YOU: How do I know your solutions work?
US: First, consider our client list. It includes many of the world’s largest, smartest and most demanding companies, none of which list “patience” on their corporate values wallet cards. Second, consider that we have high, deep and longstanding relationships with these companies. Third, consider the testimonials from these companies, which we’ll gladly provide you. Fourth, stop all this considering and talk to us. We’ll explain exactly why our solutions work exactly like we say they do.
TELL ME MORE
YOU: Who else does what you do?
US: We’re not trying to sound like arrogant snots but we’ve never found anyone. All our work is based on proprietary methods, and how we do it is as unique as what we do.
We focus exclusively on creating ferocious commitment in manager, employee and customer cultures. This being the case, we understand that leadership is a motivation, not a practice; successful strategies are implemented well, not planned well; and a company has to be branded for how they sell, not just for what they sell. Our work nails the highest impact area within each of the three cultures and produces sustainable results often thought impossible by companies. Oh, and we talk to managers exactly like they talk to each other, even if it means meeting them at cynical to take them to hopeful.
That, to be arrogant snots, is what separates us from most of the “solutions” offered by other companies.
YOU: I can see that your approach will work in hipper companies but we have a very conservative culture.
US: Back in the day, we cut our teeth on plenty of hip companies, like Patagonia (where Stan was a member of the board of directors) and Rhino Records (which voted the slap company as one of the ten best things to happen to their company). As we grew, our client base did too, and we added the hottest names in software, entertainment and fashion—but we also added the mainstays in “traditional” industries, from manufacturing to finance.
Large or growing, hip or conservative, every one of our clients is obsessed with increasing market share, employee productivity and competitive advantage. They don’t hire us because we wear Prada, darling.
YOU: Can I see some of your work in an open session?
US: Our work is client-specific. It digs deep and resolves confidential, competitive issues. The actual session portions are like panic rooms for managers and we protect that safe environment. Open attendance isn’t possible.
However, we can give your own company a taste by arranging a detailed in-person overview or pilot session of one of the solution components. Also, Stan’s keynotes sometimes have open attendance. He does about 50 around the world each year so one may be close to you. Contact us and we’ll let you know if we can sneak you in with the band.
YOU: How can I get a job at SLAP?
US: At every level, in every position, you have to be a quality and accomplishment psychotic. You have to be very serious about changing the world. A sense of humor is essential or your brain cells will desert you like rats off a sinking ship.
If we were to bring you onboard, you have to be the best at what you do—the concept of competency has to be very important to you. In return, we promise to pay you well, work you hard, make you laugh, drive you crazy and treat you with respect.
If you are seeking a position to facilitate our consulting or training solutions, our criteria include:
You must have been a successful manager with a history of accomplishments and accountability at the level you want to facilitate. You have no right to tell managers anything about how to do their jobs unless you’ve done the job very well yourself.
You must have passion. About something—anything. Passion comes from all sorts of sources but rage is certainly a dependable source. If you feel that something in the world must change, that’s good. If you don’t, that’s disturbing.
You can’t be perky. Optimistic and confident, yes, but perky is delusional and disrespectful of the conditions often felt by managers as they simultaneously try to do their jobs well and protect the sense of self required to do their jobs well.
You must have been hurt and healed. Both are required to go as deep as you need to go when facilitating our solutions—but healed is where you had to end up. We don’t call a group of managers together to work out our own issues, now do we?
You can’t like Sting. The guy drives us nuts.
YOU: Have you ever worked in our industry before?
US: slap solutions are designed to produce extraordinary results in every industry, in every line of business.
Our facilitators have never written a line of code, yet the world’s largest technology companies depend on us to develop explosive growth strategies, coach their senior executives and enroll their manager and employee populations in crucial strategic plans. Stan can’t hang wallpaper to save his life, yet as a part-time CEO, he led 200-store retailer Wallpapers to Go out of bankruptcy and on to record sales in just ten months and made them the first franchisor in history to successfully recover from bankruptcy. The guys who work at slap don’t wear women’s clothes, yet* we create success for many of the best apparel companies.
* Yet as in “however,” not yet as in “eventually they will”
Despite the diversity of industries, slap clients have a number of things in common:
They’re the best at what they do and want to stay that way
They are demanding of a high return on investment for their expenditures
They move fast
They are fiercely competitive
Their resources allow them to choose any consulting and training services in the world
They choose SLAP
YOU: Do you work with managers at every level?
US: Our consulting solutions involve deep work with C, E and S levels of the enterprise, and we also coach individual managers at that level. When you’re clawing your way to the top it’s easy to cling to the illusion that everything will be figured out and fulfilling when you get there. When you get there and find out that things still don’t make sense, you’re a culture of one and can’t easily admit what remains unknown or uncomfortable, and there’s nowhere else to go … . People jump from the top floors in buildings, not the bottom.
Our solutions are designed to impact every level of manager but are customized for different levels. Our facilitators have been successful managers at the level they’re working with or above.
YOU: How can your solutions be successful in other countries?
US: We work regularly in North America; South America; Asia/Pacific; Western, Central and Eastern Europe; the Middle East; and Scandinavia—over 70 countries in all. With all due respect to the social and geopolitical individualities of those cultures, we’re working with the culture of managers, which is the same the world over.
Managers have their own culture; they just don’t realize it. A manager in one position in one company in Malaysia doesn’t realize that a manager in another position in another company in Manhattan has the same hopes, the same concerns—and is also sometimes convinced they’re trapped in a vague conspiracy between idiots above them and idiots below.
Every culture has its own language and part of every cultural language is music. Most of us grew up with rock and roll, which was the language of our culture. It was the shared expression of the terrors and exhilarations of first freedoms. It marked who belonged in the culture and who didn’t. It memorialized the experiences and dreams we felt belonged uniquely to us.
Managers have their own culture but metaphorically they don’t have their own music. They’re forced to listen to their parent’s old Stephen Covey records. slap is rock and roll for managers. We stand for finding the fire down below, pumping up the volume and tearing the roof off the sucker.
YOU: I attended a session facilitated by Stan Slap. I don’t see how anybody else could ever do it as well.
US: If you know Stan, you know he’s seriously unbalanced about the quality and impact of slap solutions. He personally approves the hiring and final certification of everyone allowed to consult, coach and facilitate those solutions: How mellow of a process do you think that is?
A great facilitator is smart, experienced, empathic, a wonderful storyteller and represents the personality of their company without sacrificing their own. That’s a description matching every consultant, coach and facilitator at slap. In a recent recruitment effort, we interviewed 225 people and hired only 8—less than a 4% ratio. Any of those eight, or the larger team they joined, will knock your socks off.
The slap company doesn’t want any of our facilitators to be another Stan Slap. Stan doesn’t want them to be another Stan Slap. Society doesn’t want them to be another Stan Slap. All for good reasons.
YOU: Are you related to Slap, the skateboarding company?
US: Maybe spiritually. We hope we’re answering all of your urgent questions.
YOU: Your company’s attitude often seems pretty casual.
US: We don’t think our attitude is casual as much as it is confident. Still, we are pretty casual about a lot of stuff—except creating results for our clients and what we believe in.
We believe in making the business case for humanity. If this comes across as casual, you have our apologies.
YOU: Will Stan be writing other books?
US: The dust jacket hasn’t even settled on the first one yet and you want more? Well actually there are more coming since Stan signed a three-book deal with Penguin/Portfolio. In the meantime if you’ve bought Bury My Heart at Conference Room B and are looking for another of his books to read may we suggest buying another copy of Bury My Heart at Conference Room B.
YOU: Why isn’t your website called SLAP.com?
US: Because, as you well know, SLAP.com was originally a sex bondage site. We discovered this ourselves years ago when we were first completing our own site. Since this was unacceptable — if someone’s going to beat on managers it’s going to be us — we offered to buy the domain name from them. They wanted a ridiculous amount of money; evidently it was a very popular site, due, no doubt, to the many managers who signed on looking for us and stayed.
We spent time coming up with a bunch of new names we thought better reflected their true value proposition, registered them and offered them any choice plus some cash. They refused. So we called our attorneys and told them to get tough with these guys. Our attorneys called back saying, “They like that sort of thing.” Sigh. We had to launch our own site by that point and ended up quickly calling it slapworld and later changed it to slapcompany.wpengine.com.
YOU: Where does your company get its wonderful creative ideas?
US: Nevada. There’s a small store off Route 131.
YOU: There is no Route 131 in Nevada.