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HPR 076 | Servant Leader

Heartrepreneur® Radio | Episode 47 | John Racine Interview

TL: Welcome back to Heartrepreneur® Radio. This is Terri Levine, chief Heartrepreneur® and business strategist, and thank you once again for tuning in. And I’m excited to bring my guest to the show today. And I have to tell you, I met him just, oh gosh, maybe a couple months ago. And you know how sometimes you just instantly take to someone? Well, that’s how I felt, I felt like I like this guy! I like his smile, I like who he is, he’s friendly, he’s articulate. And I sat down and got to know him a bit and I just know that you’re gonna fall in love with him, he has a lot of value to bring. His name is John Racine, and he is a human resources professional, and listen to his track record, you ready? He’s worked with some of the largest and most well-known companies in the world including: Disney, Marriot, Arron’s, Hilton and Subway. Those are some big, big, companies! And John works with entrepreneurs and companies looking to maximize the ROI of their most valuable assets, their staff. John’s also a published and an international speaker, and John, welcome to Heartrepreneur® Radio.

JR: Thank you so much Terri, I’m excited to be here today.

TL: Well I’m excited also! So, first I’m gonna start off and say, cuz I know that the listeners want to know, how the heck did you get in with those big companies like Disney and Subway, how did that happen?

JR: It started out very early, and when I say early, I’m talking like age 10. I got to go down to Orlando to Disneyworld for the first time, and said, I want work with these guys. I want to do something because I absolutely love the company and I really kind geared my educational career towards making that happen. And I was very fortunate when I graduated that I did get the opportunity to go do some work with Disney. And it just kind of led from one to another in my career from operations to human resources, and it’s really led me on that snake river of different companies that I’ve gotten to work with.

TL: Wow, that is so exciting. And is that who you like to work with, the big companies? Who’s ideal for you?

JR: For me, it’s more the smaller company, maybe doing 5 million or less, small staff. What I’m able to do is take the big company experience and the knowledge and help the smaller entrepreneur to maximize what the big companies are doing automatically, and maybe a smaller company doesn’t know how to do. Things from interviewing and recruiting and hiring, to even on the operations side. You know, I have a strong hospitality background, and that’s all about customer service. So, utilizing the Disney where you’re always on stage for example, I’ve been using that in my career for 20 years, so taking that big idea and concept from a Disney or a Hilton or a Marriot, and just scaling it down for the smaller companies so that they can maximize it and create the business of their dreams.

TL: I love that. And it’s so interesting, I think that’s one of the reasons I resonate with you. So, I used to work with large corporations, not only was I employed by them way back in the day, then I also started my consulting business with large companies. And now, my heart is really with the smaller companies and helping the do what the larger companies do. So, I feel really aligned with you, really aligned on that.

JR: Ya, absolutely. I remember starting early in my entrepreneurial career, and I couldn’t put it together for myself, it took me a very long time of struggle. And finally said, you know what, if these big companies can do it, how do I do it for myself and for other companies, smaller entrepreneurial type ventures? And it really just kind of put itself together.

TL: That’s phenomenal. I love it, I love it. And so, I know you’re a published author, you’re an international speaker. Tell us a little bit what you write about, and I certainly want to hear what you speak about.

JR: Absolutely. So, I have published a lot of e-books, and I’ve recently published my first book.

TL: Oh, congratulations!

JR: It’s called Rapid Business Acceleration Through Human Relationships. My professional expertise is in human resources, and I’ve learned that without the people, nothing happens in business. And by identifying how you can maximize those human relationships both internally with staffing, and externally with customers and prospects, you’re able to grow the business through some sound business principles So, that’s the book that just came out, I’m really excited about that. And then, I have spoken on a lot of different topics, and I was recently, actually about a year ago, over in Dubai and Bahrain, I was actually speaking on social media and its impact on human resources. So, it’s really exciting because if you look at the way we recruit nowadays, you look at sites like LinkedIn, which is a social media site. You look at Facebook where you can actually see job ads on there now, and I can’t tell you how many human resources professionals I know, look at Facebook as a screening tool when they start interviewing candidates. So, putting those two together in this modern era that we live in.

TL: You know it’s so interesting that you mentioned this whole social media piece, I’ll just speak to that. So, one of my nephews, several years back, was interviewing to have a position with the FBI. And man, he had to go through, I don’t even know, like 20 interviews and it was getting down to the last few interviews, and they looked at his social media profile on Facebook and they didn’t like what they saw, and he didn’t get the job. And at the same time, it’s like wow, if you use social media right, and you use social media in a way where you can be appealing, and the way you can be appealing as an employee and/or an employer, it can really make a difference for you. And nobody addresses that topic, I’m glad to hear that it’s on your mind.

JR: Absolutely. It’s so active in the industries. So, it’s things that I look at, it’s tools that I use and it’s what I teach people how to do to help them to identify the right candidates. And I’ll give you an example for myself that just kind of came back when you talked about the FBI. About 20 years ago, I went through secret service clearance twice, once to be with the President and once to be with an Ambassador to the United States. And that was pre-Facebook and even Myspace if we remember that one going back in the day. I could not imagine, but I keep my social media very professional and very normal, but I don’t know what it would have been like 20 years ago. So, ya as you’re talking about this FBI background, you’re absolutely right, you really have to be aware and conscious of it. Even little things, before social media became big, you’re e-mail address, right? It’s gonna be instead of, you really want to have a professional vibe in that interview process. So, you’re absolutely right with social media, and people completely take it for granted now.

TL: Ya, ya. Thank you for pointing that out. Wow! I keep finding out more interesting things about you. Would you do me a favor. Would you give me the title of your book again so people can definitely write it down?

JR: Yes. It’s Rapid Business Acceleration Through Human Relationships.

TL: By the way, I love the title, and of course resonate on the human relationships. As a Heartrepreneur® I totally love that. And where can people get the book John?

JR: It is in book publishers everywhere. It’s on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, it’s available pretty much everywhere.

TL: Excellent, excellent. So, what’s the best piece of advice that you can give to a small business owner that you learned from a larger company, and a larger brand?

JR: The biggest thing that I try to teach anybody, whether it’s inside of the recruiting function, human resource, entrepreneurial space, you’re gonna grow and expand your organization likely at some point. And the best piece of advice I can possibly give, is to high the attitude and train the skill. And that simply means, if you’re sitting face-to-face with someone, and even in this modern world that we live in, I interview by a Skype all the time on Skype video. So, face to face where you can see the person. You’re looking for eye contact, you’re looking for an engaging smile, you’re looking for that great attitude. Now, maybe they don’t have the technical skills, but you can take that great attitude and mold it into the tactics and strategies, and the techniques of any given job. So, definitely look at that because it’s gonna make your life a whole lot easier. Instead of hiring maybe somebody that’s got all the technical skills, but they have 5 years of bad habits from somewhere else.

TL: Wow. I love that. I love what you also said: hire the attitude, train the skill. That’s a writer-downer: hire the attitude, train the skill. In our company, we do Skype interviews all the time, we really like doing Skype interviews. We’re hiring some sales people right now, and as I’m doing the Skye interviews, I’m really paying attention too, I’m glad that you said that, to who they are, and how they behave, and do I like them? And will folks enjoy them? And I really believe I can teach them the skills of how to have ideal conversations with folks. So, wow! You just reinforced something I’m doing right, I love that, thank you so much for that.

JR: Excellent job! I’m excited to hear that you’re doing it, and you just head if from me now.

TL: I love it, thank you so much! One other question. What do you think smaller companies do, I don’t want to use the word wrong, I’ll say incorrectly, not quite right yet, in terms of human resources? What’s something that we really should be paying attention to?

JR: The biggest thing that I see constantly is hiring the wrong person, because we have, and I’m “air-quoting” here you can’t see it, but I’m air quoting with my fingers

TL: I can feel it!

JR: We have a hole, or we have a gap and we’ve got to get somebody in there. And I call that 98.6 degree hiring, meaning, it’s a warm body let me put them in there. So, I have throughout my career, always said I would rather have a hole and provide outstanding experience, maybe a little bit slower for customers, and get the person in there. Because it’s really hard to un-ring the bell if you’ve got that person in there, especially in the US depending on the state you’re in. I have a lot of experience in California, and it can really become a challenge to try to remove bad apples, so to speak, if you’ve hired the wrong person. So really, take your time and be deliberate in that process, and be up-front and honest with your customers and your staff. We want to provide you the best experience or the best employee possible, and we’re gonna wait and be very deliberate and bring in the right persona, because it’s gonna be better for everybody in the long run.

TL: Tons of that is, literally I’m taking notes, is so important. I like the 98.6 degrees, I like that. And I agree with you, I think it’s better to have that hole, instead of having the phrase, the wrong person on the bus. I mean, they’re just not the right person, they’re not in the right position. To be deliberate, deliberates a great word, I like that. Of course, if you are transparent with customers, I think they will understand. I remember when I was managing a rehabilitation company, occupational, physical and speech pathology services, I remember a nursing home was pushing me to bring on a manager. And, I didn’t listen to my intuition, I hired the first breathing person, right? Cuz I’m like, oh they’re pushing me. And two days after she was there, they said, we hate her, we can’t stand her, fire her. It was like, I just knew that! Right? And if I had only been transparent and explained to them, let me take another week or two, let me find the most amazing person. I really know that would have gone better all the way around. So, it’s a little late for me, however I learned a lesson. And the Heartrepreneur’s listening can take that to heart right now. That’s great advise that you can count on. You’ve given us a ton of advice John, I’ve got half a page of notes and I’ve got some scribbles of ideas. Thank you so much.

JR: Well thank you so much for allowing me to share it.

TL: Oh, it’s great. How can listeners connect with you? Where can they go to find out more about you?

JR: I have a website, it’s:, so it’s a subdivision of my marketing company, And then it’s John Racine, Jr all over social media, Facebook, Twitter, you can find me in it. I would love for anybody to reach out to me, I’d be happy to assist in any way I possibly can.

TL: Thank you. And one thing I can definitely tell you about John is he is a Heartrepreneur, he’s a connector, and he will definitely accept you with heart. So, John, thank you so much for being my guest here on Heartrepreneur® Radio today.

JR: Thank you so much Terri, it was my honor and pleasure to be here, and to be able to share with your audience.

TL: Thank you again. And for the listeners, please make sure that you actually subscribe to Heartrepreneur® Radio on iTunes. That way you don’t miss any upcoming episodes, and oh man, I have quite a line-up coming for you. And we love it when you give us 5-star ratings, we also really love it when you pass it forward and you our show on social media with some of the experts that you’ve heard. So, thank you again for tuning in, and we’ll see you next time, here at Heartrepreneur® Radio.


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