Leadership Redefined: How To Bring Change Through The Art Of Community With Charles Vogl
When we unite our goal and society, we hold the potential of sparking a revolution, improving lives, and forging a planet where everyone can use their talents to make a significant difference. Today’s special guest is Charles Vogl—an advisor, speaker, and bestselling author renowned for his work with Google and other global organizations. Charles unveils the secret to driving efficient and sustainable change through the power of gathering people around shared values. He illuminates the Superman philosophy—a belief that individual brilliance and hard work alone can single-handedly make a significant impact. However, he challenges this notion, highlighting the importance of community and collective effort in driving lasting change. Charles also introduces transactional and non-contract relationships, their profound implications on community dynamics, and their potential for creating impactful change. With his experience as a thought leader in the Google School for Leaders, Charles illustrates how cultivating common values and nurturing authentic relationships within communities can unleash a powerful potential for constructive change. Tune in now and learn how collaborative efforts can change the world.
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Leadership Redefined: How To Bring Change Through The Art Of Community With Charles Vogl
It is my honor to introduce you to my guest, Charles Vogl. He is an advisor, speaker, and author of three books, including the international bestseller The Art of Community. He works with Google in several capacities, including as a trusted thought leader for the Google School for Leaders, which develops over 20,000 Google managers. His work is used to advise and develop leadership and programs worldwide within organizations, including Airbnb, LinkedIn, Twitch, Amazon, ServiceNow, Meetup.com, Wayfair, and the list goes on.
As a young man, he served in the US Peace Corps in Sub-Saharan Africa, where he worked on justice for human rights abuse and provided rural healthcare for his host village. Later, he created a documentary film company in New York City. His PBS projects won numerous international awards, including the Amnesty International Movies That Matter Award. His experience taught him the importance of and how to bring people together around shared values and purpose. I'm honored to welcome you to the show, and I'm looking forward to our conversation.
I'm delighted to be invited, Tony.
We are going to have a great conversation. I'm looking forward to sharing the journey that brought you to where you are making such a big impact in the world. As your story shared in the intro, there is a lot that you have done that has brought you to this point. We are going to share your story through what we call Flashpoints, which are flashpoints in your journey that have ignited your gifts into the world. You are going to have some great nuggets to share. Charles, I'm going to turn it over to you. As you are sharing your flashpoints, pause along the way, and let's see what themes are showing up. With that, please take it away.
One of the flashpoints that came to my mind when you spoke to me earlier, Tony, is when I came out of college and wanted to do something in my life that mattered. At one point, I felt a spiritual call to go volunteer with a ministry called the Catholic Worker. To be clear, I'm not Catholic. The Catholic worker is what they call themselves a radical homelessness ministry. That was started in the early 20th century.
Part of the radicalness of it is they take the theology of Daily Bread seriously. If and when they get large donations, and they don't need all that money on any given day, they don't save it for next week, next quarter, or next year. They look to see if there are hungry and cold people now and spend that money understanding that people are hungry and cold now. Another way they are radical is that the homeless are invited to live in the same building that we volunteers lived in. It is this idea is that people need a safe and warm place to sleep. We have it. We offer it. I volunteered there.
It was profoundly uncomfortable because it is not that people are homeless and need help, but there is a lot of addiction and mental illness that goes on. When you volunteer full-time and live in a place where there is much mental illness and addiction, there are precautions and safety issues that need to be handled. That was all new to me. One of the other things that disturbed me was the amount of sickness. That was disturbing and sometimes disgusting to me. Part of my growth in that time as a young man was learning that this is what I had to confront in order to be effective where there was a real need.
I mentioned this to you because one of the things that stunned me was where we could go and how much we could do because we were in the community. There was never a time when I was doing it by myself trying to solve homelessness, hunger, or people who had deep mental health issues, but we were together in that. I remember that stuck with me. People have been ministering where there have been needs for thousands of years. That was one chapter of my life experiencing that.
Subsequent to that, I served in the US Peace Corps in Northern Zambia. To give you a sense of context, we now know that there was a war and genocide going North of us in Congo-Zaire. That was not revealed until I got back from Peace Corps. There was a lot of tumult in the area. There were hunger issues and instability consistent with that going on close by.
There were also some human rights abuses in my area that disturbed me. I tried to work on those. I thought I was 100% ineffective. I will cut the part where I came back to the United States. I felt largely burned out and cynical because I tried to work in healthcare. I thought I was ineffective. I tried to work on human rights things. I thought it was 100% effective. I had a college education and a US passport. I spoke English. I had, by the standards of Zambian Villages, an infinite amount of money, and I still seemed to be able to do nothing.
That is when I came back to the United States, burned down and cynical. At one point, I started making a film with friends which would turn into a PBS film. In the beginning, it was a bunch of punks with cameras trying to make a film. It was difficult because I didn't have any skills, resources, or access to the professional network I needed.
It was at that point that a mentor of mine explained to me that I had been living my life with what I'm going to call a Superman philosophy, which was I thought, “I'm smart. I'm willing to work hard. I want to make a difference. If I try to master all of these skills I need to do and all these challenges, I can make a difference and be important. Something good will come of this.”
What was coming of it is I was burning myself out. There were things I could point to that were worth talking about, but I was burning myself out. He explained to me that what I need to get good at is inviting people to join me around what I now would call shared values and purpose. When I get good at that, it almost doesn't matter how good I am at all the other stuff. If I try to be good at everything else, but I'm not good at this other part, bringing people together, and that I'm going to burn out all the time. That is predictable.
There was a math equation. I said, “Chief Charles is working on these things that you think are important.” Let's pretend every week you invite ten people to join you. It is not even two people a day. Let's pretend I'm 90% ineffective. 9 out of 10 people I invite to join me at some level say, “I'm never going to help you.” That would mean only one person a week. I say, “Yes, I will participate in that in some way.” His point was, “In one year, it will be you and a group of 50 people working on something,” and that is profound. That is if you are 90% ineffective.
That is where I started growing in my own leadership and growing in understanding what it would take to make a bigger difference in the world. I didn't know that was what was happening. Our first film premiered in Europe. It won the Amnesty International Award. That was the first time I worked that got international attention. When that happened, we as a team got invited around the world. I was secretly working on a labor project because there were many cases of abuse of immigrant Americans in the New York labor market. I invited people to help me with that. That got some attention.
I went to grad school. I studied Religion, Philosophy, and Ethics in grad school and, eventually, Business. I was there for a long time. One of the great privileges of being in grad school was I got to look at spiritual traditions that have been able to stick together for far more than 1,000 years, like Jains, a sect of Islam and a sect of Christianity. I was moved by the rituals and the continuation of so much culture so that you and I, Tony, can get on planes now, and we can visit temples and communities around the world that can directly track their lineage for over 1,000 years.
We are going to smash cut until my wife is in tech. We came out to California so she could work in her field of tech. I was waking up in the morning. I was in California. I have a degree in Religion. I had a former life experience as a PBS human rights filmmaker. I didn't want to be a filmmaker. I'm not going to lead a spiritual tradition. I didn't know how to participate in the economy.
At one point, I had lunch with a friend named Kevin Lin. Kevin, at that time, had fairly founded a company that is now called Twitch. For those who don't know, Twitch is the largest platform where gamers come together with video content. At the time, Twitch had only 50 million users, which I thought was a lot. Kevin said that he expected them to grow a lot. True. They would eventually grow to have a quarter billion users, but it was only 50 million at the time.
We were having lunch. Over lunch, he said to me, “Charles, we have 50 million users. I think we are going to grow a lot. What I want to get better at is connecting the people who are already members of this community on Twitch, 50 million of them.” As those words came out of his mouth, my head almost exploded with all of the ideas I wanted to share with him, not realizing where they were coming from. I went home to write what I thought was going to be a ten-page whitepaper. I would give it to Kevin, put it on the internet somewhere, and move on with my life. When I started to write that, more came out.
What I came to recognize was I had been several years of my life, practicing how to bring people together on shared values and purpose. I had formally studied dozens of communities that had done the practices that bring people together around shared values and purpose, even through difficult and existentially threatening times. When I was done writing the book, The Art of Community, I shared it with the first publisher. The first publisher that saw it and wanted to publish it. The book is around the world. I hope that is helpful.
Let's pause right there and reflect a bit on what you shared because there is so much power in your story in the sense that a lot of people experience that overwhelm of like, “I want to do it all. I want to have an impact, but I see all this stuff that is happening. I don't feel like I'm being effective.” I said overwhelmed because it feels that way often where we feel like, “I'm going to throw my hands up because this is not working.”
Once you find the way to focus that energy in a way that is productive and realize that every little bit of focus that you put in the right direction and get the right community involved, that is how big things get done. I'm reminded of Margaret Mead's quote, “Never underestimate the power of a group to get things done.” There is something about that that has driven you throughout this process of getting where you are and finding the next part of this to say, “How to use all of that experience in a powerful way.” Once you have learned the gift and secret that works for you, it is trying to apply it in a way that is useful to others in a way they can consume it. Would you agree with that reflection of how that transpired for you?
The chapter of my life is now being an example to others and teaching others what I think of as old time-tested principles that are effective in any era. For some reason, in our era, they sound new and fresh, which drives me insane. I'm invited to teach people with a lot of responsibility and global influence. I'm teaching the most ancient ideas.
I can't go into detail about that now. That is why I have the work. I don't know if this is true, but I like to think that everything I teach is an old idea. When I do sit with rabbis who have a lot of experience or people who have a deep connection with ancient spiritual traditions, they recognize everything I'm talking about. I have distilled it and translated it in a way relevant to people who aren't spending that time and deep in those traditions. That is a general oversee.
One of the things that I know is in contrast to traditional leadership in my work is I'm teaching people how to bring people together and get things done. We will talk later about what things get done in non-transactional relationships. Transactional relationships can be great. I have a transactional relationship with my dentist. Thank goodness he takes care of me. When we handle the challenges of life, when partners get sick, kids get scared, and neighborhoods burn down, what you don't want is an infinite number of transaction relationships waiting for you to turn on. You want people willing to pick up your kid from the hospital when you can't be there and you can trust them that your kid is going to get home.
When we handle the challenges of life, what we don't want is an infinite number of transactions waiting for us to turn on.
When we look inside organizations, there may be a transaction relationship with your organization, but inside a team or across teams, there can't be a transaction every time. If you depend on that, there is little or almost no cooperation. I have noticed the organizations that turn to me are taking on high-stakes challenges, which is code for people die when you don't get it right in a dynamic context, which means if you are using a 2019 manual, you will fail. In those industries, we need to have people on teams and across teams that have relationships that are non-transactional. For the people who talk to me, when they are wrong, people die.
There are two things I'm hearing from this. I love what you are sharing. When you say transactional, the flip side of transactional would be not intuitive knowing but a general understanding of where we are headed and what we need to do. They are following those principles to get things done because they are aligned on shared purpose and values. One thing that I'm hearing is a sense of like, “What is in it for me? How does this align with my role in this big picture?” Instead, they drop what they are doing and do what needs to be done.
It is a little bit different when we have a non-transactional relationship. I see there is a way I can be helpful to you. I'm not calculating my return. I may understand my role in it. If you are on fire, I don't scroll quickly through what is in it for me to tell Tony he is on fire or put Tony out. We have a shared value of keeping us safe. I take actions consistent with that. I don't say, “Now that I put you on fire this time, Tony, you owe me X.” That is not how that works.
Among industries that have turned to me is healthcare. Nobody can run a hospital in 2023 like they did in 2019, not the least of which is staffing doesn't look anything the same. We won't even talk about how burned out people are. Tony, when you go to the emergency room, you want an emergency room team that isn't constantly calculating between each other, like, “What's in it for me? How am I going to maximize this relationship?” You want people who share the value of, “Let's make sure our patients get better, they are safe, and we handle it.” There needs to be enough trust with each other already in place before Tony shows up built for that to happen. That is how my work makes a difference.
It is building the community and the bridges well before it is needed to make sure that there is not going to be a fall down of responsibilities when the time comes. One thing I also wanted to share is this sense that it is a lost art of community building, but I feel like we have lost ourselves along this way of making sure we can continue to build community.
I love this aspect that you shared. This has been around for a long time, but we sometimes lose focus, especially in this society on how important it is in that community. I want to bring you back to your story again and ask. This is the work you are doing now, but what were some of the moments along the way that have challenged you to say, “Is this going to be my path forward?” Were there any other flashpoints that you want to share?
I will share this fun anecdote. My first book came out in 2016. My publisher had set up some visits to bookstores. I went to a bookstore. It was about an hour and a half drive from my home. Because of traffic, I had to leave early. I wanted to make sure I wasn't late. I left earlier than that. If you add it all up between the drive time and the buffer time, it was a half-a-day thing to speak for free at a bookstore.
I got there. They set up folding chairs in the back of this bookstore. My book had come out. Nobody heard of me. There were eleven people in the room. At that point, I had been guest lecturing at Yale for some years. There, on occasion, people would fill the auditorium and sit in the aisles. Here I was with eleven people in folding chairs at the back of a bookstore that I was not paid to speak at. I had driven a meaningful amount of time to get there.
After I had talked for an hour about my book, we went to do the book signing, which is part of the book signing experience. I believe six people bought books, or maybe a few more. I remember that it was about that number because the manager of the store was excited that I had sold over half the people who had shown up. I was about excited about this as you think I would by selling something along seven books.
There were more than seven books there. I made a mistake as a new author by asking the store manager, “Do you want me to sign the rest of these books so that you will have signed copies of the book?” He emphatically waved his hands in front of my face while he shouted, “No.” He was convinced that if I signed the books, he couldn't return them to the publisher. At that moment, I was not yet a big enough intellectual star to sign my own books at my own book signing without devaluing the new books in the store.
If you want to talk about starting at the beginning, that was an actual moment in my life. At this point, I had already been an international filmmaker, flown around the world, and had awards for that. I had already gotten a fancy degree at a fancy school. I already had adventures in the Peace Corps, and here I was, told not to sign my own books in a bookstore I had driven to with my books.
I talked to my publisher. He said, “They will take the books back if the author signs them. That was wrong, but you get the idea.” It is a humble thing to say I have this thing to say that I have this sense our culture in our time needs to hear. In the beginning, people don't know what you have to say or don't take you seriously. Things have changed, Tony, but that was the beginning. The question was, “Do I want to make this journey where this is as successful as it looks like all this effort is taking me?”
In the beginning, people don't know what you have to say or don't take you seriously.
I got to a point where people want me to talk about community, but often they want me to talk about using different words and manipulation. How can we as an organization get more productivity out of people? How can we get our customers to spend more time and more money? How can we get more attention from people if we build a community? There could be places where those are legitimately moral endeavors. That is not my work.
We will go back to you, Tony, showing up in the emergency department and bleeding. You don't want some expert coaching the hospital on how they can get more attention from the ED team. You want someone who has connected them in a way that when you show up bleeding, they are on it. They are together. There was this gut check. The gut check is, “How much do I want to play into what people say they want into what our era needs?”
Let me provide some context. The latest research shows that for decades, Americans are becoming more isolated and lonely to the point now that the latest research shows half of Americans do not have four friends. That sounds bad. It is worse. The research shows that 49% of Americans have three friends or less. Roughly 1 out of 6 Americans has no friends. The loneliest generation or era looks like 18 to 24-year-olds, 80% of whom say they are lonely. The reason that is startling is, up until now, it has been rightfully understood that the loneliest generation in any era is the most elderly. Their mobility is impaired, and their friends are dying. That is no longer true.
I know that people who are entrepreneurs read your blog, Tony. This generation is the people we are hiring and working with. As a general understanding, Americans do not have the skills and are not in the contexts that allow us to make the relationships we need and want. If we in our leadership roles are not facilitating that in some informed, wisened way, it is not happening. Tony, you don't want to go into an emergency room where nobody is invested such that people can have those relationships they need to be effective, especially when lives are staked.
It becomes transactional. It becomes like, “If I'm not in a relationship with the people around me or have a community with the people around me, what is in it for me?”
The research is clear. My favorite writer on this is Marissa King, who was at Yale School of Management and is now at Wharton. She has written in her book, Social Chemistry, how it is obvious that when there are relationships in an organization, they call them friendships and all kinds of better things happen. It is not rocket science.
If you have friends at work, you have someone to call when you have a question instead of making a big mistake that burns things down. When you see something that is illegal and is going to create many problems for the organization, and you have a friend, you can say, “We need to stop that.” When things get tough, instead of not coming to work or quitting, you come back to work because your friends are there. It is not rocket science.
What we need to understand leadership roles is we need to create contexts where we facilitate those friendships getting made so that those friendships are in place to create all those benefits. We know that Americans largely don't have many friendships. We can't assume that they are being made at work because that is what happens at work.
What we need to understand in leadership roles is we need to create contexts where we facilitate friendships getting made. Those friendships are in place to create all those benefits.
I'm glad you brought this up because this is what we need to be talking about these days. This is such a powerful topic because it is front and center. It is affecting many people. I love that here you are, this person who wrote a book and felt like, “No one is resonating with this.” You pushed on. You realize, “As vulnerable as it may feel, this isn't going to resonate with people.” You know you have to do it because it is the right thing to do. It is the right thing to get out there.
For anyone who writes a book, it is vulnerable, especially when it is something that is in your heart's purpose. You put it out there, and you realize that you have to do it because it is going to make an impact. It is going to impact lives. What I value about what you shared is this sense of persevering in the face of potentially uncomfortable situations you might have faced personally and realizing this work is part of going after a big problem that you can't do alone. In other words, you need a community to help approach this big issue. You are almost at the forefront of an army trying to help people solve this issue.
When the book first came out, and I talked about community, people assumed it was talking about singing kumbaya on a beach. Even before the pandemic, there was a shift. That is when Google approached me in 2019. We created programming that would affect much of the company. The pandemic hit, and now there is a seeming roar. I can't go on LinkedIn without discovering somebody else’s declares themselves a community expert, which tells me there is a hunger for that. People are trying to step into it.
Much of what I see people say when they say they are community experts is marketing. I will make it clear. I'm not against marketing. I'm against people who say they are community experts and what they are trying to do is market. I know how many communities you want to join in 2024 where their number one is to get your money from you to them.
It comes back to what you were saying earlier, which is, “If the sole intention is to get people to be more productive, it should be more of the purpose of serving the people in that community and helping them to do what they need to do.”
Productivity may go up when you have a stronger community. It will go up because you reduce your accidents. You people are more competent when they have other resources to pull upon. We call it the Informal Network of Communication. Your engagement goes up, and productivity can go way up. We can't effectively invite people to participate in something that will connect others with the sole intention of extracting because they, like us, are going to have as much interest in that as you have in joining the community wants to extract from you.
The intention is what makes the difference.
All communities have to serve at least three needs. The one is freedom. You need to have the freedom to decline. Two, you need to have the freedom to connect with other people, which is to say, “It is not all thinking or doing all the time.” You are doing activities to connect. The last one is they need to help you grow in some way you want to grow. If you are in the emergency department, you have been trained for years, you show up every day to save lives, and you are being connected to your coworkers to help you do that, you have grown in that way.
Charles, I can think of many different directions we can go in, but I'm inclined to dig into you a bit more and find out some of the things that you have learned about yourself on this journey because you have done and shared a lot of what has happened along this way. What are some lessons you have learned about yourself that you think would be helpful to share in this moment?
One of the things that I'm wrestling with now is relating to my work in a more generous way. What I mean by that is I have noticed that there is so much to do that can be done, should be done, and some fictional version of Charles would have already done. I noticed that I approached my work protecting myself and not being overwhelmed by it instead of diving in with glee, doing the stuff that I can do.
Part of it came from when I was a filmmaker. There are a lot of deadlines in filmmaking. There are shoot days. All this stuff has to be prepared for a shoot day, including contracts, insurance, and permits. I was overwhelmed by it. It was exhausting. I'm at this chapter of my career. I'm like, “If we are doing this thing, I don't want to be overwhelmed by it.”
I have learned that there is a balance, almost a friction going on with me of longing to want to do more, make a big difference and reach bigger audiences. This fear that endeavors are going to take over my life and I won't have control. I have to learn to recognize that, balance it, and do what I can. Often, I tell myself and remind my team, “We are going to boil the water in front of us because we can't boil the ocean, and nobody ever has. Now we boil the water in front of us.”
I love that lesson because there is something about this that comes back to where you started and this sense of maybe feeling a little overwhelmed like, “How do I eat an elephant?” It is one bite at a time. I have to be grateful for what that bite that I can take out of this challenge that I'm after and know that as I continue, I will get further along and I will make more of an impact. Because I haven't taken the whole thing down doesn't mean that I'm not making a contribution to something bigger.
Having humility in the next step is a big part of the success I have experienced. It may seem like nothing, but that is the next thing to do.
As I share this with you, it is one of those messages that I always have to take for myself as well. Many of us need a sense of humility in saying, “Have compassion for yourself. Realizing that because you are not where you want to be doesn't mean you should give up and continue to see where you have come from.” I want to respect your time, but is there anything that you want to share that we haven't talked about, the movement to make communities come together?
The idea I can leave with those who are paying attention still is this. What research shows is the loneliest era of at least American history and probably world history. We are all surrounded by people who want to know people who are good at bringing people together. I already share that 80% of young Americans 18 to 24 are lonely. The numbers aren't wildly better for other age groups. When we understand how much hunger there is around us that we invite people to come together, it freezes up to make those invitations because we know people are desperate to get those invitations.
We're in the loneliest era in American history. We are all surrounded by people who want to know people who are good at bringing people together.
Opening the aperture a little bit more and seeing who you could invite into the circle is a great thing to think about. Charles, my last question for you is what I ask every guest. I'm intrigued by what you are going to share because I can only imagine it is going to be interesting. What are 1 or 2 books that have had an impact on you and why?
One of the books that came to mind when you prompted me earlier is The Mystic Heart by Wayne Teasdale. It was written in the mid to late 20th century. He was a monk. In that book, amongst things he does is he looks at five old mystic traditions from major spiritual traditions and shows how they are similar and where they overlap. It was Wayne who introduced me to the idea that when we look at spiritual traditions that have stayed together for a long time, they come together around head, heart, and hand, is how he calls it.
This idea is that it can't all be intellectual. There needs to be an emotional component. It can't be just emotional. There needs to be a doing component. I find that helpful when I'm advising leadership because some people think, “We are going to bring it together. It will be a symposium. We are going to do a TED Talk event.” That has all head. There is nothing wrong with the head. That can be great, but it is maybe 1/3 of what we need to do.
There will be the emotional part where we are connecting around things we care about and sharing what we care about. I can't be thinking about it. At the end of the day, when we come together, we hit a point where now we need to do something together. It can't be sitting around, drinking coffee, and talking about how great we are. Wayne Teasdale is the person who introduced that.
The other book that came to mind is The Trusted Advisor by David Maister and others. That book helped me understand that when I see right away what is missing, and someone wants advice on that, I need to respect that they need to hear the advice they don't want to hear in a certain way and sequence. If I disrespect that sequence, they can no longer hear me. I'm telling people often what they don't want to hear because there is a reason they are doing what they are doing. There is a reason they are getting the results they want. That is why they call me. They don't want to hear from me that they are doing it all wrong. That book has been helpful in that way.
This is not the first time I have heard that book recommended here. I love that insight because it is such a great way of thinking about keeping people open-minded to hearing feedback. If what you have been doing has been working, why haven't you got different results?
We talked in this conversation, Tony, about how our era is profoundly lonely. We are profoundly lonely because people are spending oodles of money and hundreds of hours of time bringing us together in ways that don't work. They look around, and that is what people do. They think that is the way to do it. I say, “All of your fundamental assumptions are wrong. That is why it is not working.” They don't want to hear that because that is how we have always done it. That is how other people did. We are in the loneliest era of American history.
I will give you one example, Tony. My wife works at a multibillion-dollar tech company. Before the pandemic, we were invited to a Christmas party. I was aware that during these three hours, 6:00 to 9:00 or the three hours of the entire year, I was going to meet her colleagues and that she spends many days more time with them than she does with me. This was the three hours.
We went to San Francisco. The company had rented out an entire club. I got there, and I'm not making this up. There are all these all-you-can-eat French fries and hamburgers. There were three open bars. There was music so loud. I could talk to nobody. You and I can get hamburgers and French fries anywhere. We are honest adults that if we want a drink, we can get a drink. We don't go to places where we find parking in the city because we don't want to talk to anybody for three hours. There is an example where somebody spent six digits for an event that nobody could connect seemingly by design. There must have been hundreds of spouses and partners there who didn't know anybody, and we couldn't talk to anybody. I know that party isn't unusual.
If they had spoken to me for 30 minutes and would take me seriously instead of telling me, “That is how we always do parties. People love standing in loud rooms with people they don't know, who are drunk, who are adults, where there are you can eat French fries. I don't know why you think this isn't the best party we could make,” it is ridiculous. To be clear, I'm not against drinks and music, but if you are going to invite hundreds of people, including spouses that don't know anybody, to a room, how about creating an environment that might be fun and they can connect with other people after they found parking?
At least mix it up and have a portion of the night that is more geared towards some conversation and move it into the let's-get-the-loud-music-going thing.
That is not an abstract example. That is a room I was in. It is believable. It is normal. It is how we spend our money and time. It is a surprise, Tony. Tech workers are isolated and lonely. Shocking because that is an event where they are supposed to connect.
This is plaguing out every day. No matter where you are, this is the norm.
They don't call me. They spend their money and time. Think of all the hours cumulatively of people standing in a room, largely staring because they can't do anything else.
Charles, this has been an interesting conversation for many reasons. There are many great insights. I feel like we scratched the surface. I want to thank you for coming on. Thank you for the work you do. Thank you so much for coming and sharing yourself in the space.
I'm delighted to be invited, Tony.
I also want to give you a chance to share where is the best place for people to find out more about you if they want to learn about your work.
I have a website. It is CharlesVogl.com. If you are interested in my work, there are wherever books are sold. If you go to the website, I have many articles there for free. They are shorter than the books that you can grab them. We have downloads and worksheets. If you want to work with a team and talk about how we can start bringing people together in stronger ways, you can download them for free, use them, and work together with them.
Thank you for coming to the show. Thanks to the readers for coming on the journey. I know you are leaving with a lot of great insights. It is time to get out there and build effective communities together. Let's do that.