This week, Jen is joined by Leigh Steinberg. Listen along as Leigh shares the importance of compartmentalizing and adopting a quiet mind to elevate your level of performance in critical circumstances!
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Postpone Current Gratification for Future Success with Leigh Steinberg
Hey everyone and welcome back to Success to Significance. I’m your host, Jen Du Plessis, and today I am so excited I have the great Leigh Steinberg with me. And for those of you that don’t know who he is, let me tell you a little bit about him. He has a long pedigree, a long bio, and I’m going to shorten it as quickly as I can here, Lee.
Um, he has represented many of the most successful athletes and coaches in football, basketball, baseball, hockey. Boxing golf, probably Olympics too. We’ll have to see how that goes, including the number one overall pick in the NFL draft, um, for an unprecedented record holding eight times in conjunction with 62 total first round draft picks.
Um, he’s represented other notable athletes, um, all over the place. Yep. And here’s Olympians within, um, And what’s the other thing I wanna tell you is that you have, you also have a record number of 12 Hall of Famers, including Howie Long, Steve Young to Troy Aikman, Warren Moon, and I mean, it’s just so, it’s so impressive.
But what’s most impressive about you, Lee? Um, in the time that we’ve known each other in the last couple years, seeing each other at different events. Is the impact you’re having in the world, and that’s what I really wanna talk about. So we’re gonna talk a little bit about athletics and, and professional stuff, but I really wanna talk about what is so close to your heart and what you’re really trying to do in your life.
So welcome, welcome, welcome to the show.
Thank you so much.
Yeah, I’m excited to have you. Okay, so let me just start with this. So, you know, professional sports, uh, you know, when we think of professional sports, we think of money and we think of fame, but you focused in such a way, and I’ve seen you speak about this before about making an impact.
Through sports. So when we remove all of the glamor that comes with this professional, you know, an athlete, can you give us one suggestion for someone regarding how to apply this sports mentality that you see day in, day out, into someone else’s daily life so that they could have enjoyment and happiness and feel self worth success and make an impact.
Well, I think that if you take those qualities that allow someone to be successful in sports and you apply it to all of our lives, it would be postponing current gratification for future success. It would be work ethic, it would be teamwork. It would be taking really intense and, and confuse sets of information employing them in real time.
It would be courage under pressure, and it would be the ability in adversity, um, when things have not gone well. To put that in the past. Compartmentalize, adopt a quiet mind, and elevate your level of performance in critical circumstances. So those are qualities that enable athletes to perform well, but they’re equally applicable to all of our lives.
Um, and what I found was that athletes, because of their high profile, were able to trigger imitative behavior in other people. And that made them able to be role models and to have an impact on other people. So I found if they would go back to the high school community that helped shape them and set up a scholarship fund or work with the Boys and Girls Club or a church, they could retrace their roots and make a a difference in that community.
And then go to the college community and set up a scholarship fund like Troy Aikman did at UCLA. Um, they could bond with the alums and then at the pro level, find the leading political figures, community leaders and business figures, and set up a, a program that would respond to some community need. So, work done or running back for Atlanta and Tampa, just put the 200 single mother and her family in the first home of the Le own by making the down payment.
and moving the families, uh, in and then outfitting the home. So it’s athletes changing lives. Yeah. And that’s something that we all can do. So they’re not simply modeling the behavior, they’re modeling the fact that each of us in our own lives can make a profound difference in the world and help people who can’t help themselves.
Yeah, I, I love everything you said. I mean, there’s so many, uh, little great nuggets that are in there. I think one of the things I wanna ask, so, um, I wanna ask you this and then, and then I can’t wait to ask you the next question, but, But, uh, you know, when someone comes into an athletic program, you know, and we think about, you know, like the optimist or when they’re little, you know, they’re not talking about giving back to the community when, what’s the trigger, where, what happens?
Or how do we have to form people? To start realizing that in giving, they will receive so much more back. And it’s not just about the money and it’s not just about the fame or the stats and, and things like that. I mean, how does that trigger happen? Because I don’t know that every athlete feels that way.
I think it starts with parents. So I had a father who raised my brothers and I with two core values. One was to treasure relationships. Especially family. Mm-hmm. . And the second was that we had an obligation, to make a positive difference in the world and to help people who couldn’t help themselves.
And he would say there’s a corollary to that, which is that when you’re looking for someone to make a change, as small as picking a piece of trash up off the floor, or as major as fighting racism or rolling back climate change or fighting domestic violence. Mm-hmm. . Um, and you will keep assuming that they or them are going to solve the problem, the amorphous, they older people, political figures, you would say you could wait forever, son, the they is you.
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Get to know Leigh Steinberg
Leigh was born and raised in Los Angeles by his parents, a teacher and librarian. He obtained both his undergraduate and law degrees from Cal where he was student body president during each tenure. Leigh has represented many of the most successful athletes and coaches in football, basketball, baseball, hockey, boxing, golf, etc., including the number one overall pick in the NFL draft for an unprecedented eight times in conjunction with 62 total first round picks. Furthermore, Leigh has represented other notable athletes such as Oscar De La Hoya and Lennox Lewis, as well as multiple Olympians and professional teams. With an unrivaled history of record-setting contracts, Leigh has secured over $4 billion for his 300+ pro athlete clients and directed more than $750 million to various charities around the world.
Leigh is easily distinguished from others within his profession by his passion for giving to those less fortunate and his endless campaign to make our world a better place. He has received commendations from Congress, State Senate, State Legislature, the Los Angeles City Council, the Orange County Board of Supervisors, President Reagan, President Bush and President Clinton. Leigh has been named Man of the Year over a dozen times by a variety of groups including the March of Dimes, Cedars-Sinai, the Southern California Boy, Scouts, the Orange County and Los Angeles Human Relations Commissions, the Orange County and Los Angeles divisions of the Anti-Defamation League, and several other professional and charitable organizations. He has also been awarded the “Keys to the City” in San Francisco, CA, Memphis, TN, Jacksonville, FL and Concord, CA. In 2017, Leigh was inducted into the California Sports Hall of Fame.
His efforts to save the Giants led then San Francisco Mayor Frank Jordan to declare “Leigh Steinberg Day” in the city. In 1994, then-Oakland Mayor Elihu Harris utilized Leigh as a consultant in his successful bid to prevent the Oakland Athletics baseball club from relocating. Leigh also served as Co-Chairman of the “Save the Rams” committee in its attempt to keep the franchise from leaving Southern California.
Leigh is often credited as the inspiration for the Oscar-winning film Jerry Maguire. In addition to receiving a production credit for the movie, Leigh also consulted on features such as Any Given Sunday, For Love of the Game, and Arli$$.
He has been featured on national television programs such as “60 Minutes,” “Larry King Live,” “Fox News,” “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous,” and many more. A host of magazines have covered him including Business Week, Sports Illustrated, ESPN the Magazine, People, Forbes, Playboy, GQ, and FHM.
Additionally, he has supplied his expertise on the business of sports and athletes for “The Dan Patrick Show,” in front of “ The Jim Rome Show,” and “The Herd with Colin Cowherd,” and multiple other radio and TV outlets. Leigh contributes a weekly column to Forbes, The Huffington Post, and the Daily Pilot, while occasionally contributing a guest column to The New York Times, Sporting News, and Yahoo Sports. In addition, Leigh has penned notable articles such as “The Future of Sports” for the Sports Business Journal, “Around the NFL in 80 Million Dollars” for Inside Sports Magazine and “The Future of Sport” for the Smithsonian Magazine.
Leigh wrote a best-selling book, Winning with Integrity, providing insight on how to improve life through non-confrontational negotiation. Furthermore, Leigh’s most recent book, The Agent: My 40-Year Career of Making Deals and Changing the Game, details his decades of dominance in the sports industry and sheds light on overcoming his personal struggles to launch his comeback. Leigh has been rated the #6 Most Powerful Person in the NFL according to “Football Digest” and the #16 Most Powerful Person in Sports according to “Sporting News.” He resides in Newport Beach and has three children.
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