In 1983 Ted Leonsis survived a crash landing of a plane he was on.This fateful event proved to be a pivotal point in his life. One of the byproducts of that near-death experiences is Leonsis’ list of 101 things to do before he died—a "bucket list” before the movie of that title came out. Leonsis has managed to accomplish more than two-thirds of the things on his list including owning a sports franchise (the Washington Capitals), changing someone’s life via a charity, sailing the Caribbean, and being on the cover of a magazine. As impressive as these accomplishments are, they do not reveal the person underneath these accomplishments or what has driven this serial entrepreneur. In previous interviews appearing in NEJE, we have explored how a person’s faith tradition impacts how they run and manage their businesses. In this interview Leonsis reveals how his life was shaped by both his early childhood and the transformational experience of a crash landing. This interview examines not only what drove Leonsis to success, but also why he feels failure is important. Along, the way he offers his perspective on corporate social responsibility and why it is so critical for individuals and companies to give back to society. And finally, Leonsis shares what he has learned about the secret to happiness.
Leonsis, Ted and Davis, Miles K.
"How a Plane Crash Changed My Life,"
New England Journal of Entrepreneurship: Vol. 12:
2, Article 3.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.sacredheart.edu/neje/vol12/iss2/3