From McNeese to Louisiana Tech
My Time at McNeese
I guess this is better late than never, right D$?? But for real, I think as a leader you have to take things seriously that others deem a serious matter. This blog post is one of those things. If someone asks me to do something I am going to get it done and/or never leave something unfinished.
The first thing that pops into my head when I think about my time at McNeese is that I am so thankful for Danielle giving me the opportunity to come down to Lake Charles, LA from Abilene, TX to help her out in her first year as the then new Dir. of Mktg — I knew McNeese was the place I needed to be to learn and grow and gain a new experience in the realm of college athletics…and thus move forward in my career as a young professional. From the first time I drove over to LC to visit with Danielle about the position, I knew that our relationship would be one that would communicate well and often, execute efficiently, and make each other better every single day. Our backgrounds as student-athlete’s I believe gives us both a foundation to be reliable and understand what it takes to get our jobs done. When you have a team like that, it’s hard to lose.
What I Learned at McNeese
The things that I did learn at McNeese are the important factors that it takes for leadership to allow buy-in to your culture as a leader, the importance of customer service/ticket sales, to the natural significance of fundraising as it relates to the needs of your department - big or small.
While I believe I was already aware of many of these things, being at McNeese solidified my ideas about them all.
As a leader, people matter. It’s not about you, it is about you and those around you. If all you care about is how you will advance yourself and your ideas, there will be zero buy-in to your culture that you create as a leader.
Customer service/ticket sales are the front window to the athletic department. If we aren’t willing to work with and listen to every single fan/customer that comes in contact with the ticket office and reward them with a gratifying experience, we will lose business. Athletics is an emotional sell, so when an angry customer comes to us with something, we can’t let our emotions get the best of us.
I’ll say this about fundraising - if you can’t be authentic about the point I made above about buy-in to your culture as a leader - it will be tough to get others to donate to your cause. But I believe fundraising is a huge aspect to athletics. I was fortunate to gain a non-profit experience to fundraising with the Make-A-Wish Foundation and I think it relates to the athletic realm in many ways. We have to provide the necessary resources it takes to make dreams come true - that comes through donations and others joining your team for a cause bigger than themselves.
What am I going to take to my new position
Well, after being in my new position for a few months, I can already tell you that I have taken the same mindset to LA Tech that I took to McNeese. That mindset is that you do the best with what you’ve got, learn from your mistakes (never make the same mistake twice), and focus on the process to get better each and every day. The same mentality applies to how I attack my job today. Things aren’t always going to go as planned, but if you aren’t willing to take criticism with thick skin and play the next play then you are doing not only yourself a disservice, but those who are on your team a disservice as well.
Months ago did I ever expect I’d be where I am today
Months ago I did expect to be in a similar position that I am in today. While it may have taken longer than I expected — I believe that I am in the spot I am meant to be in right now.
My best piece of advice when taking a position at McNeese
- Be willing to put yourself out there and try new things.
- Do more than what’s expected.
- Over communicate, ask questions.
- Be relatable, work hard, get stuff done.
What am I going to miss the most
- I am going to miss our end of the day ticket office conversations.
- I am going to miss the many days that I would sit across the desk from Danielle as we planned, worked through ideas, and talked about life and leadership.
My most memorable memory
My most memorable memory at McNeese came during baseball season towards when we knew our time as a team was coming to an end. We had a few small moments that really seemed like big moments to us. It was fun.
Final Thoughts and Comments
People matter. Care about those around you, be self-aware, have fun and lead well.