Alex has been working in experiential learning design and delivery since 2002. In 2015, Alex started DX Learning Solutions as a way to build upon his passion for the EQ part of leadership development, and is now on a mission to shape organizations worth working for by training managers from top to bottom to think and behave more inclusively and lead with your values.Follow
Welcome to the Use Case Podcast, episode 204. Today we have Alex from DX Learning about the use case or business case for why his customers use DX Learning.
Alex is on a mission to shape organizations worth working for by training managers from top to bottom to think and behave more inclusively and lead with values.
Show length: 30 minutes
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Music: Welcome to RecruitingDaily’s Use Case podcast, a show dedicated to the storytelling that happens or should happen when practitioners purchase technology. Each episode is designed to inspire new ways and ideas to make your business better. As we speak with the brightest minds in recruitment and HR tech, that’s what we do. Here’s your host, William Tincup.
William Tincup: Ladies and gentlemen, this is William Tincup and you are listening to the Use Case podcast. Today we have Alex on from DX, and we’re going to be talking about the use case or the business case for DX. And DX is DX Learning Solutions, but [inaudible 00:00:42] we’re going to focus on calling it DX because that’s what Alex likes and that’s what his customers call it as well. But we’re going to figure out the business case that his prospects and his customers have used to purchase and to interact with DX. So let’s just jump right into it. Alex, please introduce yourself and DX.
Alex Draper: Thanks for having me William. Appreciate it. My name is Alex Draper, I’m CEO and founder of DX, which stands for, if you want to know [inaudible 00:01:16] not the Draper experience. It’s funny when you start a business, one of the hardest things to come up with is a name. In my world, I create leadership experiences to wipe out bad leadership. That’s our purpose and trying to find a name with leadership and experience, and it became really tough because everything else has been trademarked and everything else has been used. Until one day I had a few glasses of whiskey and I remembered my Latin teacher who was not a very nice person and was like, “Oh what’s the Latin name for leadership experience? [Latin 00:01:50].” There we go. DX.
William Tincup: Oh, first of all fantastic. And I would’ve thought it was a joke. I’m glad you actually said that. I’m glad you actually took us into the Latin because they keep coming back to my Latin, A. B, I would’ve thought if you didn’t tell me that it [inaudible 00:02:08] and probably people have thought it was Draper experience, which isn’t a bad thing. Just coincidentally, isn’t a bad thing. So leadership experiences, let’s talk a little bit about that because I’ve had some experience in my life with experiential leadership, which is really fascinating, where you put people into historical context and then you get them to rethink both historical context and then their own leadership and what they can learn about themselves. And so I’ve got some really interesting stories, we’d go offline and talk about because they’re just really fun experiences. But how does a company know… We’ll start with some basics. How does a company know that they need leadership experiences?
Alex Draper: Yeah. Oh man. There’s probably two trains of thought here. One they don’t know and by the time they do know it’s too late. Because you wouldn’t know until people start leaving that you’ve got a leadership problem. So I think that leads to, when do you know? So culture is a mirror of leadership. So think about all of your, the listeners, especially the CEOs and founders of your companies and or team leaders, culture, the culture of a team or the culture of the organization is a mirror of your leadership. So when people consistently behave in a certain way, that becomes a culture. And I love this saying, culture is the worst behavior that you’re willing to tolerate. So, if you’re an asshole, then you have an asshole culture. And if you’re willing to accept that behavior, then that’s a problem. So that’s when we are brought in, it’s when you know that there’s a culture issue, when you know that people are leaving or there’s disengagement or people’s stress levels are going to the roof. It’s not because of anything else apart from bad leadership.
William Tincup: Okay. So for the audience, say that again, culture is…
Alex Draper: A mirror of leadership.
William Tincup: [inaudible 00:04:06] the what you’re willing to…
Alex Draper: So your culture is one of the worst behavior in a team of leaders that you’re willing to tolerate. That is the culture.
William Tincup: That’s a keeper right there. If the audience gets nothing else, they’re going to steal that because that is exactly true. And everyone listening to this knows that. So we’ve obviously put a stressor with COVID and the pandemic. We’ve put a stressor on leadership. Yes, but culture, I’ve had a lot of conversations around how people are rethinking culture from the sense of culture, especially here in the states, it was thought of as the box, right? Like culture was inside the [inaudible 00:04:54] in the massage tables and all that other stuff. [crosstalk 00:04:57] Yeah ping-pong tables, right? So, that was our culture. Well, technically, probably never, but anyhow, what have you seen as you’re working with leaders, how they’re and struggle is probably not the right word, but as they’re reconfiguring their thoughts around what is and isn’t culture.
Alex Draper: Yeah. It’s… We’re going for explosive growth right now because people are having that horrible realization that, crap culture is not a ping-pong table or beer or whatever it is. Whatever we thought it was, it’s not, which is great for us. I love Peter Drucker, the late Peter Drucker management guru, he said, and I love it. Culture eats strategy for breakfast. So, your people… An organization is a bunch of humans. And therefore that’s it, nothing more, nothing less. You don’t have a business without humans. I hate people who think anything other than. That is the truth. Your business is basically a bunch of human beings. And the better you treat them, the more money you make. So it’s like, that’s why eat strategy for… Culture eats strategy for breakfast, but what’s really cool about what’s happening.
So I’m gen X, I’m 43 years old. I’m a little older, got gray hair everywhere. What was normal for me growing up was just get your head done. I’m British living in Chicago. So stiff upper lip, just getting it done. And I did. I got it done. All I knew was to work. I’m a workhorse. That was normal for me. It’s probably normal for most of us, a lot of us, but I love what gen Z are doing. What gen Y, I don’t… Forget what we call them, the young. The young have come into the workplace and said, “No. No, no, no, no, no. I want to work for someone and for an organization that treats me like a human being.” So, what you’ve seen in the last couple of years, just for two reasons, the pandemic, and just because a new generation’s coming into the workforce, that people aren’t willing to tolerate the asshole, right?
That worst behavior that you’re willing to tolerate, they’re not willing to tolerate it. And it’s brilliant. I love it. So what’s changed is what people value and culture is a set of values. So at DX, our purposes is, we shape organizations worth working for, by making them more human. My personal purposes to wipe out bad leadership. Our organization has five values, customer-centric, passion, pioneering, team and smart-working. They’re all defined and they have three behaviors under each one. That’s our culture. How I behave, how we all behave of each other is the culture. And what we value is when I’m starting to hire people, I just… By the way, and they ask this now in the bloody interviews, the youngins are actually asking, “Hey, what’s your culture like, Alex?” “Oh I’m glad you asked that. Here we go, let me walk you through our culture.”
So they understand what we value and they can go, “Well, I don’t like that. That’s not what I value.” Good, go off. Go off in your Merry way then. Oh I love that. I can work for that. So what we’re seeing is a marrying of values. We reevaluated what we value over the last couple of years, me, especially. I traveled 75% of the time, I value work. I quickly realized that was horrible. I’m like, “Oh my God.” When the pandemic happened, I was at home for three months. I realized how much I value my family. So I changed everything. From the business, to how I work my family, to how I work my people. I put family first. So I reevaluated myself and many of us have, and that’s what’s happening right now. It’s all about what you value. We need to match culture as a mirror of leadership. So what your leaders value, should match what your employees value. And that’s what we’re seeing right now. Does what I value? Is that what you value? And if it isn’t, I’m out of here.
William Tincup: So no right question or no right answer to the two questions I’m about to ask. And you can answer them in either order. Can you change a bad manager? That’s one. Two, is leadership nurture or versus nature? What do you… And I know you get chicken and egg. I know you get asked this question a gillion times, however, it’s on everyone’s mind. And so let’s just go ahead and scratch it off the list. So the first one was, can you change a bad manager?
Alex Draper: Yes. So, and here’s the why behind that? I’m going to debunk everything. No one…
William Tincup: By the way, this is going to be a three hour podcast. Everybody get ready.
Alex Draper: First myth. People are born to be a leader. Absolutely yes. Not one person, not one person, nobody, not some 0.5 billion people, not one of them was born to be a leader. Here’s why, science says, what’s some… We’re all human. What’s the thing on top of our body, William, what’s the thing that sits on top of our body? It’s a…
William Tincup: Hopefully hair, but yes [inaudible 00:09:38].
Alex Draper: Underneath the hair or some of us don’t have hair, but anyway, it’s a brain. What do you think the primary purpose of the brain is William?
William Tincup: Well, it’s [crosstalk 00:09:52] hopefully it’s our CPU. Hopefully it’s our operating system.
Alex Draper: To do what? With the purpose of…
William Tincup: With the purpose of… Oh, good gosh. With the purpose of helping us live our better life.
Alex Draper: Let me just reframe what you said to keep us alive.
William Tincup: Yeah, it’s a good point. It is. Yeah.
Alex Draper: The brain’s primary purpose is to keep us alive. And just put this in context. We’ve only been alive for 300,000 years and for 97% of those 300,000 years, we’re hunters, we’ve been hunters and gathers. The agricultural and industrial revolution didn’t happen that long ago. And we are still hunters and gathers. Our brains are still hunters and gathers. The prefrontal cortex, the newest part of the brain is still fairly new, which is the voice of reason. So, we’re just tribal. Our primary purpose is to keep us alive. So think about that for a second. My brain is a selfish, self-centered horrible machine that keeps me alive.
William Tincup: It’s not thinking about leadership.
Alex Draper: Leadership is keeping them alive. So everyone was born to be a bad leader. And I’ve done this for 22 years, I’ve trained about 30,000 people. I truly believe, there’s a few assholes out there. I just can’t change. If you are an asshole and you’re naturally wired that way, there’s nothing no one can do. Most of us unintentionally treat people like crap because our brain is telling us to, because our brain wants to keep us alive and not them alive, and we would never know.
And that’s why there’s a hundred… The brain’s created 165 biases. A bias is a cognitive shortcut to preserve your brain power, reallocate resources to scan for threats. So therefore these biases are assumptive and presumptive making. They make all these horrible assumptions that are good for you but not good for your team. And you would never know that you are being an asshole. So yeah, actually, and with good training, you can change everything, with good training. Let me put that we’ve spent 14 billion dollars in America on leadership training. Obviously it doesn’t work because there’s still too many assholes out there. So there’s a difference between mediocre training and effective training that actually gets people to really look at themselves and go, “Oh my gosh… ” [crosstalk 00:11:58]
William Tincup: Yeah, that’s me. That’s me.
Alex Draper: “That’s Me. I’m an asshole. Oh crap.”
William Tincup: It’s me. I didn’t set out to be, but that’s how it comes across. And that’s again, that’s… How do you, when you’re talking to a leadership team, you probably, if you got them in an offsite or if you got their, you captured attention, first thing is that I want to ask you is about, is how do you get them to understand just what you just bottled up in two minutes. How do you get them to buy into and understand that there’s going to be some rewiring, there’s going to be some rethinking about even tactical things and some strategic things and maybe even some behaviors, but there’s… You’re going to have to be different. If you’re think you can come through this and then you’re going to be the same person through this, then well let’s not start. Let’s not play if you think that, that’s going to happen.
Alex Draper: Yeah. Let me give you what we call the six step process for behavior change, accelerated behavior change, which will go into how we do it. So, for a human to change and to change for the better, there’s pretty much six things that need to happen. Number one, you’ve got stick them into the growth mindset. So if I got two minutes, I can probably only do two steps, but that those first two steps get some wanting more. So, step one, growth mindset, there’s two types of mindset. This is Carol Dweck’s work. There’s a fixed mindset and a growth mindset. A lot of us have a fixed mindset for leadership. We think that we were born to be this way. And when you think that you’re born this way, it stops your, inhibits your brain from wanting to expand itself.
So we get people into a growth mindset. “No, no, no, no, no, you weren’t born this way. Don’t worry about it. You suck. Everyone sucks.” It’s perfectly okay. So get them into the mindset of growth that through grip, determination and perseverance, you can get better at anything, including leadership. So growth mindset, step number one for human betterment. Step two is our sort of, acts as gift to the world. Think about this, you can’t change what you don’t know needs to change. And most of us have no idea. And in fact, empirical research by Tasha Eurich says that 95% of us think that we know that we’re awesome. Right? So we think that we’re self-aware, we think that we’re great leaders because our brain’s playing tricks on us every damn day, actually only 10 to 15% of us are. So, nearly all of us walk around clueless. The fact that [inaudible 00:14:14] doing. So, what we do is we actually use [Latin 00:14:18]. We use experiential activities that show people their blind spots and they go [crosstalk 00:14:27]
William Tincup: I love that.
Alex Draper: “Oh crap. You play a little game, play a little game.” You’re like, “Oh, you little bugger, you tricked me.” And I didn’t trick you. You just saw your brain working against you. It’s like, “Oh wow. I do that every day.” That’s our gift to the world, to create these many experiences for people to see themselves and see how their brain works, so that they can change. Because the first part of change is to know that you need to change. And if you tell someone, of course they’re not going to listen, but if they see it themselves, then they’re going to listen. So that’s step two is create self-awareness through experiential activities. Step three is acceptance. If you show someone a blind spot, well you better back that up as to why they have it. Otherwise, they’re going to get real angry. It’s like, “Oh my God, I hate myself. I can’t… ”
“Hey, hey, hey, slow down. It’s okay. There’s 165 biases in the brain and you just went through one of them. That was called the illusion of agreement bias. It’s okay, we all have it. Accept the fact that you’re human.” So, that’s step three. Step four is, now they’re patting your hands because they’re like, “Oh you just show me something I never knew about myself. Thank you. I want to get better.” “Okay. Let’s show you.” Step four is best practice. Well, how can they get better? Step five is, we’re all different in terms of who we lead and where we lead. So help them apply it. So application is step five, apply this best practice into your world. And then step six is, unfortunately we’re human and we’re crappy at change and it takes time. So you’ve got to sleep on it. So reinforce the learning over 60 days and you’re more [inaudible 00:15:52] to actually do it. So we have a piece of technology that comes with all of our experiences that actually gets people to habitually apply what they said they would do. And there’s your six steps.
William Tincup: Well [inaudible 00:16:02] just drop the mic and walk off stage at this point, but we’re going to keep going. So the experiences, when we get them into those experiences, especially the experiential learning part, what’s some of the best ways to do that because historically, we would probably do stuff offsite. With the pandemic, maybe you can still do some of that, but do you want to get a leader like the CEO, are you trying to get the entire management team and in doing so, whatever that answer is. Is it something that you can do remotely or is it done best in person? So that the audience comes away with an understanding of, okay Alex, what do you mean by these experiences?
Alex Draper: Okay. I think there’s a couple of answers in this. Let me try and see if I answer the first one. Where do we do begin?
William Tincup: Yes, where?
Alex Draper: Yeah, the answer to that question is depending on what you’re trying to do. So just to take culture is a mirror of leadership. So if you’re listening to this your going, “You know what? We never really talked about culture. We don’t really have values. We do have values, but we probably need to rethink that.” So if anything, if you’re trying to change your culture, it starts at the top. Because at end of the day, there was a… The picture of the year from national geographic was a zebra, but the actual picture of the zebra was a shadow of the zebra and the real, you could barely see the actual zebra. And I say, as a leader, your shadow, what you say and what you do for others, you have no idea of the shadow that you leave behind you. And some people just need to understand that you might not know that you do, but as a leader, if people like you or not, you leave either a trail of disaster behind you in your shadow or a trail of awesomeness.
And it’s so important to understand that what you say and what you do is the culture. So, if you’re talking about culture, it starts at the top, CEO, executive team you start there and you cascade. Of course, if you’re trying to isolate something specific, your middle managers are having issues with feedback, or you can isolate that. So culture starts at the top. You got to go top down. If you’re looking at just basic leadership habits at certain horizontals, then it’s okay to start in the middle or the bottom. So very dependent on the situation is where you begin, is what I’ll say. More often or not, you start at the top. You want a culture of feedback or if the executives aren’t giving feedback, then no one else will. So, basic [inaudible 00:18:36]. So start typically at the top is the answer to that question. The second question, William, if you could ask that again was?
William Tincup: Oh, I’ve already come up with a better question. So we’re good because you answered that one, actually magnificently. [inaudible 00:18:56] have you ever gotten to board the actual past this [inaudible 00:19:03], if you will, and gotten into the board and gotten them to understand how important leadership is?
Alex Draper: Oh man damn. No, the board. No, is the answer. Me personally? No, we’ve always stopped at the C-suite. But of course, so here’s the challenge of that answer. So depending on the size of your company, depending on who you [crosstalk 00:19:26] executive suite serve, if their shareholders, if your shareholders don’t believe that culture eats strategy for breakfast, all we’re going to ask for is shareholder value creation. So yeah, yeah no, we personally haven’t, but some companies have and that’s probably out of my jurisdiction. My job’s to come in and if once the decision’s been made, we’ve got to change our culture, my job’s to accelerate that change swiftly as possible. [crosstalk 00:19:52]
William Tincup: I love that, I love that. And if we could get one of the audience members, if you can get your board on ball or involved, it would be amazing. And I think as transformative would be the least of the words that I’d use, but it would be a way of getting the management team and the board on the same page. It’d just be a wonderful way, especially if you’re smaller, high growth and not public, and you’re not doing the quote on quote growth stuff that a lot of the public companies get trapped into. You mentioned retention at the beginning, in terms of people are leaving in droves. And okay, so now you recognize as a founder CEO, we have a problem. Is there any other indicators? I mean, but that’s a great one. Is there any other things that you’ve seen other than retention?
Alex Draper: Depends on what you use. So of course you’ve got the old traditional engagement surveys, if you are seeing a drop and just so you know, Gallup probably has the most recognized engagement survey. I think they’re seeing a 1% drop per year, so we’re actually getting worse. So if you have an engagement survey, that’s one. Glassdoor, that’s a great one, right? Glassdoor ratings, take a look at your own Glassdoor ratings. That’s pretty down obvious. Just general chit chat. I mean, whatever you are hearing and I also go what you’re not hearing. So output of all of this, a great culture, I always say, great culture is hollow unless there’s psychological safety. Because if you think about it really, we’re in a very much compliant disengaged mechanism here in America.
We do what we’re told, we comply and we disengage. And you never know that I’m on LinkedIn looking for a job and 42 million people have left their job in the last, I believe year and a half. So a significant amount of people since the pandemic started. You’re doing it wrong. You know, you’ve got a bad culture when you’re hearing nothing. If you’re surrounded by smokes and mirrors, that’s a problem. I say silence kills businesses, silence kills leadership. And at home silence kills relationships. It’s like silence will lead to divorce and silence will lead… And divorce in the workplaces is people being disengaged. Their wellbeing being disrupted and then leaving. So silence is a business killer. And you know you’re doing it wrong when people aren’t talking.
William Tincup: Oh, I love that. That’s yet another great quote. So two things [inaudible 00:22:23] is your take on culture being fluid or organic and second culture in the sense of, is there one cultural umbrella for a firm and then there’s microcultures underneath that. Or so the basic question is culture versus cultures. So first part is, is it fluid or dynamic and what do you think about that? And the other is, is there an umbrella culture for the company and then a sales culture, a marketing culture, customer service or culture et cetera.
Alex Draper: Yeah. So let’s go back to the original definition. Culture is a mirror of leadership. It’s not a culture if you got a subculture within a culture. So that’s, culture’s a mirror of leadership. So if one group of leaders is behaving a different way to another group of leaders, then you have two cultures. So yeah, I mean, fine if you want to have lots of subcultures, that’s okay. I believe in my opinion is this, the more consistent you are of your culture, I help people behave, the better the culture is. I don’t want to come into a company and my one leader’s different to another leader. That doesn’t create consistency and brain’s love consistency. So why would I… No one works for the same boss forever, and if you want to try and keep people as long as possible, they’re going to be transient and move. So we’ve got to have a consistent culture.
And I love Patrick Lencioni’s work here. All of you, if you’re interested in this, Lencioni’s work. I love it. The book, The Advantage, awesome. So of books I’ve just gone through, you’ve got read Tasha Eurich, her book on insights about Self-Awareness, that’s self-awareness pandemic and [inaudible 00:24:03]. Read Fearless Organization by Amy Edmondson on psychological safety and importance and read The Advantage by Patrick Lencioni on organizational health, which is culture. And some of the… He’s got six questions and we use that to create our culture. Why do we exist? How do we behave? What do we do? And how will we succeed? And what’s important right now? I mean, the answers to those questions, and who does what? The answers to those six questions becomes your culture, especially those first two questions. Why do we exist? Create purpose? And how do we behave? That for me is a north star.
I’m going to behave my own way and create a subculture if no one gives me a box to work in. So it’s so important to have, I wouldn’t say one culture, but at least define the culture. Remember, your ability, your willingness to accept the worst behavior is the culture. So create guidance of what a great culture looks like. And that’s your north star. So I believe culture is, there’s one culture. There is a north star and that it should be hardwired, i.e., some performance management, not just about results. To make more money, you should behave in a certain way. You should fire people if they don’t believe it, if they don’t do it. For me, the ultimate acceptance of a culture is when the CEO fires one of the board or one of the C-suite for not abiding by the culture. It’s like, then you got it. So…
William Tincup: Then last thing, and it’s just, this is more of a personal thing, is we’re both gen X. And I think the pandemic fundamentally, you talked about how it changed you. It changed much the same way in terms of global travel and I hope that we don’t go backwards. But we give a lot of credit to gen Z and millennials, et cetera, and all of that stuff, which is rightfully deserved, I would say. But I think even if I were looking for a job today, I’d be asking those questions. So I mean, I want to give them credit, but definitely want to definitely give other generations credit. But I think I’ve co-opted it at this point. Do you see the world the same way? Like A, we hope we’d always slide back into some of the poor behaviors that were pre-pandemic and B, even though like myself, you’re gen Z, you’ve almost taken on these attributes of gen X, gen Z, and millennials.
Alex Draper: So to answer the first question, we already are. I’m seeing executives at large companies force that people [crosstalk 00:26:44] to come back to work. So we’re always… Because they’re idiots. They don’t trust their people are [crosstalk 00:26:49]
William Tincup: They’re scared.
Alex Draper: Yes they’re. So, but it’s going to kill them. They don’t understand it. It’s going to come back to bite them.
William Tincup: Alex, I’ve actually been on record saying, I think it’s a tell of who’s a bad manager. So, I think actually the more you say you want people in the office, the more I know that you’re a bad manager.
Alex Draper: Agreed.
William Tincup: It’s a little harsh, but anyhow. Right?
Alex Draper: I’m with you on that one. So let’s, we agree. So that’s, we’re already slipping back. So that’s number one. The second question. So…
William Tincup: You too, are you starting to take on some of the attributes of these younger generations?
Alex Draper: I am me. And I say that. So I am me. I am Alex Draper. I’m a 43 year old British guy living in Chicago. I will not change the things that I believe in. I am a hard worker and I believe in grip, I was brought up that way and I’m not going to change. Hard work for me is smart work. Yeah, one of our cultural aspirations is smart working. So that’s me showing, demonstrating empathy. So here’s what I do. And I believe empathy is the skill of the future. And if you don’t have this skill, then nothing else matters in the world. If you can’t have empathy for other people, just forget it. It’s the crux of being a great leader. Empathy is walking in the shoes of others.
What I do do, I’m not willing to give up what I believe in. What I am willing to do is demonstrate empathy for my team. And my team are younger. So while I’m not going to change me, I am going to change the way in which I interact with others and that’s changed dramatically. And I, just real quick, I had a hundred percent employee attrition for the first three years of DX. I lost every employee and my business performance was terrible. I started a business to wipe out bad leadership and I became one of those bad leaders. Why? Because I forced people to be me. [crosstalk 00:28:49]
William Tincup: Right? You expected them to be you. Yeah.
Alex Draper: There you go. And the last three years, not one person has left voluntarily. What changed? Culture, culture eats strategy for breakfast, culture is a mirror of me. We put the values down. Some of those values are not ones that I value, but what the team values. We created a new culture. We created the north star and people buy into that. That’s why it’s so important. And I’m living proof that if you screw it up, you lose people, if you do it right, you keep people.
William Tincup: Drops mic, walks off stage. Alex, we could talk for hours, but I know you’ve got other things to do today. So, thank you so much for coming on the podcast. I absolutely enjoyed every single moment.
Alex Draper: Man, thanks for having me. This was fun. I hope you’ve all got something to think out. [crosstalk 00:29:35].
William Tincup: Well, now they’ve got about 19 books they have to read Alex, but other than that, you’ve given them all kinds of your wisdom. So thank you and thanks for everyone listening to RecruitingDaily Podcast. Until next time.
Music: You’ve been listening to RecruitingDaily’s Use Case podcast. Be sure to subscribe on your favorite platform and hit us up at recruitingdaily.com.
William is the President & Editor-at-Large of RecruitingDaily. At the intersection of HR and technology, he’s a writer, speaker, advisor, consultant, investor, storyteller & teacher. He's been writing about HR and Recruiting related issues for longer than he cares to disclose. William serves on the Board of Advisors / Board of Directors for 20+ HR technology startups. William is a graduate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham with a BA in Art History. He also earned an MA in American Indian Studies from the University of Arizona and an MBA from Case Western Reserve University.