Jeff Triplette is the Chief Executive Officer and President of Arbiter Sports, a company based in Sandy, Utah, that provides software solutions for organizing athletic events. A native of North Carolina, Jeff grew up on a dairy/tobacco farm and is part of the first generation in his family to go to college, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from Wake Forest University.
Jeff brings more than three decades of leadership experience and a lifelong love of sports to his current position. He considers himself having three parallel careers: one in business, one in the military and one as an official referee for professional sports. In business, he’s worked as a real estate appraiser, an executive at Duke Energy Company and FNC (a software company) and an entrepreneur when he began a risk management consultancy business in 2009. He was awarded the Bronze Star while serving in the first Persian Gulf War and is now a retired Colonel in the U.S. Army National Guard and Reserve. And he has been a sports official since he was in college, most currently spending 20 seasons as an official in the National Football League.
In addition to his parallel career paths, Jeff has served on numerous boards, including the board of directors for the Oil Casualty Insurance and Oil Insurance Limited organizations. He currently serves as the Chair of the Board of Directors for the National Association of Sports Officials (NASO) and as President of the National Football League Referees Association (NFLRA).
Be a Successful Leader
From his time heading up different groups and divisions at Duke Energy Company, as well as from his time in the military (both in officer training and in the field), Jeff learned the importance of strong leadership in success. As an entrepreneur, you definitely need to be willing to put your sweat and monetary equity into your business, but you also need to commit to being a strong leader. Good leadership comes from planning for the success of the people you hire and your partners as well as for your company. “Living through the success of other people makes me feel successful,” Jeff says. A good leader makes working together for the good of the people you hire just as important as working for the good of the company. “Success depends on the folks around me much more than my individual corporation.”
Whether your company is successful or not, being a strong leader means the people that work with you come away having had a positive experience. Lead so that people are supported and inspired by you. “The thing I want to be remembered for is that people wanted to be associated with me,” Jeff says. “I have worked with some really great and talented people. I absolutely would walk across burning coals for them. And at the end of the day, that’s what matters.”
Being a successful leader also means being aware of how you come across and present yourself to others. “Pay attention to how you interact with folks,” Jeff advises. People are always watching you, and setting an accessible, personable example will help people have confidence in you. Ask for feedback so you can identify and work on any blind spots, too.
Plan for Growth
Getting your business off the ground takes planning, but so does growing it. Jeff’s advice is to be realistic when planning for growth. Know that some areas of revenue may not come in as expected and some expenses may be higher than you’d like, but there are still many options to stay on track and grow.
“We all hope to hit singles, but what if you strike out a few?” Jeff asks. That’s the question to ask yourself. Plan to be flexible, looking at other areas of your business for growth opportunities. When expected areas of the business don’t come in as projected, what other areas can you possibly double or even triple to make “hits”? By being flexible and thinking creatively, you can still hit 100% growth, keeping your business on track and growing.