My monthly newsletter goes out to 6,000 friends, clients and business partners. You can’t “subscribe” to it or buy it. It’s my way of staying in touch with friends. For my clients, it’s a benefit of doing business with me. My way of saying thank you for their business and support. My day job is top Headhunter in the gaming industry, where I place about 50 top executives each year.
Each month I get a dozen wonderful emails thanking me for the newsletter, and for all the time I dedicate to creating and distributing it. Industry executives enjoy reading about the latest industry news and what’s going on with their peers. It’s a small world, and everybody knows everybody. Life is grand…except for that ONE GUY.
You know him, the guy that only calls you when he wants something. Never adds value; he is a taker. In my case, that ONE GUY has come to me multiple times for a job over the years. Because he has a new job every two years. The one time he actually gave me a search, he wasted 40 hours of my time, treated the candidates poorly, and never hired anyone. Could not get him to return a phone call or email.
So I made a business decision not to work with him. Not angry or bitter. Not judging or complaining. Moving on! As Joel Osteen states, “You only have so much emotional energy each day. Don’t fight battles that don’t matter.” It took that ONE GUY a year to figure out he was off the newsletter and off my client list, at which point he sent me a nasty email explaining how important he is. I chose not to respond. Some battles are just not worth fighting. Here are several lessons we can learn from that ONE GUY.
Always Get Back to People – My Daddy used to say, “Return all your calls and messages. It’s the professional, respectful and right thing to do.” I return every phone call and email (500+ per day), even if my answer is a simple, “no thank you.”
Never Burn Bridges – His hate mail may sooth his bruised ego, but why would you want to get sideways with the top Headhunter in your industry? Better to shake hands and part friends.
Focus on the People That WANT to be on Your Bus – Not everyone is going to like you or want to work with you. Focus on the people that WANT to be your friend, that want to be your client, that want to be on your bus. There are only so many hours in the day. Spend them with the right people.
The Golden Rule – The people you pass on the way up are the same ones you will pass on the way down. No matter how brilliant, talented and cool you THINK you are, the only thing people will remember…is how you treated them.