- Have a dream.
- Focus on key priorities.
- Recognize the importance of the team.
- Never give up.
These are the four life lessons Mike Good ’71 shared with Augsburg alumni at the Eye Opener breakfast in January, a talk that tied together key themes of Good’s journey to Augsburg and back again.
It started at Fridley High School where, Good said, his dream was to become a wrestling state champion. He posted a sign above his bedroom door—“SC” for “state champion”—to remind him every day of his goal and the importance of working toward it. In his senior year, his high school won the state championship as a team. Individually, though, Good lost in the semi-finals, ultimately placing third—a result that was critical to the overall team’s victory. Listening to Good recount the story, it’s clear that the team accomplishment is as important to him as any individual title might have been.
Have a dream. Focus on priorities. Recognize the importance of the team.
At Augsburg, Good said, he was passionate about racial justice and freedom from hunger. A sociology major and physical education minor, he also remained passionate about wrestling. His new goal: to be Augsburg’s first All-American wrestler.
Again, as Good recounted the outcomes of this dream, he not only reported his own success in winning an All-American title, but with equal relish named several of his teammates—Daryl Miller ’69, Ron Johnson ’72, Pat Marcy ’72—who also earned All-American titles during their time at Augsburg.
Dream. Focus. Team.
When Good got into real estate, he brought this same focus and drive to his leadership.
By 1998, he was executive vice president and chief operating officer for NRT Incorporated, responsible for the oversight of more than 1,000 offices nationally. Then, in 2004, when his parent company, Cendant Corporation, bought the rights to use the Sotheby’s brand, he was tapped to serve as chief executive officer of Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates, Inc.
No one ever had built a luxury real estate franchise before, Good said. So, early on, many of the premier independent real estate companies in the United States were not interested in joining Sotheby’s. Instead of worrying about that, Good focused his team on building a unique value proposition for Sotheby’s real estate, growing the franchise to 650 offices in 45 countries. In the end, many of those same independent real estate companies who said, “no thanks,” at the beginning, joined the Sotheby’s operation and, according to Good, dramatically grew their sales within the first few years of taking on the Sotheby’s name.
Focus on priorities. Recognize the importance of the team. Never give up.
This past January, Good retired from Sotheby’s and, with his wife, Ann, moved back to Minnesota. He also just completed four years as chair of the Augsburg College Board of Regents, where he has served since 2001. So now he has taken on a new challenge: serving as campaign chair of Augsburg’s capital campaign for the Center for Science, Business, and Religion. In his January talk, Good acknowledged that the campaign has moved forward more slowly than desired but, he said, “Nothing happens without belief.”
Today, Good has another sign above his door: “CSBR. Believe.”
Another dream, another focus. A team, Good said, that will include alumni and others who can and will make a significant impact on the College. And, even if it takes longer than expected, Good said, he is in this for the long haul.
“I believe in this college,” Good said. “I believe in what it does for young men and women, helping them grapple with the issues of today and come out as leaders.”