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How To Become A 10x Company (with Rishon Blumberg from 10x Management)

Rishon Blumberg, co-founder of a tech talent agency that’s skyrocketed to the forefront of the industry, sheds light on how to find and cultivate high performing individuals and teams.

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Audio Transcription:

Tim Reitsma

Are you an organization that is, or has struggled to attract, develop, or retain top talent? Are you a manager who is inspired to empower your team to deliver amazing results? Are you someone who is striving to become better if you answered yes? To any of the above? This podcast is for you. My guest today, Rishon Blumberg left his career along with his co-founder Michael Solomon as talent managers for Grammy award-winning musicians, such as John Mayer to co-found 10X management, a first of its kind talent agency that matches cream of the crop tech talent with companies ranging from fledgling startups to global Titans like IBM, Verizon, BMW, and Google. 

Recently, Rishon coauthored, a book called “Gamechanger: How to become 10X in the talent economy?” and today’s podcast. We’ll talk about the book. What 10X means? And hear stories of why this is such a relevant topic in today’s economy.

Thanks for tuning in I’m Tim Reitsma, the resident host of people managing people. Welcome to the podcast where people managing people and we want to lead and manage better. We’re owners, founders, entrepreneurs, we’re middle managers, we’re team leaders. We’re managing people in. Yes, we do human resources, but we’re not HR at least not in the traditional sense. We’re on a mission to help people lead and manage their teams and organizations more effectively. So if you want to lead and manage better, if you want to become a better organizational leader and more effective people manager, then join us, people, us into the podcast to find the tips, tricks, and tools you need to recruit, retain, manage, and lead your people and organization more effectively. And while listening to the show, please subscribe and join our mailing list on to stay up to date with all that’s going on. 

Welcome to the podcast Rishon. It’s such a pleasure to have you on, I know we’ve been working at scheduling this for a while, and, uh, and yeah, I’m really excited, to get into a good conversation with you today.

So welcome. 

Rishon Blumberg

Thank you, Tim. I’m honored to be here. Thanks for having me. 

Tim Reitsma

Yeah. So first off. But I like to start off with our guests is, it’s just tell us a bit about yourself, your journey, and what led you to start a tech talent agency? 

Rishon Blumberg

Well, I’m a Gemini for starters. I was born in May. I’m sure that’s very relevant, but I do love long walks on the beach.

Um, no, you know, I think that my story really starts with where I’m from, which is New York City. I was born and raised here. Um, and I think that growing up in the seventies, and sort of coming of age in the eighties and nineties, Uh, it was a city that had a lot of dichotomies. There’s obviously very large business finance and banking and such, um, in New York, but there’s also entertainment.

Um, and there’s really there certainly back then, and maybe it’s beginning to develop a little bit more. Now there’s a real entrepreneurial spirit in New York. And I think that bug caught me early on, and myself and my partner early on, and it really laid the foundation for how we started our career first and entertainment, and then leading to tech.

So that I would say that it’s sort of my upbringing and where I grew up in the environment that really sort of led me to where I am now. 

Tim Reitsma

It’s quite the journey from, from, uh, uh, from the music industry to tech and to tech talent. And so what drove that, uh, that change and that’s a bit of a change in direction. So, what, what led to that? 

Rishon Blumberg

Yeah, I mean, it was, it was really fairly organic. Um, first of all, one only one small correction. We still actually have a company in entertainment, the same company we started about 25 years ago. Um, you know, really what led to. The shift, um, into tech is the fact that we were.

Hiring ourselves, a bunch of tech freelancers, um, starting in the early nineties. And then through, till we started 10X Management in 2012, um, to help us build web properties for the artists that we were representing. And also we had partnered with somebody to, uh, an, a dev shop to create apps for the entertainment world.

And we just sort of kept bumping up against the same kinds of problems over and over again. Um, and at the time we didn’t really think we could necessarily be part of the. The, uh, solution, but we, I think identified. Subconsciously identified, you know, some of the inefficiencies that were happening at that time, um, in technology and particularly in the freelance side of technology, and then around 2010, people started to, uh, write headlines about, you know, tech talent being the next rock stars.

And I think for us, it was a little bit of a light bulb moment thinking. You know, we have this, this skill and this a accumulation of knowledge about how to represent and protect talent. Um, and if tech talent is not all that dissimilar to rockstars, perhaps they could benefit for them. Same from the same kinds of protection, um, and career guidance that.

Um, you know, entertainers, athletes, actors have, uh, benefited from for decades. And so we just sort of jumped into it without thinking about it too much. Um, And it really, it really clicked very, very quickly, you know? So in 2011 we actually found a client, our first client to work with who actually was a musician, but instead of paying for their life as a musician, sort of through, you know, a waitering or what have you sort of more, uh, transient, um, Uh, skillsets, uh, he was coding in order to pay for his music career.

And so when we approached him with this concept, he sort of understood the value proposition, both from the tech side, but also from the understanding of how artists had, had dealt with managers and agents. Um, and it very quickly. You know, blossomed into a great relationship. And then in 2012, we sort of formalized the company and, and sort of quickly ramped up.

And the books, the Genesis of the book really started at that point. Um, Again, we, you know, sort of organically, we had not set out to intentionally write a book, but there were so many interesting things that we learned and saw within the tech ecosystem that were Harbinger’s for what was happening in the broader economy.

Um, and so, you know, probably. I don’t know, around 2017 or so we started thinking about how, how can we further educate the marketplace, which is really what we have been doing with 10 X, um, between 2012 and 2018. Like how can we educate the marketplace about what we do and why, what we do is different, and B what we’re seeing across all these different verticals that all these different types of companies, things that are working and things that aren’t working.

And that was really the Genesis for the book. 

Tim Reitsma

Wow. It’s such an interesting journey just to, um, yeah. And you lay out a lot of stories in the book, uh, but going from, you know, and still are in the music business and, and taking what you and Michael learned there to bring it to the tech world.

And so let’s maybe just dive into this. This, uh, this concept of 10X. 

Rishon Blumberg


Tim Reitsma

And so the book is How to be 10X in a talent economy. So what does that mean? 

Rishon Blumberg

Yeah, I mean, it’s really the foundation for the theories that we have and the things we talk about in the book. It’s this idea of 10X-ers, which are, you know, they’re real, this isn’t just sort of some sort of fantasy.

Um, and we talk about a variety of different types of 10X in the book. Um, but the first one that we really encountered was Bruce Springsteen. Um, and we didn’t think of him as a 10X, or at the time we just thought of him as like, this is a person who is at the top of their game, clearly brilliant.

Um, but not only brilliant in the way that they write songs and present songs but brilliant in their thought in the way that they’ve surrounded themselves with, uh, the support crew and team from managers to agents, to touring crew, to producers, um, I think Bruce really keenly understood the value of bringing excellence in all these different areas.

And so for us, uh, what a 10X-ers is somebody who possesses a very high IQ, but more importantly, a very high EQ, their emotional quotient, their understanding of how to relate to others, how to communicate effectively, how to, uh, feel empathy, um, is equally as developed. So this really allows. These very high achievers to, um, bring something unique to whatever project they’re working on.

They’re obviously bringing exceptional minds, share, um, the knowledge that they have and if accumulated over the course of their life and their career, but they’re also bringing the ability to communicate all those things that are going on in their head. Um, I’m sure you’ve had people in your lives who are, you know, in your life who are really, really brilliant, but maybe just don’t communicate very well or are odd in different ways that makes it more challenging to understand a what makes them brilliant and how that brilliance can affect and change your life and your career. Um, so the 10X-ers is something to achieve to, uh, or, or aspire to rather, um, they do exist.

But not everybody can be 10X. So really the premise of the book is what can businesses do to become more 10X and more hospitable for 10X-ers? And what can individuals do to sort of push themselves down that 10X spectrum? Um, some may reach 10X, this, some may have those components, um, and learn the skills necessary to bring that level of 10X, uh, value.

Um, but most people are just striving to get better and closer to 10X. And that’s where I think most of us live. 

Related Read: Engaging Employees Through Empathetic Leadership: What I Learned

Tim Reitsma

I think so. I think. I think most, at least the people that I know are striving for that. And, you know, right off the, right off the bat rating on page eight of the book, you know, you’ve defined this as somebody as a 10X or, um, and I like what you, what you write is balanced with enough humility to pivot when great advice comes along.

And I’m guessing that’s speaking about the talent, but it really kind of marries not just EQ, but, uh, or sorry, IQ, but, but with EQ . And so you’re talking about companies. And so what does it take then for a company to create a space for, uh, for people to, uh, strive to become 10X? 

Rishon Blumberg

Yeah, I mean, that was really, and by the way, the book is sort of split up into two sections.

The first half of the book is really talking to companies about what they can do to be more hospitable and to sort of 10X themselves. And then the second half is really geared towards the individual. You know what we learned working with all these different types of companies in different verticals through 10X Management and 10X Ascend is that there are companies at different places on the spectrum of being hospitable to these things.

We use tech, um, as sort of the backdrop in the book. And there’s a intentional reason for that. And that is that more tech companies. Are have positioned themselves to be hospitable to 10 X-ers. And what that really means is, um, sort of an updating or a moderate modernization of the way. The marketplace and the work world views itself.

Um, I sometimes use the analogy of the movie office space, which perhaps you remember, you know, it’s this movie about a tech company, but with this very generic, middle management, they don’t know who the employees are, what they care about, what their wants are their needs are. It’s really a hilarious take at, you know, um, Skewering what the work world, the old way of work was like, it was very much your cog in the machine.

The new way of work is really drastically different. First of all, technology allows companies to do significantly more with fewer resources. So when you’re doing more with less, every single person that works at your company, Needs to be on this 10 X spectrum, because you’re going to expect so much more from employees now than you did 20, 30, 40 years ago.

Um, you can’t throw people at the problem. You have to throw sophistication at a problem. And so for companies to really attract people that are super high performers. It has to be a much more bespoke approach. You can’t just view somebody as a cog in the machine, and it really starts at the process where you are interviewing somebody to bring them on board.

And we sort of get into this, uh, tactically towards the end of the book. We have some, some really prescriptive things that we believe companies need to do when approaching. Hiring a W2 employee or a 1099 freelancer. Um, and all of it really is about understanding who the person is that you’re trying to hire.

What motivates them, what are their life goals? Does your company align with their mission? Because 10X-ers, uh, and the modern workforce they’re mission driven. They want to work on projects that align with their personal values and how they want the world to be, uh, improved by what it is that they do.

So it’s really, really important for companies to think from a bespoke mindset. Um, think about who the people are, and that trickles down into the management philosophy as well. You know, just requiring somebody to have the TPS reports on your desk by Monday and coming in over the weekend to get stuff done.

It doesn’t really work anymore. You have to have buy-in with the team. You have to set smart goals or OKR is things that we talk about in the book. You know, you really need, a mindset of getting everybody on the same page so that they can sort of focus on what it is that the company’s goals are at that moment in time.

Um, and so we spent, you know, probably about five chapters talking about a variety of different things that companies can do. Um, but it really boils down in essence to. You know, a people first approach managing to the person, not to a large group of people, uh, not to cogs. Right? So it’s personalization, I would say is the key for that first half of the book.

Related Read: 10 Best Workforce Management Software Of 2022

Tim Reitsma

It’s just sounds, it sounds, uh, easy and it sounds every company needs to be following this approach, but yet. I know companies, I won’t use names, but I do know companies who are just those cog in the wheel type environments, that zero X company, as you describe in the book. And so what are some practical steps an organization, um, needs to take?

Because you’re absolutely right. You know, uh, people are increasingly looking for. Positions looking for projects to work on that are aligned with their own personal values. They’re their own visions, their own missions. And so how do we find people or how do we create environments then that support? Um, so support, uh, a change.

Rishon Blumberg

Yeah. Well, I, you know, it is philosophically, it’s simple, but I think in practice, it’s incredibly hard as you point out. Um, 

Tim Reitsma


Rishon Blumberg

And it’s very, it requires a lot of intentionality, um, Right off the bat. I think it’s important for companies to identify what their values are and make those values, uh, put those values front and center, not just in sort of the written form that it’s actually physically front and center, which we do think is important, but that they actually practice that those values day in and day out, um, and review them and make sure that they are adhering to those values because at the end of the day, if the environment that you’re in the culture and the values of the company that you’re working with. Don’t really align with the rhetoric. Um, you’re never going to be able to sustain employee’s happiness. I just finished reading the book, um, about we work and it was, really interesting. I mean, we work is a wonderful business, but at some point along the way, they sort of got lost in believing their own BS, so to speak, and not truly living what it is that they were putting forth as their value proposition. Um, and we, we saw sort of similar things happen at Uber early on, you know, companies, even the best-intentioned forward-thinking companies, um, you know, get caught up in this. So it’s, from our standpoint, it starts with.

Defining the values and the culture that you want living those values in that culture day in and day out. And it has to start from the top. You can’t have the worker class of a company. Believing the, uh, the values, uh, and the culture, and then have management and tops, especially senior management, not really adhere to that.

That’ll never work. So it’s really a top-down philosophy. And it’s only going to work in companies where it starts at the top and it is constantly reinforced downward. Um, so I think that’s really the beginning of it. And it’s being, it’s about being very intentional. You know, you sorta don’t, you don’t accidentally stumble into these situations. It’s intentionally created. 

I’m curious if you have a company in mind that is, is kind of the gold standard. If you will, for a 10X company.

I don’t really have a specific company in mind. Um, we have worked with many of them over the years. Um, you know, we try to at our own company. Live these values day in and day out.

Um, and it’s, we don’t find it particularly hard. We’re a small company and I do think it’s easier to small company, but it’s still very intentional. Um, and by the way, you know, I don’t know how much we’ll get into sort of how the pandemic shifted any of these things. Cause it’s not. Drastic, but, within the confines of a pandemic and what we’re dealing with right now, intentionality becomes even more important because when you have a fully distributed team, as most companies do in order to keep that connection, that human connection, and to be able to live those values and keep the culture that you want, you have to have intentionality in how you.

Connect one-on-one with your employees, how they connect, uh, as a team so that they don’t lose a lot of that connection. Um, so no, no matter, you know, whether that, whether I did have a perfect company in mind, which I don’t, the key here is really intentionality and, um, and trying to understand the people who make up and comprise your workforce, who are they?

What do they need? What support can you provide for them? 

Tim Reitsma

Yeah, it’s uh, sorry to put you on the spot there. I am so intrigued by this because I’ve listened to a number of podcasts of companies and leaders who are aspiring. Um, but yet it’s, a little harder to put it into practice. I was talking with somebody at a company recently who they’re about a 60, 65 person company, um, distributed, thanks to the pandemic, but so distributed around the globe.

And the story is the leader recently. Um, not being prompted, just decided to call up everybody and stayed up late to, uh, to, um, to, I guess, combat the timezones, and, uh, got up early to make sure, you know, people weren’t staying up late to listen to the CEO, talk to them, but really the CEO just wanted to check in with people.

Rishon Blumberg


Tim Reitsma

And understand how people are feeling and doing, and then took a lot of those insights and fed it back to the people in culture and HR team and saying, Hey, like, this is, I think we need to be doing something in this particular area. And I love that because yeah, it takes time. You know, the CEO is busy and that time is valuable, but I love that he took the time to learn about how people are feeling.

And, and I think, you know, it doesn’t have to be something super prescriptive. It could just be getting on Slack or getting on a Google meet or picking up the old phone and, and having a conversation to start. 

Rishon Blumberg

I think that’s a fabulous example and it’s something that we have done since the pandemic is increased the number of one-on-ones that we have with our employees, um, you know, we only have about 12 employees. So for us, it’s not as much of a time constraint as somebody who’d have to do that 65 times, but there’s something really, really valuable in just connecting one-on-one and these one-on-ones are not specifically work-related.

You know, it can sort of be any topic and it can be a five-minute conversation. It can be a 30-minute conversation. Um, but this idea that you understand where your employees are at is central to what we’re talking about in the book. It is a people first management approach. And again, when you’re doing more with less, when these people are so vital, you know, it’s not like you’ve got a lot of employees who are just kind of fluff.

Um, I, I sort of use bank tellers and ATM’s as a good example of, you know, banks in the 1970s, 1960s, you know, the number of bank tellers and, and, uh, people that worked in those positions, customer facing positions were significantly larger than in the. Two thousand when you’ve got, you know, ATMs and automated tellers all over the place, you know, you can’t throw bodies at those problems anymore.

So the people that you have that are on your frontline, um, especially innovating and creating the technology that supports your company, they just have to be great. And in order for them to become great within your organization, you have to understand who they are and what they care about? 

Tim Reitsma

Yeah. In the book, you talk about zero X management to 10X management is, and I find this.

It really intriguing because zero is, doesn’t learn much about employees and can’t customize processes. I’ve worked at organizations that are exactly that. And then the 10X is constantly learning about employees. Getting clear, understanding of motivations were closely to solicit feedback. It’s more than just managing that day to day.

It’s really understanding the motivations of, uh, of your team as an individual. 

Rishon Blumberg

Yeah, no, that is exactly right. Yeah. Um, and look, we understand a huge companies. This can be a real challenge. Um, but that’s why the top-down philosophy is so vital because if that is stressed, um, you know, let’s say there’s a team of, you know, 30 or 40 people with a manager.

It’s going to be difficult for the manager to know everything about that one person, but we kind of view the role of the manager. As less of a micromanager, which I think is very often what sort of older school companies view as management. It’s like, yeah, we’re going to micromanage these things. I’m going to just own this whole thing.

Um, for us, it’s less about micromanagement and it’s more about personality management. Um, when you have 10X-ers or when you have exceptional people on your team, by and large, you kind of want to get out of their way and let them do what they do best. But in order to do that, you have to figure out what it is, what environment, what needs do they have, what needs do they need to have met in order for them to put those best feet forward?

Um, you know, in some cases, and this really did change with the pandemic, but in some cases it was like, okay, you want to work off site? For the next week and just hunker down and get into a flow state where you don’t have to be in meetings and you don’t have to be interrupted. Um, and you want to work at odd hours.

You know you want to be coding from 9:00 PM to five in the morning. Fine. No problem. You know, a lot of companies have problems with simply granting those kinds of requests. Like, no, you’ve gotta be in this meeting. Um, and I think. We’ve got some, you know, really sort of marquee leaders with Steve jobs who said famously, you know, I don’t hire brilliant people so I can tell them what to do.

I hire brilliant people so they can tell me what to do. And then you have Elon Musk who recently, you know, probably in the last year or so, uh, put out a memo saying if you don’t think you need to be in a meeting, I want you to get up and leave that meeting. You don’t need to be at any meeting, you don’t feel as beneficial or necessary for you.

You know, those two philosophies I think, are really central to what it is. We’re talking about brilliant people, um, high contributors, like 10X-ers. They need the space and flexibility to do what they do best without being micromanaged. And they also need to get into the flow state. Which we talk about in the book, this place where you’re not disturbed and you can really just focus in microfocus in on what you’re doing.

Um, and when you get into the flow state, you really create much more effectively. And this is where the similarity, I think, between tech talent and entertainers and musicians in particular, where we see a lot of overlap, this idea of creating in the flow state is something that really comes from the arts.

Um, and I think translates very nicely into tech. Um, and you know, so those are some of the things, that are really vital in what a modern manager has to do. It’s creating the environment and getting out of the way. 

Tim Reitsma

Yeah, it’s, uh, I’ve heard companies that say, Oh, you can work whenever you want. It doesn’t matter what your hours are, as long as you’re at the meetings during regular work hours. 

Rishon Blumberg


Tim Reitsma

And so it’s, uh, it kind of contradicts itself. And, I’ve also heard a story recently of a top tech talent, um, person who was looking for, he was looking at a contract. And they’re in that contract were core work hours and she said, but I don’t want to work, core work hours. I want it to find my own core work hours. You know, there’s stone and mountains here, I’m in Vancouver, British Columbia. I want to go, I want to go skiing and everyone else is working and I’ll do my coding at night and, uh, and ultimately wasn’t able to take the contract.

And so it’s, uh, it’s a real big shift and I think the pandemic has really expedited the shift and really challenged the philosophy of how we work. 

Rishon Blumberg

Oh yeah. I mean, I think in, you know, if there is any kind of silver lining to the pandemic, it is this realization that, uh, not only can work continue when you have a distributed team but in some cases, it can be even better.

Uh, more productive when you have a distributed team for exactly those reasons, the incessant meetings, the, you know, people dropping in your office or stopping by your desk and interrupting that ability to work. And also the pressure that it adds to an individual contributor to have to deal with their quote unquote life around the typical work schedule.

Um, it just works a lot better when you have the flexibility. The other thing I’ve learned though is that there’s a big difference in choosing to work remote and being forced to work remote. Um, you know, just a big difference. Like I, I was all for remote, um, and I would work remote one day a week prior to the pandemic.

And now it’s sort of flipped. I’ll go into the office maybe once a week just to sort of see what’s going on. Not that there’s anybody else there, but just for the routine. Um, I don’t love sort of being forced to work from home four or five days a week or six days a week. Um, So, you know, that is a challenge, but I do think the pandemic, if there’s a silver lining, it’s really woken up companies to this reality of remote work.

Um, and that was a little bit of the, again, that’s sort of the Genesis of writing this book. It was that we were having so much trouble getting companies to understand that where they get the most benefit is not from finding the best and brightest necessarily in their backyard, but finding the best and brightest period wherever they may be to solve this specific problem that they might have. Um, and you know, I think the pandemic really helped drive that idea home. 

Tim Reitsma

Yeah. It’s true. It’s even a company that I’m involved in. It’s we’re able to now expand where we look for talent instead of the constraints of a specific location.

Rishon Blumberg


Tim Reitsma

And it’s, we’re working with a company now who found an amazing talent in France. And then the question is, well, how are we going to employ this person? Well,  there’s ways that’s something that’s really straightforward. That’s easy to do. We could figure that out. Um, but if that’s where your talent is, if that’s the skillset you need to continue to grow your business.

You know, that, that old notion of, well, we don’t have an entity or we can’t hire in that jurisdiction or wherever it’s almost out the window and it’s really forcing organizations to shift. So. But, uh, you know, we, we’ve talked about a bit about companies and a bit about management, but what about the individual?

And so that individual who is on that path, or striving to be 10X, or is that 10X talent? Um, how does it, maybe that has the market shifted because of the pandemic and is there, um, I guess more negotiating power or more in the hands, in control of that 10X-ers? 

Rishon Blumberg

Yeah. I mean, I don’t know that the pandemic has necessarily shifted this side of the equation, all that much, uh, in technology, in particular, there’s such a massive supply, and demand imbalance between the number of needs within the marketplace for sophisticated talent and the number of sophisticated people that are out there.

So I, I do think that it is a seller’s market. Um, On the employee side, meaning that they, if you are an in demand talent, you have the leverage to really negotiate more effectively than I think you ever have before. And that’s again where the similarity with entertainment and sports, um, comes into play because, you know, if you’ve got the LeBron James, um, of tech talent, you want to give them what they need in order to come work with your organization because they can make, um, you know, unprecedented uh, progress and add certain value to your company. So I think that there’s this element, um, and really in the backdrop of what we do at 10X management with the tech talent that we represent is we really. Take all of the business elements off of their plate and free them up to do what it is they do best, which is innovating and developing.

Um, and that was really the sort of the key shift in the marketplace when we came into it, that we sort of brought to the marketplace, which is this idea that this kind of talent needs the same kind of representation that LeBron James needs. Um, if LeBron James had to negotiate all of his own contracts and deal with all of the business elements that surround a professional athlete. You know, he had to deal with his own accounting and his own investments and his own, you know, travel arrangements. If he didn’t have these teams of professionals around him, he would not be the exceptional basketball player that he is today, uh, and the same applies for any individual.

And so what we talk about in the second half of the book is really. You know, if you want to be 10X, first of all, you have to be a lifelong learner. It’s unclear what future skills are going to be necessary. But what we do know is the flexibility to learn whatever those skills are, is going to be paramount.

That’s the most important skill you need to have is sort of this willingness to continue to learn in the face of an ever-changing landscape. Um, and part of learning is getting feedback. Uh, and sometimes that’s feedback from a coworker feedback from a manager who’s, uh, you know, who, uh, manages your team.

Um, but it can also be from people outside of your organization, just people in your life who have a, sort of a skin in the game. Somebody who cares about your wellbeing. Um, and I don’t necessarily mean a parent or family member. Although family members can play this role, but it can be a mentor. It could be, you know, a professor you worked with in college, you had a connection with somebody that can give you some outside perspective.

Um, not just on who you are, but sort of what the environment is that you’re living in. You know, this is all part of the learning process and having somebody in your life that you can find, um, who has skin in the game who can play what we call the third party effect. Um, that’s kind of the role that the agent plays for a while we play for tech talent, but you know, an agent would play for like Tom Cruise where they can negotiate. On behalf of Tom Cruise, far more effectively than Tom Cruise can negotiate on behalf of themselves. It just doesn’t work as well to say I’m a great actor. No, I’m the best actor. I’m going to be the best actor for this role.

It doesn’t work as well as somebody else singing those praises for you. Um, you know, so as you sort of developing your career, look for those people in your life that can play that role, um, empower your manager to play that role. A great manager fights for their. Uh, the people on their team, whether it’s getting a raise, whether it’s getting a promotion, whether it’s working on a certain project, um, you know, those are the things that are crucial.

Tim Reitsma

I love the concept of getting feedback. It’s a previous guest calls feedback as a gift, and sometimes we need to go and solicit that gift and get that feedback. But, uh, but it’s so important to our individual growth, our company growth, but as an individual, how do we know where we need to focus if we’re just listening, you know, to almost to our own narrative, but getting feedback and soliciting feedback from those.

And again, I love that concept, that third party effect, or that the people who have skin in the game, who care, um, It’s so important, but it definitely has to be rooted in trust. And so let’s maybe kind of talk a little bit about how trust and 10X, um, kind of go hand in hand. 

Rishon Blumberg

Yeah. I mean, you know, I think that trust is, um, so much more than 10X.

It is the core of everything we do both interpersonally and professionally. Uh, trust is one of those things, and this is the cliche. It takes a lifetime to build and a second to break. Um, trust is something that you have to constantly keep working on and you demonstrate trust as a manager 

By fighting for you, you know, fighting for your charges, the people on your team. Um, sometimes if you forgo something to benefit your team, that helps demonstrate trust when you protect the people in your team. Um, we talk about, I don’t actually know if we use this phrase in the book, but this concept of a blame thrower, somebody who’s always constantly blaming somebody else.

That is not a way to get trust. Um, trust is that thing, that fabric, that binds together people, um, either who are working together, who are in the trenches together, in war, in reality, and in metaphorically, um, if you don’t trust the people that are around you, you’re never going to, your company is never going to achieve 10Xness.

Um, and I think that that holds true for interpersonal relationships as well. It’s really the foundation of our entire society. So you trust, I think it’s kind of important. 

Tim Reitsma

Yeah, just a small concept. It’s a, we’ve talked about this at a facilitated this concept of trust in organizations and men, people have vastly different interpretations or understanding of what trust is?

We could do a, I’m sure we could spend hours just talking about the definition and is it earned as a gained, but it really isn’t. The concept of 10X, you know, as an individual, as an organization, we need to have trust. We need to trust each other. We need to trust our management. Um, but as an organization, we need to trust our people.

So in a nine to five is not doesn’t equal trust. And I saw a headline of an article, uh, and I hadn’t read it yet, but it just came through this morning about how someone was working in an organization? Uh, the headline was so-so, it was paid for 10 years, but didn’t show up to work. And so, you know, just because you’ve got nine to five hours, doesn’t mean, um, that ultimately builds trust.

We, you know, we don’t know if they’re being productive, whether it’s nine to five or wherever they are so it’s that foundation. 

Rishon Blumberg


Tim Reitsma

I think as we kind of wrap up. I love the book. I love the way it’s laid out. You know, the two parts about the organization and about 10X talent, the individual.

And I love that. There’s just helpful summaries at the end of every chapter, but also you talk about zero to five to 10. Is that almost like a continuum, right? That’s what we’re striving to be. And so if somebody is listening to this podcast, somebody is intrigued about the book, you know, what does one or two big takeaways that, uh, that they’ll get from reading this book?

Rishon Blumberg

Well, I do think feedback, uh, I would say the two big things for the individual is the desire and willingness to be a continuous learner, a lifelong learner, and the importance of feedback. I think if you just take those two things away from the, this podcast or the book, I think you will benefit greatly from it.

Um, I think people underestimate. The need to be a lifelong learner. Um, and part of lifelong learning is the process of feedback. You can’t truly learn if you’re not getting feedback, um, of your work product or your actions from those around you and those that are most affected by it. Um, my partner even goes so far as to do anonymous feedback from everybody in his life, um, which can be.

Daunting. I don’t quite understand how he does and processes it be. What did you feel? This is incredibly important. Um, so I don’t know that I would necessarily go that far, but you have to find those people in your life whom you trust, whom you can get honest feedback from, um, and be able to take that feedback and utilize it to improve yourself again, both personally and professionally.

Tim Reitsma

Such great advice. Great idea. There. Um, yeah, just the idea of soliciting anonymous feedback. It makes me nervous. 

Rishon Blumberg


Tim Reitsma

But I do like that idea because, um, it’s what we do with that feedback really defines, helps define us and helps us learn and grow and pivot and change. And those people that we trust and love and care.

Um, Uh, that we’re soliciting this feedback from, um, it’s so important. It’s so powerful. I think after this podcast, I might reach out to a good friend of mine and just solicit some feedback.

Rishon Blumberg

There you go.

Tim Reitsma

From how my week went and, uh, and, uh, and where I need to just to learn and grow. And again, if we treat feedback as a gift, as an opportunity to grow, uh, If we reframe it from, oh, I’m getting feedback as a negative and treat it as, yeah, this is an opportunity it’ll almost inherently turn us into those lifelong learners.

Yup. Yeah. 

Rishon Blumberg

And I think just the action of being willing, being vulnerable enough to ask for feedback, I think, in and of itself learning experience and sort of sends the signal that you want something, Right?You’re not just complacent and just sort of resting on your laurels what you do is good enough.

You want to be better and people help people who want to be better. Um, it’s a way of sort of manifesting your own success by asking for help soliciting things from people. Um, you know, it shows that you care. 

Tim Reitsma

Yeah. It’s, uh, reminds me of, uh, of someone that, uh, I’ve been coaching. And at first it was, you know. This individual just really didn’t care what other people were thinking about them. And to now, to a point where they are soliciting that feedback and their growth has been exponential over the last or last couple of months. That’s great. A real change in them. So, I appreciate that. And yes, that’s a couple of great pieces of advice.

Uh, I encourage people to pick up the books. It’s found wherever you find your books, at Amazon, um, you name it. It’s a great book and I encourage everyone to read it. So Rishon, thank you so much for coming on the podcast today. 

Rishon Blumberg

You’re very welcome.

Tim Reitsma

It’s a pleasure. 

Rishon Blumberg

Thank you so much for having me before I jump, I did want to mention, we created a fun sort of 10X quiz where you can take it as an individual to see sort of where you are on that spectrum.

Um, and you can also take it on behalf of your company to see where they are on that spectrum. And you can find the quiz at, um, and my contact and my partner’s contact are also there as well. 

That’s great. That’s a, fantastic resources to be found on your website.

And again, thanks for coming on. And for those who are listening, really encourage you to go and solicit some feedback today from those who you trust. And turn that into an opportunity to grow. 

So, thanks again for coming on Rishon, thanks to those who are listening and as always, we’d love to feel your feedback. So, feel free to reach out at and let us know what you think of this episode, as well as the content that we are producing. So with that, have a great day everyone. Take care.

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