a two part series here on people Process Service. Join us on the next episode as we continue this conversation. You've been listening to People Process Service Frontline Source Group podcast. Remember to subscribe to this podcast on iTunes or wherever you like to get your podcasts. For more information, visit Frontline source group dot com.

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