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Jamey Rootes on Being a Winning Leader
December 15th, 2020
By Melissa Fox

What does it take to run the business side of a financially successful NFL team?  It starts with an aptitude for leadership on multiple fronts and Jamey Rootes has just that. Rootes has been with the Houston Texans since before the team took its first snap.

Having served as President of the Texans since 1999, Rootes has had a lot of experience making decisions that not only affect the business side of the organization but the Houston sports community as a whole. He recently penned a book, The Winning Game Plan: A Proven Leadership Playbook for Continuous Business Success, to share his experiences and ideology to help guide fellow and future leaders.  We sat down with Rootes to learn more about his new book and his thoughts on what makes a great leader. 

As a top executive in Houston for many years, you have a lot of leadership experience. What made you decide to share that insight in a book? 

There were a couple of inspirations. First, I have had tremendous mentors and influencers throughout my career. They have all helped shape me into the leader that I am today. I thought it would be a shame for that influence to end with me, so I thought I would put some of the more important ideas down on paper to share with others. Also, I wanted my kids to know what their dad really did for a living. 😊 

What do you hope young professionals specifically will take away from the book? 

First of all, it is a super fun read. If you like stories, you’ve come to the right place. And, if that’s all you get, that’s fine with me. However, if you’re truly committed to being the best leader that you can be in whatever walk of life it is (sports, business, nonprofits, family, whatever) there are specific and actionable strategies to make you a better leader. Humbly, I would say if you are a leader, this is the most important book you’ll ever read, other than the Bible.

In the book, you talk a lot about leaders vs. managers. What advice can you give to someone who is just starting their career who wants to ensure they are on the path to be being a great leader in their organization? 

One of the first stories in the book tells of an experience that I had with a consultant. I didn’t know it at the time but he was performing at 360° feedback exercise on me. It opened my eyes and after the initial shock, I began the hard work to take things to the next level. If you don’t want to go that far, begin to ask your direct reports questions like, “how am I doing for you?” and “what is one thing I can do to be a better boss?”

What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a leader during your tenure with the Texans

Navigating the organization through COVID.

As you know, HYPE loves all things Houston, so we have to ask…what are your top 3 favorite places or experiences in Houston?

Any of Chris Shepherd’s restaurants, Killen’s BBQ and Texans games.


You can purchase your copy of The Winning Game Plan: A Proven Leadership Playbook for Continuous Business Success here. All proceeds benefit the Houston Texans Foundation.

Learn more about sports in Houston here
 

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