Mark and Kevin Talk Adversity in Episode 30 of The Sports Leadership Podcast

Adversity is one thing that will visit us all whether we're ready or not. In Episode 30 of the Sports Leadership Podcast, Kevin DeShazo and Mark Hodgkin discuss ways to prepare for it, manage and lead through it, and use it as a way to improve.

If you have not yet, please subscribe to the Sports Leadership Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, SoundCloud or Google Play.

Episodes 28 and 29 of the Sports Leadership Podcast

Episode 28 and 29 of the Sports Leadership Podcast have been released.

In Episode 28, Kevin DeShazo and Mark Hodgkin begin a series on popular leadership axioms, by discussing the premise that "How we do anything is how we do everything." A recent blog post by Ryan Holiday prompts the conversation and leads to a discussion on what's really important to focus on.

With the dawn of a new college sports season, Episode 29 tackles the importance of starting a season strong and preparing to commit to a strong workplace culture over the long haul. Making your leadership personal and giving your team a concrete vision for why what they do will help them internalize your mission. And it's also worth taking a few minutes to be thankful for working in this industry.

If you have not yet, please subscribe to the Sports Leadership Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, SoundCloud or Google Play.

Mark's 2019 Reads

Ongoing List of the books I’ve read in 2019. I have tried to divide them by how much I enjoyed them and how valuable I found them. Click to buy on Amazon via my referral link (price stays same for you but helps support the SportsBiz Book Exchange).

Last Updated August 25, 2019.

Highly Recommended:

Master of the Senate, Robert Caro

Passage of Power, Robert Caro

The Fish That Ate The Whale: The Life and Times of America’s Banana King, Rich Cohen

The Laws of Human Nature, Robert Greene

Being Nixon, Evan Thomas

Belichick: The Making of the Greatest Football Coach of All Time, Ian O’Connor

The Manual, Epictetus

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, John Berendt

Brothers, Rivals, Victors, Jonathan W. Jordan

Inspired, Marty Cagan

On The Shortness of Life, Epictetus

Lonesome Dove (fiction), Larry McMurtry


The Personal MBA, Josh Kaufman

The Art of Learning, Josh Waitzkin

Little Bets, Peter Sims

Start Something That Matters, Blake Mycoskie

Tiger Woods, Jeff Benedict & Armen Keteyian

Working, Robert Caro

Irresistible, Adam Alter

Dallas 1963, Bill Minutaglio & Steven L. Davis

This is Marketing, Seth Godin

Education of a Coach, David Halberstam

A Farewell to Arms (fiction), Ernest Hemingway

The General vs. The President, H.W. Brands

You Are Not So Smart, David McRaney

Humilitas, John Dickson

Creative Selection, Ken Kocienda

The Captain Class, Sam Walker

Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives

Shutter Island (fiction), Dennis Lehane

The Little Book of Stoicism, Jonas Salzberger

Daring Greatly, Brene Brown

Eichman in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil, Hannah Arendt

How to Live: A Life of Montaigne in One Question and Twenty Attempts at an Answer, Sarah Bakewell

The Fifties, David Halberstam

Montaigne, Stefan Zweig

The Chicago Cubs: Story of a Curse, Rich Cohen

Work Rules! Laszlo Bock

How to Lead When You’re Not in Charge, Tracy Scroggins

Skin in the Game, Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Catastrophe 1914: Europe Goes to War, Max Hastings


My Morning Routine, Benjamin Spall & Michael Xander

The General (fiction), C.S. Forester

Into Thin Air, Jon Krakauer

Radical Acceptance, Tara Brach

Ready Player One, Ernest Cline

The World Atlas of Coffee, James Hoffman

Black Dahlia (fiction), James Ellroy

Death Without Company (fiction), Craig Johnson

Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World, Jack Weatherford

Kindness Goes Unpunished (fiction), Craig Johnson

How to Be A Stoic, Massimo Pigliucci

Paddle Your Own Canoe, Nick Offerman

Churchill, Paul Johnson

Endure, Alex Hutchinson

The Willpower Instinct, Kelly McGonigal

Next: The Future Just Happened, Michael Lewis

Selling You, Napoleon Hill

The Practicing Mind, Thomas M. Sterner

Two Kinds of Truth (fiction), Michael Connelly

Coach Wooden’s Pyramid of Success, John Wooden & Jay Carty

Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics, Dan Harris

Fear: Trump in the White House, Bob Woodward

Previous Years’ Reads





For more, connect with me on GoodReads.

Introducing the SportsBiz Book Exchange

Last year, I read more books than I ever have. I do not think it is a coincidence that it was also a year of tremendously positive growth and evolution. I am 100% convinced that reading more — and better — is a crucial piece of success. In today’s cluttered and chaotic landscape, I think it’s more important than ever to invest time into reading things that make us better people and professionals.

I also love the #SportsBiz and #SMSports communities. I have gotten to know so many of you through Twitter and eventually IRL (in real life ;)).

So today, I’m launching a project that will hopefully bring these two great things together, The #SportsBiz Book Exchange.

Here’s how it will work:

  1. Tell us your name, address, and a book you’re willing to share by clicking on this link.
  2. We’ll follow up with a list of submitted books and ask you to select the ones you’ve already read.
  3. On March 1, you’ll receive the name and address of someone to share your book with. Mail them the book with a short personalized note.
  4. Wait for your book to come.
  5. We’ll repeat steps 2–4 every month or two. You’ll forward the book you received to someone else, with another note.

I hope this will be a way for like-minded sports professionals to share knowledge and expand their network. I think reading and networking are two important pillars to growing your career and hope this exchange will enrich all those who participate.

The Sports Leadership Podcast - Episode 7

What is influence? Essentially, it’s your ability to impact those around you. It’s crucial for your career as well as your personal relationships.


When people meet you, the instinctively ask the following questions:

  1. Can I trust you? (Character)
  2. Do I like you? (Chemistry)
  3. Do you know what you’re doing? (Competency)
  4. Can you help me achieve what I’m trying to achieve? (Credibility)

Positive answers on those questions can take you beyond mere transactions and build meaningful relationships. But all of us are wired differently and have different strengths and blind spots.

In Episode 7 of the Sports Leadership Podcast, Kevin DeShazo of Fieldhouse Leadership and I discuss the Four C’s of influence and how to identify and develop them in your career (link below).

In our next episode we will discuss self preservation, which is one of the big roadblocks for unlocking meaningful relationships and true influence. 

As mentioned on the show, we all have a natural “voice”. For more on this topic, visit

If you have not yet, please subscribe to the Sports Leadership Podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, SoundCloud or Google Play.


The Sports Leadership Podcast - Episode 4

If you have not yet, please subscribe to the podcast on iTunesStitcherSoundCloud or Google Play

In Episode 4, Kevin and I discuss the "Support/Challenge" matrix. All of us bring certain levels of support and challenge to our team, but finding the right mix is what separates great leaders from the rest. Find out how to take the steps needed to be a "Liberator".

Here is the Support/Challenge Matrix:

For more, visit:

Listen to Episode 4 below:

The Sports Leadership Podcast - Episode 3

In Episode 3 of The Sports Leadership Podcast, Mark and Kevin discuss the best books they read in 2016 and the overall importance of reading to leadership.

If you have not yet, please subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, SoundCloud or Google Play

Among the books discussed on the episode were Ryan Holiday's "The Obstacle is the Way" and "Ego is the Enemy".

Mark broke down his full list of books over on Medium. You can also find him on GoodReads

Other books mentioned on the show (full lists below SoundCloud embed):


  1. 5 Gears, Jeremie Kubicek & Steve Cockram

  2. 5 Voices, Jeremie Kubicek & Steve Cockram

  3. The Culture Code, Clotaire Rapaille

  4. Captivology, Ben Parr


  1. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, Mark Madson

  2. The More of Less, Joshua Becker

  3. The Inevitable, Kevin Kelly

  4. Presence, Amy Cuddy

  5. Extreme Ownership, Jocko Willinick & Leif Babin

  6. Resilience, Eric Greitens

  7. The Power of Full Engagement, Jim Loehr

Kevin's Full List

  1. The Obstacle is the Way, Ryan Holiday

  2. Ego is the Enemy, Ryan Holiday

  3. 5 Gears, Jeremie Kubicek & Steve Cockram

  4. 5 Voices, Jeremie Kubicek & Steve Cockram

  5. The Culture Code, Clotaire Rapaille

  6. TED Talks, Chris Anderson

  7. Strong and Weak, Andy Crouch

  8. Captivology, Ben Parr

  9. Strategic Storytelling, Dave McKinsey

  10. No Brand is an Island, Robert Smith

  11. The Innovators, Walter Isaacson

  12. The Advantage, Patrick Lencioni

  13. The War of Art, Steven Pressfield

  14. Nobody Wants to Read Your Sh*t, Steven Pressfield

  15. The Hard Thing About Hard Things, Ben Horowitz

  16. The Exceptional Presenter, Timothy Koegel

  17. Leaders Eat Last, Simon Sinek

  18. Originals, Adam Grant

Mark's Full List

  1. The Art of Work, Jeff Goins

  2. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, Mark Madson

  3. The Unlimited Self, Jonathan Heston

  4. The Art of War: The Denma Translation, Sun Tzu

  5. The Effective Executive, Peter Drucker

  6. The 47 Laws of Power,  Robert Greene

  7. Mastery, Robert Greene

  8. Total Money Makeover, Dave Ramsey

  9. Love Yourself Like You're Life Depended on it, Kamal Ravikant

  10. Cool, Calm, Collected, David De Las Morenas

  11. Confidence Hacks, Barrie Davenport

  12. The Richest Man in Babylon, George Clason

  13. The Inevitable, Kevin Kelly

  14. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Marie Kondo

  15. The More of Less, Joshua Becker

  16. The Only Rule is  it Has to Work, Ben Lindbergh & Sam Miller

  17. Steal Like an Artist, Austin Klein

  18. Eat That Frog, Brian Tracy

  19. David and Goliath, Malcolm Gladwell

  20. Thinking in New Boxes, Luc de Brandere & Alan Ivy

  21. The Art of Fielding, Chad Harbach

  22. Presence, Amy Cuddy

  23. Extreme Ownership, Jocko Willinick & Leif Babin

  24. Resilience, Eric Greitens

  25. Cicero, Anthony Everitt

  26. Manage your Day to Day, Jocelyn Glei

  27. The Obstacle is the Way, Ryan Holiday

  28. Ego is the Enemy, Ryan Holiday

  29. Strength Finder 2.0, Tom Rath

  30. On the Shortness of Life, Seneca

  31. Growth Hacker Marketing, Ryan Holiday

  32. The Enchiridion, Epictetus

  33. Create or Hate: Successful People Make Things, Dan Norris

  34. Hustle, Jesse Tevelow

  35. De-Clutter Your Mind, SJ Scott & Barrie Davenport

  36. You Must Write a Book, Honoree Corder

  37. The Book of Alpha, David De Las Morenas

  38. Trust Me I'm Lying, Ryan Holliday

  39. How Google Works, Eric Schmidt

  40. The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg

  41. Emotional Intelligence, HBR Must Reads

  42. Managing Yourself, HBR Must Reads

  43. Meditations, Marcus Aurelius

  44. The Power of Full Engagement, Jim Loehr

  45. Manvotionals, Brett McKay

  46. Quiet, Susan Cain

  47. All Marketers are Liars, Seth Godin

  48. Zorba the Greek, Nikos Kazantzakis

  49. Man's search for Meaning, Viktor Frankl

  50. Unmarketing, Scott Stratten

  51. Brands Win Championships, Jeremy Darlow

  52. Contagious, Jonah Berger

  53. The Long Tail, Chris Anderson

  54. The 4-Hour Workweek, Timothy Ferriss

  55. Deep Work, Cal Newport

  56. The Miracle of Mindfulness, Thich Nhat Hanh

  57. Letters from a Stoic, Seneca

  58. It's Not What You Sell, It's What You Stand For, Roy Spence

  59. #AskGaryVee, Gary Vaynerchuck

  60. Discourses and Selected Writings, Epictetus

*Using the above links to purchase these books on Amazon does not affect the price but helps support the podcast. Thank you!

    The Sports Leadership Podcast - Episode 2

    Do you return from a weekend still tired and stressed? Are you constantly connected with your device but increasingly detached to those around you? 

    We all have different ways of resting and recharging, but it is crucial for all of us. In Episode 2 of The Sports Leadership Podcast, Kevin DeShazo and I discuss the importance of rest and recovery - and how to do it effectively. 

    Kevin outlines our "5 Gears" and we discuss how to move throughout them to optimize our work and rest time. 

    Listen to the full podcast below and please consider subscribing via iTunes, Stitcher or SoundCloud to get new episodes of The Sports Leadership Podcast as soon as they come out. 

    Download & Subscribe at: 


    The Sports Leadership Podcast - Episode 1

    In the first episode of The Sports Leadership Podcast, Kevin DeShazo (Fieldhouse Media, Fieldhouse Leadership) and Mark Hodgkin discuss the importance of self awareness and how to "know yourself to lead yourself."

    Self awareness is the first step of any self improvement, and the best part is that you can start now...and it's totally up to you.

    For more information on the courses mentioned by Kevin visit:

    Listen to the full podcast below. We are also on Stitcher and hopefully soon iTunes. 





    Introducing the Sports Leadership Podcast

    I am excited to announce a new project, The Sports Leadership Podcast. 

    My friend Kevin DeShazo of Fieldhouse Media and Fieldhouse Leadership and I have teamed up for a sports-business focused leadership podcast. 

    This is a project I've long wanted to do and I believe Kevin is the perfect co-host. His leadership training is outstanding (I have participated in his CORE group classes and they are tremendous) and he is well respected in the industry. 

    Additionally, we have vastly different makeups, strengths and weaknesses, which will make for fun and educational differences. 

    Our intro episode is below, and our first official episode is coming soon!

    I'm Quitting Social Media (Sorta)

    I am turning off all my personal social networks for the month of October. No Facebook, no Twitter, no Instagram, No SnapChat...No anything.

    I will still use it as it pertains to my current job at NeuLion and our product offerings.  I’m not disconnecting from the web and I’m not moving into a cave, but it’s something I want to try.

    Earlier this year I read Cal Newport’s “Deep Work”. The premise of the book is that the power of deep work and concentration is becoming more and more valuable as it becomes more and more rare. It argues that the future economy will reward high levels of expertise and that the only way to strive is to get good enough at tasks that can’t be outsourced or replaced by machines.

    One of his recommendations is to quit social media.

    He dives deeper into it in this Tedx Talk.

    Now I love social media. I believe it’s helped my career and life in numerous ways. But lots of what Newport writes rings true. Social media can feel like a slot machine in your pocket and I’ve certainly felt its addictive properties.

    I want to unplug from it for a while to see if it positively impacts my areas of focus and concentration. I also want to see if some of the things I fear - not seeing important news immediately, losing contacts with friends, etc. - are reall or more perception.

    I don’t plan on this being a permanent thing. My job has obvious connections to social media, but not nearly as much day-to-day involvement as my last position. I enjoy challenges like this and think I will be able to learn some interesting things about myself and social media itself. I believe this will be a positive and fascinating experience. And the fact that I’ll miss a month of feverish election nonsense is an added benefit.

    I actually think I will come away with it with a BETTER understanding of social media and I will certainly write some of my thoughts and insights when I return.  In the meantime, feel free to reach out via email ( or call my cell - See you in November!


    Pokemon GO?

    I remember sitting in a work meeting in the spring of 2009. I was surrounded by smart marketers as we debated whether to jump in on a hot trend among techies and youths. It involved short micro-blogs and updates of perceived tedium from anyone with an account. 

    'Who wants to know what I'm eating for breakfast' was a popularly pejorative criticism of the emerging social network. It was still fairly niche. Lots of people signed up then never used it again. It was not a slam dunk that this would be worth pursuing as a college athletics department. 

    As you've undoubtedly guessed by now, that conversation was about Twitter. 

    Now, until about 72 hours ago, I had never heard of Pokemon GO. I don't think I'd even heard Pokemon mentioned since I was in high school. 

    Practically overnight, its daily active users active users in the US approaching Twitter's levels (on Android). So people are beginning to take notice. Lost amidst this stunning statistic (and much more interesting in my opinion) is that people are using it for almost 45 minutes per day which is more than social giants WhatsApp, Instagram, Snapchat and Messenger.

    With Pokemon GO all the rage, it's predictable that charlatans and eager entrepreneurs will rush to trumpet its potential (and how they can help your brand ride the wave...for a fee). 

    On the other side, some dismiss this as a passing fad....a silly distraction that has grown-ups chasing cartoon characters through the streets. 

    Perhaps, but ignore this at your own peril. I believe that augmented reality is coming and that it will transform our lives in a multitude of ways (most far less frivolous than hunting animated...whatever those yellow things are).

    Think about it for a minute. There is a LOT to be intrigued about here. 

    For starters, users of Augmented Reality (AR) need none of the fancy and cumbersome headwear that virtual reality (VR) requires.  Most people are accustomed to seeing their fellow citizens face down into their cellphone. 

    Now think about it from a brand standpoint. Since this game takes place in the real world, consider the possibilities for sponsor activation, geo-targeted deals and things of that nature. 

    Now I don't know if Pokemon Go will be the next huge social platform we all have to rush into as brands and publishers. But I also know that no one else knows that it's not. This is a trend worth monitoring and as professionals in this space we have an obligation to do our due diligence. 

    Like Meerkat introduced us to the world of live streaming to social before Twitter/Periscope and Facebook brought it to the masses,  I could absolutely see this being a forerunner to something bigger and more universally adapted. 

    SnapChat seems to agree, they recently hired a Hollywood special effects expert to lead them into the AR age. 

    I do not see augmented reality going anywhere, it's just a matter of where it sticks.

    Personally, one of the few social media platforms that immediately "made sense" for me was Google+. We know how that turned out.  While we work in the field of social media, we must never fall victim to our own user biases. I'll probably never play Pokemon GO...but I wasn't sure two years ago if I'd ever send a Snapchat either. 

    The audiences are younger and younger and we have to view things through their prism. Especially for those in the college athletics space, we have to see the world as recruits and students do. 

    They say fools rush in, but there are a lot of 'experts' that could look silly if we looked up their opinions on Facebook in 2004, Twitter in 2009 or SnapChat in 2014. 

    Facebook's Algorithm Shift - What it Means for Brands

    Much has been made about Facebook's recent tweaks to its newsfeed algorithm.  It is hardly the first time that such a move has been made by the social giant, and they usually go something like this: having attracted brands to the allure of Facebook's huge user base, the social network cuts their newsfeed reach just enough to drive them towards using their ad platform (pay to play) or lose out on reach. 

    The response from brands is usually fear...or indignation. Many of these see social media as "free" and are appalled at efforts by Facebook to curb their ability to reach their 'fans'. Few, if any, flea the platform entirely, though.

    These people miss the boat on several levels. For one, Facebook HAS to continue to fight to keep the user experience an enjoyable one. If FB becomes a giant spamathon of brand messaging, who would want to spend nearly an hour a day (on average) there? 

    Facebook has never been stupid and has proved willing to foresake quick brand cash for long-term growth. That's how they've ended up with over 1.65 billion active users.

    In fact, as brands have flocked to Facebook the past few years organic growth has continued to drop.  Makes perfect sense. 

    So what's next for brands? It's a safe bet more will go to ads. Facebook ads are still relatively affordable

    I, for one, will be following this closely: Will FB build out a bidding service like Google Adwords? Will Facebook drive up costs by cutting back on ad locations under the guise of improving the user experience?

    Facebook has put its hooks in brands and now they have little choice but to go along. This is the inherent danger in putting your distribution eggs into someone else's basket. If you're a media producer, sure Facebook is important (more than important, really) but I would warn against relying on them completely for your reach. 

    Building your own content on your own platform will continue to be important for all brands. 

    But on a microlevel, focus on creating content that will be shared. This is the name of social media, by the way. Remember that the new changes don't appear to publish your content if it's shared by users' friends and family.

    This is not to say that this level won't effect big publishers. It certainly will. The results for smaller business and those in college sports is less certain. 

    Shakeups like this are good for those of us who work in the digital space. It keeps us on our toes and reminds us that creativity and great content wins, but also reinforces that social is not (and never has been) free. 

    Further reading: 7 Ways Facebook's Big Algorithm Change Will Affect Marketers and Publishers, Contently. 

    Facebook Live Comes Alive

    The talk of the social media world right now is live video, and perhaps more accurately, Facebook Live.

    The social behemoth jumped into the live video streaming fray after Meerkat and Periscope blazed the trail, but as they often do, Facebook has muscled FB Live to levels of exposure no one else can match thanks to its 1.65B worldwide monthly users. 

    In my opinion, the massive numbers Facebook puts out are “influenced” by FB’s ability to serve more of any content they want to its users and somemisleading selective analytics

    (Here’s Facebook’s overview on their video metrics)

    My friend Brandon Costa did a great Q&A with Rob Shaw, who heads Global Sports Media Partnerships for Facebook. It’s worth a read and gives good examples of possible uses for FB Live in the sports space

    Brands have been finding their way with the platform. One possible use worth tracking on is live programming (remember Alex Morgan’s mega-successful stream of her Orlando Pride debut) . Shaw makes the point that content on FB Live should be inherently social and its debatable whether full length games fall into that category. 

    So a question for my #SMSports fans - what do you think is the best content now for Facebook Live? Do you think this will change in the future?


    Snapchat’s Most Recent Valuation

    Some very interesting notes emerged from the recent news that Snapchat has raised $1.8B and is currently valued at nearly $20B

    The valuation is huge, especially considering the company had less than $60M in revenue last year. That number is estimated to rise to $350M this year and by some estimates rise to $500M or even $1B in the next few years. 

    Contrast that with Twitter, who had 35 times the revenue of Snapchat and roughly the same daily users, but is valued at $10B. The difference here is of course growth - Snapchat’s user base grew about 50% while Twitter remained flat. 

    That’s why, Mathew Ingram of Fortune, argues that despite critics who see a potential tech bubble, Snapchat just might be worth that $20B figure. 

    Another interesting note is some of the venture capitalists involved (who typically jump in earlier) which could potentially signal expectations that Snapchat could reach Facebook-level status. 

    Oh yeah, remember that Facebook offered $3B for Snapchat in 2013 and was rebuffed