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Being the Chief of Stuff

If you ever read this blog, follow me on Twitter or any of the other number of networks I’m on, you’ll quickly realize that I am fascinated by anything that’s behind-the-scenes.  For example, I love that with New Marketing Labs I get to hang out with really cool companies at their offices.  As I’ve said before, I try to look behind-the-scenes of other industries to learn from and apply to the way I do things with my businesses.  That’s why when I began reading about Reggie Love, the “body man” for President Obama, I became super interested.  A “body man” in politics is not a personal bodyguard, the Secret Service takes care of that.  Instead, a “body man”, according to Wikipedia, is:

a personal assistant to a politician or political candidate. A body man accompanies the politician or candidate virtually everywhere, often arranging lodging, transportation or meals, and providing companionship, snacks, a cellphone, and any other necessary assistance.

After learning about Reggie after watching a MSNBC special on an inside look at the working White House, I did some more research.  Reggie has become one of the most well-known body men in political history, due in part to his role as a basketball player with the championship Duke University team and his try-outs with two NFL teams.  There have been some very interesting articles on Reggie and surrounding him considering himself the “Chief of Stuff”.

When President Obama was on the campaign trail, ESPN caught up with, then, Senator Obama and Reggie to profile the Chief of Stuff.  It’s a fun video to watch, in my opinion, since it’s another look behind-the-scenes.

If you can’t view this video in your browser, you can also find it here

Not only do I find motivation watching people like Reggie Love do whatever it takes, working 18-20 hours or more per day, when I first heard Reggie describe himself as the “Chief of Stuff” it resonated with me.  As General Manager at both New Marketing Labs and at my steakhouse, I tend to focus on operations, processes, and doing my best to ensure everything runs smoothly.  Along the way there are tons of “stuff” that needs to be dealt with on a daily basis.

Also, there a lot of things that I help Chris Brogan with throughout the course of the week.  Now, Chris never asked me to take on a role as his personal aide, though I am his right-hand man with a lot of things.  He does after all have a personal assistant in Kathryn Jennex.  However, I’m always concerned with ensuring that Chris is taken care of and that his other obligations outside of NML are taken care of.

So, why do I do this?  Because first, foremost and most importantly, Chris is a close friend of mine who I want to see continue to succeed.  He doesn’t like doing paperwork, organizing or worry about the detail stuff.  That’s not what he’s best at.  I, on the other hand, enjoy doing that and actually need to be organized to function properly.  So, as much as I can, I work with Chris to make sure he doesn’t have to worry about all that “stuff” that would slow him down.  I also work with our internal team to ensure that we’re aligned on processes, staying organized and always moving things like side projects along.  With how busy everything gets, it is very easy to let certain things go astray.  I try my best to ensure that doesn’t happen.

That role doesn’t stop with NML or Chris though.  I function in this role at the steakhouse and at home too.  Joe, my best friend and business partner at Caminito, is just like Chris in how he feels about “stuff”.  Joe is best at being our Executive Chef, not at organizing, planning, logistics (except as it relates directly to the functioning of service).  At home, I naturally fall into this role because of how much I do it by day.  I handle the bills, the scheduling of maintenance, logistics, and anything else that will help Laura and I out.  That’s not to say that Laura doesn’t do a ton of “stuff” that keeps us functioning.  Things like laundry, dirty dishes and tons more seem to always escape me.  She keeps me in line with that stuff.

I guess that makes me a “Chief of Stuff” kinda too, huh?  I’m okay with that and actually enjoy it.  So, my official title may be “General Manager” but I thing “Chief of Stuff” is a little more fun :)

What are you the Chief of?  How do you handle all of the “stuff” that needs to be taken care of on a daily, weekly or monthly basis?

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  • http://twitter.com/justinlevy justinlevy

    The “Chief of Stuff”, @barackobama @chrisbrogan and more over on the blog today http://bit.ly/9MZ9c

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  • http://twitter.com/dave_lo dave_lo

    The “Chief of Stuff” – http://bit.ly/9MZ9c – great post by @justinlevy

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

    You know, if we haven't already ordered those business cards (because hell, I have no idea if we have or haven't without you), that'd make a fun title. : )

  • http://www.kherize5.com Suzanne Vara

    Justin

    “Chief of Stuff” title tells the story of what you do better and has a better ring to it than General Manager. Being chief of stuff allows you to learn so much more and be able to be hands on in almost all aspects of the workplace. I have always tried to learn everyones job so that if they were out I could jump right in and be effective.

    Being that chief of stuff allows you to put into place things that you learn from others and also help others focus on what they do best. It is so much more than the Type A sterotype that many of us get while wanting to do things ourselves – it is more about being able to interact with people and helping them achieve their goals and not about that self pat on the back.

    I am chief of stuff in my business as I love interacting with the clients and also the artists. I guess chief of stuff people are people/people and enjoy trying to learn new things and also teaching people new thngs. Then there is at home. I am the ultimate chief of stuff here although my 4 year old son tries to be king of stuff with cleaning, mopping, laundry, etc.

    Great post.

    Suzanne Vara
    @Lvadgal

  • http://twitter.com/organic_beauty_ organic_beauty_

    Being the Chief of Stuff | Justin R. Levy http://bit.ly/19d7dC

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  • http://twitter.com/Toni_IFDA Toni_IFDA

    Great post by @justinlevy, an #IFDASM speaker: “The Chief of Stuff” http://bit.ly/9MZ9c

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  • http://primecutsblog.com justinlevy

    The business cards haven't been printed yet and I think that makes a much
    more fun title then “General Manager”. :)

  • http://primecutsblog.com justinlevy

    Thanks for your thoughtful comment Suzanne! I agree that we're
    people/people and also that to be a “Chief of Stuff” you have to be able to
    process that “stuff” efficiently and in an organized manner. Glad you
    enjoyed! :)

  • http://primecutsblog.com justinlevy

    The business cards haven't been printed yet and I think that makes a much
    more fun title then “General Manager”. :)

  • http://primecutsblog.com justinlevy

    Thanks for your thoughtful comment Suzanne! I agree that we're
    people/people and also that to be a “Chief of Stuff” you have to be able to
    process that “stuff” efficiently and in an organized manner. Glad you
    enjoyed! :)

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