Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Pragmatic Alternative recommends. . .

pic courtesy of

. . . Washington Capitals owner, Ted Leonsis's new book, The Business of Happiness.

Leonsis, whose famous 101 List is a model for anyone, spent years studying the mechanics of happiness.

What makes someone happy? Relationships, Community, Self-Expression, Giving Back, Pursuing a Higher Calling.

Everything we're doing at Brazen Careerist.

Hear Ted speak about all these, here:

I've had a personal email correspondence with Ted Leonsis for over ten years now.

Since 1999, when he bought the Washington Capitals from Abe Pollin--philanthropist, pillar of the community and mensch himself--Leonsis has dramatically raised the fortunes of his team, above all by connecting with fans, customers and clients alike, actively seeking input.

He asked fans for complaints about the team: about the game day experience, prices, parking, concessions, bathrooms--everything.

He compiled a list of 101 things fans didn't like, then systematically attacked those flaws, one by one.

That kind of enlightened ownership does more than sell tickets. After all, if the team weren't any good, there'd be empty seats every night.

What it does is gains permission. It gets buy-in. It buys patience and time and trust. Trust that things will be done right, that things will steadily improve. That these are shared values.

That "It's always about team, and there's always better."

And I never say "always."

So buy a copy of The Business of Happiness. Ted's idea of "the double bottom line" is crucial.

This one's for you, Penelope.

Oh, and Go CAPS!


  1. I like this guy! Ted is a great fit for your work philosophy Jay! BTW rightly or wrongly I'm assuming a mensch is a good thing? Trust about things being as you expect (or better) is important. Like good restaurant service you don't. or shouldn't notice it.

  2. Yes, Heather. A mensch is a stand-up guy. I do love Ted. He's a great listener. Makes him a great sports team owner. The Washington Capitals are the only team I've given any kind of season ticket money to, and rather proudly.

    Leonsis has been responsive to fans, clients and customers alike from the beginning of his ownership, and still responds to emails.

    He's so much more than a team owner, as you can see. Yeah, Ted's a great role model at every level.

    Oh, and Ted, if you're reading this, please pardon the vertical sharp inhaling.

  3. Hi Jay,
    That kind of writeup on Amazon would sell thousand of this book. I think I'm gonna buy it based on your writeup alone.
    I love how he got 101 fan complaints and attacked them one by one. That's just relentless.

  4. Steve, Leonsis is a sports fan's dream as an owner. Responds to virtually every email he gets, even now, and in the early days built his brand by just that kind of customer service and listening.

    Hopes for our local NBA franchise have risen significantly since his ascension to primary ownership.

    Brings added value to the price of a ticket by the way he manages his franchises. Especially the way he picks people to manage his franchises and trusts them to do so.

    Thanks for the comment, Steve.