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The Hands-On Leadership Playbook: Building Partnerships In Sports With Patrick Duffy

Updated: May 31


 Patrick Duffy, Chief Partnerships Officer at Monumental Sports & Entertainment
Patrick Duffy: Chief Partnerships Officer at Monumental Sports & Entertainment

In this episode of Against the Sales Odds, Lance Tyson sits down with Patrick Duffy, Chief Partnerships Officer at Monumental Sports & Entertainment. Monumental oversees the Washington Capitals (NHL), Washington Wizards (NBA), Washington Mystics (WNBA), the NBA G League Capital City Go-Go, and Capital One Arena, ensuring there is no off-season. Patrick shares his journey in the professional sports world, offering insights into his leadership path and philosophies. He reveals strategies that have guided his career, emphasizing the importance of devising and sticking to a plan. Patrick demonstrates the value of a marketplace strategy and maintaining a checklist to achieve goals. He also highlights the importance of hands-on leadership, encouraging his team to remain open-minded and leverage all resources, both human and analytical. For those aiming to climb the ladder or improve themselves, this episode is a must-listen. Get ready to improve your sales game and yourself!

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Listen to the podcast here


The Hands-On Leadership Playbook: Building Partnerships In Sports With Patrick Duffy

I'm excited about this episode. I have Patrick Duffy on, who's the Chief Partnership Officer of Monumental Sports & Entertainment. I'm going to botch one of these up, but for those of you who don't know, it's Capital One Arena, Monumental, the Washington Wizard, the Washington Caps, and some minor league teams I'm going to let Patrick talk to you about. Patrick, welcome to the show.

 

Thanks a lot. It’s good to catch up. I look forward to a great conversation.

 

Patrick’s Role And Scope At Monumental Sports & Entertainment

I feel like we've spent a lot of time together lately. Tell the audience a little bit about your role at Monumental Sports & Entertainment and what reports to you to give them a brief summary.

 

You touched on a little bit at the top, but Monumental is a big and growing organization. It's mainly the sports field, but when you look at our overall makeup, there are three areas that you can look at. Most people know us by our properties. You touched on a few of them at the top. The Capitals of the NHL, the Wizards of the NBA, mystics of the WNBA, we have a G League team. We're big into eSports, a lot in the property space, which is known, especially those that are sports fans. The other areas and big facets are our business are the venue's business, the crown jewel, certainly, Capital One Arena in the heart of Washington, DC, between the White House and the Capitol.

 

It’s a great ZIP code. We own a number of practice facilities and other venues here in the greater Washington region, then we also have a robust media business, centered by our recent acquisition of a couple years ago of what's now Monumental Sports Network, our RSN, which produces and airs all of our real capitals, games, wizards games, mystic games, a lot of shoulder content as well. We also have a robust out-of-home business here centered around the DC area, radio, social media, you name it. It’s a big spectrum, but lots of solutions.

 

No doubt, especially that media acquisition. I always forget about the eSports piece, in which our group is talking to a studio down in Texas and into designing eSports games and stuff like that. I always forget that piece. I know we talk about it every once in a while. Give folks an idea of, and whatever you can share with the audience, like the critical mass of people that report up to you, maybe how many direct reports you have, and then how many the sales organization reports up to you just for scope at some level.

 

Our entire global partnership team is about 60 people. When you look at it, it's different functions within that. We have a traditional sales team that's focused on driving relationships with businesses both regionally, locally and globally. We have a partnership marketing team that's dialed in on bringing those partnerships to life and driving deep relationships with our partners. We have a solutions team whose biggest focus is working with all the various marketing divisions within our organization.

 

As you can imagine, with all those properties, each of them has a different philosophy, approach and demographic. Our solutions team works with that team with those various marketing teams all the time to make sure we're developing platforms and programs that can align with various partners. This creates a lot of efficiency and synergy there. We've been a long time real big believers in analytics and data. We have a business intelligence team that works throughout the entire organization, but with some that are dedicated completely to the partnerships world to make sure that what we're developing we're headed down the right path and we know what we want to measure up-front. We're telling that story on the front end throughout, and then also throughout the entire life of the partnership.

 

A lot of people don't realize, especially some folks who listen and read the show, how vast a partnership, sales team or sales organization would exist inside a pro sports team, especially an organization like yours that has multiple properties. You're looking from the inception of building a relationship to being able to get into the design to tell another brand story leveraging against your assets and being able to measure that and ultimately execute. It's a complete design build. For the readers, the only analogy that I can think of is a good customer of ours over the years has been Turner Construction.

 

Turner Construction takes something from an architectural and engineering standpoint, even has that in-house all the way to executing all the way through building a building. That’s what Pat's team does. Coming out of sales, you're managing roles that you never even had in your past with the business intelligence group, solutions group and things like that. That's a whole different set of competencies.

 

I've been here at Monumental for many years. We've got a very entrepreneurial owner. There are always new things that are coming our way, which is exciting. With that, there's an evolution. Even if you go back to many years ago, when I started. We had an analytics team, but very small. That has definitely exploded. I remember we were at the forefront of that space a few years ago. The league would always roll us up to the front of the room to tout what we're doing in the business intelligence space. It was many years ago. Now, it's commonplace. It's very rare that you find a sports organization that's not leaning into that area, but it's good to be innovators. We've been able to help and be a catalyst towards that growth within the industry.

Against The Sales Odds | Patrick Duffy | Leadership
Leadership: It's good to be innovators and catalysts towards that growth within the industry.

A couple of things whatever you're willing to share in terms of revenue, whatever you can share, you can share there, but the growth that you're trying to have, maybe you have to drive every year that your team is tasked with hitting. What's that growth look like year over year that you're trying to push?

 

It's been a rapid growth year from going back many years ago. It's funny, working with our finance folks, you constantly have to explain that percentage numbers can't always be the same back in the day. The good thing is that, via acquisition and constantly adding more to our overall universe, the numbers have continued to grow. With that being said, it's more about finding great partners along the way that we can lean into. We've gained a lot of people's trust over time to where we've been able to see, “We're doing a reach on this. What else can we do?” What we love is to get creative and constantly look across our spectrum, or are there areas that are untapped that we can lean into?


Career Journey

It's interesting what you said that a lot of leaders, especially sales leaders, are up against it where the amount of resources you get as opposed to the growth you have to have don't always equal out. You're always doing things faster, better and with less resources. The innovation comment is exactly where it's at and looking at your team, how they have to be creative with partners to, because the business you're trying to do business with is they're trying to enhance the brand, improve the marketing, obviously move revenue. You're that internal agency that has driven that. You have to be innovative and things like that. Patrick, where did you start your career? How did you get here? Where'd you come from? Where's that first job, that first part of that journey? I always ask that to leaders.

 

I’m a Florida State graduate. I went to school in Tallahassee, and during my time there, I did the business program, got the MBA there. I did an internship with the minor league hockey team that was there in Tallahassee, which was a lot of fun, but it opened my eyes to, “There's a whole business side behind sports.” I'm not the oldest guy. It wasn't that long ago. Even going back many years ago, the business side of sports wasn't as developed as it is nowadays. It was eye-opening to me. I didn't even know that was an opportunity to lean into. Growing up a lifelong sports fan, I was truly excited about diving into that as a career.

 

From there, I code-called every NHL, NBA, MLB, and NFL team and eventually landed a role with the New York Islanders, selling basically season tickets. I was there. I grew up in Long Island as a kid. It was exciting. Long Island in the ‘80s, when the Islanders were winning multiple Stanley Cups in a row. It was exciting to go back home to an area that was familiar to me. It was great. We are getting there. We are one of the worst teams in the league. We had the number one draft pick for a couple of years. I remember Newsday wrote an article that it was the season preview, and they were going through each player, but the intro paragraph was, “The hardest job in sports is to be a New York Islander season ticket salesperson.” All of us in the office loved it.

 

You're probably wearing that as a badge of honor. I love it.

 

I put that in our cube. It was a great part of the story.  From there, I enjoyed my time and had an opportunity. I moved down to Tampa with the Lightning down there. I was with the Lightning for over ten years. I started in ticket sales, but was able to grow throughout the entire organization to managing the ticketing groove, to managing the Suites team. over time eventually we were selling more tremendous success in driving partnerships via our ticket sales group. We eventually moved over to running the entire partnership division for the Lightning.

 

Let's go back to the Islanders. How long was that trip? How long were you there?

 

About three years. About three seasons.

 

A young Patrick coming out of FSU. How are you as a salesperson? I asked Chad that question one time, and it was my very first show. I said, “Where were you on the board when you started with the Cavs?” He goes, “I was a solid 5, 6 or 7.” Where was the young Pat early? Where were you on the board?

 

I’m probably the same thing. I thought it was a ten. The confidence level was there, but you're learning. What I always brought to the table was my willingness to roll up my sleeves and look at it from a high volume side. In the ticketing role, that's critical. The more people you talk to generally, the more success you're going to have. You refine your sales approach over time. You learn a lot along the way. In retrospect, I'm glad I started in that role at the Islanders because it wasn't an easy sell. You had to get good at your craft and hone your skills. I mean, fortunately for me, growing up, I  had a lot of connectivity and knew a lot about the Islanders. It gave me a little bit of full context. It was challenging. In retrospect, I think that's probably what maybe helped you grow as a whole.

Against The Sales Odds | Patrick Duffy | Leadership
Leadership: The more people you talk to, the more success you'll likely have. However, refining your sales approach over time is still essential.

That’s something I know about you. I know you work hard. I've talked to you on when you've been on trains heading to New York to get a deal done with your people. I've had drinks with you too. It's always interesting that way, like, work hard, play hard. You'd get at it for those three years in high activity. No doubt that's more of a transactional job sometimes, depending on what kind of tickets you're selling unless you get to premium. What was something you struggled with there? The other thing is, that first three years, what started to happen with you? Did you start to realize about leadership?

 

From my end, being there for a while, I looked around me and saw there wasn't a lot of room for advancement within the organization. From my end, I was like, “Maybe it's the sports industry doesn't allow for a lot of growth.” One of my clients at the time recruited me to move into staffing sales. It was an opportunity. I lived in Manhattan for about a year. I was in the staffing industry.

 

You did staffing for one year. That's a little nugget right there that I've never heard. I love it.

 

It was accounting and finance. I had great clients in NBC, MTV, Columbia University and lots of cool companies within New York City. At the end of the day, I'm missing sports. It was such a passion of mine. That's when the lightning opportunity came up and an opportunity to move back to Florida and get back into sports. It was exciting. I learned out of that was lining your career with your passion makes things much easier. I’m not saying anything that not everybody knows, but it makes the day-to-day a lot easier.

 

Aligning your career with your passion makes the day-to-day so much easier.

I’m curious because I never knew that about you. If you look back now to this, you're in a few years with the Islanders. What people have to understand when certain folks work in sports, it doesn't mean they have to necessarily love that sport either, but it's the fact that you're involved in that. You got staffing. What did you pull out of staffing that's still important nowadays? What did you realize? That’s a whole change. It could be high volume. I get that recruit, but what else did you pull out of that?

 

That was a lot of focus on a lot of in-person meetings, the value of that, being able to get in front of people present, tell a good story. That's something that use every day. Now on the ticketing side at the Islanders, they had a lot of that during game days.

 

Phone stuff. No doubt. You go to Tampa Bay. Is it a ticket job again, or is it advancement for you?

 

At that point in time, it was almost even a step back because of the way they were organized, they claimed you had to start an inside sales, but it wasn't a legacy role. You come in, it wasn't tenure-based. You do a good job, you get promoted. They had a whole system in place. I was in New York. That was 9/11 hit while I was there. It was rough in New York City as you can imagine. I'm certainly understanding that. The opportunity to leave New York, get back to Florida and the sports industry were attractive.

 

You take a step back. You had four years of experience, and then you completely reset. To give everybody a context, in sports sometimes, it's like a Moneyball concept. Meaning on the business side, they use inside sales to track a person's career and advance them up through so they weed out folks that can sell, train and move on, but you take a step back. That's interesting.

 

An opportunity to get back into the sports industry in an area that was great. Moving back to Tampa was awesome. The role was $13,000 a year with no health benefits. My mom was giving me a lot of crap about being willing to do that. It took a little, no doubt, division that was painted to me going in there. They were honest. That's the way it worked out. There was definitely meritocracy there, where you had success and you were able to grow.

 

I'm going to assume that you probably come out of the gate pretty strong because you know exactly what you need to do at this point. You're probably in there with some newbies, but at this point, you get a year outside of sports. You got three years at the Islanders. You're probably hitting the ground hard, quick.

 

Looking back on it, within like six months, I was promoted out of that role into a more elevated role. Over the course of my time there in 10 plus years, I had 10 promotions. They were great about looking at, “Who are our producers? Who's doing a good job? Who's doing great work? They looked internally to promote first before externally. That was a very good culture that they had there at that point in time.

 

I like that. 10 promotions in 10 years. In six months, you get promoted out. Does it go to a ticket role there?

 

It was group sales at that point in time.

 

Sales Philosophy

It's more like you're tailoring that a little bit because it could be a little bit B2B or both. You're five years into selling. What's your core philosophy to start to become about sales? What do you start to realize about, “This is my philosophy with how I sell?” What does that look like?

 

For me at that point, in the ticketing world, it was all about high volume. I had a little checkbox in front of me. I had 100 boxes there and wouldn't end my day until I hit that on a daily basis because it was all about putting in the effort at the end of the day. If you're telling a good story and you're keeping consistent work ethic, even we know sales, it's an ebb and flow. I love that everybody says yes, but that's not the reality.

 

At the end of the day, it’s about telling a good story and keeping a consistent work ethic.

That's where the numbers come from. Its activity multiplied by your skillset gets you results. It's not an addition. What happens to some people is when they think they are getting better, their activity goes down the keys to keep going up. I talked to a guy who manages a big HVAC construction supply company, Johnstone Supply. I was talking to him, and I go, “Where did you start?” He goes, “I started at Lanier selling Dictaphones. I said to him, “5 after 5.” He goes, “How do you know about 5 after 5?” I go, “Like Lanier, they were good white labeled copiers. They made 5 phone calls after 5 or 5 visits after 5. That was the move. back to that activity thing.”

 

It was traditionally that group sales division. They weren't a high volume. It was more about reaching out to HR people and being creative. I did that, but also brought that level of volume. I think that the group enjoyed me on that side was like, “This guy is coming in with high volume.” In addition to that, it was nice. It was a fun role, and then eventually got moved into more of a corporate ticket sale opportunity. I was like, “I like it over here, and things are going well.” They explained to me that that's where ultimate promotions come through as that division.

 

I'm thinking that that group at Tampa at that point. There are some leaders that came out of that group when you were there that were all over-laden and pro sports with roles. It's a good career pathing. You go more to a B2B sales role around hospitality and tickets. You are bringing the same philosophy of activity and hustle to that end?

 

The great thing about that is that a little bit more familiar than reaching out to companies, getting to know them, and trying to show how leveraging hospitality can help drive their business. Certainly, the volume end continues to work, but also being able to articulate in more in-person meetings too, being out in front of people, leveraging that skill you learned over time, even fortunately in the MBA program at Florida State, was a lot of presentations.

 

Definitely that value of getting face to face with people. You lower the risk of not getting it by being face to face and that connectivity. You're there for ten years. What are the next couple of spots for you that are significant without going through every single promotion? When do you start getting the leadership track a little bit?

 

I eventually moved up to managing the entry-level staff with the Lightning, then overall the majority of the ticketing group. From there, suites as well. We did a major project and renovation too.

 

Leadership

before you go there, you go from the individual performer, now you start managing that inside team, which you were on two different organizations plus the staffing company. What core philosophy are you kind of into your leadership there? What's that look like at your first move?

 

Going through that role, there was a lot of empathy and understanding for the individuals in that role. Getting to know them and understanding how incentives could work, especially with the staff that was in there, a little bit more junior entry level. What are things that are going to push their buttons, knowing and empathizing with that role, being through it? Laying out a clear path and laying some additional perks that are in there for them to try to strive for overall achievement and doing all you can to roll up their sleeves and help them along the way. It was the most mind flow.

Against The Sales Odds | Patrick Duffy | Leadership
Leadership: Laying out a clear path, adding perks, and helping people along the way all motivate them to strive for achievement.

Would you struggle with leadership in the first couple of roles? What was the thing you're like, “I don't even want to do this?” What was that one part? There's always that one thing about leadership where you could control yourself when you're in sales, and now, all of a sudden, and you pick up the trophy and you can carry, now you got to share the damn trophy with everybody. You're only as good as your lowest calm denominator on the team. Not that those people are bad, but that skill, effort and all of the above. What’s the tough thing?

 

During that time, the product was challenged. It wasn't an easy conversation with folks. Even then, the lighting had only been around for ten-plus years. It was still new. You're battling with Florida, there are many great things to do with your free time. Trying to cut through that clutter and tell that story, we had to challenge ourselves on a regular basis of, “How do we do that?” We had a lot of competitors there, and our competitors could be the beach. That's a tough one to stack up against.

 

You're saying the strategy of how to handle the marketplace was tough. You mentioned you end up taking over the whole group. That probably goes from a group of 10 or 15. Now you got 30 or 40. What did that leap look like for you?

 

It was a lot overall mentality and strategy, but then understanding how all the parts play into each other. You're trying to set up each division with the overall revenue in mind throughout. It was a little bit less finite, where you had one division and you're trying to drive success within. It was the overall department to make sure that we were achieving at a high level. With that, it goes hand in hand with our marketing teams, making sure we're all working together and harmoniously to maximize overall achievement.

 

Winning As A Team

I’ve learned this about you over the years. It sounds like the strategy or the blueprinting piece is something you gravitate to because you mentioned a couple of times how the market's reacting, then, “How do I deploy my resources?” What'd you grow up playing? Were you like a quarterback? Did you play chess? What'd that look like? You mentioned that a bunch even when I talked to you, you mentioned a lot too because I feel like I'm having a regular conversation with you, and then you're like, “There's this over here and this over here.” It seems like you're constantly thinking of pieces and how they play into it. Even when we open this up, you talk about the integration of all the divisions that report to you now that have very different KPIs.

 

Not a quarterback. Certainly, I love the NFL and football.

 

I couldn't think of anything position.

 

I played soccer and baseball growing up. I always had that competitive spirit and enjoyed it. If you get on the field, you always want to win, but for me, the mentality is always, “You want to win as a team.” Leading the league and scoring goals or whatever are great, but winning as a team is great. I think a lot of that is to win as a team, you have to have a strong strategy. Trying to take a step back and then find a well-thought-out plan, and then being able to articulate that plan to the team and let them feel a part of it.

Against The Sales Odds | Patrick Duffy | Leadership
Leadership: To win as a team, you need strong strategies. Take a step back, find a well-thought-out plan, articulate it to the team, and let them feel like they're a part of it.

Do you spend a lot of time planning now? Walk me through that a little bit. I'm curious because it's one thing I struggle with. I race to the solution too many times. I don't sit back and see where all my pieces are. Talk about how you plan. I'm interested in that.

 

With us in the sports industry, so much of it is based off of season to season. The seasonality to things. It’s a little bit more challenging here. There's never an off-season. We always have things.

 

You're like 365 at MSA.

 

We have a fiscal year. Our planning tends to be heavy in the spring heading in, trying to set that new plan for the next fiscal that's coming ahead. At any point in time, I was always looking at that upcoming season, what's worked well, and what hasn't, evaluating that and then putting together a more integrated plan. In each year, you can always improve. When we make major milestone changes, it's usually on an annual basis and then we look at that throughout, analyze and evaluate, and make some tweaks along the way, but then each year, if there are any radical changes, making those in a more systematic fashion on more of an annual basis.

 

You sound like you do a lot of gap analysis yourself. Is that where you're looking at, “Here's what we're up against. Here's our current situation and how to deploy inside that?” You said you're not moving your bigger pieces. You're moving your smaller pieces inside those.

 

Some years, based on whether it's an acquisition or other things that have happened, especially here at Monumental, you may have to have more of a radical change than maybe you would in a normal year where you're on a continued growth pattern. You're always analyzing what's going on, what's not, where do we need to put some more emphasis on versus some others where maybe we've achieved in a good fashion already.

 

Patrick’s Personal System

Would you say you're somebody from your own personal style? Are you constantly looking at the financial numbers? Are you constantly laying out action steps? What is your style? Do you have a photographic memory where you keep things lined up? What does that look like for you? Everybody has a little bit different system. What's your personal system?

 

For me, it’s putting together that plan and then trying to keep on the path to that. The plans are put together with the financial model in mind, and then making sure we're continuing on pace towards there, looking at the forecast, making sure we're staying on course. From my end, style-wise, it’s not scary to rope the sleeves. I tell our team all the time, “There are no brownie points for doing things alone.” We have lots of valuable resources within our organization. Some of those are human capital.

Some of them are analytic capital. Deploying those at the right time and bringing those into our overall conversation, I feel like from my end I'm jumping into meetings all the time and helping play a role in those, and hopefully getting things across the finish line. Encouraging our team to be open-minded and leverage as much as you can because we have such great resources here as an organization.

 

I’ve been working with you the last couple of years. It's interesting that you've never ever been closed-minded to an idea. As a matter of fact and I'm sure I've been redundant with things I brought to you, but even watching you with your team, your intake is big. It seems like your style is you're taking all these things you're weighing against, and you've never overprotected the plan. It always seems like a continuous improvement cycle for you.

 

Even coming from being, whether it was the Islanders as a young guy, I thought I had great ideas then, and some of them might have been better than maybe what they were acknowledged at that point in time. That goes to the leadership style of the folks that are in those roles, and certainly myself included, but I think a big part of that is checking your ego at the door.

 

I think that's huge. That’s what I was trying to say. You got humility about it. I deal with it, and so do you with a lot of big ego people. I always find where's that humbleness to it or checking in and out the door. I don't have all the answers. I'm going to use my resources.

 

At the end of the day, great ideas can come from anywhere. It doesn't need to be my idea. In a lot of instances, I prefer to be somebody else's idea because then they're going to embrace that idea even faster.

 

Great ideas can come from anywhere.

Also, execute it. People are more apt to argue your idea as opposed to what theirs are, “If you can bring them to it, let's do it.”

 

A lot of different ways it's going to cap. It's not like some people are very finite. There's only one way to do things, and that's the right way, and it's my way. In some people for instance, “That's not the case.”

 

I'm starting to see that as your core philosophy, I didn't realize that talk before we start talking, that intake and that planning, because no matter what I hit you with, you always seem to kind of know your number and exactly where you are. That's a cause and effect to how much planning that you do or how much time you spend in that process.

 

It’s a measured choice, cut once. I love that because so many leaders are more worried about how to motivate their people and all that. That's important, but there's also process and results. Our job is two things. Develop people and get results, and/or get results from all people. It's both. It's not one or the other. You take over that whole team at Tampa, and then, and then how long are you there? What are the next moves that start getting you to MSE?

 

I was there for over ten years in Tampa. Three different ownership groups, which is interesting, each with different philosophies.

 

You lasted through three ownership groups is interesting in and of itself. People usually get blasted from one group to the other, like you were there. That's great.

 

Three different philosophies. Three different approaches, ebbs and flows of the team and the product to experience different approaches. Great times and I learned a lot there. Ultimately, the opportunity in here in DC, of rose What was great about this is that certainly the multi properties, as we talked about at the top, but being in Washington, DC, it was unique. Tampa is a great city, and it's certainly grown even more since I've left. We could have brilliant ideas, but people and brands were like, “Tampa, Florida, is not one of my core markets,” whereas Washington, DC, the greater Washington region, is the top DMA in the country when you look at DC Baltimore combined, which we can because there's no other hockey or basketball team here.

 

Our TV market certainly hits that, and all the way down to Richmond as well. It’s a vast market from both a population perspective but also the sphere of influence perspective. Almost every Fortune 500 brand has one, whether it's a GR division or some type of office here in the Washington region. You come up with great ideas for certain brands. It's going to be a lot more likely to be relevant here than it may be in certain other areas.

 

It didn't dawn on me now that you said it because, if you think like in the NFL, you have the Ravens and the Commanders that are right up against each other, but you're right, your footprint is about as wide and deep as any, any demographic or MSA in the country in terms of what you have access to you're with those government relation offices that are in town there. What becomes the role of monumental? Do you go back to the ticket side, or do you start getting into the sponsorship side of things?

 

My last few years were partnerships.

 

At Tampa. Was that a natural gravitation for you that you felt like, “I got to get into the partnership side,” and you started to crest that way? Was it another opportunity or promotion?

 

I enjoy this side of the business. I feel like a lot of reasons you mentioned earlier, the creativity and getting to meet many different brands, being nimble, learning a lot, and then trying to come back with a defined solution, can work. It's exciting. Ticketing and hospitality still are like, “We can't do our job unless those folks are doing a killer job. We need to have butts in seats and viewers watching.” It all goes hand in hand. For me, the biggest thing is a lot of empathy for all those people who are working on those sides. It's critical to our business. It's a large revenue line item and a large audience spectrum for us. It's the lifeblood of our organization. It's great that we've been fortunate to have great audiences here between the capitals, wizards and mystics, and so forth, but that allows us to do our job on the partnership band and deliver a great audience to potential, corporate partners.

 

Biggest Leadership Challenge

Three things as we bring this down for a landing, roll up your sleeves, it's about activity, the strategy and planning side of your business, and I've written down you talked about innovation and creativity at least five times and driving that process through people. That word has come up consistently. As we bring this down for landing, as a leader, what’s the biggest challenge you have, whether it'd be an accountability thing or a coaching thing with salespeople? I've yet to see you at frustrated, but like that inner voice that you have to either coach or hold somebody accountable. What's that one thing with salespeople that frustrates you a little bit based off your experience? What's that one thing that grinds you a little bit?

 

A lack of open night-mindedness sometimes. Some people are rigid and, “This is the only way I do it.” I get that. There could be some core tenants that you keep. I feel like that's why it's great to have conversations with others who are in a sales capacity or different industries. That's what I love about the partnership role. You get to learn so much about different organizations, but I think you have to be willing and open-minded to inject other things into what you're doing and other approaches because there's always room for improvement to get better. You got to be open-minded at the onset to be willing to step outside maybe your comfort zone and try new things on occasion.

 

It's always beneficial to be open-minded and willing to incorporate new approaches into your work. There's always room for improvement.

Second question, which is interesting because that goes back to one of your core philosophies that innovation no minus when somebody resists that, I can see why that would be frustrating and you get a lot of salespeople, it's my way or the highway, or a lot of partners that act that way too and try to where and meet them. The last two questions. I know you have children. If one of your kids, let's say, or niece or nephew who are 7 or 8 years old and they said, “Uncle Pat or Dad, what does it mean to be successful based on how you got here?” How would you communicate to a 7 or 8-year-old? What does it mean to be successful?

 

There are different levels of that, but it's got to be coupled with your own sense of achievement. You got to feel like you're doing a good job, but it's also within your industry, whatever you're in, having that respect of your peers. For me, it's making sure you're doing things the right way.  You want to have that respect as a whole. You are looked at as someone who's a good teammate and a good person within the industry. I think that the respect you garner along with achievement is critical. Success is not intrinsic.

 

I love that because I hear it a lot to be liked or respected. I think I take respect at any day of the week and twice on Sundays. Last question. You do a lot of big deals. Your team does a lot of big deals. I've talked to you many times on your way to New York to get a big deal done. You're in town in Washington. If you had that sales song in your head and you and I shared the love of music together a little bit, what's that sales song for you that you play in your head?

 

I love music, but you're talking about all these big pictures and stuff. You Can't Always Get What You Want.

 

The Rolling Stones. That's exactly right.

 

By any means, you got to go into it knowing that, but try to maximize. I love music too, like you and probably more eye than tiger.

 

I like that The Rolling Stones’s You Can't Always Get What You Want. That's true. That's a good negotiation. I've yet to hear that one, brother. I love that you were on such a good perspective with your journey. The audience got out of how you think a little bit, and it's practical. Complex problems don't always require complex solutions, but they require consistency of effort in planning. Thank you so much for being on. I appreciate you. I'm looking forward to getting this episode out.

 

Thanks for your time. I'm looking forward to catching them soon.

 

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