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Beating the odds

“Defying the Curse” will explore how recruiting and retaining top talent and creating a positive workforce culture creates a winning business

Ever felt like the odds were against you? That you couldn’t reverse the defeat of a long-term losing streak? If anyone can relate, it’s the Chicago Cubs. The team broke a legendary 108-year-old curse last November in dramatic fashion when they won the World Series, ending more than a century of flops, futility and frustration.

In partnership with Sysco, the National Restaurant Association will present “Defying the Curse,” a discussion featuring Tom Ricketts, Chicago Cubs owner and chairman, and Mike Greenberg, host of Mike and Mike on ESPN Radio and ESPN2. The two will face off at 11 a.m. Monday, May 22 in the Grand Ballroom to discuss how great leadership and affecting positive change can turn losing streaks into great winning seasons and how transforming a culture can overcome even the most stubborn drought.

Ricketts’ challenges were not so different than ones restaurateurs face every day. It’s hard enough to build a culture of excellence from the ground up, and Ricketts walked into his position facing 108 years of entrenched defeat and a customer base with sky-high hopes but zero confidence.

He took over the Chicago Cubs with the odds stacked against him, and in six short years, he raised the Cubs’ expectations of themselves. In doing so, he lived up to the wildest dreams of his customers. Facing seemingly insurmountable challenges, he did the following:

  • Created a workplace culture that transformed employee attitude and performance
  • Recruited top talent in a competitive marketplace
  • Retained his star team members who helped build and grow the organization

The 50-year-old Ricketts bought the Cubs franchise with his family for $845 million in 2009. Now, the championship baseball club is worth around $2.2 billion. Clearly, his strategy is working.

Don’t miss this chance to be a part of an inspiring and entertaining conversation. Doors will open at 10:30 a.m., and seating is first-come, first-served.

This post is sponsored by The National Restaurant Association®

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