- Surround yourself with people who are smarter than you and move out of their way.
If you feel like you know everything, you’re wrong. I know what I don’t know and then I find partners who can teach me. A perfect example is my partnership with Patrick Whitesell, my co-CEO at WME. While we take on different roles at the company and focus on different things, we share the same goals and at the end of the day, we’re working toward the same end. That’s been the key to our success.
- The only constant in business is change. Get comfortable with it.
When I started in the business, there were four broadcast networks and 19 cable networks. Now there are five broadcast networks, 117 cable networks, Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, HBOGo, iTunes, Amazon Prime, VOD – the list goes on and on. Next year there will be more distribution platforms, and in ten years the landscape will have shifted another 180 degrees. The business is changing quickly, and the only way to succeed is to change with it. I always tell my colleagues, there is no such thing as a traditional talent agent anymore. It’s about pushing beyond that 10% commission and finding opportunity where it didn’t exist before.
- Fail often, fail quickly.
Nobody fucks up like I do, but you’ll never succeed unless you take risks. Big ones. In 2009, we took Endeavor, a company that was doing incredibly well, and merged it with the oldest talent agency in the world. From a cultural and organizational standpoint, it was a big...