Catch W. Kevin Ward on the #PirateBroadcast™
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[00:00:00] Introduction: Welcome to the #PirateBroadcast™, where we interview #interestingpeople doing #interestingthings. Where you can expand your connections, your community, #kindnessiscool and #smilesarefree. Let’s get this party started.
[00:00:10] Russ Johns: Welcome back to the #PirateBroadcast™. Good day. Good morning. Good evening. Wherever you happen to be watching from, I just appreciate it. And all the #gratitude in the world for you being here because we have. W Kevin Ward in the house, we're going to be sharing a few secrets nuggets of knowledge and all kinds of good stuff. So thank you so much for being here, Kevin.
[00:00:33] Kevin Ward: I'm good. Thanks for us. I've been really looking forward to this after you and I had a great time on my podcast, I thought this is, this is a blast. I'm looking forward to it. I appreciate the opportunity to be here with. I know that. Hopefully we can add some value out here as we go along stumbled on to at least a little bit of something that we can hopefully encourage people with. I was tempted by the way I asked, I love the power broadcast thing. I was tempted to either get me a parrot up on my shoulder or try out an eyepatch just because. That it's a unique thing for me. Yeah.
[00:01:11] Russ Johns: It's always a great time. It's always a great time and you're always welcome in the pirate broadcast. I want to talk about some of the things that we're going through right now, and you have a show, so let's make sure that people know where to find you right off the bat, because I, if you haven't checked out Kevin. You need to do so because it's an awesome individual lots of great conversations going on over there. So let people know where's the best place to catch you, Kevin.
[00:01:39] Kevin Ward: As anybody knows, I'm on LinkedIn daily. Okay. Direct message me on LinkedIn. And my email address is in my profile. And and I also reach out if you see my, a post or an event announcement and want to comment to get me again, I'm pretty attuned to it. It's a priority for me. Love to hear from anyone and why even consider coming on the wisdom seeker live podcast with me. It's what we're about is we've got a group of folks that are now regulars with me, and we're just trying to seek some wisdom in this crazy world that we're in. We got a lot of knowledge, we can Google anything, but what do we do with it? How do we. Approach life and those decisions and from a why standpoint, which if I might share just the difference, we've got a lot of people with a lot of knowledge running around, and then we have some with that, have some understanding experience for that knowledge. But what troubles me is that we have. Made the leap to the next level. And a lot of cases of wisdom and wisdom is just seeing life from a much bigger picture, especially outside of our own self. And as I share on the podcast each week, is that for those of us with a spiritual bent is our goal is to see things through God's eyes. And the primary view, there is one of unconditional love.
[00:03:18] Russ Johns: Yeah and it goes in, along with the theme of, the kindness is cool and smiles are free because realistically we all have a choice in life. And if you choose to be kind and unconditional love and the, your whatever spiritual belief you hold. The theory and the theme is the same. If you're kind yeah. You could share a little love. Things always seem to go better. Don't you agree?
[00:03:48] Kevin Ward: Yeah. When we approach people, approach situations from that vantage point, and stop because sometimes we get caught up in the moment and lose sight of that vantage point. But by doing that, we give people the benefit of the doubt. When they say something that could be taken multiple ways, which is quite often and we can give consideration of they didn't mean it in a bad way. It was meant in a good way or whatever it changes, what we're do, how we react and it changes relationships because we just again, I guess obviously I'm old school. It shows here. And so anyway, we were always taught to give people the benefit of the doubt and trust until given reason not to. And I think we've lost a lot of that. We have become too jaded. And put that together with self-centeredness and it makes for a bad approach.
[00:04:52] Russ Johns: Absolutely. Absolutely. I want to shift gears, Kevin, and talk a little bit about the workforce. You and I are in the the range of age that you know is considered what I w I would consider myself. The tail end of the boomers, essentially. And right now I have a lot of friends that are, in recruiting and working in different trades and things like that. And right now, one of the things I've been thinking about, and I wanted you to share your thoughts on is the lack of skilled workers in the trades area. And I know that, you've been in industry, you've been in business for awhile. You've been to a different things. You've had a lot of experience. And one of the things that I think that, as it relates to giving back to the community, I love giving back. I love teaching, but some of the things we may not be able to teach fully. The trades. I had an occasion where you teach somebody how to do something that you think is common knowledge and it's not so common. So what do you see happening in in the world around you? Where there's a knowledge transfer to younger individuals that may or may not be interested or even aware of what, what could possibly be an opportunity for.
[00:06:11] Kevin Ward: You've hit on a real passion of mine and workforce it's real interesting. I have developed more interest in the workforce now than even when I had my first business. At that point I was just trying to find people to work and that was difficult then going back to the eighties and nineties even. And but what we're witnessing is what I'm afraid and concern. I don't like to talk about afraid in terms of I'm not living in fear, but as I observed that our workforce is in a bad state right now. Okay. And I'm even looking at writing an article on it, and I think we're about to have what I'm going to call the perfect storm in the workforce. Remember the movie Perfect Storm, George Clooney was the captain of this boat and it got caught and two or three storms for lighting. And so I'm watching the workforce as it, some issues related to it, one of them is our educations. EV our education system continues to push that. Everybody's going to be doctors, lawyers, and accountants, and be rich starting from day one. And that's a problem because those of us in other areas, including, and especially in the trades and skilled areas, we have been on autopilot and allowed the education system to go from. Primarily just preparing people to function in life, be able to read, write and do those things to a point where they are pushing people away from the skilled areas. And I continue to watch and we can talk further about the implications, but so the education system and how it is so out of touch with the needs of the workforce second area, and this is. Those of us as the tail end, the baby boomers and the extras, we're making a grave error in that we continue at least philosophically, if not practically, with a management approach, that what worked okay for us and our generation. And it was built around the idea of, because. And that worked. Okay. If there was ever a disagreement conflict then the boss said, do this because I said so, and everybody went on about it. The problem is we haven't shifted and adjusted with the culture and. And by the way, that culture that we need to be shifting and adjusting to is our fault generationally. And not me and you necessarily personally, but the boomer generation, early X generation it's our fault. And yet what we do rather than looking for solutions is a lot of people sit around and call names and point fingers. It doesn't work. And I'm watching us not adjust to the workforce environment for the current generations and that's creating issues. In fact, one of the big conversations right now is the great resignation and and I believe that. Is very real that we're going to see a big shift. And I think the third part of this perfect storm coming is the, in the form of how we react to the whole remote work from home, those issues. I think how we respond enlarge to that question is going to be either the turning point to. Getting better or it's going to be the straw that broke the camel's back and it's going to disrupt the workforce environment and affect remarkably large companies in the process. I'm really hoping that companies and organizations out. Especially large ones. The smaller ones tend to be more agile because the guy that's making those decisions is usually involved in the day-to-day and all that. And usually sees the consequences much quicker to choices. But the large companies that are moving on just status quo are looking to set themselves up for some real trouble can be overcome. I believe so. Will that always be the case? I don't think so. I think we're going to get to a point where companies are gonna go beyond their, a window of opportunity to change in a more positive way, rather than having to just completely start over rebuild.
[00:10:53] Russ Johns: Yeah, we share a concern about exactly what you've outlined and I hope that people can adapt. And, I always talk about resiliency and being in a place where we can adapt and become something new and make adjustments along our way. And I there's a lot of people that are doing that. I want to give a shout out to a couple of people that joined in Elisa's here. Good morning, Russ and Kevin. Karen's here. Good morning, Russ, Kevin Gabe in the house. Thank you so much. For being here. Great conversation a morning with Kevin Ward. Absolutely appreciate you. Gabe. Kenneth Dunner is in the house, savor the flavor or awesomeness in this and you gents for sharing your delectable thoughts with us today and every day. I love that. Thank you so much. I just really appreciate the fact that people are here and they're chiming in Kevin. And I know you have a lot of activity on your phone. And this is a subject that I think it's not going to go away and there's anything that we can do to help it. Even if we go back to the idea that, like you had a mentor, you had a drain, you grew up and you became, the blacksmith taught people, students the trades and things like that. And people don't realize, Mike Rowe is somebody, from Dirty Jobs, he's doing a series on this exact subject. And I just find it fascinating that there are not more people interested in. You can make a very good living in the trades. Whether it's a electrician, a plumber, a carpenter, a craftsman of some sort. There's a lot of opportunity out there. And like here, I'm living in outside of Phoenix where it's a senior community and there's so many people that need just a helping hand, just, just somebody that's handy that can actually replace a sink faucet. Yeah know a light bulb even, and there's a lot of opportunity out there if you just want to take the initiative and get some work done. But I know there's, like you said, that the education system has taught us that we all need to be doctors or lawyers or engineers or something along those lines, but there's still a lot of space for a lot of different crafts. And now we're seeing a situation where a lot of entry-level jobs are going on. Incomplete and unfilled. And so what are your thoughts about that?
[00:13:26] Kevin Ward: Oh yeah. And part of what's causing that is again, and I please understand, as I referenced education system, I'm not talking about teachers necessarily because teachers are some of the hardest working, underpaid people around. I've been there, done that, understand it. I want to make that clear but it's the system that we have in place for formal education. And what's happened with that system is we've demeaned. Being an entry-level person and working your way up. We have communicated either implicitly or explicitly that if you go get a degree, any degree you're set for life and you'll come out of college and you'll make this amazing salary. And what concerns me is the realities, because I look at this all the time and keep up with it even before. Debt that that people think, okay, I'm going to be an engineer because an engineer comes out and they make 50 or 60 grand a year coming out of college. That's rare. That's very Rick, your average person coming out into the engineering field is going to probably start out in, depending on region, obviously. 35 a year, 40 a year. And that is real different than walking into these corner office jobs and all that. Plus once people get in there and it's something in the neighborhood of 70% of degree holders, get in. There they go. Yeah, I'm making this money, but I hate what I'm doing. And again, I think the number of 70% of people with degrees aren't even working in a field, that is what they were educated for. And so again, the misfit there, and then one of my favorite myths to tear terrible. Is one that having been a teacher and education, you, we were always told if you go get a college degree, you're going to make two or $3 million more over your lifetime of work. And so go get that degree so you can make all the more money. And there is not a complete lie. Okay. There is a basis for it because I, Are smart enough to know you get caught in an out and out lie. But what they've done is they've compared a median income and performance of someone with a degree versus a median income and performance. If someone say in a trade or non-degree job and it, when you look at. Purely in that fashion, there is some truth to, okay, but most of us aren't going to be medium and this is even truer now than ever before. Most of us are going to perform either. We hate the job. And so we're going to go to work daily just cause we got to and make a paycheck. And that means though, then our performance levels going to be. And if you've got someone that is non degreed and loves what they're doing. They're going to be pushing now envelope at the high side. And there's a video. I don't get any con royalties or anything off promoting it's called success in the new economy. They do a tremendous job of addressing this myth, but what happens is in their example, they have someone at the medium level as a bachelor of business. And what they make, excuse me. And then they have an electrician at a median level. And when you compare that over the life work-life, and which is typically I believe 40 years is considered the work-life. This statement is true. You will make more money, but. When you look at that same business major that is underperforming there on the low side and their paid referral exit, and you look at electrician who is where they need to be, they're doing what they're good at and enjoy, and you look at their pay, then it's actually just the opposite. And it's not, that's not being shared to our younger. I don't want to share a bias one way or another with young people. As I was a teacher, my real Hart passion was to look at young people say, this is reality. This is what the world looks like, make an informed choice, but don't assume there is only one option, which right now, we pushed them. Everybody's got to go get a degree. That's not the only option. I do recommend any young person. Continue learning beyond high school, in fact, and our current work world in our current world, the idea of, okay, we complete our education at 18 to 24 and we're done that's not what. Oh, if you do that, you get left behind and nowadays that can happen in a matter of...
[00:18:38] Russ Johns: we talked about that last time I was on your show and we're lifelong learners. The idea that we could continue to learn and continue to grow. I can't tell you how many different careers, just completely different careers that I've had in my journey. And I think what. Things that especially younger students need to think about or consider is what, how do you want to spend your time? What do you want to do with your time? Because there's two things. There's the educational piece of the puzzle. And then there's the activity piece of the. And if you enjoy what you're doing and you can excel at it and you appreciate it. Like you said, if you're working and you have a great attitude towards the effort and the energy that you're putting into it, you're going to excel. You're going to excel around the people that don't care to be there regardless of the situation.
[00:19:33] Kevin Ward: The old saying is if you love what you do, you'll never work a day in your life. And it's true. It is absolutely true.
[00:19:41] Russ Johns: Gabe says we don't teach life skills necessary to not only exist, but to thrive for our children and communities. We don't teach people about possible trades, financial literacy or necessary life skills to a certain degree. I think that's completely accurate. I've been out of school. I teach adults. I'm not necessarily in that arena and I don't have kids that are going to school, but I have to believe we do have to evolve. It's just like the universities and the upper management that have the older mentality that, hey, just go get a college degree and you'll be okay or do it my way and we'l l get along. They're both things that need to evolve into a different idea. And there's a lot of kids right now that look at YouTube and say, Hey, I just want to, I just want to do. What'd you like go to the NFL or the NBA.
[00:20:37] Kevin Ward: And some get away with it. I have some family that are actually making, earning their income off of Instagram and I look at it and I still, even though I am a part to the media, I'm comfortable with social media and so on, but I still look at that. They're making a full-time nice income strictly by working on industry. And I still go, yeah, I understand that words connect in my head, but yeah, th and I'm going to get a little nerdy on you because again, this, the education workforce piece is something I look closely into our current education system was targeted during the industrial revolution. And and I'm talking first industrial revolution, right? We're down the road a piece, but and it was to our demographic, the boomers plus the generation prior to us, that's where the way it was targeted. And there is a cultural piece that gets missed in that hasn't been. When, and I don't want to sound like I'm going well, the good old days, it wasn't always the good old days, right?
[00:21:54] Russ Johns: It wasn't always the good old days.
[00:21:56] Kevin Ward: But coming into school in particular we still had life experiences by as a result of the way most of our culture was that taught us. These life skills that caused us to have to understand some financial literacy and so on. And because of the way our culture society has evolved, we have young people coming in to get an education that don't have that foundation to start. And again, I'm not blaming the young people. If anything, they original blame comes back to us. We, our generation started it and parents have continued along the way to a point that it's gotta be one of two things. Either parents who've got to step up and make. They're young people learn life skills and make that a part of what they do. Or if they're going to abdicate that responsibility education system, then we've got to get the education system to recognize it's not just an isolated thing that everyone needs some financial literacy or business under those things. It is not a, it's not a few that need that. It's everybody. And even the area of career education we used to call it vocational education and now we call it career education there. That is not just for a few. It is something that regardless of direction, you're going in career wise. And even if you're going to go after degree, It's a part of what should be essential education. And we haven't shifted with that and we're still looking at again, Your ticket to success as a degree. It's not in fact again, not to try to get too nerdy here, but what I advise teachers teachers, I'm sorry. Parents is the default answer of Johnny or Susie. You're going to the university as the best option is. And in fact it is no longer a neutral option. It is a negative option for most of our young people. And so a parent that defaults to. They need to back up and learn and investigate because you're setting up your young people for harm. And the example is this, my training, by the way, formal training is in HR. So I've been that role. And I have been the one looking at the resumes and all, but if you send a young person to the university and they are one of the one third that actually make it through, which is another discussion and they get this degree and they come out and they can't get a job in the market that requires a degree, which is 30% or less of the job market. Just for those that are counting stuff. If they happen to not get one of those jobs. Okay. So then they're having to look at the roughly 60% of the job market, which is for technical, skilled certified people. What happens is they walk in the door, they or they send their resume and on their, they've got a bachelor's degree and whatever. All right. And someone's looking to hire a technical skill or a skilled trade job. The person that's looking at that their first thought is because young people don't have practical life skills and they're not getting education therefore using their hands or using competence and skills is they lack that and then they have more education than is required for those jobs. So the initial reaction is you are overeducated and under-qualified, so your resume goes to the round file, even make the first cut. And that's the harm that I see and just breaks my heart that we're doing with our young people.
[00:26:18] Russ Johns: Yeah. And then they leave with debt and everything else and they can't get the job that pays him the most.
[00:26:24] Kevin Ward: And the other factor, and this is a workforce phenomenon. That again, a lot of our businesses don't know. Okay. Yeah. Through the system, a young person that Mo again, majority of the young people never make it to college. Okay. So aunt, within the education culture, they're losers, they lose them. Then if they happen to go to college, two-thirds of them that start are going to drop out. We're losers again. And the ones that graduate with their degree and they're now spending upwards of two, three years to try to find a job and they can't find it, we're losers again. And the world of business needs to understand chances are most candidates that walked through the door. This is the way they feel.
[00:27:19] Russ Johns: And I think that we could have this conversation for days because there's a lot of elements. There's a lot of activities that surround that whole concept of workplace and what it looks like to be an employee in this day and age. And I, for myself with technology and everything that we have going on, it's like we're living in the most amazing time in humanity. But Kevin, I know, I love this discussion. I love this conversation and I, I just appreciate the fact that you are here. We actually could share a few things with the world today. And so when is your show available?
[00:27:58] Kevin Ward: Oh, we're on every Monday morning at 8:00 AM. Since I started, 1st of January, we've had one show we didn't. I also on occasion do extras. In fact, since you're kind enough to get up early the last time I think I may do a one at a different time, so we can further our conversation when you don't have to get up the break before the break of dawn. And but yeah, we do some special episodes.
[00:28:25] Russ Johns: Yeah. Thank you so much for being here, everyone, Gabe, Kenneth Elise, all of the individuals that joined us today. Thank you so much. And all the, all of the individuals that might listen to this, catch this on the podcast. We're on Spotify, apple, iHeartRadio, Amazon, all the channels out there. So love to have you comment like share and all of the social activities that help us. But thank you so much for being here. Kevin, look forward to the next opportunity. And as always, we do this because #kindnessiscool and #smilesarefree.
[00:29:05] Kevin Ward: Thanks so much Russ.
[00:29:07] Russ Johns: And you #enjoytheday. Take care, everyone.
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