Mike Tannenbaum was the featured speaker today at the Park Avenue Club in Florham Park, N.J., as the Morris County Chamber of Commerce hosted a "Good Morning Morris" breakfast.
"Hopefully they'll see the Jets are a first-class organization," said Mr. T. "We are partners with the community and we take that responsibility seriously. We're here to work together and move all of Morris County and New Jersey forward. We're really happy to be here."
The Green & White have settled nicely into their new home, the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center, following their move prior to the start of the 2008 season.
"I think it provided a certain impetus of booming the economy locally here," said Paul Boudreau, the president of the Chamber of Commerce. "Obviously they have a couple of hundred people working there and some of them have very significant needs, and a number of them have moved into the community and are presences within the community. I think the fact that they are winning and they've proven to be champions now also lifts the entire social atmosphere, the Morristown area and Morris community specifically."
Tannenbaum, who has run the Jets football operation the past five years, spoke for 30 minutes and covered his job description and business approach in detail. He emphasized the importance of researching a potential employee and finding out what the person is like when not in the spotlight.
"Mike says, 'Ask the cabdriver, ask the attendants in the locker room and ask the door person,' " said Dan Henderson, president and CEO of The Casey Group. "How you treat people is a very big indicator on your inner self. The hardest part, as you're looking at employees who are going to be partners with you in your business, is to find out what they're really like. You need to know that up front instead of lastly when you say, 'Oh my gosh, I made a big mistake and this can become a cancer within the business and really hurt.' "
Tannenbaum also reminded executives the benefit of face time with employees. He has an open door policy at the team's facility and gives ownership to his staff.
"Mike reminded me of something I kind of lost sight of recently and it's the walk-around," Boudreau said. "I used to do it all the time — I used to walk around my organization constantly just to interact with people and understand how their days are going and what they're doing, what's good and what's bad. I've stopped doing that recently because of time constraints. Mike reminded me of how it important that is to continue to do that all the time."
At the end of his presentation, Tannenbaum answered a few questions before departing back for the football world less than a mile away.
"We are students of business and try to make the right decisions for our organizations," he said. "It's great when we can have exchanges like we did today."