Steve Herz is President of The Montag Group, a sports and entertainment talent and marketing consultancy. He is also a career advisor to CEOs, lawyers, entrepreneurs, and young professionals. Prior to joining TMG, Steve was the President and Founding Partner of IF Management, an industry leader whose broadcasting division became one of the largest in the space, representing over 200 television and radio personalities. The agency represents some of the biggest names in sports and news media, including NBC Sports Mike Tirico, ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt and Dan Shulman, and CNN Chief International Correspondent Clarissa Ward. Herz received his bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Michigan and his J.D. from Vanderbilt University Law School. Steve is involved with several charities, including serving on the local leadership council at Birthright Israel. He has also been a volunteer tutor at the Horizon High School at Rikers Island Prison in NYC and the Harlem Academy Charter School.
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- Sustaining excellence =
- Curiosity – Genuine interest
- A desire to learn and grow
- Finding uncommon commonalities:
- His parents went to Ohio University (which is where I graduated)
- Do your homework prior to meeting someone (as Steve did on me)
- Be actionable and intentional
- Meet someone on their turf. ACKNOWLEDGE them.
- Turner Smith:
- “Don’t Take Yes For An Answer” — Beware of the counter-fit yes. They are not helpful.
- “Don’t live in an echo chamber of Yes.”
- Seek feedback – Turner Smith not only didn’t give Steve an offer… He gave him specific feedback as to why. Changed his life.
- Tough love with kindness
- Read the book: Seabiscuit. Knowing when to use carrots vs. sticks.
- Taking his shot with Alfred Geller – “I met him in a elevator and only had a few seconds. I asked to work with him… He said, ‘meet me in my office at 8:00am tomorrow.'”
- “I downloaded his brain.”
- “You need to perfect your A. W. E.”
- John Kasich didn’t use his voice properly. “Change your voice, change your life.”
- Mid-level manager advice:
- “Act like you’ve been there before (like Barry Sanders).” Internalize it.
- “When you’re walking your dog, who is walking who?”
- Providing feedback to his clients:
- “Joe Tessitore couldn’t figure out how to modulate his voice.”
- Don’t get into the “vortex of mediocrity:”
- The most painful thing in the world is unfulfilled potential.
- Find the people who are able to give you critical feedback and listen.
- When he started his company, he called it IF after Rudyard Kipling’s poem by the same name which says, “If you can dream– and not make dreams your master… yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it.”
- We are ALL in sales: Steven Shapiro, member of the board of overseers of University of Pennsylvania Law School, “We have a saying at the firm: You can buy a pound of brains at the butcher. I walk through the halls of the university, and there are many brilliant future lawyers. But they can’t look you in the eye in the hallway. In 15 years, this person may be writing law on the tax code, but they’re probably not going to have a lot of clients.” You know where lawyers, or salespeople, or consultants go when they don’t bring in business? Neither do I. Because you rarely hear about them ever again.”
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