I am often asked how I do “it…”
…“it” being simultaneously executing on initiatives in sports (as Owner and Co-Executive Chairman of the NBA’s Golden State Warriors, Owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and Owner and Executive Chairman of Major League Soccer’s Los Angeles Football Club) — in addition to building, buying or upgrading sports stadiums, and entertainment (as Chairman and CEO of the multimedia Mandalay Entertainment Group, as Chairman of Dick Clark Productions and as Chairman of Mandalay Sports Media). I’m also an Entertainment and Media Analyst for Fox Business News, an author, a speaker, and a full professor at UCLA.
Despite my diverse ventures, at the heart of everything, I’m a storyteller. So I thought I’d share with you my script to create a productivity blockbuster in which the “happily ever after” means being on time, on budget, and en route to rapid and sustained profitability.
Regardless of what you’re trying to successfully produce, before you can execute on it, you have to have a vision. You are the vision-keeper for the journey. Exactly what IS your goal? What does it look like? Many people have a soft vision of what they want. If this is the case in your situation, stop. Your story of successful productivity isn’t ready to even be written, let alone produced. You need to spend quality time on this aspect and very specifically identify the outcome and the benefit you want and truly desire. Write it down, say it out loud, and always have it in your crosshairs. You and your team will never be productive unless there is absolute and total clarity about your vision, which becomes the team’s goal. Everyone must be able to recognize it and articulate it going 60 miles an hour on a rainy, foggy night.
You need to spend quality time on this aspect and very specifically identify the outcome and the benefit you want and truly desire. Write it down, say it out loud, and always have it in your crosshairs.
Next give your vision a framing device. For me, this is the feeling I will experience once my goal is achieved. If I don’t feel enough emotional resonance, I know that this goal shouldn’t be pursued. Neither I nor my team will be productive. We’ll unlikely experience the outcome we want. The journey will most likely be emotionally troubled.
The “flesh and bones” of the script is developed by identifying the resources and resourcefulness required to successfully produce the outcome you want. Resources tap into your aptitude, requiring that you understand what is within you and your team’s capabilities and what external reinforcements may be required. Resourcefulness taps into your attitude. This sets the emotional tone for the journey ahead and infects and affects everyone on the team. Will the path to productivity require enormous resilience? Humor? Passion? Tenacity? Know, as part of your organizational imperative, which emotions to tap into to generate the most highly motivated, efficient, and productive team capable of delivering the results you desire.
The final component of your script is creating urgency to capture the attention of all of your stakeholders and turn it into intention. Urgency can be created because of deadlines that are imposed on you, the threat of competition beating you to market, or by putting incentives in place against pre-determined milestones to encourage rapid results.
With your script written, your story of successful productivity is ready to be realized…
In 2014, a vision consumed me that professional soccer in the U.S. was about to experience an enormous growth spurt. In developing my productivity script, I determined that my goal was to be part of this phenomenon by acquiring a major league soccer team. I defined and refined my goal to include that the team must be in a major U.S. market. For me to be most effective as a leader in this challenge, it also had to have a close proximity to Los Angeles, which is my main headquarters and where I spend most of my time. As I wrote my vision down and said it aloud, I had an epiphany that downtown Los Angeles, the heart of the city, would be the ideal location that could capture the imagination of an urban, multi-ethnic and millennial population, which would be our target audience. I set my sights on creating the winning bid to acquire the new MLS franchise in Los Angeles.
My emotional framing device was the feeling of incredible pride, excitement, and humility to be able to build from the ground up a franchise and state-of-the-art new stadium that would become a core asset to the Los Angeles market. It would also become a beacon and lightning rod for the sport. No question this was a go. I was emotionally onboard and convinced my passion and enthusiasm would be contagious as I crafted the production plan for my script — determining what resources and resourcefulness would be required to generate the greatest productivity.
My resources would need to include real estate, sports, media, venture capital, and have the professional reputation to deliver the goods. I hit the jackpot by joining venture capitalist, Henry Nguyen, and sports industry veteran, Tom Penn. I was able to enlist other luminaries with unique capabilities to be part of the acquisition and production team including Magic Johnson, Tony Robbins, Mia Hamm and Nomar Garciaparra in addition to heads of companies from the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Golden State Warriors and the Dick Clark company.
The resourcefulness or attitude required to see this production to its successful conclusion would require equal parts inspiration and perspiration, but never desperation. Our team would be too experienced and accomplished to let the inevitable speed bumps and naysayers thwart our positivity and commitment to our goal. For me, I exuded an attitude of confidence, but not arrogance. I’ve seen this movie before, having built Loews Theaters and sports stadiums across the country, run studios, and dealt with neighborhoods, cities, celebrities, and governments. I could do it again, and, with this team, even better.
Urgency was handed to us on a silver platter. The new team, which we named the Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC), would be required by the league to play in 2018. This meant building a stadium, putting together a team, and inciting fans and sponsors. Our imposed deadline gave our dream a time limit, thus making it a goal while making us more efficient, economic and productive in our efforts.
Over the course of my multi-faceted career, the script I use to create productivity blockbusters has led to rapid and sustained results. Before you start your production, stop and write your script. Doing this will increase your odds of generating hits for years to come.