NSYNC and the WNBA; Trusting The Process With Sixers & Devils CEO Scott O’Neil

NSYNC and the WNBA; Trusting The Process With Sixers & Devils CEO Scott O’Neil


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Warning: The episode does contain a brief mention of a death by suicide. If you are struggling, help is available — In the United States, you can speak with someone today by calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 or dial 988..

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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Photo credit: Alex Subers (used with permission)

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Automated Transcript (Likely Contains Mistakes)

Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker who has worked in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. His latest book is Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. He also published the anthology Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus. He is also a Senior Advisor and Director of Strategic Marketing with the healthcare advisory firm, Value Capture.