Episode 101 – Steve Browne

September 27, 2017


Steve rocks his way to better coworker connections

 

Steve Browne describes himself as a music freak. Right when he gets to his office, he turns on some music and leaves it on throughout the day. He has an iPod classic with 11,000 songs on it and he goes to live concerts as often as possible – including U2 at Soldier Field and Paul McCartney and Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers with Joe Walsh. He has a very personal connection with music that translates into a personal connection with the people around him.

In this episode, Steve and I talk about how, like music, people have a vibe, so it’s important for leaders to understand where people are instead of where you think they should be. As a human resources executive, it’s important for Steve to have the courage to be himself while also encouraging others to do the same. But it’s the company’s culture that has to not only allow for it but also value each individual’s passions. In order to get to know others around you, make time in your calendar to get out and meet others where they are at. As Steve says, “Your desk is your enemy. You need to get out of your office and go visit people.”

Steve Browne is the Executive Director of HR at LaRosa’s in Cincinnati, OH. He is also the author of the book HR on Purpose: Developing Deliberate People Passion.

He received his BS Communications, Interpersonal Communications from Ohio University.


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Other pictures of Steve

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Steve is more comfortable in tie-dye and he even has a tie-dye dress shirt!

Steve’s office does not belong to that of your average HR person.

Peace, Love and HR

Steve’s office is surrounded with music memorabilia.


Steve’s links

 

Transcript

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    Welcome to Episode 101 of the Green Apple Podcast where each Wednesday, I interview a professional known for a hobby or a passion, making them stand out like a green apple in a red apple word. Because when I tell you, imagine an apple in your head, just go ahead and do it. An apple.

    I’m sure for most of you, it’s red, right? Because in school, A is for apple, that picture, always red because that’s the stereotype. But the interesting thing is that all apples actually start out green and then over time, they turn red turning into the stereotype but deep down inside, all of us has this passion for something other than our jobs. That’s what I love to shine a light on each week here on the Green Apple Podcast.

    Thanks so much to everyone for subscribing and leaving ratings and comments on iTunes or whatever Android app you might use and thank you. That really helps get the message out there to new listeners.

    But now it’s time to introduce you to this week’s guest, Steve Browne. He’s the executive director of human resources at LaRosa’s in Cincinnati and the author HR on Purpose. He’s an absolute rock star in the human resources world so I’m so excited to have him here with me. So Steve, thanks so much for taking time to be on the Green Apple Podcast.

    Steve: Thanks, John. Thanks for having me.

    John: Oh, man. I’m so excited to have you on and after chatting with you a couple of weeks ago on the phone and everything and your new book, HR on Purpose that’s out, I mean congrats on that because that’s quite an achievement to just finish a book and get it published. It’s fantastic.

    Steve: Thanks a lot. It was a lot of work but it’s fun to try and see what people want to do with it. I’m getting a lot of good reviews and people who were saying, “Hey, you’re simplifying HR, which is great.”

    John: Man, god bless you for that, right? I mean next up, physics. I mean I gave everyone a little bit of your introduction but maybe a little bit of where you’re at now and kind of how you got there.

    Steve: Oh, I’m the head of HR for LaRosa’s Pizzeria in Cincinnati, Ohio. We’re a regional pizzeria but we’re a little different than other places. We have 66 total locations and we’ve been in business for 64 years.

    John: Wow. That’s long.

    Steve: Yeah, we’re more of a tradition here in Cincinnati. I run the corporate side of it, most of its franchise but we have about 1,200 team members that I’m responsible for and it’s a great place.

    John: Yeah. That’s fantastic, man. Do you get to sample some on occasion? I would weigh 300 pounds if I worked there. I would be like, you know, you’re not supposed to eat the inventory, John, that’s not how it works.

    Steve: We get to eat all the time. My favorite thing though is we have a test kitchen. One day I went over, and you’ll love this, and the person in charge of the test kitchen was testing bacon like four types of bacon. He says, “Sit down. Let’s eat bacon.” I’m like, are you kidding me?

    John: If I have to, I mean really? Okay, fine. That’s so great, man. I didn’t even know there were different kinds of bacon. That’s fascinating but that’s cool though and that you’ve been there for so long and that it’s a great environment to be around. So what made you want to get in to human resources?

    Steve: Oh, man. It’s a good story short story type thing. I was doing poorly in college. I went into college as a chemist and then a chemical engineer and I was failing miserably. My mom sat down with me and she says, “Hey, you know, everything you’ve done has been with people.” And I go, “Yeah?” And she says, “So why don’t you find a profession that’s dealing with people?” I said, “Okay. Thanks, mom.” So I switched majors, went into communications and I started before human resources even was HR, it was personnel when I started and then started out as a recruiter. I’m one of those anomalies in the field, honestly. A lot of people fall into HR or they go, “Gosh, John. You’re really nice. We’ll make you the HR person.” I’ve been an HR my entire career for over 30 years now.

    John: Yeah, you’re like a unicorn. I mean that’s for sure. Because I mean I know a lot of people that — you know I mean, I remember actually when I was leaving Big Four, part of me was like oh, maybe I should just become a recruiter for accounting people because I know that side of it and whatever but then I found a job so, as if a recruiter isn’t a real job, but it’s just a hard one. So no, that’s impressive, man. Did you ever thank your mom for sending you on that path?

    Steve: All the time.

    John: Yeah, because that’s the time. It’s like, mom, all jobs involve people. What are you talking about? But when you do have some free time on your nights and weekends, what sort of hobby or passion like really, really drives you?

    Steve: I’m a huge music person. Gigantic music person. I catch concerts, see live music. I don’t play music but I’m old fashioned. My kids think I’m crazy. I have an old iPod Classic. I didn’t know it was a classic. I just thought it was an iPod. I have like 11,000 songs on there. I’ll listen to entire albums. I have music stuff all over my office and you just joined my forum, the HR Net, where I write a song about HR, making fun of HR to music that people hopefully have heard before.

    John: Yeah, no, there’s parodies. Every week, I’m like I mean how do you do this? And you’ve got the YouTube clip for the music so we can listen along to your words. It’s impressive, man. It’s very impressive. So I mean how did you get into just enamored by everything music?

    Steve: I’m one of those people that needs a lot of stimulation around him. I do very poorly in cold quiet places. My first job was in a Fortune 100 company and it was stark. White walls, no sound, nothing. If you came in to my office now, it’s a menagerie. I have a lave lamp.

    John: Wow that’s great.

    Steve: I have three. Three lava lamps, magic 8-ball, a sword that hangs on the wall that the employees have to sit under. My friends just sent me a llama lamp, like a llama head. And I have music on constantly when I first started here at LaRosa’s. I’ve been here a little over ten years. I come in the morning, I turn on my iPod and then I leave my office, and then my staff’s like, “Why aren’t you turning the music off?” I’m like, “Oh, no. You got to have music.” “And so all the time?” “Yeah.” So now, when they know the music’s off, I’m not here.

    John: What is it that makes you want to just bring all those things out in your office? Is it just it’ll drive you crazy if you don’t or you don’t care anymore sort of a thing? I mean a lot of people are like, you’re like, “I’m HR. What are you going to do? Who are you going to tell? Me?”

    Steve: That’s right. I do that. I do say that a lot all the time. “Hey, if you’re going to file a claim, guess who it comes to? Ha ha ha.” I think when you talk about people bringing their entire selves to work and then we don’t allow it, so when I’m interviewed here, it was interesting. I wasn’t sure you know, would I come here, would I not? Because LaRosa’s is such an institution but I went around and I saw magic 8-ball sitting on people’s desks. And I went, “Ha!” and I saw lava lamps in people’s offices. I’m like, “What?” And there’s Galileo barometers, thermometer. I saw those in people’s offices. I go, well, I have all those things already.

    So the biggest difference was I came here and I turned my lava lamp on, everybody else have theirs but they’d never turn it on. I’m like no, you’re supposed to have an environment full of life and energy and fun and color so I mean everybody comes to my office now. When we have kids in the office which is often, you know, if I go to Mr. Steve’s office and they come down and they play all over and we sit and have a great time. We’re a family company. So I’m trying to show if you could model the behavior you expect in others then people kind of relax.

    John: Yeah. It makes you so approachable. It’s a little bit vulnerable but then you’re human. You’re not the head of HR in the corner. It’s Steve. I’m talking to Steve which is so rewarding for everyone around you and really cool. Have you always been that way in your career?

    Steve: I’ve tried to be. I would say that you know, the culture of the place, I never understood culture when I first started in the field at all. You went to work because your parents went to work and everybody just works but what I found out was you don’t, when I’m around all these miserable people, I’m thinking what’s missing? And so I just started pressing the envelope to see what I could get away with and then the more I was able to get away with, I just kept adding more and more and more and more just to see where it would stop and now, it’s expected.

    So I go throughout my office and I’ll give you a good example. My payroll manager’s phenomenal. Love her. You could eat off her desk. Eat. If you moved a paperclip, she would know. And that’s not a joke, that’s a reality. So I want her to be that person. That’s okay. Now, she has pictures that her kids drew and pictures of baseball because she’s a huge baseball person. And then my other staff person is my HR manager, she’s got family stuff all over because she’s got two young kids and when we allow people to just be themselves, it really works. So went through cultures that didn’t allow that and I’m not there anymore.

    John: Yeah, right, exactly for a reason. Because you weren’t the ones getting the reports at the time. But, no. I mean that’s so true and what a profound statement that you had of just you want people to be who they are because it just works better that way.

    Steve: Yes, definitely.

    John: I guess we’ll circle back to this but you know, one thing that I — just music, I’ve been to quite a few concerts myself and I mean it’s just so fun and such an experience. The before, during, and after, it’s crazy. So do you have any cooler concerts that you’ve been to?

    Steve: Well, I just recently went to Tom Petty and Joe Walsh. It was Tom Petty’s 40th anniversary. I’m more of a classic rock guy. So to see Tom Petty in his 40th anniversary still better than he ever was, and then the other two that stand out in one summer, I went and saw U2 at Soldier Field, worship experience. Not kidding. I mean just a giant U2 fan ever since they’ve started way back in the late ‘70s, early ‘80s so to see him in person and to sing every freaking song. But that same summer, I saw Paul McCartney. And for Paul McCartney, he played like three hours. Never left the stage.

    John: That’s unbelievable.

    Steve: When I’m that old, I would be leaving the stage.

    John: Right, exactly. I mean just to get a water, like anything. No, that’s impressive, man. That’s so impressive. And just going to concerts, there’s something about it that the live where you get to sing along and they do some weird stuff that’s not on any albums and have some fun. You get to see who they really are. It’s kind of like what you were talking about with the people that you work around where it’s you know, hey, this is who they really are. It’s not the in studio U2. It’s the on stage. I don’t know what Bono is going to talk about. So would you say that all this music and everything, is there anything that you take from that to your work other than putting on the iPod and rip?

    Steve: Yeah, I think one of the other things is kind of I don’t know, something that I’ve embraced is I’ve been a tie-dye person my entire life.

    John: Oh, wow. Okay.

    Steve: Ever since college. In fact, right now as I’m talking to you, my daughter just gave me a tie-dye squeeze toy that’s a brain from some thing. It’s awesome. I’m like, “Oh, a tie-dye.” She goes yeah. She goes, “I don’t want it, you want it.” And my whole thing is, and I don’t mean this in a New Age way at all, because it’s not who I am. I think people have a vibe, all of them whether they’re entry level front line people. At LaRosa’s, we have people that are 16 and people that are in their 80s working in the same place.

    So you got to understand and meet people where they are versus what you think things should be. So I think for music, having a diverse background in my taste and what I listen to and kind of the whole thing, I did a slide in a presentation. I put tie-dye up on the screen. I said, to me this is what HR looks like. It’s all the colors that melt together. And they make this giant picture together not separately.

    So to be able to sit out with people and just get to know them as people, as humans, flawed, weird, quirky, I dig that. When I go out to our stores and stuff, I ask about them. I want to hear their stories. And I never go, “Oh, you’re just a cook or you’re just this.” It’s like, “Oh, man. What are you doing? Where are you going to school? And why do you want to be a cook?” So it’s just more I’ve always felt a very personal connection to music. I think you should have a personal connection with your people.

    John: Yeah. That’s fantastic. I guess you know, that’s the thing I was going to ask is like how does that come up? So when you visit the stores, it’s just you’re just that’s a question that you ask early on.

    Steve: Oh, absolutely. I think too often we want people just to show up. I want to get to know about you, showing up’s the easy part. Taking an interest and teaching people how to take an interest in other — a genuine interest. Not just the drive by, “Hello how are you doing?” “Good, good, good.” And you really don’t care. I think we’re so afraid that we’re going to hear a crud or something negative.

    John: Yeah, because if someone doesn’t say good, then it’s like you weren’t supposed to say that. I don’t have time for this you know, type of —

    Steve: That’s right. Yeah, now I’ve been paying attention to you, doggonit. But I think you know, when we can sit down and take time, just small moments of time, it changes their day. It’s the best use of my time.

    John: That’s so powerful for people to hear because there isn’t always a charge code for that, Steve.

    Steve: No doubt.

    John: I mean the research that I’m doing, greenapplepodcast.com, it takes about 60 seconds to do if people want to go and click. One of the questions I ask is what are some reasons people don’t share? And that column is full of there’s no charge code for learning about each other or we don’t get paid to socialize or we have work to do or whatever. That’s so frustrating to read. To take three or five minutes just to learn about people pays dividends in a huge way.

    Steve: It does but even in HR, it’s just foreign because we feel compelled to do things. People aren’t things. Spending time with them matters. It really changes the day.

    John: And when do you think in your career you realized that?

    Steve: Probably my second job. In my second job, I worked and I was the second HR person there ever. I sat down with the owner. It was an entrepreneurial company. And he said, “Hey, you know a 30-day challenge? And here’s what it is, you need to learn every person in our company by name, position, and what they do and when they work and in 30 days, we’re going to sit down and go over it. And if you miss one when we sit down, I’m going to fire you.” I said okay, great, before the day of computers.

    So I sat down with the files, looking through people’s paper and then I went out to our plants and got to meet people and I had a great time. On the 30th day, we sat down and he said, “Okay, so who’s Ken Medida? I said well, “Ken’s my boss and he’s the CFO and you brought him from the East coast. He doesn’t quite fit in because work from Ohio and what’s this all about?” And we laughed and he said, “Oh, that’s an easy one.”

    And then he gave me the plant manager who I knew and the assistant plant manager I knew and I go okay, and I thought is this is it? I’m just going to talk about the people on the top? And he says, “So who’s Carl Newton?” I said, “Oh, Carl’s the second shift brake press operator, this giant machine that –huge pieces of metal.” I said, “Carl’s kind of creepy. He sits off in the corner by his own and at night, when people aren’t looking, he catches mice in the plant and kills them in the brake press.” And he goes, “What?” I said, “You asked.”

    John: Maybe I should be quizzing you, Mr. in charge guy.

    Steve: We went through the whole thing and we were there about an hour and a half and what he said at the end was he says, “Do you know why we did that?” And I said, “No, I really don’t.” I said, “You’re the owner, you wanted me to do this so I got the assignment done.” And he says, “No, you have to remember this, if you’re not here for my people, I don’t need you.”

    And from that point on, I went this has to be it. So for me, I hate when people come in the interviews and go, “I’m a people person” because they’re just lying. They just want the job and they didn’t want to sound like this person who hates people. But I don’t find a lot of people who really are human towards people and I don’t mean the H in HR because I think that’s a bunch of crap. I think it’s, you know, how do I learn to know John or who John is? Because if I learned to know who you are and I find that you kill mice on second shift, now I can watch out for you and go, “Hey, Carl, let’s not do that.”

    John: Right, exactly, or don’t talk to anybody about that, all right, buddy?

    Steve: It’s a lot harder because HR wants to do things collaboratively and collectively as a whole. We make a policy and a procedure that’s supposed to last and go over thousands of people. That’s not realistic.

    John: Right. So do you have any tips for people that are listening? That are like you know, hey, I’m a manager. I’m an executive. How do I go about this because I’m awkward at talking to people?

    Steve: Sure. I think the biggest advice is this, understand that if you treat everybody well individually, the whole will take care of itself. So the person who’s interested in golf, find out what that means. It doesn’t mean you need to be a golfer. Just listen to them. The person who’s into music, like I’ve got into giant arguments about music and some people go well, you got to love country and I’m like no, I don’t.

    John: Right. I’m with you right there.

    Steve: Or you know, I’m a giant slash metal fan, I’m like, great good for you. But at least I’m learning about you. I think the bigger thing is we can talk to people just about who they are and not have to solve things for them.

    John: Oh, yeah. That’s really good too.

    Steve: So you know, if the only reason we go to work is to solve problems, why are we working at all?

    John: That’s the thing is a lot of people think it’s drama or it’s distracting from your job or it has nothing to do with my job as an accountant or my job as a lawyer or my job as whatever but these passions really, and hobbies are what make you, you.

    Steve: Absolutely. What’s really interesting, John, when you look at your research, I’m sure you’re finding this. When people are at work, they don’t talk about work. They talk about people. So if you’re talking about people, why are we upset that Steve didn’t get the deadline met? Do you know what’s going on with Steve? And it might be, he’s not a good worker but it could be, he’s going through credit home. You just don’t know if they would focus on the people aspect, and then talk to them about the work? It goes well every time.

    John: That’s so perfect, man. I think I’m going to come work there now. You’re like, John, we’re not hiring. I don’t care. I’m going to be like Milton in Office Space. I’m just going to show up and I’m just going to hug my stapler and I’m just going to hang out and then when you guys are testing bacon, I might come. But no, I mean that’s exactly it is just taking the time to be genuinely interested in people and I mean how much do you feel like it’s on the organization to kind of create that culture or that atmosphere or how much is it on the individual to jump in when the door is open?

    Steve: I think it’s both. I think the culture to allow it and value it and they don’t have to. They can also say hey, man, that’s not who we are and what’s funny is I don’t think it’s an HR thing. I think it’s an organization thing, a culture thing generally. Secondly, you got to have somebody who’s an HR person who has a little guts and courage who says, hey, I’m going to get out there and do this regardless. You can’t stop me from doing this.

    When I first started here, a training manager who’s no longer here unfortunately would share, she was oh, my gosh every time you met her, giant stories. You’re like really? That can’t happen. And so her managers go, “I can’t deal with her. I don’t like listening to those stories.” And I go, “You know what? If you listen to those stories, you might find out what’s going on with her.” We never did. She left.

    So I think people are looking for that connection. When you talk about engagement, they don’t want to engage. They want to be connected so they got to have someone who’s willing to connect with them.

    John: Right, yeah, because I mean that’s what it is, is just be connected and I mean that’s what the engagement is and I think yeah, a lot of companies, a lot of firms, they get nervous when they hear that culture engagement because it’s squishy and it doesn’t have a defined answer, you know, and everyone’s got a different thing for it. The culture has to allow it and value it that next level to what you said because not just allow it but actually understand that this matters.

    Steve: Right, exactly.

    John: So are there specific things that you’ve seen through your career, places with good cultures do to foster this type of environment?

    Steve: That’s a tough one. I think when you see this type of environment, the majority of team members there are genuine people, warts and all, so it doesn’t mean all of them are great and nice, they’re just genuine. The thing I love, and the thing is terrible, I hope to never work in a white-collar environment ever again because white-collared people are dishonest. What I find is they mask everything because they feel they have to. What’s great about being a blue-collar environment, they tell you way too much.

    John: Yeah, right. It’s the other end of the sword, right? Like, “Woah.”

    Steve: So you’re like, oh, I didn’t hear that. But okay, at least I know. I would rather have somebody just kind of pour it out there. I’m like a truth or dare type thing. But hey, let’s work this out now. That’s an over generalization. There are great white-collar environments and stuff but I think too often we look at the big giant companies that get written about in books and we missed the smaller companies like mine where we practice real people stuff every day.

    John: Yeah, and what are some of those activities or what are some of those real people stuff?

    Steve: The one thing is your desk is your enemy, unless there are people surrounding your desk like a giant beehive, people are not in your office. Get out of your office and see people. Put time in your schedule. If you need that structure, put time in your schedule. Even if you did it for a department. I’m not talking about HR, if you said hey, I’m over other people. Other people work for me. I’m part of their livelihood. Block time out to say I’m going to talk a half an hour a day to John. If John goes, “Hey, man I’m good.” At least it was blocked out and I was intentional about it.

    I think the other thing is fight your biases. We tend to hang out with people we like and the people we don’t like, we talk about, which is not cool. I think you have to be an equal opportunity liker so you have to go to the creepy person go hey, creepy person.

    John: Right. At least give them the opportunity.

    Steve: Right, someone needs to pay attention to everybody and then what you’ll find is if you do those things, the third thing is foster in others just don’t be a big you know, I got to talk to everybody because they told me to.

    Terrible example, long before I was here, the people in HR didn’t say hi to each other. Fun place. And so my boss came to them and said, “You’re going to say hi to each other or you’re gone.” Now, how inviting is that?

    John: Right, that’s the opposite. I mean yeah, you’re trying to help but not quite.

    Steve: Yeah, so every day they go, “Hey, John.” “Hey, Steve.” It can’t be a forced task. It just has to say become part more of the DNA of the company and the fabric of how we treat each other. And quick thing, everybody’s a troll. They’re not. The majority of people that come to work are awesome. The trolls will take care of themselves and you can address that but take care of the people that are great. We tend to ignore the high performers in order to take care of the problems. Take care of the people who take care of you and the other ones who are awful, you know, they’re not paying attention to me and they leave every time.

    John: Yes, I mean you can try to pay attention to them a little bit but you know, don’t go out of your way and go overboard, the squeaky wheel gets the most oil sort of a thing. Just go and yeah, that’s perfect, man. I mean those are huge takeaways that everyone listening right now can do today. It’s nothing where you got to go study up and get some supplies and whatever. I don’t know, just get up from your desk right now and go talk to people. It’s really not that difficult.

    Steve: I was reading Patrick Lencioni. He spoke at the last Sharon Crawford’s annual conference and people say, “Hey, Patrick, you know what you talk about is easy.” He says I know but nobody does it.

    John: Yes, yes. I mean it’s like the green apple message. It’s just my whole thing of just show a genuine interest in the people around you and you know, it’s usually hobbies and passions are what make people tick. Whenever I would audit firms, I would always go in and be like, “So what do you do?” And you know, the lady’s like, “Oh, I take this form and I check this” and like no, no. I know what your job is. What do you do? You leave and it’s kind of sort of what’s your ‘And?’

    I’m an accountant and a painter. Whatever it is. No one’s ever said, “Oh, really? Tell me more of that accounting part. That sounds fascinating.” So you know, it’s ‘And.’ That’s what people want to know. Go to that. But a lot of people they feel like if I share this, they’re going to use it against me or it’s going to make me vulnerable or they’re going to think I’m not as dedicated to my job and it’s quite the opposite. It’s just encouraging people to see that. So I’m so glad that you’re on and such great takeaways for everyone. This has been really, really, fantastic, Steve.

    So awesome but I do have a rule before I come hang out and taste the bacon in the test kitchen. My 17 rapid fire questions that I like to run you through. Let me fire this thing up here. All right, all right. So here we go.

    First one, do you have a favorite color?

    Steve: Purple.

    John: Purple. All right. How about a least favorite color?

    Steve: White.

    John: White. Interesting. How about favorite toppings on a pizza? Got to ask you that. Load it up.

    Steve: Pepperoni, black olives, sausage, and mushrooms.

    John: Okay. All right. Nice. Are you more Star Wars or Star Trek?

    Steve: Oh, that’s a tough one. Star Wars.

    John: Okay, all right. How about more pens or pencils?

    Steve: Pens.

    John: Pens, yeah. No mistakes, right? Do you have a favorite place you’ve been on vacation?

    Steve: Yes, England. London, it was amazing.

    John: Yeah, very cool. I was just there two years ago so it’s still there so you have time.

    Steve: Thanks.

    John: How about are you more jeans or khakis?

    Steve: Jeans, wearing them now.

    John: Nice. Very cool, very cool. How about when it comes to a computer, more PC or Mac?

    Steve: Don’t understand the Mac so PC.

    John: Yeah, yeah. Me too. I’m with you. How about when it comes to your mouse? More right click or left click?

    Steve: Left click.

    John: Left click, all right. How about do you have a favorite Disney character?

    Steve: Oh, the Genie in Aladdin.

    John: Oh, yeah. Very cool. That’s a solid answer, solid answer. How about a favorite number?

    Steve: 31.

    John: 31, and why is that?

    Steve: It was the number I wore in basketball. Got to wear it from 7th grade on.

    John: Yeah, no. That’s fantastic. How about do you have a favorite ice cream flavor?

    Steve: Oh, yes. It’s here in Cincinnati. It’s black raspberry chip.

    John: Right, how about a favorite comedian?

    Steve: Wow. That’s a tough one. Seinfeld.

    John: Seinfeld, there you go. Absolutely. How about more Sudoku or crossword puzzle?

    Steve: Crossword puzzle. Numbers are awful.

    John: Numbers are awful. Three more. Are you more of an early bird or a night owl?

    Steve: Night owl.

    John: Night owl, nice. So this one hits a little close to home, Steve. I’m not going to lie to you but since you’re in HR, are you more of a have a conversation with the person kind of guy or a discipline form kind of guy?

    Steve: Have a conversation, discipline’s overrated.

    John: Where were you when I was working? And the last one. The favorite thing you own or the favorite thing you have?

    Steve: Oh, wow. Favorite thing I own, I’m looking at it right now. Kiss Pez dispensers that my kids got me for Christmas one year.

    John: That’s so cool. That’s awesome. That’s very cool, and it’s from your kids so it all wraps back into the family. So that’s perfect. Very cool, man.

    Well, Steve, this has been so fantastic and everyone check out his book HR on Purpose. Thank you so much for being with me today on the Green Apple Podcast.

    Steve: Thanks a lot, John.

    John: Wow! That was so great. I loved how Steve said your desk is your enemy. Get out of your office and see people. It’s impossible to make these connections with others if you’re hold up in your office all the time.

    If you’d like to see some pictures of Steve or links to his new book, HR on Purpose, or connect with him on social media, please go to greenapplepodcast.com and while you’re on the page, please click that big green button and do the anonymous research survey about corporate culture. Thanks again for the ratings on iTunes or whatever app you use and for sharing this with you friends so they get the message that we’re all trying to spread which is to go out and be a green apple.

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