The first copies of The Ad-Free Brand showed up at the house on Friday afternoon. So I guess that means, after nine months of work, it is finally out. Awesome.
This book is the work of many people. It is filled with the helpful edits and brilliant suggestions of Jonathan Opp, Rebecca Fernandez, and Rick Kughen, plus the insightful contributions of Kevin Keller, Greg DeKoenigsberg, Paul Frields, and many others. It is a product of the patience and support of my wonderful girlfriend Maggie and my New Kind friends David Burney, Matt Muñoz, Tom Rabon, and Elizabeth Hipps.
There are so many people who’ve helped me out over the past year, and I owe all of them a debt of gratitude.
I thought I’d share the acknowledgments from the back of the book here in the hopes of introducing you to the work of a few of the people who helped me make this book a reality. Please take a few minutes to click through the links and get to know some of these great folks and the very cool projects they are working on. I can only hope you learn as much from them as I have.
One day last September, I received an interesting email out of the blue from someone named Lisa who had stumbled across a blog post of mine. She asked me whether I had ever lived in Indiana as a child. I was born in West Lafayette, Indiana.
As it turns out, Lisa was my neighbor and childhood best friend. I moved to Kansas City, Missouri at age 5 and had lost touch with her until I received this email, almost 35 years later.
As Lisa and I caught up, we learned we each had book publishing in the blood. Lisa is a Senior Publicist at Pearson in Indianapolis. I spent the first five years of my career as a literary agent and editor. In one email to her, I mentioned that I had been thinking of going back to my publishing roots and actually writing a book of my own. Lisa introduced me to Rick Kuhgen, an Executive Editor at Pearson. One thing led to another, and before I knew it, I was writing.
So I’d like to thank my childhood friend and current publicist, Lisa Jacobsen-Brown, without whom this book would probably still be something I was thinking about doing… eventually. I’d also to thank Rick Kuhgen, a true writer’s editor—responsive, thoughtful, and with a hint of poetry to his own words.
I’ve benefitted from the wisdom and friendship of many wonderful people along the journey.
Thanks first to Maggie, my source of energy. This book would have never been possible without you.
Thanks to my mother and father, who I hope see parts of themselves in me and in this book.
Thanks to my sister, Erika, who has been a great friend and confidant ever since she quit telling on me.
To Matthew Szulik, my mentor and friend, for letting the best ideas win. To Jonathan Opp for helping me find a voice. To David Burney, for opening my eyes and making me a designer. To Matt Muñoz, for always bringing optimism and passion.
To Jeff Mackanic, for your friendship and for quietly, consistently making everything happen. To Rebecca Fernandez, for bringing value before words. To DeLisa Alexander, for your faith and friendship.
To Tom Rabon and Elizabeth Hipps, for making each day at New Kind better than the last.
To all of my friends from the Red Hat nation, past and present, around the world. Special thanks to the Red Hat Brand Communications + Design team, a group of the most talented folks I’ve had the opportunity to work alongside.
To Kevin Keller, for your wise advice, guidance, and contributions.
To Michele Zanini, Polly LaBarre, Gary Hamel, and the team at the Management Innovation Exchange for introducing me to a new set of friends.
To Bob Young, Lisa Sullivan, Michael Tiemann, and Donnie Barnes, who were open when open wasn’t cool.
To Greg DeKoenigsberg, Jeremy Hogan, Chris Blizzard, Paul Frields, and Max Spevack, who know more about inspiring communities than I ever will.
To Kevin Trapani and Dan Moore, for inspiring us to consider a better way.
To Alina Wheeler and Jelly Helm, for perspective, at the right time.
To the rest of the Pearson team, especially Seth Kerney, Megan Wade, and Bill Camarda, for all of your hard work bringing this book to life.
And finally, thanks to my other friends who don’t give a crap about brands, ad-free or not. You know who you are, and I appreciate everything you do.
Maybe some day we’ll look back on the role of the manager in our organizations and laugh.
Such a quaint trend. Kind of like having The Clapper in every room of your house, or wearing multiple Swatch watches, or working out to Richard Simmons videos. Each seemed really helpful at the time, but looking back, we kind of wonder what the heck we were thinking.
OK, I’m exaggerating. After all, the manager/employee trend has been going strong for 100 years or more. But are we seeing enormous changes in the role of managers on the horizon? Signs point to yes.
In some of the most forward-thinking businesses and in many projects being run the open source way, the traditional manager/employee relationship, which looks something like the image above, is being replaced with something much less formal and much more flexible.
I think the new model looks more like this:
[read the rest of this post on opensource.com]
A few weeks ago, I posted a list of ten people from Red Hat you should be following, and promised there were more people to come. For today’s list, the rule is that they must be on Twitter, and I’ve split them into two groups: The first group is all Red Hat executives and the second group is what I’m going to call Red Hat catalysts– people inside of Red Hat who make things happen because of their ideas and passion.
First, here are five Red Hat executives on Twitter:
1. Jim Whitehurst, CEO
Yes, Jim Whitehurst is on Twitter and has been for almost a year. Sure he’s not saying much yet, but he has a pretty impressive list of followers (almost 400 at last count). Perhaps if a bunch of you go follow him right now, he’ll feel the need to start tweeting more often. Make sure to send him a message saying Chris Grams told you to say he’s not posting enough.
2. Iain Gray, Vice President of Customer Engagement
Iain Gray, who I just wrote about earlier this week here, is starting to become a regular Twitterer, which is a good thing for Red Hat, because he has some of the best ideas in the company. The only bummer about following Iain on Twitter is you lose the killer Scottish accent. Find him here.
3. DeLisa Alexander, Senior Vice President of People & Brand
DeLisa Alexander is the executive who spearheaded the combination of HR and brand communications into one group at Red Hat, a subject I wrote about here. She is just getting started on Twitter, but that doesn’t mean you should go easy on her. Ask her some tough questions, like “how much transparency is too much?” or “do job titles matter?”. Oh yeah, she is also a great boss. I’m such a suck up.
4. Rachel Cassidy, Vice President of Global Professional Services
Rachel Cassidy is one of those smart executives who perfectly balances professional experience, diplomatic savvy, and fun. She also manages some of the smartest and best Red Hat employees, the ones that spend their days in the customers’ worlds making them happy. I’d love to see her sharing more of her ideas and experiences on Twitter. Please tell her I said so.
5. Marco Bill-Peter, Vice President of Global Support
You know, I think I have only met Marco Bill-Peter once or twice in person (he works out of our Westford, MA office), but I still feel like I know him well. He’s just one of those people. Workwise, he’s a Red Hat superstar who is in charge of Red Hat support globally. Which doesn’t mean he will fix your server issue via Twitter, so don’t go there. But you can find his tweets here.
Ok, now on to the Red Hat catalysts: