Episode 45: Vince Thompson on Being an Ignited Middle Manager, Universe Maps, The Bigger Yes and Your Personal BOD
Meet Vince Thompson, online celebrity host of Dog & Pony show, author of "Ignited: Managers, Light Up Your Company and Career for More Power, More Purpose and More Success," and founder of Middleshift, a consulting company that helps Internet companies build sales and biz dev teams to drive online ad revenue.
If you are NOT the CEO, this show is for you. Vince tells us how to be successful in our current organization. You will understand your manager's implicit and explicit needs so you manage to your boss' universe. You'll learn how to close the relationship gap with the cross-functional peers in your company and how to effectively lead in highly-matrixed and decentralized organizations.
You'll learn the dangers of "pot-banging" and how to engage "cave people" as well as the "committed" and "compliant." Vince will help you understand not just the power of networking but why people network and what people need from you. You'll learn about The Bigger Yes and why "F-U money" can be just a state of mind and still work.
Enjoy figuring out your workplace archetype. Are you the process master? The link maker? The translator? The scout? And follow Vince's 5-Step Program to True Balance. It's easy and holds you accountable in a refreshing way.
Even if you hate your current job (50% of middle managers do!) Vince will show you how to have more power, more purpose and more success. You'll understand what your "value proposition" is, and more importantly, so will those above, below and beside you. This is the best DishyMix EVER if you are working your way up in the world. Tune in, pass it along and get out your pencil. You're going to want to take notes!
Susan Bratton: Welcome to “Dishy Mix”. I am your host Susan Bratton. Hey, thanks so much for listening to the show today. I think you are going to be really pleased. We are taking a slightly different direction on “Dishy Mix”.
On today’s show I have Vince Thompson. Vince has a consulting firm out of LA called Middleshift LLC and we will here a bit about that, but I am focusing today’s show on a book that Vince authored called “Ignited: Managers Light Up Your Company and Career For More Power More Purpose and More Success” So you know “Dishy Mix” is all about purpose and success.
And what I think is unique about this particular book that Vince has written is that it is about being in middle management. It is not about being the person in charge. It is about being within those layers of the organization and how you can actually find your power, and navigate, and leverage the strength that you might not know you have; being where you are.
Sometimes it feels like you are caught in the middle. You have got the people below you to take care of. The people above you breathing down on your neck and you know what rolls down hill. We are going to talk to Vince to find out why that is such a powerful place to be.
So on today’s show we are going to talk about things like: pot banging and why that is not so good; creating something called your universe map. This is something really important. I bet you will leave today’s show wanting to create your own simple universe map. We are going to talk about: cave people; a concept called the bigger yes; five steps to true balance, something we all want; and creating your personal board of directors.
So we have got a lot of work to do. Let’s get Vince on the show and get started teaching you how to have more power and purpose.
Vince Thompson: I think we all are excited and thrilled by business and the opportunity to work on really neat and exciting projects. And then we find ourselves sometimes caught in these corporate hierarchies that are painful, and difficult, and hard to manage through and all the things we think are so absolutely obvious don’t get seem to get done.
Something I always kind of organically knew I began to see great power in and that is the fact that the people in the middle are the most important people to the success of a business.
Research actually says something quite different. Research says that managers don’t really hit their stride until they have been on their job 6 to as much as 10 years.
What I really realized is the theory of Podman and the idea that somehow action is more important than traction is really pervasive in our workforces. We are very comfortable with action and if you begin looking at what people are most proud of, what they have done before, what your boss is bragging about, or what their goals are, in the future you can begin to see what those implicit needs are.
Susan Bratton: Vince welcome.
Vince Thompson: Susan, great to be here.
Susan Bratton: It is my pleasure Vince. I really enjoyed your book. I read it on a flight out to New York a week ago, I guess, getting ready for the show. It really brought back a lot of memories for me of working my way up the ranks in some of the big organizations that I have worked in. Had I know these great great tips and techniques I think I would have accelerated my career significantly.
One of the things that you have been so kind to do is to give our listeners some autographed copies of “Ignited”. So this is how you will get one. Vince and I have decided that if you send an email to us [email protected] with you story after listening to the show, if you think that you learned something form Vince about being in the middle management and you wish you had known that and could have applied that to some tragic career bad news story of your past, we want to know what that is. So send us an email about something you learned on the show and we may choose you to get a free autographed copy from Vince of “Ignited”.
Vince right now you are, with your partner Mark Chassman, helping internet companies build revenue with absolutions, helping people with sales and biz building their teams around monetizing their business through advertising. I can image that you have a ton of clients right now.
Vince Thompson: There are so many businesses created in this Web2.0 explosion that are advertising based. There is a great interested in learning how to sell advertising and scale revenue.
Susan Bratton: That is really your claim to fame. You started out in the early days of AOL. You were with them running sales teams for seven years. You led sales in the early days of FaceBook. I hope at the end of the show to here a little bit more about that because that is interesting to us.
Vince Thompson: Yeah
Susan Bratton: But you have essentially been responsible for selling over a billion dollars of interactive advertising with the teams that you have mentioned.
Vince Thompson: I have been very fortunate to be surrounded by great people and great teams and to participate in that way. It has been wonderful.
Susan Bratton: So you wrote “Ignited”. That is your first book. I would imagine you have a couple of books in you. What led you to write a book about helping middle managers in creating their power and their success?
Vince Thompson: Well, you know, I wrote it to address a pain point. I think we all are excited and thrilled by business and the opportunity to work on really neat and exciting projects. Then we find ourselves sometimes caught in these corporate hierarchies that are painful and difficult and hard to manage through. All the things that we think seem so absolutely obvious don’t seem to get done. Right?
That was really my experience. I worked in start up and then found my self in a wonderful position at AOL. Then the company was going through a lot of change. Right?
Susan Bratton: Yeah
Vince Thompson: So much change. I think in the 7 years I reported to 11 different people at AOL. As I went through that and tried to navigate I found that a lot of the things that I had counted on in my early career to help me ad were great… I didn’t have those kinds of resources in my mid management career. What I mean by that is there are some great books “The One Minute Manager” “Seven Habit of Highly Effective People”. I loved these books. Right?
Susan Bratton: Yeah
Vince Thompson: They are very good at the start of your career and we should all spend more time with them. But what I was finding on the bookshelf, when I was struggling and looking for help, I was finding books by Rudy Giuliani and Jack Welch.
Susan Bratton: Yeah, leadership books.
Vince Thompson: Easy for those guys to say.
Susan Bratton: Yeah
Vince Thompson: They are at the top of the company. Some of these other books were written on strategy. I would read “Good to Great” and it was exciting, but boy my good to great was kind of going from mediocre to down right crappy. It was incredibly frustrating.
I didn’t have the ability to shift everybody the way that I wanted. So I started doing some research and I realized that there really are some answers there. And I became very excited by the fact that; something that I always kind of organically knew I began to see great power in and that is the fact that the people in the middle are the most important people to the success of a business.
If you think about the way businesses work in the old day and today; an entrepreneur has an idea, gets some traction testing the business model, and scales the business. It used to be that business models lasted for twenty to thirty years. Now a days business models only last sometimes eighteen months or less and the next business model is not going to come from the person with the first idea. It is going to come from that manager in the middle who understands how to turbo charge their organization. They understand the skills of the people inside. They understand the customers. They understand the vendors, the competitive environment, and how to really make things work.
So many great corporate success stories are really about people driving from the middle of these firms. It is just giving managers the tools and power to rise above the big squeeze and really drive.
Susan Bratton: Well I have seen that over and over again. An organization that becomes large in The Silicon Valley, like a Yahoo, Google, and [email protected], and all of those companies, they spawn a ton of people out of the middle ranks that begin new companies.
So I exactly track with you.
One of the things that you had written early in the book “Ignited” was that half of the managers working today are ready to walk out the door. There is a lot of dissatisfaction in middle management, but changing jobs might not be the answer because you are going to go from one crappy company to another crappy company. You kind of need to deal with… unless it is a really bad situation. Try to be fabulous in the job that you have. Don’t just try to find a new company. Another thing you said, is that there is a massive opportunity for middle managers today being that as boomers retire almost a quarter of a million mid management positions will be vacant in the next few years.
So there is a tremendous opportunity to stay where you are, become a better manager, find that power in that job that you have, and then rise into the ranks and have some patients around that; because the opportunities will open.
Vince Thompson: It really is true. We live in a society where everything is instant. Right? I think sometimes with our career we expect to just jump from one organization to another organization and that is the way to get things done. I can certainly understand that view point but the research actually says something quite different. The research says that managers don’t really hit their stride until they have been on the job six to as much as ten years. Which I know is just inconceivable.
Susan Bratton: It is not. I think that is mastery.
Vince Thompson: Yeah, I think it is mastery and those managers who master become worth extraordinary sums. Especially as we look at companies today and the talent shortage of really top well educated and well skilled talent. I think we find ourselves in a situation where managers who do stick it out are going to find themselves to be much much more powerful on their jobs and have more opportunities.
Susan Bratton: So one of the biggest frustrations of people in middle management is this issue of time management and what you call “pot banging”. Explain briefly what pot banging is and tell us how we can get out of doing it.
Vince Thompson: Well I tell a little story in the book about how I started my career as a dishwasher at a restaurant in Sacramento California. I used to ride my bike up there. I was probably two weeks into the job and I was exhausted. I was leaning into the dish tank. It was humid and hot. I was just kind of taking a break. Rusty our cowboy cook came around the corner said, “What are you doing” I said, “What do you mean? I am taking a break. He said, “Listen if you take a break you better bang some pots and you better make some noise back there.
It was a business lesson that I really learned. It really carried with me. I noticed that I was selling TV at a rep firm in Los Angola, I was one of like thirty different assistants, we use to walk all over the office and do everything as fast as we could because we knew that only a couple of us were going to get promoted and we thought the person that looked the busiest was going to be the person that got the job. As a sales manager in February when we may not be on track to meet our budget; everybody wants more reports, and bring people back and more training, cut back here and cut back there. What I really realized was that this theory of pot banging, this ideal that somehow action is more important than traction, is really pervasive in our work forces. We are very comfortable with action; but where we really need to focus our area of expertise is really getting truly on traction.
So there is a great great frustration for managers around that, around a lot of meaningless action. Most managers say that they spend hours and hours doing reports and 80% to 90% of the stuff that they generate never see the light of day. It is just done for the idea of creating action.
Susan Bratton: So trying to get out of doing those things; your advice is to understand what you really need to accomplish by understanding your manager’s implicit and explicit needs and focusing on those. I think that is maybe the biggest gem in your book. So describe it and describe how you map out what the universe map is and how it ties into those needs. This is the key listeners, right here.
Vince Thompson: This is a big concept where. So let me back up a little bit in time management. You know in time management we often times get to go to courses and we make lists and we put stuff up there. It is a nice exercise and a good day. Often times I find that the managers I talk to say, “A few days after it kind of falls to the way side because things are so crazy around here. There are so many interruptions.”
Well time management training leaves off one of the most important elements and that is that we all have a boss. Often times that boss is setting our agenda. That boss is creating insanity for us in the work place. So the way to get the control back of your time is to manage your boss.
To manage your boss you really need to do a few things. One is you need to understand the needs of your boss’s boss. If your boss’s boss has three or four goals you need to help your boss be successful in achieving those goals. Sometimes if you just ask your boss some of it is lost in translation. So you need to take responsibility for clarifying these things.
You don’t want it to be threatening to your boss but you might say, “Hey look, I am going to talk to your boss, just introduce myself, and let him know that I am trying to help out around here.” Then you say something like, “Hey, I love working for Jerry. He is just fantastic. I want to make him really successful. Would it be okay if you shared with me some of the goals that you have for my boss Jerry?”
Then you take that information. You confirm it with your bosses own goals. Then you look at your bosses goals in a couple of ways. I say we have to look at needs in two way. Two types of needs are implicit needs and explicit needs.
Now the explicit needs are the easiest ones. They fall into three buckets. Make me money. Save me money. Make my life easier. People are always glad to tell you that. “Here it what you’ve got to do to hit my number” “Here is what you have got to do to help me make money.” “Here is what you have got to do to make my life much easier.”
What people don’t tell you are the other roles, the implicit needs. The implicit needs are more random. They are more emotion based. They are the kind of things that create a pit in our stomach at work or make us uncomfortable when our needs have been improperly
Addressed or we have come in to a funky situation with others. Most of the implicit needs are things like: people’s desire to look like a true leader; their desire to look like they have a mastery of the numbers; their desire to look like a creative person. If you begin looking at what people are most proud of, what they have done before, what the boss is bragging about, or what their goal are: in the future you can see what those implicit needs are.
The reason that I am asking you to look at all these different needs is that I am helping you to get some alignment around: the boss’s boss’s needs; your boss’s implicit needs; and your bosses explicit needs. So that then you can go to your boss and say to them, “Which one has the most value to you?” You can confirm this value with them in line with what is happening and get them to say, “What are the three most important things that I do around here?”
If you can get them to confirm that and it is all lined up then you can begin managing your boss base on this alignment. So when new projects come down the pipeline or drama you say to your boss, “Hey, based upon what we have agreed upon, your boss’s needs for you, your needs for me, and how you think I create the most value: I see this thing a little of center. Tell me have things changed? Or how would you like me to address this to help you communicate this up.”
The shift here is taking responsibility yourself for directing the agenda in your company and doing that y getting people’s needs on the same page and playing it back to them.
Susan Bratton: I would imagine as a manager that one would be delighted to have the people below them ask them what they really need. Just that action has so much managerial value that you would immediately begin to prefer that person over the other people that work for you because they are focused not just on knee jerk need fulfillment but on, actually, the bigger picture.
I want to go to a break and I want to talk about the universe map. Could you just give us the very top level of how one creates a universe map before we go to the break? Then we will come back and talk about some of the other pieces here.
Vince Thompson: Absolutely! The manager’s universe is a way for you to think about and identify the, maybe, f ive to ten people who matter most to you and your success in your career. What you do is you write yourself. You put your name in a circle on a piece of paper. Then kind of like the moons around Jupiter you make other little bubbles around you of other people that contribute to most of your success at work.
Then what I ask you to do is rate those relationships on a scale of one to ten. So you can begin to see who is most important to your success. Then once you know who is most important; I ask you to go back on a scale of one to ten rank where that relationship stands today. Is it a ten? Do you communicate great? Or is it a two? Are you struggling? Right? This will be informative in a way that you can build value.
So I will let you get to break. But this concept is explained on my website beignited.com and in the toolbox area there is actually this exercise. So folks can play with it a little bit.
Susan Bratton: That is perfect. I will also post a link and an imagine on the “Dishy Mix “ blog so that if you can’t remember beignited you can always remember “Dishy Mix” and that will navigate you there.
The universe map I think is really good because it is essentially a gap map. It is a gap between who is most important to you and the gap between how important they think you are to them or what your level of connection is.
Vince Thompson: That is right.
Susan Bratton: Closing the gap on some of those key communications and support areas can be the make or break difference between getting your number done, getting your goals achiever, getting your MBO bonus, all those kinds of things. So that is great.
All right, we are going to take a break. When we come back we are going to talk about: cave people; the bigger yes; the five steps to getting true balance- which I want to make sure we get to-; and creating your personal board of directors. We have got a lot of work to do. I want to thank my sponsors, so give a listen to who they are and some appreciation. We will be right back with Vince Thompson of Middle Shift.
Susan Bratton: We are back. I am your host Susan Bratton. We are with Vince Thompson. He is the author of “Ignited” ; a book about doing well and finding your power in middle management.
So Vince when we left we talked about the universe map and we will bring those resources to the “Dishy Mix” blog and to beignited.com. What I want to talk now about is middle manager. You’ve got problems with models, decentralized companies. How can you get teams to follow you? And what are some of the danger points with these cave people, committed people, compliant people? How do you get followers and what do you catch out for?
Vince Thompson: Right, right, right. I think that one of the greatest challenges that manager’s of companies have is that they say, “It is so hard to get anything done because these people don’t report to me. Often times they don’t report to my boss or even my boss’s boss.” It is a completely different silo. One of the ways to get silos and other organizations working on your behalf is to understand what their goals are.
I think so often in a business we run around the office telling people what we need and what they need to do for us. We need to change our paradigm a little bit. Ask people what we can do for them. If we intimately understand what their needs are we can begin to see all these pieces come together.
This job of working in the middle of the company is a sophisticated but incredibly powerful job because we get access to everything. We get access to information from the top. We get access to information from the customers. Internally we can go around and figure out how to draft people into causes. The truth is that most people who go to a business are floating around without a company, with out a mission, without a cause or without a great feeling. If you are a good leader who can help inspire people toward something great and you know what their needs are you can appeal to them in a way, you can draft your own teams, and you can make things happen. We have lots of examples of managers that have done that.
Susan Bratton: One of the things in the book- and we don’t have time to go into them but- you have kind of created these archetypes of successful middle managers, process masters, link makers, translators, scouts, lynch, pilots, bards. I think it is really fun. It is like your horoscope, you know, reading the book and finding out what your strengths are as a middle manager and really leveraging and playing to those strengths is smart.
Vince Thompson: What we did is we identified these ignition points; ways that managers can really light up their companies. Now not all managers will be wonderful in all of these areas, but a couple of these can really change how you help your company to perform.
Susan Bratton: And almost how people think of you.
Vince Thompson: Absolutely
Susan Bratton: And remember people follow each other from company to company so making your mark in your organization, being known for some special value, is really important.
I want to move to this concept “the bigger yes”. Once again I think that it is one of those perspective things that really can make a difference for a manager. So talk about “the bigger yes”.
Vince Thompson: Well this is a concept that I learned years ago and I think that I learned it from Steven Cobby; but it goes back to a lot of writing in the success world. “The bigger yes” is knowing what is most important to you and therefore being able to say no. So often times we say yes to things because we haven’t thought about the bigger yes for us or what is most important.
For instance, if you were to work on a project and it was not all that fun but the money was good and you didn’t really know what you were going to do next. Well you might say, “The money is good. The product is going to be hellacious but I will sign up for it.”
However, if your “bigger yes” said, “Gosh, I am never going to put myself in a situation where I feel horrible or have to work in a hellacious situation.” Your “bigger yes” would inform you not to do that, not to take that on.
So I encourage managers to know what their bigger yes it and to build the bigger yes. You know, what they talk about as kind of FU money.
Susan Bratton: That’s right.
Vince Thompson: You’ve got enough money in the bank you don’t have top deal with this project or with this crazy tyrant. The same thing goes for mid level managers. We are not immune from it. If we save our money, we invest well, we are thoughtful about our careers and our planning, and then we won’t find ourselves in tough spots. There is a lot of power in knowing that.
Susan Bratton: Oh, there is an unbelievable amount of power in having F-you money. Or even if you don’t have it, knowing that you are such a good manager and so valuable that you can go anywhere you want and people will be clamoring to hire you because you are so good. That is like un F good money. You can do it in advance of having six months of salary. Right? It’s attitude.
Vince Thompson: That is such a wonderful point. I found great inspiration from Tom Peters many years ago when he talks about the art of resuming. He encouraged people who work in companies to redo their resume every 90 days, even thought they may stay ten years in a company, but every 90 days sit down and say, what did you learn in the last 90 days? What added value to you? What made you more valuable?
Susan Bratton: No one is going to have time for that.
Vince Thompson: Well write yourself a three line email.
Susan Bratton: It is a “nice to have” not a “have to have”. Usually people just get pissed and rewrite the resume. That is the reality right.
Vince Thompson: That is the reality.
Susan Bratton: I know.
“Five step program to true balance” now that’s a bold statement Vince Thompson. Okay, what is the “five step program to true balance” because I would like some more balance in my life.
Vince Thompson: Yeah, right. I think one of the things we have to understand about balance is that balance is not a perfect situation that we always ultimately achieve. There are sometimes when we are not completely in balance but we do… There is the ability to get more from it. Right?
What I recommend people to do is, first of all, know where you are going. Know what your goal is and always have that clearly in mind. If you know what your goal is you can begin to kind of work towards that and weigh things against it. Your goal can be your bigger yes. Right?
Susan Bratton: Yeah. It is your own bigger yes. What is your goal? Not the company goal. What do you want out of your life? Why are you working? What do you need form it?
Vince Thompson: Yeah
The next thing you need to do is you need to develop a plan to reach your goal.
Susan Bratton: Yeah
Vince Thompson: You need to know what you are marching toward and how you are doing it. Listen plans change, but the process of planning and knowing where you are going is incredibly valuable.
The third part is you need to develop a scale of measurement that is your alone. This is really important. Often times we allow how others judge our plans to affect how we feel about our plans. That is not fun. Right?
Susan Bratton: Yeah
Vince Thompson: And so we need to understand how we are going to judge it. What are our own metrics? And what are we going to do? And march down that regardless of what the situation is. Right?
I also recommend that in order to get your plan in place and help you manage and guide t your plan is that you create your own personal board of directors. Now these are people that are close to you. They are friends, maybe business associates, mentors, but a few people that you can kind of draft onto your plan and talk to them about it on a regular basis. Now here is what I am trying to do. Here is where I am going. Right? Very important to have an outside perspective and just have some friends help and coach you along the way.
If you can’t find somebody to do this investigate getting a personal coach. I have many friends that have had great success like that and I know some wonderful coaches.
Finally, care for your self as needed to stay on track. Gotta take care of your self. So many times we kind of fall into the big time suck and all the craziness that happens and we don’t do that. So I think that is very powerful. Take the time to be quiet and regardless of where you are be thankful. We know that people who are thankful are more happy.
Susan Bratton: So know your goal, develop a plan for reaching your goal, develop a personal scale for measuring your success, create a personal board of directors, and take care of yourself as needed to stay on track.
Vince Thompson: Yes
Susan Bratton: Okay. I mean if you even sit down and start working on that it helps you clarify what you need to do. I have started working on it and I would like to share it with you after the show.
Vince Thompson: Great
Susan Bratton: Thank you for all of these points. I really encourage people to go to beignited.com, and to get into some of this, to buy the book, and to make the universe map, to put your five step program in place, and to figure out what your archetype is. Are you a scout? A healer? A lynch pin? It is very interesting to understand your strengths and to just ultimately be more proactive about managing yourself and your career. That is what the book nets out to be. You can’t be powerful unless you are proactive.
Vance Thompson: That is right.
Susan Bratton: I like that. So Vince I want to ask you, in the few remaining minutes that we have together, more about some of the other things that are happening with you. In addition to Middle Shift you do a show, a video show, on BNET, which is the business side of CNET. Com, called the “Dog and Pony” show”. Tell us a little bit about that because I think my listeners would be very interested in “Dog and Pony”.
Vince Thompson: It is a wonderful show. I sit in as a guest host and I help a little bit sometimes bringing guests onto the show. It is a wonderful internet show that covers entrepreneurs, CEOs, and people that are making a difference in business.
The idea is to take the viewers and to introduce them to a company or a cause and let them get involved in the workings of what that business model is and what the entrepreneurs see as an opportunity. Some of the people are very talented along the way too.
You can visit that one on BNET. It is very well promoted there. You can also go directly to it. It is dogandpony.com
Susan Bratton: Great! It is an awesome URL.
Vince Thompson: Yeah
Susan Bratton: You also do sales training through Quantum. What is the training that you specifically do?
Vince Thompson: Well I have been involved with Quantum for years. What I have done is with them I have created and engaged in some training materials for broadcast sales people, people that sell television and radio around the country. I have just helped them learn how to sell interactive. There are some training programs that I am working on that are in that bucket.
The majority of training I do today is through my consultant team Middle Shift. What we do is sort of hand craft the business problem more than in the consultant side. We do some things with companies like TV Guide and Spark Network, along that area.
Susan Bratton: You really know the as sales world. You came out of traditional and you have been in interactive, since the inception of interactive. Make online advertising people feel really good right now. Tell us what it is that we know and do that is really special and unique that nobody else in the world understands.
Vince Thompson: Well I will tell you that we live with a much more powerful tool set then many of the other media. The nature of interactive is just so powerful. There is just so much available to us when it comes to data and when it comes to creating engagements. So as sales people in this field, when we are working our best and trying our hardest, we are trying to serve these marketers by helping them sell their products we are getting very good at this medium. We are getting very good at marketing and we are learning how to drive business and work. There are several parts to being a successful business but being able to create revenue in part of a great place to be.
Susan Bratton: So I asked you a couple of questions before you came on the who, as well, about, you know, things I always ask people: bad decisions they have made; books they are reading; things you have learned about marriage. One of the things that caught my eye is the book you most recommend to your fiends is “The Invention of Hugo Cabret”.
I just got that book delivered to me. I am in the “TED Book Club” and they mailed it to me. I thought it was a kid’s book. It has an adorable unique cover and pictures.
Vince Thompson: Yeah
Susan Bratton: It feels like Lemony Snickety, kind of. What is that book about?
Vince Thompson: Yeah it is magical. I think it is a fun book. I was recommended to it several months ago by a friend of mine who is actually the editor of the Harvard Management Center News letter and a guy without kids. He said, “I am reading this great book “The Invention of Hugo Cabaret”. I looked at it on line and I thought that looks like a kid’s book.
Susan Bratton: It does, yeah.
Vince Thompson: And so I shot him a note he wrote, oh you will enjoy this book and having kids is even better read it to them. And so…I have two little years 6 and 8 years old and we sat down for, oh gosh, maybe twenty nights and I read this book to them. We had so much fun and it is a great magical story about a little boy who lives in a train station in Paris, in the 30’s, and the amazing adventures he goes on.
It does have a technology part so I think that is why Ted might have an interest in it. It is a story about people and life and love and it is great.
Susan Bratton: That sounds really good. So many of our listeners have children and it is nice when you can find a book that both you and your child enjoy. I have a daughter who is 11, so I am going to crack that book open. Thank you for that.
Vince Thompson: Absolutely
Susan Bratton: I really appreciate it. It is a pretty book too.
So, two more things… Well we only have time for one more question. Here is the last question that I want to ask you. I asked where social networking will evolve from today and you said networks will translate to tangible capital, likeability, and history will play a bigger role in one’s future success. What did you mean by that?
Vince Thompson: Well social networks are becoming great repositories for information. If we put our networks together it tells people who we are and as people interact with us and how people interact with us also tells a lot about who we are. So we are kind of in this hyper acceleration. The networks you build in your own town you might need twenty years to do. You are building these things online and connecting dots with people across the world.
What does that mean? Well I think their will be some kind of asset value. Think about it video games, the things that people earn along the way, and maybe massive multiplayer games may become valuable. I think the networking is a valuable thing. I think that, look if you don’t treat people well in the offline world you might be able to get by a little bit longer on titles and things, but in the virtual world where people have the ability to get in touch with each other quicker, and kind of get the background on you, I think good people win.
Susan Bratton: So what you are saying is that you can see some movement into reputation systems
Vince Thompson: Absolutely
Susan Bratton: as a part of social networking.
Vince Thompson: I think so. In a way we already have it. It just hasn’t been quantified into the system but it is already happening.
Susan Bratton: I did a really scary thing. I started a fan club on FaceBook for “Dishy Mix”. You know, because I am always tapping my guest like you for freebies like the book. Remember listeners to send us
Vince Thompson: Yeah
Susan Bratton: your story about something you learned on the show, that if you had known it you could have save yourself this horrible story that you are going to tell us so we can post the story and send you a free book autographed by Vince.
I started the fan club on FaceBook, “Dishy Mix” fan club and I am, of course, encouraging all my listeners to join it because this is where I give away your books and things like that, product freebies from Time, and consulting, and everybody has been donating such amazing stuff. But it was scary because I started out and I had six friends, for weeks.
And just yesterday I crested 100 and I feel not quite as embarrassed but, you know, with out of, I don’t know, 1400 friends on FaceBook and 100 fans in “Dishy Mix” it…
I am waiting. I am praying. I am hoping that it will be worth while for my listeners to get goodies. So we will see. We are playing a lot with our reputations online. I think my point is that it is scary, but that you just have to put it out there and see what happens. If I only ever have 100 fans I am going to take good care of them.
Vince Thompson: Yeah, that is great. Well that is amazing. It goes to show the power of networking and also of your own networking.
Susan Bratton: Absolutely, it is true.
So All right, I think we are good. Just reminding everyone to send in their story so we can give them the freebie. Vince I have enjoyed talking to you so much and I have really learned a lot in reading your book. I wish I’d know about it when I was a middle manager, instead of an entrepreneurial CEO that I am now. I am not caught in the middle. I am the top, the middle, and the bottom.
Vince Thompson: Thank you. It has been a wonderful time together on the phone today. I really appreciate you just going deep into the material and really understanding it. I have done well over a hundred interviews for the book and I have to say that very few people have taken as much time to really go deep into the content. I love that. I really appreciate it.
Susan Bratton: It was my pleasure. It was my honor to read your book. Thank you for that. All right, well, you have gotten to meet Vince Thompson. He is with Middleshift Consulting. That is his consulting. If you are struggling with some biz and you need some help, I have a feeling you might want to call Vince. Read his book. Give it to your friends who are in middle management.
Join my “Dishy Mix” FaceBook fan club. I would love to give you some goodies. I have a listener survey posted up on my site and my blog. I would appreciate you taking five minutes or less. It is anonymous and you can tell me whatever you want to tell me about “Dishy Mix”. I would appreciate the feedback. I think that is it, other than that the transcripts for the show will be at personallife media.com. So if you want to forwards text to anyone about the show it is a cut and paste write into an email. I hope you enjoy that as well.
Thank you so much for tuning in today. It was great to have you as a part of “Dishy Mix” and I will see you next week. This is your host Susan Bratton. Have a great day.