IAM1720 – Founder Teaches Companies How to Hire Right the First Time

Podcast Interview with Diana George


Why it was selected for “CBNation Architects”: Diana's interview was awesome because it's so relevant to organizations and especially how important company culture is to the success of organizations. Diana reminded us that this happens early on and it's established especially when that culture is established what it looks like when hiring people. We also talked a little about relationships, documentation in the hiring process, but also the people part of the business.

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Diana George Teaser 00:00

Well, what I would tell my clients is to document your hiring strategy early on. What people don't realize is that your HR department is an establishment, and it's a fundamental department because it gives stability. When you have employees that have stability, it allows you to grow.

Intro 00:19

Are you ready to hear business stories and learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and level up your business from awesome CEOs, entrepreneurs and founders without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you've come to the right place. Gresh values your time and is ready to share with you the valuable info you're in search of.

This is the I AM CEO podcast.

Gresham Harkless 00:46

Hello, hello, hello. This is Gresh from the I AM CEO podcast and I appreciate you listening to this episode. If you've been listening this year, you know that we hit 1600 episodes at the beginning of this year. We're doing something a little bit different where we are repurposing our favorite episodes around certain categories, topics, or as I like to call them, business pillars that we think are going to be extremely impactful for CEOs, entrepreneurs, and business owners. And what I like to call the CB nation architects who are looking to level up their organizations.

This month we are focused on technology. We're a technology company that does dot, dot, dot. Technology is no longer an afterthought or something that you might do and is actually a core part of your business. If you are a real estate investor, you're using it. If you're a financial firm, if you're a cleaning company, author, or speaker, you are using technology. If you are in any business, you are using technology, and if you're not, then you're probably going to be disrupted by an organization that is.

So this month we are going to look into purposing episodes that are around technology, whether that be firms or organizations that are actually using and investing in technology as a core part of their products and services, or potentially those individuals that are using and leveraging CEO Hacks and CEO nuggets that center around technology and sharing ways that we can leverage it as well. Remember that you are a technology company that does dot, dot, dot. Sit back and enjoy this special episode of the I AM CEO podcast.

Hello, hello, hello. This is Gresh from the I AM CEO podcast and I have a very special guest on the show today. I'm Diana George of By George HR Solutions.

Diana, it's great to have you on the show.

Diana George 2:17

Thank you so much, Gresham great to be here. I'm just so excited.

Gresham Harkless 02:21

Yes, I'm excited as well. You're doing so many phenomenal things and before we jumped into the interview, I wanted to read a little bit more so you can hear a little bit more about some of the awesome things that Diana is doing.

And as the founder and president of By George Solutions, Diana found a common thread with most of her clients, the ability to hire employees that fit their company culture. Diana has worked with global companies such as Bose and a luxury watch company Omega. Diana brings with her over three decades of experience and learned early on how to motivate and get the best out of people, which she now teaches organizations.

A co-author and anatomy of accomplishment, Diana shares seven strategies on how to have a winning company culture. She teaches companies how to attract higher and keep their top talent, and Diana is the number one person you go to when you want to hire right, the first time.

Diana, great to have you on the show again. Super excited. Are you ready to speak to the I am CEO community?

Diana George 03:16

I am ready. I am ready. Let's get this started.

[restrict paid=”true”]

Gresham Harkless 03:20

Let's do it then. So, to kick everything off, I wanted to rewind the clock a little bit and hear a little bit more on how you got started, what I call your CEO story.

Diana George 03:27

Sure. So my CEO story is I worked a lot for retail companies and I had an opportunity to work for some amazing global companies. As you mentioned, Bose and Omega and I had some great and wonderful experiences and I guess at some point I realized that wasn't the norm. Everyone didn't have those same type of experiences. But what I was able to do is take so many of the things that they gave me and use them throughout my career and build upon it.

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At some point, their HR department was so instrumental in helping us as managers develop and really get the best out of the people that we had. And so I wanted to be able to do the same thing. So the last company that I worked for, I absolutely loved the company, excited to go to work each and every day, which was my norm in terms of my experience. Then we had a shift. We had a management change and a lot of those things changed.

It was at that point that I realized that not only are your employees your greatest brand ambassadors and your greatest asset, they need to know that and you need to really nurture that. And so at some point, I decided to leave the company. It wasn't the company that I had originally started with, and I know that things changed. And it was at that point that I said, you know what? I really wanna get out there and I want to teach other entrepreneurs, how to hire people, how to hire right the first time.

Gresham Harkless 04:48

Yeah, I appreciate you sharing and obviously, sorry that you had to go through that experience, but I almost feel like because you had that experience, it probably empowers you with even more insight into how to help these organizations, these leaders, create that great culture and understand how important an asset their people are.

Diana George 05:07

You're absolutely right. And I thank you for that because it really did. It was at that point that I realized that I had been doing a lot of successful actions over all those years. And so it was at that time that I said, Hey, the light bulb went off. Now let me take those experiences. Let me take what I've learned and show other people how to not only hire right the first time, but to nurture those individuals and retain those individuals.

So what I tell people that I do is that with great brand ambassadors, you really get to strategize and work on the business and not in the business. So I teach entrepreneurs how to hire right the first time so that their brand is a reflection of them each and every day.

Gresham Harkless 05:45

That's extremely empowering and that's why I love how it doesn't become just, I guess hiring a part, it becomes an extension of the brand, an extension of the vision sometimes. And when we start to flip that switch and look at it in a different way, it becomes really empowering and exciting as well too. Every time you get to attract and bring on talent.

Diana George 06:01

Absolutely. Company culture is very important for every business and to really identify that and know what that is. And so when we take a look at our larger companies that we are familiar with that we see on TV every day, they've established that. But I like to remind people that that's important for you also. They got to where they are because they established earlier on what that company culture is, and they hire based on that company culture.

So they had the right person in place. And so I thought this is an opportunity to make sure that businesses as they start up or as they're growing, they make sure and they know how to do the exact same thing because that's gonna help them to elevate and to continue growing.

Gresham Harkless 06:40

Yeah, absolutely. Taking those foundational steps in order to set yourself up for success. So I love that you help, organizations and leaders do that.

I know we touched on a little bit on what you do and how you do it. Could you tell, take us through a little bit more of that and exactly how that looks and how that process goes and what you even feel sets you apart and makes you unique? A.k.a. your secret sauce?

Diana George 07:00

Yeah, so my secret sauce and I share this with people because I think it's really important for everybody, is really giving people the resources, is the easy part, staying with them through their own personal transformation is the commitment. So anytime you have someone that comes into your company, that's a commitment. It's a commitment on your end. It's a commitment on the individuals end.

When we realize that and we nurture that, then we are helping that person to not only grow within the organization, but then we're really helping that individual to grow personally. And so I really help individuals to understand really what the formula is for communication. So, often we think that we really understand how to communicate.

Oh, I told that person that. So, I can't believe they didn't get it. There's so much more to effective communication and what does that look like? And so when people really understand, Stand what that looks like. They're more engaged with the individuals that they work with. They're more engaged with their staff. They see them from a wholly different, a totally different viewpoint. And it's a more holistic viewpoint in the sense that they want everybody to do their best and they want everybody to grow. So, having people understand that, that's really important.

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I think if nothing else, 2020 in the pandemic has taught us and shown us how important relationships are and how important people are. And we need to invest in people more. And when you do that, that's the winning formula for success.

Gresham Harkless 08:22

Yeah, I appreciate you sharing that. And I think so many times I'll say I think we forget about the human aspect of business. Of course, numbers and analytics and all those things play a huge part. But I think so many times we can skip over that human piece.

So that's why I love that you remind, us of what you know now, but also in everything that you do, because I think it's something that once it's properly cultivated maybe the right word, or built and grown and strengthened, those relationships and that opportunity really can go, the sky's the limit, to say the least.

Diana George 08:52

Absolutely. And there's a saying out there that people normally don't leave companies, they leave the individuals that are at the companies. So, it goes back to relationships once again. And so normally we're in a company and as larger or small as the company is, it's still those personal relationships that keep people there.

It's not always what we traditionally think it is. It's not always the most compensation because we've heard stories of people making, as astronomical amounts of money, but they're still miserable. They don't like what it is that they do, they don't like the people that they work with.

So really cultivating a company culture that speaks to your business and who you are and bringing on people that are indicative of that company culture so that you now have a common goal, a common purpose, a common theme for why everybody is there each and every day, and they know that, that's the important thing.

Gresham Harkless 09:40

I wanted to switch gears a little bit and I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO hack. So this could be like an app, a book, or a habit that you have, but what's something that makes you more effective and efficient?

Diana George 09:51

If you don't mind, I'm gonna give you two. One of them is called Last Pass and there might be some people out there that know it, but it is a way of keeping all your passwords. And so I have several different clients that I work with as well as people that work with me. And so I'm telling you, if I didn't have Last Pass, if I ever got amnesia, I'd be in trouble because of all the passwords that I have, and right now I'm close to up to 300 passwords, so there's no way I can remember that.

But this makes my life so easy, and especially being an entrepreneur, I do have people that do social media for me and other things, and it allows me to share my passwords with them without them having to see my password. And it makes it so efficient for me to do that as well as keep everything in one place and travel with it. So that is one of the things. So that would be number one.

Number two, and I just stumbled upon this most recently, and I absolutely love it because I do a lot of videos for social media and it's called Big View. And it is a teleprompter that you can put on your phone as an app and you can put a script in there, everything. It is amazing when you pull this up and you have everything there. You don't have to remember, what do I need to say? Everything is right there for you. You're looking where you need to look. So that has been my newest hack that I absolutely love and have been sharing with everybody.

Gresham Harkless 11:11

Awesome. And so I wanted to ask you now for what I call a CEO Nugget. So this could be a word or wisdom or a piece of advice. It might be something you would tell a client or if you hopped into a time machine, you might tell your younger business self.

Diana George 11:23

Yeah. Well, what I would tell my clients is to document your hiring strategy early on. What people don't realize is that your HR department is an establishment, and it's a fundamental department because it gives stability and  when you have employees that have stability, it allows you to grow exponentially and as fast as you want to grow. But without that in place, you're guessing at a lot of things.

What happens a lot of times you have a lot of turnover of individuals or you aren't able to retain your top talent or the people that you want to retain. So really having that Process documented early on. What does it look like so that you don't have to remember it, you know much later on when you're in the game.

So I would say document your hiring strategy.

Gresham Harkless 12:08

Yeah. I love that and I feel like it also allows you to, especially if you get a really great, talented individual to be on the team and you don't realize exactly how you did it or what it is that you do by documenting it, it allows you to, one, if you replicate that success. Two, I think if it's not something that ends up being ideal or the person doesn't necessarily become ideal, you can go back and look at that documentation and start to tweak it in there instead of it being in somebody's head.

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Diana George 12:35

Absolutely. Absolutely.

Gresham Harkless 12:37

Awesome, awesome, awesome. And so I wanted to ask you now my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO. We're hoping to have different quote and quote CEOs on this show.

So, Diana, what does being a CEO mean to you?

Diana George 12:49

Being a CEO means to me, freedom, responsibility, and most importantly, having the opportunity to impact and change lives. I really get to do that each and every day through my interaction with people, and so I get to do that on a much bigger platform than I would have if I was just working a job or going to a nine-to-five. So that is the most important part for me, is that I get to change and impact people's lives each and every day.

Gresham Harkless 13:18

Yeah, and that's huge just because I think that a lot of times when we look at our expertise, our talents, our gifts as a way in order to make an impact, as you said, so well, we really can see and get excited about everything that we do.

I think that so many times understanding that by creating a great company culture as you do so well, it's where a lot of people spend their time and their energy. So as you are able to do that within organizations, it's creating, such a strong impact in their lives, obviously organizationally. But I imagine in their personal lives, their relationships, it starts to bleed into so many different aspects of their lives. So, I love the work that you do because it creates that necessary need that all organizations can take advantage of.

Diana George 14:00

Yeah, the ability to act impacts people's lives, not just professionally but personally as well. That's where you really have a reach, because I always say to people, how people are in their professional life is the same way they are in their personal life and vice versa. So if you can help somebody improve in their professional life, you're gonna help them improve in their personal life as well.

Gresham Harkless 14:20

That's extremely powerful the way people do one thing is the way they do all things, so I think it's something that we should definitely try to keep in mind. So Diana, truly appreciate that definition and of course, I appreciate your time even more.

What I wanted to do is just pass you the mic, so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional that you can let our readers and listeners know, and of course how best they can get ahold of you, get a copy of the book and find out about all the awesome things you're working on.

Diana George 14:43

Sure. I would tell people the one additional piece of information that I would give is to not only hire the right people, invest in people, but then trust them to do the job that you put them there to do. That goes a long way. When you do that, you acknowledge people, you encourage people, and you will get the best out of people. So that's the one one last additional thing that I would say.

And then in terms of how to reach me the platform I'm the most active on is LinkedIn. So you can reach me at Diana L. George on LinkedIn. And I also do a hot seat coaching every Thursday at 8:00 PM. The next one will be on May 20th. If you're on LinkedIn, you can go to my page and you'll see the event, you can sign up for it. And then of course, if you like to download the book, you can do that as well. And that is culture.

And you can download the book chapter.

Gresham Harkless 15:37

Awesome, awesome, awesome. Thank you so much again, Diana. We will have the links and information as well in the show notes so that everybody can follow up with you, but I love that last, point as well too. Cause I think so many times you do all the work to get the right people in the right place and the right culture, and then you don't allow them to flourish.

So I think stepping back, especially as leaders, and understanding that you have done all the work before to get the right person now allow them to flourish and to shine and to coach them up and support them in order to do that is absolutely huge.

So I appreciate you so much again for all the work you do, and I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

Outro 16:10

Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO podcast, powered by CB Nation and Blue 16 media. Tune in next time and visit us at I AM CEO is not just a phrase, it's a community.

Don't forget to schedule your complimentary digital marketing consultation at This has been the I AM CEO podcast with Gresham Harkless, Jr.

Thank you for listening.


Dave Bonachita - CBNation Writer

This is a post from a CBNation team member. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand. We are focused on increasing the success rate. We create content and information focusing on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. CBNation consists of blogs(, podcasts, ( and videos ( CBNation is proudly powered by Blue16 Media.

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