Flavor Flav is Just Like Your High Performers, If Your Stars Were Crazy…

Kris Dunn Candidate Pool, Kris Dunn, Performance

I was flipping through the channels the other night, and came across the old Vh1 show, "Flavor of Love".  I know this is old news, but three thoughts/questions related to talent immediately came to mind:

1. Flavor Flav has his own show…Wow…So, this is what it’s come down to America..Flavorlove_podcast

2. Where is Chuck D, the other lead man for Public Enemy? – you know, the one who seemed…well, very credible…

3. Do our companies value talent that resembles Flavor Flav?  Or do we like the Chuck D’s of the corporate world?

A primer for those of you not around in the late 80’s:

-(from Wikipedia) Public Enemy, also known as PE, is a hip hop group from Long Island, New York, known for its politically charged lyrics and criticism of the media  In 2004, Rolling Stone Magazine ranked Public Enemy number forty-four on its list of the Immortals: 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. Acclaimed Music ranks it the 29th most recommended musical act of all time and the highest hip-hop group.  The group had two front men – Chuck D. and, of course, Flavor Flav.

Chuck D was the primary front man for the group, and was the serious one.  He’s the voice of the group, the primary rapper and the one who lays down the serious lyrics, often politically charged, but almost always delivered without profanity.  It’s easy to see him as the talented one, the brains behind the operation, the deep thinker, the planner.

Flavor Flav (from the Modesto Bee) often acted as Chuck D’s comic foil, with his look including over-sized sunglasses and a giant clock hanging from his neck. He has said publicly that he wears the clock to remind people how precious time is. The look has become his signature over the years.  I just thought the clock was something he took down off the wall and put around his neck.  Catch phrase – "Yeah boyyyyy!" or "Yo Chuck, we’re losing ’em"… Not exactly Dickens with the lyrics…

So Flavor Flav got his own TV show and Chuck D is probably appearing on public radio somewhere talking about issues, which forms the basis for my question:

Does your company reward the Chuck D’s of the world (solid talent content to work hard in the background), or do they push rewards to the Flavor Flavs of the world?  The Flavor Flavs are the ones with the carefully constructed outlook signatures, the seats on task forces – but hard to find results…

Of course, I’m probably being unfair to Flav.  After all, it’s reported that he’s a classically trained pianist, but that just means he looked at the payoff between pursuing that dream or becoming Flav, and decided it was in his best interest to become Flav.

What does your company reward?  Hit me in the comments with your thoughts.  Free FOT t-shirt for anyone who sends me a picture of talent within their company walking around with a clock as a necklace.

Hint – your rewards system is probably more subtle… 

Kris Dunn
Kris Dunn is a Partner and CHRO at Kinetix, a national RPO firm for growth companies headquartered in Atlanta. He's also the founder Fistful of Talent (founded in 2008) and The HR Capitalist (2007) – and has written over 70 feature columns at Workforce Management magazine. Prior to his investment at Kinetix, Kris served in HR leadership roles at DAXKO, Charter and Cingular. In his spare time, KD hits the road as a speaker and gives the world what it needs – pop culture references linked to Human Capital street smarts.