FROM THE MAIL ROOM TO THE BOARDROOM
Posted on June 6, 2014 @ 6:00am
You may not be familiar with the name George Bodenheimer but we bet you are familiar with ESPN. George is the Executive Chairman of ESPN. A bit of a rags to riches story, George started out in ESPN in the mail room earning $8,000 a year. I (Tara) had the chance to speak with George privately as we were speaking at the same conference. I also had the chance to hear his talk, which was entitled: Focus on Mission, Brand and Culture: Unleash the Innovation and Growth Within Your Organization...a topic close to our heart. Here are some highlights:
ESPN - America's first 24 hour sports network started in 1978 in Bristol Connecticut. It's mission is "To serve sports fans wherever sports are watched, listened to, discussed, debated, read about or played." George urged business leaders to make the link to your mission and drive it home every chance you get.
Brand is the impression that comes to mind when your company name is mentioned. What comes to mind when your company is mentioned?
George believes culture is ESPN's strategic advantage. "People are our most valuable resource, and care and respect for employees and each other will always be at the heart of our operations." George cultivates ESPN's culture by promoting its underdog, hardworking, passionate roots. Every year the company poles the employees in the spring regarding company priorities. Executives use that data to come up with annual priorities. The annual priorities are published on a card and handed out to employees.
It's Cool to be Kind
After talking with George, he handed me his business card and said, "Let me know if there is anything I can do for you."
A man with humble beginnings, who has achieved notable professional success, is at heart, a really nice man.
Keep an eye out for George's book which has a working title: Every Town is a Sports Town.