My Favorite Mistake — 72: NSYNC and the WNBA; Trusting The Process With Sixers & Devils CEO Scott O’Neil

CEO of Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment

Warning: The episode does contain mention of a death by suicide. If you are struggling, help is available Speak with someone today by calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.

My guest for Episode #72 of the My Favorite Mistake podcast is Scott O’Neil. He’s the CEO of Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment, a global sports and entertainment company that includes some of the most iconic and innovative teams and brands in the world, including the Philadelphia 76ers (NBA) and the New Jersey Devils (NHL).

With more than 20 years of experience in the NBA, NHL and NFL, Scott has worked in the NBA league office, was formerly the President of Madison Square Garden Sports and he’s now the author of Be Where Your Feet Are: Seven Principles to Keep You Present, Grounded and Thriving – which is available TODAY!

Scott was also featured recently in this fantastic Wall St. Journal article: “For Sports Executive Scott O’Neil, Failure Is the Best Teacher.”

Questions and topics include:

  • Scott’s “favorite mistake” when working for the NBA league office
  • Why trying to reach teenage girls through NSYNC, as an attempt to grow the WBNA audience, was a mistake and why it “failed miserably”
  • The mistake of not being more hands on
  • Why relationships matter and how Scott came to appreciate this
  • Have to be able to fail… the Sixers were in first place when we recorded this and they lose one third of the time
  • The Sixers are famous for “the process” — were there ever times when you thought the process was a mistake?
  • Trust the process” — no short cuts to the top, short term pain for long-term gain
  • How do you know when to stick with “the process” vs. adjusting to a new plan or approach

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