When Jay Warnick took over as sports field manager at Arrowhead Stadium two years ago, he took any agenda he had for the job and the crew he was taking over and stuffed it in his back pocket.
“The position was unique to me in that I inherited a staff that was incredibly skilled, experienced and talented,” Warnick said. “In fact, [the staff] was as good of field managers that I had ever seen. Things had been going along quite well for them.”
The last thing Warnick wanted to do was shake things up and mess with the good culture going on within the Kansas City Chiefs’ field operations department.
Warnick, who spoke with other NFL field managers as part of a roundtable at the Sports Turf Managers Association’s Conference and Exhibition in January, said “change” was on his mind when he took the job, but he quickly realized after a few days on the job that change wasn’t needed.
“Sometimes when we move on to [new] situations, we use change as a weapon,” Warnick stated. “We say, ‘I’m going to change something just to impose my will upon others to create a hierarchy.’ That can be a mistake.”
Warnick said that even though he and his staff might have a different way of achieving a goal, they shared the same vision as far as the result.
Warnick put his ego aside and utilized the crew members to his advantage.
“What it boils down to is being respectful,” he added.