By Dave Mendoza, Partner, JobMachine, Master Cybersleuth
With nearly a decade of experience as a recruiter, I have learned the nuances, both recommended and required, by my industry. My entry into the recruitment blogosphere, being recent and the environment itself nascent in relative terms, the rules are more ambiguous, the learning curve short, and yet the consequences are far more enduring. Every word is archived for posterity within the various search engines, hence, the fine line in tempering immediate observations with greater scrutiny, and emotions in general. One can be right in their sentiments or in the truthfulness of their statements, and yet one can do wrong, given the global and enduring exposure to an issue, or a person for that matter and the overkill in effect.
The introduction I have laid out has a purpose, bear with me to provide a certain context that I shall elaborate upon.
Within the first two months of â€œSix Degrees From Dave,â€ my article â€œMeet Neal Bruceâ€ was a breakout post that received wide exposure within the blogosphere, and the internet in general. I will not renew discussion upon the broader issues of contention, merely to say I strongly disagreed with Neal on certain off the cuff statements he made at a conference. In particular, I became aware of certain statements which I took offense to, that involved my colleague(s) and it compelled my loyalties to react and to voice my sentiments publicly. Upon reflection, I acted in haste, and at minimum, I know the effect of my statements went beyond their intent in rebuking Neal Bruce. To that effect, I am taking this opportunity to publicly apologize to Neal Bruce for the tenor of my statements. As I stated previously:
Today, I have come to certain conclusions. I will quote the sage advice of a valued mentor, Gerry Crispen and state the following, both emphatically and publicly: â€œI was stupid to state that Neal Bruce should not be able, or capable to, speak in a public forum.â€
It was, indeed, overkill. Whether the particular statements Neal made were spoken in context, or out of context, is irrelevant. Neal is entitled to his opinions. Opinions do not necessarily reflect upon character. In the case, of Neal Bruce, it certainly does not. When one of my colleagues, whom I felt was the recipient of one of his remarks picked up the phone and voiced his concerns to him directly, Neal took ownership of his statements â€“ few would. The occasion was, in itself, a revealing glimpse at Neal, the person. Up close, I can attest to the fact that Neal Bruce looks you directly in the eye, is articulate, sincere and his sense of humor, if nothing else, is worth a dinner companionship to enjoy.
I had the opportunity to make these recent observations first hand at the UnConference and at Recruiting.com Charity Poker event. Neal participated among shared friends and colleagues, as both a sponsor on behalf of Monster, and as ace poker player. As an aside, I should add that Neal Bruce is an impressive player, walk away from the table unless you part with your money and pride easily. What is significant about our recent meeting, is that I took the initiative to have a heart to heart late into the evening and I got to KNOW Neal Bruce the person, by observation and by good fortune,
Developing a public persona is an evolution which requires the undertaking of certain responsibilities and skill sets, humility and personal reflection being the most important among them. We develop an audience, and a public forum which can be powerful, and when put to positive use, can foster new ideas and movements when partnered with the valuable insights of our colleagues. I am passionate about my principles and the strength of my friendships, and I will continue to use them to benefit causes we share for the common good. Above all, I take a vow to do no harm. Neal was not a fellow recruiter in my mind, at the time of my initial post, and I found that to be a practical loophole in my personal mantra to never speak ill of a fellow recruiter in public. I stand corrected, as my friend Gerry would attest, everyone in our industry, be it vendors, practitioners, or recruiters, is a colleague. Neal Bruce is my colleague.
Friends are allowed to disagree. Today, I take pride in stating publicly, that Neal Bruce is my friend. Friends need not agree on all things or anything for that matter. On matters where I may take offense, be it related to actions or comments stated about colleagues we share, I will take those matters directly to the source, and reconcile them privately.
I should hope others in the community consider this statement with similar reflection.