Earlier this week I attended a breakfast event, part of the Hofstra University Scott Skodnek Business Development Center’s Distinguished Lecture Series. The event was a Keynote Conversation with Brett Yormark, the CEO of Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment. Mr. Yormark was interviewed by Kevin Law, the President & CEO of the Long Island Association.
Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment (BSE) owns and operates the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, the Brooklyn Nets NBA team and redeveloped and manages the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Nassau County, Long Island. Since Hofstra University is basically across the street from the Coliseum, many of the interview questions revolved around its redevelopment. After answering some questions about improvements to the venue, the construction process and its cost verses the budget, Mr. Yormark moved onto the performance of the Coliseum since it reopened in April of this year. The venue reopened with a Billy Joel concert. In the seven months since the Coliseum reopened, they have had more than 100 events, including concerts by Barbara Streisand, Paul McCartney, Bruno Mars and other performers. Other events including G-League professional and college basketball games also occurred there. So far, the Coliseum is ahead of BSEs projections.
So, when Kevin Law asked Brett Yormark if he is happy with Coliseum results so far, Yormark replied:
“I am happy, but not satisfied.”
He used that exact wording to answer several additional questions as the interview progressed. I was struck by how simple and yet very powerful this phrase is. The concept represented by these six words is extremely important. How many businesses have stopped growing or failed because management or owners became “satisfied?” When I had my consulting practice before joining the ActionCOACH team, I met many business owners who were earning more than $500,000 per year who became satisfied with their businesses. “Why should I continue to push hard, I’m making more than I need?” “I am working too hard and have no time to enjoy my wealth.” Many wanted to start enjoying the fruits of their success, reducing the attention and time they devoted to their businesses. Many of those businesses no longer exist, failed due to over-satisfaction and the resulting lack of attention.
Two things need to be highlighted here:
- I don’t mean to imply that you shouldn’t celebrate when a major goal or milestone is achieved. There is nothing wrong with a brief pause to celebrate and “smell the roses.” Celebration is very important, for you and your team.
- One of the motivating factors that drove my decision to join ActionCOACH (and many of my colleagues) is our definition of a successful business:
A commercial, profitable enterprise that works without YOU (the owner)
I work with my clients to design, plan, structure and build their businesses so they will earn more and work less. I enable them to achieve the state of happy life, but continuing dis-satisfaction with the value their business brings to their team, customers, community, and themselves.
At lunch, that same day, I continued my rereading of John C. Maxwell’s The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership (
I came to Law 18-The Law of Sacrifice. The following from Law 18 makes the point.
“…today’s success is the greatest threat to tomorrow’s success. And what gets a team (or company) to the top isn’t what keeps it there.”
I couldn’t have said it better.
My ActionCOACH colleagues or I will be happy to assist you to build your business, so you can earn more and work less.