Scott O’Neil is the former CEO of Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment, where he was responsible for all properties in HBSE’s dynamic, global portfolio, including marquee teams, the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers and NHL’s New Jersey Devils. He is cofounder of Elevate Sports Ventures, Board Advisor at Myota, and is on the Board of Directors at Zooi, Inc. Scott’s recent book, Be Where Your Feet Are: Seven Principles to Keep You Present, Grounded, and Thriving, is a practical guide filled with actionable lessons and candid stories of his own struggles and successes. He is Marcel Schwantes’ guest this week on Love In Action.
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- “You have to love each other but you don’t have to like each other,” Scott says. In a family, you may not always like your relatives, but you always love them. If you can create that type of connection and teamwork at your workplace, life gets “pretty good, pretty quickly.” Leaders demonstrate love through action, he adds. It’s less about the telling and more about the showing. [3:47]
- Marcel asks Scott to talk about his motivation for writing his book. “I wrote this book after my best friend, unfortunately, took his own life… I spiraled into a really bad place… I would just tuck myself in my little office and write on my iPad. A lot of it was nonsense, but the stuff that did make sense was about lessons I learned… from asking friends about their experiences,” he shares. “My wife brought her friend [in my office]… he gave me some wonderful counseling advice and asked to see what I had written… he said ‘Scott, can you imagine if you publish this and influence one person?’” [9:21]
- Scott’s book is the kind of raw and vulnerable honesty that’s true to life. “The world is wobbly and life is messy,” he claims. “The more we can talk about [that] and get comfortable, the better off we’ll be.” [12:57]
- Practicing gratitude is an important part of living your best life. Scott implores listeners to do a 30-day gratitude challenge: each morning, send a message to a different person expressing how grateful you are for their impact in your life. “The world will send you people that need to hear from you and you’ll get a response [that says] ‘Wow, I really needed to hear this today.’ And for me being in a dark place at one time, I needed to hear it, and so I will tell you there are people in your life that need to hear it,” he remarks. [16:32]
- Marcel asks Scott to define a leadership constitution. “[It’s] who you are at your core,” he responds. “Not what you aspire to be.” Scott explains how leaders commit to creating their own leadership constitution, and shares his own. [24:12]
- There is an epidemic of loneliness in the workplace, Marcel comments. “Isolation is today’s kryptonite.” He and Scott discuss how fostering a sense of community can cut through the transactional atmosphere of the virtual workplace and get rid of the disconnect. [27: 41]
- What’s Most Important (WMI) will be different for every person, but as a leader who prioritizes a healthy work culture, you should think about how to create environments for connection and community, Scott says. “I wanted to be intentional about my WMI, about the way I spend my time, about who I am and how I show up, about the relationships,” he adds. [37:31]
- Scott advises listeners to think about being their authentic selves. “Find out who you are, and surround yourself with people to fill your gaps,” he shares. “If your glass is full and you’re doing wonderful, I encourage you to reach out and help others who don’t have their video on in the next Zoom, whose voice mailbox is full, who’s not responding to texts… the world is better when love is in action.” [39:47]
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