Friday, February 12, 2010

Treat people well and they will remember you

Five of the seven games in the NHL last night saw the road teams win. Buffalo did not win in Carolina, losing 4-3 in overtime. The other road team to lose was the top team in the East, the Washington Capitals. Ottawa beat them in our country's capital, 6-5.

Steven Lowell is the Public Relations Manager for Voice 123 and I only learned of his love for hockey a couple of days ago. He counts the Sabres, Rangers, Devils, Islanders, Senators and Montreal Canadiens among his favorite teams. Steven sent along this funny story about working as a production assistant at ESPN when helping with NHL2Night (which has been off the air for years now):
"Back in 2000, I was doing work at a place called ESPN Zone in Times Square, which is a huge restaurant that also serves as a radio station, and live-shot location for ESPN programming. I was working alone, when a host from the restaurant grabbed me and said, 'This guy wants to see the Washington Capitals game, and he said it's really important? Can you help me?'

"Being the lone hockey-nut in the building, I went to meet the person who found this game so important, and why. The gentleman was rather average looking, very proud, with a salt and pepper beard. I asked him, 'I heard you want to see the Caps game? Maybe I can help?' He replied, 'Yes, I only came in here for a burger, and to watch my team.' He then handed me a business card, which read:
Ted Leonsis - Owner/Washington Capitals"

Steven admits at the time he did not know what Mr. Leonsis looked like, but he certainly knew the name. In a panic, and as he puts it, not-at-all cool, Steven told the host, 'We have to get him the best place to eat.'
But Ted Leonsis replied, 'It's really not important where I sit. I would just like to eat something and see the Caps game.'

So Steven still took him to the ESPNZone Sky Box, which overlooks two huge big screens, and has private viewing. "It is a large room, and I brought him up there where he sat by himself. Realizing what I did was kind of weird, I took his order as a waiter (something I was not supposed to do, but I felt like I was dealing with someone important). I went to go check on him during the game, and Mr. Leonsis said to me, 'I really thank you for this. Give me your card. I would like to return the favor.'

Steven gave Mr. Leonsis his card, and thought nothing of it the next day. Two weeks later, a FED EX package showed up at his home. Would you believe there was a Washington Capitals' team-autographed, Sherwood hockey stick!? (Real autographs too!)
Steven Lowell says, "I still have that hockey stick because it just reminds me you never know who you will run into while doing what you love, and
if you treat people well, they will remember you. Ted Leonsis showed me too, that you can be successful, and be a real person at the same time."

Thanks for a great story Steven - and words to live by!
If you treat people well, they will remember you. In fact, I remember several instances of excellent customer service over the years with Voice 123. I will most definitely be renewing my subscription for a sixth year in the next month.

I am sure there are many words of wisdom shared in Ted Leonsis' new book, "The Business of Happiness." The book is his way of explaining to individuals and business leaders "that you have permission to be happy and you should be able to structure things to do things the right way." NHL.com had an article on Ted's book a couple of days ago. Ted linked to it on his blog that day too. Ted's Take is the blog you can check out.

Update during the opening ceremonies for the Olympics. Can you believe the Caps' owner linked to my post:
I Remember You Steven Lowell « Teds Take
What a great memory Mr. Leonsis has!
I will let you know if I receive a Washington Capitals' team-autographed, Sherwood hockey stick for my birthday on March 14th:)