Magazine article Talent Development

Global Talent Development Consultant, Rackspace Hosting

Magazine article Talent Development

Global Talent Development Consultant, Rackspace Hosting

Article excerpt

In addition to his work at Rackspace Hosting, Rick Lozano takes his more than 16 years of experience in talent development (and his guitar) to organizations and conferences around the globe as a keynote speaker, consultant, and musician. He intertwines live music into his speeches and training, which span the range of leadership development, onboarding, and employee engagement. Lozano has facilitated programs for the past five years at ATD, served on the ATD TechKnowledge Program Advisory Committee in 2017, and was the closing keynote speaker at the Core 4 Conference, also in 2017.

HOW DID YOU EMBARK ON A CAREER AS A MUSICIAN-CONSULTANT-KEYNOTER?

The big question is why I didn't do it sooner. I'd been working in talent development for years, but I've always been a musician too. It is who I am. But since music wasn't my full-time vocation, per se, there was always this "keep your personal and professional lives separate" mentality that I wrongly believed to be good advice. Until one day I had a mentor who encouraged me to combine all those worlds, and this incredible magic happened with opportunities popping up out of nowhere.

From there, everything seemed to flow. I continued mixing the talent development world with music, and it morphed into what it is today. I didn't always understand how to make it all work together and, truthfully, sometimes I still don't--but once I tapped into that source of inspiration, there was no turning back. And how much it resonated with people completely surprised me.

So, usually it's just me. I get to stand up and talk and play my guitar. But a while back I was doing an off-site session for some C-level executives at a hospital system. They found out I was coming in and a couple of them brought along their guitars. After the day ended, there we were--a bunch of doctors, C-level executives, and me sitting around, playing guitar until 2 in the morning.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE IS THE MOST IMPORTANT ELEMENT OF A SUCCESSFUL ONBOARDING PROGRAM?

Taking the time to do it right. We work in a fast-paced world and there's pressure to do things really, really fast. But taking the time to do it right and immersing people in organizational culture and values, whatever those values might be, is important.

Every person we hire is a guardian of our collective culture. If we don't present a united and authentic front about what that is, we allow our culture to be hijacked. Culture is going to evolve anyway, so if we're not specific about what we're trying to accomplish, culture is going to move in a different direction. …

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