Carlos Gutierrez is an American of Cuban origin and the current Chairman and CEO of EmPath company. He also served as US Secretary of Commerce and as Chairman and CEO of Kellogg. He had joined Kellogg after his high-school graduation, and his initiation to the esteemed company was through a Sales Representative position. Through his reminiscences for these days, he explicitly states that skills are far more critical than degrees in the competitive environment of the corporate world.
The importance of acquired skills instead of degrees and diplomas
Mr. Gutierrez recalls that he took the opportunity of being a Sales Representative of Kellogg as a part of a training program after his high school graduation in Mexico City. His family used to live in the capital of Mexico, as Mr. Gutierrez’s father had his occupation in the city.
His initial duties involved selling the company’s products to mini markets, and as the years progressed, he moved on to supermarkets, grocery stores, hotels, and various institutions. Mr. Gutierrez’s rise through the ranks of the Kellogg was phenomenal and rapid, as his installation to the head office after a handful of years suggests.
Mr. Gutierrez enhanced his skill set by taking courses in Accounting, Marketing, and Human Resources Management. Throughout his ascend to the business world. He succeeded where many people fail due to their shared ignorance with their employers to assess their capabilities constructively.
The path from adversities to running an esteemed company
Mr Gutierrez narrates his early childhood experience of absconding from his forefathers’ land after the institution of the revolutionaries of Fidel Castro. His father was a reputed businessman, but he could not resume his entrepreneurial feats after the nationalization of all the sectors of the economy. Therefore, the Gutierrez family fled to the so-called ‘Land of Opportunities’, the USA.
The first actual opportunity occurred in a different land, a few miles south of the USA, Mexico. There, Mr. Gutierrez embarked on his journey at Kellogg and ascended his way to the headquarters by taking the rising opportunities with a level-headed mind. He took up roles such as Assistant in the Marketing Department throughout his journey of obtaining the CEO responsibilities.
The road was not paved with pedals, though. He had to overcome various struggles in this journey, with the suspicion of his colleagues of not having a college degree being a chief hindrance. Mr. Gutierrez never gave up his quest to enhance his skills and opportunities to grow as a person and professional. He had already established a rooted strength for perseverance by acquiring the English language within a short period after his family immigrated from Cuba.
His initial opportunity as a General Manager came in Mexico at 29. In his retrospection, he recognizes three things as pivotal to a person’s professional success, which are the following:
1) Being in the right place at the right time
2) Rely on a robust and trustful team of people
3) The results (accomplishing goals and achieving the targeted numbers)
Furthermore, Mr. Gutierrez honed his leadership skills solely through action, without taking any formal education on the matter. He states that he learned how to lead through steps, errors, and fixing his errors. All this attained experience from this path led him to establish his pioneering company, Empath.
The pioneering work of EmPath
The establishment of EmPath facilitates the corporate world in ways that were unfathomable a few years ago. They utilize the tools of Machine Learning to assess the skills of a company’s personnel or aspiring personnel. Therefore, the executives of a company can adequately assess which skills and persons are suitable for a specific position and reduce the number of erroneous appointments effectively.
The advancements in Machine Learning and their application in the business world are a fantastic breakthrough because the motivation of employees skyrockets when they contribute according to their capabilities. Furthermore, their energy is harnessed to remain at a high level, stabilizing, thus the longevity of their respective company.
The obsolete practices of assessing an individual’s potential by a mere resume have long gone, as various companies herald a new era. An era that comprises fairness, meritocracy, and individual and collaborative success.
The paramount data sets for a robust selection process
The clients of EmPath provide the company with the information regarding what they are looking for in a specific position. This information entails around 12 signals, for instance, performance reviews, peer reviews, certificates, courses, achieved interactions with customers etc. From there, the people of Empath utilize four signals according to the request of their clients.
EmPath utilizes a process called semantic similarity. Semantic similarity is finding targeted keywords within an employer’s skill set. The employees that match the client’s criteria proceed to the next phase of the selection process.
EmPath has the luxury of having a CTO who is an expert in Machine Learning and has written one of the first textbooks on this subject. Mr. Gutierrez unequivocally states that these innovations will be the corporate’s world flagships within three years.
In Wrapping Up
Identify the skills required for every job in the company. Once you have that database of information, the things you can do are endless, and the kind of environment you can create for employees.
We will talk about how Carlos got into the business of helping people grow and what motivated him to upskill himself. He also shares what things they do to help companies know their employees’ skills better, which will help them create a suitable environment for the employees, is experience still necessary, and how leaders should look at proficiency.
If you want more content like this you can subscribe to my Youtube channel.
. . .
This episode is brought to you by EmPath.
Empath’s machine learning software develops a skills inventory with proficiency levels for every employee in a company. Enable Personalized Career Development, Diversity & Inclusion, Skills-Based Teams, an Opportunity Marketplace, and Skills-Based Succession Planning, among other valuable use cases. Empower your employees, raise engagement, and boost retention. The workforce of tomorrow. Today. Visit www.empath.net to request a demo.