Steve Robertson Ideamensch Interview

Posted by Steve Robertson on Feb 6, 2017 12:00:00 AM

steve-robertsonSteve Robertson is the CEO of Julian Krinsky Camps & Programs (JKCP), an organization specializing in youth-to-adult programming that turns curiosity into passion and skill.

Steve has been with the company for 18 years. In this role, his primary responsibility is to cultivate a culture that results in memories that last a lifetime, whether those memories belong to the company’s staff or its programs’ participants. 

Steve oversees 20-plus programs and camps ranging from cooking to sports to academics and more — and these programs bring in participants from all over the world. Steve also partners with organizations such as the University of Pennsylvania and the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation to manage and support their programs.

Originally from South Africa, Steve now resides near JKCP’s headquarters in Pennsylvania — though he’s often plane-hopping worldwide. Connect with Steve on LinkedIn.

Where did the idea for JKCP come from?

Our founder, Julian Krinsky, and his business partner, Adrian Castelli, were crazy entrepreneurs — crazy in a good way. They always had a focus on making sure people had a richer experience, a focus on more. So even when they started with tennis camps, there was always that aspect of “How can we do more? How can we give the students more? How can they experience more?” And that’s really how our growth began.

They soon discovered they had athletes who wanted to play some golf. Next thing, there was a golf program. It didn’t take long to notice that these athletes were smart and many of them had acute aptitudes for business. And so the business program was born.

Having a focus on helping the students experience more is how we got to where we are today. It’s a cool way to grow. We have strategic desires and goals, but the groundwork Julian and Adrian have laid over the past 40 years is still very much the DNA of who we are today. We are an organization that wants to focus on who we’re connecting with and figure out how to help our students experience more in whatever field they choose to pursue with us.

What does your typical day look like, and how do you make it productive?

I have never had an alarm clock wake me up. I always set one, but I always beat it (maybe that’s just the competitor in me!). So I’m awake for about an hour before I get out of bed. But that hour is a productive time for me. It helps me get my head into space I need it to be. I plan. I think. I map out what I need to do today.

I have a checklist of eight to 10 things I need to get done during the day, and those become my priorities. Describing a “typical day” is difficult because we have such seasonal tasks and are involved in so many different things.

There is one thing that is consistent on a day-to-day basis, and that’s trying to bring our company culture to the forefront in terms of how we interact with our customers, how we interact with each other, and how we work. I’m intentional about regularly engaging and interacting with our team.

Obviously, a lot of my time is spent being strategic. That is an ongoing conversation. And then we have to be tactical about what today brings. But the overarching thing is that we work hard to make our culture here a reality — not only for the people who work here but for the customers.

How do you bring ideas to life?

One of the most exciting things about our company is that we have a smart, diverse group of people who are completely invested in what we do. Ideas come from all over.

As for me, I can get people to rally around an idea that I’m passionate about — almost in a Pied Piper sort of way. So when an idea comes to the forefront, I can champion that idea and rally the team around it. Then it’s up to our teams. As soon as we have something we’re excited about pursuing, we get together to determine next steps: tactics and strategies to bring the idea to life.

What’s one trend that excites you?

I am all about the new Amazon shopping experience. I’m also all about wearable technology. I’m excited about it changing and enhancing the experience and the ability to deliver cool content to customers around the world in awesome ways. Technology is shaping us faster than we realize. It’s giving us more and more of an ability to engage with students from around the world on an ongoing basis, to tell our stories and connect with one another.

To read the rest of the interview, view the original article here.

Topics: Pre-College Summer Programs, Trending Topics, Pre-Professional Programs, For Parents, Generation Z

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