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Today we’ll go ‘Behind the Scenes’ with Jason Cao, a longtime community manager, people motivator and coach on the SCN Collaboration Team. Jason is a self-proclaimed ‘stone soup maker’, read below to learn why.

Please share some personal details about yourself: I was born in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and after an extremely long and rough trip bouncing around the South China Sea, my family and I were fortunate to call Vancouver, Canada, our new home. As a 7-year old, waking up to the amazing sights of English Bay is like meeting a new friend that I appreciate more and more as time goes by. Over 30 years later, I still call Vancouver my home, and some of the favorite things I like to do with my wife and 2 children include going crabbing in the summer, and skiing in the winter. Jason&daughter.jpg

Gali: Jason also loves traveling. See a picture of him and his daughter on their last trip, taken at Kunst Historisches Museum in Vienna, Austria.  

Please share a bit about your special title: When my kids ask me what I do, I tell them “I make stone soup.” And then I tell them the old story of how several monks passing through a village on their journey find its residents shutting their doors and windows to them. With only a large pot and a few pieces of stone, the monks announce to the villagers their plan to cook a delicious “Stone Soup”. The curious villagers soon emerge from their homes, each offering to contribute something such as salt, vegetable, meats, for a chance to taste some of this soup. By evening, the Stone Soup is ready. The entire village emerges from their homes and gathers to enjoy a Stone Soup that each has contributed to creating.
“OK…so you’re a monk!” LOL they’ll learn in time.  

What do your daily responsibilities entail? As a Stone Soup-maker (aka Community Manager), I know that just because I have a large pot, it doesn’t guarantee me a delicious soup at the end of the day. The thing about making soup is that you need good ingredients, combined in just the right way, and you need time for the soup to cook. Rather than scouting for ingredients, I spend my time helping others realize that each contribution has value, and promoting an environment of active sharing and collaboration. To me, creating the right “Context” is more important than the “Content” when making soup. At the same time, I prefer Quality ingredients to Quantity; good Attitude over Aptitude with those I collaborate.

One of the ‘soups’ you are currently ‘cooking’ is the Social Reputation Program, would you be willing to share a bit about it? This year, I’m working with SAP’s thought leaders to help them expand and grow their online reputation. These are experts with numerous years of industry and business experience who are trusted advisors for many of SAP’s customers and partners. I’m glad to introduce these thought leaders to SCN, blogging, and the opportunity to engage with even more passionate SAP people. At the same time, our community benefits from high quality content shared by these experts. For example, these thought leaders have posted over 200 blogs in different topic spaces, with an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars!

Please share about an interesting project you’ve worked on: I’ve been blessed with many learning opportunities in life and at SAP – starting with an ounce of know-how in my brain, and a chest-full of pure curiosity and adventure in my heart. Recently, I took part in a Design Thinking Challenge for a local community partner in Vancouver, called Science World. Their challenge was to help Vancouver residents and visitors become aware and appreciate that science and technology exists all around them. This project was a great opportunity for SAP colleagues to showcase our technical expertise, while supporting a partner in our community. As a DT Coach, I appreciated the chance to practice my coaching skills and apply DT in a real-life scenario.

What would the community be surprised to learn about you? When I’m stressed and need to organize my thoughts, I clean, tidy and purge my home or workspace.

What brings you the most satisfaction in your role and why? I recently worked with a manager who thought that members of his team were wasting time with Social Media. When I asked him how he prefers his team to benefit from Social Media, he came up with some very tangible examples and ideas. This was an example of the things that bring me my greatest satisfaction – the opportunity to make a difference. In this case, turning a problem into a solution. I believe we can all learn to turn ordinary events into extraordinary outcomes. We are often held back by our own belief of what is possible and what is important. Every day, I am encouraged to see the difference many members are making on SCN, simply by sharing their knowledge and opinions with one another.

Please help us grow from your experience; share one tip/resource/guide/experience that you recommend after finding it helpful from personal experience. Play nice. One of the most basic rules we learned as children is often forgotten or neglected. I’ve found that when I am mindful of my actions, attitudes and words, I can influence what gets reflected back at me, namely respect, trust, and understanding.

What is your favorite element of the new gamification module? That would have to be the missions! They’re nicely designed to introduce new members to SCN. And while members achieve each mission and collect badges, their presence, reputation and network also grows. The missions also offer an important alternative to points and levels for recognizing our interests and expertise.

The next four questions are taken from the Actor Studio interview questions:

What is your favorite word:  Consider
Least favorite word: Must
What sound do you love: Waves
What profession other than yours would you love to attempt: Carpenter

In your BiF you were one of the only (if not the only) video blog. Any tips for those who would also like to try? Be bold. Be creative. Be yourself.

Gali: For those willing to try I recommend testing your skills in the “SCN and Me” video blog competition. Read Chip’s blog #SCNis10 for details.

I learned through your Blog it Forward that you can mimic. Who is your favorite person to imitate in your personal life and is there a well-known figure? I love to imitate my daughter, because she doesn’t get offended by this. I haven’t really tried public figures – maybe I should. It’s mostly animals. I like mimicking the dolphin, although my siblings describe this as one of the most annoying sounds coming out of my mouth.

I really liked the questions Jason asked of those he blogged it forward to and asked him to answer his own questions. 

What inspires you?  Personal stories inspire me. Tell me where you went for your summer vacation, and I might be interested. Tell me how you survived without your luggage, and I will retell your story to many others. Jason&son.jpg

What have you accomplished recently that you’re really proud of? I’ve set a goal to improve my relationship with my son this summer. I’m not sure such a goal can be quantified and measured. It just makes me happy see where our relationship is now, and think about what it can be in the future.

If you could be a superhero, who would you be? The Flash. Did you know he can pass through solid objects just by speeding up his body’s molecules? Cool!

Jason is a true people person; a motivating coach, who always has a kind word of encouragement. Read more in the following quotes from the SCN team:

• “Jason is involved with coaching, which suits him perfectly. In almost all his interactions with people, he’s looking to help them perform better and give a great effort. In doing that, he has an uncanny ability to make people feel empowered and to give them space to try new things. He operates with a great deal of class and integrity, and I’m glad to be able to work with him.”
• “Jason is always at the ready with helpful advice and thoughtful insight, no matter what project he’s addressing.”
• “Articulate, an infectious smile, always one of the first to give feedback and a compliment…who wouldn’t have anything nice to say about working with Jason?”
• “Jason is a very dedicated and passionate Community Manager who is a pleasure to work with. His strong commitment to the SCN community is something I really admire and strive to replicate.”
• “Jason Cao is a genuine person. He has the utmost concern for integrity and quality in everything he does. He is organized, self-motivated, and forward thinking, and this shows in both his deliverables as well as he ongoing contributions. Jason sets a great example for coaching in his work with the SCN Social Reputation sessions. He has been able to bring additional members into SCN, and motivates them to contribute quality content.”

Follow Jason on twitter @JayChaos

Jason’s handle is unique, I asked for the story behind it: Our family pronounces our last name like the letters K-O (just think Knock-Out). “Chaos” has been a nickname used by schoolmates for my brother and me, because of the way our name sounds (and hopefully not because of any erratic behavior ;-)) .

I invite you to visit ‘Behind the Scenes’ with additional SCN Team members.

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17 Comments

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  1. Jason Cao

    Hi Gali,

    Thank you for this feature! I enjoyed the experience, and your questions provoked a lot of introspection. This is a fantastic series and gives community members a different perspective into the goals, activities and interested of those who are ‘Behind the Scenes.”

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    1. Gali Kling Schneider Post author

      Jason, its wonderful when those who usually interview have the tables turned on them 😉

      I really enjoyed learning even more cool stuff about you and was especially touched at the pride in your most recent accomplishment even though I already knew what a dedicated dad you are.

      Gali

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  2. Gordon Du

    Jason interviewed me 3 years ago. I like his attitude. Whenever I have question regarding SCN, he is always replying me promptly.

    This is a very good interview so that we know Jason better.

    Thanks Gali and Jason.

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  3. Gali Kling Schneider Post author

    Thank you everyone! I do love this series and having the opportunity to share another side of our team with the community. I’m so glad to know that you are enjoying it too 🙂

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  4. Mauricio Cruz

    Hey guys, good job on this interview. Very nice!

    I was talking to Jason Cao about Minecraft (yes, Minecraft) on another blog, and I was wondering if playing it with your kids was part of you goal to improve your relation with your son 🙂

    Also, I’ve seen your blog and Raquel Pereira da Cunha ‘s about DT, and I’m thinking about getting more deep information about it. Maybe I can also share something in the future.

    BR,

    Mauricio

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    1. Jason Cao

      Hi Mauricio, thanks for your question and glad to continue the Minecraft discussion here! 😆

      Yes, playing Mindcraft does help achieve my goal of better relationship with my kids (son especially). I believe that an important ingredient to good relationship is common interest – sometimes its harder for me to develop an appreciation for my son’s interests. There’s truth in the saying “All relationships require effort.” For this one in particular, it’s worth the effort.

      The Design Thinking with SAP space is a good one to follow to learn more about DT. Looking forward to your future contributions there!

      Regards,
      Jason

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  5. Laure Cetin

    Very good blog! The questions were all thoughtfully responded to, which is not surprising knowing Jason 😉
    It was nice to get to know you a little bit better Jason. Too bad we’re not doing video conferencing more often to enjoy your infectious smile! At least I know I must avoid to use “must” from now on!

    Laure

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    1. Jason Cao

      Thanks Laure!

      I’ve found many things in life that I have direct control over, including the words I use, the way I sit, and the clothes I choose to wear. They all impact how I feel and even how I solve problems. “Must” is too constraining, and “can” is more empowering. 🙂

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