[cleaning out my Drafts and I’m surprised I never posted this – originally written December 2013]
This past Black Friday, I watched as Willie Geist interviewed WalMart US “President and CEO” William Simon and asked Bill (actually, Willie tried his best to “pin” Simon against that mythical media “inquisition” wall) questions pertaining to WalMart’s performance, the paying-a-higher-wage issue and future career plans.
From my vantage point, Willie sure seemed to bear his teeth at Bill, pressing him to disclose on public television if (a) he was annoyed at being passed over for the newly available global CEO spot, and (b) if he would raise minimum wages at WalMart. As Willie continued to press, Bill held to the corporate positions but in my opinion, did so in a far softer than the outgoing CEO ever did. Click here for the interview.
At 7:25 AM, right after the interview, I sent off this email to Bill – whom I don’t know – and shared with him my thoughts:
Subject: Your Today Show “interview” – Willie tried but you didn’t budge
1. You realize that you’re now the most recruitable CEO target in retail, right?
2. Willie sure doesn’t understand #1 nor does he likely know what succession planning means.
3. Paying above the 50th percentile is all you can ask for as an employee; garnering a higher wage is all about performance – not a Common Law right.
4. People are free to better themselves via a range of education and self-learning channels – leading to potentially higher salaries; Willie might not know this…
5. Good job on the interview – but you should have been firmer with Willie and emphasized #3 and #4. Honesty is a trait that is in short supply in business.
By the way, I know quite a few folks on your recruiting team – good people.
Best regards and revenues,
At 10:03 AM, I received a simple email back from Bill:
Thanks for the kind note.
My message here is not that I reached out to the WalMart US CEO but that I had something to say; rather than keep it between my ears, I elected to act upon it. What’s the worst thing that could have happened?
If you’re a jobseeker seeking to engage a hiring manager or a recruiter trying to engage a passive superstar, what do you notice from what I did?
A customized Subject line?
Some real understanding about your target’s hot buttons?
Statements that support your target’s point of view?
A few sincere platitudes?
Humor and Humanity?
As a jobseeker, would you write something like this? Why – or why not?