Most newly appointed bosses get the massive corner office after they take over corporations.
But when Mark Cuban bought the Dallas Mavericks for $285 million in January 2000, he didn’t get his own floor-to-ceiling windows or a mahogany desk. As an alternative, he sat with nine other salesmen in an open plan office.
In a recent interview with GQ, Cuban explained he “didn’t give a s— about an office” because he was more focused on working alongside the sales team and earning their respect.
“I wanted everybody that worked with me to see that if I asked them to do it, I’ll do it,” Cuban told GQ. “In case you’re running an organization and if you happen to can align your interest with those of the people you’re employed with, things are gonna be just right for you.”
Cuban said he decided to purchase the team after its home opener in 1999. At that time, he was only a season ticket holder, but he couldn’t consider the sport wasn’t sold out. He bought the team because he thought he could make it higher and sell more tickets, he said.
When he bought the team that January, Cuban said he put his desk in the middle of the bullpen. In those days, he’d pull out phone books and old client lists and begin cold calling.
Wanting to steer by example, he got here up with compelling pitches to get old fans to come back back to games. He’d say: “Do you realize now that it’s inexpensive to come back to a Mavericks game than to take your loved ones to McDonald’s?” or “The primary game’s free on me.”
Cuban’s method appears to have worked, because the Dallas Mavericks’ team value has steadily increased over time. In 2014, the team was price $765 million. Now, the 2011 NBA Champions are valued at $3.3 billion — $440,000 million greater than the common NBA team — and is the eighth Most worthy team within the NBA, in response to Forbes.
This is not the primary time Cuban has emphasized the importance of team cohesiveness. On a recent episode of the “Re:Considering with Adam Grant” podcast, Cuban said he has fired business partners and traded basketball players due to their personalities — especially when the team has multiple self-centered or combative members.
“Culture and chemistry are critical to success,” Cuban said. “A team can have one knucklehead, you’ll be able to’t have two. One knucklehead adapts, two hang around together.”
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