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Entrepreneur Ted Leonsis Speaks to Freshman Business Class

Friday, October 08, 2010

Marymount University freshmen in Management 123, The Business Experience, were recently treated to a guest lecture by business, sports, and media magnate Ted Leonsis, who discussed his new book The Business of Happiness, co-authored by John Buckley. The theme of the book and the message that Mr. Leonsis delivered to the young Business majors was that “success may or may not make you happy, but happiness always makes you more successful.”

James Ryerson, dean of Marymount’s School of Business Administration, explained that the required freshman course presents a survey of American business, with an experiential focus on the business resources of the Washington, DC, area.

Dean Ryerson said, “I consider it such an important introduction into the Business curriculum that I co-teach it with Marymount’s associate dean Dr. Catherine England. Along with the textbook, it’s been our practice to identify a provocative business-related book that offers a different spin on the road to success. The freshmen read Mr. Leonsis’ book early in the semester. He then graciously agreed to lecture at Marymount and to answer questions from the class of over 80 students.”

Mr. Leonsis has built and sold multiple successful companies. He helped to make AOL a global enterprise, is an award-winning documentary producer, and currently owns the Washington Capitals and the Washington Wizards.

“Certainly, it was very exciting to have one of America’s most successful business leaders speak to our students,” Dean Ryerson said, “but of even more importance, was the message he delivered to these future business executives.” He elaborated, “Mr. Leonsis described a harrowing plane ride early in his career, which made him realize that money does not in and of itself make you happy.”

Dean Ryerson explained, “From that day on, he embraced a dual bottom line focused on profitability and satisfied stakeholders. This means operating in a business culture where employees are happy and invested in the company’s success with everyone committed to delivering a product that meets the customer’s expectations. That certainly resonates with the University’s emphasis on ethics and service, hallmarks of a Marymount education.”