If there are 32 owners in the NFL, there are 32 ways to run an NFL team. Bisciotti’s style has helped make the Ravens one of the most stable and successful organizations in the league. Not only are the Ravens the lone team to win a playoff game each of the past five seasons, they’re the only team to make the playoffs each of the past five seasons.
“He lets us do our job,” Newsome said, by way of explanation.
During the football season, Bisciotti spends much of his time in Jupiter, Fla. He’ll often fly to Baltimore late in the week — he and his wife, Renee, live in Millersville, not far from Annapolis — watch the game from his suite and head back to Florida Monday morning. At league meetings, he’ll often send team President Dick Cass in his place. And he routinely declines interview requests to discuss the league, his team or himself. Still, his employees said he’s not only engaged in all facets of the team’s operations, but his voice and style are critical to the culture surrounding the team.
“We run our organization as though it were a partnership,” said Cass, Bisciotti’s first and most important hire after taking over ownership. “We collaborate and we’re collegial and we discuss things. That’s how he wants it. He doesn’t really believe in hierarchy, per se. He believes in what I call horizontal communication.”
Bisciotti also is up-front and doesn’t mince words. No one has to guess what he thinks.
For example, a couple years back, he felt he owed it to his mother to say: “Mom, you’re wearing too much perfume,” because he didn’t think she was aware. He calls it “being care-frontational.”
Whether it’s preparing for the draft or making key hires, Bisciotti prefers to sit in the room and listen to everyone else speak before opening his mouth. When he does talk, he’s often asking questions, and making sure all lines of communication are open.
“He says it’s his bubble in the straw mentality. One small bubble can block everything,” explains Eric DeCosta, the team’s assistant general manager. “He wants more of an open forum where everybody can speak their mind.”
It’s similar to how he ran Allegis Group, a private staffing company he built with his cousin after graduating from Salisbury State, which eventually grew into a multi-billion dollar outfit.
Calm, confident and thoughtful is his style and a variety of business leaders turn to him for advice. Ripken, for example, consulted with Bisciotti on how he could grow Ripken Baseball, talks that were about more than finances.
“There’s this philosophical side to him,” the baseball Hall of Famer said.
And Williams would often call up Bisciotti, an unabashed and passionate Maryland basketball fan, to talk about the Terps.