Tony Gwynn Left a Legacy of Giving

“What can I do for you?” Tony Gwynn
Several years ago I got a call from the Tony and Alicia Gwynn Foundation, and we agreed to provide some much needed equipment. I went along with our technical people to the Gwynn’s home. Before doing so, I instructed our people to not bother the Gwynns as Tony was recovering from his first surgery. We met Tony and his son,Tony Jr., who was spending the off-season near his Dad. As we were getting ready to leave, Tony asked what he could do for us because he appreciated our donation to the foundation. I said that I didn’t want anything, but that my people were big fans. Tony turned off the movie he was watching and signed hats and balls for my employees’ kids.
Being a former athlete myself, I am in awe of what Tony accomplished in sports. More than that, I will remember him because of how generous he was, even during his darkest hours.
I have lived in San Diego since 1979 and can attest that I have never seen such an outpouring of emotion towards any local celebrity from any walk of life.  In my view this is because of how he lived his life with such joy, passion and generosity. Oh yeah, he was an amazing athlete as well.
We lost a great man, but his legacy will live on through his Foundation. You can find out more about TAG at
Rest in peace Tony!
Weekly Wisdom by Jerry Rollins, CEO and Chairman of Sage Executive Group

Write Down and Teach Your Business Values

“A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.” Marcus Garvey
I was invited to participate in a meeting last week to discuss the following question: “How do I maintain and improve the culture of my company as I grow rapidly, add new team members, and am not able to teach my fundamental culture beliefs to every new employee?”
So I gathered three companies together that I feel have positive business cultures and discussed the matter.  Here are some of the takeaways:
1.) Sit down and commit to writing your values, vision and mission. Having it in your head does not make it happen. Writing it down makes it a commitment.
2) Create an internal University for all employees. If you learn something new from a book or other source, become the subject matter and teach the other members of the team. Surprisingly, two of the three companies participating in the discussion have formal Universities. One went to far as to have a Dean and an Athletic Director. The best way to learn is to teach.
3) If your people embrace this culture of learning, they will protect the values of the company and ask those that do not espouse them to “get off the bus.”
What was common amongst these three CEO’s was their passion to learn, grow, share and invest in their people. They also run companies in which giving back to our communities and society is one of their core values. Maybe there is a good message here that creating a great culture can lead to improved profits.
Weekly Wisdom by Jerry Rollins, Chairman and CEO of Sage Executive Group