The Huddle

Excellence: the art of unscrewing

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I’m long overdue for a blog!  Life happens and it’s tough to get back in the blogging saddle.  I suppose there was a little writer’s cramp in there too, but I’m not going to post something just for the sake of posting something.  I need to be inspired, which hopefully will inspire others to read.

ON-3  is becoming a real adventure.  There is so much to do and so many hats to wear.  Part of me wants to be on a beach somewhere but the majority of me loves the challenge of starting this new business.  It is truly a roller coaster and I can’t tell you how important it is to have a business partner who shares ideals, philosophies and drive.  It’s also important to have a partnership where all members are willing to do what it takes to strive for excellence.

Excellence is not achieved on the first iteration.  It’s about repetition and making adjustments.  Striving for excellence is not for the faint of heart because it is frustrating to work hard on an idea or task to only find that it needs to be tweaked, redone or totally canned.

I am building a screened-in porch which is basically an addition to my house.  My wife doesn’t understand why it is taking forever.  Aside from the fact that I am fitting it in between all my other responsibilities, what my wife doesn’t understand is that I am striving for excellence.  I use screws in my construction because I have to “unscrew” a lot.  There are many in the construction business that can achieve excellence without so much unscrewing.  But, it’s like the saying “professionals make it look easy.”  They make it look easy because they have already done their fair share of unscrewing.

Those who don’t unscrew (and re-screw) are just completing the task; they aren’t really interested in achieving excellence or doing the job right.  So don’t be afraid to “unscrew”.  Excellence will be the result!

Recruiting: More than just pitching a job

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I had a conversation with an ON-3 profit partner the other day and, while discussing recruiting philosophies, she suggested that I look up a guy named Scott Love.  Scott has an attorney search firm and is also recognized as an expert in recruiting.  His Great Recruiter Training website offers both freebies and products that come with a price tag.  Overall, the site is a decent resource for recruiters.  There is a good interview of Scott on YouTube  and he makes several observations that are worth sharing.

He first points out that our clients have become our #1 competitor because technology has given them access to the same candidates they would have paid us big bucks to find in the past.  So, in their attempt to find alternative methods of finding the unfindable, recruiters have turned to social media as the silver bullet.  But Scott believes that social media is nothing more than a “powerful distraction” and “time waster”, because it is replacing cold calling as a way to avoid rejection.  But busy exceptional passive candidates, the MVP’s or Most Valuable Professionals as we call them at ON-3, are not using social media to find jobs because, first and foremost, they’re not looking for a job – or at least they don’t know they are.  And technology makes it easy for them to just “hit the delete button” and avoid personal interaction themselves.

The best way to recruit exceptional people is, and always has been, through relationships, especially those that provide value.  Relationship building is accomplished through “frequency of contact” and social media should be used to build your brand and to add value; not as a substitute for personal interaction.

These are all great observations, but I found Scott’s philosophies on cold calling to be most interesting.  He has developed a cold calling model that is based on “interruption marketing” – that frequency of contact – and his methodology focuses on querying candidates on their situation and motivations before making a presentation.  By simply pitching a job immediately, without first understanding the candidate, you eliminate the opportunity to adjust the delivery of the job-at-hand, and you run the risk of losing candidates that may fit other jobs or who possess the qualities, attitude and mindset that define great candidates.

Start building relationships that put the emphasis on how you can help the candidate achieve their long-term career goals instead of filling your immediate needs.  This will set you apart from your competition and will transform you from recruiter to life coach, friend and colleague.

Word Clouds: Check Your Resume and LinkedIn Profile

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In internet years, Tag or Word Clouds have been around forever.  They are visual weighted lists, sort of like those silly maps of tourist locations that skew the size of restaurants and shops that are being highlighted.  Like everyone, I have seen many Word Clouds but I never gave them much thought.  That is, until someone suggested that I create a Word Cloud from my Curricula Vitae to get a gander at what recruiters see when they quickly browse it.

There are a ton of free Word Cloud generators and I used Wordle (  I also decided to use my LinkedIn profile as the dust on my resume would probably clog the generator wheels.  I was horrified by the following results:


Not only is this a poor representation of what I do, but the words that are prominent and appear most frequently are either meaningless or describe what I did 25 years ago!  I thought about the words that depict what I’m doing now and the mental image that I want people to take away from my profile.  I made some changes and the result is the Word Cloud at the top of this article.  Is it perfect?  No.  But it’s a lot better than the original.

Tweak yours and you may actually get some business or job offers!

Networking: focus on helping others

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My mom passed away in Texas two weeks ago.  It was sudden and unexpected.  She was 81 years old, but a very vibrant and energetic woman.  Besides the fact that she went quickly, there was one other blessing that came out of the ordeal; it was a reason for everyone who loved her to converge on one spot to celebrate her life.  I saw friends and relatives that I had not seen in years, and it was a joy catching up on everything missed over decades, in some cases.  But one of the most cherished conversations I had was with my son who, incidentally, lives within two miles of me.

My son is a smart young man – got his brains from his mother.  Graduated from UPenn with a degree in philosophy and is attending law school at American University this fall.  We were flying back to Pennsylvania from Love Field in Dallas and, while waiting on our flight, got into a deep discussion regarding networking.  I won’t give you a blow-by-blow but it was passionate and heated at times.  Suffice it to say that my son has always felt that networking, the way most people approach it, is immoral.  In fact, he was apprehensive about attending an Ivy League school because he felt that most people attending were pretentious and only interested in beefing up their resumes or “networking.” I tried convincing him that attending a school like Penn or Princeton – he actually had offers from both – would “open doors.”  He was totally put off by the thought.  After a long argument it boiled down to this:  he is okay with networking as long as it is under the auspices of trying to help others.  In other words, go into networking, not with the mindset of how someone can help you but how you can help them.

What a novel idea.

In my heart, I know that I have always attended networking functions with the idea that I might help others as well as myself.  But, admittedly, I have selected functions on the premise of how it might help me.  I know this is simple and perhaps obvious, but I really feel that I have had an epiphany.  From now on, my goal is to seek out networking events where I can have the greatest impact on others.  It’s the moral thing to do.

See son, old dogs can learn new tricks!

ON-3 Profit Distribution Model (PDM)

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We just completed putting the final touches on our Profit Distribution Model which is designed to distribute profits fairly to everyone in operations, sales and delivery who are in a successful client experience.  Individuals can make as much as 64% of gross margin with our plan!  You will also receive your share of profit distributions indefinitely and even if you end your relationship with ON-3.

Contact us today if you are interested in selling or recruiting for ON-3 and we will cover the model in detail with you.