The Wages of Wins in Canada

The cover story of the October issue of PROFIT magazine examines “How Canada’s Top Achievers Attain Peak Performance.” The author of the article, Kara Kurylllowicz, “asked some of Canada’s brightest lights in business, sports, media and the arts to share the techniques and resources they use to achieve peak performance.”

One person interviewed was Richard Peddie, who is the President and CEO of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Ltd., which owns both the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Toronto Raptors. Peddie argues that a key to success is to “steal great ideas.”

He goes on to say…“I’m a great believer in continuous learning. I do it mostly through reading. I devote at least an hour a day to reading, although some days it’s more. I read Fortune, Forbes, Business Week and the dailies. But I go beyond the business section and read the whole paper. All of it is ripe with ideas. I also get a clipping service for basketball stories. I keep current on everything from sports marketing to player moves.”

“I’m really trying to read different books to get more perspective. I joke that I’ve read all the leadership books. The last one was the The Wages of Wins: Taking Measure of the Many Myths in Modern Sport, which I’m getting my hockey and basketball general managers to read. Other books I’ve read include Winning, by Jack Welch; The World is Flat [by Thomas L. Friedman], which is very interesting. The Weather Makers [by Tim Flannery] is all about climate change. After reading it, I’m looking at how to make the Air Canada Centre greener and putting [that] into the strategic plan.”

“I’m a lateral thinker-when I go out, wherever I go, I’m looking for ideas that I can apply to my business-entertainment, hospitality, security. I have real curiosity. For instance, at Starbucks, at the cream, sugar, stir-stick counter, they had brochures on how to get a job at Starbucks and what the company does in the community. We now have something similar at our condiment stands. I stole that idea from Starbucks. Jack Welch called best practices ‘legitimate plagiarism’. If you can’t come up with an idea yourself — steal it.”

One should note that you do not have to steal The Wages of Wins. Amazon.com is still selling the first edition of our book for $19.77. And once you own a copy you can use our ideas freely without a touch of guilt (as long as you properly cite your source, of course.)

– DJ

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