Just after 7 a.m. last Tuesday, I stepped onto the turf at Cowboys Stadium. The seats were empty, but the perspective coming through the tunnel into the stadium was still pretty spectacular. I made our way across the field to the press room adjacent to the Cowboys locker room. The room had been set with a single podium, two white boards and round tables – familiar territory. This would be my office for the day.
Day two of the Legends Sales & Marketing summit started with a recap and agenda from Legends COO Mike Ondrejko. Fifteen minutes in, he handed the meeting over to the Legends President for opening remarks and the introduction of my program, Leading Breakthrough Sales Performance. Outside of the unique venue, this is all a fairly standard start to my workday. I’ve been introduced to leadership teams by hundreds of executives. However, this introduction was hands down my most memorable.
Legends Sales & Marketing President Chad Estis also happens to be my younger brother. He acknowledged that putting me on the agenda for his annual leadership retreat wasn’t something he ever thought would happen. Recently, we both realized that making this day happen was a good move. It turns out it was also a special experience I won’t soon forget.
Legends is a brand “born from performance,” which means that everyone in the room was hired based on a track record of proven industry impact. This is a group of A players who take a concept from launch to scale and evolve the way an entire industry thinks about their consumer marketplace. As a startup concept, their secret to success can be summed up in three simple words:
The Legends Way.
The Legends Way is the fanatic discipline with which this group approaches every qualified opportunity and supports every client engagement. It emphasizes culture as a competitive advantage and includes a compelling value proposition that differentiates them from their competition. The Legends Way operating principles define expectations based on transparency, accountability and results. It is a commitment to being the very best in the world at what they do.
For a startup company that is navigating a complex and competitive business landscape, it’s important to clearly define and reinforce culture. The Legends Way is the DNA of this company and it defines what it takes to succeed and scale into the future.
In the business of pro sports, second place is still considered losing – which is what made working with this group so much fun! They showed up ready to work and learn. Through our conversations, I was reminded of the sheer joy that emerges from coming together as a world-class team and winning in the marketplace.
Recently, Legends Hospitality was chosen to develop and operate the three-story observation deck atop One World Trade Center. It is a project of cultural significance and certainly a meaningful victory, beyond the business impact. As part of our evening festivities, the entire group was invited to view a short video in Cowboy’s Stadium on the world’s largest video board. The video provided a moving and memorable overview of the winning project concept for One World Trade. It was an incredible end to a conference that I have a feeling will be an inflection point for this growing organization.
Personally, it was a day I won’t ever forget.
Culture is a reflection of how we lead. Chad and his leadership team are doing it right – The Legends Way.
Ryan Estis & Associates is a training and development organization helping companies, leaders, sellers and individual contributors embrace change and achieve breakthrough performance in the new economy. We offer keynotes, live classroom training and online learning that blends interaction, energy and actionable content designed to elevate performance. Contact us for programming inquiries and assistance determining the curriculum that could best support your learning and development objectives.
Ryan Estis is a Keynote Speaker & Management Consultant blogging about business performance.