Neil Dudley: The Cowboy Perspective, well, it might be hard to define, but I guarantee if you think about it, you’ve got one in mind. Whether you’re building a legacy, an empire, or a fan base, I bet when your friends look at you, they see some cowboy in your face. Y’all come along, let’s talk about this or that. Maybe when we’re done, you’ll go away with another perspective to put under your hat.
Hey everybody out there in TCP Land, TCP Nation, TCP friends, thank you for listening. I’m really excited about this episode. Truth is this guy is huge, and his insight, his experience, what he does, if you’re looking for a job, if you’re looking for an executive level job, this would be a great guy to reach out to or at least try to get in touch with his company, Mr. Adam Posner. He has lived some really interesting experiences, worked for some interesting companies, and I was so appreciative of him spending some time here on the Cowboy Perspective, sharing his what I think is a Cowboy Perspective on a lot of different things. So really excited for you to hear it. Let’s do this thing.
Welcome to the Cowboy Perspective. I’m so glad you’re here. I’m super pumped up about this episode. I’ve got Mr. Adam Posner. This guy has been there, done that, and his story among his education, among his experience, all those things are going to be a piece of audio you want to listen to. Hey, we’re going to put this on YouTube, too. I’m waving to everybody out there on YouTube. Thanks for following. And I just want this conversation to be out there where anybody and everybody can hear Adam’s perspective and grow and learn from it. Adam, thank you so much for your time. I really appreciate you being here.
Adam Posner: Neil, thanks for having me, man. And hello to your audience. Anyone who I haven’t met, pleasure, and hopefully you’ll still like me at the end of this conversation.
Neil Dudley: Oh yeah, y’all go check out the POZCast. Adam does this in a big way with his own podcast, and I’m telling you, go check it out. I’ve listened to several of the episodes recently. He’s interviewed friends. He’s interviewed a gal named Gloria, which just happens to be the one I listened to today.
Adam Posner: Oh, you got the footnanny one.
Neil Dudley: That’s right. My gosh. But imagine, isn’t the world such our oyster? Like you could just make a living doing anything.
Adam Posner: She was in the right place at the right time, Neil. She was in Chicago, for anyone who’s hasn’t heard this episode, she’s the footnanny, she’s in Chicago. She was a pedicurist by trade, brought up that way, which is a whole crazy story, like the whole kind of art and science behind foot care which I never knew. I mean, I’m a real man and I go for one pedicure a year before the summer to get my feet nice in my flip flops. But I didn’t know anything about this. And she was in the right place at the right time, and she had an opportunity to do Oprah’s feet, and as you say, the rest is history.
Neil Dudley: It just illustrates jump on that, like be looking for your opportunity, you don’t know the day it might show up. So quickly, everybody– or tell the TCP nation who you are, where you came from. I think they can tell by the accent you’re going to be from a certain area of the country, but we’d love to hear that. And then we’re going to talk about just your thoughts on stuff.
Adam Posner: Yeah, absolutely. Born and raised New Yorker, something I take a ton, ton, ton of pride in. I love everything about New York, all the cliche stuff, whether it comes to we have the best pizza, bagels, coffee, like that’s what it’s all about here. But 15 years working in marketing, media, and advertising in digital media, social media, social media 1.0, like back in the MySpace days, did that for about 15 years, worked at some big companies like American Express, Sirius XM, satellite radio, a bunch of different ad agencies, out and about. And in 2014, I landed what I thought was the holy grail, my forever job over at VaynerMedia, working for the great Gary Vaynerchuk. And they brought me on board to run a couple of different accounts. And what happened was, long story, long as I like to say, Neil, the stars weren’t aligned. I did not do what they hired me to do. I was not the person, the man that I am now. And ultimately, I didn’t respond well in certain situations. And ultimately, I lost my job and I got fired. And as the story goes, the day I got fired, the HR department where the evil hench woman that did the dirty deed, so to speak, came in and dropped the hammer. But afterwards I spent about an hour plus hanging and talking with Gary, who I always had a great relationship with and still do now, and he said the most important words of advice to me. He said stop focusing on the things that you suck at and double down on your strengths. And honestly, man, I thought he was just blowing smoke up my ass to get me out the door. Like feel good, pat on the ass. Go get it, boy.
Neil Dudley: Bring the next one in here.
Adam Posner: Like line them up. And but no, we really dug into it. We unpacked it, and we really talked about what those strengths are and what the weaknesses are. And the strengths are this, what we’re doing here, communicating, building relationships, because that’s what I do well. And he’s like, listen, it wasn’t that people didn’t like you; it just wasn’t the right time, the right place. And unfortunately, that happens sometimes in people’s lives and career. But when I left there, let me rewind for a second. We’re talking about what else I could do. Because I said to him, I go straight up, Gary, I don’t know if I feel this in my heart anymore. I don’t know if I feel working in account management, digital marketing. I still kind of have like a little bit of a passion for it, but I don’t know, man. And what am I going to do? Am I going to go out and interview? How am I going to tell people I’ve been here seven months and I got fired? Like what’s the story there? Who’s going to want to hire me? And that was hard, man. Like 35 years old, we literally just bought a house in the burbs. We moved from the city out to the burbs, big price tag, mortgages, cars, all that kind of stuff. And I was like, shit, what am I going to do? And it really was a midlife crisis, so to speak. I mean, hopefully I live past 70, but career-wise, I was like what am I doing here, man? And he said to me, what else would you be doing if you weren’t doing this? And I was like, well, I got some buddies that do finance and healthcare recruiting. And before I could finish my sentence, Neil, and he said, dude, you’d be an amazing recruiter. And again, I thought he was blowing smoke up my ass to get me out the door. And I kind of went on my way, and I did the kind of cliche thing, man, this is a story I’ve told a couple of times. But I walked out and the heart- I’ve been let go a couple of times in my career before, and that’s a whole other thing to unpack, but I did the thing where I called my wife. And that’s the hardest thing for anybody to do, to call your spouse, your partner, people that are close to you and tell them the bad news. And she’s been down this road with me before. And the funny thing was, it was April 1st. It was April Fool’s Day. So, she thought I was kidding when I told her. And that’s why April 1st was kind of, I call it my V-Day. I call it V-Day; it is kind of my Independence Day, but it wasn’t always that for a number of years afterwards. But it was literally like, I don’t know, like 10:30 in the morning, and it was a kind of snowy April day. It was kind of gross and cold out. And she worked a few blocks down from me on Park Avenue, that’s the old Vayner offices. She was like just come over to my office, just come over here. And I said I got to make a stop. She’s like where are you going? I go I got to go to the bar. I got to have the cliche drink. And I rolled into this bar, this Irish pub that literally opens at like nine o’clock in the morning in New York. It’s great. People think New Orleans, I’m like, nah, New York, man, those bars are open at nine o’clock in the morning, don’t even think about it. And it was literally me and like the three drunks, like the three guys that are there. And I had that cliche. I had my bourbon, I poured- I got my bourbon. I sat at the end of the bar, head in my hands, saying fuck, like what’s next? And the rest is history, and my journey into the world of recruiting commenced, and yeah, as they say, all ends here. Did a couple of years working at some search agencies and then a little over four years ago, I said screw it, I’m done working for other people, and I launched NHP Talent Group.
Neil Dudley: And I probably just got to watching your content or paying attention to you in the last three months, but I’ve learned a ton, and I’m not in the talent, I’m not recruiting and that kind of thing. But the things you talk about, the people you talk to on your podcast, all of that stuff is still very valuable to me as a guy that’s trying to do a podcast himself, as also a guy that’s trying to be a good leader in business. So, I just appreciate you.
Adam Posner: Dude, and that’s what it’s all about. And thank you, man. Thank you. Because the whole reason I created the podcast was, and I genuinely sincerely mean this, is I have such an incredible network of people that I’ve met along the way. And I truly believe in not burning any bridges. I’ve only burned one bridge in my professional career because that shit had to be napalm. That thing needed to be scorched earth. That was the only way. Like the ships going down, well, you’re going down with it. Once. But think about it. The fact that I had Gary V on my show; I’ve had bosses, former bosses that have let me go that I’ve had weird relationships with – not weird, but I mean, like we parted ways.
Neil Dudley: It might seem weird to everybody else.
Adam Posner: Right. And I’ve had them on my show, and I just want to show everybody, so the purpose of the podcast is I created this canvas where I could showcase amazing folks in my network and unpack their career journeys and the learnings and the stories so other people like yourself, as you just said, could learn from them. And you know what, man, that light, when you shine it on others, it reflects back on you. And that’s what’s been happening.
Neil Dudley: Oh man, it’s such a blessing. I think my gift from God is making friends. I really think that. Like I don’t know that I’m good at much else, but I can make friends because I really like people. That’s just a gift I have.
Adam Posner: And you’re a likable guy.
Neil Dudley: And I want to leverage it. And the cowboy hat gets attention. It’s just this other thing, like you just walk into a room with a hat on, you’re going to be able to have a quick conversation starter. It’s just like, hey, what’s the hat, what’s that all about? I’m from Texas, I grew up on a ranch, and I was going to be a rancher. My whole life turned out I’m selling bacon and doing a podcast. So, then you just have a way to get to know somebody. I want to say everybody listening to that story of Adam’s, what I find really valuable is the exit interview, Gary Vaynerchuk, Gary V, I mean, high five to him, because that is hard. That’s a lot of time on a busy guy to actually grant. I don’t do that well. I don’t give exit interviews to people well.
Adam Posner: That was an hour of his time, man. And then here’s a little Dallas thing for you. I don’t know if you caught it. There’s a video I have about LinkedIn Talent Connect. It was the last big event I went to, 2019. Jeeze, doesn’t it feel like- 2019 literally feels like I’m saying 1975. 2019, Dallas, LinkedIn Talent Connect, Gary V’s a keynote speaker. Before he went up on stage, I met him in the green room area. We chatted, we connected. Next thing I know, he’s up on stage during the conference doing his keynote, and he calls out our story in front of 5,000 people in Dallas. And that’s just like, it goes to show you like it really meant something to him too, this guy who’s the biggest guy in social media right now, like what it means to him and he cares, genuinely cares about people. But here’s the thing, man, Gary V is not my whole story, it’s a chapter. So, the first couple of years, of course, I’m going to play that up because it’s a great story, but now it’s so much more.
Neil Dudley: Sure. Now, so let’s dive into that because I think there’s so much value in this question; it’s like the deep dive conversation starter I thought would be valuable from your insight because you’re in this labor market so deep, at least I perceive you are. So, let me just read it and then let’s see- So why is everyone I know having trouble hiring enough people and what would you recommend them doing to win the race back to full staff?
Adam Posner: Yeah, this is a complicated one. So, I think the first thing we need to do when we talk anything about the current market, a lot of this stuff you see on social media, LinkedIn, elsewhere, they’re big 30,000-foot kind of soundbite, click-baity kind of things, like the Great Resignation, which I, first of all, call the Great Migration. People have to resign, but they’re migrating, they’re moving careers and moving jobs. I think it’s a more accurate term. I think it’s also very important when we talk about job market, job search, job loss, job gain, we talk about it specific to industries, really important. Because if you think about it and break it down, the biggest losses in the job market during the year of the pandemic – hospitality, travel, tourism, restaurants, all those things crashed, nosedived. But what did not crash in fact, which went in the other direction, anything to do with digital marketing, e-commerce, online shopping through the roof. I hope your business went through the roof because people did not want to leave their house. They went online, they were accustomed to it. So, all those jobs, which I recruit for, kept going up and up. Now, let’s caveat that. March 2020 until about November 2020, even in direct-to-consumer marketing, things are relatively flat from the employee standpoint because people were unsure about the market. If they had a secure job, they were going to stay there. The people that wanted to look for new jobs, that was the hard part, man. Like how do you convince someone to leave a stable opportunity for something that may not be a guaranteed sure thing? So, there’s a lot of uncertainty, generally speaking, in the marketplace. You had people that were working from home. They had a great thing going. They loved it. They’re like finally I’m in a good spot. I finally got what I always wanted. Some people were trapped with their villains at home. Let’s think about that for a second. It’s kind of one of the things where everyone’s like, oh my God, I want to work from home forever. And all of a sudden, you’re working from home and maybe you don’t have good logistics. Maybe you don’t have good Wi-Fi. Maybe you live in the part in the country. I’m spoiled; I live in fricking suburban Long Island where I’ve got fricking a hundred zillion gig internet coming up the wazoo. But maybe you don’t, maybe you can’t afford it. Maybe you live in a small house with four kids and you’re a single parent, and now you’re trapped at home all day trying to figure out your kids, your work, getting shit done. Like so you really have to think about that there’s other sides of the coin here. So, it’s not black and white. It’s not down the middle. It’s not either this or that. But it’s crazy hard. And now you fast forward, we’re in 2021, hiring’s picking back up, and you hear really hard to fill all these open jobs. One reason is because a lot of people just started, and we’re talking specifically marketing media, which is my world that I could speak to as an expert. One, a lot of people changed jobs in the last six months. That means there’s not a lot of people that are going to want to change jobs again. Number two, the people that are out of work right now, I’m going to call it what it is, some of the people that are out of work, hard luck reasons, they’re not great at job searching, they’re not applying in the right spaces, in the right places. And then there’s another thing that no one really talks about – there’s some people that are not top performers, and there’s a reason why companies aren’t going to hire them. In life, you’re always going to have A, B, C, and D players. A players are taken, and B players are taken, C players are kind of on the fence. So, if you are a C or D player, let’s call it what is. You maybe want to reevaluate your career at this point if you’re going through interviews, or maybe you’re not great at interviewing
Neil Dudley: Ask yourself those questions.
Adam Posner: Right, like self-awareness. And that goes back to my thesis, man. Own your losses, own your shit. Take accountability. I knew that I sucked at certain aspects in what I was doing in account management, but I knew there were some great things at it. So, I said screw it, I’m not doing that anymore; I’m going to try something different. And I harnessed those strengths, which led me to be a good recruiter, which led me to be a good, successful small business owner. Awareness. Self-awareness, man. Look at yourself in the mirror and be like, shit, wait, there’s a pattern here. I’ve been fired from these last four jobs in a row. I’ve been let go because I didn’t do X, Y, and Z. So, I’m either going to fix it, have the self-awareness to like be able to course correct, or pivot and maybe go in a different direction.
Neil Dudley: Do you like the thing? Do you even like the thing? I think a lot of people get caught in this I got to do this because I know I can make money, I’ve already spent a lot of resources and time building a career in this. If you don’t like it, if you’re not waking up excited about what you’re doing, please stop, go find that thing you’re excited about. You can make a living doing that.
Adam Posner: I mean, cut your losses, man.
Neil Dudley: Okay. So, I’m kind of talking more from what I see, which is restaurants, manufacturing, that kind of thing. So, what I’m hearing is you probably don’t feel real- Do you feel like you can talk on that space? Like why is it do you think- is it, I’m going to call it line work or line cook work, just jobs that are more hourly rate, etc., does that feel like a harder to fill position?
Adam Posner: It’s a tough one for me to comment on because I’m not an expert, but if I’m going to make a kind of assumption there, I think that when there’s certain government programs out there that are paying people more money to not work than work, why would you? If the government’s paying me $15 an hour to sit at home and do nothing, why am I going to go out for $17 an hour and actually work? I mean, let’s just call it what it is.
Neil Dudley: Absolutely. Well, what are we going to do about that? Because these industries can’t recover without the human capital, the labor.
Adam Posner: There has to be like what’s going to be the impetus for change? What is it going to be? Is it going to be cutting back on those government programs? Is it going to be- I saw a thing today that there was a McDonald’s, I forgot where it was, it was paying 31 bucks an hour to start. $31 an hour is a $60,000 a year job in fast food. That is some good money. Get at it. If you don’t have the education and the skill set and everything, play that arbitrage. Now’s the time.
Neil Dudley: Absolutely. And then you can parlay that to bigger and better things. I think a lot-
Adam Posner: Management.
Neil Dudley: Absolutely. Don’t be afraid. Okay, so Cody, which is the president of Pederson’s, this bacon company, he showed up to report for a job he had been hired as a marketing director. They told him glad you showed up, but we changed your title to QA director; that’s what we need more than marketing. What did he do? Okay, sure. He just took it. And now he’s the president of this company. He got promoted to the president of the company in a year’s time. All he needed-
Adam Posner: Hard work, dedication, did what he had to do.
Neil Dudley: He just needed in the door. You just need to take that chance to do something.
Adam Posner: Yeah, that’s fascinating, man. But like there’s a difference. And I think that this is a tough one. I hate to make this assumption, but I see a lot out there where I just think work ethic, and I’m making a very general statement – there’s people obviously that work their asses off and reap the rewards out there – but I’ve seen a decline in work ethic, just generally speaking. People see, and I blame a lot of it on social media influencers, they see these people with the jets and the cars and the planes and the girls and partying and traveling and everything. And they think it’s an easy life and that’s what they want. YouTube influencers. I watched this little kid unpacked crap on YouTube. He’s not even entertaining. He’s not even funny. And he’s making zillions of dollars. So, what do you think parents are doing? They’re trying to videotape their kids doing everything to capitalize on that easy money. That kid just got lucky, man. There’s no skill there. And that’s changing in society. And I think it’s really causing a downturn in real old school work ethic. I mean, that’s the way I was brought up, man. Both my parents are New York City Board of Ed teachers, education, they got up at 5:00 AM every morning. They went to work every single day in some of the roughest neighborhoods in Brooklyn. They worked their asses off. They came home, they took care of the kids. After me and my brother were asleep or watching TV or something, they were doing lesson plans, they were working, they were getting ready for the next day. And I learned work ethic. I learned by example, and I think this is declining in society. I know I’m kind of going off here. I mean, that’s just what I feel. That’s like just what I’m seeing and I’m feeling it. I don’t give a shit if you disagree with me, because it’s my opinion and this is what I’m seeing out there.
Neil Dudley: The crazy thing is I totally agree. What I worry about or I try- sometimes in the back of my head say, well, am I just the old guy now? And I don’t really- like I can whine about that all I want, but the facts are, if I need employees and my business is going to require these people that I think have no work ethic, what is it that motivates them? Like I actually get motivation from hard work. It feels good to me. It’s like I like it.
Adam Posner: You reap what you sow. Like your business and my business, when I look at this screen right now, I know all of this around me, the reason I’m in this office right now instead of where I was before, which wasn’t too shabby, but I’m always upgrading, and I’m working harder and I’m earning more money so I could afford this office, that drives me. For me, life is always about upgrading. You’re upgrading everything around you. And we’re not talking superficial shit. Yeah, this is an awesome microphone. I started with the one over there. Is that a Samsung? I had something like that too, which is a great mic, by the way.
Neil Dudley: Yeah, it is, absolutely.
Adam Posner: I love my Samsung mic, but like everything you’re doing in life is about improving and upgrading your family and your life and your situation.
Neil Dudley: And your perspective.
Adam Posner: And that’s what drives me. That’s literally what drives me is making my family’s life as best as it can be. We’re not talking-
Neil Dudley: How do you teach people that?
Adam Posner: By example. And I think it’s leading by example and that’s what I do with my kids. I cannot affect other people around me. The people that I can affect are my kids, my friends, and leading by example. And just trying to show, hey, listen, this is hard work, no one gave me any handouts.
Neil Dudley: I want to toss this out to you.
Adam Posner: Sure. Go for it.
Neil Dudley: I’m going to say a crazy statement and then we’ll talk about it. I think the Hall of Fame is stupid.
Adam Posner: Why?
Neil Dudley: Okay, yes. And I haven’t fully developed this idea. So, a little bit of it could be just really wild.
Adam Posner: I’m going to move my mic away. I want to listen to this one.
Neil Dudley: Because- okay, I should restate that. Doing it to be in the Hall of Fame is stupid. The Hall of Fame is cool. I love recognizing people for their accomplishments, and it is good. But if you are doing whatever you are doing to be in the Hall of Fame, I think that’s the wrong reason, because really, we’re not all going to get in the Hall of Fame. We should all be doing a thing each and every day so when we turn around and look back at our life, we say I’m proud of that, I’m glad I did what I did. If you’re not doing that, I wish for you a chance to think about it that way and say, okay cool, I’m going to try to go in that direction. What do you think Adam?
Adam Posner: Let’s go baseball Hall of Fame here, right? So, you think like all those guys in the Hall of Fame, when they set out, when they were little kids, working their ass off, little league, up through college, through the minors, guys that were in the minors for years, they finally get their break, the whole reason they’re doing it is to be in the Hall of Fame?
Neil Dudley: I don’t think that. And I love the debate of it. I kind of like the idea of throwing that crazy thing out there, and then everybody’s like this dude’s an idiot. I don’t like talking or sounding like an idiot, but it’s an interesting thought.
Adam Posner: I think another way to kind of spin it is if you’re only doing it for the glory, then you’re not in it. Like if you’re only in it for the prize at the end, that’s not what it’s about. It’s about the journey. Like that’s the way I kind of look at it. Like it’s about the journey, and that’s becoming more present to me every single day. I love the micro wins, man, and I’m sure you do too. Those micro daily wins, those little things like in my world, like when a candidate gets placed, when candidates go to the final, when candidates go to the final round, when a candidate writes me back and they’re like, hey, listen, I’ve been here three months, this is a great job. Those are micro wins for me. That’s what gets me going. When I get feedback on a podcast, like what you said before, like when something motivates somebody that they heard, that’s why I do it, man. And don’t get me wrong, I love looking down on my podcast numbers and I love to see that thing climb, and I love to see an episode that kicks ass, of course. But that’s not the only thing that drives me. It’s all part of the puzzle of exponential growth and continued growth, and seeing that hockey stick keep going up, man.
Neil Dudley: Absolutely. Thanks for exploring it with me. Like I’ve been just wanting to say that in front of somebody and get- I love, for somebody watching YouTube, you could see Adam’s wheels like, uh-oh my goodness, I can’t believe-
Adam Posner: No, I saw where you were going with that one, and I wanted to unpack it a little bit because I think- here’s the other thing, man, let’s riff on that for a moment here, and I hate this, and I really don’t want my kids to grow up this way, like the whole thing of participation trophies. Like giving you a trophy just because. Are we losing the element of competition? I like competition. I like the fact that my daughter, when she’s been in dance and every year, she’s moving up the ranks and everything, and then last year she said, “Daddy, I want to do the competitive dance. I want to do the dance that’s not just dancing, but it’s a competition.” And in her dancing, they don’t give you a trophy or a medal unless you place. It’s like tough shit, you lost. Learn how to lose. I think learning how to lose with humility is something else that’s being lost in society.
Neil Dudley: It’s so valuable. Like the losses are so valuable.
Adam Posner: I don’t know, my three-year-old son, man, he is not handling it well. Like we play like little games like Chutes and Ladders or Candyland, and he can’t lose. And it’s hard because there’s times- You’re a parent?
Neil Dudley: Yessir, three daughters. I was going to say my middle daughter’s like that. She just hates losing, like gets totally sideways about it. And we’re like, girl, you’re going to lose for the rest of your life. You’ve got to figure out how to do this.
Adam Posner: Right. You’re going to lose a lot more in life than you’re going to win. Like think about baseball. Let’s do another baseball analogy. In baseball, you could fail 70% of the time and you’re in the Hall of Fame. That makes you a 300 hitter, you’re in the Hall of Fame, man. Do you know how hard it is to be a 300 hitter in baseball? So, it’s hard with the kid because yeah, I want to teach him, but at the other times, if I’m playing a game with him and it’s a Wednesday night and I’ve had a long day and it’s 7:30, shit, man, you know what, just win. I don’t want to hear it right now. But there’s other times when I’m going to make it a life lesson and I don’t care if he cries and has a shit fit. He needs to learn. And I got to deal with him. That’s real talk. That’s just straight real talk.
Neil Dudley: I agree. And I think it’s good. I hope other people are listening. I think other people will agree or disagree, and it might just get them to think about their own families a little bit. My youngest daughter, she was playing a soccer. They lost every game. Oh, we’re just here to have fun; why would we worry about it? Well, we go to the award ceremony, they run out of this smoke tunnel and everything. It’s a big thing and call her name out, but they don’t get a medal or anything. It was like, okay, this is one of the teams. Thanks for- now we recognize you. Go out. We’re walking back to the truck, and she says, “Dad, we were horrible.” I was like you’re right. Now you know what it feels like. Now, you know why I want you to work hard.
Adam Posner: Someone’s got to lose.
Neil Dudley: Somebody’s got to beat ’em too. Like, win if you can is the point.
Adam Posner: Like you want to create an environment, and my wife and I talk about this all the time, where I want to create an environment where it’s a safe place for my kids to fail. I’m never going to let my kids get physically- too physically or emotionally hurt, but they’re going to get dirty. They’re going to get scraped up. And I mean that literally and metaphorically. Like they’re going to get scraped in life because that’s what makes you build callouses, and those are life lessons. I hate the helicopter parenting all the time. Like my little man, like he’s rough and tumble, and it took me a while to be able to back off and let him- once I knew he was like kind of sturdy, you know what I mean? He can take his legs.
Neil Dudley: I was interviewing a guy named Marcus Sheridan. He wrote a marketing book called They Ask You Answer, I really like it. But we were just talking, and he said I want my kids to have pain. Like a lot of times, they’re going through a tough thing. If somebody bullied them, somebody just hurt their feelings, and he says I tell my wife, this is good pain; let’s let them live through it. I mean, it’s going to be a good thing. It creates what you were talking about, calluses. It gives them, I say this lot, a tool in the belt to reach for next time that happens – oh, I’ve been here before, I know what to do.
Adam Posner: They are learning lessons. They’re lessons. I mean, my daughter’s going through it with, there was a girl busting her chops, and we weren’t going to go like rat and tattle and all that. We wanted her to figure it out and like work it out. And she did and that built character up. And the cool thing about it was once she stood up to these girls, they started messing with other girls because they knew that my daughter wasn’t a pushover and she wasn’t going to handle- like, take that shit. And then they started with messing with other girls and then my daughter went over and told them to basically fuck off. And she became like the protector. And I was like yes! I’m like I love it. It was like a movie. I was like this is incredible. And like that just shows her character.
Neil Dudley: That’s such a proud moment, such a proud moment. And the other thing I love is look, everybody, this is happening in Brooklyn, little Comanche, Texas, everywhere, just everywhere. So, we’re all dealing with this same stuff. Don’t feel like you’re so special, you don’t have to- you’re dealing with something nobody else is. That’s why we should talk. Okay, next topic – favorite book or podcast? What’s the one that you would just be like, man, come on, go get this one?
Adam Posner: My podcast dude is Jordan Harbinger, the Jordan Harbinger Show. He just- write that one down, Jordan Harbinger. I mean, he’s a top. He’s literally like, he’s the best out there. Because he comes from this school of podcast interviewing where I come from. I come from the Howard Stern school of broadcasting and interviewing because when people- if you’re not a Howard Stern fan, most people, when they hear Howard Stern, they think about the old school Howard Stern interviewing porn stars and the Wack Pack and all that. But no, in the last 15 years, and I used to work at Sirius XM when he came over there in 2006, the last 15 years, when he went from terrestrial radio over to satellite radio, he changed his format. Instead of 20 minutes have to do a commercial, 20 minutes have to do a commercial, now we could have uninterrupted conversations and interviews for an hour plus. And in my humble opinion, there’s no better interviewer on the planet than Howard because he turns an interview into a conversation. And there’s a couple that really stick out to me that kind of get my juices flowing – politics aside, his interview with Hillary Clinton because he humanized her and he brought things out of her to the point where she said, listen, if I can’t- she said maybe if I came on your show before the election and showed my human side, maybe a few more people would have seen that and they might’ve liked me, maybe not. But like maybe that would have changed it. And he brought that out of her. But the real part of that story that got me, he asked her about the Bill and Hillary Clinton love story, how these two met. I’ve never heard that before. Before the politics, like when they were just students, when they were just in university. Like that was a bad-ass story. And those are things you bring out as a podcaster, you’re like- I’ve had people on the show, and I know they’re going to drop their sound bites. I know they got their one-liners. And my goal as a host is to get other things out of them. And I challenge myself that. That’s what Howard does. It’s a conversation. The other one that was killer is Tom Brady, his Tom Brady interview from a couple of years back was just awesome, man. Like the real Tom Brady story, an hour and a half conversation about how he met Gisele. And of course, he’s asking, who wouldn’t ask, what sex is like with Gisele. Of course, right? Like who else is able to ask that question? Like he gets into it. So, Jordan Harbinger does the same thing and that’s the approach that I take. What you don’t see, and this is the real gold here, and I think it’s a level that I’m getting to now, I do a ton of prep for all my shows. But when I have that show and you listen back to it and it doesn’t seem like I did the prep or it does – well, I shouldn’t say it that way – it doesn’t seem like I’m going down my boat list of questions, but I’m hitting everything and I’m flowing and I’m going deep, that’s because I did the prep and it’s muscle memory from doing 2-300 shows that it becomes a conversation. And that’s what Jordan Harbinger does. I had him on my show, and we unpacked his process, how much work and hours he spends. I mean, he’s got A list guests that are coming on his show. He had, the last guest he had on, it’s a great interview with Brian Chesky, the founder of Airbnb. I mean, and these are like- and he’s sponsored by Microsoft and Toyota and Honda. Like, come on, man. So, Harbinger is good. Books, books, I mean, I used to love to read, and once my daughter came nine years ago, I really stopped reading a lot. I really- it’s bad, man. I need to put more time into books, man. I really did used to love to read. And honestly, man, I love, by the time my daughter goes to bed and it’s already 9:45, 10 o’clock, wifey and I love to sit down on a couch and binge on some real good TV, man.
Neil Dudley: Sure. You got to have that little decompress. I mean, especially, I just would bet money, you’re like going. Like if you’re up, you’re going. You need a little decompress. I think you earn it. You have to have it to stay performing where you want to.
Adam Posner: You got to be able to shut down, to your point. Like you got to be able to detox. And for us, we just like sitting on the couch and whether it be watching some mindless reality show or binging on a Netflix series. Like when people are like, oh, in your downtime, you need to be studying, taking micro courses, and building businesses on the side. I’m like fuck that. Like I’m exhausted, man. I’m raising two kids, running a business, have a full-time podcast, like leave me alone.
Neil Dudley: That’s totally right. I was thinking we’re kind of opposite. You used to read books; I really don’t read, period. I just fall asleep if I read. But I listen to audibles, and podcasts have totally opened my mind to so much stuff. I just, if you happen to hear this, and this is the first podcast you ever listened to, find more, listen to more. They’re just so valuable. Go listen to Jordan Harbinger. I’m fixing to add that to my library.
Adam Posner: I’m going to point you in a couple- I’m going to point you in a really interesting direction with Jordan. I don’t know what episode it was, but it’s definitely a couple of years back. Pre-COVID, extensive travel, but he would travel to like North Korea. His episodes on North Korea, there’s like two or three parts to it, dude, binge the crap out of those episodes. They’re mind blowing. They’re mind blowing, man. Like I never even thought what North Korea is like. His stories are insane, man. Even the people in North Korea are like in on this whole like kind of like North Korea, it’s like an act. It’s like- I’ll leave it at that. I’ll leave you the teaser. And then he’s got this other episode with this mafia hitman, this former mafia hitman, that has a story about trying to kill the Pope. And you’re like what the-? And like you don’t know how much of it is true, but you kind of go with it. Like it’s good storytelling. It’s storytelling. It’s entertainment. And Jordan rocks, man. I’ve had Jordan on my show. Jordan’s episode is actually interesting. I am, fun fact, I don’t know when this is going to air, but I am replaying that episode on Sunday on a Best Of; I’m repurposing and putting it back out again, too. That’s another thing for any podcasters out there, here’s a little tip, man, once you get going and you’re building your audience, I mean, I’m almost at 200 shows. So, I have audiences that have come on board to my show in the last six, seven months that aren’t going back catalogs so put your old stuff back out in front of them, the good ones.
Neil Dudley: Right. I think that’s beautiful. And I think anybody that’s thinking about starting a podcast, listen to what Adam’s saying, the amount of time and research that you really need to do to be a great interviewer, you got to put work into that. It’s not- Now, I would say I don’t do it enough. I watch you on social media. I feel like, man, this Adam guy has stuff going on that is very important, is good, I just want to get on the mic and talk. What’s happening in your world, we told a little bit of a story, now then we got off on participation trophies and all that kind of stuff. I don’t know a huge amount of your background. I don’t like- I don’t know your wife. I don’t know any of these things, so I’m not going to needle. Also, I mean, in fairness, you’re not Tom Brady, so there’s a lot of stuff there-
Adam Posner: I’m not the Tom Brady of podcasts?
Neil Dudley: Well, I think those real celebrities, you almost have to study them deeper because they’ve already told all these stories a hundred times. How are you going to find a new way to tell it or get them to tell it or a thing they haven’t told?
Adam Posner: What’s the angle? Like how are you going to unpack their story? And I think that’s the challenge. Like for example, yesterday, I had Leigh Steinberg on the show, not a household name, but if I told you that the movie Jerry Maguire was based off of him-
Neil Dudley: Then you know.
Adam Posner: That’s Lee Steinberg. If I told you that he was Troy Aikman’s super-agent, if I told you he was Steve Young’s agent, if I told you right now he’s Pat Mahomes’ agent, this guy is a legend. And I had him on the show yesterday and I did a ton of research, and he tells a story every single time. And I’m like, all right, what am I going to pull out of him? How am I going to go there? And it was a challenge. And I found ways to kind of dig deeper or come from a different angle, different elements to his story, and infuse a little bit of my own kind of humor and kind of approach into it. I mean, I threw a curve ball question at him. In the middle of the interview, I go do you think Pete Rose should be in the Hall of Fame? Speaking of the Hall of Fame.
Neil Dudley: Oh yeah, that’s great.
Adam Posner: And he went off. And at the end of the day, it was a real tough thing where he really kind of didn’t answer fully, but he kind of said yes. He said baseball-wise, there was no one better. I mean, you look at the numbers, Charlie Hustle, man, like dude, Pete Rose, one of the-
Neil Dudley: Is he not a great example for anybody and everybody-
Adam Posner: Pure hitter. But that motherfucker bet on baseball, on his own team, which is like the one thing you don’t do. You don’t bet, like you don’t bet, you don’t bet on your own team. You don’t bet on your own team. It violates the sanctity of sports. And in that case, man, guess what? Those are the rules, man, and tough shit.
Neil Dudley: That was such a great curveball question. Like because that is such a diametrical guy and he’s like the greatest, but he did the worst thing.
Adam Posner: Dude, that’s spot on. He’s the greatest, but he also did the worst freaking thing. And guess what, man? Rules are rules; you don’t get in. You don’t make exceptions. But I think if I go back and listen to it, I think Leigh Steinberg was saying that like time has passed, like we should give him a pass. I go maybe after he’s dead and he doesn’t know that he got in, maybe that’s fair. Like just call it what it- I mean, that’s me off the cuff here. Like, hey, guess what, now you’re in, post-
Neil Dudley: What is that word? Whatever, after death.
Adam Posner: Post-mortem.
Neil Dudley: That’s right. Okay. So, here’s a curve ball – what’s the toughest apology you ever had to make?
Adam Posner: That’s a good one, man. And I think it goes back to before I met my wife, I was in a really long-term relationship, and I was not a good person at times. And I think I might’ve had an indiscretion or maybe I said something or did something wrong. And when you have to face somebody that, at the time in a relationship, to tell them that you fucked up and you stepped out of line, I mean, that’s a tough one and trying to regain somebody’s trust. That was a tough one. I mean the hardest thing to apologize for, listen, we’re human, we make mistakes. We’re men, we’re tempted. Not now, not in the last 14 years of my life, but when you’re younger, you do dumb things. You do some really dumb things. And I think the hardest thing for anybody to do is make a genuine apology. Anybody could just say hey, Neil, I’m sorry, man. That doesn’t mean shit. But if I really did something to you, and you can tell when someone’s genuine with their apology and that’s what I try to teach my kids, too. It’s not just saying, sorry, but like do you really mean it? And do you actually acknowledge what you did wrong and have a game plan of how you’re not going to do that again or work to not do it again, that’s the real work.
Neil Dudley: Absolutely. See to me that just, I trust you so much because you didn’t dance around, you went right to a real honest answer. So, I think I love that as an interview question. I sit on the school board-
Adam Posner: I might have to borrow that.
Neil Dudley: Well, I sit on the school board, and we had to hire an athletic director and superintendents and all these people. And we’re just- I try to just surprise them with stuff because what is business? What is leadership? Getting surprised with stuff. Like you have to just try to surprise them with something to see how they work under pressure. Oh, I wasn’t ready for that, what am I going to say? Am I going to make it up or am I going to just spill the truth? I want people to just spill the truth right there, even if it is the worst thing.
Adam Posner: Let me tell you something, Neil, here is where things get kind of tricky in recruiting. Let’s bring it back home, the truth in recruiting. There’s a really kind of a tough spot sometimes where I get feedback, and if a candidate is in the process further down the line, I always try to give a candidate as much clear, actionable feedback as possible, but there’s a fine line to walk, man. Because I don’t know this person personally, I don’t know how they’re going to take it. I don’t know if they’re going to throw it back in my face. I don’t know if they’re going to use it against the company that I’m representing in some kind of litigious, fricking lawsuit kind of thing to which you have to be mindful of. So, there’s a fine line between- it’s not lying because it’s maybe scaling back at times. I mean, I literally have had feedback from a hiring manager- I’ve had feedback, and I don’t remember when and where, but I know this has happened multiple times where they’re like I just didn’t like that person or they rubbed me the wrong way, or there was something ingenuous about them, or there was something shady or they didn’t tell their story well, or they came off like an asshole. I’m not going to go to you as a candidate and say, hey, listen, we’re not going forward with you because they think you’re an asshole. So how do I spin that in a positive way, where it’s somewhat constructive and truthful at the same time? That’s a tough part of my job.
Neil Dudley: That sounds really tough.
Adam Posner: It’s a tough part of my job. And it’s a hard thing to do. And I’m not saying we lie, but there’s times you have to remember that there’s a human at the other end of it. So how do you balance giving good constructive feedback, actionable feedback, and not making them feel like shit?
Neil Dudley: What good does that do either?
Adam Posner: Like it’s one of those things, like what you don’t know won’t hurt you. Yes and no. I kind of like ride the line on that one. Like part of me wants to know everything; give me the good, the bad, and the ugly, but I don’t know if you could handle that.
Neil Dudley: And if it’s not going to serve you. Sometimes personalities conflict, whatever, that wasn’t going to be fun for either party. They ended up saying they were an a-hole-
Adam Posner: How’s that going to make you better?
Neil Dudley: Right. I saw a Nick Saban quote, it was something like, “Good players don’t want to be told anything. Great players want to be coached. And outstanding Hall of Famers want to hear the truth.” So anyways, that was an interesting piece of it.
Adam Posner: Side note, Nick Saban, this was probably about five, six years- no longer than that, because I was going down to- I was working down in Greenville, South Carolina, and he was on a flight that I was on. I don’t know if he was going to visit Clemson or something like that. I know who that is. I’m not a college football guy, but I knew who he was. You know who Nick Saban is, right? Like I know that guy- I literally I think I had to like- I thought who he was, I had to like Google image him. I’m like, yeah, that’s Nick Saban. So, I have to go say something to him. I’m not going to go take a picture with him; that’s not kind of my thing. But I was like I couldn’t think of a good enough question to go up to him and ask him. Now, as a podcast host and someone who’s built up a lot of confidence, if I saw him again at the airport, not only would I go up to him, I would ask him to be- on the spot, I would ask him to be on my show.
Neil Dudley: I have learned, I ask everybody. If I want them even slightly on the show, I ask them. Matter of fact, I just joined a new social audio platform that’s kind of a- I carry a Samsung phone, Android platform. So, Clubhouse was-
Adam Posner: I don’t hold that against you.
Neil Dudley: So, Clubhouse wasn’t available to me, but it sounds like so much fun. Well, they came out with this other one called Breakout. So, I’m on there a lot and I’m just really enjoying it. And I’m asking anybody and everybody, matter of fact, I’m going to ask you, will you come host a breakout with me? Because it would be really cool. You have to consider it. I’m not asking for an answer right now. You’re a busy man. But you know what I’m saying, right?
Adam Posner: The answer is no.
Neil Dudley: There you go. Well, thanks for considering it. It’s that simple, take a no.
Adam Posner: But you have to ask, to your point. And I moved off of Clubhouse and that’s a whole different thing because I just thought it was a shitty- everyone on there was-
Neil Dudley: I’ve never been on it so I don’t have-
Adam Posner: It wasn’t for me. I tried it. I didn’t like it. It was just a bunch of people that wanted to hear themselves talk, and it didn’t do anything for me. But to your point, like the only way you’re going to get a yes is if you ask, and you know what, it takes a lot of nos to get that yes. And especially in the podcast, dude, I’m in the process now of booking my 200th show, and I’m looking for a big time, A list, big guest, off course, off topic, off the podcast. I just want a big name for my 200th guest, and I’ll make it. Once I get that guest, I will get it into my kind of flow and everything, but I planned that guest. I’m going as super A list as I can get.
Neil Dudley: Are you spending money on guests?
Adam Posner: No, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never. I will never buy a guest. However, however, there is one thing that I will do. If there’s a guest who doesn’t need the money, I will offer to make a donation to their charity if that’s going to help get them on the show. And I’ve done that a couple of times, and we’re not talking big money here, but just a nice token to show I appreciate you and your time and how could I support you and your charity and what you care for and what you stand for? There’s a big difference there. I’m not giving fricking, I’m not handing them- like I don’t have duffle bags of cash. You can pay people in bacon, you can pay me in bacon. But what I do though is- and I really can’t wait, I mean, I am- I love bacon. And my three-year-old, man, and my nine-year-old, they just eat- They love bacon. And side note, are you cool with turkey bacon? You cool with turkey bacon?
Neil Dudley: Yes, cool. We make it.
Adam Posner: I love Turkey bacon too. If you got some turkey bacon, wifey doesn’t eat regular bacon, but where what I going with this?
Neil Dudley: Now is that a religious thing?
Adam Posner: No, no, not for me, man. No, we don’t give a shit about bacon, man. Like, believe me, listen, I’m a Jew with tattoos, man. I don’t care. Once I’m dead and gone, I don’t care what you do with my body. Like give it to science. And when it comes to bacon, like there’s different things within each religion. It’s nothing to do with that. I like bacon. I like pork. I like ham. Nothing’s better to me than a frickin’ juicy spiral ham. That’s like one of my favorite things, Christmas hams.
Neil Dudley: Oh, it’s coming too. We’re almost there.
Adam Posner: Dude, Christmas hams are so good. But what I was saying was, when guests come on my show, I send them a little token of appreciation afterwards, just to say thank you. And I’m not even kidding, I literally had the CEO of Logitech on my show last week, we’re talking this guy has run mega corporations, big time guest, and my token of appreciation is a small little token, it’s under $10, but it’s the act of it. And I tell everybody this, it is just a way to say thank you. And people- like little things go such a long way. And I think we’re forgetting that in society, like those little things that go a long way.
Neil Dudley: Adam, I got a handwritten thank you note. And it’s tacked up on my wall right over there. I haven’t got one of those in ten years.
Adam Posner: I got a bunch of them right there. I got thank you notes from guests that were on my show. That’s another one that when it comes back to you, the boomerang, man. See that up there, Dugout Mugs. These guys you should talk to, man. Dugout Mugs, they make the baseball bat mugs there. You got to get Randall- you got to get Randall and Chris on your show, man. They’re awesome. And before they came on the show, they asked for my logo, I didn’t ask for those mugs, and they made me a custom baseball- look at this thing, man, there’s a baseball bat. It’s a baseball bat. And there’s the top of the baseball bat, and it’s a perfectly drinkable beer mug.
Neil Dudley: Oh man. That’s beautiful.
Adam Posner: And this is awesome. Like my wife’s so funny, she goes I think the only reason you do a podcast is to get all the free shit. I go, yeah, why do you think I’m going on Neil’s show? I just want bacon. Are you kidding me?
Neil Dudley: Everything’s got a little ancillary benefit.
Adam Posner: I call that professional courtesy.
Neil Dudley: Look, I do- I want to send you bacon. One thing is I believe in my product. I think if you try it, you’ll probably look around and maybe try to buy it. So, there’s that truth. And I’m also thankful that you lent your time, your expertise to my show, to my audience. Like you should be appreciated for that. So, it’s in the mail.
Adam Posner: Cool. I appreciate that, man.
Neil Dudley: I don’t even know what to do. We’ve been talking a long time and I’ve enjoyed every bit of it. You got anything that you want to just make sure somebody hears, or do we just say done?
Adam Posner: I mean, I think like the big thing, and this is the way I am on my shows, man, I think it’s just for everyone to be a little bit more mindful of other human beings. Like you’re not the center of the universe, especially in this day and age. Listen, like put politics, your belief in science, your belief in everything else aside for one moment, and just remember there’s people out there where this is greatly affected. There’s people out there going through shit in the last couple of years because of COVID. Respect their feelings even if you don’t agree with them, respect their beliefs, and just look out for other people. Like just, you’re not the center of the fucking universe. Like just know that there’s other people out there that are going through some stuff, and you don’t have to be an asshole. Just don’t be an asshole. That’s it.
Neil Dudley: It’s never been said better. Thank you, Adam.
Adam Posner: Dude, Neil, thanks for having me, man. This is a good chat. I love being on the other side of the mic.
Neil Dudley: That’s right. And you do a great job of it, too. It’s a different position. It really is to be on the other side of the mic.
Adam Posner: You got to switch it up.
Neil Dudley: Yep. Good work. God bless ya. Y’all have a great one.
Adam Posner: Neil, thanks for having me on, man.
Neil Dudley: You bet.
There you go. Was I right or was I right? Adam Posner, thank you so much for coming on the show. Everybody, thank you so much for listening. I know there’s good value in there. I’m just curious, what do y’all think about the Hall of Fame? Hit me up. Am I crazy? Y’all have a good one. Gladiators ride. Thanks for being here. Appreciate you so much, praying for you. Have a great one.
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The Cowboy Perspective is produced by Neil Dudley and Straight Up Podcasts. Graphics are done by Root & Roam Creative studio. And the music is by Byron Hill Music.