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Senior principal at sports drafter Korn Ferry, David Byrd, shares how his life in politics has prepared him for building teams.

Your approach to search

At the end of the day, I am a coach. I want my candidates to have their best day ever with my clients. If I am willing to present a candidate to a client as fit for the job, then I will coach and prep them to have their best day ever!

Why Korn Ferry –

Why not Korn Ferry? They are the best in the business. I am a first-round draft pick and first round draft picks want to play with winners. Korn Ferry is a winner.

Your background in politics and how it prepared you for this opportunity

My political career has been great preparation for this opportunity. Politics is about people. Search, at the end of the day, is about people (talent). And when you are dealing with people, anything can happen.

What are your top 3 lessons for job seekers

  1. No one cares what you did before the year 2000. That’s now 22 years ago.

  2. Take the year you graduated from college or grad school off your education. Don’t let others rule you out based on an arbitrary number.

  3. Make sure you have permission from your references to use them as a reference. Don’t assume you have their permission. Ask.

You and I both love sports - what are your top sports experiences that have made a difference in your life - either playing or lessons learned from others?

Sports are a lot like life. The ebb and flow of the game is a lot like a day or a week or even a month. Can you stay level-headed even when things look bleak? The 1973 Mets are a great example. The team suffered injuries to several star players and they were almost in last place going into the final month of the season. But they got all their star players back and won their division in the last month and defeated the powerful Cincinnati Reds (Big Red Machine) to go onto the World Series. Their slogan was “You Gotta Believe.”

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