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by Derek Loosvelt | July 17, 2017


Erika Nardini, an award-winning executive and unlikely CEO of bro-ish satirical sports blog Barstool Sports, likes to text interview questions to prospective new hires on the weekends. And she likes to text stuff like, "What’s your game plan for the day? What companies do you find interesting and why? Give me an example of a failure. What type of environments DON'T you succeed in?" And she expects you to respond to these weekend texts ...

Within three hours. It’s not that I’m going to bug you all weekend if you work for me, but I want you to be responsive. I think about work all the time. Other people don’t have to be working all the time, but I want people who are also always thinking.

In fact, Nardini doesn't just want people who are always thinking, she wants people who are geniuses. However, you only have to be genius 10 percent of the time; the other 90 you can pretty much be doing anything you want: watching Champions League highlights, checking out the Local Smokeshow of the Day on, etc.

... it took me a long time to learn that there are people who I call “90 percent players” and there are “10 percent players.”
The 90 percent players are superdependable. They work hard every day, and they’re amenable to whatever you want to do. And the 10 percent people may not be great 90 percent of the time, but 10 percent of the time they’re genius, and they’re genius at the moment that matters.
It took me a long time to learn that there’s a beauty and a gift in the 10 percent people, and you have to be able to unlock it.

That said, if you're a sloth with an Einstein-like IQ, don't go celebrating (with another daiquiri) just yet. Nardini is way more into the daily hard workers (the 90 percenters) than those who show up to work once every two weeks (the 10 percenters). Here's her advice to recent college grads:

Any young person should, at some point, take a job that makes them uncomfortable and that they feel unqualified for. It’s really great to feel uncomfortable, and you change so much as a person from that. I also say that work ethic matters more than most anything.


*   *   *


Speaking of youth, the oil and gas industry is currently courting millennials, trying to convince them that oil and gas is hip, modern, techie, and not a major reason Antarctic ice is melting, and so should be an industry that they'd want to join and Instagram about.

Oil, in short, is cool, the industry’s branding braintrust has declared. The 30-second spot rolled out this year is part of a broader American Petroleum Institute campaign to “raise awareness about the role natural gas and oil has in economic growth, job creation, environmental stewardship, and national security.” Dubbed Power Past Impossible, the ads by the lobbying arm of America’s oil giants are all about millennials, the generation of roughly 21 to 35 year olds which out-sizes any other and makes up the largest chunkof the American workforce.
“It’s a shift in our messaging and our target that’s been in the works for several years,” says Marty Durbin, the institute’s chief strategy officer. “There isn’t a company out there that isn’t chasing the elusive millennials.”

Quick question for millennials: Do you consider yourself to be elusive, or do you find the intelligence of those chasing you to be elusive?

In any case, oil and gas companies are facing an up-glacier battle through polluted air. Let's hear why from the so-called experts:

Millennials prefer brands that come across as “conscious capitalists,” explained Jeff Fromm, an expert in marketing to younger Americans. “Any mature industry has to think about the fact that there’s a new sheriff in town with new values, new spending habits,” he added, referring to millennials. “Legacy brands often have that challenge.”

Note #1 to millennial marketing experts: leave your "new sheriff in town" analogies at home next to your old Blackberries and flip phones.

Note #2 to MMEs: find the time to watch this three-minute video in which a high-ranking non-milliennial Morgan Stanley executive with many years of experience working with milliennials talks about what millennials really want. She's on to something. Hint/preview: it has nothing to do with job-hopping, and everything to do with transparency.

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