Entrepreneurship is like crack

Biz lessons from the new Padres CEO Jeff Moorad

I had the good fortune of watching the Padres game from the owners box with Jeff Moorad yesterday.  Jeff has recently come to San Diego to take over leadership of the Padres as their new CEO.  Before this Jeff ran a successful turnaround of the Arizona Diamondbacks and before that was one of the most successful sports agents in both football and baseball. Jeff took time to share some of his lessons learned from his career and his strategy for the Padres.  Here are a few tips he shared.

  • Set your goals according to your industry, not based on what the norms are.
    • He believes sports teams can and should be cash flow neutral.  Neutral? I thought he was really setting the bar low.  But I learned that sports teams are almost never cash flow positive, but almost always cash flow negative.  So while I thought his goal seemed to be shooting low, for his industry that was a high mark.

  • Don’t micro manage, BUT hold people firmly to financial goals.
    • He made his success sound so easy. “I just hire the right people, and hold them accountable to their financial goals, if they are good they will figure it out eventually.

  • Take your time to find the right people, and look outside your industry.
    • He was looking for a critical role for his company, he interviewed everyone in the baseball world to find a fit and yet they just weren’t happy with the potential candidates.  They did something unprecedented by going outside the baseball world and looked into candidates from Football, they found their man and he’s doing an amazing job.

  • Take care of customers and put resources on brand management.
    • The Padres will be doing things unheard of in the baseball space like having a dedicated rep for every ticket season holder so they can have someone to call with issues or questions.  Another ground breaking move was he created a new position - VP of Brand Management, baseball team’s don’t have someone dedicated 100% to improving brand image.  What can you do that your competition is not?

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