Search
Close this search box.
Search
Close this search box.

TD Ameritrade’s Todd Ricketts: ‘Never Expect Anything You Don’t Earn’

© AdobeStock
In this episode of our Corporate Competitor Podcast, Maxwell Leadership Thought Leader Don Yaeger sits down with TD Ameritrade and Chicago Cubs board member Todd Ricketts to discuss his family’s legendary work ethic and focus on culture.

For Todd Ricketts, business is most definitely a family affair. Ricketts is a prominent businessman and investor who serves on the board of directors at TD Ameritrade, a company founded by his father, and serves on the board of another family venture that goes by the name of the Chicago Cubs, a Major League Baseball team of which the Ricketts family are majority owners and that holds a special place in the hearts of fans worldwide.

As one of four children growing up in an entrepreneurial family, Ricketts learned early about the importance of hard work and accountability, both virtues instilled in him by his parents. “My parents taught me the value of hard work and never to expect anything you don’t earn,” was how Ricketts summed up the expectations placed on all the family members, as well as the company’s staff.

For the Ricketts family, Ameritrade was truly a labor of love. While his father and his small team built a business that helped people invest their money, his mother was “an integral part of creating that esprit de corps within Ameritrade in the early days,” a role she perfected by making birthday cakes for Ameritrade employees. “Once the company grew too large for the Ricketts kitchen,” noted Ricketts, “Ameritrade decided to designate the first day of each month as donut day,” which recognized all 9,000 team members’ birthdays with free morning goodies.

In the world of professional baseball, Rickett’s guidance helped the Cubs reach extraordinary heights, culminating in their historic 2016 World Series victory, breaking a remarkable 108-year championship drought. In the podcast, Ricketts shares a trove of family stories and lessons about creating workplaces that inspire loyalty and commitment.

Lessons include:

• Reminding yourself that if you aren’t failing now and then, you’re probably not trying enough new ideas.

• Why employees who have to struggle to achieve success sometimes outperform the stars.

• The business reason behind the Cubs’ successful ending of their historic title drought.

Whether it is financial services or sports, Ricketts is a big believer in the power of culture, a belief that was reinforced after he donned a fake beard and glasses on Undercover Boss. Working odd jobs around Wrigley field, Ricketts discovered something that vindicated his family’s focus on culture: “a contagious love for the organization.”

The leadership lesson, said Ricketts, is as clear and crisp as a walk-off homer: “People should seek to be a part of something bigger than themselves and have a love for the organization in which they work.”


MORE LIKE THIS

  • Get the CEO Briefing

    Sign up today to get weekly access to the latest issues affecting CEOs in every industry
  • upcoming events

    Roundtable

    Strategic Planning Workshop

    1:00 - 5:00 pm

    Over 70% of Executives Surveyed Agree: Many Strategic Planning Efforts Lack Systematic Approach Tips for Enhancing Your Strategic Planning Process

    Executives expressed frustration with their current strategic planning process. Issues include:

    1. Lack of systematic approach (70%)
    2. Laundry lists without prioritization (68%)
    3. Decisions based on personalities rather than facts and information (65%)

     

    Steve Rutan and Denise Harrison have put together an afternoon workshop that will provide the tools you need to address these concerns.  They have worked with hundreds of executives to develop a systematic approach that will enable your team to make better decisions during strategic planning.  Steve and Denise will walk you through exercises for prioritizing your lists and steps that will reset and reinvigorate your process.  This will be a hands-on workshop that will enable you to think about your business as you use the tools that are being presented.  If you are ready for a Strategic Planning tune-up, select this workshop in your registration form.  The additional fee of $695 will be added to your total.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $695 will be added to your total.

    New York, NY: ​​​Chief Executive's Corporate Citizenship Awards 2017

    Women in Leadership Seminar and Peer Discussion

    2:00 - 5:00 pm

    Female leaders face the same issues all leaders do, but they often face additional challenges too. In this peer session, we will facilitate a discussion of best practices and how to overcome common barriers to help women leaders be more effective within and outside their organizations. 

    Limited space available.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $495 will be added to your total.

    Golf Outing

    10:30 - 5:00 pm
    General’s Retreat at Hermitage Golf Course
    Sponsored by UBS

    General’s Retreat, built in 1986 with architect Gary Roger Baird, has been voted the “Best Golf Course in Nashville” and is a “must play” when visiting the Nashville, Tennessee area. With the beautiful setting along the Cumberland River, golfers of all capabilities will thoroughly enjoy the golf, scenery and hospitality.

    The golf outing fee includes transportation to and from the hotel, greens/cart fees, use of practice facilities, and boxed lunch. The bus will leave the hotel at 10:30 am for a noon shotgun start and return to the hotel after the cocktail reception following the completion of the round.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $295 will be added to your total.