A friendly work environment is all it takes to go from being one of many Rams to the No. 1 Shark – at least that’s how it worked for Greg Jamison.
The CSU alumnus and current CEO of an NHL franchise stressed the importance of being friendly in gaining success in today’s business world in front of about 400 students inside the East Ballroom of the Lory Student Center Wednesday afternoon.
“Somebody still has to get the doughnuts. Everybody brings the doughnuts every once in a while,” he said. “If you can’t bring the doughnuts, then who cares?”
Jamison, now president and CEO of the San Jose Sharks, capped off the most successful Business Day at CSU in the program’s 28-year history as one of seven speakers, according to Business College Council Vice President Jenn Taussig.
“It was an incredibly enthusiastic speech,” said Taussig who also works for the Collegian ad staff. “It definitely boosted my morale of graduating from this school.”
Jamison kept the audience laughing during his hour-long capstone speech while still addressing the cyclical nature of professional sports management.
The 1976 CSU alumnus told the students that no task is too small and that the phrase “nice guys finish last” has no meaning to him.
“You can take the phrase and shove it up you know where,” he said.
Jamison also noted that the best interest of the franchise should always be considered when making decisions, regardless of discontent from fans.
“If you’re going to be ugly, then be really ugly,” he said. “Then you get higher draft picks.”
Jamison taught elementary school in Fort Collins before taking a management positions with the Dallas Mavericks and Indiana Pacers of the NBA before landing in San Jose, Calif., in 1993 as executive vice president and chief operating officer for the Sharks.
He was promoted to his current position in 2001.
During his tenure as president, the San Jose organization has experienced an evident transformation in a “non-traditional” hockey market. The Sharks have made the playoffs seven times, including the Western Conference Finals in 2004, in the past nine years.
Stewart Rettinger, a senior business marketing major and president of the CSU marketing club, said he enjoyed the speech.
“He (Jamison) offered great insight into leadership and management skills,” he said. “I liked how he talked about doing what you want to do and not what others tell you to do.”
While Jamison offered plenty of advice, his simplest suggestion was clear.
“Be the best you can be. Be good at your job and success will follow.”
Staff writer Sean Star can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.