Your brother is the guy you can rely on. It’s an unconditional bond. It’s rock solid.
Dire Straits gave us Brothers In Arms about soldiers standing shoulder to shoulder and there have been countless brother-based bands that have gone on to achieve huge success. Oasis, The Beach Boys, The Jackson 5, The Bee Gees, Van Halen and Spandau Ballet. Obviously top of that list is Hanson and The Proclaimers but you get the point.
Some have stayed together for the duration. Some have fought, broken up, got back together, fought, broken up, got back together…..art imitating life.
It’s the same in business. Albert & Harry Warner became Warner Bros. Orville & Wilbur Wright pioneered powered flight. Walt & Roy Disney gave us saccharine-sweet cartoon characters. Will & John Kellogg gave us cornflakes and Richard & Maurice ‘Mac’ McDonald gave us burgers.
You can read a lot about these old school biz-bros – and there are plenty of largely uninteresting interviews online with successful siblings where the interviewer trots out the same lazy questions you’re supposed to ask successful people – but let’s fast-forward to today. In the lightning fast online world we operate in, we asked Paul & Danny Sherman – ‘The Liquid Brothers’ – what their story was…
Paul, In His Own Words
Interviewer: OK, no mucking about. What’s in your dream three-car garage?
Paul Sherman: Easy. A black 1969 Mustang convertible, a brand new Aston Martin DB11 V12 and the actual Gulf-liveried Ford GT40 that won the 1968 and 1969 Le Mans 24h. The actual one.
I: I suppose we’d better do a few about your business. Without using the words ‘recruitment, jobs, clients and candidates’, what do you do all day?
PS: OK, I facilitate one person finding another in order for both of their lives to improve.
I: Yeah, we thought we’d try and catch you out. OK, here’s another work-related one. Who’s been the biggest influence on your professional life?
PS: My dad. He is the most morally infallible person I know. He taught me the difference between right and wrong. He taught me what integrity means and he taught me that if I make decisions based on these principles, I will be a decent person.
Interviewer Note: I can confirm Paul is, in fact, a decent person.
I: The world’s ending tomorrow. What would your last meal be?
PS: This one’s taken me ages. My opening gambit was a KFC Family Bucket but I’ve settled on a liberally-seasoned medium-rare, dry-aged Porterhouse steak topped with seared foie gras and accompanied with the smoothest of smooth garlic mashed potatoes, fried string onions and a glass of 20-year old first growth Bordeaux. No wait. A bottle. Definitely a bottle.
I: Right, back to business. Going it alone was a bit of a risk wasn’t it?
PS: It’s always a risk but in every recruitment job I ever had there was one overriding motivation – to make as much money as possible as quickly as possible. It was all about playing the numbers. The more registrations, interviews, CVS, placements, visits and calls we could get through, the more money we earned. The trouble is, no-one stopped to think about the people we were supposedly looking after. I knew it could be done better, perhaps not making so much money but by delivering a considered and genuine service. I was right.
I: Yes you were. But more importantly, what would your superpower of choice be?
PS: Time travel. There only one way to see if the hoverboard we were promised by Marty McFly ever became a reality.
I: Doubtful. Anyway, what keeps you awake at night?
PS: Well, I’ve got a very little boy who does his best but I like the thought of another version of Paul Sherman sitting at his extra-terrestrial desk in an extra-terrestrial office in a galaxy far, far away being asked this exact question by a guy like you and his answer being a carbon copy of this one…
I: Profound stuff. Gets you thinking. So, let’s be honest, no-one grows up wanting to go into recruitment so what did 10-year old Paul want to be?
PS: I wanted to be a barrister, making big speeches and putting the bad guys in prison. I was asked the same question by a millennial recently and they wondered why I wanted to make coffee for the rest of my life…FFS.
I: Kids, eh? Alright, we’re getting to the end now. Just a couple more. First off, what film, book and album are you taking to your desert island?
PS: A South Korean neo-noir action film directed by Park Chan-wook called Oldboy, Hawking’s Brief History of Time and Urban Hymns by The Verve. No one can argue with that. Solid selections.
I: Your brother might. Talking of your brother, what single word would he use to describe you?
Danny, In His Own Words
Interviewer: We’re going right in with the big one. Who’s the most famous person you’ve ever met?
Danny Sherman: The Queen.
I: Yeah, OK. Decent start. The Pope would have been more impressive but whatever. So, you work with your brother, how’s that working out for you?
DS: Working with my brother is great. Not only do I want to succeed for my own personal reasons but the strong family ties mean that both of us will unreservedly support the other. Naturally there is a healthy amount competitiveness but I’ve done time in the Army so I always win.
I: Sir, yes Sir. On the subject of competitiveness, if you could swap places with a sportsman, who would it be and why?
DS: After I left the army I needed to keep the buzz going and I’ve done a lot of Thai boxing. I see it as an art form and one of the finest proponents is a guy called Saenchai. I’d happily swap, all be it for a short amount of time, just to be able to do the incredible feats that he dedicates his time achieving.
I: Back to your time in the army. You spent six years in the Household Cavalry, what have you taken from the army into running a recruitment business?
DS: Being in the army not only builds the character you would expect from being in the armed forces deployed on operational tours of Afghanistan in terms of hard work, dedication, teamwork and working under immense pressure but also if focuses the mind on attention to detail and performing to exceptionally high standards. I was the Queen’s personal bodyguard and combined with my time on the Royal Armoured Core Recruiting Team, it allowed me to interact and communicate our values to people from all walks of life.
I: Blimey. Impressive stuff Lance Corporal Sherman. Let’s get back to the serious stuff. You’ve won £10m on the lottery. Are you going straight to the Lamborghini showroom?
DS: As good as it sounds, I wouldn’t like to retire just yet! I like to have a purpose and outside of the standard wish list of things I’d buy I would still want to part of Liquid’s journey and invest in the company’s future, not just for me and Paul but to ensure a legacy for the next generation of Sherman’s.
I: You’re clearly a chap with his head screwed on. You’ve clearly been taught well young Jedi but what’s the piece of advice that sticks with you?
DS: My father has always said that there are only two things that people care about in your life and at work – everything you do and everything you say. What this means to me is that I need to make sure I deliver on the promises I make and let my actions do the talking.
I: Your brother also cited your old man as a strong influence. Seems like he can be proud of both of you. As for the significant others in your life, what was the last present you bought for someone?
DS: I treated my wife to a well-deserved spa break. As a stay-at-home mother of twins, no matter how hard I work the support that she gives to me and our children can’t be matched.
I: I bet you can also cook and play a musical instrument…! Back to work for a second and here’s a question I also asked Paul. Without using the words ‘recruitment, jobs, clients and candidates’, what do you do all day?
DS: I build relationships with people, analysing and scrutinising information and constantly meeting and talking to people to probe deeply into abilities, experiences, wants and needs.
I: Sounds like a country and western song. Actually since we’re on the subject, what song best describes your attitude to life?
DS: It’s All You Good Good People by Embrace.
I: I wish you were my brother. Lastly, your brother used the word ‘older’ when I asked him what word you’d use to describe him. What word would he use to describe you?
Boom. Done. Ladies and gentlemen, the Liquid Brothers.
Catch you soon.