Josh Harris, the 76ers owner, made local and national headlines last week when he attended a meeting with President Donald Trump. You may find this surprising, since many of us Philly locals would view Harris as the sports, not the politics guy. However, Harris, is a very successful private equity investor and co-founder of Apollo Global Management. Harris, as well as other prominent businessmen, met with President Trump to discuss a one trillion-dollar infrastructure plan.
This new infrastructure plan includes the rebuilding of roads, bridges and schools in the United States. Trump jumped on this opportunity early in his presidency because whether it’s a bridge or highway, it’s common knowledge that success comes from building a strong foundation. I don’t believe it was a coincidence that Trump chose to meet with Harris, given Harris’ success in business as well as sports management. Quite frankly, Trump brought the best group of businessmen to Washington to make his renovation team.
As a business owner, I’m always curious to see how successful people like Harris think. I believe Harris is a systems thinker with strong analytical skills and his mindset on sports and business can give us great insight into our own life and wealth planning.
However, many people right now might hold the contrary opinion of Harris’ sports management. As many of you Philly sports fans have noticed by now, the best 76ers players have been benched this season. You might wonder, “How is Harris a good businessman when all he does is play it safe?”
Earlier this week, The Wall Street Journal published an article regarding this benching phenomena, citing that it’s a problematic and controversial issue with the league owners, like Harris, since the goals of the league and the team are in contrast with one another. With the best players resting, the fans, viewers, and broadcasters are let down with a potentially terrible game.
So why is this occurring? Harris “playing it safe” on the court doesn’t mean that he isn’t taking a risk. Harris knows the backlash, but he has an eye for long-term success and uses analytics to plan for the future. He has the unique ability to build a strong team and use science. For instance, Harris and his team understands that an injury to a key player can be more detrimental than a win which won’t mean much in the long run.
Although the favorable players are benched, it doesn’t make the 76ers inconsistent with Harris’ goals. If anything, it takes more support and encouragement to keep everyone calm and to focus on the bigger, long term benefits. By understanding the system as a whole, and the cyclical nature of basketball, it makes no sense to languish in the middle of the pack. Other teams have been following the precedent set by Harris, because it reveals how invested he is in the future of the team, opposed to obtaining a win that won’t mean much in the long run.
When it comes to your life and your wealth, patience is key. Looking at the bigger picture is vital. Although seeing your favorite players sitting on the bench can be extremely frustrating, you can’t get worked up about it — the long-term outcome is more important.
Granted, we might not all be exceptional visionaries like Harris, but it is important to surround yourself with a team who has the expertise and long-term end goal in mind. That solid foundation is the key to success.
By Steve Cordasco, CEO of Cordasco Financial Network