Catch Robert Sieger on the #PirateBroadcast™
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Introduction: [00:00:00] Welcome to the #PirateBroadcast™, where we interview #interestingpeople doing #interestingthings. Where you can expand your connections, your community, #kindnessiscool and #smilesarefree. Let’s get this party started.
Russ Johns: [00:00:19] And it's a beautiful day for a #PirateBroadcast™and we're here and we're starting the show and I figured I better push the button and bring out Robert. And for those that are new or just joined, thank you so much for being here, all the #gratitude in the world. Thank you so much. And also know that we are streaming live on LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and also Twitch. A little bit here and there. So if you can't catch us here, catch us there. Bob, good morning. We're having coffee with Bob and we're going to turn it around cause he's used to interviewing other people. So yeah. So good morning, Bob. How are you doing?
Robert Sieger: [00:01:04] Thank you so much for having me on. I really do appreciate it. I've been a fan of your show for some time and I aspire to be you. Rachel Beck turned me on to it a while ago and this was awesome. Yeah. I haven't looked back since.
Russ Johns: [00:01:19] Oh, fantastic. Rachel, thank you so much for the introduction, Bob and I are going to get along swimmingly. We'll talk about NT back in the day of early service.
Robert Sieger: [00:01:31] Which would probably a lot of your listeners, especially on the, in the Twitter arena and YouTube, and maybe Facebook arena are going to say, NT?
Russ Johns: [00:01:38] What are you, what are they talking about? So what we want to do is we want to allow people that may not know you out in these other platforms to get a framework on Coffee with Bob and the idea and what we were talking about before we started the show. So give us a framework. Who are you and why are you here? Why are you a pirate?
Robert Sieger: [00:02:04] Yeah that's the, one of the biggest questions I get all the time, even on my own show. Like you mentioned my name and it says up here my name is Robert Sieger. People call me Bob. And I'm a chief information officer, VP of technology. I've been in senior management now for the past 30 years or so. And I've been on LinkedIn since the beginning. I'm a big LinkedIn fan. I'm maxed out on my connections. My followers just continueto grow, which is wonderful. I love my followers and I just felt like about a year ago, I felt like it was time to give back. And it's, what's the point of having all these connections and all these followers, if you can't do something good, if you can't get, you, can't give back to the community that helped you grow. I learned a lot from LinkedIn. One reasons why I love your broadcasts for Russ is that, I learn so much all the time, always something new each time. And that's the beauty of the internet right now and these different social platforms. So I just feel like it, it just feels good to share that knowledge with others and introduce people with others. So it's funny if you go back and look at my posts in my broadcast, I run the gamut. We're introducing new products. We're introducing, consultants with new services. I've done interviews for individuals that are looking for employment. What better way to get them exposure than to interview them online. So that it's out there for everybody to see. I'm going to be posting later today, a business psychic. And we talked about that earlier, so it runs the full gamut and what's fun about it. I'm helping others get the exposure. They need to get whatever it is they want to get going. And I'm learning along the way and it's entertaining.
Russ Johns: [00:03:43] And it's the thing that you mentioned. And I want to dive into this a little deeper because we have been around long enough, to see LinkedIn grow and mature, I've been on since. I think 2005, I started developing websites in 2007. I've been in technology, email marketing, media advertising, outdoor, I fell three stories off a billboard to get into advertising. That's what I tell people. So It disrupted my drumming career, but I got into advertising, so I'm okay. And I've done some amazing things and met some amazing people through being this platform called LinkedIn and giving back because what I've discovered along the way, Robert and you probably have too, is the more you give away. The more, it returns in more unique, unusual ways that you never imagined. If you're just open to the idea that something good will happen, something typically happens.
Robert Sieger: [00:04:45] Yeah. I believe that wholeheartedly. I really do. And Jeff Young just posted Robert has been on LinkedIn forever. His member number is...I was in the first 2 million people on board. How do I find that out even?
Russ Johns: [00:04:59] Yeah. How do you find that out, Jeff? I want to know, just to shout out to a couple of people, Russ Hedge is another individual that believes in kindness, so amazing. Wonderful. Individuals Jeff Young. Jeff, thank you for the email, the message yesterday back at ya. Love you, man. Nick Gemmell is doing some great things up in Canada with the oil and gas industry, making sure that people stay healthy and Deneen hello everyone. She's here today. Great to start my day with the #PirateBroadcast™. You're up early too Russ. Angie over in Wisconsin. Good morning. Pirates. Love you. Angie thanks for being here. And Michael Baker in from Florida. Good morning, everyone. And here's the message, Robert's been on LinkedIn forever. His member number is 1,547,728. Wow. I can't believe it. Good morning. Jenny Gold. Jenny's going to be starting up a podcast here. I was talking to her about that. All the variety that we just have in the room right now, Bob is amazing. I'd love to have coffee with each and every one.
Robert Sieger: [00:06:25] Yeah. And that's one of the things I like about about your broadcast, Russ, is that you run the gamut as well. There's so much variety. There's so much authenticity. It's just amazing and you giving back, like you do it. I said this earlier, before the broadcast is an #inspiration for me. And I didn't say those things lightly. I really don't. I look to others on the platform to say, this is what I want to aspire to. Like I'm Corey Warfield. Yeah Corey is a very good friend of mine basically because we live in the same area. So we actually can still meet face to face. We just got together last week. So that's still cool why we can mask of course and all that good stuff. And just the things that he does inspires me to try and to be better. I'm looking at your little frame that you have built around us right now and I'm thinking, okay, I got to do something like that, too. So it's always knowing all these people, talking to all these people, helping them gain the exposure they need. Also gives me the #inspiration to level things up even more.
Russ Johns: [00:07:28] I think it's really interesting too, because being in technology in general, some people get the sense that, Hey, so much more than most people, however, it really is about who do you know that can help you do the job? Because there's so much technology moving so quickly that it's really difficult to stay on top of everything. And just a couple of conversations, like the framework or, stuff that Cory's doing, things that inspire you are so much more accessible now that days. And you could just notice it at the same time. Information can sometimes get overwhelming.
Robert Sieger: [00:08:11] Oh yeah. Yeah, absolutely. When I got in, before I got into the technology, actually my degree is in English and literature and I, it was always my dream to be the next great American novelist. My wife and I got married right out of college. We had our first child, it was a honeymoon baby, and then four years later had our second. And then. 12 months later had our third. So when you start and we were young, right out of college, starting artists don't make it. So I got into sales because what do you do with an English literature degree? I knew I wasn't going to teach. I don't have the, I don't have the, my wife's a teacher. I don't know how she does kids half the time, so I got into sales and sales got me into an introduction with someone who was starting to build his own ERP platform for the small mid-sized business market. And for those of you, ERP is enterprise resource planning. It's basically the software backbone for an organization. So through a mutual friend, we got introduced, we hooked up and we started a company together for the CRP program, then we ended up selling it eventually. So I helped him with the business process. He did the coding and taught me the coding along the way. And there was an it career built from that point on. That was back in the day when you got online through a local ISP. You actually had a dial in those and AOL was the big thing, right? There was no Facebook. There wasn't even Amazon yet when we started. So I learned it from the ground up and then eventually merged into my leadership roles that I have today. And one thing I had a mentor, I worked for a company called Boise office products.
Russ Johns: [00:09:52] I remember Boise office products.
Robert Sieger: [00:09:54] Yeah. And now it's owned by office max which Office Depot bought and now staples will be buying soon. But I had a great mentor. Gary Misso he's passed away now long ago, but he was my mentor. I was his director of e-commerce of all things back then he was the CIO and one of the things he always said to me and he had no technology background whatsoever. He was a nuclear physicist, which shows you good leadership centers, not around, maybe not around the background or educational wise that you have, or maybe not even around the technical skills you have. It's all about the people skills. And the one thing he's told me and I've lived by this ever since, is surround yourself with people that are smarter than you. Yeah. Absolutely. Those are the guys that are going to fill the gaps for you. And your ability to bring a team like that together, that fills those gaps that, that makes the organization overall structurally sound is what's going to be a winning combination for you. And that's worked for me. I've got members of my teams today that have come with me as I've moved through my career. Because I'd bring them on, I bring them on and so much, so are some people that I didn't bring on are sending me messages saying, do you need this? Or do you need that? I think that's critically important, right? And I'm sorry, I'm rambling.
Russ Johns: [00:11:15] No, these are all great points and I'm smiling because I'm exactly the same way I. I still have conversations with the sales people that sold me the first Cisco router, 30 years ago, it's the people that I still connect with and collaborate with. And over the years we do projects together. We go on our separate ways and do things, and then we come back and say, Hey, Russ can you do this? Or bill, can you do this? And it's really amazing to me that building a relationship goes much beyond, social media and platforms and also businesses as well as because you have people that, they may not have the best skill at the time. However, they have the best attitude to teach the skill and train the skill and share the skill that you have in your environment. And that goes miles. If you could find somebody that fits into the culture and fits into the environment and can work with the teams and motivate everybody, inspire them and keep them moving forward in a direction that's a positive one. That's Gold.
Robert Sieger: [00:12:28] Skills can be taught, right? Attitudes cannot. Attitudes are something that you get cultivated as a child. They're cultivated by the people that are around you. It's the belief system that you build up inside of you. Now, you may be able to change those belief systems a little bit, right? You may be able to change those attitudes a little bit, but you'll never be able to change that core. I could teach anybody any skill we want. I got a great guy on my team now that's in charge of my network, and infrastructure. Never worked in Azure. We were moving everything to the cloud. So Microsoft Azure is the cloud source.
Russ Johns: [00:13:01] I got a guy that I'll introduce you.
Robert Sieger: [00:13:04] Okay, cool. Drew never worked in it, but you know what? I had faith. I told him, I said, I don't learn it. I know you can learn this and sure enough. 30 days later, he is an Azure expert now. And we've migrated about 90% of our infrastructure to the cloud. Now last 10% of our prietary applications and I have no doubt that he's going to be able to do that as well, too. So I think that goes to show you that if you have confidence in people, right? If you believe in them and they believe in themselves, you can pretty much achieve anything these days. It's amazing what's out there.
Russ Johns: [00:13:39] There's no lack of knowledge. There's no lack of information. There's just lack of attention to be able to place and put it in there and find the opportunity that really the rule of thumb that I always use. Bob is the idea that if you can find something that you do, where you lose track of time. It's probably a good indication that you might want to enjoy that for a little while. Yeah. Get involved. Coding is a lot that way. There's people that'll code and they just it's like poetry is like writing blog, posts, people, writing books, and or doing video or interviewing other people. I always find it fascinating. You speak of Boise office products. I used to sell office supplies years ago and part time when I was a musician and it always fascinated me to go to these industries as an industrial district and look at what do they do in there? If I walk in there, what do you manufacture? What do you supply? What do you deliver? What do you distribute? What is it that you do? And it was always fascinating to me what people do and how they act. So having this conversation with you and reminiscing about technology and doing these things, it's really important for us to understand that sometimes where we start, isn't where we end up and it's typically that way. So what's the left turn in your journey. Have you ever taken some left turns that didn't end up exactly the way you imagined that may have given you what we call experience now?
Robert Sieger: [00:15:17] Yeah, I've I've well, again, because my background isn't necessarily technology, right? My formal education I've had few left turns when you're learning things along the way. But I have to admit that I haven't been technically challenged yet, meaning because I always have the right, I've always been able to build, I've been very blessed with building the right teams to help support what's going on. What's really challenged me is the culture. And I'll give you an example. I don't even naming him any names. Years ago, I worked for this organization where the culture was just toxic. And people had warned me. You don't want to go there, don't take this position. It's not, they recruited me. Don't take this position. You don't want to be there. And I had the audacity to think that I could actually change it. I went in saying I can do this, I can do this. And I made some headway. I really did. But when the ultimate leader at the top doesn't want to change, it's very difficult to change the culture overall. And I finally had to leave the position because I couldn't, it was impacting me. Personally, mentally, emotionally down to the physical side of the equation where I just couldn't take the toxicity anymore. So that was definitely a left turn for me.
Russ Johns: [00:16:35] And a lot of times we don't realize it until after we left.
How bad It actually was.
Robert Sieger: [00:16:43] Absolutely. That's what happened to me. It, I finally, it was impacting my personal life. It was impacting my professional life and it was having impacts on my health. I'm going to share something with you that I haven't shared, but I don't really share with anybody, but I have MS and it's relapsing remitting. So I handle it pretty well. Most people can't tell that I have it. I'm very blessed, not in a wheelchair. I don't have braces or anything like that. I take a medication that helps keep everything at bay. But during that period that I was at this organization, I developed two more lesions on my brain just in the time period that I was there. And that kind of was my wake-up call. So to understand that, if you surround yourself in a positive atmosphere, if you work within a positive atmosphere and you keep that emotional level in a positive state, where you're experiencing #gratitude, where you're thankful where you're sharing, you're trying to be as worry-free as possible for you and your team members. It's helped me out physically, too as well.
Russ Johns: [00:17:48] That's a lesson to learn and for everyone here, plant yourself in a garden that is nurturing and we'll see you thrive. Yeah. And I I wish you all the best in your journey to, stay healthy and stay positive. It's really about we have to wake up every day and. I wake up every day and have #gratitude cause I know so many things can go wrong and it doesn't really, you don't have control over everything around you. So the things that you do in your day, in your life, if you can have #gratitude meet interesting people, doing interesting things, have great conversations, see a new perspective. Learn about why somebody sees the light, the world the way they see it. And broaden your horizons, broaden your viewpoint and your perspective. I think it's all healthy practices and that's why I do the #PirateBroadcast™ is, to open up the dialogue and open up the conversation.
Robert Sieger: [00:18:51] Yeah. Yeah. And that's exactly why I do the coffee with Bob to open up the dialogue and open up the conversation and see what else is out there. I think the days of command and control. Are waning or almost not quite over yet, because there are still organizations that use that command and control model, but they're pretty much all over because I think most organizations realize that you can't you can't do that anymore. Especially as the younger generation is coming up now, they're seeing that more and more. I hate to use this term, we're starting to get a little woke. In the corporate world, these days in the business world. And the reason I hate to use that term, I think it's taking it the wrong way too far to the extreme now. I think we, as a society and we in business within organizations have to learn how to get to that more middle road. That at least that's what I strive to do with my teams.
Russ Johns: [00:19:46] Yeah. And it always seems to me that when you place people in a role that they appreciate and they thrive in and then challenge them to improve their skills and their ability and also enhances their attitude as well. They feel everybody feels like a contributor to the cause and the effort. And I think that's where a lot of leadership fails is in the ability to communicate a clear vision. To everyone across the board. And when that takes place, it's magic when you can actually do it and do it well and say, Hey, this is where we're going. Let's make sure that we're all working together to get there. And this is the bigger reason why this is the cause and the collaboration that needs to take place in order to get there. Yeah. If everybody's clear on what the mission of the organization is, it just makes it so much easier to know what your, how you fit into the cog.
Robert Sieger: [00:20:42] Yeah. Yeah. And it's not only about having a clear mission. It's also believing in that mission. So your team members. So one of the things that we do as an organization, we take each individual. So we have an overall mission for the organization itself. And then each team has a mission that sort of feeds into the overall mission. And when we develop those mission statements, we do it as a team, everybody has a hand in adding to what the mission statement is, right. And what our beliefs are, because I want them to have that responsibility. I want them to have that ownership in it, when you put skin in the game, so to speak, you believe in it and you're gonna, you're really going to strive to make sure that is successful and happens.
Russ Johns: [00:21:25] Absolutely. Absolutely. Is there something that you...a theme that you use in coffee with Bob that you like to ask your guests and like to get out of each and every guest.
Robert Sieger: [00:21:37] Yeah. So yeah, I try to make it very organic, right? Where I schedule 30 minutes. Even though we know that LinkedIn embedded video can only be 10 minutes long. I have a timer that's set for nine 55 to accommodate my bumper at the beginning. But w we sit and we talk a little bit, and I always tell the people that I'm interviewing, I say, okay, this is about you, not about me, it's about you and what you want to accomplish. So the way we go about is I'm going to give you a quick introduction. Say a few words and then we're going to give it to you. And I want you to give your elevator pitch your best elevator pitch. Now, some people have to explain to them what an elevator pitch is, which is fine. I think that's probably an older term these days than anything else. And for the younger viewers that are watching that don't know what an elevator pitch is. Basically, you have to talk about yourself, who you are, what you do in the time it takes to get from one floor to the next floor, which is what, Russ, 20 seconds? Which we give them a little more time and then we riff back and forth based on that. But I always make sure that when I'm talking to the people that it's about them, it's about their purpose, their product, their service, whatever it is that they want to do. I wanted the focus to be on them and it's actually been pretty successful. I generally get anywhere from a couple hundred to several hundred views on the videos that I post, which I know those are all vanity metrics. And I don't care because it's all about getting those people exposure. So vanity metrics we love them.
Russ Johns: [00:23:14] Yeah. Like we were talking before the show is that it really makes it easy to access individuals that want to have a conversation, nobody's up on their guard saying, Oh, okay. Bob wants to sell me something today.
Robert Sieger: [00:23:31] It is. Yeah. And that's just, people have said, we talked about this at the beginning. Why don't you do this? What are you getting out of this? It makes me feel good. That's what I'm getting out of it. It makes me feel good. And I'm not selling advertising. I don't charge people to come on coffee with Bob. It's all to help some help out others.
Russ Johns: [00:23:49] Yeah, it's give back to the community. It's all good. I want to give a shout out to a few more people here in the room. Tracie's here. Tracie is my producer. She assists me every day with the show. She takes it by the end of the day, Bob, it's a podcast. It's a transcription. It's a blog post, it's live stream. So you have words, images, audio, and video. So you're touching out all the main points of online access. So Kenyatta is here. Good morning to the #PirateBroadcast™ kenyatta is in Austin central here and Jeff Young points out. Here's how Russ and Robert kudos to Sue Lem PMP, go to post Sue Lem and that's a post telling us how your member or your member number is. Oh, cool. Okay. So I'll have to go check that out. Thanks Jeff. For sharing that for everyone, the Michael Baker, I have my morning coffee most, every morning, listening to the show. Thank you. I really appreciate it, Michael. And then Kenyatta says yes. Good to see ya. Russ Johns and Robert Sieger Angie says good morning Tracie. So Angie says thank goodness where we start isn't where we end up. Very true. So very true wisdom. Working in a toxic environment is the worst. Yeah, I have to agree with you. Hiett Ives in from Texas. Good morning pirates. I want to wrap it up before we take off here, Bob, to let people know that you're maxed out in LinkedIn because gee, you've been there for awhile. You're one of the originals. I believe that there's a lot of things in technology that are evolving. Moving forward, you got clubhouse, you've got, different platforms that are moving in place and position. Facebook's getting big. And they're taking a lot of heat on a lot of things. Where do you see technology? Where do you see relationships going? Because I don't think I need 10 million people in my network. I just need, the people that want to be in my network and want to build business and build relationships with that. And it's based on relationships. So how do you look and see about value and volume.
Robert Sieger: [00:26:16] Yeah. So for me, I think, no matter what platform and I know clubhouse, and I'm starting a room on clubhouse soon, too, we're going to see all these different social platforms pop up, especially now, in the middle of a pandemic here. And people are getting very used to the virtual platforms, which I think is a good thing, but I also think it's a bad thing where we're missing out on that human sort of interaction connection. Touch someone kind of thing which I think is unfortunate. I'm hoping we get back to that someday because I still think that's important. But I think what's going to be critically important moving forward. And I think with the younger generation is going to start looking for, because they're getting so used to doing everything virtually, learning virtually, want to learn about coding. They're going to YouTube if they want to learn how to build a website, they're going to YouTube it. If they want to learn how to fix a car or a water softener or a heater, they're going to YouTube it. They're out getting their education online. But they're also looking for things that are always going to provide value. So I think people like us, like you and I and others out there. If they want to make that connection with someone, you always have to be providing some type of value to them, be of service. I consider myself a servant leader. And I saw, I think it was Michael Baker said by your faith, all things are made possible for you. He is absolutely right. If you model that type of servant leadership or you're taking care of others, Putting others before you, whether it's virtually or whether it's in the physical world. I think you'll be successful. And for me that's the most important.
Russ Johns: [00:27:48] Fantastic. Bob, it's been a pleasure. Thank you so much for being here. I I think we could talk for a few more hours and not run out of topics to share with the audience. I really see a lot of parallels in our backgrounds and our process in our. Philosophy in life. And for those that just joined us or those in the future that are joining us please stay engaged. The whole point is to start a conversation, reach out. If you want to have a conversation, let's make that happen. Also, if you want to increase in your connections, there's a lot of ways you can do that. I'm going to be I was thinking last night, I'm going to start a workshop. I created six ways to create, to develop and monetize your live stream. Cause a lot of people ask me, they ask the question for you too as well. I do it for a different reason. Some people may want to do it to grow their business. So I created this thing. So I'm going to start workshops. I'm going to do these workshops and cause I'm booking in April, and so I have a booking process that works for me, and I can share that. And a few of these things that will add value to your world and adding value and returning value back to the community is the best way to grow your business in my opinion. So I'll continue to share that and expand the brand. Bob, thank you so much for being here.
Robert Sieger: [00:29:18] Thank you for having me. I really appreciate it. And I love getting the message out. And if anybody wants to be on coffee with Bob, I am very open to it. Check out my LinkedIn profile. I have a calendar link on there. Look at time and let's do it. I'm happy to help.
Russ Johns: [00:29:32] I'll have to join you.
Robert Sieger: [00:29:34] Yeah, I wish you would. That would be great. I think I've reached out to you a couple of times asking you to be on and you haven't yet. But I know you're busy.
I'll do thatRuss Johns: [00:29:42] today. Go out and book a time just while it's fresh on my mind. I'm a little squirrel, Bob. I can't lie.
Robert Sieger: [00:29:50] No, you're you're much busier than I am, so I get it.
Russ Johns: [00:29:53] No worries. No worries. And everyone, you know why you're here because #kindnessiscool, #smilesarefree and I want you to #enjoyyourday. Awesome. Till next time. Don't go away, Bob.
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