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'Leading the Way' Podcast: Jim Lites, CEO of the Dallas Stars

In this week’s episode of Leading the Way, Jim Lites, CEO & President of the Dallas Stars joins the podcast (now available on iTunes - simply search for "i4cp").

He was formerly the president of Hicks Sports Marketing Group, and president of the Texas Rangers of Major League Baseball. Over the course of Lites' two prior stints with the Stars (1993-02; 2003-07), the team won seven division championships, two Western Conference championships, two Presidents' Trophies, and the 1999 Stanley Cup. In this podcast, you’ll hear Jim share some of his best people practices, leadership strategies, thoughts on risk-taking, and why hiring and retaining young professionals enhances the customer experience.

Key soundbites

  • On risk-taking – “Risk-taking is really important. Without taking risks it’s hard to get ahead as an entrepreneur. Starting a new hockey franchise was a big challenge, a big risk, but with those things comes big rewards.” (The 1993-born Dallas Stars won the Stanley Cup in 1999).
  • On customer experience – “We aim to get fans engaged. Fans are there and want to be there when you win. The key is getting fans deeply engaged with the players, finding new fans and cultivating them.”
  • On strategy – “Hire top people who will hire well below them. We run a tight group and try to be transparent, keeping it simple so everyone knows their role and the short-term and long-term plans.”
  • On talent development – “We rather train smart, aggressive, intelligent men and women who are ages 22-26 and teach them our business. We hire, promote and grow from within.”
  • On generational workforce – “We need to relate to young people. I try to listen and remain open-minded to what’s important to them. Our young employees reflect the attitudes of our fans and we need to be relevant to our fans.”

About Leading the Way

Leading the Way is a weekly radio and podcast series that highlights influential business leaders and leading people practices from i4cp. Hosted by Emmy-award winning radio host Scott Murray and i4cp's Angel Carlton, the show feature interviews with respected business leaders, from Kansas City Chiefs owner Clark Hunt to "Shark Tank" investor Mark Cuban.

The show airs live each Sunday at 4pm CT on KLIF 570 in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, and debuts on iTunes and the i4cp website the following week.