Lesson #4: “Even in a little thing like a stick of gum, quality is important.”

From a little stick of gum, to a baseball club, to an entire island, Wrigley Jr. proved he was a man devoted to doing his best, to being the best, and to maintaining the highest standards of quality.

Wrigley Jr. was a businessman, and a great one at that, but he also had a number of passions outside of the business world. One such passion was for baseball. Wrigley Jr. was a lifelong baseball fan and an avid Chicago Cubs fan. Even as his company grew bigger, Wrigley Jr. would still find the time to go with friends to the ballpark to catch a game, and even hand out cigars to the ballplayers.

In 1916, Wrigley Jr. bought stock in the team. Business was such that five years later, he had already gained a controlling interest in the team. Soon, he would be the owner of his favourite team and its ballpark, then known as Cubs Park.

Over the next few years, Wrigley Jr. would invest more than $5 million into the team and its stadium, which was officially renamed to Wrigley Field in honour of its owner. He started installing permanent bleacher seats as well as expanded box seats and an upper deck. If his name was going to be emblazoned on this stadium, Wrigley Jr. decided that it had to be the best stadium there was.

On top of the building, Wrigley Jr. also started bringing in some of the game's best players onto the team, which resulted in the Cubs winning their first pennant in over ten years in 1929. Much like the way he ran his business, Wrigley Jr. insisted on having the best people on his team, people who were both highly qualified and team players.

It was that same attitude of wanting to be the best that guided Wrigley Jr.'s management of Catalina Island. By importing plants and birds from around the world, and investing in public infrastructure and more, Wrigley Jr. was able to turn the island into one of the most famous resorts in the U.S.

So, too, with the Wrigley Building did Wrigley Jr. want to build a structure that both he and the city of Chicago could be proud of. The Wrigley Building is actually two buildings connected by a sky-bridge. Its 27-story clock tower modeled after the Giralda Tower in Seville has become a famous symbol around the world for the city itself. Now on the National Register of Historic Places, Wrigley Jr. achieved his dreams.

No matter what project Wrigley Jr. decided to sink his teeth into, he consistently applied one basic principle: "Even in a little thing like a stick of gum, quality is important." He did not necessarily need to see results straight away; he had the patience to wait so long as he knew he was working towards the results that he wanted, and results that would make him the best.

Want More?

New Graphic
Subscriber Counter