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STEVE BISCIOTTI: The quiet hand that guides The Baltimore Ravens

Lombardi's Way STEVE BISCIOTTI: The quiet hand that guides The Baltimore Ravens

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During my days as a salesman for Bell Atlantic Capital, a now defunct company due to it being an acquisition target multiple times, I enjoyed the camaraderie of my co-workers; respected my superiors and greatly admired the company’s leaders.

They fostered a fun and competitive environment, managing it in a way that inspired you to excel not just for monetary gain but also for pride – both individually and collectively.

That’s a delicate balance to maintain but the leaders did it very well.

Each year they rewarded salespeople who exceeded their goals with an outrageously extravagant vacation. They also awarded trophies and other keepsakes to capture that moment in time.

Once you had sipped from that proverbial cup of a champion, you never wanted to go a year without tasting its sweetness again and again.

Work friendships grew into very personal ones as repeat winners became accustomed to these annual vacations together. A feeling of “family” ensued.

Today, years later, those friendships remain despite the miles that separate us. There’s a connection that will stand the test of time.

When I listened to and watched the Ravens as they accepted their praises from President Obama and received their rings, I thought back to those days – days that I now realize I took for granted.

Steve Bisciotti with his class, selflessness, charm and self-deprecating ways reminds me of our company President. He is building something, shaping the Ravens organization every single day into something so unique that when you become part of it, once you step into the building, you never want to leave.

I’ve had the distinct honor to sit down with Steve over the past five years during our Ravens Rap Show in Ocean City, MD. Steve makes the annual trip out of respect to his friendship with Steve Pappas, the owner of The Original Greene Turtle and the executive producer of the show.

Each year you can sense that Bisciotti is growing in his role as an owner. He understands the game more. He has a greater awareness of the strengths and weaknesses of the people who comprise his organization. He becomes more in tune with the business of football and given his professional experiences and upbringing, he’s a forward, outside-the-box thinker.

I’ve listened to him tell stories about his experiences working with Ozzie Newsome, Eric DeCosta and John Harbaugh. Each story seems like a journey and at times you aren’t quite sure where he’s going but when he brings it to a close, you understand that the seemingly unrelated details that he’s used to paint the story and describe the journey, are important and help you to fully appreciate the meaning and intent.

I can only imagine what it would be like to work for the man and to be exposed to his unique view of the world on a regular basis.

He’s gifted and he is a gift to his organization, and for that matter all of the fans of Baltimore.

And it’s that gift, as stealth as he thinks he or it is, that becomes the glue. It is the single-most influencing factor in the building quietly guiding success; slowly building an organization that you really don’t want to leave or one that you can’t wait to get into.

Current players really don’t want to leave unless the money just forces them to.

Players on the outside looking in, hope that someday the stars align and they can get in.

Sometimes it’s about more than money.

It’s about the building you work in; the quality of people you work with; how a company cares about your family; how the company engages the community; how the company will host you at parties (post Super Bowl) and banquets (Ring Ceremony); how they shape an organizational mindset of winners; how they respect the past and their history.

The Ravens have all of that going on for them and more and it starts at the top.

Last night when greeting those in attendance at the ring ceremony, Bisciotti paid homage to Art Modell, recognizing that none of last night would be possible without Art and his lovely wife Pat.

“They touched us all,” Bisciotti said. “They made us believe we were special, and we get to pay them back.”

How respectful!

How humble!

Here’s a man who has consistently distributed praise that was really his to accept and always respects the core competencies of those he employs. Why do you think he didn’t attend the White House ceremony? It wasn’t about political differences. Instead he wanted to allow Ozzie, John Harbaugh, the players and coaches to have that moment that he believed they deserved.

Would you want to work for a man like that?

Last night after receiving his ring Ray Lewis shared this.

“I always told them I wanted them to feel what that confetti felt like. To have something that symbolizes it, it’s the ultimate, because now it connects us forever.”

There’s little doubt that there will be more parties like last night’s for the Baltimore Ravens. They are just built that way. Their connectivity will stand the test of time, they will feel like family and it will positively influence their pursuit of the next ring, and the next.

And they can thank the unusually brilliant mind of a C-student from Salisbury University.

Steve Bisciotti, the quiet leader of the World Champion Baltimore Ravens.

 

 

References: BaltimoreRavens.com

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Tony Lombardi

About Tony Lombardi

Tony is 24x7 Networks, LLC's founder (the parent of EutawStreetReport.com and RussellStreetReport.com) His work has been featured on various sports websites and he is a regular guest on 105.7 The Fan. A diehard Fab Four fan, Tony is a frustrated musician who thinks beating on the steering wheel is akin to being John Bonham. Follow Tony on Twitter @RussellStReport. More from Tony Lombardi
19 comments
Nick
Nick

I grew up as a Redskins fan. Once Jack Kent Cooke passed away and new ownership settled in and fired most of the support staff (secretaries and admin staff), I realized that my affection for the Redskins was not just about the wins and players, but, more about the organization. It is the reason the Redskins haven't come close to tasting another championship since 1992. When the Ravens moved into town, I jumped on the Modell bandwagon because he reminded me of Kent Cooke. His legacy lived up to my expectations and I've been rewarded with 17 years of great football entertainment. I'll admit that when Art Modell stepped aside and yielded majority ownership to Steve Bisciotti, I was hoping this would not be a repeat of the Redskins ownership transition. Fortunately, Bisciotti understands that success is not about "me" and because of that, I suspect I'll continue to enjoy being a Ravens fan for life.

ELKRIDGE FAN
ELKRIDGE FAN

Beautiful article. Thank you it made me soooooooo proud to be a Raven fan (well, More proud anyhow!) :) We have a wonderul owner, and I hope he never leaves! Other local owners (one in particular come to mind) could REALLY learn something ... or, better yet sell to Cal Ripken, who I am confident could mirror the smae for the Os....

JerryB
JerryB

Nice post, Tony! Cream always rises to the top! Baltimore is fortunate to have had owners like Modell and now, Bisciotti, neither of whom should ever be taken for granted! This organization epitomizes class from top to bottom and is a major reason for their success!

Kirk Stoffel
Kirk Stoffel

Tony, I wish all fans could read this article. Well stated. I had the pleasure of attending the OC show two years ago...talked to Steve and what struck me was...he in many ways is just a regular guy. He talked to me on an equal level as opposed to someone who lets money and fame go to their head. For me I instantly garnered more respect for the man. I felt blessed to have met and talked with Steve. An experience I wished many of my fellow Ravens fans could experience. I was already a die-hard Ravens fan before I met him. After that night when I met him, I became a die-hard Steve Bisciotti fan!

Captain Kirk
Captain Kirk

Tony, I wish all fans could read this article. Well stated. I had the pleasure of attending the OC show two years ago...talked to Steve and what struck me was...he in many ways is just a regular guy. He talked to me on an equal level as opposed to someone who lets money and fame go to their head. For me I instantly garnered more respect for the man. I felt blessed to have met and talked with Steve. An experience I wished many of my fellow Ravens fans could experience. I was already a die-hard Ravens fan before I met him. After that night when I met him, I became a die-hard Steve Bisciotti fan!

Robbie
Robbie

and he didnt show up at the White House, for what reason?

Ravenwoman
Ravenwoman

I think this is one of the best articles that has been ever written by Tony. We are so blessed to have an owner of this magnitude. While I agree with Sean's comments, I do believe he cares for the fans as much as his pocketbook will allow in the circumstances. The first rule of business is always to make a profit, but Steve does it in a way to keep his customer base happy. The Ravens always try to put a quality product on the field and their various promotions like Purple Fridays, visiting training camp at the Castle, giveaways to PSL owners (for paying tickets early) and encouraging the players to volunteer their time in the community is probably second to none if you look around the league. I have always enjoyed my time out at M&T and feel as though I received good value in entertainment for the money I have spent. As far as owner issues are concerned, one has to realize that he has only 1 vote in 32 and he has to go along to get along in order for the Ravens to remain in good standing with the NFL and his colleagues.

Dr. Evil
Dr. Evil

My Dad is a Roost president and has had the opportunity to talk with Biscotti a few times. He always says how nice and down-to-earth Steve is. I'm proud to be a fan of such a classy organization. Go Ravens!

Sean
Sean

He is definitely one of the best owners in the NFL. However, never forget that he is an "owner" and really doesn't care about you. Fans are a revenue stream to owners, nothing more. Don't me wrong, we Ravens fans are lucky to him him as the owner. But I will never confuse management excellence with caring about the fans. Sorry if that is cynical, but the owners did not care about the fans during last year's lock out, or trying to create an 18 game season, or sending more games to London each year, etc. No fan, especially in this town, should ever think that an owner cares about them.

RavenJoe
RavenJoe

Too bad he can't leverage his 'Skill Set' into getting a Home Opener for His SB Championship Team and Fans?!?!?!?

Debbie
Debbie

Very well written and I just loved this piece. Steve is definitely the classiest owner in the NFL. He came over to our group standing outside the hotel in NOLA and he spoke to my 10yr son and when he found out we drove all the way there in an RV without tickets, just to be there to support our Ravens, he gave my son 2 Super Bowl Tickets! He was so kind and sweet to my son who is very shy and Steve quickly realized and understood that my son wouldn't be comfortable being mobbed in a photo frenzie and Steve allowed us to take several photos of the two of them, without the crowded chaos happening--he had my complete respect and admiration at that moment and it proved what a great person he really is--he didn't do for the media hype or the photo opportunity--he gave those tickets to my son to be generous and kind. We are a family of Ravens fans and Steve Bisciotti fans for life!

LA
LA

I do work for a man like that....I work for Steve Bisciotti. He runs all of his companies that way. Good article.

Mr. Oldman
Mr. Oldman

Well stated Tony. We are so lucky to have an owner (and FO) of this caliber. I was in the stands for Irsay's debacles, so I know a little about buffoonery. We have an organization that is the envy of most, if not all the other franchises. Combined with the dedication and ferocity of the fans, it makes for a special situation.

Josh
Josh

I loved how he gave rings to members of the first Super Bowl team who grace the Ring of Honor -- total class move. You can tell Bisciotti is an actual fan of the team, which contributes to him wanting to see a perennially competitive team. It is such a nice distraction from our other professional team's owner, who couldn't care less about the success of that organization.

Reading Comments By Goofies
Reading Comments By Goofies

I thought Flacco was the quite hand the guides the organization. Would there be a second Lombardi without him no matter how good of an owner BISCIOTTI is?

bob weber
bob weber

ed reed should be reading this

Pat Muir
Pat Muir

Tony....very well said...

Tony Lombardi
Tony Lombardi

Thanks for sharing Nick! And I suspect you're right!

Larry S.
Larry S.

Thanks for sharing that story, Debbie. It was really touching, and gave some great insight into Steve!

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