Articles From Mark Thompson View Profile

Share this Article
  • White House Breakfast w Obama & 12 Silicon Valley Entrepreneurs

    Mark Thompson, White House Breakfast w Obama & 12 Silicon Valley Entrepreneurs

    As expected, we arrived at the White House for a breakfast w Obama & 12 Silicon Valley entrepreneurs.  

    While seated at a conference table in the West Wing, I had a personal emergency.  Too much coffee.  I was about to burst, but there was no way now to sneak out, so I finally got up as if I had better things to do and dashed down the hall. A Secret Service agent followed me to the men's room.  

    When I came back the table, the President seemed a bit frustrated with one of the stiff CEOs who was finishing a remark. There was a pregnant pause as he finished.  

    My chair caught on the gold carpet as I struggled to squeeze into my seat unnoticed.  All eyes seemed fixed on me.   

    Before I could sit down, the President asked: 

    "So, what do you think?" 

    I had been out of the room and, from the smirk on Mr. Obama's face, he must have known I could not have caught what the topic was. For a moment it felt like one of those nightmares back in school when you're late to class and forgotten the final exam.  

    But as you said on Twitter this morning... Chance favours the prepared mind.  I had been thinking all night about what I wanted to say at this meeting, and I figured this was an opportunity to make a point about entrepreneurship. 

    Pausing for a moment, I pointed out the window behind me at the crowds swarming in anticipation of the Inauguration:

    When I look out the window this morning and then all of us around this table, it’s clear we are privileged. But that wasn’t always true. Every entrepreneur starts out there in the cold.

    Every one of you is self-made.  There was no certainty that we'd ever be so cozy in here.

    None of us imagined this as a child.  In fact, I had a learning disability so I never thought I was better than anyone.  I did believe I could get better every day. One thing is for certain, we were all driven. Your speech for the Inauguration, Mr. President, hits the nail on the head. Everyone deserves the right to ‘work harder, learn more and reach higher…This is (still) the land of opportunity.' 

    Thank you for the opportunity to share some ideas about how to jumpstart growth in America, but the secret is out there, not in here. It’s out there where we must recruit and invest in 'the people who will build the future' of every organization. Those potential leaders work on the shop floor, or a taxi, or as a single parent. They struggle to work out all the government forms to start their own business or reinvent their careers.

    It’s Martin Luther King’s birthday and the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.   The only way to jumpstart growth is total engagement of the people – to emancipate their hearts and souls to realize power doesn’t come from the top!

    Each of us must emancipate the imagination of our teams and get the hell out of the way.  We must give them equal rights to tap their own creativity, get a more practical education and test their own sense of entrepreneurship. Our job is to give them access to tools and resources and accountability so they can be the leaders of their own lives...to write their own futures better than we could ever do for them! 

Share this Article
X

FIND A SPEAKER

TESTIMONIALS

Testimonials
  • Mr. Schelp you are a Rock Star! Thank you!!!  Deal #7 is done and more to come!
  • "The group that I work with to obtain all of my keynote speakers is Executive Speakers Bureau and I can tell you that I don’t like working with ...
    Indiana Youth Institute
  • "I LOVE this list that you sent me! I emailed several different places on Tuesday an...
    CoreLogic
  • "Thanks to you and Jo for all your efforts.  Connie Podesta and Roger Dow were great!"   
    National Apartment Association
  • I want to thank you for all of your assistance you and Jenny were wonderful. If it had not been for you sending me suggestions I would not have found ...
    West Virginia Tourism
  • "WOW, is all I have to say and thank you!  Our event was a huge success and you never steer me wrong, both David Cottrell and Ryan Estis were exc...
    ICMI
  • "Everyone loved Bob and he was so nice on site. Thank you for all you did. The process was so easy and we will definitely work with you again next yea...
    NBC
  • Bridgeworks was awesome!!! Great feedback from all!! Thanks for all of your collaboration and positive we'll use you in the future.  
    Johnson & Johnson
  • "My mind was very much at ease knowing that Jack Uldrich was so well prepped.  I will definitely use your agency again."  
    EAIE
  • "Thank you so much for all your help in putting this together on such short notice. I will definitely use your services again in the future."
    Applied Materials
  • I’ve used the services of a number of speakers bureaus in the past. However, my current experience working with the Executive Speakers Bureau ha...
    Intel
  • "I wanted to share with you feedback of my experience in working with Executive Speakers Bureau.. Very responsive and detail oriented.  When I wa...
    Amdocs
  • “Thank you guys it was a pleasure working with you.... You made the whole process easy. Thanks again”
    CableNation
  • "Your tenacity and persistence in staying in touch with us is a model example of good salesmanship and partnering.  I will be using you as an exa...
    Schneider Electric
  • The event was EASY Cake! and it went over very very well.  Thank you so much for the help and organization, it made my life very easy. 
    Boys & Girls Club
  • Angela, you & your team have my endorsement for making Memphis events successful. People should use you to plan their next event.
  • "As I mentioned before, your engagement model was incredibly easy to work with, and I know we came to you on short notice!  I would highly recomm...
    Capitol One
  • Everything went really well and we really enjoyed having Jack Uldrich as our speaker!  He was entertaining and funny and provided great examples....
    Novo Nordisk
  • You ladies really are the BEST!  After this event I am going to be on the hunt for keynote speakers in May.  I really want to work with you ...
    ICMI
  • "My entire team has enjoyed the experience of working with you and ESB more than words can express. Everything was handled in a professional and timel...
    Cregger Company
  • "I appreciate your recommendations.  In addition, you are always a pleasure to work with and understand the pains of an over worked meeting plann...
    Milliman
  • We truly appreciate the excellent support and attention to detail we have received from Executive Speakers Bureau.  They have provided us with so...
    IBM
  • Our bank has held an annual business and economic conference for the past 9 years.  We have worked with Executive Speakers every year and I have ...
    First Midwest Bank
  • "We not only went 3 for 3 but I'd say they were all home runs! Thanks for your help on the speakers. It was a key and very positive component of our c...
    Chem-Dry
  • We could not have done it without you.  Thank you for the outstanding suggestions.  The speakers were by far the best we have ever had.
    FedEx
  • The Nebraska Hospital Association along with numerous other state hospital associations have enjoyed a long-standing relationship with Executive Speak...
    The Nebraska Hospital Association
  • "Let me just say again, what a pleasure it is to work with you and ESB. You really make it harder for others to reach the bar."
    ASTD
  • "OMG Richard! As always you make me look like a rock star. Every single speaker we selected hit it out of the park. Thank you again. Can't even say wh...
    Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Assn.
  • Thank you to both of you for everything surrounding Mr. Will as our special guest. I suspect, soon, I will be in touch regarding our next event. 
    Oxford Financial
  • As always, you deliver excellent service. Thanks!
    Camden National Bank
  • Thanks to Richard and Jo for all the coordination. Another homerun from Executive Speakers Bureau!  
    Wisconsin Hospital Association
  • "Richard, Your ability to put me in front of just the right group again and again, is nothing short of amazing. You work your tail off, you sweat the ...
    Alan Hobson
  • "I will be sure that all involved know what a wonderful resource you have been. The universe smiled on me when I discovered Executive Speakers and you...
    Ocala Eye
  • Thanks to you, Jo and the rest of your team.  You are the BEST.  Knowing you are behind a speaker allows us the luxury of concentrating on o...
    Ohio Hospital Association
  • "We loved our speakers. Thanks to you and your team for your outstanding service and thank you for your patience!"

    National Association of the Blind
  • "You made my job so much easier! You are the only bureau I will use."     
    Sigma Systems
  • "I want to thank you for helping with our Principals Day event. Marshall Goldsmith was excellent. Not only is Marshall the consummate professional, be...
    Burns & McDonnell
Need Suggestions? Have Questions?

Need Suggestions? Have Questions?

Call us to discuss how we can help find the right speaker for your organization.

Get Ideas in 2 Hours or Less

Please fill in information below

Executive Speakers Bureau consistently receives praises about our speed and efficiency. From the beginning of your event planning, our extensive online speaker database and resourceful staff allow us to quickly equip you with the best speaker for your event.

Need a last minute speaker? No worries. Our speed and efficiency help us give you ideas for speakers in two hours or less.


Privacy by SafeSubscribeSM