Jon Podany is the Chief Commerical Officer of the LPGA. Jon leads the commercial and business efforts of the LPGA to include sales and marketing, television, digital media, tournaments, title sponsors, branding and creative services, and licensing.
With Jon’s leadership, the LPGA has experienced a resurgence in the last 7 years:
- Purses increased by 67%
- The tournament scheduled increased from 23 to 35 annual tournaments
- Revenue increased over 50%
- TV hours have doubled
- Fan base expanded significantly according to all key metrics - television viewership, website visitors, social media following, and international reach
In this interview you'll hear some great stories from Jon. Two things stand out to me as an explanation of the LPGA resurgence under Jon's leadership.
1. Founders attitude - Jon talks about creating and fostering the culture of, what he calls, the founders attitude. The LPGA was started by a dedicated few of female golfers. These women did everything to make the LPGA a reality. They recruited the players, cared for the sponsors, put out the tee stakes, placed green pins, and played in the tournaments. Nothing was above or beneath these ladies. Jon leads with the same founders attitude and creats an atmosphere where others want to live out the founders attitude - everyone working together to make something great, no task is above them, no task is beneath them.
2. A deliberate attitude of gratitude - Every week the tournament players get a fact sheet from the LPGA. First order of business is always who wrote the checks to make the week's tournament possible. Jon will tell you, it's not uncommon for each sponsor to receive 30 or 40, handwritten thank-you-notes from players. Jon regularly gets calls from tournament sponsors expressing sentiments like 'we sponsor a lot of sporting events, no one treats us as well as the LPGA. Thank you.'
Success isn't an accident and I think the founders attitude and an attitude of gratitude are key ingredient's of Jon's success.
Jon Podany is the example of a game changer, a garage to goliath, in a major organization.
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- Jon Podany shares his garage to goliath journey, how he defines himself, and his guiding principles [2:15]
- Jon talks about his big why and what motivates him when times are tough [3:50]
- Jon shares his personal values that guide how he lives his life [6:13]
- Jon shares his planning techniques and what he thinks about most often [7:44]
- Jon talks about the leadership training he received at Procter and Gamble and how to keep developing as a leader [11:04]
- Jon shares his dream job [16:26]
- Jon discusses concerns that keep him up at night [18:15]
- Jon shares the piece of advice he’d give to his 20-year-old self [20:17]
- Jon talks about his leadership style and leadership philosophy [21:30]
- Jon shares why it's important to let the wrong people go to get the right people on the bus [24:25]
- Jon discusses how he effectively creates a vision and leads his team [25:52]
- Jon shares how he leads to create a winning culture and how to think like a founder [27:58]
- Jon talks through the most important decisions he makes as a leader [32:09]
- Jon talks about thinking and acting for the long term [34:00]
- Jon discusses what he finds to be the optimal number of direct reports [35:50]
- Jon talks about the one thing he needs to maintain a competitive advantage [38:55]
- Jon shares the leadership advice and life lessons he gives his kids [42:18]
- Jon talks through how to handle negative people in life [42:34]
- Jon shares how he maintains happiness and what would make him even happier [45:17]
- Jon reflects on how he’s sacrificed for the balance between the personal and the professional [46:54]
- How Jon and wife Julie, raise level headed kids [49:14]
- Jon shares who is in his kitchen cabinet [53:03]
- Jon shares how he wants his children to describe him to his grandchildren [54:28]