The professional world is called as such because of its standards in career readiness and work ethics. Gerald Chertavian teaches young adults from urban areas the context of professional work on their first day at Year Up. Learn how he helps the youth turn from low-income individuals to high-earning professionals. The population of speakers, trainers, coaches and thought leaders are increasing, but do they all possess the qualifications of being one? Jeffrey Hayzlett and C-Suite Network makes sure that they are. They have a TV show that is about the market and not just the business and are focused on why the market is the way it is and learn the leadership lessons that comes along the process.
We have very interesting guests on the show, Gerald Chertavian and Jeffrey Hayzlett. You’ve probably seen Gerald on 60 Minutes and Jeffrey on C-Suite TV. You probably need to stick around to find out what else they do because they are very successful individuals.
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Context Of Professional Work And Qualifications Of Leadership with Gerald Chertavian
I’m with Gerald Chertavian, who received an MBA with honors from Harvard. Combined with his entrepreneurial skills and his passion for working with urban young adults, he founded Year Up in 2000. It’s an intensive one year training and education program that serves low income youths 18 to 24. Year Up provides technical, professional and communications skills needed to empower urban young adults to make successful transitions to careers and higher education. I’m really looking forward to talking to you, Gerald. Ever since I met you, a couple of years ago at a Forbes Summit, you gave a talk on stage and I’ve been very impressed by what you do.
Thank you very much, Dianne. I appreciate being with you. Thank you.
Year Up fascinates me and I talk about it a lot in my courses because I still teach for the Forbes School of Business and a lot of other areas out there. I include information about what you do because I think a lot of people not even in the areas that you’re talking about, the urban areas but just in general aren’t prepared when they get into college or they get into the working world. I saw you give your talk and I just want to talk a little bit about what Year Up does because it was so impressive. 60Minutes did a piece on you and I thought it was a really wonderful piece. Can you just talk about what Year Up does and how you came to create it?
The mission for Year Up is actually relatively simple. We work with low income 18 to 24 year olds and in one year, we enable those young adults to go from either low-income or no income to professional careers in some of the best companies in this whole country. In fact our average graduate now will earn about $38,000 per year once they graduate from the program, working in fields like technology, finance, customer service operations. Working for great companies, whether it’s Bank of America, JPMorgan, Facebook, Salesforce. What we’re doing is trying to fix what’s a broken talent market in this country. We have a huge number of young people who are talented, motivated, who are hungry. Probably six million young people right now are out of the game and at the same time, we have a lot of businesses having a harder and harder time to find talent. We have supply and demand that aren’t clearing. We have a market of talent that’s actually has a lot of friction in it, a lot of transaction costs and unfortunately everyone loses out both the business and the young people. Year Up was really started with a vision in mind of closing that opportunity divide for young people and in turn providing our businesses with the best talent that they can get in order to help be competitive to grow their businesses and to be strong organizations.
Do you get them prepared for the job or to go to college or both? I was thinking there was some Community College aspect that you were getting prepared for it. Is that still the case?
Yes. Year Up has always been at both ends. If you just step back from it and look at the situation in the United States now is only eight out of 100 adults in America have a four-year degree that they got between the ages of 18 and 22. That’s only eight out of 100. 92 out of 100 adults didn’t go down what we may have thought of was the traditional word, college. When we talk about college, we think four-year fixed term, 18 to 22. That’s 8% of America’s adults now. The average age for Bachelor of Arts is about 28 years old in this country. The reality is a vast majority of low-income individuals in this country work while they are also consuming their post-secondary education, whether that be a two-year, a four-year, a credential, a trade. Folks are doing both working and higher education. Year Up was designed specifically with those needs in mind to enable a young person to get the real skills they need to get a good job that pays livable wages.
We get them also a year on their college transcripts, about one year worth of college credit. They then set up very well to continue to earn money, which means they can work one 40-hour, 50-hour a week job and then have some disposable time leftover to complete their first degree. Of which we hope are many degrees going forward, because of learning hour is lifelong and a young adult is going to be learning forever to be competitive in this job market. Year Up is designed for the needs of the young people we served and cognizant of the changes that have happened in this country around how people get educated after high school and how they ultimately financed that education in themselves.
Are you in certain States or everywhere?
Right now, we work twenty cities across the country. We’ll serve this year about 3,600, somewhere between 3,600 and 3,700 young adults. In fact since we started Year Up, we’ve served now 17,000 young adults. We happened to be right now the largest, fastest growing nonprofit serving youth that was started in this century. It’s been a 20%, 25% compounded annual growth for seventeen years. The reason it’s worked primarily is because the young adults we serve are economic assets, they’re not social liabilities and that given the appropriate runway and the appropriate support, our young adults are becoming some of the best entry level professionals that companies can find in this country. That’s why would a program grow from 22 students to 3,600, it’s because the students are in an untapped source of talent. Those young adults coming from some of our most isolated pockets of poverty actually might just be your next best worker if given the appropriate opportunity to show what they can do.
Do you develop relationships with organizations so they know that they come from you, they’re going to be really equipped to do well in the company?
Yeah. Our reputation now is if you come from Year Up there’s a whole set of standards on professionalism, career readiness that are expected and assumed by our partners. Then what we do is work to understand what are the needs in the economy. If you’re looking at national capital regions, cyber security is obviously a big driving skill set in that region. In fact, about a third of all cyber jobs in the country are located in that region. Where if you’re out in Silicon Valley, there’s going to be a heavier focus on programming and software development. If it’s in New York, obviously more work in finished services, things like anti-money laundering, personal banking. Year Up is a demand driven organization. We actually understand the skill needs of our partners and backwards integrate to figure out how do we help students develop those skills and enable them to add value as they’re going into these settings. Folks like State Street hired now more than 500 of our graduates full time into fund accounting. There is no way a company would do that unless they were getting talent that is resilient and hard working. In our case, staying longer in the positions that they’re in, whether it’s Amex, JPMorgan, they’re building Year Up’s talent pipeline into their organizations as a relevant and valuable social talent. That has the opportunity to change the social narrative as to who’s talented in America and where this talent reside in America.
If you saw the Wall Street Journal this week, the CFOs were saying that they just don’t have the people that they need. That’s what they were concerned about. There are jobs out there that they’re not able to fill because the skill sets aren’t there and I love that you said all that. I am curious because you’re mentioning different skill sets based on different areas. You also mentioned that you do not do just technical but you do communication skills. I do research and emotional intelligence. I’m curious if you hit on soft skills and where that plays a role?
I would say that half of what Year Up does are what I call the ABCs, Attitudinal, Behavioral and Communication Skills that are commensurate with knowledge-based work in professional careers. If we look at the context of Year Up and although we co-locate with community colleges all over the country, were inside those community colleges are students are dressed in professional attire. From day one of their training, they’re actually learning about the context of professional work. What are the unwritten rules of that game? What are the expected attitudes and behaviors? How does one communicate in that environment? That’s probably half of I would say, the value that Year Up is able to help a young person gain. When you walk into JPMorgan or in American Express or Salesforce or Bank of America, what are the expectations of that environment? Year Up absolutely nailed that. It’s one of our hallmarks of the program and it’s probably one of the reasons why we’ve been so successful is our students often have a higher level of career readiness then someone coming out of a four year college where they haven’t really focused on career readiness in a deliberate attempt to ensure that young people know what’s expected in the work world now.
A lot of your students probably do not have a lot of income to put towards clothing and things to look a certain way. How do you get around that?
If a student wants to put on a suit and wear it with respects she deserves, they will have a suit to wear from Year Up. In each of our facilities, if students did need some additional support with professional clothing, we have that freely accessible. Imagine, we have probably 8,000 volunteers across the country and if you put it up all who has a gently used business attire, it’s not too hard for us to gain access to that. We also work with folks like Dress for Success and others. It’s really there’s a young person who say, “I want to wear this. I want to be a professional. I want to work in this particular environment,” then it’s not just business attire. With Facebook and Google, we’re probably not going in suits and ties as you might imagine. It’s really knowing what are the attitudes and behaviors as well as what is the norm for that environment.
Our students want to do this. They’re super hungry and motivated and know that this is an opportunity to lift themselves into a livable wage job. That compares to probably the average student when they came to Year Up is maybe making $5,000 a year. Imagine going from $5,000 to $38,000 with a year of college under your belt, with a job that now probably is going to help you with tuition reimbursements so you can continue your degree, that’s a massive change for an individual. They earned because they’re talented and honestly they’ve been overlooked as a social talent in this country. What it takes to unlock this den is leadership. It comes down to CEOs. It comes down to leaders saying, “We actually see young people, especially young people who’ve come from low-income backgrounds as talent.”The fact is that talent is distributed evenly in this country yet opportunity is not. It’s the leader who says, “I’m not going to discriminate against someone just because they don’t have a four-year degree. I’m going to allow someone’s competencies to shine through and assess for those rather than just a credential. I’m going to look at professionalism, not just pedigree. I’m going to look at skills, not just schools.” This is a big trend in the country and it will be led by enlightened business people who are looking more broadly at what it is they need and being more thoughtful about creating more on-ramps into their companies from populations who haven’t been able to even see the front door.
I’m writing a presentation for 8,000 CEOs about engagement right now and I’m curious from your perspective, if all these CEOs are struggling with their workers to have them be more engaged, what are you doing to ensure that these people will be engaged in what they do? Can you do anything or is it up to the companies where they end up?
As young adults are going into these companies, what’s amazing is they’re now forming groups within companies, like many companies have. They’ll have a special interest group for different folks, whether it’s racial, gender, it could be sexual orientation, but groups within large companies are actually forming. When a group of interns start at JPMorgan from Year Up, you can guarantee that the graduates of Year Up who now work full time at JPMorgan are going to be some of the first people to reach their hand out and say, “Let me help you get situated and settled. Let me tell you anything you need to know.”You’re really creating a powerful alumni network both nationally and within companies to actually pull more good talent into those companies and to help them understand the environment and how to be successful within that environment.
How are you finding these people that come to you? Do you advertise? You said you were at the community colleges, are they helping you get them? How do you get your people?
Once the program is established in a community, it tends to be largely word of mouth. That’s obviously a good sign. If your students are telling all the young people it’s a good opportunity, then that’s probably the best sign that we’re effective at what we do. When we go to a new community though, we have to work really hard to meet with and build relationships with organizations where young people are. It could be Boys and Girls Club, a YMCA, a church. It may be a foster care agency with young people coming out of foster care and looking for that next step where they can take hold and start the next chapter of their lives. When we go to a new community, we really have to work hard to reach out into the community, to build relationships and then as we are successful, which we have been in twenty cities, that becomes much more of a word of mouth and folks will increasingly come to us. Of course, we augment that with some social media and make sure that the word is out there for young people that this is an opportunity. The biggest single challenge we face is people think it’s too good to be true. That’s the one barrier we have to overcome in a new city is to make sure people say, “It’s not too good to be true. It is hard. You will work incredibly hard and you’re going to have to take us so very seriously, but if you do those things, you have a highly, highly likely chance of earning yourself a livable wage job twelve months from now.”
60 Minutes did this amazing piece on you and I saw that you have a background of being with the Big Brother Mentoring Program for 25 years or something. You’ve had this background of wanting to help people that needed this help. When I was watching the video, I think it played at the Forbes Summit, it was really impressive to see what you were doing. How is this funded? How does money get there for this?
The majority of the operating revenue and in fact almost all of the operating revenue in our new model where we co-locate with community colleges comes from the partner companies that we work with to provide them with a source of talent. If you can imagine business needs talent, they’re contributing to Year Up to have a pipeline of young people that they can hire, that is part of their business is actually building strong, reliable pipelines. In our case, it happens to be from a certain population. That is again, the majority of our operating revenue. Now, we will raise money as well. When we started in a new city, we’re looking at a few new cities as we speak. Tampa is one of those cities. We have an event in Tampa trying to convene business leaders and community leaders in Tampa. We need to raise some initial capital to get up and running, to cover all of our status quo and then to build an organization that can operate in perpetuity. Because once we build it, the businesses are supporting the ongoing operations of the business. It’s a highly, highly leveraged nonprofit and our ongoing operating revenue is coming from the companies who are getting what they want, which is talent. Before we open up in any city, we want to talk with community and business leaders. We want to make sure that there’s a need for what Year Up offers, make sure that there’s an interest in the young adults that we serve. We really try to be thoughtful. Before we commit to any place, we really work hard to make sure that there’s a need, that there are interested parties. We do quite a lot of work like we’re doing now in Tampa to understand is this something that will be successful there and will the community like to get involved.
I’m curious of some of your other communities, are you in Arizona at all?
Yeah. We have a fantastic site in Phoenix. That is also a high growth opportunity. There’s a lot of what I’d say middle skill jobs that are in the Phoenix area. We have an opportunity to continue to grow Year Up in Phoenix. We have great folks who run that organization. Kim Owens is the Executive Director in Phoenix. She does a fantastic job. If I’m in Phoenix, if I’m in a business, I have needs for skills, you can go straight to our website. Reach out. We’ll contact you quickly to see if we can add value with a group of young people who prior to that probably, didn’t have access and we know, I mean this is 17,000 young people later is a great source of talent in areas like cyber security, desktop support, customer service, back office operations, fund accounting, data analytics. We’re hitting the skills that are important skills in the country and a lot of employers are having trouble getting folks in at the entry level of that skill base.
I’ve seen such growth just since I’ve seen you talk a few years ago. It’s amazing what you have accomplished. How did you get on the radar for the 60 Minutes piece?
We originally were a on a Charlie Rose a segment and that may have struck some interest that there was a broader story here. Because the country realizes and folks like 60 Minutes realized, is that we have to focus on social mobility and opportunity in this country and if the bedrock of this country is you work hard and you can rise up over time. I think for many folks, and we’ve seen this obviously for the past few years, we’ve seen it play out in politics, we’ve seen in throughout the country, when folks can see the next rung on the ladder, they know how to get there. That is not the country we want. We know that has negative consequences. The economic insecurity that breeds. I think it’s pretty unhealthy for this country. Many, many people see that whether you’re Republican or Democrat, I can promise you, opportunity is not a political concept, it’s an American concept. I think Americans recognized it when we say the words Land of Opportunity, that should apply to all folks. Not Land of Handouts, but Land of Opportunity for those who want to work hard, take advantage of an opportunity, pull themselves up. This should always be the place where one can do that. I’m sure whether it’s 60 Minutes or others, people recognize that this is the greatest issue right now this country faces domestically and we got to get serious about it. Whether it’s business, government or nonprofit social enterprise sector, we’ve got to get serious to make sure people have access to opportunity in the United States of America.
I remember you and a lot of others have said, “You get hired for your knowledge and you’re fired for your behavior.” I think the soft skills and all the training that you teach to the people at Year Up are really important. If there’s people listening that have employees that maybe they have difficulty with them, do you have any advice of how you help people with those skills?
The advice I guess we have for folks who want to get involved is two-folds. One is, as an individual, every single person can take just one human being, just one and put your last name on them. Just say to one person, ” I’m going to provide some support to mentoring some guidance, someone other than your nuclear family.” Just one. Imagine if every person in the country took one person who didn’t have that guidance or support or role modeling or networks or access and said, “I’m going to put my last name on you and I’m going to try my best to be supportive, consistent person in your life.” That changes the country. I do believe that the reality is one-to-one connections can matter and they can be done in a much greater scale. Now, if I work in a business, I can clearly go to my website. Go to the website of your business, check on your recruitment section and just see, do you require four-year degrees to even apply for a job and even to get your foot in the door?
If your business does do that, call a PHR Department and say, “Why do we do that?” Do we truly believe that that’s the best sorting mechanism? When we say a four-year degree is required, we’ve just excluded 86% of Latinos and 80% of African Americans in the United States now. I doubt that’s the object of most HR departments to do that. We use these false proxies to sort individuals into who gets access and who doesn’t and I can promise you, businesses costing themselves tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars by over credentialing certain jobs. That you need a four-year degree and the reality is you don’t. We’re closing the door on millions of Americans who have the skills but may not have the credentials. If I work in a company, why don’t I just ask questions about how do we think about opening the aperture to see all of the talent in this country rather than a myopic slice of it? That’s something you can do within your business as a worker and I think you can also do just as much as a citizen in leading into support young people and just pick one stop there and you can make a huge difference in a young person’s life.
You graduated with honors from Harvard and I’m curious, do you think that we’re going to see employers embracing a four-year degree as important in the future? Do you think education will change? Do you think you’ll see more bits and pieces of certificates or that type of thing?
We’re going through a major restructuring, I would say of higher education. One, because the class structure is unsustainable and business will not have the number of college degrees that they actually would be even looking to hire. This will change. It’ll change not in 25 years, but probably in ten to fifteen years or even sooner, where business will get better at assessing the things they really care about. Problem solving skills, critical thinking skills, communication skills, social and emotional intelligence, the ability to deal with difficult situations face-to-face. Increasingly we have been developing the tools and the platforms to be able to assess the things that business really cares about. Now, once you can do that, let me ask you, “Do you care about the degree or do you care about the competencies that the person brings to bear?”I would argue once you get better at assessing for competency, it starts to change the game pretty radically. In certain fields, this is easy. In programming, I can look at your code and understand how good you are at coding. I don’t really care where you went to school or not. I care for your code. Imagine that being a much more of broad array of skills and competencies one can assess and from that, find the best talent. That’s coming. That will be part of our lived reality. We will see more talent as a result and I think it will be good for our citizenship and our democracy.
A lot of people would really want to know more about how to reach you. I know you said how to reach you for that event. You want to give that again or your main website. Whatever you think that people would want to have to find you, can you list that again?
Our main website is www.YearUp.org and within that, we have all the cities we’re in, ways to get involved, to volunteer, to mentor, to attend events, hopefully make it accessible for folks to see how they can get involved. Our hope is to get a broader movement in this country of many, many Americans who say we can actually make a difference in our lifetime. We don’t have to live with the current situation and not only am I helping a young person, but I’m actually helping my country by ensuring that all folks have access to opportunity to make it a stronger country. That’s our aspiration and I know tens if not many tens of thousands of young folks who’ve gotten involved already, that it shows me there’s an appetite for this and there’s a desire in the country to move in this direction. We hope to be one piece of that equation. We offer good solid programs, so the more people want to help us, to better and we would welcome that.
Thank you so much and I enjoyed having you on the show.
Thank you, Diane. It’s a pleasure. We love what you’re doing as well and I appreciate the opportunity.
Context Of Professional Work And Qualifications Of Leadership with Jeffrey Hayzlett
I’m with Jeffrey Hayzlett. He is the primetime television hosts of C-Suite With Jeffrey Hayzlett and Executive Perspectives on C-Suite TV, and business podcast host of All Business with Jeffrey Hayzlett on C-Suite radio. He’s a global business celebrity speaker, bestselling author, and chairman of the c-suite network. That’s the home of the most trusted network of C-Suite leaders. Hayzlett is a well-traveled public speaker, a former Fortune 100 CMO, and author of three bestselling business books. Think Big, Act Bigger: The Rewards of Being Relentless, Running the Gauntlet, and The Mirror Test. He’s also been inducted into the NSA Speaker Hall of Fame. I’m really excited to have you here, Jeffrey.
It’s good to be here. Thanks so much for calling me and setting this up because I’m excited. Let’s go.
We got a chance to meet at the C-Suite Network in the event you had just recently in Dallas which I’m a part the C-Suite Advisors Group. I think it’d be great to start with explaining what that is so people could know more about it.
There are two groups that you mentioned, one is the C-Suite Network, C-Suite Network is an executive network for VPs or higher, companies typically $5 million or greater. We’re targeting what’s the upper echelon, about 95% of the business, but less than about 2% of the total number of businesses. It’s really the top of the top of the top and we’ve created a trusted network of executives. That’s what the C-Suite Network is. It’s almost like a country club, but a chance to get-together, have a community, gets some education, get the content they need, get a little inspiration and then have opportunities to meet one another. That’s what we’ve done with the C-Suite. The C-Suite Advisors is the most trusted advisors to the most trusted network of executives. What we do is we focus there and these are nominated individuals like yourself who were vetted and then we make sure that they’re the right fit or the C-Suite Network and for the C-Suite Executives.
There are a lot of people out there coaching, a lot of people out there trainers, a lot of thought leaders in a lot of speakers and what we find is that we’d like to make sure that they’re very qualified. That’s one of the things that the C-Suite Network or C-Suite Executives asked us to do, is to vet everybody that comes in. As C-Suite Executives, we’re being hit up all the time by people who want to do things. A good example when I was a CMO of a Fortune 100 Company, I actually had somebody call me one time and said, “Jeff, I want to help you save hundreds of dollars.”I’m like, “What do you mean hundreds of dollars? Look, I’m running and my budget is $17 billion. Hundreds of dollars, you just cost me hundreds.” Then he came back and said, “Thousands.” “No. Again, with all due respect, thousands of dollars, that’s not going to do it for me when we got 10,000 salespeople. When you get to million, let me know.”That’s what we talk about. That’s why we need a C-Suite Network. Somebody said, “You got LinkedIn.” I’m like, “LinkedIn? I’m getting hit up by everybody. I don’t know who these people are.”This way, what we do is by vetting the members, we know who’s coming at us. We might not like them, it’s like being in a Country Club and there’s a guy across the lake, I don’t like him, but at least he paid his dues to get in.
I liked that you brought up LinkedIn just to give a comparison to what the difference is of what you guys are doing. Do you see that the C-Suite is doing much with LinkedIn? Would they like to see more there or is that what you’re trying to fill a gap that they’re just not getting?
No, they’re not there. They’re they have a place because you need to protect your personal identity and brand so you put your name up there. It’s like your business card on Main Street. That’s really all LinkedIn is. In terms of the C-Suite Executives of any size or substance, the most powerful ones, those that are literally over $5million, $10 million in size. By the way, out of twenty million businesses, we’re only talking about 600,000 to two million. It’s 1% we’re talking about in terms of the total number of business this year. It’s a very small percentage of businesses and in this case, they’re not on LinkedIn like you see a lot of people. If you actually go to most C-Suite Executives, if you’d ever get linked to them and you check on their email, their email is a Hotmail account. It’s not their real email. It’s their college email address. It’s a Yahoo account. It’s a Hotmail account. It’s something that they can put there just as a placeholder, but they’re not checking it all the time.
It’s interesting because I do a work with Ford Saeks and he and I have talked about this because he’s on the Advisors Group.
Ford was one of our early members who saw the value of it and he was excited.
He was saying, he thinks that if you do this right, that you can make this bigger than LinkedIn. Do you foresee it much bigger than that? The whole C-Suite a thing that you’re doing, all of it combined, the C-Suite Network and Advisors, where do you see the future of this?
It’s already grown about 300% over last year, the C-Suite Network itself. The Advisors, it’s not even a year old. We’re only allowing so many members of the Advisors per month just because we’re trying to keep a good ratio and it’s startup. The Advisors are really a startup. We’re creating content. We’re getting advisors to write articles, submit blogs, submit video content to do a number of different things. We’re working with the advisors to get more and more of that content, more of the services up so that they can be more valuable to the C-Suite and that they get valuable return out of it as well, which we’re finding. So far, our advisors have signed up and we’ve kept them all in there and they’re excited and we continued to get more and more interest there. On the C-Suite Network or C-Suite Executives, we grew over 300% last year. We’ll have similar numbers again this year. We continued to expand the services that we offer in terms of we just launched a C-Suite Vault, which is a private safety deposit box online, encrypted, that allows you to interact with vendors and, your staff and your family to put private documents or even public documents into a vault online.
It’s document repository. You can have everything from your wills, your deeds, your stock certificates, your board documents, to do your kids, report cards. It gives you a great, great place to be able to file that data, just like you would take those important documents and have them in a lock box or a safe in your home or safety deposit box, except this makes it much more interactive for executives. We’ve incorporated that. We’ve got other services or benefits to the C-Suite Network such as our Club Core Memberships. That’s a really great one. That’s probably one of our nicer ones where every member of the C-Suite and our Advisors are part of that C-Suite, by the way. We have lots of Councils. We call the advisors as a council. We have a Hero Club which is for CEOs. We have the CMO Council, we have Women in the Boardroom, corporate women directors. We have numerous councils that are out there that are active in the network and each of those are all members. They get the full membership benefits of all the benefits that we have under the C-Suite.
I noticed there are so many benefits. I haven’t had a chance to look at them all. The university clubs and different things that you have access to as part of this, right?
Yeah. The ClubCorp Membership allows us I think up to 200 different properties, I’m not sure .All the ClubCorp, just in the Dallas alone, I think they own thirteen chip properties of which means you can go to that local club and that’s your office. That’s a meeting place for you to have either a lunch or to have dinner or have just a private meeting. Like the other day, I was in Houston, so I went down to the Houston Club and worked out of there rather than working out of my hotel room because in the hotel rooms, it’s not as conducive as in maybe another place. It’s also great to get out of the room when you’re trapped there for three days or two days. If you’re in New York, the new Millennial building, the old World Trade Tower Center will have a ClubCorp in it. In LA, there’s one downtown, the City Club. They have some outside of town in Orange County and in various places that are more country club facilities. I’m in Pittsburgh, I worked for a few days out of the Pittsburgh Club. There are lots of different groups. There are great places to go and participate. You get a membership card with that and then there’s many, many more members like our Book Club. We have a book club where we feature the bestselling authors from Best Seller TV in our C-Suite Book Club and we give a free book away every single month to our members as well.
You have some amazing authors and people that do radio shows. Doug Sandler’s show is awesome. Tell me a little about your radio and your TV a part of this.
We’re everything C-Suite. Our media group is the C-Suite TV and our C-suite TV is about twenty different shows and growing. We have three different offerings. We have a digital offering which you can find in C-SuiteTV.com, and you can watch all those shows on our digital offering. We then have a streaming option which we take those same shows when we put them on Apple, Roku, Amazon Fire and then Opera TV. Opera TV is about a billion television sets around the world. You can view all of our content on Smart TVs. Then we have a third option which is our broadcast option, which is in the airports. You’ll see C-Suite TV and in 60 airports. More airports as they continue to expand via a partnership with ReachMe.TV. You’ll also see it in elevators such as Captivate. Captivate is our other partner which we put a content on that destination broadcast locations. Then in the hotel rooms, you’ll see us listed in hotel rooms as well. It’s the new TV. That’s what’s C-Suite TV is about. You don’t see a lot of shows that are about the market, you see shows that are about business.
Whereas a lot of your cable networks focused on the stock, it’s up $0.25, it’s down $0.25. We are focused on why is it down and what are the leadership lessons that you learned as part of the process and then various others. We have SmartFem TV, we have Executive Perspectives which is filmed live at events and a host of other shows that you can go and watch. Similarly on the TV is C-Suite Radio, which is our podcast at work. It’s the very first all business and podcast network. That makes it the very first and it’s also the largest now. We have about 40 different shows. We have headliners and, and we have a feature chosen showcase shows where we feature a host of great interviews, much like this one with a lot of different podcast hosts. Each format is different. Each link, every show has a different kind of length. I have one of my shows there. I used to be on CBS Radio and then we switched our show over to C-Suite Radio when we launched the network and it’s been nothing but positive since we did that. We’ve got some great shows. We’ve got Steve Miller. Shira Abel has got one on SaaS. We’ve got Julie Ann Sullivan who talks about some good companies and a whole host of other shows that are just fantastic.
You have these TV shows, you’ve got your radio. How do you find time to do all this? Do you get any sleep?
I’ve got a great team and then each one has their own responsibilities of doing things. I’m a real believer as an executive that you, to quote a good friend of mine, Jason Forrest, who also has a TV show on the C-Suite Network called Run Towards the Roar. Jason is out at Fort Worth there. He has a saying, “You know, you show, you do.”You know how it’s done, then you show others how it’s done and you make them do it, and then if they can’t do it then, then you don’t do it for them. I’m a believer of what I call hitting a mark. My job is to hit a mark. The team is to make sure that I do the things I need to do it and all I should be doing is hitting a mark. Which means a mark on a stage, a mark in front of a television camera, mark in front of a microphone to do interviews or a mark to have a sales call, everything else is prepared and done and ready for me to do. I know what I’m walking into before I have to do. That’s how I try to operate.
I love watching you do the intros to the interviews. In Dallas, they made me do the little welcome for the show. You were doing perfectly and they kept making you do it again. I was like, “They wouldn’t want me up there.”
Sometimes it’s fun. At our C-Suite Conferences, what we do is I actually film a show called Executive Perspectives, which is the show shot live with interviews onstage. You’re getting Executive Perspectives from various company executives and then what we do is the event itself, we film about four to five of those interviews which become television shows for us. We shoot it in front of a live audience to Executive Perspectives Live, hence the name. There’s the TV camera, you’re speaking through this little microphone in my ear and then what they tried to do because we’ve got the background and everything else, they want me to do the promos or the lead ins or the wrap ups. I have to say something like this, “It’s Jeffrey Hayzlett. You’ve been watching an episode of Executive Perspective Live. We’re visiting with Diane Hamilton about the future of business in America or something like that. Whatever they tell me I have to do, that’s what I have to do and sometimes they make me do any many times.
I thought they were all good takes. I would have accepted the first one, but I thought it was fun watching you have to do that. Your personality, you are a very easy to talk to guy. Everybody in the room, they feel like they know you right off the bat. Looking back at your bio, you’re in the Hall of Fame Speakers and all the things that you’ve done, what led up to you wanting to do this C-Suite? Are you just a naturally social guy?
I typically am. There’s some of us that are obviously introverts, extroverts, analytical and amiable kinds of personalities, drivers and to go back to Wilson Learning and then those that are the Myers-Briggs and figuring all those things out to. I think there’s a little bit of that. I think we’re all got a little bit of everything and some are more dominant than others. Even sometimes somebody will say, “What’s the best thing you’ve ever done?” I’ll say, “I don’t know. I haven’t done it yet.” It means I’m not done yet. I got a lot more to do. I’m in five Hall of Fame’s spot.
What are they? Can you list them?
The Speaker Hall of Fame, Sales and Marketing Hall of Fame, the Printing Hall of Fame, the Direct Marketing Hall of Fame and the Business Marketing Hall of Fame.
What’s the printing?
The National Association of Quick Printers and also we also if you ask, I also got a Lifetime Achievement Award from the UK as well for printing but I don’t count that as a Hall of Fame, maybe I should.
You’ve done so much now, did you get most of your ability to do all this you think from your experience as a former CMO?
I think it starts early. The things that we were socialized around and what we were doing when we were children, at the heart of who I am as a salesperson. I love to sell things. I used to go door-to-door when I was a kid and sell tickets to Little League a barbecue so I could win the win the prize. I could get the new bat, the new glove, or whatever it was. I used to do that. Things like that got me. “I like to make money.”When I was ten, I wanted to buy this Schwinn bike. It was cool. My dad said, “You better get to work.”He loaned me $5 and I bought a push lawnmower and so then we sharpen that up and so I hit the streets and started mowing lawns. Actually, we lived in a trailer park in South Dakota. We’re in Box Elder, South Dakota. I mowed a lot of lawns that way. Actually, I rented my dad’s electric mower. My dad had an electric mower so I could rent that so much until I bought a gas mower. That’s what I used to do. I used to mow lawns.
He charged you rent, is that what you’re saying?
Yeah. He’s a hard-ass, my dad. He taught me some great things and great lessons. There are no things in life that are free. You could take care of certain things. I think those are the things that lead to what makes you as an individual. Now, did the things that I did as an adult helped me or lead me to other path? I think every experience does that for us.
It’s just so interesting how much you’ve done. Everywhere you go, everybody knows who you are. You’re a bigger than life and it was fun to get to talk to you in Dallas. I know we didn’t really get a long time to chat. What’s the next step for the C-Suite? You keep adding things. I’ve heard new things now since I saw you a few weeks ago. What do you see as the future of it?
We’re going to continue to expand our Counselors. Our Counselors are going to get bigger and bigger and more. We just brought on a Chief Marketing Officers Council which is 12,000 CMOs have joined as part of that activity. It’s an existing council that’s been out there for awhile in its own organization and they’ve now come in as part of the C-Suite which is just like ecstatic. We’re ecstatic about it and then they get a lot more services. Putting people where the other executives are so CMOS get to interact now with much more other officers in companies and vice versa. It gives our Advisors more access to them and it gives our members more access to the other members in the group. We’re really excited because these are bigger brands. The other piece of it is our Hero Club. We will continue to expand. The Hero Club is aimed at CEOs who want to make an impact in their community and with their people, hence the name hero. That’s really what that’s about. It’s fast-growing, high growth companies in their communities who aren’t going to take the money and run. Who have a real belief and desire to make their communities better and make a better life for their employees and the people that they serve.
Each member of The Hero Club signs a pledge saying that they will adhere to certain principles. Then The Hero Club gets-together in an ongoing basis to focus on growth, to focus on networking amongst themselves, and to meet other C-Suite executives. Then we work on education and then we also have access to capital. Greater access to capital to be able to grow and do the right things that they want to do. Then last but not least, to have a good balance of life. We do some fun things like last we were up in Wyoming in Idaho where we did a trout fishing, fly fishing. We call it casting. We go fishing all morning and in the afternoon we go out and trap shoot and do some fun stuff too.
Do you have time to still do your keynotes and go around speaking?
Yeah. I do about 160. It’s the biggest year I’ve ever had.
What type of meetings do you usually attend?
Typically, I do corporations or corporate meetings of some kind. Not always. Associations of companies, I’m almost always a business speaker and rarely anything else. Although, I just did a high school graduation in Houston the other day. I normally wouldn’t do that, but the students kept calling me and kept asking me to do it and they were so persistent and I said, “We got to do this event.”
Did they tell you they can save you hundreds of dollars?
I didn’t care. Sometimes you don’t care about the money. It’s more about the fact that they do it.
I do some speaking myself and I think it just depends on the group where you want to go. I’m sure you get an opportunity to talk about some of the topics in your books. Can you just talk a little bit about your books and what’s next?
I have three books that I’m most excited about. The first one was The Mirror Test and The Mirror Test was my first book in 2010 and I followed up in 2012 with another book, which is called Running the Gauntlet. Then my last book which launched a year ago was called Think Big, Act Bigger: The Rewards of Being Relentless and that’s just been exciting. It’s really about hard work because it’s freaking hard. It’s the principles around making things go when everybody else was trying to say, “No, we already tried that or we did that once before.”Each book has its own place and we’re working on a new book right now called The Hero Factor and What Makes Hero Companies. We hope to launch that this next year but we’re in the process of doing that book right now.
I don’t know how you find time. I’m exhausted just listening and I do a lot and if I think it’s a lot, you must do a lot. I think everybody would love to know how they could find out more. You probably have 100 websites, but where’s the best place to reach you and for people to find out more about you?
Jeff, it was so fun having you on the show and I really enjoyed being part of your C-Suite Advisors Group and I got a lot out of the event in Dallas. It was really great. We had the people that are really high caliber and I’ve met some wonderful connections and I highly recommend it. Thank you for being on the show.
Thank you and thanks for being a part of it and taking a step forward for being a trusted member of our community because it’s very important to make that happen.
I enjoyed speaking with Gerald and Jeffrey, the two are some pretty impressive individuals. Those of you that haven’t had a chance to check out both of their sites, please do. They both have a wealth of knowledge and they are two very impressive individuals. I have to say that is a great show. I hope you come back for our next show of Take The Lead Radio.
About Gerald Chertavian
Gerald Chertavian, who received an MBA with honors from Harvard, combined his entrepreneurial skills and his passion for working with urban young adults to found Year Up in 2000. An intensive one-year training and education program that serves low income youth ages 18-24, Year Up provides the technical, professional, and communication skills needed to empower urban young adults to make successful transitions to careers and higher education. Gerald’s commitment to working with urban youth spans more than 25 years. He has actively participated in the Big Brother mentoring program since 1985 and was recognized as one of New York’s outstanding Big Brothers in 1989.
About Jeffrey Hayzlett
Jeffrey Hayzlett is a primetime television host of C-Suite with Jeffrey Hayzlett and Executive Perspectives on C-Suite TV, and business podcast host of All Business with Jeffrey Hayzlett on C-Suite Radio. He is a global business celebrity, speaker, best-selling author, and Chairman of C-Suite Network, home of the world’s most trusted network of C-Suite leaders. Hayzlett is a well-traveled public speaker, former Fortune 100 CMO, and author of three best-selling business books: Think Big, Act Bigger: The Rewards of Being Relentless, Running the Gauntlet and The Mirror Test. Hayzlett is one of the most compelling figures in business today and an inductee into the NSA’s Speaker Hall of Fame.
- Jeffrey Hayzlett
- C-Suite TV
- Year Up
- Dress for Success
- 60 Minutes
- C-Suite With Jeffrey Hayzlett
- Executive Perspectives
- All Business with Jeffrey Hayzlett
- Think Big, Act Bigger: The Rewards of Being Relentless
- Running the Gauntlet
- The Mirror Test
- NSA Speaker Hall of Fame
- C-Suite Network
- C-Suite Advisors
- SmartFem TV
- C-Suite Radio
- Run Towards the Roar