My name is Mark Wayman, and for the last 18 years I have owned an Executive Recruiting company in Las Vegas focused on the gaming/casino and high tech industries. Placed 1,000+ executives from $100,000 base salary to $1,000,000. The business funds my true passion: Charity and Community. A portion of each placement is donated to a dozen national and local charities. To whom much is given…much is required.
Disclaimer #1: Only Represent Candidates I Know Personally or by Referral – My clients expect me to personally vouch for each and every candidate, and I can’t do that with people I don’t know and have never met. No disrespect intended.
Disclaimer #2: I’m Not Here to Judge, That’s God’s Job – My only purpose is to provide career guidance based on my many years of experience. Hopefully it helps a few people.
Disclaimer #3: Why I Love America – We can agree to disagree and still be friends! I welcome all opinions and viewpoints provided they are professional and respectful. Trolls will be deleted and blocked. This is not Twitter.
Executive Recruiting Rule Number One – “Executive Recruiters get people for jobs…NOT jobs for people.” As the Owner of an executive recruiting firm, I don’t get a salary or vacation or PTO or paid health insurance. If I don’t get people placed…I don’t eat. Executive Recruiters are laser focused on filling their open jobs.
Executive Recruiting Rule Number Two – “The wrong time to meet an Executive Recruiter is when you are unemployed.” Again, Executive Recruiters focus on filling their open roles, and it’s much easier to get a job when you are gainfully employed. If you don’t have one or two solid relationships with a top Recruiter, ping your professional network for referrals. Do it now, not when you are unemployed.
Today’s topic is dealing with people that did you wrong. There is just no getting around it; occasionally someone is going to stick it to you. Fortunately, most people in this world have good hearts, morals and ethics, and follow the Golden Rule. But not everyone. Let’s start with three stories:
- Where is Your Guy? – I placed a Vice President many years ago $250,000. On his start date I get a call from HR, “Where is your guy?” My response, “What? He is not with you? He was supposed to start today. So I call this knucklehead and he says, “I got a better offer from the Venetian, so took that job instead.” He never told the hiring company. He never told me. Unbelievable! I know what you are thinking, “Godfather, you are just mad because you lost the commission.” No, I’m mad because it was humiliating and makes me look incompetent to the client. I care far more about my reputation than any commission.
- She Don’t Owe You a Favor! – I remember the first time I placed an executive that did not bother to say thank you. It was a CIO for $350,000. Best job of her life…by far. She got to her new employer and literally forgot my name. So I’m telling a friend this story one morning and he says, “Did you get paid?” Well, yes. “She, don’t owe you any favors.” Just had it happen again recently with a VP, Human Resources. Placed her in the best job of her life; now she does not respond to my messages. Maybe I was just born 20 years too late. Back in the 60s and 70s Las Vegas was run on loyalty. Your word meant something. People took care of each other. These days it feels more transactional.
- When it’s a Personal Friend…it Hurts – I won’t lie, when someone I consider a personal friend does me wrong, it knocks me off my game for a day or two. There are the REALLY tough ones. The acquaintances I don’t much care about, but when it’s someone I built a relationship with for 20 years, it’s very personal. Because that means they were only in it for the transaction. They are only in it for what I can do for them. Loyalty is a two way street. I can’t tell you how many times I have an executive interview for a President role (when they are unemployed!), but then when they find a job I never hear from them again. In a word: disappointing.
These are just three examples. As an Executive Recruiter, I get screwed over on a regular basis. Clients that give me an executive search, then waste weeks of my time and never hire anyone. Candidates that lack integrity and lie about everything from education to title to compensation. So how do I deal with these situations? Here are a few of my strategies.
- Don’t Let People Steal Your Joy – Think the people that did you wrong are obsessing about you? Oh, hell no! As one terminated CEO told me, “Godfather, they forgot my name the day I walked out the door.” When you leave a company, let it go and move on. The world is full of bitter, angry people. Look at all the road rage. My wife was out walking one day and a guy tried to kick our dog! There are many people on a hard journey. They are unemployed. They have COVID. They have financial hardship. If you are healthy…you are blessed. If you are gainfully employed…you are blessed. God, family and friends – everything else in life is a bonus.
- Focus on the People that WANT to Be on Your Bus – Not everyone is going to like you. There is a long line of Mark Wayman haters. The line starts at the door and goes around the block. Why? Because I would not get them a job or invest in their cooking show or send free Cirque tickets or introduce them to a CEO. So they run around town, “Mark Wayman is a jerk! Mark Wayman is not a Christian because he would not help me.” Here is a great story to emphasize the point. There was an entertainment executive that used to attend my parties, but he was a bit creepy and continually hitting on the women executives. So I 86ed him. Recently he wrote a book and dedicated an entire chapter to trashing me because I would no longer allow him at the parties. The best advice I can give actually came from an A.A meeting, “I was able to stop drinking the day I discovered I don’t give a fat rat’s ass what you have to say about me.” I’m five years sober, but I could start drinking again tomorrow if I worried about what people say. Always remember this: When someone speaks poorly of you, it says nothing about you…and everything about them.
- Karma is the Most Ruthless Gangster – Remember the guy I told you about that did not show up for work on day one? Five years later he sent me his resume. Seems he was terminated at the Venetian. I responded, “You must have sent this resume to the wrong person, because you are not someone I would represent. We’ll be rooting for you!” That was in 2018 – he remains unemployed to this day. I could tell you a dozen stories about candidates that accepted counter-offers and were terminated six to twelve months later. They only gave you that counter-offer to allow time to find your replacement! Not everyone that treats you poorly will “get theirs”, but what goes around has a tendency to come around. As my Dad used to say, “They will get what’s coming to them; no need for you to help.”
- If You Seek Revenge, Dig Two Holes – Sure, getting revenge makes your ego feel better, but all that obsessing and stress will age you. And make you drink or do drugs. Over the last 18 years I have only been stiffed twice by clients. In both cases I had an audit trail and could have litigated to receive payment. But I didn’t. I don’t want litigation to be my legacy, and to this day I can say, “I have never sued anyone and no one has ever sued me.” Now I won’t lie, I did recruit away a dozen of their best executives.
- Not Everyone is an A**hole – Although some days it feels like it. Remember the guy I placed that was a no show on day one? Well, by God’s grace I had another candidate. She accepted the job offer and was highly successful. So successful that she is now the CEO of a large company. This executive never forgot that I helped her during a tough time, and has shown incredible loyalty to me over the years. More importantly, I consider her a personal friend. Not everyone is an a** hole.
- Never Forget What Mother Teresa Said – I print this poem every month in my newsletter. Here is a portion: “People are often unreasonable, illogical and self-centered; forgive them anyway. The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow; do good anyway. You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God; it was never between you and them anyway.” Truer words were never spoken. You can’t fix people – that is God’s job.
- Let Go and Let God! – This…is my secret weapon. Prayer. When I start to get bitter or angry about a situation, I “let go and let God.” I literally lift it up to the Lord and pray for those individuals that have wronged me. If not for prayer…I would still be an alcoholic. It is a poor use of your time to obsess about people that don’t care about you. The Pandemic has drilled home the point that life is short. That family is everything. That before we rush back to things, we should consider what is worth rushing back to. That you are killing yourself for an employer that would replace you in a day if you died.