It was apparent to me when I began my first day as a Chiefs employee that this organization is focused on successes both on and off the field. The on-the-field portion is clearly seen in the wins and losses column, but the off the field portion is seen 365 days a year in the work that is done by the people who comprise this great franchise.
This group of talented, devoted and enthusiastic employees is a close knit family, one that I have been privileged to become a part of. With that acceptance, my fears of starting new washed away and I was on my way to starting my career.
There was, however, a tangible moment when I discovered what it meant to be appreciated and part of that team. The Thursday before the home opener all of the Chiefs staff were told to meet in the cafeteria because there was going to be a message delivered by Chairman and CEO Clark Hunt. Upon entering the room I had realized this message was going to be accompanied by a fantastic gift. Flanking the walls were customized Nike jerseys, the very same ones that the Chiefs Season Ticket Holders received for remaining faithful to the Kingdom.
Hunt stood at the front of the room and presented the employees with their customized jerseys as a way to say “thank you” to those behind the scenes. From accountants, to sales executives, to the production team; all received a jersey as a gesture of Hunt’s appreciation.
Hunt noted to the family of employees that he was genuinely excited to get back to football, calling it “the best time of the year.” He is looking forward to this season and is thankful for all of us (even us newcomers!) for working late hours, long Sundays, and proudly representing your Kansas City Chiefs.
I had imagined that a Chairman and CEO’s schedule would simply be booked. Yet there he was, passing out jerseys, shaking hands and relishing in the excitement and joy the jerseys brought to his employees.
As the event ended, I watched everyone walk away, clad in Red and ready for the game and I left with something even better, a different perspective on what a sports franchise should be. Go Chiefs!