I met Danny Cahill three years ago. He was in Palm Desert running a two day boot camp for seasoned recruiters. Danny was a much appreciated shock to the system in the midst of a burgeoning recession with no end in sight. For those of you not familiar with Danny Cahill, he is the leading coaching guru in the staffing world as well as the CEO for Hobson and Associates Executive Search.
Danny was all shock and awe with a whole lot of substance behind his methods. We had some mutual colleagues in the recruiting world and got acquainted over a coffee break. Can’t say I was not in a little in awe of his technique and delivery. Needless to say, I was charmed and intimidated and all at the same time. Danny gets your attention and puts your brain to work. When I re-connected with him recently, he offered to send me a copy of his recently published book “Harper’s Rules”. Danny is a very perceptive guy, as well as funny and self deprecating – in a self assured, charming sort of way that some recruiters have down to a science. He perceived I would especially appreciate this book at this point in my life and career (and he was so right). Danny’s little book, which should be swathed in black it is so delicious, is a clever business ‘parable’ on relationships & recruiting. A sort of ‘go to’ guide reminding us of the parallels between interviewing and dating, job offers and marriage, divorce, counter offers and quitting.
The protagonist, Casey Matthews, is a recently divorced thirty something, looking for love and in the midst of an unexpected career crisis. She is ambitious, attractive, insecure, smart and suddenly unsure of herself in both love and work. Antagonist Harper Scott, is the recruiter who has guided Casey throughout her career and has in his own way precipitated Casey’s current crisis. Harper is witty, egotistical, funny, arrogant and acerbic, basically everything I want to be when I grow up to be the Headhunter I always imagined. Harper is a constant wrench in Casey’s plans, asserting himself into her life as well as her career.
This little book is not only a great story (couldn’t put it down), but it’s packed with juicy tidbits of very substantial advice and information for those looking for meaningful love and/or looking for a meaningful career. Creatively intertwined in the guise of a novel, Danny has succeeded in clarifying the similarities between dating and interviewing and the steps to drive the process to determine the best potential outcome. This book is no cliché either. When reading ‘Harper’s Rules’ you might just find yourself nodding your head in agreement, taking notes and cringing or laughing till you cry; because Danny Cahill has reached right into your heart when he wrote this book.
There are takeaways here for anyone looking to right side their relationships, personal and/or professional. If I could convey one thing to anyone I’ve ever represented or cared about that Danny has done so succinctly, is that life is short, so don’t settle – for the wrong job or the wrong life-mate. And secondly, if you have settled, life is short and maybe you should be reading the rules in chapter one to ascertain if it’s time to leave or stay.
It takes courage to make big life changes – whether it’s a relationship or the next rung in your career ladder. Courage and character are often in short supply – it’s a lot easier to accept one’s lot in life, go a long with the hand you’ve been dealt or just settle. One of Harper Scott’s more salient rules is , “Relationships are to be enjoyed, not endured”. As an agent of change and one who practices what she preaches, I couldn’t agree more.
So, friends, lovers, colleagues and clients – read this book (you can find it on Amazon)! It is a good investment, a great get-away, a font of wisdom and a spot-on guide to managing the process of relationship change and discovery. You might just find yourself, as I did, empathizing, with both of the main characters as they look for their dream job and right relationship. Their journey after all, is no different than ours.