NFL legend and Heisman Trophy winner Herschel Walker knows a thing or two about teamwork. When his football days came to an end, he founded Renaissance Man Food Services in 1999 and used his lessons learnt on the field to help build successful partnerships in his new one.
Walker believes that the most important aspect of getting a partnership off on the right foot is patience: something Renaissance Man offered and received as it became a valued part of Marriott’s supply chain.
Wolfgang Lindlbauer (Chief Discipline Leader, Global Operations) awards Herschel Walker and Renaissance Man the Diversity & Inclusion Award at Marriott's Global Design and Discipline Conference in 2014.
“I appreciate working with Marriott because you have been patient with us as we learn,” he says. “You need to have the patience to learn, and your partner needs to have the patience to teach and help. You have to prove your worth. You have to make it a win-win for both parties.
“If we’re a partnership, we’re in it together. We’re going to work hard for each other. I’m going to be your blocker; you’re the runner. I’m going to make your job easier.”
Renaissance Man’s commitment to understanding their partners’ business is one of the reasons the company was honored at Marriott’s Global Design and Discipline Conference with the 2014 Diversity & Inclusion Award. It’s an honor that validates Walker’s instincts about what makes a partnership successful.
“When you’re a partner, you’ve got to be in that foxhole with each other,” he says. “You have to be on the same page. If you’re on the same page, you’re fine.
“There are some companies that talk the talk, but Marriott walks the walk. And as long as you’re working on your side of the line and I’m working on my side of the line, we’re going to score touchdowns.