By Dan Migala
In 1997, I had the pleasure of meeting current Carolina Panthers President Tom Glick while he was the GM of the Lansing Lugnuts & I was an unpaid intern with the Kane County Cougars starting my career. Today, I had the honor of following him on stage at ALSD https://alsd.com after Tom received the Visionary Award https://alsd.com/content/visionary-award-presented-tom-glick-president-carolina-panthers
While waiting to take the stage, I was listening to Tom and couldn’t help but think that my fresh-faced 1997 self, my current 2019 and all of us in #SportsBiz could benefit from Tom’s reflections. It was great to understand that the keys to his successes are being an optimist, loyal, finding a mentor and pushing himself out of his comfort zone. I did my best to capture some of the essence of his stories and think these 5 areas are great guide rails for all of us looking to grow our careers.
Optimist: Tom talked eloquently of learning early in his career with Minor League Baseball’s Lansing Lugnuts the timeless value of being an optimist in our industry. As someone who started in MiLB and owes a lot to my learnings from that time in my career, I understand the value of finding the silver lining and it was great that Tom started his story with this simple reminder to be optimistic in all we do.
Loyalty: Loved hearing Tom reminiscence about how he learned from long-time friend and former Chicago Cubs executive Connie Kowal of the value of loyalty both internally within the team and externally with brand partners.
Mentor: Everyone should have a mentor and in the case of Tom he didn’t flinch when he said Scott O’Neill was his. He specifically talked about what he learned from Scott at his time with NBA. Tom hasn’t worked with Scott for almost 10 years and it was clear he still considers him a mentor to this day.
Push out of your comfort zone: Tom took a role with Derby County FC more than a decade ago and long before it was vogue to go overseas to work Internationally in football. I loved hearing of the how he was dropped blind into a new country, a new sport and thrived in a foreign world.
Be curious: All of these attributes together lead to a mindset of being curious that has served Tom well. Can’t help but think of a better skill for our industry that fuels optimism, loyalty, mentorship and breaking out of your comfort zone than being curious.
I’ve admired Tom’s career since that first meeting 22 years ago and was reminded today the ingredients that have made him such a fitting recipient for ALSD’s Visionary Award.