The Motivation Secrets of 8 Successful Business Leaders

Ed Brown CEO,Patron Spirits Company
Photo (C) Jeff Clark

Ed Brown

CEO, Patr?n Spirits Company

Before Brown took over as Patr?n's president and CEO in 2003, the Las Vegas-based tequila producer was more about cantina margaritas than sophisticated cocktails at high-end bars.

Now the company has grown to about 1,700 employees and gained fame for its epic events and marketing campaigns, which have raised consumer perception of the brand as a high-quality tequila. "Everything has changed," says Brown, who also races cars for Patr?n on the professional circuit. "In the early days, I worked on making sure the brand was profitable for everyone, and now we are the single most profitable brand for our distributors."

On a happy staff:
You have to make sure people enjoy coming to work. Without the employees, Patr?n would never be what it is, so I tell them, "If you don't absolutely love it, it's time to leave." If I'm not thrilled, it'll be time to sell and move on.

On effective motivational strategies:
It's all about an environment that makes employees feel like family. Lunch is catered every day; I built a church at the distillery because some employees were religious. My whole executive team has never worked in the same building because I felt it was more important that they were where their families were, and if everyone had a happy home life, that would mean a beautiful work life. I also ask employees to multitask, which is important to keep them from getting bored and stuck in a rut--my assistant started as a receptionist, and I have her doing marketing now.

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Jennifer Wang is a staff writer at Entrepreneur magazine in Southern California.

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This article was originally published in the October 2013 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: The Best Motivators in Business.

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