NAPS Endorsement: John Sacerdote, Exec. Director “Notes on the Tall Pony Ranch”.John Sacerdote, CPC, CTS
Director, National Association of Personnel Services.
Picked up in a huge mobile home, with all the comforts as we proceed to the ranch…I’m thinking it’s going to be a long ride…there’s a bed in the back of this thing!
15 minutes later, were in Parkville, Missouri and we are at the ranch…impressive front gate….I’m even more excited. As we head up and over a small rise in the curving driveway, we see the huge area (just a portion of their many acres) that contain the main house, and many out buildings. My immediate thought is that this is a gorgeous location – and I’m thinking this in the middle of January – cold as ever, with plenty of ice!. I already want to see what this is like in the summer (Having seen the entire ranch and most of the acreage over the course of the 2 days, it’s easy for me to say that now).
We enter the main house – the center of operations for the ranch. Greeted by
Peter’s family and wonderful wife Cindy, we all have another opportunity to get more acquainted while warming up with some great coffee and breakfast treats.
Orientation class is over and it’s time to go to work. We are asked to hike down to the classrooms (it’s really only about 200 yards) “…okay,” I’m thinking, “ let’s get this show on the road….I’m ready to see what this is all about!”
We ramble on down (I’m already into the dude-ranch talk) to the bunk-house looking log cabin, past the fishin’ pond and two barns, and think – cool we’re going to class just like they did in “Little House on the Prairie.”
Inside the cabin, the fires are warm, the class in set up and we’re ready to go.
Class begins. We waste no time…it takes me only minutes to realize that Peter is not who I thought he was….and I’ve heard him speak for years, at National Conventions, regional and state meetings – many times!
There it was: a level of understanding and willingness to work with individuals (that’s why he keeps the classes small), first discovering their skills, finding out where and what they’re missing and training toward that – all while keeping to his outline to be sure everything is covered for all.
Don’t forget, this is the owner and manager clinic. So we are taken through every little detail with the slant on owner manager, starting with “Recruiting the Recruiter.” We first ID where we might find great recruiters, then practice various methods of recruiting recruiters. The entire cycle is covered, including interviewing and developing a list of characteristics of high performers, hiring…all of it, including a comprehensive orientation program.
During that first day, all with an appropriate number of breaks so we can enjoy the ranch,we are asked to role play, act in “managerially intense scenarios.” WE get to see Peter do actual cold call recruiting, teaching us to teach and more. This was hands on…you don’t come to this and hide. Stay home if you are going to be bashful. This was interaction and on a small/individual scale. And, after each event, it is discussed by all – what went well, what didn’t.
A good Mexican lunch and 90 minutes later, we’re back at the cabin (my new home for the next 2 days – but, I’m not complaining!), we talk about compensation plans, and setting standards of performance, and much more.
We break about 5 pm…..the day goes fast. Here’s what I take away from the first day:
– I’m shocked by the level of individual attention.
– I’m impressed by the level of organization of the material.
– I’m impressed with the ease of his (Peter’s) ability to make live calls. (this tells me that it’s all about experience and practice, practice and more practice) NOTE: I hate to role play, it’s corny and embarrassing – that’s why we all hate it – but, the fact of the matter is that it works…darn it!
– Peter knows this stuff (his methodology), and he knows it cold. He teaches this methodology with a real sense of belief in it and it is conveyed to all “students.” It’s hard to argue with a proven set of business rules, policies etc. He has “walked the walk,” so he certainly is allowed to “talk the talk!”
– Because of the level of knowledge, Peter easily conveys the ability to be everyone’s coach, and we all react to that in a very positive way. This is especially great for newer owners and managers who tend to need more guidance.
Monday evening, just after class, we talk about going riding as in “horse back riding,” a regular part of the experience (it’s not mandatory, by the way!) We decide it’s too cold and icy for both the riders and the horses. What we do decide to do is to have a bon-fire down by the lake. What lake? It’s quickly explained to me that he owns a 13 acre, bass lake…of course he does!
So, we “4-wheel drive it” down to this cool, wooded area next to the bass lake. Once the fire gets going, we have a great deal of fun discussing the day. What’s interesting is that Peter is right there, adding his opinion only when asked and trying to make people see things relative to what we were learning that day.
By now, we are just a bit hungry, but (I hope you’re starting to see a trend develop here)…there’s a outdoor cooked barbeque going on here that is first rate. It was fun to watch Peter perform his Benihanna-esque techniques on the various meats as they were being cleaved into serving sizes.
We get back to work. We pick up right were we left off, covering everything we need to know about how to monitor these new recruiters that we learned about hiring the day before.
The information is broken down into very easy to understand terms and ways to monitor performance of new as well as experienced recruiters. Sendouts are discussed at great length, including their importance to the process. The Morgan Methodology supplies us all with specific examples and forms illustrating how to get this all accomplished. Including in the detail are how to monitor placements and their relationship to apps/cands, sendouts and jobs. From these basic pieces of the hiring cycle, we can – using specific ratios, determine how well a recruiter is doing in real time…giving us the ability to take action well before it’s too late.
The afternoon session detailed compensation for your people, and their future growth – their retention. Growth paths, including a Branch manager growth path, for example, and more, were discussed in great detail. Orientation and a 5-day startup plan for new hires were discussed, broken down hour by hour, day by day!
People are not left to figure out where to begin once they get back. That’s what day three is for. An action plan is developed, making it possible to hit the ground running the minute you return!
Would I recommend the ranch? No question at all – in a heartbeat! The Owner/Manager program is a comprehensive program that works. Could I have gone deeper into the details of the plan of each day? Yes, as there is so much crammed into those two days.
I commend Peter, Cindy and the Morgan Ranch for a unique way of delivering a well organized program, chock full of detail, allowing all to see and learn how it’s actually done.
I am Co-owner/manager of Rimrock Associates, an executive recruiting firm located in White Plains, New York. I recently had the pleasure of spending time with Peter on his ranch outside Kansas City, Missouri. Although his genuine European-like hospitality was second to none it was his technique and management knowledge I found intriguing. Learning to maximize our recruiters ability through a monitored metrics reward system was worth its weight in gold. Peter takes pride in his work catering to each client as if he was a true business partner. It’s been one week since our visit and business activity along with quality has increased substantially. We’re truly excited about our firms potential as a Morgan Consulting Group trained shop.