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Rob La Gesse
Chief Disruption Officer, Rackspace Hosting.
Chief Disruption Officer, Rackspace Hosting.


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My dog Pixel. He sits like this for hours on end, staring at the back gate (which nobody ever uses). He’s a freak, but he is a lovable freak - and he is my freak :)

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I haven't been blogging much lately. I guess life has just been getting in the way. But I have been an avid consumer of blogs forever, and that hasn't changed.

What I want to share now though is how I feel about a bunch of blogs I have read that talk about "building amazing teams".

I am so very lucky to have one of the most extraordinary teams I could envision ever managing - but I did not build this team - this team built me into a manager that people respect and pay attention to. They found me, and they built me. And I am so very, very thankful to them for it.

Yes - I put together an opportunity but I did NOT build this team. I hired one amazing Racker that introduced me to another amazing Racker, and they introduced me to another - my team built my team -  they still are. And they deserve all of the credit for what this team is today. One of the longest lasting Social Media Teams on the planet (I've run Social at +Rackspace for almost 6 years - how many other Social Media Managers do you know that have had this role for that long? Not many - it barely existed five years ago!)

And we chose to build it different - with Support engineers that really knew customers instead of Marketing and PR people. No agencies. This is us - highly technical Rackers who love customers and are empowered to make a significant impact on customer outcomes.

And we have grown that into a model where now we also run Social Marketing - under the guidelines we established first around "being helpful" - and this has added a ton of new opportunities for us.

We built our own social support tool - and you will see that spin out soon as a separate entity and I am SO very proud of that. How many "social teams" have been able to create a startup out of a large company? I've been allowed to do some very amazing things. Hire +Robert Scoble - why not? - just see if it works. Five years later and it still works. Really had amazing opportunities to do really amazing stuff.

But I've done so very little of the real work. The people that trusted me early on when we had no plan, no perceptions, no metrics - just an IDEA that we thought was a good idea - those Rackers, from my current employees to +Lew Moorman and +Graham Weston who just trusted me and let me go try something so different and so new - without tying me down to KPI's. Those people all built something new and unexpected and something that turned out to be a little remarkable. Those Rackers helped me win.

I have an amazing team that BUILT ME.

And we aren't done. I still have more planned because my employees are pushing me into thinking about different things in a way I would not have thought.

Bring employees in close - let them build you. You will be so fortunate if you do.

I'm really a really lucky guy. A good guess here and there, and here I am - with this amazing team of Rackers that keeps pushing me to be better, do better, and help make them better.

Smiles :)


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As always, TEDx, San Antonio was amazing. And this year we held it at Rackspace!

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" Rackspace our primary guiding principle for responding to requests from U.S. law enforcement agencies is the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution..."

I love the company that pays me. I almost said "my employer", but that seems too antiquated. I do what I love for people I respect and I get paid for it. That is not a "job description". That is finding your sweet spot :)

 I love the relationship me and my team have with our legal department. We work well together and it is a very rare thing for us not to agree  - because we all just honestly want to do "what is right". And we have little disagreement about what is right.

It's been about two weeks in a row that I've been awake at 3am. 4am. 5am. Pulled a couple all-nighters during that time.

This isn't unusual for me - every time I have something percolating in the back of my brain I tend to stay up long hours. But the odd thing is - I am not really thinking about what my idea is - I mean, I am not actively working it. But somehow, staying up longer hours, changing my habits a bit - it seems to let my brain kinda sort things out.

I've found over the years that I tend to "solve problems" in one of two ways - sleeping on them, and waking up with a common-sense solution - or being a bit sleep deprived - and coming up with a creative solution.

They are both good outcomes. But they come about in very different ways.

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I'm very happy that I got to know Allen. I am also very happy that I work for a public company that is still human, and allows me precious blog space to tell the story of a friendship.

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New eyes. One at a time and halfway there. Why you should not tolerate cataracts.

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Glad we are taking the offensive against these trolls.

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So – We Built a Social Media Tool. A Different Kind of Tool. A “Helpful” Tool.

Read more -  

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This is an awesome event for an even more awesome cause.
Bring the family out to the Rackspace/Girls Inc "Rock it into the Future" science fair on Saturday!
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