5in5 is a video interview series to ask smart people five questions in less than five minutes. It gives me the opportunity to learn about them and get answers to tough questions in a short amount of time.
Why the name 5in5?
Simple. Five questions. Five minutes or less.
What did you ask Todd?
1. Being a family owned company for five generations, how do you keep your culture and values consistent?
2. As Senior Vice President, what do you do to make sure you’re in tune with your market?
3. What is the best piece of business advice you’ve ever been given?
4. How has social media changed your business?
5. What did you want to be when you grew up?
As I discussed in my Blogworld 2010 recap, I had the pleasure of meeting some of the folks making Omaha Steaks run smoothly in Vegas. Todd Simon is Senior VP and a key member of the Simon family that is on their fifth generation of running a highly successful business. We caught up to answer five questions in five minutes. Follow @omahasteaks on Twitter.
This is not a social media post. Nor a marketing post. Not branding. Not design either.
I recently stopped what I was doing to take a few minutes to watch a video on YouTube. It was the lead-in that got me really. I’ve seen Scott Stratten speak twice and hung out with him a few times, but it was the “most emotional talk I’ve given” excerpt that made me click. I’ll embed the 15 minute video below and highly recommend that you take the time to watch it.
Are our priorities out of whack?
Define success. Define the inputs you think are required for success. Did you only picture business meetings, presentations, rockstar ideas or did you think of loved ones? Spouses, children, family members, friends. These days we measure everything. As you read this, I can tell you where you came from, what browser you are using. how many other folks use that browser, how long you read this, what you clicked next and so on. Are we measuring the right things?
I consider myself to be ambitious. Ambition is sexy. Driving to be great at anything is a quality that I highly admire and find myself gravitating towards others that feel the same. As I was chugging through the NC State MBA program (I wanted a better job), we had a very successful Founder and CEO visit our campus. I will never forget what he said:
Success takes time. Success takes hard work. Being a business leader requires you to put 99% of your focus on your work and the rest on your family. There will be late nights. There will be missed experiences. But to be a global business leader, you have to put in the time, put work first and be great at what you do.
I was young. I was impressionable. But I immediately said to myself “are you kidding?” If that is success… I’ll settle with mediocrity (which I despise). I’m not saying that I don’t work late some nights… I do. But my first priority is not my work. My work is not my life. That does not hinder me from being successful. I’ll only work somewhere that shares the same values and priorities.
Scott’s talk sparked a lot of those memories for me. We’re so hung up on being a big deal to whatever segment we’re in and trying to measure our influence that we may be missing the point.
25 years ago today, I was diagnosed with leukemia.
This is not a sob story and I don’t want sympathy… it is just funny how things are always timed like that (Scott’s video posted yesterday). I was a kid. I had no clue what leukemia was and didn’t know how to act.
My parents were devastated when the doctor at Duke gave us the news and a less than three year old boy looked at them and said “Don’t worry. Everything is going to be alright.” In retrospect, maybe I liked a challenge. Maybe I was destined to be a comforter like most folks in my family. Maybe I had no clue what I was even saying. Regardless, that was a quarter of a century ago.
I never lost my hair and although it did stunt my growth, I’m still 6’4″ tall. I’ve been in remission for almost 23 years and while it was nothing out of the ordinary for me… I’m guessing it had a rather large impact on the people that love me.
“Keep going until we stop.”
Wanting to provide for your family or make others proud does not trump the fact that they want you. Take the time to be the husband, wife, brother, sister, son, daughter, father, mother or friend you can be and measure that influence.
Is there a @Klout for personal relationships?
We work. We blog. We tweet. We network. We share. We comment. We try the best we can to be the best we can. We try to make an impact to move up to the next rung on the ladder. We strive for leadership. At times we even crave acknowledgement. But how important are any of these things once we get home? Thanks Scott for a good kick in the tail that I needed this week.
Invest 15 minutes and watch this video then go give someone a hug. That is all.
Whether you’re a brand or representing yourself at events, there are things you can do pre-conference to get the most bang for your buck. We’ve probably all watched a hashtag to see who is talking about attending an event and gradually jumped in those conversations. Some of us have even planned to meet folks in person that we’ve only chatted with online. So what are some good examples of people or brands doing this? Luckily, a few folks stood out from my recent trip to BlogWorld in Vegas.
Cirque du Soleil and Jess Berlin
Prior to BlogWorld ’10, I had been to Vegas once before. Unfortunately, I didn’t catch any shows when I was there. @JessBerlin manages the @cirque account and I noticed that a few friends were catching shows there. I follow both Twitter accounts and mentioned that I’d love to catch a show while in Vegas if there were any tickets remaining. Jess mentioned that tickets were available to Viva ELVIS and gave me her email address.
I inquired about the price (Vegas shows are usually expensive) to which she replied “$0.00.” The fact that the show was free isn’t really the point, although I’m extremely thankful for that. Jess was aware that bloggers were coming to Vegas and spent some time to reach out to some of them. Turns out… Viva ELVIS was one of the best shows I’ve ever seen. I’ve seen a Cirque show at the DPAC in Durham and my wife has seen some Broadway shows… we both agreed that Viva ELVIS was the best we had seen.
Major thanks to Jess, @jamiehelmick and all the @cirque folks that made this happen. It was an incredible experience. Be sure to catch this next time you find yourself in Vegas!
I like steak. Most people do. I had even bough steak from Omaha Steaks before. Suddenly, out of the blue they were following me on Twitter. Turns out, they were hosting an invite only event on the 43rd floor of Mandalay Bay at a sweet House of Blues Foundation Club. They had all the great @omahasteaks products and tons of things I had no clue they even made. Appetizers, all kinds of sides, steak, drinks, etc. It was a cool little break from all the hustle and bustle of BlogWorld and a great networking opportunity. I had a chance to chat with Todd Simon, Senior VP of Omaha Steaks for a bit and he’ll be joining me for a 5in5 video next week. :)
Thanks to Dave Link for helping to make this happen.
Jason, also known as @Blogluvr29, spent a lot of time prepping for BlogWorld. He was monitoring the hashtag and keeping up with every person he could find that was attending. Jason added all the attendees to a blog post and would notify and reach out to others attending to let them know what he was doing. Check out Jason’s BlogWorld attendee list. That took some time.
I actually recognized Jason as soon as I saw him thanks to this (and to my Rainman like Avatar recognition that I had another chance to demonstrate for @ramon_deleon and @freeandflawed – both awesome by the way). Jason’s initial effort was a great example of paving a path to make plenty of connections before an event.
Do you have any great examples of networking before an event?