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Archive for December, 2011

 

Dec 02 2011

Ted Leonsis Addresses GU SIM

by at 1:27 pm


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By: Erin McHale

Ted Leonsis speaking to SIM students

Georgetown SIM students recently had the honor of listening to Mr. Leonsis speak about his accomplishments and his own personal leadership style. He talked mostly of his responsibilities as the owner of a sports franchise, and his philosophy of having a double bottom line business. This involves not only improving financially, but also having a positive impact on people and society along the way. As a multiple-franchise owner, Mr. Leonsis sits down and evaluates his three “income statements” every year.  These statements include defining the product accomplishment, what will make the business successful, and finally, how the business will change the world.

During his speech, Mr. Leonsis told a story about his childhood experience at a Jets versus Colts game with his father. Years later, as he was running on his treadmill, a replay of the game came on television, commemorating the first time the two teams were meeting again since the game that Mr. Leonsis attended as a child. The replay of the game brought him to tears. Mr. Leonsis explained that the sports industry is much more important than most people know, asking “what kind of business makes grown men cry 45 years later?” Sport seems to be the only answer that adequately fits this question.

As an owner, Mr. Leonsis has gone above and beyond his call of duty. Whether it be changing the straws in the Axela Club because a fan brought to his attention they were substandard, or going from sitting next to the President of the United States during a game to cleaning the women’s bathroom five minutes later, Mr. Leonsis has shown what he considers to be one of the most important characteristics anyone can have: empathy.

In a final question taken from a concept discussed in Mr. Leonsis’ book, The Business of Happiness, a SIM student asked if Mr. Leonsis would rather be needed or loved. Mr. Leonsis responded by saying that “the greatest franchises are both needed and loved. You should either be both, or be very clear which side of the fence you are on.” As for Mr. Leonsis himself, he said he would rather be loved. Through his many charities and endeavors, I think it is safe to say that Mr. Leonsis has already accomplished this goal. If you haven’t read his book, I recommend that you put it on your Christmas list.

Having the opportunity to hear Mr. Leonsis speak was an honor to all Georgetown SIM students. We look forward to hearing from him in the future, and wish him the best in all of his current and future endeavors.

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