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Increasing Your Value, Personally and Professionally: New Book Explains How

January 21, 2013  |  XOJET Profiles
Cover of "Admired" by Mark C. Thompson

From the first page, which opens with a truly unforgettable in-flight safety lesson that’s so darkly humorous, it’s downright pitch (“You might want to consider which one has the most potential!”), it’s clear that Admired by XOJET friend Mark C. Thompson is not your standard how-to-succeed-in-business book.

For those not familiar with his work, Thompson, the very definition of a self-made man, rose to become Charles Schwab’s communications chief and co-founder of the Schwab Foundation, as well as a highly successful venture capitalist and Tony-nominated Broadway producer along the way. He now serves as CEO and co-founder of Virgin Unite Mentors. And these are only a few of his accomplishments—Thompson’s CV is far longer than the word count this XOJET blog post allows.

So how does he do it? Thompson has made yet another brilliant career for himself as a bestselling author by answering that question in a string of bestselling books.

The latest, Admired: 21 Ways to Double Your Value, was just published in hardcover this month. In it, Thompson focuses on the all-important issue of value: having value; gaining value; and increasing your value, both personally and professionally. For Thompson, a bona fide expert on the subjects of sales, leadership and management, successful personal relationships provide the best foundation for professional success.

Case in point: Thompson and his Admired co-author, his wife Bonita Thompson, seamlessly integrate their life lessons and business acumen in the new book. They share a wealth of wisdom gained from the likes of Fortune 500 CEOs, professional athletes and even their young daughter—those at the top of their game, even if that happens to be an after-school play date. Thompson encourages individuals seeking to gain value to begin by thinking in terms of becoming a MVP, the “most valuable person” in their own lives, as the greatest tool in attaining their goals.

Mark C. Thompson

Mark C. Thompson

“One of the secrets to becoming valued, admired and respected for what you do,” Thompson insists, “is to create a short-list of the people who could influence your success the most. Who is that exactly, and how can you help those MVPs get what’s valuable to them? You become more successful by helping your MVPs become more successful. You get success by giving success to others.”

It’s this winning combination of accessibility, humor and candor that sets Admired apart from countless other tomes dedicated to sharpening one’s business skills. That, and, of course, the authors’ genuine desire to help others bring out the very best in themselves, first and foremost by speaking from their own experiences and the obstacles they have each overcome.

Not surprisingly, Thompson’s fans include Sir Richard Branson, Tony Robbins and Peter Guber, CEO of Mandalay Entertainment. In the words of Admired admirer and fellow bestselling author John C. Maxwell, “The journey from success to significance begins with a step,” or rather, in this case, one step followed by 20 more. Simplified without oversimplifying, the title Admired also serves as an acronym that Thompson develops throughout the book in support of 21 hands-on strategies for self-improvement, regardless of one’s profession.

So, whether you’re applying for your first job, 25 years into a famous career, or not the least interested in the business world at all, the stories and insights Mark and Bonita Thompson offer in Admired have a universal appeal. And if nothing else, we’re willing to bet you pay closer attention to the flight attendant next time you board a plane.

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