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Forge Ahead

Three Tips to Cultivate a Career-Defining Partnership

By January 24, 2022No Comments
don strasburg sam warren winter on the rocks AEG

Don Strasburg and Sam Warren have fostered a decade-long partnership around their love for Colorado, live music, and bringing like-minded people together. Don is co-President of AEG Presents Rocky Mountains and the Pacific Northwest and is one of the state’s leading concert promoters. He teamed up with Sam, Partnership Director at Icelantic Skis, to plan a recurring winter concert at the renowned Red Rocks Amphitheatre.
Over its 11-year history, Icelantic’s Winter on the Rocks has hosted artists like Anderson Paak, Major Lazer, Damian Marley, and De La Soul. The annual event provides concertgoers with the opportunity to enjoy live music outside of the main concert season and has become a staple in Colorado’s music and winter sports communities.

We recently spoke with Don and Sam on the Forge Ahead podcast about collaborating with like-minded professionals, creating products that reflect your authentic vision, and the importance of in-person experiences.

1. Collaborate with Like-Minded Visionaries

Partnering with other ambitious professionals can help bring your ideas to life, which leads to unique opportunities you would not otherwise experience.
Sam feels that his partnership with Don and the city of Denver to create Winter on the Rocks has been a “beautiful thing.” He credits the coming together of these three groups and their “really unique relationship” that allowed this one-of-a-kind event to become a reality.
The takeaway? Seek out like-minded professionals who can contribute their resources to accomplish shared goals.

2. Build a Product That’s True to Your Values

Products that are backed by a defined, authentic vision will resonate with customers and help your company stand out in a competitive marketplace.

Sam and his teammates at Icelantic applied that philosophy when they started making skis. According to Sam, they were not trying to develop the most technologically advanced skis in the world. They wanted to produce aesthetically pleasing skis that were also highly durable, which was the vision that propelled the brand forward and allowed them to connect with their customers.

What can we learn from Sam’s experience? Establishing strong brand values and designing a product that reflects them will help you develop long-lasting customer relationships.

3. Create Shared Experiences

If you’ve ever attended a live music performance, you know the experience can be transformative and restorative. Beyond sensory stimulation, live music also fulfills essential social needs by establishing interpersonal connections.

Don feels these in-person experiences and connections are more important than ever because of the pandemic. “Live music is something that’s way more important than we’ve thought about,” Don says. “It’s a critical part of existing.”

Look for ways to create shared experiences with your colleagues and customers. Doing so will strengthen your relationships and lead to meaningful connections.

Visit the Forge Ahead homepage to hear the entire conversation with Don and Sam.